Biological Sciences

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology—BS Curriculum

This page outlines the 2020-21 degree requirements for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Please contact our academic advisor, Travis, if you have any questions or wish to review your academic plan.

Major Requirements

Required Professional Development Seminars

BL 1580 - First Year Experience in Biological Sciences

Introduction to fields and career opportunities in the biological sciences.

  • Credits: 1.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (0-1-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall
  • Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Major(s): Biological Sciences, Biochem & Molec Biology-Bio Sc, Bioinformatics; Must be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman, Sophomore

BL 2003 - Field Observation and Data Collection

Best practices for observing, collecting, and recording and analyzing ecological and evolutionary biology data in the lab and field.

  • Credits: 1.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (1-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring
  • Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Major(s): Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Biological Sciences; May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 1580

BL 3003 - Data Interpretation and Critical Analysis

This class will develop skills for interpreting and critically evaluating data and analyses of data to evaluate hypotheses in ecological and evolutionary biology. Students will practice peer review and analyzing published research articles.

  • Credits: 1.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (1-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring
  • Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Major(s): Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Biological Sciences; May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 2003

BL 3782 - Writing Practicum in Biology

Students will develop and improve their skill level in searching for scientific literature, incorporating that into scientific writing, evaluating and incorporating the work of others, and develop critique skills for review of scientific source material and basic statistical methods.

  • Credits: 2.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (0-2-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
  • Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Major(s): Biological Sciences, Biochem & Molec Biology-Bio Sc, Bioinformatics; May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman

Required Biology Courses 

BL 1100 - General Biology I: Introduction to Organismal Biology, Ecology, and Evolution

A discussion of the principles of ecology and organismal biology, using the theme of physiological ecology and adaptations. This course will emphasize biodiversity, scientific method, experimental design, and written and oral presentation of results.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall

BL 1110 - General Biology I Laboratory: Introduction to Organismal Biology, Ecology, and Evolution

Covers principles of ecology and organismal biology, using the theme of physiological ecology and adaptations. This course will emphasize biodiversity, scientific method, experimental design, and written and oral presentation of results.

  • Credits: 1.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (0-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall
  • Co-Requisite(s): BL 1100

BL 1200 - General Biology II: Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology

Discussion of the major principles by which life is organized. Topics include scientific methods, biological chemistry, cell structure and organization, multicellular organization, diversity of organisms, energetics and photosynthesis, cellular reproduction genetics, gene structure and expression, and recombinant DNA.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring

BL 1210 - General Biology II Laboratory: Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology

Topics include scientific methods, biological chemistry, cell structure and organization, multicellular organization, diversity of organisms, energetics and photosynthesis, cellular reproduction genetics, gene structure and expression, and recombinant DNA.

  • Credits: 1.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (0-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring
  • Co-Requisite(s): BL 1200

BL 2200 - Genetics

A study of classical and molecular genetics. Topics include one- and two-locus genetics, recombination, gene structure, regulation and function, quantitative and population genetics, and genetic engineering. Covers both prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 1020 or BL 1040 or BE 2400 or (BL 1200 and BL 1210) or (BL 1400 and BL 1410)

BL 2210 - Genetics Laboratory

A laboratory to complement BL2200. Covers applications of techniques used in genetics, including Mendelian analysis, tetrad analysis, karyotyping, DNA and protein electrophoresis, DNA and plasmid purification, transformation and restriction mapping, and PCR amplification of DNA.

  • Credits: 1.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (0-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 2200(C)

BL 3190 - Evolution

A study of the patterns and processes of organic evolution. Topics include genetics of populations, mechanisms of deterministic and stochastic genetic change, history of life on earth, biogeography, molecular evolution, units of selection, sexual selection, speciation, and human evolution.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 1010 or BL 1040 or (BL 1100 and BL 1110) or (BL 1400 and BL 1410)

BL 3400 - Principles of Ecology

Study of both accepted and currently debated principles that describe ecological relationships at the organism, population, community, and ecosystem levels.

