Western Kentucky University

Biology Graduate Courses

BIOL 400G PLANT PHYSIOLOGY 4 hours Prerequisites: BIOL 120/121, and two semesters of chemistry. A study of the general principles by which plants function. Three areas discussed are transport and translocation of water and solutes, metabolism with special emphasis on photosynthesis, and plant growth and development.

BIOL 403G MOLECULAR BASIS OF CANCER 3 hours Prerequisites: BIOL 319/322 or equivalent course. Biological and molecular features of oncogensis and clinical cancer, focusing on specific molecular events underlying carcinogenesis, metastsis and angiogenesis. Case study learning will be integrated into the course to engage students in understanding the societal implications of cancer.

BIOL 404G ELECTRON MICROSCOPY 4 hours Prerequisites: BIOL 222/223, 224/225 or permission of instructor. A course in the fundamentals of electron microscopy including basic theory, techniques for specimen preparation and photography, and operation of the electron microscope. Lecture, two hours; laboratory, four hours.

BIOL 405G AQUATIC INSECT DIVERSITY 2/4 hours Prerequisite: Graduate Standing The taxonomy and biology of the insects commonly encountered in freshwater habitats.

BIOL 407G VIROLOGY 3 hours Prerequisites: BIOL 150 or BIOL 319/ 322. Study of bacterial, animal and plant viruses. Emphasis on the molecular aspects of replication, expression, regulation and pathogenesis. Lecture, three hours.

BIOL 411G CELL BIOLOGY 3 hours Prerequisites: BIOL 319/322 or consent of instructor.


BIOL 415G ECOLOGICAL METHODS 3 hours Prerequisite: BIOL 315 or permission of instructor. A course emphasizing the collection, manipulation and analysis of ecological data using a variety of techniques in aquatic and terrestrial habits. Lecture, one hour; laboratory, four hours.

BIOL 430G EVOLUTION: THEORY & PROCESS 3 hours Prerequisite or corequisite: BIOL 327 or permission of instructor. Study of the genetic, behavioral and ecological mechanisms leading to evolutionary change, and the role of evolutionary theory as a unifying framework in biology.

BIOL 446G BIOCHEMISTRY I 3 hours Prerequisite: CHEM 314 or 340. Biochemical compounds and their role in metabolism.

BIOL 447G LAB BIOCHEMISTRY I 2 hours Prerequisite or corequisite: BIOL/CHEM 446. Selected experiments which illustrate biochemical principles. Five hours per week.

BIOL 450G RECOMBINANT GENE TECH 3 hours Prerequisite: BIOL 350 and BIOL 446. Discovery-based laboratory emphasizing application of basic techniques to solve student-defined problems. Problems in characterization and expression of genetic material are explored. Laboratory, six hours.

BIOL 456G ICHTHYOLOGY 4 hours Prerequisites: BIOL 224/225, and permission of instructor. Fishes of the world, their physiology, structure, behavior, and ecology. Emphasis on the collection and identification of freshwater species of Kentucky. Lecture, two hours; laboratory, four hours.

BIOL 458G FISHERIES MANAGEMENT 4 hours A study of the factors affecting fish populations. Topics covered include life history traits, sampling techniques, management practices, and policies regulating the management of fish populations. Off-campus and overnight weekend field trips are required.

BIOL 459G MAMMALOGY 3 hours Prerequisites: BIOL 120/121. Taxonomy, life history and ecology of the mammals. Laboratory work includes field studies and collection and study of specimens. Lecture two hours; laboratory two hours.

BIOL 460G PARASITOLOGY 4 hours Prerequisites: BIOL 224/225. The morphology, physiology, life histories, control and economic significance of representative species. Lecture, two hours; laboratory, four hours.

BIOL 467G BIOCHEMISTRY II 3 hours Prerequisite: BIOL/CHEM 446. The reactions of living systems and an introduction to the mechanisms and energetics of metabolism. Lecture.

BIOL 470G PATHOGENIC MICROBIOLOGY 4 hours Prerequisites: BIOL 226/227, or permission of instructor. A study of the organisms causing disease with emphasis on bacteria. Includes pathogenic bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae, fungi and protozoa. Lecture, two hours; laboratory, four hours.

BIOL 472G APPLIED & ENVIRON MICRO 4 hours Prerequisites: BIOL 226/227, or consent of instructor. The study of the roles of microorganisms in food preservation, fermentation, spoilage, and food intoxication. Production of microbial products of industrial interest; application of modern microbiological techniques to industrial processes; interrelationships between micro-organisms and their environment. Lecture, three hours; laboratory, two hours.

BIOL 473G CAVE & KARST ENVIRONMENT 3 hours Prerequisites: BIOL 120/121 or equivalent. Discussion of biological diversity, groundwater and humanity's role in utilizing and conserving the unique features of karst areas and use of these areas in teaching. Course does not count toward the M.S. Options.

