The Biology of Living Systems

Spring 2020
Sophomore - Senior
Class Size: 50
16 Credits per quarter
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This upper-division science program will develop and interrelate concepts in modern experimental (laboratory) biology. It will cover the biology material that is usually offered in Molecule to Organism (genetics, molecular biology, microbiology and cell biology) and provide prerequisites for the following careers and graduate programs: medicine and other health sciences, biology, veterinary medicine, etc.

The program will use the central ideological theme of structure, function and property as a means of examining biological systems at different levels of complexity. We will examine the broad variety of organisms at the cellular level, the phylogenetic relationships between the three domains, the biochemical and genetic processes of these organisms and their varying cellular structure and genetics.

There will be a significant laboratory component—students can expect to spend at least a full day in lab each week, maintain laboratory notebooks, write formal laboratory reports and give formal presentations of their work. Students will work collaboratively on laboratory and library research projects incorporating the theories and techniques of experimental molecular cell biology. All laboratory work and approximately one half of the non-lecture time will be spent working in collaborative problem-solving groups.

This is an intensive program. The subjects are complex, and the sophisticated understanding we expect to develop will require devoted attention and many hours of scheduled lab work each week. Each student will be expected to develop a sufficient basis of advanced conceptual knowledge and practical skills necessary for pursuing work in a biology-based discipline.



One year of college-level general biology and o ne year of college-level general chemistry required.

Spring 2020 Registration

Students will need to have had 1 year of general chemistry and 1 year of general biology. Please contact faculty for more information.

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 30139
So - Sr (1 - 16): 30343

Academic details

Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies and careers in

cell biology, genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, industrial or pharmaceutical research, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, naturopathy, optometry and pharmacy.

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing
Upper Division Science Credit

Up to 16 upper division science credits will be awarded to students who successfully complete the program requirements.


Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

Purce Hall 2 - Lecture


Date Revision
2018-08-10 Confirmed, Published