College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Natural Science Course Suggestions (BA)

BA General Education Requirement: 9-11 Total Hours Required (3 science courses with 2 labs; 2 courses must be in the same science, with the third in a different department)

Interdisciplinary | BiologyChemistry & BiochemistryGeologyPhysics & Astronomy


Interdisciplinary

LIBA 150 & 151. Integrated Science I and II introduce and integrate a broad range of science concepts in biology, chemistry, geology, and physics to non-science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and prepare students to make informed decisions regarding science and technology in their lives. Concepts are discussed with a minimum use of mathematics and with an emphasis on the human story and societal issues and the history of science woven throughout. The course sequence begins with early natural philosophers and astronomers (Aristotle, Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton) and the emergence of empirical science and ends with modern topics in neuroscience and biomedicine. The coverage of topics is not just sequential; it is integrated.

For example, when students cover the topic of energy they discuss energy and society, various sources of energy, and energy in living systems and ecosystems.  When students discuss electromagnetism, the discussion includes the basic Maxwell concepts, how this leads to the delivery of electricity to our homes, bioelectricity and ideas related to bio-magnetism (e.g., do birds use magnetic field lines of the Earth for navigation?). The courses are delivered in a flipped format. Before attending class students learn basic content through textbook and video lessons. Classes involve discussion, active learning assignments, and laboratory activities team-taught by multiple faculty members who add depth and breadth.


Biology

All biology courses can be used to satisfy this requirement.  However, BISC 102/103 and 104/105 are typically used by non-biology majors/minors to fulfill this requirement.  However, they will not count for credit if the BISC 160 series is counted.

BISC 102. Inquiry into Life – Human Biology. This is a survey course for non-majors that introduces the basic principles and functions of the human body (i.e. respiration, organ function, cellular processes, diseases, immunity and inheritance). BISC 103 is the laboratory to accompany this class. Students are not required to take BISC 102 and 103 at the same time, but it is highly recommended.

BISC 104. Inquiry into Life – The Environment. This is a survey course for non-majors that addresses the relationship of human to the environment. Topics addressed in this course include ecology, origin of life, behavior and the role of plants. The associated laboratory is BISC 105. Students are not required to take BISC 104 and 105 at the same time, but it is highly recommended. There is a prerequisite of BISC 102, 150, or 160  for this course.

BISC 160. Biological Sciences I. This course is intended for biology majors/minors and pre-health students. Topics addressed include cell and molecular biology, genetics, production and use of energy, cell structure, and genetic engineering/biotechnology. There is a prerequisite for this course: 25 or better on the math section of the ACT (580 on SAT or 600 on SATR); or B minimum in MATH 121 and 123; or B minimum in MATH 125 or higher; or B minimum in CHEM 101. Co-requisite – BISC 161, which is the laboratory component of BISC 160.

BISC 162. Biological Sciences II. This course is a continuation of BISC 160. Topics addressed this semester include the structure and function of the major organ systems of animals, focusing on humans, and the diversity of life in each of the kingdoms. There is a pre-requisite for this course: BISC 160 and 161 with a minimum grade of C. The laboratory – BISC 163 – is a co-requisite.

BISC 206. Human Anatomy and Physiology I. This is a non-majors course for pre-nursing and other paramedical students, which addresses the structure and function of the human body in depth. Introduces basic chemistry, cell structure and function, tissues, integument, skeleton, muscles and nervous system. May not be counted toward a major or a minor in biology.

BISC 207. Human Anatomy and Physiology II. A continuation of BISC 206, which includes discussions of sensory, endocrine circulatory, respiratory, digestive, excretory and reproductive systems.  May not be counted toward a major or a minor in biology.  Prerequisite  BISC 206 with a minimum grade of C.

BISC 210. Principles of Microbiology. This introductory course is designed for students in health related studies such as pre-nursing, nutrition, etc. Topics addressed include sanitation, disease, food and industrial microbiology. This class will fulfill the laboratory science requirement of the core curriculum but may not be counted toward a major or minor in biology.


Chemistry & Biochemistry

All courses from this department can be used to satisfy this requirement except for CHEM 101.  However, those described below are the typical courses used by first year students.

CHEM 103. Survey of Chemistry I. This course provides a contemporary survey of general, organic, and biological chemistry focusing on topics of interest to health-related fields (for example, nursing, nutrition, dental hygiene, medical terminology). It is important to note the course integrates concepts from general, organic, and biological chemistry as it covers topics so that students can develop an appreciation of the interrelation between these fields of chemistry and their applications. Students should have a working knowledge of high school algebra and a strong interest in health-related issues. At the present time, this course is only offered through I-Study without a corresponding laboratory. May not be used for chemistry major or minor credit.

