Chatham University

Biology (BA/BS) Curriculum

Biology includes the study of the structure, function, and interactions of living organisms at multiple levels; it is a field that is evolving rapidly. This major provides students with a broad interdisciplinary base in scientific knowledge combined with an in-depth exploration of a preferred area of interest. The B.A. degree is appropriate for students who want to demonstrate their capability in biology, but also want to explore related areas like teaching.

Program Requirements

+Major Requirements (BA and BS Degrees)

All biology majors must complete IND 350, BIO 498 and 499, and at least two biology courses with a laboratory component at Chatham University.

+Major Requirements (BA)

17 courses, including:

BIO143 The Cell

This course is designed to provide a broad overview of current biological concepts, including cell structure, function, division, and basic genetics. Biologically important molecules also are presented. This course is a prerequisite for all upper-level biology courses. Three hours of class

3
BIO143L Lab: The Cell

Experiments to complement the material presented in BIO143. Two hours of laboratory per week. Corequisite or prerequisite: BIO143. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fee.

1
BIO144 The Organism

This course provides a general survey of animals and plants at the organismic level, with emphasis on their evolution and various physiological processes such as respiration, circulation, digestion, and reproduction. This course is a prerequisite for all upper-level biology courses. Three hours of class.

3
BIO144L Lab: The Organism

Experiments to complement the material presented in BIO144. Two hours of laboratory per week. Corequisite or prerequisite: BIO144. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fees.

1
BIO490 Integrative Capstone

The integrative capstone , undertaken by the student during the senior year, is an extended project that helps the student complete their transition from an undergraduate student to a world-ready professional.  The study usually centers on the student’s major and may be conducted, at least in part, in the context of a group experience.  Such programs are crafted to meet the unique needs of each major, and could include, for example, fieldwork, theatre production, creative work in the arts, independent research, or independent readings. The integrative capstone in an interdisciplinary major must have the approval of both academic programs.  

3
CHM107 Chemistry I

This class begins with a study of atomic structure, then expands to cover chemical naming, patterns of reactivity, thermochemistry, the interaction of light and matter, atomic orbitals, ionic and covalent bonding, and molecular shapes. This class concludes with an introduction to organic chemistry and biochemistry. Three hours of lecture per week. Co-requisite: CHM 109

3
CHM108 Chemistry II

The second semester of general chemistry continues exploring the structure, properties, and bonding of atoms and molecules, with emphasis on the physical characteristics of gases, liquids, solids and solutions, chemical equilibria, thermodynamics, and kinetics. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisite(s): CHM 105 or 107; Corequisite: CHM 110.

3
IND350 Scientific Research Methods

This course serves as an introduction to research literature and research methodology in the sciences. Students prepare a research proposal including literature review, experimental design and methods, budget, timetable, and bibliography. Other topics include professional presentation techniques and research ethics. The student's major department must approve proposals prior to the Tutorial. Prerequisite(s): Junior status and completion of at least two courses at the 200-level or above in the major, or permission of the instructor.

2
INTBIO303 Internship - Biology

3
MTH110 Elementary Statistics

Topics include statistical measures and distributions, decision making under uncertainty, application of probability to statistical inference, linear correlation, introduction to nonparametric statistical methods, and application to problems drawn from the natural and social sciences. Three hours of class per week. Three hours of class per week.

3
MTH108 Precalculus

Development of essential skills in algebra and trigonometry. Topics include the coordinate system, functions and their graphs, solutions of equations and inequalities, introduction to transcendental functions, trigonometric functions and their graphs, trigonometric identities, and the historical and cultural significance of mathematics. .

3
4 additional courses selected from biology numbered 200 or above; at least 3 of these must have a laboratory component, and at least 1 of the courses with a laboratory component must be numbered 300 or above.

+Major Requirements (BS)

All B.S. biology majors must complete the set of core courses in addition to the courses in one of the three available concentration areas listed below.

Core of 13 courses, including:
BIO143 The Cell

This course is designed to provide a broad overview of current biological concepts, including cell structure, function, division, and basic genetics. Biologically important molecules also are presented. This course is a prerequisite for all upper-level biology courses. Three hours of class

3
BIO143L Lab: The Cell

Experiments to complement the material presented in BIO143. Two hours of laboratory per week. Corequisite or prerequisite: BIO143. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fee.

