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Biology Preparation

Welcome to the Department of Biology at The University of Tampa. Students enrolled in Biological Diversity (BIO 203), or Biological Unity (BIO 204) come from many majors on campus, including (but not limited to) biology, marine science, environmental science, biochemistry, exercise science, forensic science and psychology. These majors all require students to complete either or both of the courses in our introductory biology series (BIO 203 and 204). These courses should be seen as providing the foundation of the education students will be seeking in the coming years.

In order to achieve the most you possibly can in your chosen major, you will, of course, want to get off to a great start in your introductory biology courses. For this reason, the Department of Biology has assembled some advice that might be of benefit to you in the coming months as you prepare for these courses.

To be clear, we do not require that you do each of the things below. Rather, we suggest that you read through all of this advice and pick and choose what you believe might be most helpful to you.

Basic Information About Introductory Biology Courses

Common Required Textbook:

  • Campbell, N.A. and J.B. Reece. 2007. Biology, 8th Edition. Pearson. NOTE: This text is required for both BIO 203 and 204 at UT. We recommend keeping this book throughout your college career as it makes an excellent reference for later courses. This book can be purchased at The University of Tampa Bookstore.

Lab Manuals:

  • The faculty members at The University of Tampa have written individual lab manuals for both introductory biology courses. These can be purchased only at the University Bookstore on campus.

Accessory material:

  • There are several faculty members that teach these courses and some require additional text book and/or reading material. Please check with the University Bookstore once you arrive on campus to see what each professor has ordered for his or her class.

We strongly recommend that you purchase all of the required material for your section of the course well in advance in order to familiarize yourself with the structure and flow of the text book, lab manual, and accessory materials. Furthermore, it would be beneficial to learn what study aids are available through the textbook's Web site. Learning how to use these tools and using these aids throughout the semester will provide additional ways to learn the information and study for exams.

BIO 203 Biological Diversity

This course covers evolutionary biology, biological diversity, physiological systems, and ecological principles. As such, it is sometimes seen as the "organismal and systemic" portion of the introductory course sequence. Students enrolled in BIO 203 should consider brushing up on several topics prior to the start of the semester, including:

  • Evolutionary Theory
  • Evidence for Evolution
  • Mechanisms of Evolutionary Change
  • Structure and Function (physiological systems) of plants, animals, and fungi
  • Population and community ecology

Suggested Readings from Campbell:

  • Preface
  • Chapter 22
  • Chapter 25
  • Chapter 26
  • Chapter 50

BIO 204 Biological Unity

This course covers molecular and cellular biological topics as well as some systemic topics that lend themselves to discussion at the molecular and cellular levels. Students enrolled in BIO 204 should consider brushing up on several topics prior to the start of the semester, including:

  • Basic chemistry
  • Structure of a cell
  • Biological molecules

Suggested Readings from Campbell:

  • Preface
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6

General Career Preparation

Students interested in careers in the biological and health sciences often find that their chosen fields are extremely competitive. As a result, schoolwork alone is often insufficient to gain consideration for a job. If your pursuit of a degree at UT is associated with your career goals, you should consider looking into volunteer opportunities in your area of interest during the summer. This not only helps you gain experience, but also provides you with a realistic appraisal of the discipline that cannot be matched in the classroom.