CHEM 105/115, 106/116. General Chemistry I, II. These introductory-level courses with laboratories provide the basic foundation for additional study in chemistry as required by science majors pursuing degrees in chemistry, biology, or pharmacy. These courses are more rigorous and are taught at a more advanced level than CHEM 103 or CHEM 201. A minimum grade of C in CHEM 105 is required for enrollment in CHEM 106/116. The content of these general chemistry courses includes classroom and laboratory instruction in basic topics such as atomic and molecular structure, stoichiometry, solutions, physical properties of gases, liquids and solids, chemical bonding, kinetics, thermodynamics and equilibrium, acid-base chemistry, electrochemistry, and the descriptive chemistry of the elements. The objectives of these courses are for students to understand the basic concepts, theories, and principles of chemistry, to demonstrate skills in logical thinking, to apply basic chemical concepts to problem solving, and to employ correct mathematical models. Admission to CHEM 105 requires a minimum ACT mathematics score of 25 (SAT 580 or SATR 600); or MATH 121 and MATH 123 with minimum grade of B; or completion of MATH 125 (or a higher-level MATH course) with minimum grade of B; or completion of CHEM 101 with a minimum grade of B.

CHEM 201 Environmental Chemistry I. This course provides the non-science major a contemporary survey of chemistry topics related to environmental concerns (For example, energy, water pollution, air pollution, recycling).  Students completing this course should be able to demonstrate logical thinking skills, to apply basic chemical concepts to societal problems, and to apply their chemical knowledge to personal decisions involving environmental and consumer issues.  Although listed with a 200-level number, this course is for students who wish an overview of chemistry and do not plan to major in a science. At the present time, this course is only offered through I-Study without a corresponding laboratory. May not be used for chemistry major or minor credit.


Geology

The Department highly recommends a recently revised GEOL 104 and 105, particularly for non-majors.  These courses have no pre-requisites and are non-sequential.  GEOL 104 will not count for credit if GEOL 101 is counted.

Please be aware that geology courses are accepted (GEOL) but not geological engineering courses (GE).

GEOL 101. Physical Geology. Physical Geology is the study of Earth materials and the processes that shape the Earth. This class will explore such natural phenomena as volcanoes, earthquakes, and landslides: what causes them and how they impact our environment. We will discuss the formation of mountains and ocean basins. Each lecture is illustrated with photographs of geological features from around the world.  The accompanying lab is GEOL 111.

GEOL 102. Historical Geology. Historical Geology places Earth in the context of the solar system and the universe. The origins of Earth and the continued evolution of Earth are discussed, including the origins of life and the evolution of living organisms. Earth history also includes formation of continents and ocean basins and how these features move on Earth through time.  The accompanying lab is GEOL 112.

GEOL 103. Earth Dynamics. This five credit hour course is required of all freshmen Geology and Geological Engineering majors.  Earth Dynamics is the integrated study of the process-response relationships between plate tectonics and geological processes through earth history.  Enrollment is limited to Geology and Geological Engineering majors.

GEOL 104. Environmental Geology – Hazards. An introduction to the relationship between humans and the geological environment for non-majors, with a focus on natural and human induced hazards, including landslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, subsidence, sea-level rise, and pollution..  Satisfies laboratory-science requirements of core curriculum when taken in conjunction with GEOL 114. Will not count for credit if GEOL 101 is counted.

GEOL 105. Environmental Geology – Resources. An introduction to the relationship between humans and the geological environment for non-majors, with a focus on natural resources, waste disposal, and climate change; for non-majors. Satisfies laboratory-science requirements of core curriculum when taken in conjunction with GEOL 115. (3)


Physics & Astronomy

Students who choose to take 2 courses from this department must take either 2 courses in astronomy or 2 courses in physics.  In addition, students who choose to take 2 astronomy courses cannot take ASTR 101 with either ASTR 103 or 104 nor can the student take ASTR 102 with either ASTR 103 or 104.  These are separate course sequences.  Note that ASTR 102 is generally not taught at present.

ASTR 101 and 102. Descriptive Astronomy I and II. These astronomy courses have no lab component.  They serve as an introduction to astronomy requiring high school level mathematics and are taken primarily by non-science majors.  These courses focus on the study with telescopes of the planets, stars and galaxies.  ASTR 102 is generally not taught at present.

ASTR 103 and 104. Astronomy I and II. These courses are a lab-based astronomy sequence taken mainly by non-science majors.  They also require high school level mathematics and provide a general understanding of astronomy: what can be observed in the sky with telescopes, what we know about the sun and the solar system, stars, our galaxy, and the structure of the universe.

PHYS 107 and 108. Conceptual Physics I, II. This course sequence is lab-based physics taken primarily by non-science majors.  They provide an essentially non-mathematical introduction to concepts in physics, including Newton’s laws, gravity, heat energy and thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, light, optics, and nuclear physics.

PHYS 211 and 221. Physics for Science and Engineering I. These co-requisite lecture and lab courses provide the first half of a rigorous introduction to physics. They are required for B.S. physics and chemistry majors and for engineering students.  The courses require knowledge of calculus (and algebra and trigonometry).

PHYS 212 and 222. Physics for Science and Engineering II. These co-requisite lecture and lab course are the continuation of Physics 211 and Physics 221.

PHYS 213 and PHYS 223. General Physics I. These co-requisite lecture and lab courses provide the first half of a rigorous introduction to physics using algebra and trigonometry but not calculus.  These courses (or their calculus-based equivalents, Phys 211 & 221) are required for pre-med majors and for some B.A. physics majors.

PHYS 214 and PHYS 224. General Physics II. These co-requisite lecture and lab courses are the continuation of Physics 213 and Physics 223. These courses (or their calculus-based equivalents, Phys 212 & 222) are required for pre-med majors and for some B.A. physics majors.