Santa Clara University

Biology department

Course Descriptions


Lower Division

3. Fitness Physiology L+L
The purpose of this course is to acquire a basic understanding of how the human body functions to maintain a state of wellness. We will explore the short-term responses to exercise and discuss how the body responds to long-term exercise (training) programs. At the end of the course, students should be able to examine the design of exercise physiology experiments, as well as understand and interpret reports of health and exercise news in the popular press. Laboratory 15 hours. THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE LABORATORY SCIENCE UNIVERSITY CORE REQUIREMENT.

4. Light & Life L+L
This course focuses on the importance of plants and photosynthesis for the future of life on earth. Issues addressed include: food production, plants as renewable energy sources, "greenhouse effect" and using plants to clean up toxic wastes. In the laboratory students design experiments to examine the effects of environmental changes on photosynthesis. Laboratory 15 hours. THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE LABORATORY SCIENCE UNIVERSITY CORE REQUIREMENT.

5. Endangered Ecosystems L+L
This course provides an overview of earth's ecosystems and the major factors contributing to the loss of biodiversity. We will cover three major themes: 1) general ecological principles, especially focused on the structure and function of ecosystems, 2) factors contributing to the endangerment of ecosystems, and 3) the conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity. Although we will cover a number of global environmental problems, several lectures will highlight current environmental and conservation issues here in California and within the SF Bay Area. Laboratory 15 hours. THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE LABORATORY SCIENCE UNIVERSITY CORE REQUIREMENT.

6. Oceans L+L
Examination of major ocean ecosystems and their inhabitants, with special attention paid to issues of governmental policy and management, fisheries, and global population effects. Laboratory activities will emphasize local and regional marine habitats and human impacts on regional ecosystems. Laboratory 15 hours. THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE LABORATORY SCIENCE UNIVERSITY CORE REQUIREMENT.

15. The Human Embryo L+L
This course will explore two major themes. The first is to acquire a basic understanding of the biology of human reproduction and development. The second is to investigate how our basic knowledge of human reproduction is being used by medical science to assist in reproductive processes and correct developmental errors. Case-based discussions will focus on topics that include genetic screening, stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, and environmental toxins and their effects on embryo development. Laboratory experiments will be linked to the case studies to illustrate the techniques and issues raised by these topics. Laboratory 15 hours. THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE LABORATORY SCIENCE UNIVERSITY CORE REQUIREMENT.

18. Exploring Biotechnology L+L
Exploration of comtemporary biotechnology and the underlying science; how DNA, genes and cells work. Laboratory experiments focus on DNA in a variety of contexts. Laboratory 15 hours. THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE LABORATORY SCIENCE UNIVERSITY CORE REQUIREMENT.

19. Biology for Teachers L+L
Specifically designed for candidates for Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials. Provides an overview of the life sciences, focusing on physiology and cell biology, ecology, genetics, and evolution. In addition, laboratory experiences will introduce students to the scientific method, experimental design, data collection and analysis, and communication. Laboratory 15 hours.

21. Introduction to Physiology
Introduction to general principles underlying homeostasis, and the relationship of anatomical form to biological function. The course will introduce students to the organization and function of cells, cellular metabolism, energy, nutrition, regulation, communication, gas exchange, circulation, and osmoregulation. Prerequisite: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in CHEM 11. THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE LABORATORY UNIVERSITY CORE REQUIREMENT.

22. Introduction to Evolution & Ecology
Introduction to key concepts in evolution and ecology, including population genetics, natural selection and adaptation, phylogenetics and biodiversity, demography, and interactions among organisims and their environments. Prerequisite: Biology 21.

23. Investigations in Evolution & Ecology L+L
Introduction to experimental and statistical approaches used in modern ecological and evolutionary studies, with an emphasis on experimental design, data analysis, interpretation and presentation. Builds on concepts presented in BIO 22. Fieldwork and laboratory exercises (30 hours) will take advantage of the diversity of local terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Prerequisites: Biology 22.

24. Introduction to Cellular & Molecular Biology
An introduction to the cell and molecular fundamentals necessary for life. Topics include macromolecular structure, enzyme function, membrane structure and physiology, metabolism and bioenergetics, the cell cycle, and classical and molecular genetics. Prerequisites: Biology 21 and completion of or concurrent enrollment in Chemistry 31.

25. Investigations in Cellular & Molecular Biology L+L
An introduction to experimental methods for studying the cellular and molecular basis of life. Builds on the concepts covered in Biology 24. Topics include enzyme function and kinetics, cell reproduction, Mendelian genetics and molecular biology. The topics are explored through laboratory work, with emphasis placed on the analysis, interpretation, and presentation of experimental data. Laboratory 30 hours. Prerequisites: Biology 24 and completion of or concurrent enrollment in Chemistry 32.

