Professor Larry Ruben, Department Chair
Professors: Christine Buchanan, Richard Jones; William Orr, John Ubelaker, Steven Vik; Assistant Professors: Robert Harrod, Pia Vogel, James Waddle; Lecturers: Eva Oberdorster, John Wise; Adjunct Associate Professor: Teresa Strecker; Professors Emeritus: Venita Allison, John McCarthy, Franklin Sogandares-Bernal, William Stallcup.
Requirements for the B.S. Degree. This degree program is designed for students who plan careers in the biological sciences or further study in graduate or professional schools. A candidate for the B.S. degree must complete a minimum of 10 courses in biological sciences, including 1401 and 1402 and eight additional courses that: 1) total at least 26 advanced term hours, 2) include at least one course at the 4000 or 5000 level, and 3) include at least two courses with laboratories. The B.S. degree also requires 16 term hours of chemistry, including CHEM 3371-72 and 3117-18; eight term hours of general physics (PHYS 1407-08); MATH 1337; and one additional course chosen from MATH 1338, STAT 2331, and STAT 5371. Although statistics is used extensively in biological research, preprofessional students should be aware that certain medical schools require a full year of calculus. A minimum grade of C is necessary in all advanced biological sciences courses used to fulfill the B.S. degree requirements.
The Departmental Distinction Program. A biological sciences major with sufficiently high academic standing may graduate with departmental distinction by successfully completing a special program of study that includes independent reading and research and a senior thesis under the direction of a member of the departmental faculty. To graduate with departmental distinction, a student must be working toward the degree of Bachelor of Science and must submit an application to the Undergraduate Studies Committee of the department for this designation during the first term of the junior year. At the time of the application, the student must have completed at least 14 hours of biological sciences, including at least six advanced hours, with a G.P.A. in these courses of at least 3.50 and an overall G.P.A. of at least 3.50. For students who have transferred to SMU, two grade point averages will be calculated, that for all work attempted, and that for work completed at SMU. Admission to the program will be based on the lower of the two averages. With departmental approval, the student will enroll for BIOL 4398 in the second term of the junior year.
Upon completion of this course with a grade of B+ or better, the student will enroll during the senior year for BIOL 4399 in which a research project will be carried out and a senior thesis written and presented to the faculty. Performance in these courses and maintenance of a 3.50 G.P.A. for all biological sciences courses attempted will determine if the B.S. degree will be awarded "with departmental distinction."
Requirements for the B.A. Degree. This degree program is designed for students who wish to couple training in the biological sciences with a broad liberal arts program. Students who are preparing for medical or dental school should consult with the Premed adviser about additional science requirements. A candidate for the B.A. degree must complete a minimum of eight courses in biological sciences, including 1401 and 1402 and six courses that: 1) total at least 18 term hours, 2) include at least one course at the 4000 or 5000 level, and 3) include at least two courses with laboratories. The B.A. degree also requires 12 term hours of chemistry, including CHEM 3371 and 3117. A minimum grade of C is necessary in all advanced biological sciences courses taken to fulfill the B.A. degree requirements.
Requirements for the B.A. Degree with Teacher Certification. Students interested in the B.A. degree program with teacher certification in secondary education should confer with the Teacher Certification representative in the department to plan a specific program of study.
Requirements for the Minor. Students majoring in other departments may obtain a minor in Biological Sciences by completing BIOL 1401, 1402, 3304, 3350, and an additional advanced three- or four-hour course that includes a laboratory session. Each advanced course must be taken in residence. A minimum grade of C is necessary in all advanced biological science courses taken to fulfill the minor degree requirements. CHEM 1303, 1304, 1113, and 1114 also are required for the minor. A student may not earn minors in both Biology and the Natural Sciences.
The courses outlined in this section are designed to satisfy the curricular requirements of nonscience students. They are not open to students who have earned prior credit in BIOL 1401 or 1402. Nonscience majors should note that BIOL 1401 and 1402 may also be taken to satisfy distribution requirements.
1303, 1304. Essentials of Biology. An introduction to the major concepts of biological thought for the nonscience major. First term: cell biology, physiology, inheritance, developmental biology and human reproduction; second term: evolution, diversity of plants and animals, and ecology. Includes one laboratory session each week.
1305. Our Natural Environment. An introduction to major environments and their resident populations. Offered in summer session at Fort Burgwin, SMU-in-Taos, NM. Includes equivalent of one laboratory session each week.
1308. Plant Biology. An introduction to the economic, social, and industrial aspects of plant substances and material. Offered in summer session at Fort Burgwin, SMU-in-Taos. Includes equivalent of one laboratory session each week.
