2014 – 2015
Office of Admissions
Emil H. Messikomer Hall
100 W. Rosedale Avenue
West Chester, PA 19383
Revised May 2014
(See also Pre-Medical Program)
175 Schmucker Science North
Jack Waber, Chairperson
Giovanni Casotti, Assistant Chairperson
PROFESSORS: Began, Beneski, Broitman, Casotti, Fairchild, Fish, Knabb, Mbuy, Slusher, Tiebout, Waber
ASSOCIATE PROFESSORS: Fan, Pagán, Turner
ASSISTANT PROFESSORS: Auld, Boettger, Gestl, Greenamyer, Pisciotta, Schedlbauer
The major in biology centers on a core of courses that emphasize broad unifying principles. Available electives provide enriching experiences in many areas of biology.The Department of Biology offers two undergraduate degree programs with six concentrations within the B.S. degree:
120 semester hours for all biology degrees except for the B.S.Ed., which is 127 semester hours
The Department of Biology offers a minor in biology. The biology minor requirements include the following:
For an internal transfer into any biology degree program, a student must
For newly admitted transfer students, a student must
NOTE: In order to receive a degree in biology from West Chester University, a transfer student must successfully complete a minimum of 50 percent of the required biology credits in the West Chester University Department of Biology.
A score of three or better on the Biology Advanced Placement Exam will transfer as credit for BIO 110, General Biology.
(3,2) represents three hours of lecture and two hours of lab.
100 Basic Biological Science (3) Basic principles of biology. Cell theory, metabolism, genetics, development, diversity of life forms, and ecology. Not open to biology majors. (2,2)
110 General Biology (3) The concepts general to all living organisms such as cell structure and function, genetics, evolution, and ecology. This course is designed for majors in biology and related scientific areas. (2,3)
204 Introductory Microbiology (4) The biology of medically important microorganisms, their structure, taxonomy, physiology, control, and host-parasite interactions. (3,2) PREREQ: BIO 100 or BIO 110 and one semester of chemistry. May not be taken as a biology major elective.
214 General Microbiology (4) The biology of microorganisms, their structure, physiology, and control; the nature and dynamics of disease and disease control; principles of food, industrial, and environmental microbiology. The laboratory will deal with microbiological techniques, isolation and identification of microbes, and water and food analysis. This course is for biology majors. (3,3) PREREQ: BIO 110 and one semester of chemistry.
215 General Botany (3) A survey of plant and plant-like organisms from bacteria to and including the angiosperms with emphasis on anatomy, physiology, reproduction, and economic importance. (2,3) PREREQ: BIO 110.
217 General Zoology (3) Principles of animal biology. Form and function of vertebrate and invertebrate animal types. (2,3) PREREQ: BIO 110.
220 Cell Physiology (3) An introduction to cellular and molecular biology with emphasis on cell morphology, biochemistry, and cell physiology. (2,3) PREREQ: BIO 110 and CHE 231.
230 Genetics (3) Nature of genetic material and its qualitative and quantitative variation: recombination; interaction of gene products; regulation of genetic material; and its role in evolution. (3) PREREQ: BIO 110 and MAT 121.
259 Human Anatomy and Physiology I (4) An introduction to human structure and function. Skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems are emphasized. Laboratory involves study of human development and gross anatomy of the skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. (3,2) May not be taken as a biology major elective.
269 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4) Continuation of BIO 259. Endocrine, circulatory, respiratory, immune, digestive, and urogenital systems emphasized. (3,2) May not be taken as a biology major elective. PREREQ: BIO 259.
270 General Ecology (3) Relationships between living organisms and their environment. (2,3) PREREQ: BIO 110.
275 Field Botany (3) Methods of studying plants in their natural surroundings. Use of keys, botanical manuals, and illustrated floras to identify living specimens. (2,3) PREREQ: BIO 100 or 215.
277 Vertebrate Ecology (3) Animal life in the surrounding localities. Identification, behavior, habitats, feeding, and reproduction. (2,3) PREREQ: BIO 100 or 217.
307 Pathophysiology (3) An integrated study of the processes involved in the total body systemic complex as it changes from the ordered homeostatic condition to the imbalanced diseased state. The use of disease models, with clinical considerations, strengthens the concepts. (3) PREREQ: BIO 259 and 269 passed with a grade of C- or better. May not be taken as a biology major elective.
310 Biostatistical Applications (3) The design, statistical analysis, graphical display, and written presentation of biological research. (2,2) PREREQ: BIO 110 and MAT 121. Writing emphasis course.
