Changes effective Spring Term 2016

Fokidis Gregory Harper Klemann
Pieczynski Schmalstig Stephenson Sutherland
Walsh Yariz

The biology major exposes students to a wide variety of field, laboratory, and classroom experiences fundamental to the life sciences. Through selected electives, students may concentrate on specific areas of interest such as marine biology, ecology, microbiology, botany, zoology, or molecular biology. The major also offers the flexibility for students to minor in another area or to fulfill requirements for secondary teaching certification. Students have excellent opportunities to engage in independent research projects. Graduates are prepared to pursue employment in biological laboratories, and for further study in the health professions or graduate research institutions. Students may not simultaneously major or minor in biology and marine biology, or biochemistry/molecular biology.



Eleven (11) courses and an additional 10 semester hours of BIO prefix elective course credit are required: seven (7) core biology courses, four (4) core physical science courses, 10 semester hours of elective courses, and satisfactory performance on a comprehensive standardized examination. At least seven (7) of the eleven (11) courses required for the biology major must be taken at Rollins College or as part of a Rollins-sanctioned program (e.g., Duke Marine Laboratory, University of London). Of these seven (7), at least five (5) must be BIO courses beyond BIO 120/121.

CORE BIOLOGY COURSES (seven courses)

  • BIO 120 General Biology I
  • BIO 121 General Biology II
  • One course in molecular biology/genetics
    • BIO 308 Genetics
    • BIO 341 Molecular Biology
  • One course in ecosystems/field study
    • BIO 210 Introduction to Marine Science and BIO 388 Marine Biology Laboratory
    • BIO 316 Ecology
    • BIO 330 Field Botany and Florida Ecosystems
  • One course in physiology
    • BIO 311 Plant Physiology
    • BIO 312 Animal Physiology
    • BIO 360 Cellular Biology
  • BIO 344 Biology Journal Club
  • BIO 440 Senior Seminar OR BIO 499 Independent Study: Biological Research


  • CHM 120 General Chemistry I
  • CHM 121 General Chemistry II
  • CHM 220 Organic Chemistry I


  • CHM 121 General Chemistry II
  • CHM 220 Organic Chemistry I
  • CHM 221 Organic Chemistry II

Ten (10) semester hours.

  • Any biology course above BIO 210. Courses from the core groupings, other than those used to satisfy the core, may be used as electives. One Biological Internship (BIO 396) may be used as an elective.
  • Plants play a central role in our biosphere. However, our modern society often fails to recognize the significance of plants in biological systems, the scientific contributions of plant-based research, and the importance of plants in human affairs. Therefore, the department recommends that at least one (1) of the courses taken to fulfill the requirements for a major in biology be a plant-oriented biology course.

Six (6) semester hours

  • One course of at least six (6) semester hours selected from the following: PHY 120 or above, CHM 301 or above, PSY 250 or above, MAT 111 or above.


Students preparing for graduate programs in biology or professional schools, in health-related areas such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or pharmacy need a thorough introduction to chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Therefore, they are advised to take CHM 221 and PHY 120 and PHY 121 or PHY 130 and PHY 131, (a) calculus course(s), and a statistics course. In addition, some professional schools now require biochemistry. Students should be aware that requirements of different programs can vary and that they should seek guidance from advisors and program directors.


Rollins College, has an agreement with Marine Biological Laboratories at Duke University and Woods Hole enabling students to spend a semester at these sites. Courses taken at the Duke lab can be used to fulfill two courses in the biology major (any combination of core and electives). Students participating in the Semester in Environmental Science at Woods Hole will be able to use courses taken there as the core course in ecosystems/field study and up to two (2) electives. Students need to petition and receive approval from the Department of Biology for this and any other off-campus program.


Six (6) core courses and an additional 10 semester hours of BIO prefix elective course credit are required: four (4) core biology courses, two (2) core chemistry courses, and 10 semester hours of elective courses. At least four (4) of the courses required for the biology minor must be taken at Rollins College or as part of a Rollins sanctioned program (e.g., Duke Marine lab, University of London). Of these four (4), at least three (3) must be BIO courses beyond BIO 120/121.


