Biology Undergraduate Course Descriptions

BICC 103 The Human Community and Scientific Discovery     3 CR
This is the third of four courses in The Human Journey, Sacred Heart University’s Common Core Curriculum. This course focuses on the scientific approach and its uses and limits in addressing the four fundamental core questions of human meaning and value. The practice of scientific inquiry with respect to political, social and cultural factors will also be examined, particularly in the context of the Catholic intellectual tradition. Potential topics to be discussed include learning about your own ancient genetic lineage, evolution, genetic testing, environmental pollution, global climate change and disease prevention.

BI 101 The Nature of Life     3 CR
This course examines science as a process to understand basic biological concepts of cells, genetics, evolution, and ecology. Students will examine current biological research and how that impacts their lives and the future of mankind. Three hours of lecture per week. Non-science majors.

BI 102 Heredity and Society     3 CR
BI 102 is a genetics course examining the evidence for proposing the existence of genes, the molecular nature of genes and the ethical implications of recent advances in genetic research. Three hours of lecture per week. Non-science majors.

BI 103 The Human Body     3 CR
Focuses on human physiology and the role humans play in the health and maintenance of their bodies. Topics include human organization, processing and transporting, integration and coordination and reproduction. Three hours of lecture per week. Non-science majors.

BI 104 Coastal Ecology     3 CR
This course investigates the interrelationship between coastal environments and the organisms living in these environments. It also looks at related societal implications. Non-science majors.

BI 110 Zoological Conservation & Behavior     3 CR
This course introduces students to the study of animal behavior in zoos. Students will gain general skills to explore field methods for behavioral observation and data collection in a captive setting. In addition, we will consider how we might use captive behavioral data to help conserve threatened and endangered animal species. Students will have the unusual opportunity to conduct field studies at LEO Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich.

BI 111 Concepts in Biology I: Molecules to Cells     3 CR
BI 111 is the first foundational course in biology and provides an introduction to the molecular concepts that form the basis of cellular life. Concepts in Biology I covers the basic principles of: evolution, biochemistry, cell structure and function, signal transduction, cell division, transmission genetics, the central dogma of molecular biology and control of gene expression. Two 50 minute lectures and one 75 minute discussion/week. Corequisite: BI 113

BI 112 Concepts in Biology II: Cells to Organisms     3 CR
BI 112 is the second foundational course in biology. The course focuses on the cellular and organismal levels in the hierarchy of biological organization. Concepts in Biology II covers adaptations of plant and animal life in an evolutionary context and includes discussion of: development, body and tissue organization, homeostasis, energy yielding metabolism, nutrition, digestion, circulation, nutrient transport and gas exchange. Two 50 minute lectures and one 75 minute discussion/week. Prerequisite: BI 111/113; Corequisite: BI 114.

BI 113 Concepts in Biology I Laboratory     1 CR
The laboratory associated with Concepts in Biology I focuses on multi-week exercises that reinforce critical concepts on the molecular and cellular levels of biological organization. The laboratory incorporates student designed experiments, extensive journal format scientific writing and emphasizes science as a process. One 3 hour laboratory/week. Corequisite: BI 111

BI 114 Concepts in Biology II Laboratory     1 CR
The laboratory associated with Concepts in Biology II focuses on introduction of techniques for observing organismal physiology and behavior that reinforce critical concepts on the cellular and organismal levels of biological organization. The laboratory incorporates an open-ended multi-week student designed experiment, extensive journal format scientific writing and emphasizes science as a process. One 3 hour laboratory/week. Corequisite: BI 112

BI 126 Nursing Anatomy and Physiology I     3 CR
Lecture on the investigation of cell structure and function, tissues, skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. Nursing students only. Three hours of lecture and one hour of discussion. Corequisite: BI 127

BI 127 Nursing Anatomy and Physiology I Laboratory     1 CR
Laboratory involves investigation of cell structure and function, tissues, skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. Three hours of laboratory. Corequisite: BI 126

BI 128 Nursing Anatomy and Physiology II     3 CR
Lecture involves the investigation of the endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems. Nursing students only. Three hours of lecture and one hour of discussion. Prerequisites: BI 126 and BI 127; Corequisite: BI 129

BI 129 Nursing Anatomy and Physiology II Laboratory     1 CR
Laboratory involves the investigation of the endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems. Three hours of laboratory. Corequisite: BI 128 

BI 150 Biology of Poisons     3 CR
This course presents the principles of toxicology within a human context, discusses how toxicology affects everyday life and investigates the broader issues for public health and disease prevention. Non-science majors.