BIOL 475G IND TOPICS/BIOLOGY 1-3 hours Significant problems and developments of current interest in biology.

BIOL 483G MULTIVARIATE METH/BIOL 4 hours Prerequisites: Junior standing and a course in statistics, or permission of instructor. Application of multivariate statistical analysis techniques to problems in the biological sciences. Principal component and factor analysis, canonical discriminant analysis, correspondence analysis, distance metrics and clustering, canonical correlation, repetitive sampling, randomization. Not a course in mathematical statistics; rather, emphasis is on experimental design, selection of appropriate methods for testing particular hypotheses, and the analysis of real data. Lecture, three hours; laboratory, two hours.

BIOL 485G LAB FIELD BIOLOGY 3 hours An intensive field experience on a specific biological topic, preceded and followed by introductory and evaluative sessions.

BIOL 490G PLANTS AS ALTERNATIVE THERAPEUTICS 3 hours Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. An exploration of plants used traditional in systems of medicine with an emphasis on their pharmacological implications as evidenced in modern clinical research. The therapeutic actions of phytochemicals, vis-a-vis different human illnesses (cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory, autoimmune psychosomatic disorders; cancer, AIDS, skin diseases, etc.) will be examined.

BIOL 495G MOLECULAR GENETICS 3 hours Prerequisite BIOL 450G. A study of the molecular basis of genetics and heredity of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Lecture, three hours.

BIOL 496G PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY 4 hours A course designed to illustrate the current advances in plant biotechnology and their potential application in agriculture, health and environment.

BIOL 497G AQUATIC FIELD ECOLOGY 4 hours Prerequisites: BIOL 222/223; 224/225; CHEM 222/223. Physical, chemical and biological aspects of bodies of fresh water with emphasis upon water as a biological environment.

BIOL 500 INTRO TO GRAD STUDY AND RES 3 hours Introduction to research techniques and experimental design, with an emphasis on on-going research at WKU. Also includes an introduction to research-related resources at WKU.

BIOL 501 BIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES 1-4 hours Designed to acquaint graduate students with advances in the biological sciences and practical applications of biological principles. Lecture, three hours; or lecture, three hours, laboratory, two hours.

BIOL 503 CONTEMP RESEARCH/BIOLOGY 1 hours Prerequisite: Admission to biology graduate program. Participants will present a research article on a topic of their choice to the class. A critical appraisal of the research approach, methods, results and interpretation of results will be stressed. Requires participation in critical discussions of all presentations. The course may be taken as often as wished but only once for credit toward a degree program.

BIOL 505 AQUATIC INSECT ECOLOGY 2 hours Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Ecological functions, evolutionary adaptations, and indicators of environmental quality of aquatic insects.

BIOL 506 ENVIRONMENTAL SEMINAR 1 hour Designed for future environmental practitioners, this course will provide real world examples of environmental jobs and research projects. The course will impart a broad understanding of environmental science from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Required for the MS Environmental Science emphasis degrees. Repeatable twice for a maximum of three credit hours.

BIOL 507 SCIENCE CONCEPTS ELEM TEACHERS 3 hours This course provides basic background to the KY Core Contents in science that elementary teachers are required to teach along with discipline-specific strategies and best-practices that can be implemented in the classroom. National Boards "Big Ideas", inquiry learning and implementation of math and science will be integrated into this course to provide beginning teachers the tools necessary to conduct dynamic science classes.

BIOL 515 ADV ECOLOGY 3 hours Prerequisite: BIOL 315 or consent of instructor. Essential dynamic features of plant and animal populations. Covers the theoretical and empirical aspects of single populations, or pairs of interacting populations, and of whole communities. Lecture, three hours.

BIOL 516 INVESTIGATIONS/BIOLOGY 1-3 hours (General Syllabus on TopNet) Prerequisite: Permission of research project director. Research project completed under faculty supervision. Not applicable to MS thesis option.

BIOL 518 POPULATION ECOLOGY 2 hours Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Investigation of the theories and models used to describe and predict populations. Includes applications in population projection and harvesting, as well as two-species interactions.

BIOL 519 INTL WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AND POLICY 2 hours Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Exploration of the major wildlife management models used in various countries, emphasizing North America, Europe and Africa. Economic ramifications of these models and international treaty obligations relating to the wildlife trade are investigated.

BIOL 522 SYSTEMATICS AND EVOLUTION 4 hours Prerequisites: BIOL 430 or consent of instructor. Study of systematic theory and practice with a focus on current controversies. Taxonomic methods will be evaluated with an emphasis upon the use of taxonomic tools to reconstruct evolutionary relationships. Lecture, three hours; laboratory, two hours.

BIOL 524 EVOL/ECOL GENETICS 3 hours Prerequisites: BIOL 327 and 430 or consent of instructor. Advanced treatment of natural selection as a mechanism of evolution. Interaction of ecological, behavioral and genetic systems in driving evolutionary change at various levels of organization is emphasized.

