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Organismal Biology and Physiology

Although many of the recent advances in biology have focused on cellular and molecular processes, there will always be a need to relate these processes back to the function of the whole organism. There still is a need for scientists with a strong foundation in the biology of the organism. A broad range of areas of focus are possible. One could become an expert in a specific taxonomic group or with a group of organisms from a particular ecosystem. One could examine the taxonomy and phylogeny of a group or study the biology of a group from the level of ecological physiology of an organism to the molecular regulation of a specific cell type in an organism. The lines between areas of focus often are blurred and students interested in this area may want to develop backgrounds in Ecology and Evolution, Genetics and Developmental Biology, or Cellular and Molecular Biology in order to supplement their background in basic organismal biology. The following courses, in addition to the Biology core and Chemistry support courses, would be very useful if you are planning a career in the areas of organismal biology and physiology.


  • BIO 312 – Microbiology
  • BIO 332 – Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
  • BIO 341 – Biology of Seed Plants
  • BIO 342 – Biology of the Invertebrates
  • BIO 343 – General Entomology
  • BIO 344 – Avian Biology
  • BIO 350 – Biology of Fungi
  • BIO 352 – Biometry
  • BIO 370 – Oceanography
  • BIO 411 – Animal Physiology
  • BIO 444 – Molecular Immunology and Human Disease
  • BIO 450 – Advances in Cell Biology
  • BIO 451 – Developmental Biology
  • BIO 465 – Physiological and Behavioral Ecology
  • BIO 461 – Evolution
  • BIO 467 – Electron Microscopy
  • BIO 480 – Neurobiology
  • BIO 493 — Independent Research with one of the faculty doing research of a particular group of organisms or their physiology.


  • CHE 310 – Analytical Chemistry
  • CHE 350 – Essentials of Biochemistry
  • CHE 391 – Thermodynamics and Chemical Kinetics