Course Scheduling and Prerequisites
The following undergraduate courses are taught through Loyola's Department of Biology. For more information about when particular courses are routinely offered and for course prerequisites, please click on this link. .
Course Descriptions and Outcomes
Fundamental principles of Biology including: introduction to the scientific method, basic biological chemistry; cell structure and function; energy transformations; mechanisms of cell communication; cellular reproduction; and principles of genetics. (PDF)
Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the historical foundations, methodologies employed, general architecture and functioning of the cell - the basic unit of life.
A continuation of Biology 101. Fundamental principles of Biology including: evolutionary theory; general principles of ecology; study of plant structure and function; and comparative animal physiology. (PDF)
Outcomes: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental principles of ecology and evolution, as well as the anatomy and physiology of representative plant and animal phyla.
An introduction to biochemistry, cellular biology, genetics, evolution, ecology, biological diversity, and animal structure and function focusing on their effects on human health. Serves as a basis for future study in human biology and enables students to make biologically-informed decisions throughout their lives.
Outcome: Students will acquire the basic knowledge of biological processes required to successfully study material in advanced Nursing courses.
This course focuses on several areas in the biological sciences from molecular biology to human anatomy. Students view microorganisms, use DNA as an artistic medium, create music based on DNA sequence, and see anatomy as art. Contemporary artists that use biological concepts and biological materials in their art are discussed.
Outcome: Students will be able to understand the fundamental principles, concepts, and knowledge of the sciences; participate in a direct experience of scientific inquiry using the methodologies and tools of science; and integrate concepts in biology and art.
Complements General Biology I lecture material through observation, experimentation, and when appropriate, dissection of representative organisms. Physical and chemical phenomena of life as well as systematics and comparative anatomy and physiology of selected organisms will be examined.
Outcomes: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of living organisms, including comparisons in cell structure and function, and comparative organismal evolution and ecology.
Complements General Biology II lecture material through observation, experimentation, and when appropriate, dissection of representative organisms. Physical and chemical phenomena of life as well as systematics and comparative anatomy and physiology of selected organisms will be examined.
Outcomes: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of living organisms, including comparisons in cell structure and function, and comparative organismal evolution and ecology.
This course will introduce students to basic concepts and the variety of topics in the field of neuroscience, including neuroanatomy (gross and cellular), physiology, neural basis of behavior, malfunctions due to disease and injury, and methods used to study these areas; laying a foundation for advanced coursework in neuroscience.
Pre-requisite: None; Recommended: BIOL 101 and PSYC 101
Outcomes: Knowledge of the organization of the nervous system, cellular events that underlie emotions, learning, and behavior, and awareness of classical and modern methods for advancing the field.
Lecture and laboratory. Survey of the principles of botany including development and reproduction, structure, phylogeny and metabolism.
Outcome: Students will understand the basic morphology of plants; utilize morphology in the identification of local plants; understand the anatomy of plants; understand the relationship between anatomy and basic physiology; recognize that differences in physiological function allow different plants to be found in specific environments; appreciate the diversity of organisms called “plants.”
Basic biological concepts of evolution, classification, ecology and genetics will be studied in order to understand effects on human health for individuals, families and communities. The importance of microorganisms to health and illness will be emphasized.
Outcome: Students will understand the mechanisms by which microorganisms cause disease and the methods used to control and treat such diseases.
Lab sessions designed to prove a firm foundation in basic techniques and procedures, use of equipment and apparatus; keeping a lab notebook and in data collection and treatment.
Outcome: Students will acquire basic skills needed to work in a research laboratory.
An introduction to the biology of birds including the topics of anatomy, physiology, behavior, ecology and evolution. Includes some field trips to learn how to identify species and to collect behavioral information.
Outcome: Students will demonstrate an understanding of the biology of birds and be able to identify some of the commoner species of birds in our area.