  • Credits: 4.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 1010 or BL 1040 or (BL 1100 and BL 1110) or (BL 1400 and BL 1410)

Required Related Science and Math Courses

CH 1150 - University Chemistry I

Introduces the foundations of chemistry, including electronic structure of atoms and molecules, intermolecular forces, states of matter, chemical reactions, organic chemistry, chemical equilibria, kinetics, and acid-base chemistry. Includes laboratory component that emphasizes lecture components.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Co-Requisite(s): CH 1151
  • Pre-Requisite(s): MA 1031(C) or MA 1032(C) or MA 1120(C) or MA 1160(C) or MA 1161(C) or MA 1135(C) or ALEKS Math Placement >= 56 or CEEB Calculus AB >= 2 or CEEB Calculus BC >= 2 or CEEB Calculus AB Subscore >= 2 or ACT Mathematics >= 22 or SAT MATH SECTION SCORE-M16 >= 540

CH 1151 - University Chemistry Lab I

Laboratory to accompany CH1150.

  • Credits: 1.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (0-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Co-Requisite(s): CH 1150
  • Pre-Requisite(s): MA 1031(C) or MA 1032(C) or MA 1120(C) or MA 1160(C) or MA 1161(C) or MA 1135(C) or ALEKS Math Placement >= 56 or CEEB Calculus AB >= 2 or CEEB Calculus BC >= 2 or CEEB Calculus AB Subscore >= 2 or ACT Mathematics >= 22 or SAT MATH SECTION SCORE-M16 >= 540

CH 1160 - University Chemistry II

A continuation of CH 1150. Introduces more complex concepts in chemistry, including kinetics, chemical equilibria, acid-base equilibria, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, and chemical analysis. Additional topics may include chemistry of the metals and non-metals, biochemical systems, and nuclear chemistry. Includes laboratory component that emphasizes lecture concepts.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Co-Requisite(s): CH 1161
  • Pre-Requisite(s): CH 1112 or (CH 1150 and CH 1151)

CH 1161 - University Chemistry Laboratory II

Laboratory to accompany CH1160.

  • Credits: 1.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (0-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Co-Requisite(s): CH 1160
  • Pre-Requisite(s): CH 1112 or (CH 1150 and CH 1151)

MA 1135 - Calculus for Life Sciences

Topics include analytic geometry, limits, continuity of functions, transcendental functions, derivatives, integrals, and applications of the derivative in the fields of economics, biological sciences, and socials sciences. Extensive use of graphing calculator. Credit applicable only to those curricula specifying this course.

  • Credits: 4.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (0-4-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following College(s): College of Engineering
  • Pre-Requisite(s): MA 1032 or MA 1031 or MA 1120 or ALEKS Math Placement >= 76 or CEEB Calculus AB >= 2 or CEEB Calculus BC >= 2 or CEEB Calculus AB Subscore >= 2 or ACT Mathematics >= 26 or SAT MATH SECTION SCORE-M16 >= 610

MA 3715 - Biostatistics

Introduction to the design and analysis of statistical studies in the health and life sciences. Topics include study design, descriptive and graphical methods, probability, inference on means, categorical data analysis, and linear regression.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (0-3-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring
  • Pre-Requisite(s): MA 1135 or MA 1160 or MA 1161 or MA 1121

Choose 1 of the following related science or math specializations

CH 2410 - Organic Chemistry I

A study of the chemistry of carbon compounds. Review of hybrid orbitals, covalent bonding, and resonance. Introduction to nomenclature, stereochemistry, mass spectrometry and infrared spectroscopy, functional group chemistry based on reaction mechanisms, and multi-step synthesis.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Summer
  • Pre-Requisite(s): CH 1122 or (CH 1160 and CH 1161)

CH 2411 - Organic Chemistry Lab I

Laboratory to accompany CH2410.

  • Credits: 1.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (0-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Summer
  • Pre-Requisite(s): (CH 2410(C) or CH 2430(C)) and CH 1122 or (CH 1160 and CH 1161)

CS 1121 - Introduction to Programming I

Starting point of the computer science programs. A high-level, object-oriented programming language is introduced as a problem-solving tool. Topics include design, coding, documentation, debugging, and testing of programs. Programming assignments are given in both a closed lab setting and as homework.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (0-2-2)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Pre-Requisite(s): MA 1031(C) or MA 1032(C) or MA 1120(C)

MA 2160 - Calculus with Technology II

Continued study of calculus, which includes a computer laboratory. Topics include integration and its uses, function approximation, vectors, and elementary modeling with differential equations.