1
BIO144 The Organism

This course provides a general survey of animals and plants at the organismic level, with emphasis on their evolution and various physiological processes such as respiration, circulation, digestion, and reproduction. This course is a prerequisite for all upper-level biology courses. Three hours of class.

3
BIO144L Lab: The Organism

Experiments to complement the material presented in BIO144. Two hours of laboratory per week. Corequisite or prerequisite: BIO144. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fees.

1
BIO490 Integrative Capstone

The integrative capstone , undertaken by the student during the senior year, is an extended project that helps the student complete their transition from an undergraduate student to a world-ready professional.  The study usually centers on the student’s major and may be conducted, at least in part, in the context of a group experience.  Such programs are crafted to meet the unique needs of each major, and could include, for example, fieldwork, theatre production, creative work in the arts, independent research, or independent readings. The integrative capstone in an interdisciplinary major must have the approval of both academic programs.  

3
CHM107 Chemistry I

This class begins with a study of atomic structure, then expands to cover chemical naming, patterns of reactivity, thermochemistry, the interaction of light and matter, atomic orbitals, ionic and covalent bonding, and molecular shapes. This class concludes with an introduction to organic chemistry and biochemistry. Three hours of lecture per week. Co-requisite: CHM 109

3
CHM108 Chemistry II

The second semester of general chemistry continues exploring the structure, properties, and bonding of atoms and molecules, with emphasis on the physical characteristics of gases, liquids, solids and solutions, chemical equilibria, thermodynamics, and kinetics. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisite(s): CHM 105 or 107; Corequisite: CHM 110.

3
IND350 Scientific Research Methods

This course serves as an introduction to research literature and research methodology in the sciences. Students prepare a research proposal including literature review, experimental design and methods, budget, timetable, and bibliography. Other topics include professional presentation techniques and research ethics. The student's major department must approve proposals prior to the Tutorial. Prerequisite(s): Junior status and completion of at least two courses at the 200-level or above in the major, or permission of the instructor.

2
INTBIO303 Internship - Biology

3
MTH110 Elementary Statistics

Topics include statistical measures and distributions, decision making under uncertainty, application of probability to statistical inference, linear correlation, introduction to nonparametric statistical methods, and application to problems drawn from the natural and social sciences. Three hours of class per week. Three hours of class per week.

3
Note: Students in the Human Biology track may substitute PSY 213 for MTH 110

+Minor Requirements

8 courses, including:

BIO143 The Cell

This course is designed to provide a broad overview of current biological concepts, including cell structure, function, division, and basic genetics. Biologically important molecules also are presented. This course is a prerequisite for all upper-level biology courses. Three hours of class

3
BIO143L Lab: The Cell

Experiments to complement the material presented in BIO143. Two hours of laboratory per week. Corequisite or prerequisite: BIO143. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fee.

1
BIO144 The Organism

This course provides a general survey of animals and plants at the organismic level, with emphasis on their evolution and various physiological processes such as respiration, circulation, digestion, and reproduction. This course is a prerequisite for all upper-level biology courses. Three hours of class.

3
BIO144L Lab: The Organism

Experiments to complement the material presented in BIO144. Two hours of laboratory per week. Corequisite or prerequisite: BIO144. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fees.

1
3 courses selected from biology courses numbered 200 or above; at least two of these must have a laboratory component.
1 biology elective or any science or mathematics course approved in advance and not already counted toward a major or minor.

+Track: Human Biology

This track is designed for students interested in human biology and its application to allied health care professions (e.g., physician assistant studies, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and nursing.) This curriculum is also appropriate for students who wish to enter law, public health, and health policy fields with a strong science background. It contains 11 courses, including:

BIO123 Nutrition

An introduction to nutrients, their composition, functions, and sources. Human physiology, including digestion, metabolism, and excretion, is covered, along with special nutritional needs throughout the life cycle. Integrated with this basic information are special topics pertaining to diets, organic foods, preservatives, pesticides, world hunger, and other current concerns.