BI 152 Environment and Sustainability     3 CR
Students will learn about environmental science, exploring how human activity changes our natural environment. The importance of clean air, land and water will also be discussed. Non-science majors.

BI 161 Introduction to Microbiology     3 CR
A course focused on the study of microorganisms with emphasis on morphology; cultivation, genetics of bacteria, viruses and fungi and infectious diseases caused by these microbes. Nursing students only. Three hours of lecture per week. Corequisite: BI 162

BI 162 Introduction to Microbiology Laboratory     1 CR
Laboratory work stresses aseptic technique and the microscopic, nutritional and biochemical characteristics of bacteria. One three-hour laboratory period per week. Corequisite: BI 161

BI 170 Plants of Connecticut     3 CR
BI 170 is a laboratory and field-oriented course emphasizing identification of local plant life, plant structure and functions, life histories and ecological relationships. Non-science majors.

BI 171 Connecticut Wildlife     3 CR
BI 171 is a laboratory and field-oriented core course emphasizing wildlife and habitat diversity in the American Northeast, especially Connecticut. The central theme is adaptation. Topics include predation, migration, reproduction and species identification. Five hours per week. Non-science majors

BI 172 Winter Wildlife     3 CR
BI 172 is a laboratory and field-oriented core course emphasizing winter adaptations of wildlife in the American Northeast, especially Connecticut. Topics include migration, species identification, tracking and feeding ecology. Five hours per week. Non-science majors.

BI 190 Seminar in the Health Professions     1 CR
Seminar will meet weekly for discussions and other activities associated with planning for a future in the relevant health professions. Discussion topics include advice on course selections, timing of registration for courses in relation to exams such as the MCAT/DAT/GRE, balance between pre-health studies and other academic and extracurricular goals, etc. Also included will be forums with invited speakers such as alumni, admission directors and extracurricular program coordinators. Freshman and sophomore pre-health profession students only. Minimum 2.5 GPA. Pass/fail only.

BI 191 Advanced Seminar on Health Professions     1 CR
Seminar will meet weekly for discussions and other activities associated with planning for and applying to schools in the relevant health professions. Discussion topics include advice on selecting schools for applications, application preparation, writing personal statements, advice on preparation for professional exams such as the MCAT/DAT/GRE, etc. Also included will be forums with invited speakers such as alumni, admission directors and extracurricular program coordinators. Junior and senior pre-health profession students only. Minimum 3.0 GPA or instructor permission. Pass/fail only 

BI 201 Genetics & Evolution: Organisms to Populations     3 CR
Organisms to Populations is the third in the series of courses that serve as the foundation of the biology major. The focus of this course is on the evolutionary forces that lead to the biologically fascinating trade-offs between growth, survival and reproduction. Topics covered include: reproductive biology, transmission and population genetics, mechanisms of evolution and an exploration of adaptation and life history characteristics in a diversity of organisms. Prerequisite: C or Better in BI 111/112/113/114; Pre- or Corequisite: MA 131,132 or 133; Corequisite: BI 203

BI 202 Ecology: Populations to Ecosystems     3 CR
Populations to Ecosystems is the final course in the biology major foundational series of courses. Students will discover the unity and interdependence of the living and nonliving components of the environment while exploring the limitless diversity of life on earth through the lens of ecological theory. Topics include: Population dynamics, species interactions, abundance and diversity, nutrient cycling, succession and stability. Prerequisite: C or Better in BI 111/112/113/114; Prerequisite: MA 131,132 or 133; Corequisite: BI 204

