Biology UC Courses for Non-Majors

The Department of Biological Sciences offers several courses for non-scientists, all of which fulfill the UC requirement for Natural Sciences. Learn more below:

BIO 106/L, “Science and Society: Concepts and Current Issues”, is a 4 credit combined lecture/lab course that introduces the natural sciences to the non-scientist with an emphasis on problems confronting society. Current health and scientific issues in the news are emphasized to help students recognize the importance of science in their daily lives. It is offered in the spring semester. The lab and lecture components must be taken concurrently.

BIO 107/L, “This project-based lecture course introduces the non-scientist to relationships between biological principles and everyday life. Students will discuss and explore the application of basic biological principles to current topics including cancer, health, addiction, immunity, photosynthesis, evolution, sustainability, and the environment. This course is designed for non-science majors. Must be taken in conjunction with BIO 107L.”

BIO 120, “The Biology of Beer”, is a 3 credit course designed for non-scientists that uses the biological processes of beer production and consumption as a framework for examining basic principles of molecular, cellular and organismal biology. Students begin by studying the life cycle of the brewer’s yeast and the process of fermentation. They then consider how the human body responds to beer, and finally, they examine the biological basis of alcoholism and fetal alcohol syndrome.

BIO 125, “Cross My Heart: An Introduction to the Human Cardiovascular System”, is a 3-credit lecture course is designed for non-science majors interested in examining basic principles of the anatomy and physiology of the heart, and in understanding common disease conditions. Discussion focuses on risk factors and steps to preventing disease. An overview of common diagnostic tests and treatments introduces students to the identification and management of common disorders.

BIO 128/L, “Global Health Challenges: A Human Perspective”, is a 4-credit combined lecture and lab course for non-scientists that addresses a series of topics that elucidate and address challenges in global public health, with an emphasis on neglected tropical diseases and the profound impact that they have on humanity. Biological information concerning the etiology, pathology and epidemiology of the diseases is presented at the level of the nonscientist. Emphasis is placed on human aspects of the diseases, such as impacts of diseases on education, socioeconomics and stigmatization. BIO 128 may be paired with 128L to fulfill the 4 credit UC Natural Science requirement.

BIO 161, “Introduction to the Biological Aspects of Science and Society”, is a 3 credit course that introduces natural science to the nonscientist with an emphasis on current problems confronting society. Current health and scientific issues in the news are emphasized to help students recognize the importance of science in their daily lives. May not be taken for credit concurrently or after completion of BIO 106.

BIO 208/L, “Introduction to Forensic Science”, is a 4-credit combined lecture/lab course for non-scientists that begins with a historical overview of the discipline as a method of understanding the contemporary field of forensics. Scientific principles and practices are applied to specific examples within crime scene and evidence analysis including, but not limited to physical evidence, glass and soil, organic and inorganic substances, hair and fibers, toxicology, serology and fingerprinting. Additionally, students utilize FBI cases, popular press and television to evaluate the use of science and distinguish among science, law and entertainment. In the laboratory portion of the course, students develop skills in observation, measurement, microscopy, glass fracture patterns, soil and footprint analysis, chromatography, spectrophotometry, hair and fiber analysis, fingerprinting and DNA analysis. The culmination of the laboratory experience involves synthesis of lecture and laboratory activities into a single class project that begins with control of a simulated crime scene and evidence search patterns, and continues through processing evidence, evidence analysis and presentation of results.