Biology Courses

The goals of the Wheaton College Biology Department are to introduce students to the concepts and role of biology as an integrative science, to help them discover and interpret the characteristics of nature as part of God's creation, and to aid students in the development of both Christian and biological perspectives for their careers and practices as stewards of God's creation.

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Biology at Wheaton CollegeIn keeping with these goals, the Biology Department offers a wide range of courses for both majors and non-majors.

BIOL 201. Principles of Biology. A study of the concepts generally applicable to living systems, including topics of cell structure and function, heredity, evolution, ecology, and a survey of kingdoms of living organisms. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Not recommended for students interested in the health professions and not open to Biology majors. Offered every Fall.

BIOL 241. Organization of Life: Genetics and Cell Biology. This course is a study of the basic organizational structure of living organisms, beginning with the chemical basis of life and its relationship to the higher levels of cellular organization. This course includes a systematic analysis of the roles of nucleic acids, proteins and lipids in the higher levels of biological organization. The mediation of life processes by gene expression, cell metabolism and signal transduction are considered in the context of prokaryotic populations and more complex multicellular organisms. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Offered every Fall.

BIOL 242. Diversity of Life: An Introduction to Zoology and Botany. This course introduces the biology and diversity of select groups of prokaryotes, fungi, protists, plants and animals. Topics include taxonomic diversity, structure, and introductory physiology at the organ and tissue level. An introduction to plant biology studies the structure, function, and development of plants as organisms and the diversity of algae, fungi, and plants. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Offered every Spring (main campus) and every Summer (Wheaton College Black Hills Science Station in South Dakota).

BIOL 243. Processes of Life: Ecology and Evolution. This course introduces the conceptual and theoretical foundations of ecology, animal behavior, and evolution. Students will be introduced to population and ecosystem processes as well as longer term processes of change, including evolution. Evaluation of theories of species dynamics will be viewed in a Christian perspective. Three lectures, three hours laboratory.  Prerequisite: BIOL 241 or BIOL 242.  Offered every Fall (main campus) and every Summer (Wheaton College Black Hills Science Station in South Dakota).  

BIOL 252. Modeling the Systems of Life. Combines seminar and investigative laboratory approaches to focus on the processes of science. Organisms useful for investigation of specific biological questions will be utilized to illustrate the concept of model systems. The course will include reading and discussing primary literature and reviews, and designing and conducting experiments. Two lectures, six hours laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 241 and 242. Offered every Fall and every Spring.

BIOL 303. Contemporary Issues in Biology. Contemporary issues in genetics, evolution, and ecology. May be applied toward the general education nature requirement but not toward the Biology major. Prerequisite: 4 hr lab course in the Studies in Nature cluster. Consult current year's course offerings. (2)

BIOL 314. Issues in Environmental Science. An interdisciplinary approach to environmental problems emphasizing humanity's role and responsibility in the stewardship of biological resources. Prerequisite: 4 hr lab course in the Studies in Nature cluster. May be applied toward the general education nature requirement but not toward the Biology major. (2)

BIOL 315. Special Topics in Biology for General Education. Courses and seminars on special topics offered for general education credit at the discretion of the department, including genetics, biotechnology, environmental issues, and bioethics. One two-hour or four-hour course may apply toward the general education nature requirement. Students may register, with instructor's approval, for one additional hour in a two-hour or four-hour general education biology course to meet state teacher certification requirements. Not open to Biology majors. Prerequisite: one general education science laboratory course. (1-4)

BIOL 317x. Biomedical Ethics. An interdisciplinary consideration of ethical issues in the biological and health sciences with an emphasis on those related to medicine, including issues in biotechnology. Taught jointly with the Philosophy Department. Prerequisites: 4 hr lab course in the Studies in Nature cluster and Philosophy general education requirements. Diversity designation. (2 lin)

BIOL 319. Introduction to Environmental Ethics. An interdisciplinary consideration of ethical issues in the environmental sciences. May be applied toward the general education nature requirement and the Biology major. Prerequisites: one general education science laboratory course. (2)

BIOL 321. Human Physiology. An examination of the major systems of the human body (neural, sensory, muscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, and reproductive). Interdependence of these systems will be emphasized. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 241 and  242, CHEM 222 or 237. Alternate years.

BIOL 331. Anatomy and Physiology I. Examination of human musculoskeletal, nervous, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems with an emphasis on their structure, function, and interdependence. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 241 and 242; CHEM 222 or 237. Offered every Fall.

