The major in Biological Sciences is designed to provide students with a broad background in the biology and exposure to related fields such as chemistry, physics and mathematics. The program offers a strong science foundation balanced with a well rounded Liberal Arts education required for successful entrance into Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, and doctoral degree programs in the biological sciences. Grades of "C" or above must be received in all required courses.
Biological Sciences B.A. Degree
Core Required Courses:
Plus four additional Upper Division Biology courses; at least two must have labs.
Total units required for B.A. in Biological Sciences: 68
Plus General Studies requirements and electives totaling 124 semester units, including Modern Language requirement.
Biological Sciences B.S. Degree
Total units required for B.S. in Biological Sciences: 81
Pre-Physical Therapy Emphasis
The Pre-Physical Therapy Program will meet the needs of MSMC undergraduate students interested in pursuing post-baccalaureate professional education in Physical Therapy or other health-science related fields.
Students selecting this major will complete the required general education coursework (45 units), as well as a core of major requirements (55 units) as outlined below. Grades of C or above must be received in core courses.
Core Required Courses:
Total 55 units
Students will have three core-required courses in both psychology and sociology/gerontology. An additional two courses will be chosen from either a psychology or a gerontology emphasis.
Psychology core requirements:
Gerontology core requirements:
Psychology emphasis: (Choose any 2 courses)
Gerontology emphasis: (Choose any 2 courses)
Biological Sciences Minor
A minimum of 24 units in the biological sciences including:
Plus two additional upper division courses in the Biological Sciences.
BIO 1A Biological Dynamics (4)
This course is an introduction to the biological sciences at the cellular and subcellular level. Topics include the biochemistry and energetics of life, anatomy of the cell, metabolism, cell cycle, and molecular mechanisms of inheritance. Historical perspective and current findings are incorporated into these units of study. The laboratory allows students to become proficient in the scientific methods of investigation for each major topic. Lecture 3 hrs. Laboratory 3 hrs. GS-III, VIIA
BIO 1B Biological Dynamics (4)
This course is an introduction to the study of biology and the variety of organisms at the organismic, population, and environmental levels. Included are topics dealing with the structures and coordination of functions of complex multicellular organisms, biological factors that support community life systems, ecological interrelationships of plants and animals, and human impact upon the environment. Lecture 3 hrs. Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisite: Grade of C or above in BIO 1A. GS-IIID
BIO 1AH Freshman Honors Biology (1)
Emphasis on application of concepts learned in biological dynamics course. Students will be required to use quantitative reasoning, and problem solving skills. Student must be eligible for honors courses. Departmental approval required. Offered every fall semester. Lecture/discussion 1 hr. GS-VIIA
BIO 1BH Freshman Honors Biology (1)
Exploration of the scientific research enterprise with reflection on ethics in research and misconduct in science. Critical thinking and problem solving will be emphasized throughout the course. Students must be eligible for honors courses or be recommended by the department. Offered every Spring semester. Lecture/discussion 1hr.