  • Credits: 4.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (0-3-1)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Pre-Requisite(s): MA 1160 or MA 1161 or MA 1135 or MA 1121 or CEEB Calculus AB >= 3 or CEEB Calculus BC >= 3 or CEEB Calculus AB Subscore >= 3

PH 1110 - College Physics I

An overview of basic principles of kinematics, dynamics, elasticity, fluids, heat, thermodynamics, mechanical waves, and interference and diffraction of mechanical waves.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Summer
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following College(s): College of Engineering; May not be enrolled in one of the following Major(s): Physics, Construction Management, Surveying Engineering, Electrical Eng Tech, General Technology, Mechanical Engineering Tech, Applied Physics, Computer Network & System Admn
  • Co-Requisite(s): PH 1111
  • Pre-Requisite(s): MA 1031 or MA 1032 or MA 1120 or MA 1135(C) or MA 1160(C) or MA 1161(C) or ALEKS Math Placement >= 76 or CEEB Calculus AB >= 2 or CEEB Calculus BC >= 2 or CEEB Calculus AB Subscore >= 2 or ACT Mathematics >= 26 or SAT MATH SECTION SCORE-M16 >= 610

Choose 1 of the following courses in social ecology

BL 2001 - Valuing the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are used as the subject to examine environmental issues. A combination of reading, lecture, and discussion will be used to study the unique ecology, biology, and history of the Great Lakes.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall

SS 2300 - Environment and Society

Examines social approaches to understanding why environmental problems happen and how environmental problems are resolved. Includes concepts such as sustainability, market-based environmental policies, property systems, and environmental justice. Case studies may include biodiversity, deforestation, climate change, water quality, and toxics.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (2-1-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring, Summer

SS 3300 - Environmental Problems

An examination of local, regional, and global contemporary environmental problems. Critical consideration of underlying social, historical, and economic causes. Case studies drawn from topics such as global warming, ozone depletion, groundwater pollution, solid waste disposal, deforestation, and resource depletion. Studies proposed solutions and their impacts.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: On Demand
  • Pre-Requisite(s): UN 1015 and (UN 1025 or Modern Language - 3000 level or higher)

SS 3315 - Population and Environment

This course investigates relationships between the world's population, population change, population distribution, resource consumption, and environmental and social consequences. Addresses local and global relationships and the population processes (mortality, fertility, and migration) involved.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Summer - Offered alternate years beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman
  • Pre-Requisite(s): (MA 1030 and MA 1031) or MA 1032 or MA 1120 and UN 1015 and (UN 1025 or Modern Language - 3000 level or higher)

SS 3520 - U.S. Environmental History

Examines how human interaction with physical environment has changed in North America over the last four centuries. Topics include uses of land by Native Americans, changes associated with European colonization, incorporation of natural resources into industrial economy, early conservation and preservation movements, and environmental concerns accompanying urbanization and industrialization.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman
  • Pre-Requisite(s): UN 1015 and (UN 1025 or Modern Language - 3000 level or higher)

SS 3760 - Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Uses sociological concepts to cover facets of human relationships to natural resources, including human values, beliefs, and attitudes regarding the environment; rural resource-dependent communities; natural resource professions and expert knowledge; and the history of American perspectives on the environment.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall
  • Pre-Requisite(s): UN 1015 and (UN 1025 or Modern Language - 3000 level or higher)

Choose 2 of the following courses in organismal biology

BL 2160 - Botany

Covers structure, function, reproduction, and classification of plants and algae, relating these current ecological, agricultural, or other human issues.

  • Credits: 4.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring

BL 2170 - Zoology

Biology of animals from first organized multi-cell through Hominids; the origin and evolution of the metazoa phyla, their physiology, development, ecology, behavior, natural history, and systematics.

  • Credits: 4.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall

BL 3310 - Environmental Microbiology

General principles of microbiology, focusing on both the use and control of microorganisms. Topics include microbial structure, function, growth, metabolism, and diversity, as well as microbial involvement in water and waste treatment, waterborne diseases, and pollution control. Not open to students with credit in BL3210.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (2-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman, Sophomore
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 1020 or BL 1040 or BL 3080 or (BL 1200 and BL 1210) or (BL 1400 and BL 1410)

Choose at least 5 credits in the following field or lab experiences

BL 3999 - Biological Sciences Field Experience

In this course students will gain intensive field experience in Biological Sciences emphasizing immersion and observation in novel field settings. Students in this course will visit different ecosystems during day and weekend trips that explore aspects of ecology, evolution, community dynamics and human impacts on ecosystems.

  • Credits: variable to 9.0; Repeatable to a Max of 9
  • Semesters Offered: On Demand
  • Restrictions: Permission of instructor required

BL 4000 - Research in Biology

A literature and laboratory research problem that culminates in a written report on the work performed.

