BSU Catalog Home | Graduate Biology Program | All-University Courses and Descriptions


Graduate Course Offerings
Biology (BIOL)

NOTE: Please see your advisor regarding course sequencing and any expected preparation.


5030 WETLAND DELINEATION AND CLASSIFICATION (3 credits) This training course for the identification, delineation, and classification of wetlands covers the major types of wetlands and their general delineation procedures. Hydrological, soil, and vegetation characteristics will be used to identify and map wetland boundaries. Focuses on current regulations as established by the US Army Corps of Engineers’ 1987 Wetland Delineation Manual with additional regulations specific for the state of Minnesota. Satisfies the requirements for basic delineation training as specified by the Corps of Engineers and certification programs in many states.

5031 ADVANCED WETLAND DELINEATION (2 credits) Training course intended to develop an advanced understanding of wetland delineation and regulation. Includes review of hydrological, physiochemical, and vegetation characteristics used to identify wetland boundaries, as well as specifics of wetland regulation, comprehensive wetland delineations, and post-field reporting. Covers procedures and regulations used by federal and state agencies, with an emphasis on those in Minnesota. Prerequisite: BIOL 5030 or consent of instructor.

5120/GEOL 5120 SOILS (4 credits) Introduction to principles of soil genesis, classification, physical and chemical properties, and biological significance. Lecture and laboratory.

5200 FRESHWATER INVERTEBRATES (4 credits) Morphology and functional roles of representative freshwater invertebrates, their ecological and habitat interrelationships. Lecture and laboratory.

5210 PARASITOLOGY (4 credits) The biology of animal parasites, their identification, biochemistry, immunology, and epidemiology. Lecture and laboratory.

5250 COMPARATIVE VERTEBRATE ANATOMY (4 credits) Classification, adaptation, and evolutionary history of vertebrates; anatomy and functional morphology of vertebrates, including humans. Lecture and Laboratory.

5260 MEDICAL PHYSIOLOGY (4 credits) Physiological and pathophysiological principles and control mechanisms of organ systems within humans. Lecture and laboratory.

5270 HISTOLOGY (4 credits) Microscopic anatomy of vertebrate tissues and organs with functional correlations. Lecture and laboratory.

5310 ENTOMOLOGY (4 credits) The biology of insects, their natural history, morphology, classification, and economic importance. Lecture, laboratory, and field study.

5330 UPLAND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT (3 credits) An advanced pre-professional course for majors in natural resources, biology, and related fields. Lectures cover the history, philosophy, evolution, and application of wildlife management with a focus on upland wildlife as a renewable, sustainable natural resource. The course fulfills some professional certification requirements of The Wildlife Society and is recommended for students planning graduate study or employment in natural resources management. 

5360 DEVELOPMENTAL AND TUMOR BIOLOGY (4 credits) Investigation of the mechanisms leading to the development of multicellular animal organisms from a fertilized egg. In contrast, the course also investigates how cells within a multicellular organism can become misregulated, leading to cancer. Lecture and lab.

5361 LIMNOLOGY I (4 credits) Introduction to the biology, chemistry, geology, and physics of lakes and streams. Lecture, field, and laboratory work.

5362 LIMNOLOGY II (4 credits) The second course of the Limnology sequence concentrating on the organisms commonly found in aquatic systems. Topics include physical, chemical, and biotic constraints of aquatic biota with an emphasis on ecological relationships within and between groups. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 5361.

5380 MOLECULAR GENETICS: THEORY AND PRACTICE (4 credits) Study of the structure, replication, repair, expression, regulation, and change of genetic material. Introduction to theory and procedures by which recombinant DNA molecules are formed, cloned, and expressed. Lecture and laboratory.

5510 ORNITHOLOGY (4 credits) Morphology, ecology, behavior, classification, distribution, and evolution of birds. Lecture, laboratory, and field study (early morning field trips and one or two all-day field trips).

5520 MAMMALOGY (4 credits) Morphology, ecology, behavior, classification, distribution, and evolution of mammals. Lecture and laboratory. Collection or paper by each student.

5534 ICHTHYOLOGY (4 credits) An overview of morphology, physiology, behavior, taxonomy, systematics, and ecology of fishes. This course emphasizes the evolution of ecological adaptations and the origin and conservation of biodiversity. Lecture, laboratory, and field work.

5545 FISHERIES MANAGEMENT (4 credits) Theory and methods of fisheries management with an emphasis on quantitative methods and ecosystem management. Lecture and extensive field and laboratory work.

5580 IMMUNOLOGY (4 credits) The study of disease fighting mechanisms of the body. Lecture and laboratory.

5590 CELL BIOLOGY (4 credits) Microscopic anatomy and physiological mechanisms of plant and animal cells. Gene control of cellular metabolism, mechanism of energy utilization in cell and pathways of synthesis of molecules. Lecture and laboratory.

5610 PRINCIPLES OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT (3 credits) Introduction to the field of wildlife management, including the biological principles important to the understanding of wildlife populations and the management strategies implemented by natural resource managers.

5620 ORGANIC EVOLUTION (3 credits) Mechanisms and results of organic evolution. Lecture and discussion.

5623 FOREST ECOLOGY (4 credits) Fundamentals of forest ecology, including study of tree growth, tree demography, forest community dynamics, and ecosystem processes. Students also learn to identify forest trees native to the region and basic techniques of forest stand description.

