Biology Major Requirements – Advanced Biology Coursework

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Advanced Biology Courses

In addition completing a common core, Biology majors select 21 credits of advanced (300+ level) life science coursework related to their interests.  This makes Biology a highly customizable life science program.  The Biology Program has compiled a list of life science courses at Iowa State pre-approved for use as advaned biology credits.  A printer-friendly, downloadable list courses is available here: Approved Advanced Biology Courses 2020-2021 (PDF)


Advanced Biology Courses Offered by the Biology Program

Biology majors must take 9 of their 21 advanced biology credits from BIOL, EEOB, or GDCB course offerings.  Courses listed as BIOL are intended for undergraduates, while EEOB and GDCB are intended for graduate students and open for well-prepared undergraduates.  

Undergraduate Biology Program Courses

Course # Course Name Credits Lab?
BIOL 322 Introduction to Bioinformatics and Computational Biology 3  
BIOL 328 Molecular and Cellular Biology of Human Diseases 3  
BIOL 335 Human and Other Animal Physiology 3  
BIOL 335L Human and Other Animal Physiology Lab 1 Y
BIOL 336 Ecological and Evolutionary Animal Physiology 3  
BIOL 344 Human Reproduction 3  
BIOL 349 The Genome Perspective in Biology 3 Y
BIOL 350 Comprehensive Human Anatomy 4 Y
BIOL 351 Comparative Chordate Anatomy 5 Y
BIOL 352 Vertebrate Histology 4 Y
BIOL 353 Introductory Parasitology 3  
BIOL 354 Animal Behavior 3  
BIOL 354L Animal Behavior Lab 1 Y
BIOL 355 Plants and People 3  
BIOL 356 Dendrology 4 Y
BIOL 357 Biology of Plants 3  
BIOL 358X Bee Biology, Management, and Beekeeping 3 Y
BIOL 364 Invertebrate Biology 3-4  
BIOL 365 Vertebrate Biology 4 Y
BIOL 366 Plant Systematics 4 Y
BIOL 370 GIS for Ecology and Environmental Science 1-6 Y
BIOL 371 Ecological Methods 3 Y
BIOL 381 Environmental Systems I 3  
BIOL 382 Environmental Systems II 3 Y
BIOL 393 North American Field Trips 1-4 Y
BIOL 394 International Field Trips 1-4 Y
BIOL 402 Introduction to Pathology 3  
BIOL 414 Life History and Reproductive Strategies 3  
BIOL 420X Plant Molecular Biology 3  
BIOL 421X Biology of Aging 3  
BIOL 423 Developmental Biology 3  
BIOL 423L Developmental Biology Lab 1 Y
BIOL 428 Cell Biology 3  
BIOL 430 Principles of Plant Physiology 3  
BIOL 434 Endocrinology 3  
BIOL 436 Neurobiology 3  
BIOL 444 Bioinformatic Analysis 4  
BIOL 451 Plant Evolution and Phylogeny 4 Y
BIOL 454 Plant Anatomy 4 Y
BIOL 455 Bryophyte and Lichen Biodiversity 3 Y
BIOL 456 Principles of Mycology 3 Y
BIOL 457 Herpetology 2  
BIOL 457L Herpetology Lab 1 Y
BIOL 458 Ornithology 2  
BIOL 458L Ornithology Lab 1 Y
BIOL 459 Mammalogy 2  
BIOL 459L Mammalogy Lab 1 Y
BIOL 462 Evolutionary Genetics 3  
BIOL 464 Wetland Ecology 3  
BIOL 465 Macroevolution 3  
BIOL 471 Introduction to Conservation Biology 3  
BIOL 472 Community Ecology 3  
BIOL 474 Plant Ecology 3  
BIOL 476 Functional Ecology 3  
BIOL 480 Studies in Marine Biology 1-8 Y
BIOL 481 Summer Field Studies 1-8 Y
BIOL 482 Tropical Biology 1-4 Y
BIOL 483 Environmental Biogeochemistry 3  
BIOL 484 Ecosystem Ecology 3  
BIOL 486 Aquatic Ecology 3  
BIOL 486L Aquatic Ecology Lab 1 Y
BIOL 487 Microbial Ecology 3  
BIOL 488 Identification of Aquatic Organisms 1 Y
BIOL 489 Population Ecology 3 Y
BIOL 490 Independent Study 1  
BIOL 491 Undergraduate Teaching Experience 1-2 Y
BIOL 492 Preparing for Graduate School in Biology 1  
BIOL 494 Biology Internship 1-2 Y
BIOL 495 Undergraduate Seminar 1-3  
BIOL 498 Cooperative Education R  
BIOL 499 Undergraduate Research 1-3 Y

