Course Descriptions - College of Mount Saint Vincent

Division of Natural Sciences

Division of Natural Sciences

Course Descriptions

Biology (BIOL)

BIOL 109-110 ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY (C)*
This course focuses on the structure and functions of the organs and organ systems of the human body with expanded coverage of topics such as mechanisms of disease. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (BIOL 109L-110L). Not recommended for biology majors except those planning to pursue careers such as Physician’s Assistant, Physical or Occupational Therapist, or Pharmacy (4 credits each).

BIOL 111-112 GENERAL BIOLOGY (C)*
An exploration of the central concepts of cell biology, plant and animal biology, molecular biology, genetics, evolution, ecology and biodiversity. Three lectures, one recitation (BIOL 111R), and one three-hour laboratory (BIOL 111L-112L) (4 credits each).
Prerequisite for BIOL 112 and BIOL 111
NOTE – Biology majors must complete BIOL 111-112 with at least a C in order to register for additional BIOL courses (except BIOL 109-110).

BIOL 204 HUMAN GENETICS
An exploration of the basic principles of human genetics, including chromosomal structure, DNA replication, transcription and translation, and, importantly, how changes in DNA lead to mutations, the mode of inheritance of these mutations, prevention, genetic counseling and gene therapies. Three lectures. Biology majors may not use this course as credit toward the major (3 credits).

BIOL 211 MICROBIOLOGY AND HUMAN DISEASE
A survey of microorganisms related to human disease and the laboratory procedures employed in their identification. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (BIOL 211L). Biology majors may not use this course as credit toward the major (4 credits).

BIOL 217 GENETICS
Fundamental principles of transmission and molecular genetics with special emphasis placed on Mendelian inheritance, epistasis, recombination mapping, complementation, and the central dogma of molecular biology. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (BIOL 217L) (4 credits).

BIOL 223 ECOLOGY
This course is an introduction to the study of the distribution, abundance and interactions of organisms and their environment. Survey of ecological principles at the level of individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (BIOL 223L) (4 credits).

BIOL 225 MICROBIOLOGY
Morphology, physiology, genetics and ecology of microorganisms. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (BIOL 225L) (4 credits).

BIOL 301 COMPARATIVE CHORDATE ANATOMY
Anatomy, physiology, and evolutionary relationships of chordates. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (BIOL 301L). Students may not take BIOL 301 for credit toward the major if credits from BIOL 109 and/or BIOL 110 have already been used (4 credits).

BIOL 302 DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY
A study of cellular and molecular process underlying the development of various organisms. Emphasis will be placed on fertilization events, spatial organization, pattern formation and gene action in development. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (BIOL 302L) (4 credits).
Prerequisite: BIOL 217

BIOL 304 INVERTEBRATE ZOOLOGY
Morphological and physiological characteristics of selected invertebrates and consideration of their ecological relationships. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (BIOL 304L) (4 credits).

BIOL 305 PLANT BIOLOGY
Physiological, biochemical and anatomical aspects of plants will be studied in the context of their native environments. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (BIOL 305L) (4 credits).

BIOL 306 PHYSIOLOGY OF EXERCISE
The investigation of human physiological responses to exercise in relation to age, sex, physical fitness and environmental conditions. Three lectures (3 credits).
Prerequisites: BIOL 109-110

BIOL 309 KINESIOLOGY
The study of mechanical and anatomical aspects of human movement. Three lectures. 3 credits
Prerequisites: BIOL 109-110

BIOL 310, 311, 410, 411 RESEARCH IN BIOLOGY
Investigation of challenging problems in biology. Three, 6, or 9 hours per week. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the Division of Natural Sciences must be obtained in advance of registration. Biology majors may apply a total of 7 credits toward the major from a combination of these courses: Research in Biology, Independent Study in Biology, and internship in biology (1, 2 or 3 credits each).

BIOL 317 EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY
An exploration of evolutionary theory with emphasis on genetic variation, evolutionary processes, adaptation, units of selection, evolution of life histories, species and speciation and coevolution. Three lectures. Students who have completed BIOL 440 Understanding Evolution cannot take this course for credit (3 credits).

BIOL 320 SYSTEMIC PHYSIOLOGY
A detailed examination of the physiology of the major organ systems of the human body, including digestion, respiration, cardiovascular, urinary, and reproduction, centered on the theme of homeostasis. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (BIOL 320L). Students may not take BIOL 320 for credit toward the major if credits from BIOL 109 and/or BIOL 110 have already been used (4 credits).

