Biology Department

Biology Courses

Biology Core

The following courses are required for all biology majors and with the exception of BIOL 221 and BIOL 222, taken during the sophomore year, and BIOL 497, taken in the senior year, it is highly recommended that they be completed by the end of the junior year.

BIOL 150 Cell Biology (NS-L)

The structure and function of cells with emphasis on evolutionary principles, basic biochemistry, and scientific epistemology. Laboratory course. This is a prerequisite for all other biology courses.

BIOL 190 Botany

Survey of algae, nonvascular, and vascular plants, with emphasis on the origin, structure, development and physiology of flowering vascular plants. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 150.

BIOL 220 Zoology

A survey of the major phyla, classes, and orders of animals, with emphasis on basic body plans and organization, development, phylogenetic relationships, and the structure and function of representative organ systems. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 150.

BIOL 221 Seminar: Biological Communication

Introduction to reading and writing skills in biological literature. This is a non-credit seminar required for BIOL 497.
Prerequisite: BIOL 150.

BIOL 222 Seminar: Biometry

Introduction to basic statistical and experimental design techniques utilized in the biological sciences. This is a non-credit seminar required for BIOL 497.
Prerequisites: BIOL 150 and BIOL 221.

BIOL 250 Genetics

Fundamental principles of heredity, including both Mendelian and molecular genetics. Emphasis is on those principles with the greatest implications to understanding biological systems in general, and humans in particular. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 150 and sophomore standing, or consent of instructor.

BIOL 365 Ecology and Evolution

Study of biotic and abiotic interactions among organisms and the evolutionary processes that have shaped life. Major topics include population and community interactions, biomes, forces of genetic change, adaptation, conservation biology, and the geological and biological history of the Earth. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 190 and 250.

BIOL 497 Biology Seminar

Reviews of current literature and oral presentations by students based on library or original research.
Prerequisite: Senior standing and completion of BIOL 221 and BIOL 222.

Biology Electives

Only courses coded at the 300 or 400 level can be credited as electives for the degree requirements of the Biology Major.

BIOL 205 Anatomy and Physiology I (NS-L)

Focuses on the fundamental concepts and mechanisms that regulate important structural and functional properties of the human organ systems. This course is concerned with the normal function of the intact organism with an emphasis placed on musculoskeletal and neuroendocrine function. Laboratory course.
Prerequisites: BIOL 150 and CHEM 100 or equivalent or consent of instructor.  

BIOL 215 Anatomy and Physiology II (NS-L)

Focuses on the fundamental concepts and mechanisms that regulate important structural and functional properties of the human organ systems. This course is concerned with the normal function of the intact organism with an emphasis placed on cardiorespiratory, digestive, renal, and reproductive function. Laboratory course.
Prerequisites: BIOL 150, CHEM 100, and BIOL 205 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

BIOL 235 Microbes and Human Health

An introduction to the biology of bacteria and viruses with a focus on microbes affecting human health. Laboratory course.
Prerequisites: BIOL 150 and CHEM 120. Co-requisite: BIOL 340-L Microbiology Lab. 

BIOL 300 Comparative Animal Behavior (W2)

Study of the genetic, developmental, physiological, ecological, and evolutionary bases of adaptive behavior of animals, including humans. Particular emphasis is placed on how humans and other animals face various adaptive problems, like finding food, learning about their environment, avoiding predators, finding mates, caring for offspring, and getting along with others. In laboratory and classroom activities, students observe animal behavior in the laboratory and in the field, design experiments, collect data, conduct statistical analyses, write scientific papers, and present their findings. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 160 or PSYC 295. Cross-listed as PSYC 300.

BIOL 310 Developmental Biology (W2)

A survey of the development of a variety of animals with emphasis on the molecular processes involved. The embryology of vertebrates is stressed. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 250.

BIOL 320 Animal Physiology (W2)

Study of the mechanisms of homeostatic regulation in animals with an emphasis on mammalian and other vertebrate organ systems. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 150, CHEM 110, and at least sophomore standing.