1310. Aquatic Biology. An introduction to the biology of lakes and streams of the Southern Rocky Mountains. Lectures and labs will be conducted at Fort Burgwin, New Mexico.
Students who wish to earn the B.A. or B.S. degree in Biology are encouraged to complete BIOL 1401 and 1402, and CHEM 1303 and 1304 (with labs) in their freshman year. However, with the approval of an academic adviser, a student may postpone BIOL 1401 and 1402 for one or two terms. The Introductory Biology courses are the minimum prerequisite for all advanced Biology courses. The General Chemistry courses are a prerequisite for most advanced Biology courses.
1401, 1402. Introductory Biology. An introduction to the study of plants and animals. First term: cell structure, metabolism, and genetics; second term: evolution, diversity, plant and animal physiology, and ecology. Three lecture hours and one three-hour laboratory each week. This two-term offering is a prerequisite for all advanced courses in biological sciences.
3222. Molecular Genetics Laboratory. Students will gain experience in investigative methods used in modern medical research, molecular biology, genetics, bioinformatics, forensic science and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.. Prerequisite: BIOL 3304, or permission of instructor.
3303. Evolution. A study of the principles of biological evolution. Includes natural selection, adaptation, molecular evolution, and the formation of new species, the fossil record, biogeography, and principles of classification. Three lecture hours each week. Prerequisite: BIOL 1401 and 1402, or permission of instructor.
3304. Genetics. An introduction to the structure, function, and transmission of the hereditary material. Three lecture hours each week. Prerequisites: BIOL 1401 and CHEM 1304 or permission of instructor.
3306. Physiology. Homeostatic control mechanisms in vertebrates. Three lecture hours each week. Prerequisite: BIOL 3350.
3307. Ecology. Basic principles and concepts of ecology with emphasis on population and community interactions. Three lecture hours each week.
3342. Plant Kingdom. A survey of the plant kingdom emphasizing life histories and developmental morphology. Two lecture hours and one three-hour laboratory each week.
3350. Cell Biology. The structure and function of cells. Three lecture hours each week. Corequisite or Prerequisites: CHEM 1304.
3354. Parasitology. Comparative study of protozoa and helminthic parasitic organisms and their role in diseases. Two lecture hours and one three-hour laboratory each week.
3357. Biology of Invertebrates. A general survey of the invertebrates with emphasis on identification of local species, morphological adaptations, systematics, and ecology. Two lecture hours and one three-hour laboratory each week.
3365. Cancer Biology. Emphasis on the molecular features of oncogenesis and human cancers, including carcinogenesis, metastasis, and roles of genetic mutations and chromosomal aberrations during neoplasia. Prerequisite: BIOL 3350.
3380. Molecular Mechanisms of Disease. Emphasis on current advances in the understanding of disease processes at the molecular level. Prerequisite: BIOL 3350.
3403. Microbiology. The biology of microorganisms, with an emphasis on diversity, disease and the environment. Three lecture hours and one three-hour laboratory each week. Recommended preparation: CHEM 3371 and CHEM 3117.
4160. Toxicology Laboratory. Modern biochemical and molecular techniques will be used to assess the impact of environmental contaminants on liver biomarkers in fish. One three-hour laboratory each week. Prerequisites: BIOL 3350 or BIOL 3306; Corequisite: BIOL 4360.
4321. Molecular Biology of Prokaryotes. Molecular biology of prokaryotic cells with emphasis on molecular genetics, regulatory mechanisms and recombinant DNA technology. A student cannot have previously completed BIOL 5304. Prerequisites: BIOL 3304, CHEM 3372, and junior standing.
4322. Molecular Biology of Eukaryotes. Structure and function of eukaryotic chromosomes as mediators of gene expression during growth, differentiation, and oncogenesis. A student cannot have previously completed BIOL 5304. Prerequisites: BIOL 3304, CHEM 3372, and junior standing.
4331. Developmental Biology. Developmental processes in animals. Three lecture hours each week. Prerequisite: BIOL 3304.
4360. Environmental and Human Toxicology. Introduction to environmental toxicology, focusing on the fate and transport, biotransformation, and biochemical and physiological impacts of pollutants on humans and wildlife. Three lecture hours per week. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL 3350 or BIOL 3306; Corequisite: BIOL 4160.
4370. Biotechnology and Nanotechnology. Introduction to current techniques and emerging applications of biotechnology and nanobiotechnology in medicine, agriculture, forensic and aquatic sciences, and bioremediation. Prerequisites: BIOL 3304 and CHEM 3371, or permission of instructor.
5110. Biological Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 5110). One three-hour laboratory period each week. Prerequisite or Corequisite: BIOL 5310.