BIOL 321 MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
In-depth treatment of nucleic acid structure, information coding, transcription, translation, DNA replication, recombinant DNA technology, and other aspects of nucleic acid metabolism. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (BIOL 321L) (4 credits).
Prerequisites: BIOL 217 or CHEM 433

BIOL 326 ANIMAL BEHAVIOR
The biological basis of animal behavior from an ecological and evolutionary perspective. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (BIOL 326L) (4 credits).

BIOL 328 FORENSIC BIOLOGY
The scientific examination of simulated crime scenes, with emphasis on the preservation of evidence; organic and inorganic analyses of physical evidence; analysis of biological evidence including hair, fingerprint, serological, and DNA samples; potential drug analysis; document and voice assessment. The accompanying laboratory will expose the students to many of the basic techniques and equipment used in a modern forensic laboratory. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (BIOL 328L) (4 credits).
Prerequisite: BIOL 217

BIOL 331 CELL BIOLOGY
This course is designed to provide an in-depth analysis of the internal organization of the cell that is simply not provided in biochemistry, molecular biology, or developmental biology courses. The course will cover topics such as membrane structure, vesicular trafficking, signal transduction, the cytoskeleton, and the cell cycle. Three lectures (3 credits).
Prerequisite: BIOL 217 or CHEM 433

BIOL 333 HUMAN PATHOPHYSIOLOGY
Understanding the underlying mechanisms of disease, the rationale for designated treatments, and the complex interrelationships between critical systems. Three lectures. Biology majors may not use this course as credit toward the major  (3 credits).
Prerequisite: BIOL 109-110

BIOL 334 PHARMACOPHYSIOLOGY
Discussion of disease states and their treatment by pharmacological means. Special emphasis will be placed on the descriptive influence of pathology on systemic function and the use of drugs to restore balance. Three lectures. Not recommended for biology majors except those planning to pursue careers, such as Physician’s Assistant, Physical or Occupational Therapist, or Pharmacy (3 credits).
Prerequisites: BIOL 109-110

BIOL 340 ENVIRONMENTAL BIOLOGY
This course introduces the basic concepts of environmental science and the influence of human activities upon the abiotic and biotic environment. Topics include environmental sustainability, ecology and evolution, population growth, natural resources, and a focus on current and local environmental problems from scientific, social, political, and economic perspectives.

Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of environmental interrelationships and of contemporary environmental issues. Three lectures. Biology, biochemistry or chemistry majors may not use this course as credit toward the major. Students who have completed BIOL 223 Ecology cannot take this course for credit (3 credits).

BIOL 360, 361 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN BIOLOGY*
This is an independent study of an area of biology. Three, 6, or 9 hours per week including a weekly conference with sponsor. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the Division of Natural Sciences and permission of the Director must be obtained in advance of registration. Biology majors may apply a total of 7 credits toward the major from a combination of these courses: Research in Biology, Independent Study in Biology, and internship in biology (1, 2, or 3 credits).

BIOL 375 INTERNSHIP*
The internship provides students with the opportunity to explore career positions in biology-related fields. Students are required to sign a contract which specifies the number of hours that will be spent in the institution, the responsibilities that must be fulfilled, and the project that must be completed. The contract is signed by the supervisor, the faculty member, and the internship coordinator at the time of registration. Placement coordinated through the Oxley Career Education Program (3 credits).

BIOL 401 HISTOLOGY
This is a survey of the cellular structure and ultrastructure of mammalian tissues and organs. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (BIOL 401L) (4 credits).

BIOL 403-404 BIOLOGY COLLOQUIUM
Study and discussion of biological topics, the preparation of a written monograph, and oral presentation of the work. One discussion period (3 credits).
This is the Biology capstone course, and as such, students must have completed BIOL 111-112, 217, and 223 before registering for Biology Colloquium

BIOL 405 NEUROBIOLOGY
Examination of the basic principles of the nervous system including the cellular and molecular biology of the neuron, synaptic transmission, sensory and motor systems and their integration. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (BIOL 405L) (4 credits).
Prerequisite: BIOL 320 or 110

BIOL 406 SPECIAL TOPICS IN BIOLOGY
Current issues and studies in biology. Consult Division Director for topic. Three lectures (3 credits).

BIOL 409 MARINE AND ESTUARINE BIOLOGY
Principles of marine ecology in an oceanic and estuarine environment with emphasis on tropical and temperate communities. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (BIOL 409L) (4 credits).