311 Contemporary Issues in Biology Teaching (3) Curricular trends in biology education, biotechnology, and bioethics are analyzed in a social context through constructive controversy. The nature of science is explored and experiential skills are honed through practical application via a laboratory-oriented, faculty-student mentoring program. (2,2) PREREQ: BIO 110, 215, 217, 230; EDF 300; EDP 250 (or graduate-level equivalents); or permission of the instructor. May not be taken as a biology elective.
312 Marine Botany (3) This course will introduce students to identifying and classifying microscopic and macroscopic algae and seagrasses from marine and estuarine habitats. Field work along the East Coast of the United States will focus on the identification and ecology of its unique marine macroflora. Topics to be covered include seaweed and seagrass structure, taxonomy and classification, reproduction and life histories, distribution and ecology, human impacts on marine plants, and the impacts of marine plants on human affairs, collection and preservation of marine plants, and production of herbarium specimen. (2,3) PREREQ: BIO 215 or permission of instructor.
313 Marine Biology (3) The course is intended to provide a general introduction to the biology of marine organisms. Lectures will focus on the diversity, ecology, and adaptations of organisms living in the marine environment. (3) PREREQ: BIO 215, 217.
314 Pathogenic Microbiology (4) Systematic study of pathogenic bacteria with extensive laboratory experience in handling and identifying these organisms. (3,3) PREREQ: BIO 214.
315 Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology (3) Transfer of materials and energy through terrestrial ecosystem with emphasis on carbon, water, and nutrient cycling. Ecosystem responses to climate change are emphasized. PREREQ: BIO 110, 215, 217, 270.
BIL 333 Introduction to Recombinant DNA Methodology (2) Laboratory techniques for gene manipulation, restriction endonuclease use, DNA electrophoresis, gene cloning in E. coli, and polymerase chain reaction. (0, 4) PREREQ: BIO 204 or 214, BIO 230, CHE 231.
334 Microbial Genetics (4) A course on the genetics of bacteria, their viruses, plasmids, and transposable elements. Applications of microbial genetics in genetic engineering and biotechnology. (3,3) PREREQ: BIO 110, 214, 230, and CHE 231.
357 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (4) Comparative study of the principal organ systems of vertebrates as to their structure, function, and evolutionary relationships. (2,4) PREREQ: BIO 217.
367 Physiology of Drug Interaction (3) An introduction to the mechanism of action of prototype drugs. The physiological alterations produced by various drugs as well as interactions between drug classes will be emphasized. (3) PREREQ: BIO 269 or BIO 468 or BIO 469.
377 Entomology (3) The structure, function, classification, economic importance, and biological significance of insects. (2,3) PREREQ: BIO 110 or 217.
387 Invertebrate Zoology (3) The biology of the invertebrates, focusing on common features among different groups. Physiology, development, ecology, systematics, and behavior are emphasized. Besides the traditional laboratory and lecture format, students will participate in field trips outside the regularly scheduled class time. (2,3) PREREQ: BIO 217 or permission of instructor.
407 and 408 Internship in Medical Technology (13 for each semester, total of 26) A two-semester, work-study appointment with an affiliated hospital. The satisfactory completion of this internship is accepted as the senior year's work by West Chester University. This internship will prepare the student to take the National Exam for Medical Technologists. PREREQ: Students who have completed 65 credit hours in the B.S. biology general concentration should apply for this internship in the summer following their sophomore year. Students must have an overall GPA of 2.75 and approval from the Department of Biology and the affiliated hospital.
409 Internship in Biological Sciences (3-16) A one-semester, work-study appointment with a commercial, industrial, or governmental agency. Students will be supervised jointly by a professional scientist of the agency and a Department of Biology faculty member. A maximum of eight combined credits from BIO 409 and BIO 491 may be applied to biology electives. PREREQ: Biology major, senior standing, GPA of 2.5 overall, 2.50 in biology, and approval of biology curriculum committee.
This course may be taken again for credit.
412 Organic Evolution (3) An introduction to the general concepts, processes, and mechanisms of evolutionary biology from molecular, organismal, and population perspectives. PREREQ: BIO 230 plus nine hours of biology courses.
414 Applied and Industrial Microbiology (3) This course traces both the historical and current applications of microbiology in industry and society. Topics covered include building and equipment design, microbiological safety, fermentation, waste treatment, compost, and food production. The course also features guest lectures from several practicing microbiologists involved in industry. PREREQ: BIO 214 or permission of the instructor.