  • Credits: variable to 9.0; Repeatable to a Max of 9
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Restrictions: Permission of instructor required

BL 4036 - Ecology and Evolution of Interactions Between Plants, Herbivores, and Pollinators

Plants, herbivores, and pollinators have played major roles in influencing each others evolutionary diversification. We will examine the ecology and evolution of plant-herbivore-pollinator interactions in basic and applied contexts. A solid foundation of tools in ecology and evolution will be established and class will include lectures and interactive discussions from readings of primary literature. Students will design, conduct, and analyze independent research projects in the lab.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (2-0-2)
  • Semesters Offered: Summer - Offered alternate years beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman, Sophomore
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 3400 or BL 3190

BL 4090 - Tropical Island Biology

A survey of island biology, including marine and terrestrial habitats. Topics include formation of carbonate islands, geological history of the Bahamas, island plant communities, intertidal, grass bed, mangrove and coral reef communities. Special course fees. Consult department before enrolling. Completion of BL1020 or BL1040 desirable but not necessary.

  • Credits: 2.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (0-2-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring
  • Restrictions: Permission of instructor required

BL 4421 - Lake Superior Exploration

A field intensive course with significant time spent on a research vessel (R/V Agassiz or other) where students will learn the use of a variety of state-of-the-art techniques to characterize biological communities and measure important physical and biological processes.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (4-0-6)
  • Semesters Offered: Summer - Offered alternate years beginning with the 2018-2019 academic year
  • Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Junior, Senior

BL 4447 - Stream Ecology

Field course combining river and stream ecosystem and foodweb study with fishes in lake systems. Students will be exposed to research methods used in lakes for comprehensive abiotic and biotic understanding.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (2-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Summer - Offered alternate years beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 1010 or (BL 1100 and BL 1110) or BL 1040 or (BL 1400 and BL 1410) or BL 3400

BL 4999 - Biological Sciences Internship

Practical and didactic internship experience directly related to student's course of study in biochemistry and molecular biology, bioinformatics, biological sciences, or ecology. Students conduct work at an approved internship site in addition to academic assignments that encourage them to connect their professional and academic experience.

  • Credits: variable to 9.0; Repeatable to a Max of 9
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Restrictions: Permission of instructor required

Major Electives

Choose at least 23 credits not already taken towards major requirements

BL 2160 - Botany

Covers structure, function, reproduction, and classification of plants and algae, relating these current ecological, agricultural, or other human issues.

  • Credits: 4.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring

BL 2170 - Zoology

Biology of animals from first organized multi-cell through Hominids; the origin and evolution of the metazoa phyla, their physiology, development, ecology, behavior, natural history, and systematics.

  • Credits: 4.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall

BL 3012 - Essential Cell Biology

This course will provide an understanding of cell structure and function with emphasis on eukaryotic cells. Topics include macromolecules, membranes, organelles, cytoskeleton, division, differentiation, cell-cell interactions, intracellular trafficking, protein sorting, cell signaling, and motility.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 1020 or BL 1040 or (BL 1200 and BL 1210) or (BL 1400 and BL 1410)

BL 3020 - Biochemistry I

Structure, biochemical properties, and function of important biomolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids. Introduces enzyme biochemistry (structure, function, catalysis, kinetics, and inhibition).

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Summer
  • Pre-Requisite(s): (BL 1020 or BL 1040 or BE 2400) or (BL 1200 and BL 1210) or (BL 1400 and BL 1410) and (CH 2410 or CH 2420)

BL 3310 - Environmental Microbiology

General principles of microbiology, focusing on both the use and control of microorganisms. Topics include microbial structure, function, growth, metabolism, and diversity, as well as microbial involvement in water and waste treatment, waterborne diseases, and pollution control. Not open to students with credit in BL3210.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (2-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman, Sophomore
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 1020 or BL 1040 or BL 3080 or (BL 1200 and BL 1210) or (BL 1400 and BL 1410)

BL 3999 - Biological Sciences Field Experience

In this course students will gain intensive field experience in Biological Sciences emphasizing immersion and observation in novel field settings. Students in this course will visit different ecosystems during day and weekend trips that explore aspects of ecology, evolution, community dynamics and human impacts on ecosystems.