BIOL 420 PATHOPHYSIOLOGY
Understanding the underlying mechanisms of disease, the rationale for designated treatments, and the complex interrelationships between critical systems (3 credits).
Prerequisite: BIOL109-110 or BIOL 301 and BIOL 320

BIOL 426 IMMUNOLOGY
Study of fundamental properties of antigens and antibodies. Theories of antibody production, tolerance, transplantation, immunity, autoimmunity, tumor immunology, and immunochemistry. Introduction to antibody-mediated and cell-mediated reactions. Three lectures (3 credits).
Prerequisite: BIOL 217

BIOL 440 UNDERSTANDING EVOLUTION
An exploration of evolutionary theory with emphasis on genetic variation, evolutionary processes, adaptation, units of selection, evolution of life histories, species, speciation and coevolution. Three lectures. Biology, biochemistry or chemistry majors may not use this course as credit toward the major. Students who have completed BIOL 317 Evolutionary Biology cannot take this course for credit (3 credits).

Chemistry (CHEM)

CHEM 109 GENERAL, ORGANIC and BIOCHEMISTRY (C)*
An introductory course in the principles of chemistry for nursing students. Fundamentals of general chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry. Appropriate laboratory exercises to illustrate these principles and to develop techniques. Three lectures, o,ne recitation (CHEM 120R-121R) and one three-hour laboratory (CHEM 109L). Biology, biochemistry or chemistry majors may not use this course as credit toward the major) (4 credits).

CHEM 120 -121 GENERAL CHEMISTRY (C)*
The fundamental laws and principles of chemistry; appropriate laboratory exercises to illustrate these principles and to develop proper techniques; introduction to quantitative analytical methodology. The second semester of the laboratory includes an introduction to systematic inorganic qualitative analysis. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (CHEM 120L-121L) (8 credits).
Co-requisite: MATH 102 or MATH 131 (or permission from the professor)
NOTE – Biochemistry and chemistry majors must complete CHEM 120-121 with at least a C in order to register for additional CHEM courses.

CHEM 219-220 ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
The chemistry of carbon compounds. Emphasis on structure and mechanisms of organic reactions. Three lectures and one recitation (219R-220R) (6 credits).
Prerequisite: CHEM 121

CHEM 223-224 ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LABORATORY
Synthesis, purification, analysis, mechanistic studies, and spectral characterization of organic compounds. Four hours of laboratory (4 credits).
Prerequisite or co-requisite: CHEM 219 for 223; 220 for 224

CHEM 302 ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY
Principles and applications of classical analytical techniques such as gravimetric and volumetric methods, statistical evaluations of analytical data, as well as modern analytical techniques such as electrochemistry, spectroscopy and chromatography. Statistical evaluation of analytical data. Two lectures and a five-hour laboratory (CHEM 302L) (4 credits).
Prerequisite: CHEM 220 and 224

CHEM 309 PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY I
The application of thermodynamics to the study of the properties of gases, the states of matter, thermal chemistry, phase equilibria, chemical equilibria, chemical kinetics, reaction dynamics, and catalysis. Three lectures (3 credits).
Prerequisites: CHEM 121, MATH 231, PHYS 208

CHEM 310 PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY II
The elucidation of the molecular structure of matter through application of physical and quantum mechanical theories, principles, techniques, and applications. Three lectures (3 credits).
Prerequisites: CHEM 309 (Prerequisite: MATH 255).

CHEM 311 PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY I LABORATORY
Laboratory studies of physical chemical measurements on gases, heats of chemical processes, equilibrium and kinetics. One four-hour laboratory (1 credit).
Prerequisite: CHEM 309.

CHEM 312 PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY II LABORATORY
Laboratory studies of molecular structure through the use of spectroscopic techniques and molecular modeling. One four-hour laboratory (1 credit).
Co-requisite: CHEM 310; Prerequisite: CHEM 311.

CHEM 314 PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY FOR THE LIFE SCIENCES
This course provides a foundation in the principles of physical chemistry and their application to the study of biological systems. The skill sets derived from biology, chemistry, and physics are intricately woven to provide an in-depth understanding of the processes of life on the atomic and molecular level (3 credits).
Prerequisites: CHEM 121, MATH 132, and PHYS 207.

CHEM 315 DESCRIPTIVE INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
An exploration of the theories and models needed to gain a general understanding of elements, with particular attention given to bonding, acid-base theories, oxidation-reduction, coordination chemistry, and periodic trends. Three lectures. Biology, biochemistry or chemistry majors may not use this course as credit toward the major (3 credits).
Prerequisite: CHEM 109 and MATH 1xx or higher 

CHEM 335 INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
The chemistry of the elements and their compounds. Industrial, biochemical, environmental, and geochemical applications of inorganic chemistry are emphasized. The periodic table, elementary bonding models and thermodynamic data are used to organize, understand and predict chemical and physical properties of inorganic compounds. Three lectures (3 credits).
Prerequisite: CHEM 220.