415 Tropical Ecology and Conservation (3) The ecology of biomes comprising the tropics. Emphasis will be placed on contemporary conservation issues in tropical areas. PREREQ: BIO 110, 215, 217, 270.
421 Cellular and Molecular Biology (4) A lecture and laboratory course that studies the molecular basis of cellular life. Eukaryotic cell structure and function will be emphasized. (3,3) PREREQ: BIO 220, BIL 333, and CHE 232.
428 Animal Histology (3) A study of the microscopic structure and function of vertebrate tissues and organs. (2,2) PREREQ: BIO 110 and 217, or permission of the instructor.
431 Molecular Genetics (3) A second course in genetics, covering the molecular biology of genetic events. Emphasis will be on the molecular details of basic genetic processes, such as DNA replication and transcription, RNA translation and protein synthesis, the genetic code, molecular mechanisms of gene regulation, and an introduction to "biotechnology." (3) PREREQ: BIO 230 and CHE 232.
435-438 Course Topics in Biology (1-3) Courses in this series are of timely interest to the student. Topics may include biological terminology, laboratory techniques, mycology, etc. Open only to junior and senior science majors. This course may be taken again for credit.
440 Human Genetics (3) A detailed survey of the principles of human heredity. Also examines impact of genetics on current issues in human medicine, pharmacology, evolution, and sociology. PREREQ: BIO 230. Writing emphasis course.
443 Introduction to Gene Expression Methodology (3) Theory and practical application of RNA methodologies used in the study of gene expression. (2,2) PREREQ: BIL 333.
448 Animal Development (4) Introduction to principles of animal development with laboratory study of vertebrate embryos. (3,3) PREREQ: BIO 110, 217, 220, and 230.
452 Parasitology (3) Biology of the principal parasites of man and domestic animals. Emphasis is on life cycles of common parasites, identification of diagnostic forms, and understanding the diseases associated with parasites of major economic and medical importance. (3) PREREQ: BIO 204 or 214, and 217.
453 Marine Mammals (3) An integrated examination of marine mammals. Emphasis will be on the evolution of the group and the unique functional morphology, behavior, and physiology of cetaceans, pinnipeds, and sirenians. PREREQ: BIO 217 and 12 hours of biology major courses.
454 Mycology (3) An introductory course including a general study of the biology of fungi and a survey of the field of medical mycology. (3) PREREQ: BIO 110 and 214 plus another three-credit-hour biology course.
456 Virology (3) Molecular biology of bacterial, plant, and animal viruses; virus classification, ultrastructure, mechanisms of replication, and effects of virus infection on host cell. PREREQ: CHE 232 and BIO 230 and 214.
457 Functional Animal Morphology (3) A study of the structure, form, and function of morphological adaptations in animals as examined through a mechanical, ecological, and evolutionary perspective. (3) PREREQ: BIO 217.
464 Microbial Physiology (4) Physiology and biochemical variations seen in prokaryotes and lower eukaryotes. (2,4) PREREQ: BIO 214 and 230, and CHE 232.
465 Immunology (4) Immunoglobulin structure and function, nature of antigens, cell-mediated immunity, hypersensitivity, regulation of immunity, and immunological diseases. Laboratory experience in immunological techniques. (3,3) PREREQ: BIO 214 and CHE 232.
466 Plant Physiology (3) Physiological processes of plants. Photosynthesis, respiration, intermediary metabolism, entrance of solutes into the plant, water metabolism, and growth regulators. (2,3) PREREQ: BIO 215 and CHE 231.
467 Endocrinology (3) An integrative look at the physiology of the mammalian endocrine system in the regulation and maintenance of homeostasis. The pathology associated with hormonal imbalance will be included. (3) PREREQ: BIO 217 and BIO 220 with a C or better in each, plus any 300/400 level biology course with a C or better.
468 Comparative Vertebrate Physiology (4) Comparative physiology of fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, with emphasis on organ-based homeostasis. (3,3) PREREQ: BIO 217 and BIO 220.
469 Human Physiology (4) Theoretical and applied principles of the physiology of humans presented from an organ-system approach. Emphasis is placed on homeostatic regulatory mechanisms. (3,3) PREREQ: BIO 220, BIO 230, CHE 232. May not be taken as a biology major elective.
470 Population Biology (3) A quantitative, second course in ecology, emphasizing distributional patterns and fluctuations in abundance of natural populations. (2,3) PREREQ: BIO 270, MAT 121, and one semester of calculus.