BIOL 526 PHYSIOL ECOL 3 hours Prerequisites: BIOL 330 or consent of instructor. Study of the physiological adaptations of animals that enhance their survival and/or permit them to exploit extreme environments. Lecture, three hours.


BIOL 535 ANALYTICAL BIOCHEMISTRY 3 hours Prerequisites: BIOL 446/G or CHEM 446/G or consent of instructor. An overview of the science of modern analytical and instrumental techniques with emphasis on techniques relevant to measurements in biochemistry and biology.

BIOL 543 ENVIRONMENTAL SCI CONCEPTS 3 hours Explores the inter-relationship among the science and technical disciplines that contribute to our understanding of the environment as a whole. Introduces research methods and core environmental science concepts. Prepares students to examine environmental science questions with an interdisciplinary outlook.

BIOL 550 INTRO BIOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS IN HLS 3 hours An introductory course in biological principals for students in Homeland Security with a limited biology background. Topics include cell structure/function, cellular information and energy flow, immune function, cellular and population genetics.

BIOL 552 BIOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS IN HLS I 3 hours Corequisite: BIOL 553 Prerequisites: BIOL 550 or permission of instructor. An advanced study of biological phenomena relevant to Homeland Security Concerns. Biol Apps to HLS I will focus on the recognized groups of pathogenic organisms to human and selected crops. Topics to be covered are types of pathogens, pathogenicity and virulence, control and detection, and dispersal mechanisms. Also, the immune response to infectious disease will be covered in depth with special attention toward understanding the functionality of the antibody.

BIOL 553 LAB: BIOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS IN HLS I 1 hour Corequisite: BIOL 552 Prerequisites: BIOL 550 or equivalent. The laboratory will provide students with knowledge in laboratory safety and manipulation, identification, and enumeration of microbial and viral cultures.

BIOL 555 LAB: BIOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS IN HLS II 1 hours Corequisite: EH 572. Prerequisite: BIOL 552/553 or permission of instructor. The laboratory will provide students with knowledge in laboratory immunological methodologies and analytical methods in DNA forensics.

BIOL 560 ADVANCED CELL BIOLOGY 3 hours Prerequisite: BIOL 411 or equivalent. Lecture-discussion course designed to understand structure and function of differentiated cells of multicellular organisms. Textbook readings, review articles and current research papers will be incorporated into lectures and discussions.

BIOL 562 ADV BIOCHEMISTRY 3 hours Prerequisites: BIOL/CHEM 446 Survey of biochemical research areas where significant advances have been made in recent years. Textbook readings, review articles and current research papers will be incorporated into lectures and discussions. Lecture, three hours.

BIOL 566 ADV MOL GENET 3 hours Prerequisites: BIOL 495 or consent of instructor. Consideration of the molecular mechanisms for replication, gene expression and regulation of development.

BIOL 568 ADV MICRO BIOLOGY 3 hours Study of microbial metabolic and genetic diversity, phylogeny and evolution, and ecology, including a consideration of research methodologies applicable to microorganisms. Lecture, three hours; laboratory, two hours.

BIOL 569 PROF WORK/BIOLOGY 3 hours Practical experience in a supervised work situation with a cooperative business, industry, or governmental agency, emphasizing application of advanced knowledge and skills in specified areas of biology.

BIOL 570 ADVANCED IMMUNOLOGY 3 hours Prerequisites: BIOL 328 or consent of instructor. Cellular, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms of the immune response of multicellular organisms. Emphasis is on current scientific literature in the field.

BIOL 577 ADVANCED MARINE BIOLOGY 3 hours Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Marine organisms are examined within a framework of basic biological principles and processes that are fundamental to all forms of life in the sea, including evolution, ecology, biodiversity, biogeography, behavior, and physiology.

BIOL 587 ENVIRONMENTAL LAW 3 hours An introduction to major environmental legislation for air, water, toxic and hazardous pollutants, and related legislative, administrative, and judicial developments. A broad overview of legal practices focused on specific regulatory programs.

BIOL 589 INTERNSHIP/BIOLOGY 3 hours Practical experience in a supervised work situation with a cooperative business, industry, or governmental agency, emphasizing application of advanced knowledge and skills in specified areas of biology.

BIOL 598 GRADUATE SEMINAR 2 hours Oral presentation on selected topics in biology.

BIOL 599 THESIS RESEARCH/WRITING 1-6 hours (6 total) (General Syllabus on TopNet)

BIOL 600 MAINTAIN MATRICULATION 1-6 hours (General Syllabus on TopNet)

BIOL 601 INTERNSHIP/COLLEGE INSTR 1 hour (General Syllabus on TopNet) Designed for prospective teachers of biology. Staff direction in preparing and giving lectures. Includes analyses of presentation and techniques. May be repeated.

BIOL 675 IND ADV TOPICS/BIOLOGY 1-3 hours Selected topics in Biology.

 Last Modified 7/22/13