3
BIO123L Lab: Nutrition

Laboratory course emphasizing nutrition. Experiments will correlate with and enhance the lectures in BIO 123. Two hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisite(s): Co-requisite or Prerequisite BIO 123. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fee.

1
BIO131 Human Genetics

This course is designed to help students understand issues in genetic research and biotechnology. Topics include Mendelian genetics, DNA structure and testing, pedigrees, birth defects, cancer, and the creation of transgenic plants and animals. Three hours of lecture per week.

3
BIO131L Human Genetics Laboratory

Laboratory course emphasizing human genetics. Experiments wil correlate with and enhance the lecture in BIO131. Two hours of laborary per week. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fee.

1
BIO201 Anatomy

This course introduces students to the basic concepts of anatomy. Lectures emphasize the human body and clinical applications of anatomy. They focus on anatomical terminology, gross structures, body movements, forming a three-dimensional mental image of body parts, and functional understanding of normal structures. Three hours of class per week. Prerequisites: BIO143 and 144.

3
BIO201L Lab: Anatomy

Laboratory experiments emphasizing comparative anatomy between humans and other animals. Three hours of laboratory per week. Corequisite or prerequisite: BIO201. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fees.

2
BIO209 Basic Neuroscience

This course is designed for wide appeal. It is an introduction to structure and function of the brain and spinal cord, and how nerves function and communicate. The basics of movement, sensation, language, emotion, and consciousness are discussed. Emphasis is placed on contrasting normal function with altered function in diseases. Three hours lecture per week. Prerequisite(s): BIO 143 and 144

3
BIO221 General Microbiology

The study of fundamental characteristics of bacteria and related microorganisms, including taxonomy, physiology, and distribution. Three class meetings per week. Prerequisite(s): Chemistry 108 and 110.

3
BIO221L Lab: General Microbiology

Experiments to complement the material in BIO221. Four hours of laboratory per week. Corequisite or prerequisite: BIO221. Addtional Fee(s): Laboratory fees.

2
BIO302 Physiology

This course introduces students to the basic concepts of physiology. The lectures will emphasize chemical principles, cellular biological principles, and a survey of the nervous, endocrine, immune, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, excretory, respiratory, and digestive systems. The laboratory will emphasize comparative physiology between humans and other animals. Three hours of class per week.

3
BIO302L Physiology Lab

Laboratory experiments emphasizing comparative physiology between human and other animals. Three hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO201L. Corequisite or Prerequisite: BIO302. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fees.

2
BIO419 Immunology

This course covers fundamental principles of immunology with emphasis on molecular and cellular immunology, including antigen and antibody structure and function, effector mechanisms, complement, major histocompatibility compleses, and the cellular basis for the immune response. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisitie(s): BIO221 or BIO302

3
OR
BIO458 Histology

A microscopic analysis of human and animal tissue and organ function at the cellular level. Material comes from text book, lecture, images and animations in addition to practical application and identification of histological specimens. Recommended for students planning to apply to professional schools of medicine, veterinary medicine, or dentistry. Prerequisites: BIO143 and 144 and CHM107 and 109, senior status or permission of instructor.

3
MTH151 Calculus I

This is the first course in the calculus sequence. Topics include differential and integral calculus for algebraic and trigonometirc functions with applications. Four hours of class per week.

4
Plus one 3 credit elective (PSY 340, PSY 341, or a 200+ course in biology) approved by the advisor
Note: Students interested in physical therapy should also take MTH 151 and PHY 251, 252, 255, and 256.

+Track: Cell and Molecular Biology

This track is designed for students who plan to enter a biological sciences graduate program or professional medical program (e.g., medicine, dentistry, veterinary sciences), and for those interested in career paths in biotechnology, biomedical research, and related areas. It contains 12 courses, including:

BIO231 Cell and Molecular Biology

A lecture course covering the organelles and activities of cells. Topics include the structure of proteins and other biomolecules, bioenergetics and enzymes, membranes, the mitochondrion, the chloroplast, the endo-membrane system, the cytoskeleton, and the nucleus and cellular reproduction. Prerequisite(s): BIO143 and 144, and CHM 109 and 110

3
BIO408 Developmental Biology

A study of the embryonic and post-embryonic development of animals, with special emphasis on humans. The morphogenesis, growth and mechanisms of differentiation are stressed. Other topics include cancer, regeneration, cloning, hormones as mediators of development, and developmental genetics. Prerequisite(s): on 200-level Biology course.