BIOL 332. Anatomy and Physiology II. Continuation of BIOL 331, with an examination of the human lymphatic, immune, respiratory, digestive, renal, and reproductive systems. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 331. Offered every Spring.

BIOL 336. Neurobiology. Designed to provide an introduction to the concepts and current research literature in neurobiology. Topics include nervous system structure and function at the molecular, cellular, and system levels. Emphasis will be on vertebrate nervous systems with reference to less complex systems to illustrate specific functions and principles. The implications of our understanding of consciousness from both a biological and theological perspective, including the relationship between body, mind, soul, and spirit will be discussed. Class sessions include lectures, discussions, and student presentations of current research papers. Prerequisite: BIOL 241. (2).

BIOL 341. Plant Physiology. Basic principles of plant physiology including photosynthesis, mineral nutrition, water economy, respiration, nitrogen and lipid metabolism, development, growth, and plant growth substances. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 241 and 242 and CHEM 222 or 237. Alternate years.

BIOL 343. Plant Taxonomy. Includes systems of classification, distinguishing characteristics of groups, observation, and classification of vascular plants of the Black Hills and environs. Offered during the summer at the Wheaton College Science Station in South Dakota. Prerequisite: BIOL 242.

BIOL 344. Economic Botany. Principles of plant biology (plant anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, genetics, taxonomy, and ecology) that relate to uses of plants for food, fodder, drugs and other chemicals, lumber, and other uses. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 241 and BIOL 242. Alternate years.

BIOL 352. Parasitology. Includes classification and identification of major groups of endo- and ecto-parasites. Life-cycles and ecology of parasite transmission will be emphasized. Three lectures. Prerequisite: BIOL 242. Alternate years. (2)

BIOL 356. Genetics. Molecular, cytogenetic, classical, and population concepts of plant, animal, and human genetics. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 241, 242, and 252. Offered every Spring.

BIOL 358. Techniques in Recombinant DNA. Studies of the methods and principles involved in the cloning and analysis of DNA and the applications and ethical implications of these techniques in biotechnology. Three lectures, three hours of laboratory. Prerequisites: College biology and chemistry laboratory experience. Alternate years. (2)

BIOL 362. Cell and Developmental Biology. An overview of cell structure and function and the mechanisms of biological development. Topics include cellular membranes, signal transduction, the cell surface and extracellular matrix, organelles, the cytoskeleton, the cell cycle and cancer, and cellular differentiation. Understanding of these concepts will provide the basis of study of the development of form and function during embryogenesis. Consideration of the mechanisms of development will include the basic morphological and biochemical changes which occur, as well as the molecular and cellular interactions leading to these changes. Three lectures, three hours of laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 241, 242. Alternate years.

BIOL 364. Microbiology and Immunology. A survey of the microbial world including selected pathogens; microbial structure and function; microbial physiology and genetics; biotechnology, virology; cellular and humoral immunology; transplantation and tumor immunology. Two lectures, four hours laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 201 or 241. Offered every Fall.

BIOL 365. Marine Biology. Study of the biology of marine organisms in the context of the geological and physical features of the ocean. Lectures, field trips, and learning snorkeling skills on campus are followed by a field trip to the Caribbean over spring break to apply these concepts to tropical marine environments. Additional lab fee assessed to cover travel and accommodation costs. Prerequisite: BIOL 242. Alternate years.

BIOL 368. Invertebrate Zoology. A study of the systematics, functional morphology, ecology and research with non-vertebrate organisms. Students are introduced to the amazing diversity of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates. Field trips to local habitats in addition to the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium are included. The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to often overlooked organisms in the animal kingdom with the goal of cultivating a greater appreciation for this wonderful part of God's Creation. Three hours lecture and three hours lab. Prerequisite: BIOL 242. Alternate years.

BIOL 372. Field Zoology. A course emphasizing observation and classification of Black Hills animals, with a concentration on insects, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Offered during the summer at the Wheaton College Science Station in South Dakota. Prerequisite: BIOL 242.

BIOL 374. Bioinformatics. A comparative analysis of organisms at the genetic level using molecular and computer techniques. Methods used for sequencing, analysis, and comparison of genome sequences will be covered in both lecture and laboratory exercises. Implications of comparative genomic data for molecular markers of disease, genetic mechanisms, biosystematics, and biodiversity, and the ethics of biotechnology will be considered. Three lectures and three hours laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 241. Alternate years. (2)

BIOL 381. Public Health and Nutrition in Developing Areas. An interdisciplinary approach to the problems of health and nutrition, with emphasis on Third World countries. Prerequisite: 4 hr lab course in the Studies in Nature cluster. Not open to freshmen. May be applied toward the general education nature requirement but not toward the Biology major. Diversity course. Offered every Fall and every Spring. (2)

BIOL 382. Field Natural History. Introduction to basic field and lab methods used in field natural history. Includes the basic nomenclature of flora and fauna in terrestrial, as well as aquatic systems. Basic geologic processes are discussed, and the major rock formations of the Black Hills are identified in the field. The course also provides an overview of the history and philosophy of natural history. Offered during the summer at the Wheaton College Science Station in South Dakota.

