Courses in Biological SciencesUndergraduate Courses
BSCI 1100 (formerly BSCI 100)
Broad coverage of the biological sciences presenting evolution as the unifying concept. Particular emphasis on basic biological processes in cells and the relationships/interactions between organisms and their environment. Topics include cell structure and function, genetics and inheritance, evolution and diversity, populations, communities and ecosystems, and topics related to biology and society. Students who take BSCI 1510 and 1511 shall not receive credit for BSCI 1100. Corequisite: BSCI 1100L.  (MNS)
BSCI 1100L (formerly 101a)
Biology Today Laboratory.
Laboratory investigations of the genetics, physiology, and ecology of plants and animals. One three-hour laboratory per week to accompany BSCI 1100. Students who take BSCI 1510L, 1511L or 1512L shall not receive credit for BSCI 1100L. Corequisite: BSCI 1100. Satisfies the AXLE lab course requirement when completed with BSCI 1100.  (No AXLE credit)
BSCI 1103 (formerly BSCI 118)
Green Earth: The Biodiversity and Evolution of Plants
Biodiversity of plants, their adaptations to the environment, and their evolutionary and ecological relationships. Basic biology of plant form and function and the importance of plants for life on Earth. Not intended for students planning to major in biological sciences. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory period per week  (MNS)
BSCI 1105 (formerly 105)
Recent advances in genetics, reproduction, and biotechnology. Social, legal, and ethical implications. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week. Not intended for students majoring in Biological Sciences. Students who take BSCI 1100L and 1101 may not receive credit for BSCI 1105.  (MNS)
BSCI 1111, Section 2 (formerly BSCI 115F)
First-Year Writing Seminar: Genes and Society
[Note: We will open five seats in this class for each of the three weeks of enrollment for first year students. The final enrollment limit will be 15.] Our future has changed due to the availability of complete genomic DNA sequences ranging from microbes to humans. With these sequences we have entered a new era that holds the promise of a better world through personalized medicine, gene therapy, cloning, and genetically modified crops. Are we ignoring the dangers that these discoveries pose on our society and planet? We will learn to critique the scientific literature and to discern science from science fiction. However, most importantly, we will begin to understand the limitations of science and explore the possible impact of these scientific discoveries on the world. FALL.  Benson, Amanda R. (P) (Click here for current seminar topics.)
BSCI 1510 (formerly BSCI 110a)
Introduction to Biological Sciences.
An integrative approach to the science of life for science and engineering students. Macromolecular structure and function. Cell structure, reproduction, metabolism, and energy production. Genomes, replication, gene structure, RNA, and protein synthesis. Students who have completed BSCI 1100 or 1105 will forfeit full credit for 1100 or three hours of credit for 1105 upon completion of this course. Prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 1601.  (MNS)
BSCI 1511 (formerly BSCI 110b)
Introduction to Biological Sciences.
Continuation of BSCI 1510. Cell communication. Physiology, organ function and development. Mendelian and population genetics. Evolution, ecology, and speciation. Populations, ecosystems, and conservation biology. Students who have completed BSCI 1100 or 1105 will forfeit full credit for BSCI 1100 or three hours of credit for BSCI 1105 upon completion of this course. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510.  (MNS)
BSCI 1510L (formerly 111a)
Biological Sciences Laboratory.
Laboratory to accompany BSCI 1510. One three-hour laboratory per week. Satisfies the AXLE lab course requirement when completed with BSCI 1510. Students who have completed BSCI 110L or BSCI 1105 will forfeit full credit for BSCI 1100L or one hour of credit for BSCI 1105 upon completion of this course. Prerequisite or corequisite: BSCI 1510.  (No AXLE credit)
BSCI 1511L (formerly BSCI 111b)
Biological Sciences Laboratory.
Laboratory to accompany BSCI 1511. One three-hour laboratory per week. No credit for students who have completed BSCI 1512L. Satisfies the AXLE lab course requirement when completed with BSCI 1511. Students who have completed BSCI 1100L or 1105 will forfeit full credit for BSCI 1100L or one hour of credit for BSCI 1105 upon completion of this course. Prerequisite or corequisite: BSCI 1511.  (No AXLE credit)
BSCI 1512L (formerly 111c)
Biological Sciences Laboratory.
Alternative to BSCI 1511L. Directed research projects with emphasis on experimental design and analysis. Offered on a graded basis only. No credit for students who have completed BSCI 1511L. Satisfies the AXLE lab course requirement when completed with BSCI 1511. Students who have completed BSCI 1100L or 1105 will forfeit full credit for BSCI 1100L or one hour of credit for BSCI 1105 upon completion of this course. Prerequisite or corequisite: BSCI 1511. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510L.  (No AXLE credit)
BSCI 2201 (formerly BSCI 201)
Introduction to Cell Biology.
