Department of Biology Graduate Course Descriptions

Upper Division Courses

502. Genetic Engineering

Basic course on recombinant DNA technology, concentrating on major DNA manipulation methods, use of vectors, genetic probes, construction of libraries, transgenic animals, plant genetic engineering and ethical and safety considerations. Four hours lecture. Formerly BIOL 402. Prerequisites: BIOL 300 with a grade of "C" or better, BIOL 400, and CHEM 223 or 323. (4 units)

503. Plant Biology for Teachers

Examination of plant anatomy, morphology, physiology, ecology, and human use, as it applies to the Science Content Standards for California Public Schools. Not acceptable for meeting formal course requirements for the B.A., B.S., or M.S. in biology at CSUSB. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory. Materials fee required. Prerequisites: one college-level biology course and graduate or post-baccalaureate standing, or consent of instructor. (4 units)

505. Biostatistics

Provides an understanding of the design of biological experiments and analysis of data. Topics will include experimental design and sampling protocols, techniques for displaying and describing data, probability, and hypothesis testing. Surveys statistical approaches to the analysis of proportions and frequencies, comparisons of means among numerical variables, regression, and correlation, as well as non-parametric approaches. Formerly a topic under BIOL 490. Four hours lecture and three hours laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 300 with a grade of "C" or better, MATH 192 or 211, and consent of instructor. (5 units)

514. Conservation Biology

Examination of factors influencing the loss of biological diversity including habitat loss and fragmentation, loss of genetic variation, and species extinction. The science of biological conservation necessarily overlaps with other disciplines including wildlife and resource management, law, economics, and ethics. Formerly a topic under BIOL 490.. Prerequisites: BIOL 300 with a grade of "C" or better, and BIOL 321 or 450. (4 units)

515. Global Change Biology

An examination of changing ecological and biogeochemical system interactions at selected times in the earth's history including, but not limited to, the modern era. Class exploration of causes and consequences of contemporary global change for biological systems including displaced populations, disrupted ecological interactions, and altered epidemiological patterns. Prerequisites: BIOL 300 with a grade of "C" or better, and an upper-division lab course in ecology (BIOL 349, 450, or 455) or consent of instructor. (4 units)

522. Population Genetics

Genetic and ecological mechanisms influencing the development, maintenance and evolution of populations. Four hours lecture. Prerequisites: BIOL 423 and MATH 192 or 211. (4 units)

524. Advanced Vertebrate Morphology

Advanced techniques in the study of vertebrates, including dissection and specimen preparation. Construction of animal skeletal materials, and detailed study and dissection of vertebrate organ systems will provide the basis for projects designed on an individual student basis. Two hours lecture and three hours laboratory. Materials fee required. Prerequisites: BIOL 342, 424 and consent of instructor. (3 units)

525. Vertebrate Field Biology

Field study of the ecology and natural history of the vertebrate fauna of southern California. Prerequisites: BIOL 300 with a grade of "C" or better, BIOL 450, and consent of instructor. Three hours lecture and six hours laboratory. (5 units)

528. Concepts of Molecular Genetics

Chemical nature of genes, their replication and mode of action at the molecular level. Transfer and expression of genetic information; interaction and hybridization of genes, molecular mutagens and molecular evolution. Four hours lecture. Formerly BIOL 428. Prerequisites: BIOL 300 with a grade of "C" or better, BIOL 400, 423, and CHEM 223 or 323. (4 units)

530. Scanning Electron Microscopy

Theory and techniques of scanning electron microscopy. Lectures on theory of operation of the scanning electron microscope and specimen preparation. Laboratory includes hands-on training in the use of the scanning electron microscope. Laboratory projects will teach technical aspects of specimen preparation and microscope use. Three hours lecture and six hours laboratory. Materials fee required. (Also offered as GEOL 530. Students may not receive credit for both.) Prerequisites: senior standing and consent of instructor. (5 units)

531. Transmission Electron Microscopy

Theory and techniques of transmission electron microscopy. Lectures on theory of operation of the transmission electron microscope and specimen preparation. Laboratory includes hands-on training in the use of the transmission electron microscope. Laboratory projects will teach technical aspects of specimen preparation and microscope use. Three hours lecture and six hours laboratory. Materials fee required. (Also offered as GEOL 531. Students may not receive credit for both.) Prerequisites: senior standing and consent of instructor. (5 units)

532. Techniques in Ultrastructure Analysis

Specialized techniques in ultrastructural analysis using either the scanning or transmission electron microscope. Topics will vary, but will include specialized techniques in specimen preparation, alternative image detectors, and image analysis. Theory of the analysis and training in the technical aspects will be covered. Three hours lecture and six hours laboratory. Materials fee required. (Also offered as GEOL 532. Students may not receive credit for both.) Prerequisites: BIOL 530 or 531, or GEOL 530 or 531 and consent of instructor. (5 units)

