Graduate Program

Graduate Course Descriptions

BIOL 5101: Univariate Statistical Methods in Biology - A critical evaluation of statistical analysis as applied in the biological sciences. Approaches to experimental design will be discussed, and univariate statistical methods will be reviewed with an emphasis on current applications in ecology and systematics. 

BIOL 5102: Multivariate Statistical Methods in Biology - A continuation of BIOL 5101. A critical evaluation of multivariate statistical analyses as applied in the biological sciences. Basic properties of multivariate normal distributions and analyses will be reviewed with an emphasis on current applications in ecology and systematics. 

BIOL 5303 Cellular Physiology - In-depth study of cell functions in molecular level with emphasis on current technology and disease relevance.

BIOL 5304: Biogeography - Study of flora and fauna of the world and factors affecting their distribution. 

BIOL 5328 Plant Physiology - This course focuses on essential topics in plant physiology from a molecular perspective. Writing and verbal communication skills are important for dissemination of scientific knowledge; therefore, this course will focus on developing these skills.

BIOL 5128 Plant Physiology Laboratory - This course consists of exercises that are designed to support concepts learned in BIOL 5328. It focuses on topics in plant physiology from a molecular perspective. Students will learn to set up experiments involving plants, and will learn to isolate DNA and RNA from plants.

BIOL 5333: Landscape Ecology - An introduction to the study of large-scale ecological patterns and processes. Course will emphasize how spatial complexity emerges and is maintained in ecological systems, the analysis of spatial pattern, scaling issues, the ecological consequences of spatial pattern and applications for conservation and ecosystem management.  

BIOL 5133: Landscape Ecology Laboratory - An introduction to the analysis of landscape structure. Computer modeling ing will be used to examine spatial pattern including defining elements of pattern, connectedness, fractal geometry, and percolating networks. 

BIOL 5334 Ecotoxicology - Examination of contaminants in ecosystems and their effects on constituents of the ecosystems. Topics will focus on fundamental themes of ecotoxicology, building progressively from the biomolecular level toward a review of ecotoxicological effects to population, community, and ecosystem integrity.

BIOL 5336 Environmental Microbiology - Environmental Microbiology is a graduate course, aiming to expand students’ knowledge of the prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes, phylogenetic evolution and microbiome, and microbial interactions with environments and human. Students will be expected to understand and appreciate unique nature of microorganisms and their importance to life in both beneficial and harmful aspects, and be able to use them in theoretic exploration and in the laboratory experiments. Prerequisite: Prior exposure to General Biology, Genetics, and Biochemistry highly recommended

BIOL 5338 Animal Physiology - This course focuses on topics in physiology from an ecological perspective and will examine homeostasis as it relates to problems animals encounter in nature. This course will develop writing and verbal communication skills.

BIOL 5340: Ornithology - The origin, taxonomy, distribution and a natural history of birds. Prerequisite: BIOL 4335-4136 or consent of instructor.

BIOL 5141: Ornithology Laboratory - Anatomy, field identification, and methods of study of birds. Prerequisite: BIOL 4335-4136 or consent of instructor. 

BIOL 5342 Bioinformatics for Research - Focus on essential computational skills for research in contemporary biology, with an emphasis on large scale data and reproducibility. 

BIOL 5376 Evolutionary Ecology - Evolutionary ecology spans the disciplines of ecology and evolutionary biology and incorporates the full range of techniques and approaches from both.  The goal of the course is to provide a synthetic overview of the subject, unifying conceptual and empirical advances in the field. 

BIOL 5380: Topics in Advanced Biology - Topics to be selected include microbial physiology, microbial anatomy, general virology, terrestrial ecology, evolution, invertebrate zoology, vertebrate zoology, botany, and immunology. Topics differ according to interest and needs of the student. May be repeated once for credit when content changes. 

BIOL 5383 Host-Pathogen Interactions - Students will explore the cellular and molecular basis of the interplay between microbes and their hosts. Students will discuss the mechanisms developed by the host (human, animals, and plants) to overcome infections as well as the ecology and evolution of disease.
Prerequisite: BIOL 3338, BIOL 4300, BIOL 4350

BIOL 5384: Evolutionary Genetics - A synthesis and development of the fundamental concepts related to biochemical and population genetics including such topics as mechanism of gene action, genetic control of cellular activities, gene-enzyme relations, inborn errors in metabolism, genetic equilibrium in populations, mutations, allelic variation, selection, and evolution. Prerequisite: One course in genetics.

BIOL 5185: Evolutionary Genetics Laboratory - Classic and fundamental genetic experiments to demonstrate such genetic concepts as inheritance of single recessive traits, phenotypic and genotypic frequencies, spontaneous mutation, selection, recombination, and in-breeding.

BIOL 5387 History of Biology - This course provides a broad appreciation for how the field of biology has evolved. By focusing on a historical approach to the field of biology, it will allow us to investigate, in detail, the shifts in thought that have led to our current understanding of biology and the world in which we live.

BIOL 5390 Behavioral Ecology - This course examines the ecological (proximate) and evolutionary (ultimate) causes of animal behavior.

BIOL 5193: Graduate Seminar in Biology - Discussion and presentations by faculty and students on various up-to-date topics in biology. May be repeated once for credit.

BIOL 5394: Biological Research - Emphasis on proposal writing and research in biology. May be repeated once for credit if topic varies. Requisite: approval by chair of thesis committee. 


BIOL 5661: Field Biology - A field course emphasizing the identification, ecology, life histories, and behavior of organisms under natural conditions (summers only). 

BIOL 5395: Thesis - Selection of a research topic and development of a thesis plan. 

BIOL 5396: Thesis - Completion and approval of thesis. Prerequisite: BIOL 5395 or concurrent enrollment.

BIOL 5199 - 5399: Independent Study - Independent study in specific areas of biology not covered by organized graduate courses. A maximum of six credit hours of independent study courses may be applied toward a graduate degree. Prerequisite: Consent of department chair.

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