Structure and function of cells, subcellular organelles, and macromolecules. Fundamentals of organelle function, membrane transport, energy production and utilization, cell motility, cell division, intracellular transport and mechanisms of signal transduction. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510.  (MNS)
BSCI 2201L (formerly BSCI 202)
Cell Biology Laboratory.
One three-hour laboratory and discussion period per week. Satisfies the AXLE lab course requirement when completed with BSCI 2201. Prerequisite or corequisite: BSCI 2201.  (No AXLE credit)
BSCI 2205 (formerly BSCI 205)
Evolutionary theory, with emphasis on evolutionary mechanisms. Microevolutionary processes of adaptation and speciation and macro-evolutionary patterns. Evidence from genetics, ecology, molecular biology, and paleontology in the historical context of the neo-Darwinian synthesis. Three lectures per week. No credit for graduate students in Biological Sciences. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510 and 1511.  (MNS)
BSCI 2210 (formerly BSCI 210)
Principles of Genetics.
Basic principles and mechanisms of inheritance discussed and related to other biological phenomena and problems. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510 and 1511.  (MNS)
BSCI 2210L (formerly BSCI 211)
One three-hour laboratory and discussion period per week. Satisfies the AXLE lab course requirement when completed with BSCI 2210. Prerequisite or corequisite: BSCI 2210.  (No AXLE credit)
BSCI 2218 (formerly BSCI 218)
Introduction to Plant Biology.
Diversity of plants within the framework of their evolution and environmental adaptations. Biomes from the tropical rain forest to the Vanderbilt arboretum. Three lectures and one laboratory per week. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510 and 1511.  (MNS)
BSCI 2219 (formerly BSCI 219)
Introduction to Zoology.
A structural and functional study of the major animal groups. The problems presented to animals by their environments, and the anatomical and physiological mechanisms by which they adapt. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510 and 1511.  (MNS)
BSCI 2238 (formerly BSCI 238)
Population biology, evolutionary ecology, community structure, with emphasis on species interactions, including competition, predation, and symbiosis. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510 and 1511  (MNS)
|Maria Luisa S. Jorge|
BSCI 2238L (formerly BSCI 237)
BSCI 2520 (formerly BSCI 220)
Structure and mechanism of action of biological molecules, proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and polysaccharides. Enzymology. Carbohydrate metabolism. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510 and either CHEM 2212 or 2222.  (MNS)
BSCI 3226 (formerly BSCI 226)
The molecular and cellular basis of immunity. Emphasis on molecular structure, the genetic origin of diversity in B-cell and T-cell receptors, antigen presentation, and the cellular interactions leading to the immune response. Tolerance, tumor and transplantation immunity, autoimmune and immunodeficiency diseases, and allergy. Prerequisite: BSCI 2201 or 2210.  (MNS).
BSCI 3230 (formerly BSCI 230)
Study of innate mechanisms for measurement of time in living organisms. Emphasis on the functional significance and physiological basis of biological clocks in animals and humans. Topics include circadian rhythms, time-compensated celestial navigation, photoperiodism, and the role of biological clocks in human behavior. Prerequisite: 1BSCI 1510 and 1511.  (MNS)
BSCI 3233 (formerly BSCI 233)
Ecological, evolutionary, social, and economic aspects of biodiversity loss and ecosystem disruption due to human activities. Climate change, habitat fragmentation, species overexploitation, and invasive species. Sustainable development, habitat restoration, and species reintroduction. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510 and 1511.  (MNS)
|Maria Luisa S. Jorge|
BSCI 3234 (formerly BSCI 234)
Microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and mobile genetic elements. The origins and universality of microbial life, modes of genome evolution, symbioses between microbes and animals, biotechnology, and human microbiome. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510 and 1511.  (MNS)
BSCI 3236 (formerly BSCI 236)
Biology and epidemiology of eukaryotic parasites of medical and veterinary significance. Diagnosis, treatment, and control of parasitic protists, platyhelminthes, nematodes, and arthropods. Impact on global health. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510 and 1511.  (MNS)
BSCI 3239 (formerly BSCI 239)
Evolution of Behavior.