The major sensory and perceptual systems of humans and other animals with emphasis on historical development, multi disciplinary approaches, applications to medical diagnosis and treatment, noise pollution and speech perception.
Lecture, laboratory and demonstrations. Organization of the human body from the cellular to the organismal level. Anatomy of body systems and their physiology related to 1) support and movement (integumentary, skeletal and muscular systems) and integration and control (nervous and endocrine systems). Dissection of representative organs is required.
Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of human anatomy at the microscopic and gross levels. They will be able to correlate structure and function and will have a firm understanding of the organizing principle of human physiology, homeostasis and explain the role of the nervous and endocrine systems in its maintenance.
Lecture, laboratory and demonstrations. A continuation of BIOL 242. Anatomy of body systems and their physiology related to 1) regulation and maintenance (cardiovascular, lymphatic respiratory, digestive and urinary systems) and reproduction and development (male and female reproductive systems). Dissection of representative organs is required.
Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate a comprehensive integrated knowledge and understanding of human anatomy and physiology at all levels.
This course covers basic molecular and cellular studies of living organisms, emphasizing the relationships between subcellular structures and biochemical and physiological functions of cells.
Outcome: Students will become familiar with a wide range of cell biological principles and experimental approaches that led to important discoveries, gain an appreciation of the scientific method, and learn about the goals of modern cell biology research.
Laboratory experiences designed to explore relationships between structure and function of subcellular components.
Outcome: Working knowledge of a variety of techniques utilized in the cell biology laboratory.
Relationships of organisms to their environment and to each other at the organism, population, community, and ecosystem levels.
Outcomes: Students will understand the fundamental principles governing the interactions of organisms and their environment at the population, community, and ecosystem levels.
Laboratory and field experience designed to illustrate the principles of ecology and to give students experience in collecting, processing, and analyzing data. Field trips required.
Outcome: Students will understand the methodology and use techniques in studying interactions of organisms to the environment and to each other at the organism, population, community, and ecosystem levels.
Using the paradigms, paleopathological and paleodemographic information, students explore the patterns of human diseases throughout prehistory and history. Addresses the role of human biology, human culture, and changing environments.
This course surveys principles and processes of genetic inheritance, gene expression, molecular biology, developmental, quantitative, population and evolutionary genetics.
Outcome: Students will develop knowledge and awareness of the genetic bases of modern biology. They will understand Mendelian principles of inheritance, chromosome and DNA structure and replication, gene expression, molecular biology, genetic bases of development and other biological processes, and quantitative, population and evolutionary genetics.
The laboratories in this course cover gene linkage and compensation of an inherited biochemical defect in Drosophila, tetrad analysis in Sordaria, epistasis in corn, agarose gel electrophoresis, physical mapping of DNA with restriction enzymes, DNA fingerprinting and population genetics.
Outcome: Students will be able to understand the fundamental principles and concepts in genetics; participate in a direct experience of scientific inquiry using the methodologies and tools of genetics.
Students will begin reading the literature in the field of their mentor,conduct experiments designed by the mentor, and give a presentation on their work or studies, in preparation for upper level undergraduate research.
Outcome: Students will develop critical reading skills and become familiar with basic lab techniques in the area of their mentor.
Lecture and laboratory. Fundamental concepts of microbial life, physiology, and metabolism.
Outcome: Students will learn the differences between the 3 domains of life and will comprehend the biochemistry, morphology, growth characteristics, structure and ecology of microbes.
The seminar introduces students to the interdisciplinary nature of modern neuroscience with an emphasis on the various neuroscience research activities that take place at Loyola University Chicago, and reviews current neuroscience research topics.
Outcome: Students will demonstrate understanding of the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary nature of modern neuroscience, and the research questions and experimental approaches used at the Lakeshore and Medical Center campuses.
The analysis of developmental processes such as; fertilization, embryonic cleavage, cell determination and cell differentiation in selected species. Emphasis will be on experiments that reveal how these processes are controlled at the molecular and cellular levels.