BIOL 385. Special Topics in Biology. Seminars or courses in special areas offered at discretion of the department. (2)

BIOL 386. Special Topics in Biology. Seminars or courses in special areas offered at discretion of the department.

BIOL 421x. Basic Applications in Agronomy. See ENVR 421.

BIOL 461x. Biochemistry. See CHEM 461.

BIOL 494. The Integrated Biologist. A senior capstone experience reinforcing principles and skills for integrating the content and processes of biology, contributions from differing disciplines and traditions, and the worldview of the Christian biologist. Prerequisites: senior standing and departmental approval. Offered every Fall and every Spring. (2 lin)

BIOL 495. Biological Research. Laboratory and/or library research conducted with a Wheaton College Biology faculty member or conducted with a biologist at another institution (if pre-approved by the Biology Department). Students wishing to receive 495 credit must have completed BIOL 241 and BIOL 242 (and preferably BIOL 252), and must prepare a short research proposal in collaboration with the participating faculty member prior to, or at the beginning of the research project. Upon completion of the research experience, a research report must be prepared and submitted to the supervising faculty member before the end of the semester in which the research is conducted. Students will not generally be given 495 credits for conducting paid research. (1-4)

BIOL 496. Internship. General biology and HNGR internships for credit as allowed within college guidelines; must be approved by at least two faculty members and the chair of the Biology Department. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing with Biology or related majors.

BIOL 497. Biology Research Seminar. A weekly seminar featuring presentations and discussions of current research in biology. Most seminars are presented by biologists from other institutions. In the student journal club sessions, students collaborate with faculty in the presentation of recently published articles. Graded Pass/Fail. May be taken up to twice for credit. Can be counted as credit toward the Biology major and is not included in the calculation of the limit of three non-lab courses that can be counted toward the Biology major. One hour per week. Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing, Consult current year’s course offerings. (1)

Revision Date: June 1, 2013

College Course Catalog >>

Biology at Wheaton CollegeIn keeping with these goals, the Biology Department offers a wide range of courses for both majors and non-majors.

BIOL 201. Principles of Biology. A study of the concepts generally applicable to living systems, including topics of cell structure and function, heredity, evolution, ecology, and a survey of kingdoms of living organisms. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Not recommended for students interested in the health professions and not open to Biology majors. Offered every Fall.

BIOL 241. Organization of Life: Genetics and Cell Biology. This course is a study of the basic organizational structure of living organisms, beginning with the chemical basis of life and its relationship to the higher levels of cellular organization. This course includes a systematic analysis of the roles of nucleic acids, proteins and lipids in the higher levels of biological organization. The mediation of life processes by gene expression, cell metabolism and signal transduction are considered in the context of prokaryotic populations and more complex multicellular organisms. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Offered every Fall.

BIOL 242. Diversity of Life: An Introduction to Zoology and Botany. This course introduces the biology and diversity of select groups of prokaryotes, fungi, protists, plants and animals. Topics include taxonomic diversity, structure, and introductory physiology at the organ and tissue level. An introduction to plant biology studies the structure, function, and development of plants as organisms and the diversity of algae, fungi, and plants. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Offered every Spring (main campus) and every Summer (Wheaton College Black Hills Science Station in South Dakota).

BIOL 243. Processes of Life: Ecology and Evolution. This course introduces the conceptual and theoretical foundations of ecology, animal behavior, and evolution. Students will be introduced to population and ecosystem processes as well as longer term processes of change, including evolution. Evaluation of theories of species dynamics will be viewed in a Christian perspective. Three lectures, three hours laboratory.  Prerequisite: BIOL 241 or BIOL 242.  Offered every Fall (main campus) and every Summer (Wheaton College Black Hills Science Station in South Dakota).  

BIOL 252. Modeling the Systems of Life. Combines seminar and investigative laboratory approaches to focus on the processes of science. Organisms useful for investigation of specific biological questions will be utilized to illustrate the concept of model systems. The course will include reading and discussing primary literature and reviews, and designing and conducting experiments. Two lectures, six hours laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 241 and 242. Offered every Fall and every Spring.

