Foundations - Life Sciences

The life sciences are the study of the structure and function of living things. Such study ranges from the level of molecules within cells to ecosystems of organisms interacting with each other and their environment. Study of the concepts, history, contexts, and methodologies of the life sciences assists you in becoming scientifically literate. Courses in this category prepare you to understand and appreciate not only yourself as an organism, but also other organisms in the world around you. Courses contribute to the development of critical-thinking and problem-solving skills and help you apply an understanding of scientific ways of thinking to make more informed personal and social choices.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain how life scientists investigate and understand the physical universe.
  2. Explain unifying concepts of the life sciences such as evolution and cellular organization and organisms.
  3. Skill Outcome #1:
    • Information literacy: Identify the need for information; access, evaluate, and use information effectively, ethically, and legally; or
    • Quantitative literacy: Competently work with numerical data.
  4. Skill Outcome #2:
    • Collaboration: Effectively work on a team; or
    • Problem solving: Design and evaluate an approach to answer an open-ended question or achieve a desired goal.


One course, either the Life Science OR the Physical Science course must contain a lab.


ANT 206 — Human Origins
Examines the dynamic interplay between human biology and culture through the study of human evolution. Grounded in the mechanisms of evolution, the class examines the emergence of our species and our relationship to nonhuman primates among other topics. Skills: problem solving, quantitative literacy

BIO 105 — Environmental Science
Study of natural ecosystems, their interrelationships and human impacts; evolution of humans and environmental determinants of their cultures; land use, resource and energy utilization, population trends and causative factors, air and water pollution, and economic factors influencing decision-making are emphasized. Does not count toward a biology major or minor. Skills: information literacy, problem solving 

BMS 100 — Human Health and Disease
This course presents the basic terminology and concepts of medicine and health maintenance for nonscience-oriented students. Emphasis is on the interaction of technical concepts of health and disease with political, economic, legal, and ethical aspects of American society. Skills: information literacy, problem solving

CMB 155 - Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology
An introduction to the science behind our current models of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology including genetics. Students will learn foundational concepts necessary for the life sciences and develop their skills in scientific reasoning. Skills: problem solving, quantitative literacy



BIO 104 — Biology for the 21st Century
Introductory course for nonscience majors designed to provide a biological literacy for making informed personal, social, and environmental decisions. Topics include cell biology, genetics and biotechnology, form and function of the human body, evolution, and ecology. Does not count toward a biology major or minor. Credits: 4. Skills: problem solving, quantitative literacy

BIO 107 — Great Lakes and Other Water Resources
A study of our region’s water resources including the Great Lakes, streams, and groundwater, and relationships of people with these systems. Hands-on investigative study of aquatic environments is emphasized. Does not count toward a biology major or minor. Credits: 4. Skills: collaboration, information literacy

BIO 109 — Plants in the World
A nonmajor course that looks at the ways plants are used by humans as foods, flavorings, fibers, medicines, building materials, etc. Topics include biotechnology, environmental issues, and population issues. Credits: 4. Skills: information literacy, problem solving

BIO 120 — General Biology I
Introduction to cell structure and physiology, growth and development, and genetics. Prerequisites: High school chemistry, CHM 109, or CHM 115 strongly recommended (CHM 109 or CHM 115 may be taken concurrently). For students with a strong science background or interest in science. Recommended for science majors whose degree programs require BIO 120. Credits: 4. Skills: problem solving, quantitative literacy

BMS 202 — Anatomy and Physiology
An introduction to the human body, its form, and function. With the study of each system, correlations between its function and the functions of other systems are emphasized. Credits: 4. Skills: problem solving, quantitative literacy

CMB 140 — Living foods: ferment them yourself!
An introduction to fermentation as food preparation. For thousands of years, people have used fermentation to preserve food. The history, food preservation and safety aspects, and the science of fermentation related to food and health are covered. The laboratory includes hands-on fermentations such as breads, yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha. Credits: 4. Skills: collaboration, information literacy.

CMB 150 — Biotechnology and Society
An introduction to biotechnology focuses on its application in and impacts on our society. Scientific, ethical, economic, legal, social, and historical aspects of biotechnology will be covered. Class discussions and laboratory investigations of current topics including: cloning, agricultural biotechnology, genetically modified foods, stem cells, and medical biotechnology highlight the course. Credits: 4. Skills: collaboration, information literacy

SCI 225 — Integrated Life Science for PK–3 Teachers
Course promotes mastery of life and earth science concepts necessary to teach PK-3 science. Through inquiry and group discussions students develop reasoning and thinking skills critical to science while also developing mastery of science content. Prerequisite: MTH 126 (can be taken concurrently). Credits: 4. Skills: problem solving, quantitative literacy

Page last modified April 9, 2021