Graduate Biology Program Courses

Course # Course Name Credits Lab?
EEOB 507 Advanced Animal Behavior 3  
EEOB 514 Life History and Reproductive Strategies 3  
EEOB 531 Conservation Biology 3  
EEOB 534 Endocrinology 3  
EEOB 535 Restoration Ecology 3 Y
EEOB 546 Computational Skills for Biological Data 3  
EEOB 551 Plant Evolution and Phylogeny 4  
EEOB 553 Agrostology 3  
EEOB 555 Bryophyte and Lichen Biodiversity 3 Y
EEOB 558 Ornithology 2  
EEOB 559 Mammology 2  
EEOB 561 Evolutionary and Ecological Genomics 3  
EEOB 562 Evolutionary Genetics 3  
EEOB 563 Molecular Phylogenetics 3  
EEOB 564 Wetland Ecology 3  
EEOB 565 Macroevolution 3  
EEOB 566 Molecular Evolution 3  
EEOB 567 Empirical Population Genetics 3  
EEOB 568 Advanced Systematics 3 Y
EEOB 569 Biogeography 3  
EEOB 573 Techniques for Biology Teaching 1-2  
EEOB 576 Functional Ecology 3  
EEOB 577 Concepts in Theoretical Ecology and Evolution 1  
EEOB 581 Environmental Systems I 3-4  
EEOB 582 Environmental Systems II 3-4 Y
EEOB 584 Advanced Ecosystem Ecology 3  
EEOB 585 Advanced Community Ecology 3  
EEOB 586 Aquatic Ecology 3  
EEOB 586L Aquatic Ecology Lab 1 Y
EEOB 587 Microbial Ecology 3  
EEOB 589 Population Ecology 3 Y
EEOB 590 Special Topics 1-3  
EEOB 596 Ecology and Society 3  
GDCB 510 Transmission Genetics 3  
GDCB 511 Molecular Genetics 3  
GDCB 513 Plant Metabolism 2  
GDCB 528 Advances in Molecular Cell Biology 3  
GDCB 533 Advances in Developmental Biology 3  
GDCB 536 Statistical Genetics 4  
GDCB 542 Intro to Molecular Biology Techniques 1 Y
GDCB 444 Fundamentals of Bioinformatics 4  
GDCB 545 Plant Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology 3  
GDCB 556 Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Neuroscience 3  
GDCB 557 Advanced Neuroscience Techniques 3  
GDCB 568 Statistical Bioinformatics 3  
GDCB 569 Structual Bioinformatics 3  
GDCB 570 Systems Biology 3  
GDCB 585 Fundamentals of Predictive Plant Phenomics 4  
GDCB 590 Special Topics variable  

Advanced Biology Courses Offered by Other Deparments

Iowa State University is a great place to study biology because there are so many departments involved in life sciences.  Advanced (300+ level) courses from other departments can also count towards the 21 credits of advanced biology coursework students need to complete their Bachelor of Science in Biology.  