99. Special Topics
Investigation of a specific area or topic in the biological sciences. Open to majors and non-majors. Pre-requisite: approval of department chair.

Upper Division

101. Biology Research Seminar
A forum for the exploration of active research themes in the life sciences. Invited scientists from a range of universities and institutes present their current research and engage in discussion about this research with seminar participants. This course is intended to give students direct interactions with research academics in a range of fields, to make them aware of career opportunities and to provide them with contacts in those fields. Students may take the course more than once for credit but BIOL 101 does not count as one of the seven upper-division biology courses required for the major. Graded P/NP only. Prerequisite: Successful completion of BIOL 23, 24, or 25. (2 units).

104. Human Anatomy L+L
An exploration of the structure, organization, and functional relationships of human anatomical systems. (Laboratory dissections use alternative vertebrates.) Laboratory 30 hours. Prerequisite Biology 25.

106. Health Consequences of a Western Lifestyle
This course explores the impact of living in a developed country on human health. Topics such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, hypertension, and cancer will be discussed at the molecular, cellular, physiological, and population levels. Prerequisite: BIOL 25. Also listed as PHSC 124. (5 units)

110. Genetics L&L
Basic principles governing inheritance and gene expression in viruses, prokaryotes, and eukaryotes. Emphasis on molecular aspects. Laboratory 30 hours. Prerequisite: Biology 25.

113. Microbiology L&L
An introduction to the biology of microorganisms, with emphasis on the molecular and cellular biology of bacteria, the diversity of microbial life, and the roles of microorganisms in human health and disease. Laboratory 30 hours. Prerequisite: Biology 25.

114. Immunology L&L
Principles, mechanisms, and techniques of humoral and cellular aspects of the immune response. Immediate and delayed hypersensitivity, tissue transplantation, tumor immunology, and immunodeficient states in humans. Laboratory 30 hours. Prerequisite: Biology 25.

115. Human Reproduction & Development
Detailed study of the development and function of the male and female reproductive systems, gametogenesis, fertilization and implantation as well as an anatomical description of the heart, circulatory, nervous and skeletal systems during embryogenesis. Where appropriate the molecular mechanisms controlling the determination of these developing systems will be examined. Prerequisite: Biology 24.

116. Medical Microbiology L&L
This upper division course focuses on the interactions of pathogenic microbes (bacteria, viruses, fungi, prions, etc.) with their hosts. We will examine the various strategies employed by the infectious agents to subvert the immune system and the various strategies used by the immune system to combat the microbial invasion. We will also examine the co-evolution of hosts and their pathogens and the natural history of diseases. The laboratory component will expose students to clinical methodologies and scientific approaches to diagnose and differentiate pathogenic microorganisms. Prerequisite: BIOL 25. 

117. Epidemiology L&L
This course provides an introduction to epidemiology, including assessment of health and disease in populations, epidemiological data analysis, disease transmission, and public health interventions. The course also exposes students to the epidemiology of diseases and conditions of current public health and clinical importance in the United States and internationally. Laboratory 30 hours. The laboratory (computer lab) will provide students with hands-on experience with epidemiologic methods, study design, and data analysis. Also listed as PHSC 100. Prerequisite: BIOL 24. (5 units)

119. Biology of Stress
This course explores the impact of stress on physiology, behavior, and health, using a multidisciplinary approach. Topics include defining and measuring stress, differences between acute and chronic stress exposure, effects of stress on physiological processes and on the brain, how stress affects gene expression and neurogenesis, and relationships between stress and disease. We will also discuss the social patterning of stress exposure and the effects of social policies and interventions. Prerequisite: BIOL 24. (5 units)

120. Animal Physiology L&L
Examination and comparison of mechanisms used by a variety of animals to survive and function in their environment. Laboratory 30 hours. Prerequisite: Biology 24.

122. Neurobiology L&L
An introduction to the nervous system, focusing on the anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology of neurons, synapses, and simple neural circuits. Laboratory 30 hours. Prerequisite: Biology 25.

124. Human Physiology L&L
Examining the physical and chemical basis of human life, this course focuses on the neural and endocrine control of physiologic processes to maintain homeostasis. Laboratory 30 hours. Prerequisite: Biology 25.

128. Plant Development L+L
Developmental processes of plants, with emphasis on current research and experimental approaches. Laboratory 30 hours. Prerequisite: Biology 25.