CHEM 336 INORGANIC CHEMISTRY LABORATORY
Study of the properties, synthesis, and characterization of inorganic compounds. Experiments include preparations of metallic and non-metallic elements from compounds; simple salts by wet and dry methods; common gases; coordination compounds; air sensitive compounds; organometallic compounds; high temperature superconductors. One four-hour laboratory (1 credit).
Prerequisite: CHEM 335

CHEM 360 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN CHEMISTRY*
Independent study of an area of chemistry. Three, 6, or 9 hours per week including a weekly conference with sponsor. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the Division of Natural Sciences and permission of the Director must be obtained in advance of registration. Chemistry and biochemistry majors can apply up to 3 credits of Independent Study toward the major (1, 2, or 3 credits).

CHEM 403-404 CHEMISTRY COLLOQUIUM
Study and discussion of chemical topics and the completion of a monograph. One discussion period (1 credit).

CHEM 415 ADVANCED ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Structure, mechanism and synthesis in modern organic chemistry. An introduction to the chemistry of natural products and heterocyclic compounds will be included. Three lectures (3 credits).
Prerequisite: CHEM 320

CHEM 421 ADVANCED TOPICS IN CHEMISTRY
Advanced topics in chemistry will be either polymer chemistry or environmental chemistry. A student may elect this course more than once if the topics are different each time. Three lectures (3 credits).
Prerequisite: CHEM 310 and 320

CHEM 425 BIOINORGANIC CHEMISTRY
An exploration of inorganic chemistry as the basis for cellular requirement for metals such as zinc, iron, copper, manganese, and molybdenum. The course will begin with the principles of coordination chemistry and the abilities of functional groups in proteins and nucleic acids to form coordination complexes with metal ions. The reactivity of these coordination complexes will be discussed in the context of the reaction mechanisms of specific metalloenzymes. A portion of the course will be devoted to medically-relevant topics such as metal toxicity, uptake of metal ions from the environment, and treatment of cancer with platinum compounds (3 credits).
Prerequisite: CHEM 220.

CHEM 427 ADVANCED PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY
Topics in theoretical physical chemistry with an introduction to the chemical aspects of quantum and statistical mechanics and group theory. Three lectures (3 credits).
Prerequisite: CHEM 310

CHEM 433 BIOCHEMISTRY I
An introduction to the chemistry of biologically important amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins and hormones. Enzyme kinetics and catalysis, protein structure and function, introduction to intermediary metabolism will be included. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (CHEM 433L) (4 credits).
Prerequisite: CHEM 220 or 223

CHEM 434 BIOCHEMISTRY II
Chemistry and metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. Protein folding and post-translational modification. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (CHEM 434L) (4 credits).
Prerequisite: CHEM 433

CHEM 435 ADVANCED INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Molecular structure and bonding theory. Transition metal chemistry. An introduction to spectroscopy, catalysis and organometallic chemistry. Three lectures (3 credits).
Prerequisite: CHEM 335

CHEM 452 ADVANCED SPECTROSCOPY
A fundamental and theoretical approach to the derivation of chemical structure through high-resolution spectroscopic and computational tools. The consequences of the bonding schemes that arise from chemical structure derivations are related to molecular function for chemical and biochemical purposes. Three lectures (5 credits).
Prerequisites: CHEM 310 and 312

CHEM 460, 461 CHEMICAL RESEARCH*
Investigation of challenging problems in chemistry. Three or 6 hours per week. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the Division of Natural Sciences must be obtained in advance of registration (1 or 2 credits).

CHEM 470 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN CHEMISTRY*
This course is an independent study of an area of chemistry. Three, 6, or 9 hours per week including a weekly conference with sponsor. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the Division of Natural Sciences and permission of the Director must be obtained in advance of registration. Chemistry and Biochemistry majors may apply a total of 7 credits toward the major from a combination of these courses: Research in Chemistry, Independent Study in Chemistry, and Internship in Chemistry (1, 2, or 3 credits).

CHEM 475 INTERNSHIP*
Placement coordinated through the Oxley Center for Academic Advisement and Career Education.

*Biochemistry and chemistry majors may apply a total of 7 credits toward the major from any combination of these courses: Chemical Research, Independent Study in Chemistry, and Internship in Chemistry.