Outcome: Students will become familiar with a wide range of developmental biology principles and experimental approaches that led to important discoveries, gain an appreciation of the scientific method, and learn about the goals of modern developmental biology research.
This course provides an introduction to the statistical methods used in designing and analyzing biological, biomedical and social science experiments involving categorical data, chi-square tests and logistic regression.
Outcome: Students interested in research in the life and social sciences will obtain a background in statistical methods for categorical data.
Prerequisites: BIOL 102, 112, PSYC 306, and PSYC 240 or 305. A “hands on” experience with the instrumentation, measurement techniques and experimental designs used in electrophysiological studies of nervous system function.
Concepts of microbial life, physiology, biochemistry and immunology. Topics covered include microbial methods, nature, metabolism, biosynthesis, environmental effects and differences among microorganisms.
Outcome: Students will examine and comprehend a number of the divergent processes that microbes fuel in nature as well as the interactions between microbes and their environments, including the human host.
The study of the nature and molecular basis of immune responses. History and vocabulary of immunology; experiments involving immune recognition and destruction; theories regarding self-tolerance and immunological diseases.
Outcome: Students will learn the morphology and histology of the cells involved in an immune response, as well as how the cells develop and the molecular mechanisms used to recognize and eliminate non-self material. The students will become familiar with the evasion strategies of pathogens and the consequences associated with either hyper or hypo-responsiveness.
An introduction to the structure and function of lake and stream ecosystems. The course includes the integration of physical, chemical, and biological parameters. Laboratories include weekend field trips to aquatic habitats.
Outcome: Students will learn methods of sampling and analyzing physical, chemical and biological factors in lake and stream ecosystems, and how to integrate these complex data sets to answer ecosystem process-level questions. Students will learn to evaluate the trophic status and health of a lake by the end of the course.
This course explores approaches used to study human diseases from in vitro to in vivo levels and examines their strengths and weaknesses. Discussions will cover historical experiments and cutting-edge research to learn about the techniques used to generate data and how to interpret the results.
Outcome: Students will gain knowledge about human diseases and techniques used to model aspects of those diseases in the laboratory.
This course covers the molecular details of viral infection and the diverse strategies used by these pathogens to invade cells and avoid immune clearance. The focus will be on mammalian viruses of biomedical relevance.
Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate detailed understanding of basic viral structure, basic viral replication/infection cycles, and specific examples of viruses and their infection strategies.
This course focuses on analysis of processes and patterns of evolution. Topics include population genetic principles, fossil patterns and geologic ages, phylogenetic analysis of relationships of species, experimental approaches to evolutionary questions, and evolutionary perspectives on human biology and relationships.
Outcome: Students will develop knowledge and awareness of evolutionary processes and patterns, the evidence for them, and how evolutionary hypotheses are tested experimentally. They will develop an appreciation of the primary literature through reading and discussing research articles.
This course examines the biological basis of animal behavior including function and evolution of behavior patterns. Mechanisms and the adaptive significance of behaviors are examined and analyzed.
Outcome: Students will have an understanding of both proximate and ultimate causes of a broad array of behaviors in animals and their implications for the life histories of those animals.
This course focuses on the comparative morphology of vertebrates within an evolutionary framework. Topics include the evolution of the vertebrate skull, circulatory system and the brain. The relationship between form and function are discussed.
Outcome: Students will learn vertebrate morphology in an evolutionary context through lecture discussions and laboratory dissections.
Interrelations between the behavior and ecology of monkeys, apes and prosimians. Problems of conservation and management. Implications for human behavior
Introduction to skeletal anatomy, along with various methods and techniques currently employed by physical anthropologists to ascertain age at death, sex, and diseases of past human populations.
An introduction to the study of wetlands habitats. This course includes discussion of physical and chemical factors, biota, production and community dynamics. Laboratories include several field trips to regional wetland habitats.