  • Credits: variable to 9.0; Repeatable to a Max of 9
  • Semesters Offered: On Demand
  • Restrictions: Permission of instructor required

BL 4000 - Research in Biology

A literature and laboratory research problem that culminates in a written report on the work performed.

  • Credits: variable to 9.0; Repeatable to a Max of 9
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Restrictions: Permission of instructor required

BL 4034 - Community Ecology and Evolutionary Dynamics

This is an advanced course that looks at the study of ecology and evolutionary biology at the community level: how populations interact with the abiotic environment and each other to determine patterns of diversity, distribution, and abundance of plants and animals.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall - Offered alternate years beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman, Sophomore
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 3400 and BL 3190

BL 4036 - Ecology and Evolution of Interactions Between Plants, Herbivores, and Pollinators

Plants, herbivores, and pollinators have played major roles in influencing each others evolutionary diversification. We will examine the ecology and evolution of plant-herbivore-pollinator interactions in basic and applied contexts. A solid foundation of tools in ecology and evolution will be established and class will include lectures and interactive discussions from readings of primary literature. Students will design, conduct, and analyze independent research projects in the lab.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (2-0-2)
  • Semesters Offered: Summer - Offered alternate years beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman, Sophomore
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 3400 or BL 3190

BL 4070 - Environmental Toxicology

Introduction to the range of anthropogenic pollutants released into the environment. Concepts of bioaccumulation, biomagnification and environmental persistence, modes of toxicity and detoxification, transport and fate in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Toxic equivalent factors and quotients, regulatory guidelines and practices.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman, Sophomore
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 1020 or (BL 1200 and BL 1210) or BL 1040 or (BL 1400 and BL 1410) and CH 1150 and CH 1160

BL 4090 - Tropical Island Biology

A survey of island biology, including marine and terrestrial habitats. Topics include formation of carbonate islands, geological history of the Bahamas, island plant communities, intertidal, grass bed, mangrove and coral reef communities. Special course fees. Consult department before enrolling. Completion of BL1020 or BL1040 desirable but not necessary.

  • Credits: 2.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (0-2-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring
  • Restrictions: Permission of instructor required

BL 4140 - Plant Physiology

Physiology and biochemistry of plants. Emphasizes photosynthesis, plant hormones, water and nutrient relations, and light-regulated development.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring - Offered alternate years beginning with the 2005-2006 academic year
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 2160 and CH 2420

BL 4145 - Plant-Microbe Interactions

Interactions between plants and microorganisms in the environment. Topics include microbial virulence, signaling, gene expression, beneficial interactions and disease resistance in plants. Laboratory will focus on plant biochemical and microbiological methods as they relate to environmental problems.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (2-0-2)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall - Offered alternate years beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman, Sophomore
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 2200

BL 4421 - Lake Superior Exploration

A field intensive course with significant time spent on a research vessel (R/V Agassiz or other) where students will learn the use of a variety of state-of-the-art techniques to characterize biological communities and measure important physical and biological processes.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (4-0-6)
  • Semesters Offered: Summer - Offered alternate years beginning with the 2018-2019 academic year
  • Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Junior, Senior

BL 4440 - Fish Biology

Fishes and their habitat, native and exotic fishes of the Great Lakes region, and ocean fishery resources will be examined. Basic topics in Ichthyology and fish ecology, evolution, genetics, reproduction strategies and identification of early life stages, fish community structure, food webs and dynamics. Laboratory exercises on sampling, identification and classification of fishes and basic fish anatomy and discussion of scientific papers relevant to the subject material.

  • Credits: 4.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall - Offered alternate years beginning with the 2018-2019 academic year
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman, Sophomore
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 1020 or BL 1040 or (BL 1200 and BL 1210) or (BL 1400 and BL 1410)

BL 4447 - Stream Ecology

Field course combining river and stream ecosystem and foodweb study with fishes in lake systems. Students will be exposed to research methods used in lakes for comprehensive abiotic and biotic understanding.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (2-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Summer - Offered alternate years beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 1010 or (BL 1100 and BL 1110) or BL 1040 or (BL 1400 and BL 1410) or BL 3400

BL 4450 - Limnology

The study of biological, physical, and chemical processes of freshwater eco systems using a watershed perspective, with emphasis on local lakes.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (2-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman, Sophomore

BL 4461 - Ecosystem Ecology

Study of processes in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, including energy flow, ecosystem production, and nutrient cycling. We will explore these processes through a historical overview of influential research programs and regional to global case studies.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (0-3-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring - Offered alternate years beginning with the 2011-2012 academic year
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman, Sophomore
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 3400 and CH 1122 or (CH 1160 and CH 1161)

