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University Bulletin: Graduate Programs The George Washington University  



Professors R.K. Packer, R. Donaldson, D.L. Lipscomb (Chair), K.M. Brown, J.M. Clark, L.C. Smith, G. Hormiga, G. Ortí, R.P. Tollo, K.A. Crandall

Associate Professors H. Merchant, C.A. Forster, P. Hernandez, J.T. Lill, A. Jeremic

Assistant Professors D.W. Morris, H.G. Döbel, I. Eleftherianos, R.A. Pyron, D. O'Halloran, A. Zanne, S. Powell, A. Smith

Master of Science in the field of biological sciences- Prerequisite: a bachelor's degree with a major in biological sciences or an equivalent degree: The undergraduate program must have included a course in statistics.

Required: the general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. The minimum requirement consists of 24 credit hours of approved course work plus a thesis (equivalent to 6 credits). With the permission of the department, a student may elect a program of study consisting of 36 credit hours of approved course work without a thesis. All students must pass a Master's Comprehensive Exam.

Doctor of Philosophy in the field of biological sciences- Required: the general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, prerequisites listed with the Master of Science, above, plus satisfactory completion of the General Examination in at least three areas of biological sciences. The program of study and fields of study are determined in consultation with an advisory committee appointed for each candidate.

Major research areas: cell and molecular biology; systematics, evolution, and ecology.

With permission, a limited number of upper-division undergraduate courses in the department may be taken for graduate credit; additional course work is required. See the Undergraduate Programs Bulletin for course listings.