BI 203 Genetics & Evolution: Organisms to Populations Laboratory     1 CR
Organisms to Populations Laboratory is the mandatory corequisite for BI 201. The interactive laboratory course will concentrate on multi-week exercises that reinforce essential course concepts. Student designed experiments, the process of science and oral and written scientific communication are focal points of the course design. Corequisite: BI 201

BI 204 Ecology: Populations to Ecosystems Laboratory     1 CR
Populations to Ecosystems Laboratory is the mandatory corequisite for BI 202. The interactive laboratory course will concentrate on multi-week exercises that reinforce essential course concepts. Student designed experiments, the process of science and oral and written scientific communication are focal points of the course design. Corequisite: BI 202

BI 205 Essentials of Neuroscience     3 CR
This course is an introduction to neuroscience, a discipline in which the biological and psychological sciences are integrated. This broad overview addresses topics ranging from the cellular physiology of neurons to issues of human language, cognition and mental illness. Prerequisite: BI 111/113, PS 101

BI 206 Human Anatomy and Physiology I     3 CR
Lecture on the investigation of the tissues, skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. This section is for students interested in athletic training, exercise science, physical therapy, occupational therapy or physician assistant programs. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: BI 111/ 113; Corequisite: BI 208

BI 207 Human Anatomy and Physiology II     3 CR
Lecture involves the investigation of endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems. Three hours of lecture per week. This section is for students interested in athletic training, exercise science, physical therapy, occupational therapy, human movement or physician assistant programs. Three hours of lecture. Prerequisites: BI 206/208; Corequisite: BI 209

BI 208 Human Anatomy and Physiology I Laboratory     1 CR
Laboratory involves investigation of the tissues, skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. Three hours of laboratory. Corequisite: BI 206

BI 209 Human Anatomy and Physiology II Laboratory     1 CR
Laboratory involves the investigation of endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems. Three hours of laboratory. Corequisite: BI 207

BI 210/211 Plant Biology     4 CR
Three diverse topics in plant biology are introduced: plant evolution and diversity, plant ecology and the linked topics of ethnobotany and economic botany. Laboratory work concentrates on field methodology, plant identification and digital data collection. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BI 112/114, BI 201/203

BI 212 Developmental Biology     4 CR
Lecture examines cellular and molecular aspects of animal development from gametogenesis to morphogenesis and pattern formation. Laboratory work includes investigations on fertilization, cellular differentiation, regeneration and the development of vertebrate organ systems. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisites: C or better in BI 111/112/113/114 and BI 201/203

BI 230 Microbiology     4 CR
Microbial diversity and the evolution, physiology, genetics and ecology of microbes are addressed. Specific topics include: epidemiology and infectious disease and the use of microorganisms in industry and research. Laboratory work focuses on modern molecular methods of experimental microbiology and bacterial identification, including a semester-long research project. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BI 111/113, BI 112/114 and CH 151/153

BI 235 Principles of Biotechnology     4 CR
This course focuses on the fundamental biotechnology techniques (e.g., nucleic acid analysis and genomics, bioinformatics, cell culture and proteomics) used in modern industrial research laboratories through the application of a semester-long project. Prerequisite: C or better in BI 201/203 and MA131, 132 or 133; Prerequisite or Corequisite: CH 221/223

BI 240/241 Invertebrate Biology     4 CR
BI 240 examines the evolution and ecology of invertebrates including: phylogenetic relationships, life history, physiology and morphological adaptations. Laboratory component includes dissections and field trips to Long Island Sound. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisites: C or better in BI 202/204

BI 245/246 Vertebrate Biology     4 CR
BI 245 examines the evolution and ecology of the vertebrates including taxonomy and life history as well as the anatomy and physiology of extant and extinct vertebrates. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisites: C or better in BI 112/114 

BI 255 Animal Behavior     4 CR
An introduction to how animals of all different types use behaviors as strategies for interacting with the environment. Behaviors studied include communication, habitat selection, migration, mate choice, breeding and parental care. Development and physiological control of behaviors are also examined. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory/field session per week. Prerequisites: BI 112/114, MA 131

BI 260 Marine Biology     4 CR
BI 260 examines the structure and function of marine habitats at the organismal, population, community and ecosystem levels. Laboratory includes field investigation of different types of estuarine and coastal habitats and design
of basic and applied marine ecological investigations. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory/field session per week. Prerequisites: C or better in BI 202/204, MA131.