BL 4465 - Biological Oceanography

An overview of ocean environments and marine life. Topics include: trophic level interactions, nutrient cycling, ecology of plankton, invertebrates, fish, mammal and bird resources, and human influences on marine ecosystems. Will cover basic water chemistry and light in oceans.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 1010 or (BL 1100 and BL 1110) or BL 1040 or (BL 1400 and BL 1410) or BL 3080

BL 4999 - Biological Sciences Internship

Practical and didactic internship experience directly related to student's course of study in biochemistry and molecular biology, bioinformatics, biological sciences, or ecology. Students conduct work at an approved internship site in addition to academic assignments that encourage them to connect their professional and academic experience.

  • Credits: variable to 9.0; Repeatable to a Max of 9
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Restrictions: Permission of instructor required

FW 3020 - Forest Ecology

Environmental factors and plant and animal characteristics which control composition, structure, and function of forest ecosystems. Emphasis on how ecosystems change across space and time and knowledge needed to sustainably manage forest ecosystems for social, economic, and ecological benefits.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (2-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall
  • Pre-Requisite(s): FW 2010(C) and FW 2051(C)

FW 3320 - Fundamentals of Forest Genetics and Genomics

This course will teach fundamental and applied genetic principles that are essential for management of forest and other ecosystems to maintain their long-term health and sustainability. The class will cover the following topics: structure and function of DNA, inheritance, molecular evolution, population and quantitative genetics, gene conservation, genomics and biotechnology.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman, Sophomore

FW 3410 - Conservation Biology

Introduction to biological, social, political, and economic facets of conservation biology. Emphasizes evaluation of how best to maintain and restore biodiversity through management of populations and ecosystems. Topics include mass extinctions, global change, loss and degradation of habitat, and over exploitation of biological resources.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring

FW 3610 - Ornithology

An ecological and evolutionary approach to the study of birds. Topics include behavioral, anatomical, and physiological adaptations to flight, life history, mating systems, migration, communication and conservation. Laboratory emphasizes identification and experimental use of birds as model organisms.

  • Credits: 4.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 1040 or BL 1020 or (BL 1200 and BL 1210) or (BL 1400 and BL 1410)

FW 4220 - Wetlands

Study of the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of wetlands. Describes functions and values of individual wetland types. Presents management of wetlands and laws governing wetlands. Labs concentrate on field techniques used to assess specific plant, animal, soil, and hydrological characteristics of wetlands.

  • Credits: 4.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman

FW 4240 - Mammalogy

Study of mammals, emphasizing their evolution, taxonomic relationships, structural and physiological adaptations and life histories through discussion, laboratory and field work, emphasizes the identification conservation and management of mammals, especially species found in western Great Lakes.

  • Credits: 4.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall
  • Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman, Sophomore
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 1020 or BL 1040 or (BL 1200 and BL 1210) or (BL 1400 and BL 1410)

FW 4620 - Herpetology

The biology of amphibians and reptiles, including evolution, zoogeography, ecology, behavior and physiology.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (3-0-0)
  • Semesters Offered: Spring - Offered alternate years beginning with the 2018-2019 academic year
  • Pre-Requisite(s): BL 1040 or BL 1020 or (BL 1200 and BL 1210) or (BL 1400 and BL 1410)

GE 2000 - Understanding the Earth

Introduction to materials and processes that shape the earth we live on. Lecture and laboratories acquaint students with minerals, rocks, earth resources, weathering, geologic time, landslides, groundwater, streams, shorelines, deserts, glaciers, geologic structures, earthquakes, plate tectonics, and the dynamics of the earth's crust, mantle, and core.

  • Credits: 3.0
  • Lec-Rec-Lab: (2-0-3)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Free Electives

Choose 10-16 free elective credits. Free electives are any class that is 1000-level or higher, but are not co-curricular courses. Consider choosing these credits carefully to earn a minor!

General Education

General Education is an important and required component of every Michigan Tech degree. Students are required to take 12 credits within the core general education courses and 12 credits within humanities, arts, and social sciences. In addition every Michigan Tech student is required to take 3 credits of co-curricular activities; these credits are required for graduating, but not included in the GPA calculations or in the overall credits required for the degree. Read more details about the general education requirements on the Registrar's Office website.