Outcome: Students will understand the functioning of wetlands and become aware of the variety of wetlands; become familiar with wetland biota, especially wetland plants; perceive the value of wetlands and the challenges of restoring them; become aware of the policy issues surrounding wetlands; and enjoy a sometimes denigrated ecosystem.
This course explores species diversity, natural and human induced extinctions, environmental ethics, and conservation practices being developed at the population, community, and ecosystem levels.
Outcome: Students will be able to describe conservation strategies being used by institutions around the world and understand the ecological theory that supports those strategies.
An introduction to statistical methods used in designing biological experiments and in data analyses. Topics include probability and sampling distribution, designed biological experiments and analysis of variance, regression and correlation, stochastic processes, and frequency distributions. Computer laboratory assignments with biological data.
This course examines the microscopic anatomy of the four basic adult tissue types and how they are arranged and utilized in the construction of the major vertebrate organ systems.
Outcome: The major learning objectives for this course are (1) to become familiar with the gross and microscopic anatomy of cells, tissues and organs and (2) to understand how these anatomical features correlate with specific physiological functions.
A mixed lecture and laboratory course providing an introduction to the human body at the level of gross anatomy.
Outcome: Students should gain a basic understanding of the structure of the major organs and organ systems of the human body, and learn anatomical terminology to describe the structures and their relationships.
This course focuses on the anatomy and physiology of women at different and critical times in their life span. This course also addresses social issues that effect women at different points in their life. Topics include the evolution of sex, gender differentiation, and reproduction.
Outcome: Students will learn about the biology of the female system, and how it changes with age. Students will also learn through discussions and guest lectures the interplay between society, medicine and gender.
Animal function and structure; emphasis on humans as basis for understanding organ physiology. Functional relationships and the contributions to maintaining homeostasis will be stressed. Digestion, water relations, respiration, hormone systems, receptor and effector mechanisms, central and peripheral nervous system coordination, dynamics of the circulatory system and the physiology of bone and musculature.
Outcome: Students will understand the functioning of individual systems and how they are functionally inter-related.
We will cover circadian rhythms one very prominent circadian-regulated behavior: sleep. We will investigate these topics at several different levels, spanning from cellular and molecular mechanisms to systems and behavioral approaches, and finally will look at pathologies of these systems that lead to human disorders.
Outcomes: Students will become familiar with a variety of model systems used to study circadian rhythms, and learn how to critically read primary literature and lead discussions of this reading.
This course offers an overview of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying common neurodegenerative disorders. Mechanisms of neuronal cell death and application of stem cells in CNS regeneration will also be covered. Students will learn by reading assigned background materials and research articles, and participating in class discussions.
Outcomes: Students will understand current advances of genetic, developmental, molecular, and cellular mechanisms underlying the neurodegenerative diseases. Students will also learn how disease mechanisms affect neural function, cognition, and behavior.
This course focuses on cellular and molecular underpinnings of the development of neuronal features of the nervous system. Topics include neural induction and subsequent differentiation events, regulation of neuronal survival, axon guidance, target selection, and synaptogenesis.
Outcome: Students will become familiar with principles of neural development and the studies that led to those principles. Students will also learn how to critically read primary research papers and present these papers to the class.
Normal bone tissue and normal bone alterations and the impact of various disease processes on skeletal tissue. Students will be taught to assess and interpret patterns of human disease in processual rather than typological terms.
Ecological study of an area in North America outside Midwest. Includes a field trip to a specific region. Trip is at student expense.
Outcome: Students will become familiar with an ecosystem outside the Chicago Region; gain a first-hand understanding of the interrelationships of living things and their environment; develop a loving appreciation of "wilderness."
The purpose of this course is to introduce major principles and concepts of modern neurobiology. An emphasis is placed upon an understanding of the electrophysiology of the neuron and the manner in which groups of neurons are organized into functional nervous systems subserving sensory, motor or integrative functions.
Outcome: Student will gain a sold foundation in nervous system structure and function.
