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Organismal Biology/Physiology Concentration

The Organismal Biology/Physiology concentration focuses on the biology of organisms, including the diversity of life on earth and the function of organisms at the physiological level. The four required OP courses provide students with a foundation in the cellular or biochemical basis of physiologic events and the diversity of organismal forms, as well as an in-depth study of physiology. The two focus areas offer a deeper look at human biology or broader training in organismal biology. This concentration will prepare students for careers in medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, and industry, and for further research in human biology, organismal biology, or physiology.

Focus Areas within the OP Concentration

Human Biology

The Human Biology Focus Area is for students interested in an in-depth study of human organismal biology and processes with an emphasis on the understanding and diagnosis of human disease, as well as the discovery of novel therapeutic cures.

Required Courses

BIO 311 Metabolism
BIO 201 Human Physiology I
BIO 203 Human Physiology II

Select one of the following electives

BIO 221 Microbiology
BIO 223 Parasitology
BIO 260 Plant Biology I
BIO 322 Mycology
BIO 420 Virology


Focus Area Courses

Select two of the following electives

BIO 221 Microbiology
BIO 223 Parasitology
BIO 264 Ethnobotany
BIO 284 Biology of Stress
BIO 320 Microbial Pathogenesis
BIO 368 Embryology
BIO 370 Teratology
* BIO 386 Gross Anatomy
BIO 412 Biology of Aging
BIO 420 Virology
BIO 424 Microbial Physiology
* BIO 426 Immunology
BIO 435 Advanced Immunology
BIO 466 Endocrinology
ENVS 321 Environmental Health
ENVS 431 Epidemiology
ENVS 436 Principles of Toxicology I
ENVS 437 Principles of Toxicology II

* Students in this track who want to take BIO 386 Gross Anatomy or BIO 426 Immunology must take BIO 214 Principles of Cell Biology as their CMBG elective, as it is a prerequisite for these courses.

Recommended Plans of Study

Human Biology - 4 year, Fall-Winter Co-op (PDF)
Human Biology - 4 year, Spring-Summer Co-op (PDF)
Human Biology - 4 year, No Co-op (PDF)
Human Biology - 5 year, Fall-Winter Co-op (PDF)
Human Biology - 5 year, Spring-Summer Co-op (PDF)

Organismal Biology

The Organismal Biology Focus Area is for students interested in the function and biology of particular groups of non-human organisms such as plants or microorganisms. In particular, students can focus on problems, challenges, and aspects of biology that arise at the whole organism level (rather than cellular or subcellular). Areas related to this track extend from the molecular to the ecological levels of organization.

Required Courses

BIO 214 Principles of Cell Biology
BIO 254 Invertebrate Morphology and Physiology
BIO 256 Vertebrate Morphology and Physiology

Select one of the following electives

BIO 221 Microbiology
BIO 223 Parasitology
BIO 260 Plant Biology I
BIO 322 Mycology
BIO 420 Virology


Focus Area Courses

Select two of the following electives

BIO 221 Microbiology
BIO 223 Parasitology
BIO 260 Plant Biology I
BIO 262 Plant Biology II
BIO 284 Biology of Stress
BIO 310 Comparative Physiology
BIO 320 Microbial Pathogenesis
BIO 322 Mycology
BIO 368 Embryology
BIO 370 Teratology
BIO 386 Gross Anatomy
BIO 412 Biology of Aging
BIO 420 Virology
BIO 424 Microbial Physiology
BIO 426 Immunology
BIO 435 Advanced Immunology
BIO 466 Endocrinology
ENVS 321 Environmental Health
ENVS 392 Ichthyology & Herpetology
ENVS 431 Epidemiology
ENVS 436 Principles of Toxicology I


Recommended Plans of Study

Organismal Biology - 4 year, Fall-Winter Co-op (PDF)
Organismal Biology - 4 year, Spring-Summer Co-op (PDF)
Organismal Biology - 4 year, No Co-op (PDF)
Organismal Biology - 5 year, Fall-Winter Co-op (PDF)
Organismal Biology - 5 year, Spring-Summer Co-op (PDF)

No Focus Area

Students also have the option to pursue No Focus Area and instead take electives that most interest them to receive broad training in the Organismal Biology/Physiology Concentration.

Required Courses

BIO 214 Principles of Cell Biology or BIO 311 Metabolism
BIO 201 Human Physiology I or BIO 254 Invertebrate Morphology and Physiology
BIO 203 Human Physiology II or BIO 256 Vertebrate Morphology and Physiology


Focus Area Courses

Select one of the following electives

BIO 221 Microbiology
BIO 223 Parasitology
BIO 260 Plant Biology I
BIO 322 Mycology
BIO 420 Virology


Recommended Plans of Study

No Focus Area - 4 year, Fall-Winter Co-op (PDF)
No Focus Area - 4 year, Spring-Summer Co-op (PDF)
No Focus Area - 4 year, No Co-op (PDF)
No Focus Area - 5 year, Fall-Winter Co-op (PDF)
No Focus Area - 5 year, Spring-Summer Co-op (PDF)



OP Degree Requirements

BS in Biological Sciences: OP Checklist (PDF)
Biological Science Course Descriptions