Course # Agronomy Course Name Credits Lab?
AGRON 316 Crop Structure-Function Relationships 3  
AGRON 317 Principles of Weed Science 3  
AGRON 338 Seed Science and Technology 3 Y
AGRON 354 Soils and Plant Growth 3  
AGRON 354L Soils and Plant Growth Laboratory 1 Y
AGRON 421 Introduction to Plant Breeding 3  
AGRON 485 Soil and Environmental Microbiology 3  
Course # Animal Science Course Name Credits Lab?
AN S 313 Exercise Physiology of Animals 2  
AN S 319 Animal Nutrition 3  
AN S 331 Domestic Animal Reproduction 3  
AN S 332 Lab Methods in Animal Reproduction 1 Y
AN S 333 Embryo Transfer and Related Technology 3  
AN S 334 Embryo Transfer Laboratory 1 Y
AN S 337 Lactation 3  
AN S 345 Growth and Development of Domestic Animals 3  
AN S 352 Genetic Improvement of Domestic Animals 3 Y
AN S 419 Advanced Animal Nutrition 2  
Course # Anthropology Course Name Credits Lab?
ANTHR 307 Biological Anthropology 3 Y
ANTHR 319 Skeletal Biology 3 Y
ANTHR 424 Forensic Anthropology 3 Y
ANTHR 438 Primate Evolutionary Ecology and Behavior 3  
ANTHR 482 Topics in Biological Anthropology 3  
Course # Biochemistry Course Name Credits Lab?
BBMB 405 Biochemistry II 3  
BBMB 411 Techniques in Biochemical Research 4 Y
BBMB 420 Mammalian Biochemistry 3  
BBMB 430 Prokaryotic Diversity and Ecology 3  
BBMB 440 Microbial Physiology, Diversity, and Genetics Lab 4 Y
Course # Biomedical Studies Course Name Credits Lab?
B M S 329 Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals 3  
B M S 335 Molecular and Cellular Basis of Disease 1  
B M S 401 Introduction to Aquatic Animal Medicine 1 Y
B M S 448 Principles of Human Gross Anatomy 4 Y
Course # Community and Regional Planning Course Name Credits Lab?
C R P 451 Introduction to GIS 3 Y
Course # Entomology Course Name Credits Lab?
ENT 370 Insect Biology 3 Y
ENT 374 Insects and our Health 3  
ENT 374L Insects and our Health Laboratory 1 Y
ENT 410 Insect-Virus Interactions 3  
ENT 425 Aquatic Insects 3 Y
ENT 471 Insect Ecology 3 Y
Course # Food Science and Human Nutrition Course Name Credits Lab?
FS HN 360 Advanced Human Nutrition and Metabolism 3  
FS HN 361 Nutrition and Health Assessment 2 Y
FS HN 362 Nutrition in Growth and Development 3  
FS HN 364 Nutrition and Prevention of Chronic Disease 3  
FS HN 367 Medical Terminology 1  
Course # Geology Course Name Credits Lab?
GEOL 412 Micropaleontology 3  
Course # Genetics Course Name Credits Lab?
GEN 340 Human Genetics 3  
GEN 409 Molecular Genetics 3  
GEN 410 Analytical Genetics 3  
Course # Health Studies Course Name Credits Lab?
H S 350 Human Diseases 3  
Course # Horticulture Course Name Credits Lab?
HORT 321 Horticulture Physiology 3  
HORT 322 Plant Propagation 3 Y
Course # Kinesiology Course Name Credits Lab?
KIN 355 Biomechanics 3  
KIN 363 Basic Electrocardiography 2  
KIN 472 Neural Basis of Human Movement 3  
Course # Microbiology Course Name Credits Lab?
MICRO 302 Biology of Microorganisms 3  
MICRO 302L Microbiology Lab 1 Y
MICRO 310 Medical Microbiology  3  
MICRO 310L Medical Microbiology Lab 1 Y
MICRO 320 Molecular and Cellular Bacteriology 4  
MICRO 402 Microbial Genetics 3  
MICRO 408 Virology 3  
MICRO 475 Immunology 3  
MICRO 475L Immunology Lab 1 Y
Course # Natural Resource Ecology and Management Course Name Credits Lab?
A ECL 321 Fish Biology 3 Y
A ECL 366 Natural History of Iowa Vertebrates 3 Y
A ECL 415 Ecology of Freshwater Invertebrates, Plants, Algae 3 Y
A ECL 418 Stream Ecology 3 Y
A ECL 442 Aquaculture 3  
A ECL 454 Principles of Wildlife Disease 3  
FOR 302 Silviculture 3 Y
NREM 301 Natural Resource Ecology and Soils 4 Y
NREM 345 Natural Resource Photogrammetry and GIS 3 Y
NREM 357 Midwestern Prairie Plants 1 Y
NREM 358 Forest Herbaceous Layer 1 Y
NREM 390 Fire Ecology and Management 3  
NREM 407 Watershed Management 4 Y
NREM 446 Integrating GPS and GIS for Natural Resource Management 3 Y
NREM 452 Ecosystem Management 3 Y
Course # Plant Pathology Course Name Credits Lab?
PL P 408 Principles of Plant Pathology 3  
PL P 416 Forest Insects and Diseases 3  
PL P 416L Forest Insects and Diseases Laboratory 1 Y
PL P 477 Bacterial-Plant Interactions 3  
PL P 494 Seed Pathology 2  
Course # Psychology Course Name Credits
PSYCH 310 Brain and Behavior 3
PSYCH 315 Drugs and Behavior 3