An introductory course that covers the morphology, metamorphosis, classification and biology of the major insect groups. The laboratory includes dissection and the use of analytical keys and figures to identify insect taxa. Field trips and student collections add to the laboratory experience.
Outcome: Students will learn to identify major insect groups in the field and in the laboratory. They will also learn to distinguish immature insects from adult insects and to recognize the numerous beneficial insects as well as the small number that are detrimental.
An introduction to biochemical principles as they relate to major biological themes such as the relationship between cellular structure and function, metabolism, thermodynamics, regulation, information pathways, and evolution.
Outcome: Students will study the basic concepts of biochemistry and will understand how thermodynamics govern biochemical processes. Catalytic strategies, as well as the major pathways of both anabolism and catabolism, will also be learned.
Introduction to modern techniques and instrumentation with an emphasis on cellular metabolism and protein biochemistry including purification and quantitation methods and enzyme kinetics.
Outcome: Proficiency in performing a variety of biochemical assays and the ability to write up results as a formal lab report.
This course focuses on light microscopy but also includes a section on Electron Microscopy. Topics include basic optical theory, history, sample preparation, microscope operation, digital image acquisition and analysis.
Outcome: Students will become adept at producing publication quality images using a variety of imaging techniques. Students will also learn how to correctly interpret results and properly present their data.
Focuses on plant population dynamics; plant-animal interactions, including herbivory, pollination, dispersal; plant community dynamics, such as the processes of succession; and the effect of global climate on the distribution of major vegetation types. The laboratory is divided between weekend field trips to local forests, prairies and bogs, and laboratory studies.
Outcome: Students will achieve familiarity with major vegetation types and especially with local vegetation and natural areas; understand the dynamics of plant communities; understand the nature of research in plant ecology and gain familiarity with the primary literature; understand environmental issues as they relate to plant ecology.
Students will be trained in various anatomical, physiological, behavioral, and neurobiological modeling techniques used to study the nervous system and the brain in the laboratory.
Outcome: Students will demonstrate understanding of several research designs and methodologies of use in neuroscience research and will gain experience with basic neuroscience laboratory techniques. Students will complete experiments as assigned and will be responsible for timely reports reflecting the outcome of a set of experiments. In addition, students will learn to write scientific reports which will include tables and figure summaries of the experimental data collected.
This course focuses on the classification and ecology of insects that have become fully or partially adapted to the aquatic environment. Emphasis will be on the ecology and biology (behavior, physiology and phylogeny) of aquatic insects. The course includes laboratory field trips to local and upper Midwest aquatic habitats.
Outcome: Students will acquire an understanding of the ecological relationships between aquatic insects and their physical and biological environment, including their interactions with humans.
This course focuses on light microscopy. Topics include basic optical theory, history, sample preparation, microscope operation, digital image acquisition and analysis.
Outcome: Students will become adept at producing publication quality images using a variety of imaging techniques. Students will learn how to interpret results and properly present their data.
Introduction to the molecular mechanisms of disease pathology and therapeutic and control strategies, using a particular disease as model. The experimental basis of the proposed mechanisms will also be examined to demonstrate how basic research is used to address clinical questions and design treatments.
Outcome: Students will be able to explain the molecular basis for particular disease symptoms, understand therapeutic strategies, and use experimental results to form conclusions about disease molecular mechanisms.
This course explores the evolution of the embryo and the patterns of gene regulation and morphogenesis that drive early development. Topics include evolution of nervous system patterning, shared human, mouse and frog regulatory systems and evolution of human genetic syndromes.
Outcome: Students will master the stages and regulation of development in a number of organisms through use of primary literature. Evidence of their mastery will be seen through grant writing exercises, in class presentations and conventional exams.
This course will introduce students to epigenetic mechanisms operating throughout life, which include chromatin regulation, DNA methylation, histone modifications and non-coding RNAs. Students will gain an appreciation of how different cell types can maintain drastically different gene expression patterns yet share the exact same DNA sequences.