Theoretical and empirical research on shaping the evolution of behavior. The role of behavior in population regulation, habitat selection and spacing, foraging behavior, predatory-prey interactions, sexual selection, evolution of mating systems, new approaches to animal communication, game theory. Prerequisite: BSCI 1511 and 2205.  (MNS)
BSCI 3247 (formerly BSCI 247)
The theory of evolution at the molecular level. The evolution of DNA and RNA sequences, proteins, and genome structures will be studied using models from population genetics and comparative approaches. Molecular clocks, the evolution of gene regulation and globin genes, molecular phylogeny, and human evolution. Prerequisite: BSCI 2210 and 2205.  (MNS)
BSCI 3252 (formerly BSCI 252)
Structure and function of nerve cells. Emphasis on electrical excitability, synaptic transmission, and sensory transduction. Cellular mechanisms underlying simple behaviors, sensory information processing, and learning and memory. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510 and 1511.  (MNS)
BSCI 3254 (formerly BSCI 254)
Neurobiology of Behavior.
Nerve cell interactions in neuronal networks of the central nervous system of animals and their impact for regulating behavior. Sensory systems, sensory-motor integration, central processing of information, neuronal-hormonal interactions; and brain anatomy and organization in invertebrates and vertebrates. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510 and 1511  (MNS). Note: Students may not take this class concurrent to BSCI 3965 (Neuroethology).
BSCI 3256 (formerly BSCI 256)
Molecules of the Brain.
Molecules of neural wiring, involving cell identity, pathfinding, synaptogenesis. Molecules of nerve cell communication, with relationship to drugs of addiction and abuse. Molecules of nervous system plasticity, and the mechanistic bases of learning and memory. Relation of these mechanisms to causes of human neurological diseases. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510 and 1511.  (MNS)
BSCI 3270 (formerly BSCI 270)
Statistical Methods in Biology
An introduction to statistical methods used in the analysis of biological experiments, including the application of computer software packages. Emphasis on testing of hypotheses and experimental design. Topics include descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, regression, correlation, contingency analysis, and the testing of methods for sampling natural populations. Prerequisites: BSCI 1510 and 1511.  (MNS)
|Allison Leich Hilbun|
BSCI 3272 (formerly BSCI 272)
Aims and importance of the science. Retrieval of genome data from public databases; experimental and computational methods used in analysis of genome data and their annotation. Functional aspects of genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics; use of phylogenetics and population genomics to infer evolutionary relationships and mechanisms of genome evolution. Prerequisites: BSCI 1510 and 1511.  (MNS)
|John Anthony Capra|
BSCI 3850 (formerly BSCI 282)
Reading and discussion of research papers with a member of the faculty. Prerequisite: Consent of Biological Sciences department and the selected faculty tutor before the end of the previous semester. May be repeated for credit once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. [1; maximum of 2 credits total for all semesters of BSCI 3850] (No AXLE credit)
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BSCI 3860 (formerly BSCI 280)
Introduction to Research
Work in the laboratory of a member of the Biological Sciences faculty. Term paper required. Consent of course coordinator and enrollment by arrangement before the end of the previous semester is required. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510. Prerequisite or corequisite: BSCI 1511.  (No AXLE credit)
BSCI 3861 (formerly BSCI 283)
Directed Laboratory Research
Directed student research on a project conceived by a member of the Biological Sciences faculty. Enrollment by arrangement before the end of the previous semester. May be taken only once, and participants are ordinarily expected to have overall grade point average of B or better. Offered on a graded basis only. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510 and 1511, one intermediate BSCI course appropriate to the major or BSCI 3860, and consent of the Biological Sciences BSCI 3861 coordinator. [2-4] (No AXLE credit)
BSCI 3961 (formerly BSCI 286)
Independent Laboratory Research
Original student research on a defined problem in Biological Sciences and under the supervision of Biological Sciences faculty. Some independence in the design and execution of the problem. Enrollment by arrangement before the end of the previous semester. Prerequisites: BSCI 3861, consent of Biological Sciences BSCI 3961 coordinator, and cumulative grade point average of B. May be repeated for credit more than once, but students may only earn up to 6 credits per semester of enrollment. [2-6] (No AXLE credit)
BSCI 3965 (formerly BSCI 275)
Discussions and papers based on readings in research journals. Topics vary. Prerequisite: fulfillment of hte intermediate course requirements for the major. May be repeated for credit more than once if there is no duplication in topic, but only two hours may count toward the major. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester.  (No AXLE credit)
BSCI 4265 (formerly BSCI 265)
Nucleic Acid Transactions.
Biochemistry of the expression, transmission, and maintenance of genetic information. DNA transcription, replication, recombination, and repair. Structural mechanisms and biological functions of DNA processing proteins. Prerequisite: BSCI 2520.  (MNS)
BSCI 4266 (formerly BSCI 266)
Advanced Molecular Genetics.
Principles of classical and molecular genetic analysis: mutation and recombination, mapping, and the application of genetic methodology to the study of complex systems. Special emphasis on modern genomic approaches. Prerequisite: BSCI 2210.  (MNS)