BIO 3 General Microbiology (4)
Basic principles of microbial growth and metabolism, morphology, taxonomy, pathogenicity, immunity, and control. Microorganisms as agents of disease and normal inhabitants of our environment. Techniques of isolation, cultivation and identification of these organisms. Offered every semester. Lecture 3 hrs. Laboratory 3 hrs. GS - IIID
BIO 5 Life Sciences (3)
This is a one-semester introduction to biology for the non-biology major. Fundamentals of biology are covered in the context of real-life situations, emphasizing the relevance of biological principals to personal, social and civic issues. Topics include evolution of the kingdoms of life, their similarities and distinctions, structure-function relationships within the human body as they pertain to daily living, a survey of the macromolecules required for life, cell structure and function, energy production, the genetic basis for inheritance and photosynthesis. The laboratory will illuminate these topics and provide opportunities for hands-on experiences. Offered every semester. Lecture: 2 hrs. Laboratory: 2 hrs. GS-IIID
BIO 10 Health Science (3)
An introductory course designed to provide the student with a basic understanding of the functioning of the human body as it relates to health problems. Included are such topics as nutrition, infectious disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, reproduction, and the effects of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. Offered every semester. Lecture 3 hrs. GS-IIID
BIO 50A Human Anatomy (4)
The study of the structure of the human body. A systemic approach is used beginning with the molecular level and progressing to the organism as a whole to demonstrate the interrelationships at each level of organization. Laboratory exercises are used to expand and clarify the concepts presented in lecture. These include microscopic reviews, dissections and other multiple teaching/learning media. Offered every Fall semester. Lecture 3 hrs. Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisites: Successful completion of a high school General Biology course. GS-IIID
BIO 50B Human Physiology (4)
An introduction to physiological principles with emphasis on organ systems. An integrative approach is used beginning with the molecular and progressing to the organism as a whole to demonstrate the interrelationships at each level of organization. Laboratory exercises include measurements of physiological activities from the molecular level to the whole organism. Offered every Spring semester. Lecture 3 hrs. Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisites: A grade of C or above in BIO 50A or BIO 40A. GS-IIID
BIO 103 Microbiology (4)
Basic principles of microbial growth and metabolism, morphology, taxonomy, pathogenicity, immunity, and control. Microorganisms as agents of disease and normal inhabitants of our environment. Techniques of isolation, cultivation and identification of these organisms. Offered every other Fall semester. Lecture 3 hrs. Laboratory 3 hrs. GSIIID
BIO 105 Immunology (3)
Exploration of fundamental concepts of immunology. Topics include basic mechanisms of innate and adaptive immunity, host:pathogen interactions, regulation of immune responses, antibody and T-cell receptor structure and function, autoimmunity, immunodeficiency and vaccines. Emphasis is placed on biochemical and molecular approaches to studying the immune system and applications in medicine and research. Offered every other Spring semester. Lecture 3 hrs. Prerequisites: A grade of C or above in Bio 1A/B and Chem 1A/B
BIO 111 Ecology (3)
This course provides an introduction to the study of interrelationships among plants, animals and their respective environments. Topics include single species population biology, competition, predation and mutualism, community and organization, behavioral ecology and evolutionary ecology. Offered every fall semester. Lecture 3 hrs. Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisite: A grade of C or above in BIO 1A/B.
BIO 112 Human Nutrition (3)
A study of different nutrients with emphasis on nutritional requirements for health and prevention of chronic diseases which are major causes of death in the United States today. Topics include healthy lifestyle including daily meal planning, weight control and exercise, harmful effects of alcohol and drugs. Special needs during pregnancy and lactation, infancy and childhood, adulthood, and old age will also be considered. Offered every semester. Lecture 3 hrs.
BIO 115AB Research Methods (1,1)
Introduction to the philosophy and principles of scientific methods of inquiry used in research and problem solving. Includes identification of problems, construction of hypotheses and initial development of research questions and proposal. Second semester emphasizes oral presentation of published literature.
BIO 125 Developmental Biology (4)
This course focuses on the patterns, processes and mechanisms by which a single cell changes and is transformed into a fully organized individual. We will explore at the cellular and molecular levels the mechanisms involved in fertilization, morphogenesis, organogenesis, and sex determination, emphasizing the experimental bases for generalizations whenever appropriate. In the laboratory, students will use several model systems including sea urchin, frog, and chick to investigate aspects of developmental mechanisms. Offered every other Spring semester. Lecture 3 hrs. Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisites: A grade of C or above in BIO lA/B.