5630/GEOG 5630 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY (3 credits) Methods and theory of conservation biology; species diversity, extinction rates, management of endangered species, and the economics of conservation strategies.

5710 MICROBIOLOGY (4 credits) Structure, classification, and physiology of bacteria and related microorganisms. Lecture and Laboratory.

5720 PLANT FORM AND FUNCTION (4 credits) Structure, function, and development of vascular plants. Interrelationships between anatomical structures and physiological processes and how plants cope with environmental challenges. Lecture and laboratory.

5723 ECOSYSTEM ECOLOGY (3 credits) Fundamentals of the study of ecosystems, with emphasis on the integration of abiotic and biotic components in the development of ecosystem processes. Comparisons and interactions between terrestrial, wetland, aquatic, and atmospheric systems across the major biomes.

5730 PLANT DIVERSITY (4 credits) Classification, phylogeny, collection, field identification, and uses of wild plants. Lecture and laboratory.

5830 AQUATIC PLANTS (4 credits) Survey of the morphology, physiology, taxonomy, systematics, and ecology of algae and aquatic vascular plants. Lecture, laboratory, and field study.

5840/ENVR 5840 WETLANDS ECOLOGY (3 credits) Survey course develops a basic understanding of the terminology, classification, ecology, values, and conservation of wetlands. Covers wetland systems from around the world, with emphasis on wetlands in North America.

5844 WETLANDS ECOLOGY LAB (1 credit) Laboratory course to supplement BIOL/ENVR 5840 Wetlands Ecology. Intended to strengthen a basic understanding of the terminology, classification, ecology, values, and conservation of wetlands. Prerequisite or Corequisite: BIOL/ENVR 5840 or consent of instructor.

5850 MARINE BIOLOGY (3 credits) Lecture course introducing major concepts and theories. Includes physical and chemical components of the oceans, with special interest paid to the major groups of organisms living in marine systems. Emphasis on the different types of marine systems (coral reefs, mangroves, open water, etc.).

5880 WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES (4 credits) This course emphasizes application of ecological principles, knowledge, and practical field skills to data collection used in the management of wildlife resources and their habitats. Use of literature, development of basic field and laboratory skills, and application of management and research principles are integral. Designed for upper level students who have met prerequisites, and graduate students, who are preparing for professional careers in wildlife conservation, natural sciences, and related areas of natural resources management. The course helps fulfill The Wildlife Society professional certification requirements.

6010 ADVANCED TOPICS IN BIOLOGY (1 credit) Advanced interdisciplinary study of the biological sciences. Intensive lectures, literature reviews, and discussions on fundamental and contemporary topics that have shaped and continue to shape our understanding of natural systems. Topics vary based on the interests of the students and instructor.

6020 BIOTECHNOLOGY FOR TEACHERS (2 credits) This course will consist of a series of lectures, discussion sessions and laboratory exercises, focusing on new techniques for studying and altering organisms. The course will include a project on how a teacher might incorporate the information from this course into their own teaching at the 5-12 level.

6030 FIELD BIOLOGY FOR TEACHERS (2 credits) This course will focus on the common plants and animals of the region: their classification, environment, and interrelationships. The course will consist of lecture, laboratory, and field study components.

6040 ANATOMY FOR TEACHERS (2 credits) Assists students to understand and apply principles of anatomy in order to improve existing and/or new courses in current or future teaching assignments. Lectures, discussion sessions, and laboratory exercises.

6050 PHYSIOLOGY FOR TEACHERS (2 credits) Assists students to understand and apply principles of physiology in order to improve existing and/or new courses in current or future teaching assignments. Lectures, discussion sessions, and laboratory exercises.

6070 GENETICS FOR TEACHERS (2 credits) This course is intended to provide the content required to meet the Genetics standards for Life Science licensure. The course includes classical, molecular, and evolutionary genetic concepts and focuses on the application of these concepts in a high school biology classroom. Prerequisites: One year of introductory biology and current science teaching licensure, or consent of instructor.

6080 ECOLOGY FOR TEACHERS (2 credits) An introduction into the interrelationships of organisms and their environments, for teachers seeking Life Science licensure. The historic development of fundamental principles at the levels of individual, population, community, and ecosystem is emphasized through examination of theoretical and empirical findings. Addresses various subject matter standards for teachers of life sciences. Prerequisites: One year of introductory biology and current science teaching licensure, or consent of instructor.

6090 EVOLUTION FOR TEACHERS (2 credits) An introduction to the patterns and processes of evolution, for teachers seeking Life Science licensure. Includes the history of evolutionary thought, population genetics, the study of adaptations, sexual selection, social behavior, speciation, classification, origins of life, the fossil record, and human evolution. Prerequisites: One year of introductory biology and current science teaching licensure, or consent of instructor.

6894 ADVANCED GRADUATE LABORATORY PROJECTS I (3 credits) Students learn laboratory techniques and carry out laboratory research under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

6895 ADVANCED GRADUATE LABORATORY PROJECTS II (3 credits) Students work on developing a research plan and carrying it out under supervision of a faculty advisor in preparation for completing their thesis.

6896 ADVANCED GRADUATE FIELD PROJECTS I (3 credits) Students learn field techniques and carry out field research under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

6897 ADVANCED GRADUATE FIELD PROJECTS II (3 credits) Students learn field techniques and carry out field research under the supervision of a faculty advisor.


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