North Central College - Naperville, IL

Biology Courses

NOTE: This page contains all of the regular course descriptions for this discipline or program. Academic credit for each course is noted in parenthesis after the course title. Prerequisites (if any) and the general education requirements, both Core and All-College Requirements (ACRs), which each course fulfills (if any) are noted following each course description. Not all courses are offered every year. Check Merlin, our searchable course schedule, to see which courses are being offered in upcoming terms.

BIO 100 Principles of Biology (3.50)
The study of biological principles as they relate to modern society. Discussion groups and laboratory work are an integral part of the course. Core: Science (Lab).

BIO 104 Human Biology (3.50)
An introduction to the fundamental concepts in biology through the study of human beings. Intended for students not majoring in the laboratory sciences. Core: Science (Lab).

BIO 106 Introduction to Environmental Science (3.50)
This course is an overview of biological and physical processes that affect the environment in the context of current environmental issues. Topics include population, community, ecosystem ecology, conservation biology, water and air pollution, and natural resource management. Same as: ENV 106. Core: Science (Lab).

BIO 108 Water, Food, and Sex (3.50)
This course focuses solely on five systems, exploring them in depth; excretory, respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and reproductive. Complementing the biological concepts material is discussion from ethical and public health/public policy perspectives. Special consideration is given to topics such as water and food policy, environmental policy, and issues of bioethics (e.g., research ethics, informed consent, eugenics, moral status of animals, and the Human Genome Project). Core: Science (Lab).

BIO 109 Genes, Genomes and Genethics (3.50)
This course introduces key concepts of modern biology while focusing on important questions at the interface of science and modern society. Both the science and the implications of such advances in genetic technology as screening for genetic diseases, DNA fingerprinting, stem-cell therapy, genetically modified organisms, and gene therapy are discussed. Core: Science (Lab).

BIO 120 Topics in Modern Biology (3.50)
An in-depth investigation of a topic in modern biology. Topics are current issues encountered in day-to-day life. The course is presented in a highly interactive seminar format. Topics vary (see course schedule). Laboratory activities emphasize an inquiry approach. Prerequisite: H.S. BIO or BIO 100. Core: Science (Lab).

BIO 147 Anatomy and Physiology (3.75)
The structure, function, and integration of systems of the human body. Laboratory studies in mammalian dissection and physiology. Prerequisite: BIO 100 or BIO 104 or one year of both H.S. BIO and CHM. Core: Science (Lab).

BIO 151 Biological Investigations I (4.00)
This course is the first in a two-course integrated study of the major principles at the course of modern biology: information, evolution, cells, emergent properties and homeostasis. These principles will be examined by exploring current biological problems from the perspective of molecules, cells, organisms, populations and ecological systems. Includes investigative, hands-on laboratory and field experience and development of skills in experimental design, scientific writing and presentations. This course is intended for first-year biology and biochemistry majors. Prerequisites: High School biology and chemistry. Core: Science (Lab).

BIO 152 Biological Investigations II (4.00)
This course is the second in a two-course study of the major principles at the core of modern biology; information, evolution, cells, emergent properties and homeostasis. These principles will be examined by exploring current biological problems from the perspective of molecules, cells, organisms, populations and ecological systems. Includes investigative, hands-on laboratory and field experience and development of skills in experimental design, data analysis, scientific writing and presentation. The course is intended for first-year biology and biochemistry majors. Prerequisite: BIO 151. Core: Science (Lab).

BIO 200 Cellular Biology (3.75)
An introduction to structure and function of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Topics covered in detail include cell membranes, enzymes, energy metabolism, gene expression, cell movement, and cell communication. Laboratory required. Prerequisite: BIO 152 and CHM 141.

BIO 201 Botany (3.75)
A study of the diversity of plant life by examination of the morphology, physiology, and ecology of major plant groups. Their evolutionary relationships and economic importance are also considered. Laboratory required. Prerequisite: BIO 152.

BIO 202 Zoology (3.75)
Phylogenetic relationships among the animal phyla - Porifera through the Chordata - with reference to the natural history, morphology, and physiology of these organisms. Includes laboratory work by observation and dissection. Prerequisite: BIO 152.

BIO 216 Ecology - How Organisms Interact With Their Environment (3.75)
How living organisms interact with their environments. Laboratory work includes field observations, laboratory experiments, and computer model simulations of ecologicical problems. Laboratory required. Prerequisite: BIO 152.

BIO 222 Estuarine Ecology (2.00)
How living organisms, including humans, interact with the estuarine environment. The course is taught in this coastal environment during Interim. Prerequisite: BIO 152.

BIO 228 Desert Ecology (2.00)
How living organisms, including humans, interact with the desert environment. The course is taught in the desert during Interim. Prerequisite: BIO 152.

BIO 242 Introduction to Bioinformatics (3.00)
Introduction to the field of bioinformatics. Computational methods for study of biological sequence data in comparative biology and evolution. Analysis of genome content and organization. Techniques for searching sequence databases, pairwise and multiple sequence alignment, phylogenetic methods, and methods for pattern recognition and functional inference from sequence data. Database theory, information extraction, algorithm analysis, and data mining are utilized. Same as: CSC 242. Prerequisites: BIO 100 or BIO 151; CSC 160; BIO 102 recommended. Core: Science.