  • BIO 120 General Biology I
  • BIO 121 General Biology II

Two (2) courses satisfying two (2) out of the following three (3) clusters: molecular biology/genetics, ecosystems/field study, and physiology.

  • Molecular biology/genetics
    • BIO 308 Genetics
    • BIO 341 Molecular Biology
  • Ecosystems/Field study
    • BIO 210 Introduction to Marine Science and BIO 388 Marine Biology Laboratory
    • BIO 316 Ecology
    • BIO 330 Field Botany and Florida Ecosystems
  • Physiology
    • BIO 311 Plant Physiology
    • BIO 312 Animal Physiology
    • BIO 360 Cellular Biology

CORE CHEMISTRY COURSES (two courses in Chemistry selected from the list below.)

  • CHM 120 General Chemistry I
  • CHM 121 General Chemistry II
  • CHM 220 Organic Chemistry I

Ten (10) semester hours; at least one of the elective courses must be at the 300- or400-level.

Any biology course above BIO 210. After satisfying core requirements in the cellular/molecular biology and ecosystems/field study, additional courses from these clusters may be used as electives.

Course of Study

BIO 100 Discover Biology: Discussion course that introduces students to the variety of subdisciplines in the field of biology. Readings focus on historically important discoveries in biology and current issues and controversies. Prerequisite: entering new and new transfer students only.

BIO 101 The Biology of Cancer for Non-majors: Provides an understanding of the underlying causes of cancer in addition to preventative methods and available treatments. Basic biological principles (cellular, molecular, and physiological) will be examined to provide the proper framework for understanding cancer. This course is aimed towards those with little or no previous biology experience, and is intended for non-majors.

BIO 102 Medical Terminology -- Language of Health Professionals. Introduces the language of medicine utilized by health care professionals. Basic word structures (prefixes, sufixes, word root, combining forms), formation of medical terms, abbreviations, definitions, special endings, and plural forms are included in the content. Discusses major disease processes and pathological conditions of specific body systems. Emphasis on spelling, usage, pronunciation, and a systemic approach to learning word parts for constructing, or analyzing new medical terms. Prerequisites: One ENG course.

BIO 103 Biology for Everyday Life: Explores today's challenges from a biological perspective. Discussions focus on issues such as cancer, nutrition and health, infectious disease and immunity, and ecological diversity. Laboratory course designed for non-science majors.

BIO 104 Animal Nutrition. Reviews the ways animals digest and metabolize their food to fuel a variety of physiological states. Stresses the interconnections between anatomy, ecology, and physiology. Suitable for nonmajors.

BIO 105 Ecological Basis of Environmental Issues:  Introduces students to ecological principles that form the basis for understanding environmental issues, and to scientific concepts, laboratory, and field techniques used to study and assess natural and human-induced changes in ecosystems. Lab course designed for non-science majors.

BIO 106 Human Impacts on Marine Ecosystems: Introduces students to marine ecosystems and the impacts of human activities on marine flora and fauna. Addresses contemporary issues of exploitation, pollution and conservation, and their ecological consequences. Lab course designed for non-science majors.

BIO 107 Sustaining Biodiversity with Laboratory: Investigates patterns of biodiversity across biomes, human impact on wild populations and habitats, social and political issues at the local and global level, and the search for sustainable solutions to a world of expanding human populations with finite resources. Lab course for nonmajors.

BIO 108 Health and Disease: Introduces key scientific principles underlying health and disease.  Students will also gain familiarity with skills and techniques used by scientists to answer basic questions in the biological sciences.

BIO 109 Wild Florida: Interdisciplinary course that educates students about Florida's natural habitats, with an emphasis on botany, and provides students with an understanding of how humans historically interact with, and effect, these ecosystems. Suitable for nonmajors. Laboratory required.

BIO 111 Human Genetics: Discusses the general principles underlying basic human genetics. Explores current issues such as stem cells, genetic testing, heritable diseases, and cancer biology.

BIO 112 Biological Aspects of Nutrition: Examines foods, nutrients, and biological processes by which humans ingest, digest, metabolize, transport, utilize, and excrete wastes. Covers current concepts in scientific nutrition and how they apply to personal health. Lab course for nonmajors.