This course covers the molecular details of genetic processes such as DNA replication, RNA and protein synthesis, gene regulation and genome organization.
Outcomes: Students will be able to demonstrate a detailed understanding of (1) basic molecular techniques; (2) the macromolecules involved in genetic processes, and (3) published experiments that underlie our knowledge of these processes.
Fundamental principles of population, ecological, and evolutionary genetics, including molecular evolution and analysis of the genetic structure of populations.
Outcome: Students develop knowledge and awareness of population genetic theory and information. They learn how to apply basic tools of population genetic analysis.
This course focuses on the various areas of Electron Microscopy, both Scanning and Transmission. Topics include sample preparation, microscope operation, image acquisition using photographic and digital techniques, history and development, and new and special techniques.
Outcome: Student will become adept with the various techniques needed to produce research quality electron micrographs. Students will also learn how to correctly interpret their results, and properly present their data.
Genomics is the compilation, characterization, and evaluation of DNA sequence information and its integration with established methods and genetic knowledge. This course will introduce the students to the study of genome structure and function and its application to biomedicine, agriculture, and evolution.
Outcome: Students will acquire an in-depth knowledge of the nature of gene and genome structure, function, and evolution as well as the methods used to obtain and evaluate this knowledge. Students will be able to create meaningful web-based database search strategies and interpret the significance of results.
Students will engage in the applications of computer-based tools and database searching to better understand DNA and protein structure, function, and evolution.
Outcome: Students will be able to apply their understanding of genetic and evolutionary processes to the appropriate use of computer software and manipulation of large databases to accurately predict structural, informational, functional, and evolutionary characteristics of DNA and protein sequences.
Principles and mechanisms of drug action. Topics discussed include drug-receptor interaction, pharmacokinetics, drug distribution, metabolism, and neuro-transmission, blood-brain barrier, and toxicology.
Outcome: Students will be able to describe the cellular and molecular mechanisms of action for a variety of the most commonly used drugs in current medical use.
This course is an intensive laboratory course in the basic principles and techniques of molecular biology, including bacterial cloning, polymerase chain reaction, restriction mapping, agarose gel electrophoresis, and DNA sequencing. The first half of the course is instructor-lead, while the second half of the course focuses on team-independent research projects that are a required component. A substantial amount of time spent in the laboratory will be required outside of regularly scheduled class periods toward the second half of the course.
Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate basic molecular biology skills including manipulation of bacterial cultures and DNA, plasmid minipreps, gel electrophoresis, cloning, polymerase chain reaction, and other molecular techniques that may be specific to their chosen independent projects.
This lecture and laboratory course prepares students to work in forensic DNA analysis setting. The lectures cover the basic aspects of DNA structure and function while the laboratory gives students experience with the techniques and instruments used in forensic DNA analysis.
Outcome: Students will have a strong theoretical understanding of STR marker origin, population biology, and legal uses, and will be able to isolate and process DNA for STR scoring. Students will acquire familiarity with DNA databases, become familiar with ethical uses of DNA information, and be prepared to work in a forensic DNA analysis setting.
Exploration of next-generation sequencing technologies for assessing microbial diversity in ecological niches
Outcome: Students will gain hands-on experience with metagenomic methodologies while working in an interdisciplinary, collaborative setting.
Special areas of study outside the usual curriculum, that vary each time the course is offered.
Outcome: Students will master a unique topic in biology.
Laboratory or field research under faculty guidance emphasizing hypothesis testing, literature searches, experimental design, and use of appropriate techniques.
Outcome: Students will learn the full set of research skills required in doing an independent project and reporting the results.
A supervised field placement intended to give students training or work experience in aspects of biology that cannot be obtained on campus.
Outcome: Students will acquire practical experience in biology-related job settings.
Directed study of a specific topic by an individual student studying with a single faculty member.
Outcome: Students will master a unique topic in biology.