555. Comparative Biomechanics

Survey of the biomechanic design of plants, invertebrate and vertebrate animals (including humans), at macro-, micro- and ultrastructural levels of organization (from whole organisms to molecules). Foundation of solid and fluid physical principles guiding structural design and functional performance of living organisms. Four hours lecture and three hours laboratory. Materials fee required. Prerequisites: Physics 121 and Biology 300 (or consent of instructor). (5 units; Fall)

565. Physiological Ecology

Physiological, biochemical and molecular attributes of organisms and their interactions with the environment. Explanations for distribution, survival and reproduction. Four hours lecture and six hours laboratory. Materials fee required. Prerequisites: BIOL 354 and 424; or 431 and 331 or 342; and 450. (6 units)

572. Virology

Examination of the structure, genetics and modes of replication of viruses, viroids and other related sub-cellular entities; their implications in medicine and agriculture, and their use in scientific research. Four hours lecture. Prerequisite: BIOL 400 with a grade of "C" or better. (4 units)

573. Immunology

Foundations of immunology and current advances in the study of the immunological response. Laboratory examination of immunological assays applied in both research and clinical diagnostics. Four hours lecture and three hours laboratory. Materials fee required. Prerequisites: BIOL 400 with a grade of "C" or better. (5 units)

575. Internship in Biology

Supervised work and study in work situations involving biological research and technical skills. May be repeated for a total of six units. Only two units may be applied towards the biology major requirements. Graded credit/no credit. Prerequisite: department approval in the quarter prior to registration.

  1. General (2 units)
  2. Pre-Health (2 units)
  3. Biotechnology (2 units)
  4. Wildlife Biology (2 units)
  5. Botany (2 units)
  6. Science Education (2 units)
  7. Museum Science (2 units)

576. Endocrinology

Endocrine systems with emphasis on mechanisms for regulating the biosynthesis, secretion, transport and actions of hormones. Four hours lecture. Prerequisite: BIOL 300 with a grade of "C" or better. (4 units)

580. Neurobiology

Study on a cellular level of how neurons function in terms of structure, physiology and pharmacology. Mechanisms of inter-cellular communication, perception of sensory information, and development and aging of the nervous system will be examined. Fours hours lecture. Formerly BIOL 480. Prerequisite: BIOL 300 with a grade of "C" or better. (4 units)

590. Senior Seminar

Survey of current literature, methods and ethics of scientific inquiry. May be repeated once as topics change. Prerequisites: BIOL 300 with a grade of "C" or better, and a minimum of 15 upper-division units in biology courses supportive of the topic area and senior standing.

  1. Molecular (2 units)
  2. Biosystematics (2 units)
  3. Cellular (2 units)
  4. Physiology (2 units)
  5. Ecology (2 units)
  6. Bioethics (2 units)
  7. Genetics (2 units)
  8. Evolution (2 units)
  9. Microbiology (2 units)
  10. Zoology (2 units)
  11. Botany (2 units)
  12. Integrative Approach to Biology (2 units)
  13. Conservation Biology (2 units)

591. Biology Seminar

Topics of current biological interest, presented by students, faculty, and guest speakers. May be taken once for credit toward the undergraduate major requirements in Biology. May be taken three times for credit toward elective units in the Master of Science program in Biology. Lecture only. Graded credit/no credit. Formerly BIOL 390. Prerequisite: BIOL 300 with a grade of "C" or better. (1 unit)

592. Recombinant DNA Techniques

Techniques utilized in genetic engineering and biotechnology areas (mainly methods for isolating and analyzing genes, including bacterial isolation, DNA isolation and restriction analysis, transformation protocols and purification and manipulation of plasmid and chromosomal DNA techniques). A final research report will be required from the student. Two hours lecture and six hours laboratory. Materials fee required. Formerly BIOL 492. Prerequisites: BIOL 300 with a grade of "C" or better and BIOL 400. (4 units)

596. Independent Research

Laboratory and/or field research in selected areas in biology conducted under the direction of a faculty member. A total of six units in BIOL 596 may be applied toward graduation. Graded credit/no credit. Formerly BIOL 595. Prerequisites: a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0, consent of instructor and department approval of a written proposal of a project submitted on a standard application filed in advance of the quarter in which the course is to be taken. Consent must be obtained no later than the advisement period preceding the quarter of enrollment. All students will be required to attend the Biology Department colloquium called by the department chair each quarter until their projects are completed. (1-6 units)

597. Directed Study in Science Education

Readings and library research on the pedagogical content knowledge of a specific area of biology This course should be taken concurrently with or shortly after taking an upper division course in the relevant area of biology. Graded credit/no credit. May be repeated for credit. No more than two units may be applied toward degree requirements for the BA in Biology-Integrated Teaching Track; no more than two units may be applied toward biology elective requirements in other degree options. Prerequisites: consent of instructor and departmental approval of a written proposal submitted on a standard application form filed in advance of the quarter in which the course is to be taken. (1 unit)


Graduate/Post-Baccalaureate

May not be taken by undergraduate students. Enrollment is limited to students formally admitted to the M.S. in Biology. Instructor must verify consent prior to registration.