BI 265 Conservation Biology     4 CR
The focus of this course is on the science of conservation biology in the context of environmental policy, socioeconomic demands and environmental ethics. Prerequisite: BI 202/204

BI 299 Special Topics in Biology     3–4 CR
Special Topics are new or occasional courses that may or may not become part of the department’s permanent offerings. Prerequisites are established by the department as appropriate for the specific course. Course title is shown on the student’s transcript. Consult the current course schedule for available topics and prerequisites.

BI 305 Behavioral Neurobiology     3 CR
This course explores the neural basis of behaviors that animals perform in natural settings. The mechanisms studied underlie specialized behaviors such as the detection of prey, attraction of mates orientation and other adaptive behaviors. The animal model systems described demonstrate how neural substrates of behavior can be highly specialized to solve problems encountered in an animal’s particular environmental niche. These model systems also provide insights into the organization of similar sensory and motor systems in humans. Three hours of lecture. Prerequisites: BI 112/114, BI205 or permission of the instructor

BI 311/313 Cell Biology     4 CR
Covers advanced topics in eukaryotic cell biology with emphasis on cell identity, protein transport and cellular physiology. Laboratory work includes cell culture, immuno-cytochemistry and other biological analyses. Three hours lecture and three hours of lab per week. Prerequisites: BI 201/203, CH 152/154

BI 312/314 Systems Physiology     4 CR
BI 312 focuses on investigation of the physiology of vertebrate systems. Topics include cardiovascular, respiratory, neural, muscular, digestive, endocrine, reproductive and excretory physiology. Laboratory instruction includes practical investigation and research projects into the physiology of vertebrates. Prerequisites: BI 201/203, CH 152/154

BI 325 Immunology     3 CR
BI 325 examines the mammalian immune response including characteristics of antigens, antibodies and antigen-antibody interactions. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisite: BI 201/203

BI 335 Topics in Genetics     3 CR
This seminar course will both expand and deepen students’ knowledge of genetics while exploring hot topics such as gene therapy, DNA as a digital information storage molecule, complex genetic disorders, DNA circuits, synthetic genomes, genome wide association studies, metabolomics, DNA barcoding, genome-based medicine, DNA-based treatments, RNAi, epigenetics, conservation genetics and controversial genethics topics such as gene doping, etc. Prerequisites: C or better in BI 201/203, 3.2 cumulative GPA.

BI 345 Neurobiology     4 CR
Covers cell biology of neurons, electrical and biochemical signaling, motor control, sensation and perception, learning and memory and brain anatomy. Laboratory instruction includes practical investigations and survey research projects into the above topics and related illnesses. Prerequisites: BI 112/114, CH 152/154 

BI 355 Molecular Biology     4 CR
Provides foundations of molecular biology and recombinant DNA technology, analysis of relevant primary journal articles, handson training in recombinant DNA techniques and exposure to the use of computers in DNA sequence analysis and scientific communication. Prerequisites: BI 201/203, CH 152/154

BI 360 Internship 3–6 CR
Internships in Biology focus on gaining applied experience through study of a biological topic or an interdisciplinary project that provides majors with an opportunity to gain real-world experience not specifically available in Sacred Heart University’s Biology curriculum. Students complete an internship portfolio under the direction of an appropriate professional in consultation with a biology faculty advisor.

BI 390 Supervised Research     3 CR
Individual research projects in the basic areas of Biology under the supervision of faculty. Prerequisites: A 3.0 GPA and permission of the supervising faculty member.

BI 398 Senior Seminar Preparation     1 CR
This course is designed for students to begin working on their Senior Thesis. Prerequisites: BI 201/203 and BI 202/204

BI 399 Senior Seminar     2 CR
Senior Seminar is the capstone course for the Biology major. The course focuses on review of current research and literature on specialized fields of current interest in biological science. An independent project resulting in a research paper on a current question of scientific, public policy or ethical focus and a final oral presentation on a selected topic is required. Prerequisites: Senior status and permission of advisor.