BIOL 325 Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

A cellular and molecular biology approach to the study of the nervous system with an emphasis on mammalian systems. Topics include neural signaling, sensation, movement, development and plasticity, and complex brain functions. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 150.

BIOL 330 Plant Systematics

Classification of vascular plants and current methods of phylogenetic inference. Field collections emphasize the flora of Arkansas; laboratory analyses focus on morphological features of plant families; and lectures address major themes in the evolution of vascular plants.
Prerequisite: BIOL 190.

BIOL 335 Marine Biology (W2)

Studies of marine organisms and their environment, with a focus on barrier islands, estuaries, mangroves, seagrass beds, or coral reefs, depending on the destination of the research trip. To observe marine organisms and their environment, students travel to a destination that is determined each year the course is taught. Possible destinations include: the Gulf Coast Research Lab (GCRL) in Ocean Springs, MS, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, and Calabash Caye Field Station in Belize. This trip entails an additional cost to the student. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 220.

BIOL 340 Microbiology

Biology of bacteria and viruses. Laboratory includes culturing, identification, isolation from environment, and experimentation. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 250.

BIOL 355 Advanced Cell Biology

An examination of current models of intracellular processes such as membrane and cytoskeleton structure, compartmentalization, transport, signaling, and the control of cell division. Emphasis on current research and theory. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 250.

BIOL 360 Biology of Algae and Fungi (W2)

Comparative ecology, physiology, and morphology of algae and fungi. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 190.

BIOL 370 Plant Physiology (W2)

Study of the essential plant processes with emphasis on mineral nutrition, water relations, photosynthesis, hormones, and the influence of external factors. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 190.

BIOL 430 Immunology (W2)

Principles of immunology with an emphasis on the role of experimentation in the development of current immunological concepts. The laboratory includes experiments to demonstrate principles and the use of immunological techniques for scientific investigation. Laboratory course.
Prerequisites: junior or senior standing and completion of BIOL 250 and one course in chemistry.

BIOL 440 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy

Phylogenetic relationships and anatomical systems of vertebrates with emphasis on cartilaginous fishes and mammals. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 220.

BIOL 460 Evolution (W2)

The mechanisms of evolution, principles of population genetics, selection and adaptation, and the history of life on Earth. Biological diversity and evolutionary issues for conservation and medicine are also covered. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 250.

BIOL 465 Molecular Evolution and Bioinformatics [UR]

Evolutionary processes acting at the molecular level, and the utilization of molecular patterns to reconstruct the evolutionary history of genes, genomes, populations and species. The laboratory focuses on using sequence data to complete an intensive semester-long research project in phylogenetics, protein structure and function modeling or other bioinformatics topics. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 250.

BIOL 470 Advanced Genetics

Current research and paradigms in molecular genetics with emphasis on adaptive and developmental gene regulation, molecular evolution, manipulation for gene engineering, genomics, proteomics, and their implications. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 250.

BIOL 480 Field Ecology (W2)[GA]

Studies of ecological patterns and processes in Arkansas ecosystems followed by comparative studies in non-Arkansas field sites. Comparative field study sites alternate each year between Costa Rica and a US ecosystem such as the American Southwest or the Everglades. These comparative field studies entail an additional cost to the student. Laboratory course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 365.

BIOL 490 Advanced Topics

Texts, review papers, and or original literature are used to provide extended or integrated coverage of selected areas of biology. 
Prerequisite: junior or senior standing; check course announcements for specific prerequisites.

BIOL X99 Independent Research [UR]

Original research using scientific methodology of hypothesis testing, data collection, and analysis. Requirements include a formal research proposal, a final written report in conventional scientific format, and an oral presentation. Students must select a biology faculty member to oversee and evaluate the study. Specific requirements and options (such as off-campus projects or summer research) can be obtained from the Biology Department. This credit does not count toward the four electives required for a major.
Prerequisite: junior or senior standing and consent of department.