3
BIO417 Genetics

This study of the modern concepts of the gene stresses theory and experimental evidence relating to the structure of the gene, heritability of characteristics, and the behavior of genes in populations. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisite(s): BIO 143 and 144, and CHM 205 and 215. Statistics recommended.

3
BIO438 Biochemistry I

This course covers the structure and functions of proteins, polynucleic acids, and biological membranes. Enzymes and kinetics are taught. Metabolic pathways, with emphasis on the thermodynamics of the equilibria and the storage and usage of energy, are covered. Prerequisite(s): CHM 206 or permission of the instructor.

3
OR
BIO458 Histology

A microscopic analysis of human and animal tissue and organ function at the cellular level. Material comes from text book, lecture, images and animations in addition to practical application and identification of histological specimens. Recommended for students planning to apply to professional schools of medicine, veterinary medicine, or dentistry. Prerequisites: BIO143 and 144 and CHM107 and 109, senior status or permission of instructor.

3
CHM205 Organic Chemistry I

Development of the structural theory of organic compounds. Relationship of structure to reactivity, stereochemistry, types of organic reactive intermediates, and the chemistry of alkanes, alkenes, and aromatic compounds are covered. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisite(s): CHM 108 and 110; Co-requisite: CHM 215.

3
MTH151 Calculus I

This is the first course in the calculus sequence. Topics include differential and integral calculus for algebraic and trigonometirc functions with applications. Four hours of class per week.

4
PHY251 Principles of Physics I

Introduction to the concepts, laws, and structure of physics. This is the first course in a calculus-based sequence that focuses on classical mechanics. Topics include vector analysis, kinematics, Newton’s laws, work, conservation of energy and momentum, collisions, gravity, harmonic motion, and wave phenomena. Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite: MTH 151.

4
PHY252 Principles of Physics II

Introduction to the concepts, laws, and structure of physics. The second course in a calculus-based physics sequence. Topics include thermodynamics, fluids, electricity, circuit analysis, magnetism, Maxwell’s equations, properties of light, and optics. Four hours of class per week.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 251

4
Note: students interested in medical programs should also take MTH152 Calculus, CHM 206 Organic Chemistry II and CHM 216 Organic Chemistry II Laboratory

+Botany Minor

Botany, or plant biology, is the scientific study of plants, from algae to giant sequoia trees. A minor in botany is ideal for students who wish to supplement their studies in some other discipline with a concentrated study of plant life. 19 credits, including:

Minor Requirements
19 credits, including:
BIO144 The Organism

This course provides a general survey of animals and plants at the organismic level, with emphasis on their evolution and various physiological processes such as respiration, circulation, digestion, and reproduction. This course is a prerequisite for all upper-level biology courses. Three hours of class.

3
OR
ENV129 Our Fragile Earth: A Scientific Perspective

This course introduces students to a wide range of environmental issues from a scientific perspective. Specific topics vary from year to year, but this course utilizes lectures, discussions, laboratories, guest speakers and field trips to increase knowledge about environmental problems as well as increase scientific knowledge and literacy.

3
OR
SUS201 Integrative Biology

This course will introduce traditional biological concepts from molecules to organisms within an integrative and applied framework. Students will learn the interdisciplinary nature and common approaches of biology through applied topics relevant to sustainability such as human and ecological health, freshwater and marine fisheries, energy sources, and climate dynamics.

3
BIO144L Lab: The Organism

Experiments to complement the material presented in BIO144. Two hours of laboratory per week. Corequisite or prerequisite: BIO144. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fees.

1
OR
ENV129L Our Fragile Earth Lab

This lab offers hands-on opportunity to perform basic environmental lab skills, including sater testing, bioassay, and greenhouse experiment protocol. The course may be taken independently oas a freestanding environmental lab course. Two hours of laboratory per week. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fee.

1
OR
SUS201L Integrative Biology Lab

Laboratory exercises including data collection, small-scale experimentation, data modeling, and simulation will be experienced to complement the material covered in SUS 201. Two hours of laboratory will be held per week at the Eden Hall Campus aquatic science lab. Co-requisite or Prerequisite(s): SUS 201. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fees = S50.