BIO 113 Plants and Humanity: Explores human dependence on plants through investigations of plant structure and function, development, inheritance, diversity, and environmental interactions. Weighs value and limits of scientific approaches to improving world's food and biodiversity crises. Lab course for nonmajors.

BIO 115 Human Reproduction and Development: Examines human reproduction, pregnancy, parturition, and lactation. Explores development from fertilization to birth. Discusses congenital abnormalities and their basis in genetics and the environment. Laboratory activities will highlight some of the methodological and conceptual approaches used to address questions arising from molecular, evolutionary, and physiological perspectives on reproduction-related phenomena. For nonmajors.

BIO 117 Bacteria, Viruses and Humans: Introduces world of microorganisms and their impact on human life. Presents basic principles of biology while probing diversity, genetics, and ecology of microorganisms; their uses in food, agriculture, and industry; and their ability to produce disease. Lab exercises involve quantitative and qualitative analysis of bacterial nutrition and procedures for identification and control of microbes. Lab course for nonmajors.

BIO 118 Introduction to the Forensic Sciences: Survey of the major disciplines within the forensic sciences. Focuses on the use of basic scientific principles and the scientific method in crime investigations. Designed for nonmajors.

BIO 119 Conservation of Florida's Freshwater Ecosystems: Introduces students to the amazing diversity of Florida's freshwater ecosystems, while familiarizing them with the basic physical, chemical, biological, and ecological characteristics of these systems. Scientific concepts and laboratory and field techniques used to study, monitor, and conserve Florida's freshwater ecosystems also included. Lab course for nonmajors.

BIO 120/121 General Biology I and II: Includes cell structure and function, genetics and evolution, and diversity of organisms and ecology. Lab course intended for science majors.

BIO 122 Human Biology. General education combined course that is fully integrated with a laboratory for students not majoring in biology. Course includes study of human body systems with emphasis on major organ systems and process, and their links to biology concepts underlying major human evolution, genetics, reproduction, development, and diseases of man. Suitable for nonmajors.

BIO 123 Sex on the Brain. Examines the biology of sex, gender and sexuality. The class will investigate how sex and gender are determined, how various animals approach sexual reproduction, and how the brain shapes sexual and reproductive behaviors.

BIO 201 Careers in Biology: Introduces students to the variety of career opportunities available to biology majors. Course topics include internship and research opportunities, graduate school, resumes, and career preparation. Students will investigate possible careers and meet professionals in a variety of biological fields. Prerequisite: BIO 120.

BIO 203 Biology for Teachers: Prepares students to teach biology in elementary school. Incorporates principles and concepts of chemistry to demonstrate relationship to biology. Models integration of lab exercises, elementary activities, research projects, and educational technology. Lab course for education majors.

BIO 210  Introduction to Marine Science: Introduction to biological, physical, chemical, and geological processes in the oceans and coastal environments and their interaction. Introduces scientific concepts used to study marine ecosystems. For biology majors and minors. Prerequisite: BIO 121.

BIO 211 Marine Botany: Study of marine macro- and microalgae, and coastal vascular plants. Human impact and interaction with these ecosystems is also examined. Two weekend field trips are required. Prerequisite: BIO 121.

BIO 223 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy: Surveys anatomy of major groups of vertebrate organisms. Students dissect lamprey, shark, mud puppy, and cat. Lab required. Prerequisite: BIO 121.

BIO 229 Microbiology: Emphasizes metabolism, genetics, reproduction, and ecology of bacteria and viruses and their relationship to infectious disease and immunology. Develops basic research and microbiological lab skills. Lab required. Prerequisite: BIO 121.

BIO 230 Local Flora: Study of local flora through field trips, directed observations, and plant collections. (Students who have successfully completed BIO 330 Field Botany and Florida Ecosystems may not receive credit for this course.) Prerequisite: BIO 121 or ENV 220.

BIO 234 Plant Kingdom: Surveys evolution of plant and fungi kingdoms and algal protists. Covers plant anatomy, morphology, reproduction, and structure of plant communities. Fieldwork teaches use of taxonomic keys to identify plants. Lab and fieldwork required. Prerequisite: BIO 121.