BIO 130 Genetics (4)
This course conducts a discussion of genes, their organization, maintenance, function and inheritance. The course covers such topics as Mendelian inheritance, bacterial and viral genetics, mutation, gene replication, expression, and regulation, as well as population genetics. In addition, the course includes discussions of genetic disorders, the relationship of genetics to environmental influences, and an introduction to both current and historical techniques in used in the field. Offered every Spring semester. GS-VIIA
Lecture 3 hrs. Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisite: A grade of C or above in BIO 1A/B and
BIO 135 Molecular Biology (4)
An overview of the techniques used in genetic engineering. Emphasis will be placed on the structure, handling and manipulation of nucleic acids. Current topics in genetic engineering such as transgenic animals and human gene therapy will be discussed. Laboratory studies include isolation and analysis of DNA, cloning genes, preparation and screening of genomic libraries, and hybridization techniques such as Southern and Northern blotting. Offered every Fall semester. Lecture 3 hrs. Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisites: A grade of C or above in BIO lA/B.
BIO 141 Cancer Biology (3)
This class will focus on molecular, genetic, and cellular aspects of cancer. Genetic topics discussed include tumor suppressor genes, oncogenes, and the mechanisms of DNA mutation leading to cancer. Cellular aspects covered in the class will include cell cycle regulation, metastasis and angiogenesis. The class will also touch upon some cancer therapies and treatments. Offered every other Fall semester. Lecture 3 hrs, Prerequisite: a grade of C or above in BIO 135 and BIO 130.
BIO 151 Medical Physiology (4)
This lecture portion of this course will cover the physiology of cells, organs and organ systems with an emphasis on biophysical and biochemical principles and how they contribute to homeostasis. The laboratory component will involve performing experimental investigations of physiological phenomena using both animal and human model systems. Offered every other Fall semester. Lecture 3 hrs. Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisites: A grade of C or above in BIO1A/B and CHE 1A/B. GS-II. VIIA
BIO 152 Cellular Biology (4)
A detailed analysis of eukaryotic cell structure and function. This course aims to give students an in-depth understanding of protein structure and function, translational mechanisms, membrane dynamics, cell communication, and cell cycle regulation. An emphasis is placed on historic and current research findings in each topic. Laboratory techniques cover current methods in cell biology and include cell fractionation, electrophoresis, immunoassays, histology and microscopy. Offered every Spring semester. Lecture 3 hrs. Laboratory 3 hrs. Prerequisites: A grade of C or above in BIO 1A/B and BIO 135.
BIO 160 Neurobiology (3)
An introduction to fundamental concepts in neurobiology. An emphasis is placed on the molecular organization, biochemistry and physiology of nerve cells and how the organization of these cells underlies the functional properties of the brain and behavior. Offered every other Fall semester. Lecture 3 hrs. Prerequisites: A grade of C or above in BIO 1A/B; CHE 1A/B. Recommended: BIO 152; BIO 151; CHE 107.
BIO 187 Selected Topics in Biology (1-3)
An acyclic series of topics of current interest in the biological sciences which presents recent developments in the field.
BIO 192AB - Special Studies (3,3)
BIO 195 Senior Seminar in Biology (3)
In depth literature search on an approved topic of current research significance. The research study should culminate in a class presentation, discussion and research paper. Topics will focus on the most recent research and discoveries in the biological sciences. Offered every Spring semester. Prerequisite: Senior standing.
BIO 196H Senior Honors Thesis (3)
Open only to students admitted into the Honors Program.
BIO 197 Research Readings (1-2)
A seminar style course that will use current literature in a biological topic to teach students how to read and critically evaluate scientific manuscripts. An emphasis is placed on analyzing research design and methodology, data presentation and developing conclusions. Topics will be chosen by the instructor. Must be completed by the end of the junior year. Offered every semester.
BIO 198 Biological Research (1-2)
Directed research project. Must be taken under the guidance of a faculty member presently engaged in laboratory research. Three semesters of research are required and must completed by the end of the junior year. Students are encouraged to continue research until graduation.
BIO 199 Independent Study (1-3)
The initiation or continuation of a project under departmental faculty direction.
Work should culminate in a research paper or report.