600. Advanced Topics in Molecular Biology

An in-depth consideration of selected research areas in molecular biology. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. (2 units)

601. Teaching Assistant Training in Biology

Teaching assistant training in biology trains graduate students in techniques and most current presentation and teaching methods of laboratory-based biology. Course is open to graduate students only. Topics include: teaching and discussion techniques specific to biology laboratories, use of equipment-specific laboratories in the biological sciences, presentation strategies, and safety issues in biology. Successful completion of BIOL 601 is required before a student may act as a teaching assistant in the Department of Biology. Enrollment in BIOL 601 concurrent with first assignment as a teaching assistant is allowed with consent of instructor. Graded credit/no credit. Prerequisite: classified standing in Master's Degree Program. (2 units)

605. Advanced Topics in Cell Biology

An in-depth consideration of selected research areas in cell biology. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. (2 units)

620. Advanced Topics in Plant Biology

An in-depth consideration of selected areas of current study in plant biology. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. (2 units)

622. Advanced Topics in Zoology

An in-depth consideration of selected areas of current study in zoology. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. (2 units)

624. Advanced Topics in Physiology

An in-depth consideration of selected research areas in physiology. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. (2 units)

650. Advanced Topics in Genetics

An in-depth consideration of selected research areas in genetics. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. (2 units)

651. Advanced Topics in Molecular Genetics

An in-depth examination of current research in molecular genetics. May be repeated as topics change. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. (2 units)

660. Advanced Topics in Development

An in-depth consideration of selected research areas in developmental biology. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. (2 units)

664. Biosystematics

Fundamental concepts of classification systems, biometric and experimental taxonomic procedures, nomenclature and systematic literature; both plant and animal materials used. Prerequisites: BIOL 423 and one taxonomy-based course; e.g. BIOL 319, 331, 335, 342, 353, or 354. Recommended: MATH 305. (2 units)

670. Advanced Topics in Ecology

Literature survey of specific topics related to community or ecosystem dynamics. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Prerequisite: BIOL 450 or equivalent. (2 units)

675. Advanced Topics in Parasitology

An in-depth consideration of selected research areas in parasitology. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. (2 units)

677. Advanced Topics in Immunology

An in-depth examination of current research in cellular and molecular immunology. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Prerequisite: BIOL 573. (2 units)

678. Advanced Topics in Microbiology

An in-depth examination of current research in microbiology. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Prerequisite: BIOL 220 or 320. (2 units)

680. Advanced Topics in Evolution

Topics of current research interest in plant or animal evolution. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. (2 units)

690. Graduate Seminar in Biology

Selected topics and reviews of current investigations in the fields of biology. Required of all graduate students in biology. May be repeated for credit as topics change. (2 units)

691. Current Topics in Biology

Faculty-supervised discussion in journal club format. Students will learn how to interpret, evaluate, present, and critique recently published research articles in various subfields of biology. May be repeated up to three times for credit. Graded credit/no credit. (1 unit)

692. Graduate Research Methods in Biology

Specialized topics in research methods including theory and technique. Topics may vary. Two hours laboratory per unit of credit. May be repeated for credit, but no more than six units may be applied toward the degree. Graded credit/no credit. Prerequisites: classified standing in Master's Degree Program and consent of instructor. (1-3 units)

696. Directed Graduate Research in Biology

Original individual research in biology; to be conducted under the direct supervision of a faculty member of the student's committee, and if desired in collaboration with other members of the student's master's committee. Formerly BIOL 695A, 695B and 695C. The course may be taken up to three times for the maximum number of units specified in each degree track. Graded credit/no credit. Prerequisite: classified standing in Master's Degree Program and consent of instructor. (1-6 units)

698. Continuous Enrollment for Graduate Candidacy Standing

Independent study leading to completion of requirements (other than course work) for the master's degree. To retain classified standing in the master's program, a student must enroll in 698 each quarter until the project or thesis is accepted or the comprehensive examination passed. Cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements. Students who enroll in 698 through the university have full use of all university facilities. See Page 13, http://gradstudies.csusb.edu/documents/Handbook_2007.pdf. Prerequisites: advancement to candidacy and approval of program graduate coordinator or, if an interdisciplinary studies major, consent of the Dean of Graduate Studies. Earned units are not degree-applicable nor will they qualify for financial aid. (0-6 units)

699. Thesis Research and Thesis

Independent graduate research conducted under guidance of the major advisor and resulting in a thesis. BIOL 699A, 699B, and 699C must be completed for a total of nine units. To retain their classified standing in the master's program, students enrolled in this course must attend the Biology Department colloquium called by the department chair each quarter until their projects are completed and their theses accepted. Prerequisite: advancement to candidacy.

  1. I. (3 units)
  2. II. (3 units)
  3. III. (3 units)

999. Comprehensive Examination

An assessment of the student's ability to integrate the knowledge of the area, show critical and independent thinking and demonstrate mastery of the subject matter. Prerequisites: advancement to candidacy, approval of department, completion of course work in the master's program, and in good academic standing. (0 units)