1
BIO224 Botany

An introduction to the structure and function of plants. Topics include the evolutionary rise of green plants, plant life cycles and development, plant physiology, plant ecology, and the morphology and taxonomy of vascular plants. The importance of plants fro humans is discussed, including their use for food and medicine. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisite(s): BIO 143 and 144.

3
BIO224L Lab: Botany

Experiments to complement the material presented in BIO224. Four hours of laboratory or flield experience per week. Corequisite or prerequisite: BIO224. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fees.

2
CHM107 Chemistry I

This class begins with a study of atomic structure, then expands to cover chemical naming, patterns of reactivity, thermochemistry, the interaction of light and matter, atomic orbitals, ionic and covalent bonding, and molecular shapes. This class concludes with an introduction to organic chemistry and biochemistry. Three hours of lecture per week. Co-requisite: CHM 109

3
OR
CHM102 Chemistry in Context

One semester lecture course with selected topics in inorganic and organic chemistry. Emphasis is on relevance to biological and environmental issues. Topics include matter, energy, atomic and molecular structure, bonding, reaction chemistry, and radioactivity. Three hours of lecture per week. Not open to majors in biology or chemistry.

3
CHM109L Chemistry I Laboratory

Introduction to the basic experimental procedures and laboratory techniques in chemistry. Experiments are correlated with the lectures in Chemistry 105 and Chemistry 107. Three hours of laboratory per week. Corequisite: CHM 105 or 107. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fee.

1
OR
CHM102L Chemistry in Context Lab

One semester laboratory course to accompany CHM102 Chemistry in Context. Two hours of lab per week. Not open to majors in biology or chemistry.

1
And a minimum of two courses (minimum six credits) from the combinations below:
BIO250 Plants, People, and Environment (3)
BIO484 Plant Physiology

This course is an introduction to the physiology and biochemistry of plants. Lectures and laboratory exercises cover plant cells, enzymes, transport of water and nutrients, metabolism, defenses against pathogens, gene expression, hormones, and responses to environmental stimuli. Three lectures per week. Prerequisite(s): BIO 143 and 144, and CHM 109 and 110.

3
AND
BIO484L Lab: Plant Physiology

Experiements to complement the material presented in BIO384. Four hours of laboratory per week. Corequisite or prerequisite: BIO484. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fees.

2
ENV208 Backpacking: Experiencing the Natural History of Western

Students learn local land-use and natural history, including soil formation, flora, and some fauna. Also covered are wilderness trip planning and leadership, including principles for minimizing human impacts and conserving outdoor spaces and wilderness heritage. One weekend overnight camping trip is required. Prior completion of 100-level science course is desirable.

3
FST402 Global Agriculture

This multi-disciplinary course examines agro-ecological, socio-economic, and political issues in tropical agriculture in the global South, focusing on how production and consumption impact food, agriculture, and community sustainability. The course centers on a two-week visit to EARTH University in Costa Rica, plus pre- and post-trip sessions in Pittsburgh.

3
FST420 Basic Agroecology

Through working on Chatham's Eden Hall Farm as well as neighboring farms, students will integrate best practices for sustainable agriculture with theory encountered in class. Topics will include basic principles of soil fertility, biodiversity, agriculture history, effects of both conventional and organic agriculture, and the politics surrounding the issues.

3
AND
FST420L Growing Sustainably Lab

Through working with Chatham's Eden Hall Farm as well as visiting neighboring farms, students will integrate best practices for sustainable agriculture with theory encountered in classes. Topics will include basic principles of soil fertilitiy, biodiversity, greenhouse production, agriculture history, effects of both conventional and organic agriculture, and the politics surrounding the issues.

1
SUS450 Farm, Food, Field

This course explores food, farm, and environment through readings, films, lectures, demonstrations, field trips, and on-farm and kitchen experiences in research and production problems. Activities include presentations on specific topics, group discussions, hands-on lab and field activities, individual and group presentations, field trips, and reflection through writing, video, and photography

3
SUS4XX: Tree Care
Courses listed here that are also required for a student’s major must be replaced by a course approved in advance by the department chair.