BIO 260 Genetics (3.75)
Introduction to genetic analysis, including both classical and molecular genetics. Topics include DNA structure and function, transmission genetics, chromosomes and genetic mapping, mutation, gene regulation, recombinant DNA, and genome analysis. One three hour laboratory per week; includes investigative projects in Drosophilia genetics and bacterial molecular genetics. Prerequisites: BIO 152 and CHM 141.

BIO 290 ACCA Seminar in Organismal Biology and Ecology (0.00)
Current topics in botany, zoology, ecology, evolutionary biology, or related fields. Course content is provided by the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area and consists of a 10-week seminar held one evening per week during Fall term, usually at an off-campus site. Attendance is required. May repeat once with new content. Either BIO 290 or 291 may substitute for one of the two required non-credit BIO 475 seminars. Prerequisites: One 200 level biology course.

BIO 291 ACCA Seminar in Molecular and Cellular Biology (0.00)
Current topics in cellular biology, molecular biology, microbiology, genetics, or related fields. Course content is provided by the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area and consists of a 10-week seminar held one evening per week beginning in Winter and continuing into Spring, usually at an off-campus site. Attendance is required. May repeat once with new content. Either BIO 290 or 291 may substitute for one of the two required non-credit BIO 475 seminars. Prerequisite: BIO 200 or BIO 260.

BIO 297 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

BIO 299 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

BIO 300 Human Sexuality: A Clash of Values (3.00)
In traditional topics in human sexuality (e.g., natural essence of sexuality, reproductive biology, sex research, marriage and other arrangements, reproductive issues) there is a clash of values both within a culture and between cultures. This course includes such controversial issues as religious perspectives, pornography, the media, prostitution, and female circumcision. The latter components serve to explore problems that result from the clash of values. Same as: GWS 301. Prerequisite: Junior standing. ACR: Intercultural.

BIO 301 Plant Physiology (3.75)
Fundamental principles of plant physiology including photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration, nutrition, translocation, and development are investigated. The impact of both biotic and abiotic factors on these processes are emphasized. Laboratory work includes field observations and laboratory experiments. Prerequisites: CHM 141; one of BIO 200 or BIO 201.

BIO 302 Animal Physiology (3.75)
Basic functional mechanisms of the higher animals. Laboratory investigations including relatively long-term experimentation. Prerequisite: 3.75 hours of 200-level BIO and CHM 141.

BIO 305 Animal Behavior (4.00)
The motor activities of an organism as it interacts with its environment. Laboratory investigations. Prerequisites: 3.75 hours of 200-level BIO, CHM 141.

BIO 310 Vertebrate Biology (3.75)
A study of the basic biology of vertebrates with special emphasis on adaptive strategies and evolutionary relationships of the major vertebrate groups. Areas investigated include, but are not confined to, diversity, function, and evolution of vertebrates. Laboratory introduces students to the extensive taxonomic diversity of this group and provides an introduction to vertebrate morphology, particularly as it is used to infer evolutionary relationships within the group. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: 3.75 credit hours of 200-level BIO.

BIO 340 Microbiology (4.00)
Biology of microorganisms, emphasizing the physiology, genetics, and ecology of bacteria and their relationships (pathogenic and otherwise) with other organisms. Archaea, viruses, eukaryotic microorganisms, and basic concepts of immunology are introduced. Laboratory emphasizes the application of microbiological techniques to investigative studies. Prerequisite: BIO 200 or 260.

BIO 360 The Molecular Biology of Cancer (3.75)
In-depth investigation of current concepts and topics in molecular biology, using cancer as a theme. Major topics include: regulation of gene expression, control of the cell division and death, and drug development. Reading of the primary literature and understanding current experimental methods are emphasized. Prerequisite: BIO 200 or 260.

BIO 395 Directed Research (0.00)
Students work in collaboration with faculty on ongoing research. Activities will vary according to project needs and student background. Prerequisites: BIO 152.

BIO 397 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

BIO 399 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

BIO 400 Evolution (3.50)
Investigation of the history of evolutionary thought, evidences for origin and adaptation of organisms, and mechanisms of adaptation and speciation. Laboratory work includes computer simulations of population genetics phenomena and morphological adaptation plus discussions of current readings. Prerequisites: BIO 260; 3.75 hours of 300-level BIO.

BIO 410 Microscopic Anatomy (3.75)
The structural and functional components of mammalian tissues and organs. Emphasis on laboratory work. Prerequisite: 3.75 hours of 300-level BIO.

BIO 416 Environmental Biology (3.75)
Investigation of the effects of human activities on biological resources. Laboratory investigations provide experience with some of the most important field methods and analytical techniques used to examine human impacts on ecosystem structure and function. Research course. Prerequisites: BIO 216; 3.75 hours of 300-level BIO.

BIO 430 Developmental Biology (3.75)
Analysis of patterns and principles of animal development. Includes basic processes and mechanisms involved with the molecular control of development. Research course. Prerequisite: BIO 200 or BIO 260.

BIO 440 Virology and Immunology (3.00)
Structure, replication and pathogenic mechanisms of viruses are discussed in the first part of the course. Connections between viruses and the immune system are then explored, leading to study of human resistance to disease, including innate, antibody-mediated and cell-mediated responses to bacterial and viral pathogens. Prerequisites: BIO 200, BIO 260.

BIO 475 Seminar (0.00-1.00)
Each student presents the results of a laboratory research project in a scientific meeting format. Same as: CHM 475. Prerequisite: None if taken for zero credit; if taken for one hour, one research-type course or independent study.

BIO 499 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.