134. California Plant Diversity
The California flora includes more than 5,800 species of plants, of which about one-quarter are only found here. In this course, we will investigate the ecological and evolutionary underpinnings of this diversity through a combination of lecture and extensive field-based lab activities. Content includes identification of California’s major plant families, how to identify species with a dichotomous key, and how molecular phylogenetic studies are contributing to our understanding of major ecological and evolutionary themes in the California flora.

145. Virology
Biology of viruses: their structure, evolutionary origins, classification, genetics, laboratory propagation and diagnostic methods, viral pathogenesis, response of host cells to viral infectiion and salient aspects of the epidemiology of viral diseases. The focus will be on viruses that infect eukaryotic cells, emphasizing important viral groups that infect humans. Prerequisite: Biology 25. Recommended: Chemistry 141.

151. Restoration Ecology L+L
The science and practice of restoring degraded ecosystems, with an emphasis on plant ecology. Through fieldwork in restoration experiments and examination of literature case studies, students will grapple with basic questions: How do we decide what to restore? How do we restor it? And how do we know if we're finished? Emphasis on reading and writing scientific papers, working with data, and critically judging the success of restoration projects in meeting goals of biodiversity and ecosystem function. Laboratory and field work 30 hours. Also listed as ENVS 151. Prerequisite: Biology 23.

153. Conservation Science
Conservation is a scientific enterprise and a social movement that seeks to protect nature, including Earth’s animals, plants, and ecosystems. Conservation science applies principles from ecology, population genetics, economics, political science, and other natural and social sciences to manage and protect the natural world. Conservation is all too often seen as being at odds with human well-being and economic development. This course explores the scientific foundations of conservation while highlighting strategies to better connect conservation with the needs of a growing human population. We will examine whether conservation can protect nature, not from people, but for people. Also listed as ENVS 153. Prerequisite: BIOL 23. (5 units)

156. General Ecology L+L
Quantitative study of the interrelationships of organisms with their biotic and abiotic environments. Emphasis on population dynamics, interspecific relationships, com­munity structure, and ecosystem processes. Laboratory and field work 30 hours, includ­ing one weekend field trip. Prerequisites: Biology 23 and Math 11.

158. Biology of Insects L&L
An introduction to basic and applied aspects of insect biology, with emphasis on evolution, morphology, physiology, and behavior of insects and related arthropods. Also includes a review of important agricultural, medical, forestry, and veterinary pests. Laboratory 30 hours. Prerequisite: Biology 24.

160. Biostatistics L+L
A course in applied statistics for biol­ogists planning to conduct manipulative experiments. Biologists gain training in experimental design and quantitive analyses in cases where specific experimental hypotheses are to be tested. Theory and concepts are covered in lectures and readings. Laboratory sessions provide practical experience in computing statistical procedures by hand and with statistical software. Examples used in lectures and lab assignments are derived from medical research, physiology, genetics, evolution, ecology, and environmental risk assessment. Laboratory 30 hours. Prerequisite: Biology 23. Also listed as Environmental Studies 110.

165. Animal Behavior L&L
Examination of the behavior of animals in nature using an organizational scheme that recognizes proximate, or immediate, causes of behavior and evolutionary bases for behavior. Topics include physiological correlates of behavior, perception of natural stimuli (light, sound, chemicals); and behavioral ecology of foraging, mating systems, parent-offspring relationships, and social behavior. Laboratory 30 hours. Prerequisite: Biology 24.

171. Ethical Issues in Biotechnology and Genetics
An interdiscipinary consideration of contemporary biotechnology and the ethical implications inherent in the development and use of such technology. Topics include human cloning, stem cell research, human genome project, genetic testing gene therapy, genetically modified organisms, personalized medicine, clinical trials, and public policy. Biology 171 satifies a biotechnology minorrequirement but NOT the Ethics requirement. When taken concurrently with Biology 189 it satisfies an upper-division biology major requirement. It also fulfills the third Religious Studies requirement Prerequisite: Biology 24 or permission of instructor. Biology 25 strongly recommended.

173. Evolution L+L
Examination of advanced concepts of modern evolutionary biology. Topics include the evolutionary forces of microevolution, the evolution of sex, adaptation, speciation, human evolution, molecular evolution and macroevolutionary phenomena deciphered from phylogenetic trees. Laboratory experiments, field study, and computational activities 30 hours. Prerequisite: BIOL 24. Recommended: BIOL 110.

174. Cell Biology L+L
Study of the function of cellular organelles and the signaling pathways that control cell reproduction. Topics include a detailed discussion of the structure of cell membranes, nuclear and chromosome structure, DNA replication, the microtubule and microfiliment cytoskeleton, mitosis, mechanisms of cell motility, cell cycle regulation, and apoptosis. Laboratory experiments focus on cell cycle regulation and cell differentiation. Laboratory 30 hours. Prerequisite: Biology 25.