471 Wetlands (3) A course designed to provide practical experience in wetlands' classification, delineation, regulation, management, and mitigation practices. The abiotic and biotic characteristics of inland and coastal wetlands are emphasized. (2,3) PREREQ: Eight hours of biology or permission of instructor.
473 Conservation Biology (3) The application of basic biological and ecological principles for the preservation of biological diversity. Emphasis will be on understanding the threats to biodiversity, the values of biodiversity, and preservation strategies including ecological risk assessment and the management of endangered species, habitats, and ecosystems. PREREQ: BIO 110, 215 or 217, and 270.
474 Microbial Ecology (4) Theory and application of modern microbial ecology. Lectures will focus on topics such as microbial communities, interactions with other organisms, biogeochemistry, and biotechnology. (3,3) PREREQ: BIO 110, 214, 270, and CHE 103, 104.
475 Plant Communities (3) A survey of ecological, morphological, and physiological strategies of plants from seed through adult stages. The integration of these strategies to explain the major plant communities of North America will be covered. (2,3) PREREQ: BIO 215.
476 Freshwater Ecology (3) The environmental and biological characteristics of freshwater. Emphasis is placed on field methods, water quality evaluation based on the interpretation of comprehensive datasets, and management strategies for lakes, ponds, and streams. (2,3) PREREQ: BIO 270, CHE 104.
478 Plant Evolution (3) Application of contemporary phylogenetic theory to explain the genesis of plant biodiversity. Origins of critical plant adaptations are explored with regard to time of origin, environmental conditions, and ancestry. (3) PREREQ: BIO 215 or permission of instructor.
480 Light Microscopy and the Living Cell (3) A one-semester lecture and lab course covering the theory and practical techniques of all types of light microscopy and their uses in investigating living cells. Also includes techniques such as microinjection, cell electrophysiology, and others. Strong emphasis on "hands-on" work with equipment. (2,2) PREREQ: BIO 110, BIO 215 or 217, or permission of instructor.
484 Epidemiology (3) A general study of the epidemiology of both infectious and noninfectious diseases, including industrial and environmentally related health problems. (3) PREREQ: BIO 214.
485 Systematic Botany (3) Principles of evolution as illustrated by the principles of plant taxonomy. Modern concepts of biosystematics. Practical experience in plant identification. (2,3) PREREQ: BIO 215.
490 Biology Seminar (3) Reports on special topics and current developments in the biological sciences. PREREQ: 18 hours of biology courses and senior standing.
491 Special Problems in Biology (1-3) Tutorial course primarily for advanced undergraduate biology majors capable of independent study and research on a problem approved by the supervising instructor. A maximum of eight combined credits from BIO 409 and BIO 491 may be applied to biology electives. PREREQ: Permission of instructor; 2.50 GPA overall, 2.50 GPA in biology.
This course may be taken again for credit.
SCB 102 Humans and the Environment (3) The effects of human population on earth’s resources are studied against a background of physical, biological, and health sciences. Note: Students completing SCB 102 may not take ESS 102 or ENV 102 for credit. May not be taken as biology major elective. Approved interdisciplinary course
SCB 210 The Origin of Life and the Universe (3) An interdisciplinary course that presents the theory and evidence for the first three minutes of the universe and formation of the stars, galaxies, planets, organic molecules, and the genetic basis of organic evolution. May not be taken as a biology major elective.
Approved interdisciplinary course
SCB 350 Science Education in the Secondary School (3) A methods course emphasizing knowledge of curricular development and skill in planning, involving the design and execution of learning activities for all instructional modes. (2,2) PREREQ: Required core courses in science discipline and EDS 306 (or graduate-level equivalent), or permission of instructor.
SCI 101 The Carbon Cycle (3) An exploration of how the carbon cycle connects earth and life, through photosynthesis, respiration, decay, rock formation and weathering, and plate tectonics. Humans have altered the carbon cycle by burning fossil fuels. Students investigate the carbon cycle on the WCU campus and consider the implications for global warming. For elementary education majors only. Team taught with the Department of Geology and Astronomy.
SCI 102 Electricity with Physical and Biological Applications (3) An exploration of the physics of electrical circuits, the chemical basis of electricity as the flow of electrons, acid-base and oxidation-reduction reactions in chemical and in living systems, the electrical activity in the human nervous system, and connections between electricity and sensation and locomotion in humans. For elementary education majors only. Team taught with the departments of Physics and Chemistry.
Approved interdisciplinary course