BIOL 303. Contemporary Issues in Biology. Contemporary issues in genetics, evolution, and ecology. May be applied toward the general education nature requirement but not toward the Biology major. Prerequisite: 4 hr lab course in the Studies in Nature cluster. Consult current year's course offerings. (2)

BIOL 314. Issues in Environmental Science. An interdisciplinary approach to environmental problems emphasizing humanity's role and responsibility in the stewardship of biological resources. Prerequisite: 4 hr lab course in the Studies in Nature cluster. May be applied toward the general education nature requirement but not toward the Biology major. (2)

BIOL 315. Special Topics in Biology for General Education. Courses and seminars on special topics offered for general education credit at the discretion of the department, including genetics, biotechnology, environmental issues, and bioethics. One two-hour or four-hour course may apply toward the general education nature requirement. Students may register, with instructor's approval, for one additional hour in a two-hour or four-hour general education biology course to meet state teacher certification requirements. Not open to Biology majors. Prerequisite: one general education science laboratory course. (1-4)

BIOL 317x. Biomedical Ethics. An interdisciplinary consideration of ethical issues in the biological and health sciences with an emphasis on those related to medicine, including issues in biotechnology. Taught jointly with the Philosophy Department. Prerequisites: 4 hr lab course in the Studies in Nature cluster and Philosophy general education requirements. Diversity designation. (2 lin)

BIOL 319. Introduction to Environmental Ethics. An interdisciplinary consideration of ethical issues in the environmental sciences. May be applied toward the general education nature requirement and the Biology major. Prerequisites: one general education science laboratory course. (2)

BIOL 321. Human Physiology. An examination of the major systems of the human body (neural, sensory, muscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, and reproductive). Interdependence of these systems will be emphasized. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 241 and  242, CHEM 222 or 237. Alternate years.

BIOL 331. Anatomy and Physiology I. Examination of human musculoskeletal, nervous, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems with an emphasis on their structure, function, and interdependence. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 241 and 242; CHEM 222 or 237. Offered every Fall.

BIOL 332. Anatomy and Physiology II. Continuation of BIOL 331, with an examination of the human lymphatic, immune, respiratory, digestive, renal, and reproductive systems. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 331. Offered every Spring.

BIOL 336. Neurobiology. Designed to provide an introduction to the concepts and current research literature in neurobiology. Topics include nervous system structure and function at the molecular, cellular, and system levels. Emphasis will be on vertebrate nervous systems with reference to less complex systems to illustrate specific functions and principles. The implications of our understanding of consciousness from both a biological and theological perspective, including the relationship between body, mind, soul, and spirit will be discussed. Class sessions include lectures, discussions, and student presentations of current research papers. Prerequisite: BIOL 241. (2).

BIOL 341. Plant Physiology. Basic principles of plant physiology including photosynthesis, mineral nutrition, water economy, respiration, nitrogen and lipid metabolism, development, growth, and plant growth substances. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 241 and 242 and CHEM 222 or 237. Alternate years.

BIOL 343. Plant Taxonomy. Includes systems of classification, distinguishing characteristics of groups, observation, and classification of vascular plants of the Black Hills and environs. Offered during the summer at the Wheaton College Science Station in South Dakota. Prerequisite: BIOL 242.

BIOL 344. Economic Botany. Principles of plant biology (plant anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, genetics, taxonomy, and ecology) that relate to uses of plants for food, fodder, drugs and other chemicals, lumber, and other uses. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 241 and BIOL 242. Alternate years.

BIOL 352. Parasitology. Includes classification and identification of major groups of endo- and ecto-parasites. Life-cycles and ecology of parasite transmission will be emphasized. Three lectures. Prerequisite: BIOL 242. Alternate years. (2)

BIOL 356. Genetics. Molecular, cytogenetic, classical, and population concepts of plant, animal, and human genetics. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 241, 242, and 252. Offered every Spring.

BIOL 358. Techniques in Recombinant DNA. Studies of the methods and principles involved in the cloning and analysis of DNA and the applications and ethical implications of these techniques in biotechnology. Three lectures, three hours of laboratory. Prerequisites: College biology and chemistry laboratory experience. Alternate years. (2)

BIOL 362. Cell and Developmental Biology. An overview of cell structure and function and the mechanisms of biological development. Topics include cellular membranes, signal transduction, the cell surface and extracellular matrix, organelles, the cytoskeleton, the cell cycle and cancer, and cellular differentiation. Understanding of these concepts will provide the basis of study of the development of form and function during embryogenesis. Consideration of the mechanisms of development will include the basic morphological and biochemical changes which occur, as well as the molecular and cellular interactions leading to these changes. Three lectures, three hours of laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 241, 242. Alternate years.