BIO 236 Invertebrate Zoology: Examines animal kingdom from motile protists (protozoa) through invertebrate chordates, with emphasis on evolution and organization of animal diversity. Required lab and fieldwork use as much live material as possible, especially faunal groups from Central Florida and Florida Keys. Prerequisite: BIO 121.

BIO 237 Vertebrate Zoology: Surveys vertebrate chordates from jawless lamprey through fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Stresses structural and functional characteristics, evolutionary relationships, ecology, behavior, and distribution. Required lab and fieldwork focus on Florida fish and wildlife. Prerequisite: BIO 121.

BIO 240 The Biology of Fishes: Introduces ichthyology, the scientific study of the vertebrate organisms known as fishes. Major emphasis on fish classification, identification, anatomy, physiology, ecology, and evolution. Laboratory focuses on identification and biology of major fish groups found in Florida waters. Prerequisite: BIO 121.

BIO 245 Human Anatomy with Laboratory: Studies major human organ systems and their functional characteristics in normal and abnormal states. Designed primarily for students preparing for the study of physical therapy, occupational therapy, other allied health professions, and those biology or other majors not planning to attend medical, dental, or graduate school. Laboratory includes study of human bones, microscopic slides of tissues, and dissection of cats and other mammalian organs. Prerequisite: BIO 121.

BIO 246 Human Physiology: Studies the function of human systems (cardiovascular, muscle, nervous, etc.) related to homeostasis. Designed primarily for students preparing for the study of physical therapy, occupational therapy, other allied health professions, and those biology or other students not planning to attend medical, dental, or graduate school. Laboratory involves physiological studies on humans and other mammals. Prerequisite: BIO 121.

BIO 270 Plant Growth and Development: Examines structural, biochemical, and molecular aspects of growth and development of angiosperms from seed germination to flowering to seed formation. Lab required. Prerequisite: BIO 121.

BIO 287/387 Tropical Field Biology: Explores ecology, diversity, biography, and behavior of terrestrial and aquatic organisms of American tropics. Compares representative ecosystems of Central America (lowland and mountain rain forests, mangroves, cloud forest, paramo) and Caribbean (coral reefs, turtle grass, intertidal). Prerequisite: BIO 121 or ENV 220.

BIO 301 The Biology of Fungal Pathogens: Explores diversity, ecology, physiology, and reproduction of common animal and plant pathogens. Incorporates general aspects of fungal biology and evolution. Prerequisites: BIO 121.

BIO 302 Cellular Neuroscience. Discussion-based course intended for juniors and seniors who are interested in understanding how neurons function and contribute to cognition or disease at the cellular level. Prerequisites: BIO 121 and CHM 121.

BIO 308 Genetics: Analyzes prokaryotic and eukaryotic genetics at the level of molecule, cell, organism and population. Uses quantitative approach in presentation of concepts and in genetic analysis. Lab required. Prerequisites: BIO 121 and CHM 121.

BIO 311 Plant Physiology: Analyzes life processes of higher plants: water relations, mineral nutrition, cellular and long-distance transport, photosynthesis, carbon and nitrogen metabolism, and hormonal control of development. Required lab includes student-directed investigations. Prerequisites: BIO 121 andCHM 121.

BIO 312 Animal Physiology: Studies animals at cellular and organismic levels: nervous, muscular, endocrine, excretory, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. Considers invertebrate and lower vertebrate physiology but stresses mammalian systems. Lab required. Prerequisites: BIO 121 and CHM 121.

BIO 316 Ecology: Explores processes and organization of populations, communities, and ecosystems. Required lab uses standard field methodology to analyze aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of Central and South Florida, including the Keys and Everglades. Prerequisite: BIO 121 or ENV 225.

BIO 325 Medicinal Botany: Explores the botany, history, and conservation of major poisonous and medicinal plants, and the chemistry and mechanism of active compounds. Prerequisite: CHM 220.

BIO 329 Microbial Physiology: Explores the structure of prokaryotic cells through investigations of the diverse chemistry, genetics, and metabolism of these microbes. Required laboratory includes student-designed research. Prerequisite: BIO 229.