6204 Seminar: Invertebrate Zoology (3) Staff
  Review of selected topics in physiology, development, and ecology of invertebrate animals, including reports on original publications. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: BiSc 2330 or equivalent. (Fall, even years)
6205 Current Topics in Cell and Molecular Biology (1 or 2) Smith, Donaldson, Eleftherianos, Jeremic
  May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: BiSc 2202 or 3209. (Spring)
6206 Current Topics in Evolutionary Ecology (1 or 2) Lill
  May be repeated for credit.
6207 Seminar: Current Topics in Systematic Biology (1 or 2) Clark, Hormiga, Lipscomb, Ortí, Pyron
  Prerequisite: BiSc 6210. (Fall and spring)
6208 Bioenergetics (3) Merchant
  Study of energy fixation and transfer in ecosystems and of their role in behavior, evolution, population dynamics, and species interactions. Prerequisite: BiSc 2454 or permission of the instructor. (Fall, odd years)
6209 Seminar: Principles and Mechanisms of Organic Evolution (3) Lipscomb
  Current problems and issues in evolution; speciation, macroevolution, biogeography, and topics of special interest to participants. Prerequisite: BiSc 2450 or equivalent. (Spring)
6210 Phylogenetic Systematics (4) Hormiga, Ortí
  A rigorous and up-to-date treatment of the theory and methods of systematics, including phylogenetic inference and its applications in evolutionary biology. Laboratory fee. Prerequisite: BiSc 2450 or equivalent. (Fall)
6211 Biogeography (4) Pyron
  Survey of methods, techniques, and theory in biogeography. Geological and paleontological aspects of biogeography; large-scale biogeographic patterns; speciation and phylogeography. Prerequisite: BiSc 2451 or 2452 or permission of the instructor. (Fall, odd years)
6213 Descriptive Systematics: Documenting Biodiversity (3) Hormiga
  Study of those aspects of systematic biology concerned with description and inventory of biodiversity. Prerequisite: BiSc 6210. (Fall, odd years)
6214 The Phylogenetic Basis of Comparative Biology (3) Hormiga
  The use of phylogenetic hypotheses to study questions in evolutionary biology and ecology. Prerequisite: BiSc 6210; Stat 1127 or equivalent. (Fall, even years)
6215 Vertebrate Phylogeny (4) Clark
  Lecture (3 hours), laboratory and field (2 hours). A survey of vertebrate diversity, emphasizing evolutionary relationships and adaptations of the major groups. Prerequisite: BiSc 2450 or equivalent; BiSc 2332 recommended. (Spring, odd years)
6216 Morphological Systematics (4) Clark
  Lecture (3 hours) and laboratory (2 hours). Methods of studying organismal morphology as a means of inferring phylogeny, emphasizing the concept of homology. Laboratory includes techniques of observing, measuring, and imaging morphology in systematic biology, including morphometric methods. Laboratory fee. Prerequisite: BiSc 6210 or equivalent. (Spring)
6218 Innate Immunity (3) Smith
  Discussion of innate immune systems in a wide variety of organisms; from sponges to vertebrates plus higher plants. Prerequisite: BiSc 3212; recommended BiSc 2202, 2207, 3209, 2330. (Spring)
6219 Host-Microbe Interactions (3) Eleftherianos
  Overview of the molecular, genetic, cellular, and physiological basis of symbiotic and pathogenic interactions among plants and invertebrate and vertebrate animals with various microbial organisms, including bacteria, fungi, viruses.
6225 Molecular Phylogenetics (4) Ortí
  Lecture (3 hours), computer laboratory (2 hours). Review of molecular phylogenetic methods including data recovery, alignment, weighting, character optimization, and phylogenetic inference methods. Prerequisite: BiSc 2207, 2450, and 6210 or equivalent. (Spring)
6227 Seminar: Genetics (3) Staff
  Review of selected topics in genetics, with emphasis on current literature; topics of special interest to participants encouraged. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: BiSc 2207 or equivalent. (Fall, odd years)
6228 Population Genetics (3) Staff
  Origin, maintenance, and possible significance of genetic variation in populations. Selection, genetic drift, and population structure are emphasized. Both theoretical and applied aspects of population genetics are discussed. Prerequisite: BiSc 2207 or equivalent. Same as ForS 6247. (Fall)
6230 Human Genetics (3) Staff
  Genetic mechanisms of transmission and expression of human traits, with emphasis on biochemical and cytogenetic aspects. Prerequisite: BiSc 2207 or equivalent; previous course work in cell biology or cell biochemistry strongly recommended. (Spring)
6242 Advanced Plant Ecology (3) Staff
  Study of selected topics in adaptive plant strategies and North American plant communities, concentrating on invasive alien plant species. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: BiSc 2455 or 2458. (Spring)
6243 Seminar: Ecology (3) Merchant, Lill
  In-depth study of selected topics, including reports on original publications. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: BiSc 2454 or equivalent. (Fall, odd years; spring, even years)
6249 Seminar: Developmental Biology (3) Brown, Hernandez
  Discussion and reports on recent research on the endocrinological, genetic, and biochemical aspects of animal development. Prerequisite: a course in developmental biology or cell biology. (Spring)
6251 Evolutionary Developmental Biology (3) Hernandez
  Developmental mechanisms involved in the morphological changes that occur during the course of evolution. (Spring)
6252 Seminar: Neurobiology (3) Staff
  Study of current publications in functional neurobiology. May be repeated for credit with instructor's permission. (Spring, odd years)
6274 Gene Regulation and Genetic Engineering (3) Morris
  The control of gene expression as illustrated by several prokaryotic and eukaryotic model systems: discussions of recombinant DNA techniques. Prerequisite: BiSc 2207. (Fall and spring)
6275 Introduction to Recombinant DNA Techniques (3) Staff
  Lecture, 1 hour; laboratory, 4 hours. Basic techniques of genetic manipulation: cloning of genes, transformation of bacteria, PCR procedures, DNA sequencing, and other techniques. Prerequisite: BiSc 2202 or 2207 or 2337 or equivalent and permission of instructor. Laboratory fee. (Fall, even years)
6295 Research (arr.) Staff
  Investigation of special problems. May be repeated for credit.
6998-99 Thesis Research (3-3) Staff
8998 Advanced Reading and Research (arr.) Staff
  Limited to students preparing for the Doctor of Philosophy general examination. May be repeated for credit.
8999 Dissertation Research (arr.) Staff
  Limited to Doctor of Philosophy candidates. May be repeated for credit.

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© 2013 University Bulletin
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Information in this bulletin is generally accurate as of fall 2012. The University reserves the right to change courses, programs, fees, and the academic calendar, or to make other changes deemed necessary or desirable, giving advance notice of change when possible.