Natural Sciences (NSCI)

Biology, biochemistry and chemistry majors may apply one NSCI course toward the major only if the course content does not substantially duplicate that of another course which is a major requirement.

NSCI 202 CHEMISTRY OF OUR DAILY LIVES (C)*
An exploration of the degree to which chemistry is an integral part of our everyday lives. Three lectures (3 credits).

NSCI 204 HUMAN BIOLOGY (C)*
An exploration of the central concepts of human biology, starting from the structure and function of cells and extending to human physiological systems. Three lectures (3 credits).

NSCI 205 CHEMISTRY FOR THE COURTROOM (C)*
This course assumes no prior knowledge of chemistry and is intended for liberal arts students who wish to have an informed understanding of chemistry and its role in criminal investigations from the crime scene to the laboratory and into the courtroom. Three lectures (3 credits).

NSCI 206 THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE: HOW THINGS WORK (C)*
This course utilizes working objects found in everyday life to motivate an understanding of basic physics concepts. Students investigate objects such as computer memory and tape recorders, roller coasters, refrigerators, and automobiles. Physics topics include Newtonian mechanics, rotational motion, energy, fluids, heat, sound, electricity and magnetism, electronics, and nuclear radiation. While advanced mathematics is not required for this course, basic math with some trigonometry and simple algebra is utilized. Three lectures (3 credits).

NSCI 207 MAKING SENSE OF SCIENCE IN THE NEWS (C)*
The public learns much about science, medicine and health from the mass media, but many people have a difficult time understanding whether a news report is based on scientific evidence or media hype. This course will teach students ways to look critically at science and medical news stories that are published or broadcast by the media. Three lectures (3 credits).

NSCI 301 ASTRONOMY (C)*
A survey course of astronomy with a focus on science as a process, other worlds, astrophysics, stars, galaxies and the origin of the universe. Three lectures (3 credits).

NSCI 302 GREAT DISCOVERIES IN SCIENCE (C)*
The course will provide a background in many areas of science including biology, chemistry, and physics through the study of the great discoveries in science. The details of the discovery will be explored by studying the personal and scientific background of the scientists. The rationale for the experimental design will be studied and the ways a discovery affected our society both scientifically and socially will be evaluated. The great discoveries will start with the Greek philosophers and span up to the 21st century. Three lectures (3 credits).

NSCI 303 WONDERS OF THE WEATHER (C)*
This course will provide introductory principles of the Earth’s atmosphere, weather systems, and climate. The focus will be on understanding the Earth and our environment as a single interconnected system driven by solar energy, pressure, temperature, storm systems, humidity, fronts, greenhouse effect and general circulation. Three lectures (3 credits).

NSCI 340 ENVIRONMENTAL BIOLOGY (C)*
This course introduces the basic concepts of environmental science and the influence of human activities upon the abiotic and biotic environment. Topics include environmental sustainability, ecology and evolution, population growth, natural resources, and a focus on current and local environmental problems from scientific, social, political, and economic perspectives. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of environmental interrelationships and of contemporary environmental issues. Three lectures. Biology, biochemistry or chemistry majors may not use this course as credit toward the major. Students who have completed BIOL 223 cannot take this course for credit (3 credits).

NSCI 350 BEING GREEN: PLANTS IN OUR WORLD (C)*
This course will explore the fascinating world of plants from the form of a flower to the mind-altering compounds some plants produce.  Students will learn the fundamentals of botany, the study of plants, through exploration of plant form, diversity, and use by people. We will examine plant morphology, anatomy, physiology, evolution, and diversity as well as the use of plants for food, materials, and medicine. Three lectures (3 credits).

NSCI 403-404 NATURAL SCIENCE COLLOQUIUM
Study and discussion of topics in the life and physical sciences and the completion of a monograph. One discussion period (3 credits).

Physics (PHYS)

PHYS 205 INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS (C)*
This one-semester course will explore an algebra-based approach to the general understanding of mechanics, heat, electricity, magnetism, optics and elementary atomic and nuclear physics. Emphasis is on general education. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory (PHYS 205). Biology, biochemistry or chemistry majors may not use this course as credit toward the major (4 credits).
Prerequisites: MATH 120, MATH 212 or MATH 222

PHYS 207-208 GENERAL PHYSICS I and II
An algebra-based approach to the basic concepts of mechanics, heat, electricity, magnetism, optics and elementary atomic and nuclear physics. Emphasis is on biological applications. Three lectures, one recitation, and one three-hour laboratory (PHYS 207L-208L) (8 credits).
Prerequisites: MATH 131 or MATH 212

(C)* May be taken to meet Core Requirements