BIO 330 Field Botany and Florida Ecosystems:  Examines taxonomy, evolution, ecology, and environmental significance of local flora through directed observations, identification, and experimental analysis. Explores Florida natural ecosystems and native species. Lab required. Prerequisite: BIO 121 or ENV 225.

BIO 335 Marine Biology with Laboratory: Examines the adaptations of marine organisms to their environment, and the ecological principles and processes that structure their associations. Laboratory required and emphasizes studies of representative field areas on the Florida coasts. Prerequisites: BIO 210.

BIO 340 Topics in Biology: Focuses on specialized topic such as epidemiology, immunology, medical microbiology, nutrition, parasitology, physiological ecology, or virology -- depending on faculty interest.

BIO 341 Molecular Biology: Describes structure of chromosomes and organization of genomes. Examines replication, repair, transcription, and translation of genetic information -- and methodology to study these processes. Prerequisite: BIO 121 and CHM 220.

BIO 342 Biostatistics: Applies principles and practices of statistics to biological problems. Covers experimental design, descriptive statistics, parametric and nonparametric testing of hypotheses, regression, correlation, and interpretation of results. Prerequisite: BIO 121.

BIO 344 Biology Journal Club: Assists students in advanced biology courses in developing the skills necessary to read, comprehend, and abstract material from primary source journals.

BIO 345 Marine Mammalogy: Examines the biology of marine mammals using an evolutionary approach. Topics include the ecology, physiology, behavior, exploitation, and conservation of representative species of pinnipeds, cetaceans, and sirenians. Prerequisite: BIO 121.

BIO 360 Cellular Biology: Correlates structure and function of cell. Discusses energy, enzymes and metabolism, membrane structure, transport, endomembrane system, communication, and growth and division. Lab required. Prerequisites: BIO 121 and CHM 121.

BIO 370 Developmental Biology: Studies gametogenesis, fertilization, and patterns of embryonic development, differentiation, and morphogenesis. Stresses concept of development program in animals established during gametogenesis, activated at fertilization, and expressed in subsequent development. Lab required. Prerequisites: BIO 121 and CHM 121.

BIO 381 Vertebrate Histology and Microtechnique: Discusses structure and function of vertebrate cells and tissues. Involves microscopic examination of tissues and preparation of slides. Lab required. Prerequisite: BIO 121.

BIO 388 Marine Bio Lab: Location TBA. Studies marine life at off-campus marine laboratories. Comprehensive, in-field-ecological analyses of representative temperate or tropical marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, rocky/sandy intertidal, mangroves, and estuarine areas. Prerequisite: BIO 210.

BIO 429 Immunology: Investigates structure and function of immune system; concept of "self" vs. "foreign," tolerance, and immunological memory. Focuses on host defense systems of mammals with emphasis on human adaptive and nonadaptive immunity. Also examines causes and effects of immune deficiencies. Prerequisite: senior standing or consent.

BIO 435 Senior Seminar in Marine Biology: Students direct analysis and discussions of integrative topics in marine biology. Emphasizes readings of classical and contemporary primary scientific literature. Prerequisites: marine biology major and senior standing.

BIO 440 Senior Seminar: Topics in Biology: Students direct analysis and discussion of integrative topics. Emphasizes readings of classical and contemporary primary scientific literature. Prerequisite: senior standing.

BIO 462 Evolution: Integrates previous coursework with new scientific and philosophical material on processes and mechanisms of evolution. Capstone seminar. Prerequisite: senior standing.

BIO 296/396/496 Biological Internship: Pairs students with professional scientists.

BIO 297/397/497 Directed Studies in Biology: Tutorial on subject of student interest. May include library, lab, or fieldwork.

BIO 298/398/498 Independent Study: Library Research: Investigates literature on specific topic determined by student in conjunction with faculty sponsor. May be taken separately or as prelude toBIO 399/499 for two-term research project. Students meet as group every other week to report on activities.

BIO 399/499 Independent Study: Biological Research: Pursues lab, field, or theoretical work on topic of student interest. Students meet as group every other week to report on activities.