175. Molecular Biology L+L
An introduction to the molecular events involved in the replication and decoding of the genetic material. Lectures focus on basic molecular biology concepts and recombinant DNA technology. Laboratory 30 hours. Prerequisite: Biology 25.

176. Biotechnology Lab I: Recombinant DNA L&L
Explores techniques for the anaylsis of DNA, and the construction and manipulation of recombinant DNA molecules. Laboratory meets twice each week. Lectures discuss the scientific basis for the lab methods, and their application in biomedical research and the biotechnology industry. Laboratory 60 hours. Prerequisites: Biology 25 and at least one upper-division biology laboratory course. (Does not include field courses). Biology 175 recommended.

177. Biotechnology Lab II: Gene Expression and Protein Purification L&L
Explores principles and techniques for the expression and purification of recombinant proteins. Laboratory meets twice each week and will use techniques such as column chromatography, mammalian tissue culture, and various gene expression systems. Lectures discuss the theory behind the methods used in lab as well as their application in basic and applied research. Laboratory 60 hours. Prerequisites: Biology 25 and at least one upper division Biology laboratory course (Does not include field courses). Biology 175 recommended.

178. Bioinformatics L&L
Bioinformatics tools are important for storing, searching, and analyzing macromolecular sequences and structures. This course in applied bioinformatics provides an in-depth survey of modern bioinformatics tools. Students will become proficient at searching GenBank, downloading and analyzing sequences, working with metadata and each student will write an original computer program to complete an independent research project. Software tools for functional and evolutionary analysis of nucleic acids and proteins will also be examined. Prerequisite: Biology 25. Biology 175 recommended.

179. Cancer Biology
Introduction to the molecular and cellular basis of cancer. Introduction to the pathology of cancer. How basic processes such as cell growth, cell cycle control, and cell death are affected by molecular changes in onco-genes and tumor-suppressor genes. Laboratory uses molecular and cytogenic tools important in cancer diagnosis.

180. Marine Physiological Ecology
Examination of the physiology of major groups of marine animals and of relationships between animals and their environment. Laboratory and field work (30 hours) focuses on the diverse marine ecosystems of California. Prerequisite: Biology 24.

189. Topics in Cell and Molecular Biology
Seminar dealing with contemporary research in cellular and molecular biology and biotechnology. Students are required to lead discussions and participate in the critical analysis of recently published research articles. Does NOT count as an upper-division course toward a major or minor in biology but allows Biology 171 to count as an upper-division biology course for the Biology major or minor when Biology 189 and 171 are taken during the same quarter. Biology 189 may be taken up to two times for credit Prerequisites: Completion of concurrent enrollment in Genetics, Cell Biology, Microbiology, or Molecular Biology. Students who have completed Biology 25 are welcome to attend and participate in the discussion of these topies but may not take the course for credit until they have completed one of the prerequisites.

190A and 190B. Contemporary Issues in Biology
Specialized treatment of some aspect of biology of current interest to the biologist as well as to society in general. Prerequisites will be specified according to topic.

191. Project Lab L+L
An innovative laboratory course in which undergraduate students will participate in a supervised research project directly related to ongoing research in the laboratory of the principal investigator. Each year, the course will focus on research activities appropriate for the particular stage of the research project. Course can only be taken once. Laboratory 60 hours. Prerequisites: Biology 25 (required) and at least one upper-division Biology Lab course (recommended).

195. Undergraduate Research
Experimental research project supervised by Biology Department faculty. Five hours of research per week is expected per unit. Maximum of 3 units per quarter. Can be repeated for credit, with a maximum of 5 units per academic year. Must be taken P/NP. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

198. Internship and Undergraduate Research Students wishing to take either 198A or 198B should have a GPA of 3.0 or better in biology and must present an outline of their projected research to the chair not later than the fifth week of the term preceding the start of the project. Prerequisite: Departmental and University permission.

198A. Internship
Research in off-campus programs under the direct guidance of cooperating research scientists and faculty advisers.

198B. Research
Supervised laboratory research culminating in a written report suitable for publication. Sustained for one year with credit given for one term.

199. Directed Reading and Research
Detailed investigation of a specific topic in biology under the close direction of a faculty member. Students wishing to take this course should have a GPA of 3.0 or better in biology and must present an outline of their projected research to the department chair not later than the fifth week of the term preceding the start of the project, which will continue for one term only. Prerequisite: Departmental and University permission.

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