5166. Vertebrate Anatomy Laboratory (GEOL 5166). A laboratory course to accompany BIOL/GEOL 5366. Exercises include basic anatomy, dissections, and examinations of fossils. Corequisite: BIOL 5366 (GEOL 5366).
5304. Molecular Biology: Control and Expression of Genetic Information. DNA structure and replication, control of transcription and translation, and techniques in molecular genetics and recombinant DNA technology. A student cannot have previously completed BIOL 4321 or BIOL 4322. Prerequisites: BIOL 3304, CHEM 3372.
5310. Biological Chemistry: Macromolecular Structure and Function (CHEM 5310). Introduction to the structure and function of macromolecules of biological importance. Emphasis on nucleic acid and protein structure, enzyme kinetics, carbohydrate and lipid chemistry. Three lecture hours each week. Prerequisites: CHEM 3371 and 3372. The accompanying laboratory (BIOL 5110) is strongly recommended for biology majors.
5311. Biological Chemistry: Metabolism (CHEM 5311). Introduction to the pathways and regulatory events in the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, and nucleotides. Three lecture hours per week. Prerequisites: CHEM 3371 and 3372.
5312. Physical Biochemistry (CHEM 5312). Physical chemistry of macromolecules and biological membranes, with an emphasis on the thermodynamics of solutions. Prerequisites: MATH 1338, CHEM 3372, CHEM 5310 (CHEM 5381 or CHEM 5383 is recommended).
5325. General and Molecular Virology. Emphasis on the molecular aspects of viral replication and pathogenesis, including the roles of viruses in emerging human infectious diseases, cancer, and bioterrorism. Prerequisite: BIOL 3304.
5358. Ecology of Parasitism. The biotic and abiotic factors influencing parasite communities. Emphasis on the free-living stages of parasites. Two lecture hours and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite: BIOL 3354.
5366. Vertebrate Origins and Evolution (GEOL 5366). An introduction to biological and geological processes that have affected the diversity of vertebrate organisms throughout Earth history, including origination, biogeography, adaptation, and extinction. Strong emphasis on vertebrate anatomy. Prerequisites: BIOL 1401, 1402 or GEOL 1308. The accompanying laboratory is a corequisite for biology majors and strongly recommended for all other students.
5419. Immunobiology. The immune responses of vertebrate animals. Three lecture hours and one three-hour laboratory each week. Prerequisite: BIOL 3350.
2101. Introductory Research I. A minimum of five hours per week doing supervised laboratory research. This course is offered on a pass/fail basis only. Prerequisite: At least sophomore standing, BIOL 1401, 1402, and consent of the instructor.
2102. Introductory Research II. A minimum of five hours per week doing supervised laboratory research. This course is offered on a pass/fail basis only. Prerequisite: BIOL 2101 and consent of the instructor.
3395. Internship in Biology. Biological research at an institution other than SMU. Credit does not apply toward the degree requirement for two laboratory courses. A student cannot have previously completed BIOL 3398.
3398. Undergraduate Research I. A minimum of nine hours per week doing research in the laboratory of a faculty member. Credit for this course does not apply toward the degree requirement for two laboratory courses nor can a student have previously completed BIOL 3395. Prerequisite: Junior standing, and approval by the faculty sponsor and the Undergraduate Studies Committee of the Department.
3399. Undergraduate Research II. This course is offered on a pass/fail basis only, and cannot be applied toward the requirements for the major in Biological Sciences. Prerequisite: BIOL 3398, and approval by the faculty sponsor and the Undergraduate Studies Committee of the Department.
4132. Senior Seminar. Discussion of current problems of biological interest. One hour each week. Prerequisite: Senior standing in biology.
4390. Current Topics in Biology. Studies of topics in biology of current interest. Topical content will vary. Credit for this course does not apply toward the degree requirement for a 4000- or 5000-level course.
4398. Honors Research I. For students in the departmental distinction program. Prerequisite: Admission to the departmental distinction program.
4399. Honors Research II. For students in the departmental distinction program. Prerequisite: Admission to the departmental distinction program.
3343. Field Botany. Identification of vascular plants with emphasis on ecological indicators. Lectures and laboratories conducted at Fort Burgwin, New Mexico, site of SMU-in-Taos.
3347. Systematic Botany. An introduction to the history, nomenclature, family characteristics, identification, and biosystematics of the lowering plants. Lectures and laboratories conducted at Fort Burgwin, New Mexico.
5359. Host-Parasite Relationships. Analysis of host-parasite relations from an evolutionary and ecological viewpoint. Lectures and laboratories conducted at Fort Burgwin, New Mexico. Prerequisite: BIOL 3354.