• This is the first year course series for all life science majors and along with Biological Research Laboratory, 01:119:117. They are the only 100 level life science courses acceptable for a major or minor in Biological Sciences.
  • Semester Offered: Spring, Fall

General Biology 115 and 116 is a two semester sequence intended for students majoring in the biological sciences or pharmacy, and for students who plan to attend a professional school in the sciences.

Weekly, GB 115 and 116 have two 80 minute lectures and an 80 workshop where students actively work in teams to construct and practice lecture content and begin self-assessing their preparation for the exams.

Bio 115/116 replaces Bio101/102. Bio 101/102 is no longer offered.

Along with Bio 117 (the 2 credit laboratory course), the Bio 115/116 sequence is a CORE requirement for the Biological Sciences and Division of Life Sciences departmental majors.


Fall, Spring*, and Summer

*Spring semester restrictions:

Students who did not meet the pre-/corequisites for the fall semester must have successfully completed Prep for Gen Bio 119:199 or Chem 160:161 or  English 355:101 /355:104 and Pre-Calc  640:111/115 during the preceding fall semester to enroll in GB115 in the spring.


4 (including weekly 80 minute workshop)


01:119:115 Fall Semester

01:119:115 corequisites are placement into English 350:101/355:104 (or higher) AND Mathematics 640:111-112, or 115 (or higher). Students lacking pre-/corequisites will be deregistered without warning.'


01:119:115 Spring Semester

English 355:101/355:104 and one of the following: Prep for General Biology (01:119:199)  or  General Chemistry 01:160:161 or  Precalc  640:111 (or higher)

Students with Prep for General Biology (01:119:199)  or General Chemistry 01:160:161 are given priority.


Spring Registration will be staggered:

01:119:199 Prep for General Biology OR 01:160:161 (or equivalent) and 01:355:101/ 355:104 are first wave - dates will be indicated on Web-Reg

Second group-  the pre-requisites will be: 01:355:101 /355:104 and 01:640:111 Pre-calc (or higher)


116 Fall and Spring Semesters

01:119:116 Prerequisite is a C or better in GB 115  (01:119:115)


115 and 116 Summer Semesters

During the summer session, it is impossible to take 355:101/355:104 or 640:111-112 concurrently with General Biology, therefore, 355:101 and 640:111-112 are prerequisites during the summer.


Although not a prerequisite, it is assumed that all students have successfully completed a course in high school Chemistry.

Please note: All students wishing to major in Biological Sciences are required to earn a C or better in their General Biology coursework (lecture and lab components).

Course Description

01:119:115 Topics include:

Biology and Learning   Cell Structure  Cell Cycle  Gene Expression  Macroevolution
 Scientific Process  Membranes & Transport  Meiosis  DNA Technology  Phylogenetics
 Basic Chemistry  Metabolism  Mendelian Genetics  Human Genetics  Animal Behavior
 Biological Molecules  Photosynthesis  Chromosomes  Darwinian Evolution  Ecology- Population, Community, Ecosystem, and Aquatic
 Origin of Life  Respiration  DNA Structure & Function  Microevolution  Conservation Biology


01:119:116 Topics include:

 Virology  Unikont Diversity  Homeostasis  Development  Synapses & Sensory Receptors  Nutrition  Circulation
 Prokaryotes  Plant Diversity  Endocrine System  Nervous System Organization  Musculoskeletal System  Respiration  Blood/Immunity
 Protist Diversity  Plant Physiology  Reproduction  Action Potential  Digestion  Excretion Infectious Disease 


Course URL

Sakai website will be active during the semester

Course satisfies SAS Core Curriculum Learning Goals

Natural Science: Understand and apply basic principles and concepts in the physical or biological sciences.

Course Satisfies Departmental Learning Goals

I. To acquire the appropriate factual and conceptual knowledge that provides students with a foundation to further their education and career in the areas of life science or health science. Students will be able to demonstrate basic knowledge (ex. identify, define, explain...) of the concepts, practices and principles that comprise the biological sciences.

IV. To develop critical thinking and problems solving skills appropriate to prepare students to evaluate, synthesize and generate knowledge that provides them with a competitive advantage to adapt to an evolving, global, and knowledge based society. Students will be able to demonstrate application of higher order thinking (ex. classify, diagnosis, evaluate, synthesize, hypothesize...). Students will develop an understanding of not only the connections within biology but also the connections between biology and other scientific disciplines.

Exams, Assignments, and Grading Policy

Hour Exam I             15%

Hour Exam II*          15%

Final Exam*              30%


Deportment               10%

Workshop Activities  30%

Total                       100%

* All exams are comprehensive; at least half will be Upper Level questions. While the newest material will be emphasized on the second midterm exam and final exam, students will be expected to make linkages between new material and older material.

To pass General Biology, a student must satisfy all of the following conditions:

a) Have earned a certain total percentage; and

b) Score at least 55% on one of the three common exams (Hourly I, Hourly II, or Final); and

c) Have at least a 60% total average for the workshop (individual categories may be less than 60%, but all workshop categories combined must be at least 60%.

Course Materials


Text: Biology 2e, 2018 openstax- an open source texbook available at: https://openstax.org/details/books/biology-2e 


PRINT BOOK ISBN-10 1-947172-51-4
PRINT BOOK ISBN-13 978-1-947172-51-7
PDF VERSION ISBN-10 1-947172-52-2
PDF VERSION ISBN-13 978-1-947172-52-4



Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms, Donald Borror - knowing the etymology of biological terms can be helpful in learning and remembering them and this dictionary provides quick access to etymologies.

Course Closed?

Students should continue to check WebReg to see if a spot has opened; special permission is not given for full sections. If students are not registered by the start of classes, they should go to the first lecture meeting anyway, but continue to check WebReg. For wait list information, please go to: Wait List Sign Up for Spring 2023 Courses . Students must be officially registered to attend a Workshop.


Dr. Gregg Transue – Course Director

phone: 848-445-0778

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Christy Beal

Busch Lab Center, 127A
Busch Campus

phone: 848-445--0778

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Daniel Stern Cardinale – Workshop Director

Biological Sciences Building, Douglass Campus

phone: 848-932-9368

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Anne Keating

123A Busch Lab
Center, Busch Campus

phone: 848-445-0778

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

General Biology Program Coordinator:

Ms. Onyi Freeman

General Biology Offices:

Douglass Biology Building 106, walk-in hours: Tuesday 10:00am-12:00pm, Wednesday 10:00-11:30am, (848)-932-9368

Busch Laboratory Center 129, walk-in hours: Monday and Tuesday 1:00pm-3:00pm, (848)-445-0778

Appointments can be made outside of walk-in hours through the course email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.