BIOL 364. Microbiology and Immunology. A survey of the microbial world including selected pathogens; microbial structure and function; microbial physiology and genetics; biotechnology, virology; cellular and humoral immunology; transplantation and tumor immunology. Two lectures, four hours laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 201 or 241. Offered every Fall.

BIOL 365. Marine Biology. Study of the biology of marine organisms in the context of the geological and physical features of the ocean. Lectures, field trips, and learning snorkeling skills on campus are followed by a field trip to the Caribbean over spring break to apply these concepts to tropical marine environments. Additional lab fee assessed to cover travel and accommodation costs. Prerequisite: BIOL 242. Alternate years.

BIOL 368. Invertebrate Zoology. A study of the systematics, functional morphology, ecology and research with non-vertebrate organisms. Students are introduced to the amazing diversity of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates. Field trips to local habitats in addition to the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium are included. The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to often overlooked organisms in the animal kingdom with the goal of cultivating a greater appreciation for this wonderful part of God's Creation. Three hours lecture and three hours lab. Prerequisite: BIOL 242. Alternate years.

BIOL 372. Field Zoology. A course emphasizing observation and classification of Black Hills animals, with a concentration on insects, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Offered during the summer at the Wheaton College Science Station in South Dakota. Prerequisite: BIOL 242.

BIOL 374. Bioinformatics. A comparative analysis of organisms at the genetic level using molecular and computer techniques. Methods used for sequencing, analysis, and comparison of genome sequences will be covered in both lecture and laboratory exercises. Implications of comparative genomic data for molecular markers of disease, genetic mechanisms, biosystematics, and biodiversity, and the ethics of biotechnology will be considered. Three lectures and three hours laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 241. Alternate years. (2)

BIOL 381. Public Health and Nutrition in Developing Areas. An interdisciplinary approach to the problems of health and nutrition, with emphasis on Third World countries. Prerequisite: 4 hr lab course in the Studies in Nature cluster. Not open to freshmen. May be applied toward the general education nature requirement but not toward the Biology major. Diversity course. Offered every Fall and every Spring. (2)

BIOL 382. Field Natural History. Introduction to basic field and lab methods used in field natural history. Includes the basic nomenclature of flora and fauna in terrestrial, as well as aquatic systems. Basic geologic processes are discussed, and the major rock formations of the Black Hills are identified in the field. The course also provides an overview of the history and philosophy of natural history. Offered during the summer at the Wheaton College Science Station in South Dakota.

BIOL 385. Special Topics in Biology. Seminars or courses in special areas offered at discretion of the department. (2)

BIOL 386. Special Topics in Biology. Seminars or courses in special areas offered at discretion of the department.

BIOL 421x. Basic Applications in Agronomy. See ENVR 421.

BIOL 461x. Biochemistry. See CHEM 461.

BIOL 494. The Integrated Biologist. A senior capstone experience reinforcing principles and skills for integrating the content and processes of biology, contributions from differing disciplines and traditions, and the worldview of the Christian biologist. Prerequisites: senior standing and departmental approval. Offered every Fall and every Spring. (2 lin)

BIOL 495. Biological Research. Laboratory and/or library research conducted with a Wheaton College Biology faculty member or conducted with a biologist at another institution (if pre-approved by the Biology Department). Students wishing to receive 495 credit must have completed BIOL 241 and BIOL 242 (and preferably BIOL 252), and must prepare a short research proposal in collaboration with the participating faculty member prior to, or at the beginning of the research project. Upon completion of the research experience, a research report must be prepared and submitted to the supervising faculty member before the end of the semester in which the research is conducted. Students will not generally be given 495 credits for conducting paid research. (1-4)

BIOL 496. Internship. General biology and HNGR internships for credit as allowed within college guidelines; must be approved by at least two faculty members and the chair of the Biology Department. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing with Biology or related majors.

BIOL 497. Biology Research Seminar. A weekly seminar featuring presentations and discussions of current research in biology. Most seminars are presented by biologists from other institutions. In the student journal club sessions, students collaborate with faculty in the presentation of recently published articles. Graded Pass/Fail. May be taken up to twice for credit. Can be counted as credit toward the Biology major and is not included in the calculation of the limit of three non-lab courses that can be counted toward the Biology major. One hour per week. Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing, Consult current year’s course offerings. (1)

Revision Date: June 1, 2013

College Course Catalog >>