The Biological Science Track at Mount Wachusett Community College provides students with the opportunity to earn an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences. Upon completion of the program, students are prepared to transfer to a four-year institution to complete a baccalaureate degree. The Biological Science Track offers a student the opportunity to explore biology while completing a core curriculum used for transfer. Students will gain knowledge in a variety of disciplines including math, science, the humanities and the social sciences. The Liberal Arts and Sciences includes the MassTransfer Block.
Biological Science Track (LAB)
A Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences
This program is designed to prepare students to transfer in the biological sciences with an A.A. degree and Mass Transfer benefits. It will give the students the first two years of a typical biology program so that they can transfer as juniors. It may also be used as a pre-professional program for the aspiring physicians, veterinarians, dentists and pharmacists. Since many of these classes are two semester sequential courses it is recommended that students start this program in the fall.
|BIO 109||Biology I||4|
|CHE 107||General Chemistry I||4|
|ENG 101||College Writing I||3|
|PSY 105||Introduction To Psychology||3|
|MAT 162||Introduction to Functions & Modeling (Formerly MAT 134) (or higher)||4|
|BIO 110||Biology II||4|
|CHE 108||General Chemistry II||4|
|ENG 102||College Writing II||3|
|Social Science Elective 1||3|
|CHE 207||Organic Chemistry I||4|
|Culturally Diverse Humanities Elective (See list below)||3|
|PER 126 or 130||Fitness And Wellness 2||2-3|
|Culturally Diverse Literature Elective (see list below)||3|
|SPC 113||Speech (formerly THE113)||3|
|Professional Elective (see list below)||4|
|CHE 208||Organic Chemistry II||4|
|Social Science Elective 1||3|
|ISC 235||LAS Capstone: Scientific Research and Writing||3|
Social Science Elective: ANT, ECO, GEO, HIS, POL, PSY, SOC or SSC.
Some colleges require a 3 credit fitness class. Please check with your adviser.
Culturally Diverse Humanities Electives
|ASL-any American Sign Language couse||3|
|FRE- Any French Course||3|
|HUM 240||Comparative Religion||3|
|HUM 260||The Art Of Being Human I||3|
|SPA-any Spanish course||3|
Culturally Diverse Literature Electives
|ENG 221||Women's Literature||3|
|ENG 236||Modern Drama||3|
|ENG 237||Special Topics: Queer American Drama||3|
|ENG 261||The Short Story||3|
|ENG 265||Great Writers of Harlem||3|
|BIO 122||Zoology: The Biology Of Animals||4|
|BIO 130||Plant Science||4|
|BIO 170||Cell Biology||4|
|BIO 199||Anatomy and Physiology I (formerly BIO203)||4|
|BIO 204||Anatomy and Physiology II||4|
|Math Elective (MAT 143 or MAT 211)||4|
See Biological Science track competencies and technical standards
For transfer options, please click here. It is recommended that you also consult with your academic advisor.
Students who plan to transfer to a Massachusetts state university or a University of Massachusetts campus may be eligible to transfer under the MassTransfer agreement which provides transfer advantages to those who qualify.
Career options/Earning potential
Program Competencies for LAB
Upon graduation from this program, students shall have the ability to:
- Formulate clear and precise questions about complex problems and ideas relevant to a variety of disciplines — math, science, the humanities, and the social sciences — and gather, assess, and interpret information to reach well-reasoned conclusions and solutions.
- Demonstrate an understanding of complex written texts that demand an appreciation of subtext, irony, metaphor, and the subtlety and nuances of language.
- Successfully complete a substantial scientific research paper that demonstrates the ability to formulate a research question, conduct research using the library’s databases, and synthesize information from a variety of sources into a cohesive and in-depth analysis of a topic.
- Demonstrate knowledge of historic, social, and cultural backgrounds necessary for understanding their own society and other societies, with an emphasis on important ideas and events that have shaped, and continue to shape, their world.
- Demonstrate scientific literacy, which can be defined as the matrix of knowledge needed to understand enough about the universe to deal with issues that come across the horizon of the average citizen, in the news or elsewhere.
- Demonstrate the ability to collect, record and organize scientific data correctly.
- Demonstrate the ability to work safely in a laboratory environment.
- Demonstrate the ability to manipulate and use scientific tools, such as the microscope, pH meter, measurement tools, glassware and other scientific instrumentation. This would include independently conducting an experiment using written directions such as lab manuals or Standard Operating Procedures as a guide.
- Demonstrate the ability to use mathematical tools as applied to science. This could include building and interpreting graphs, using equations and formulas to solve problems, and fitting data to a mathematical model.
- Demonstrate the ability to search scientific literature and use the information.
- Demonstrate a broad exposure to, and an understanding of, the differences and similarities in the various academic disciplines within their Liberal Arts education.
- Successfully transfer to a baccalaureate degree-granting institution if desired, with the proper educational foundation for transition into a chosen field of study.
Technical Standards for LAB1
For general information about technical standards and accommodation, see Technical Standards.
Students entering this program must be able to demonstrate the ability to:
- Comprehend textbook material at a college level.
- Communicate and assimilate information either in spoken, printed, signed, or computer voice format.
- Gather, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.
- Stand for a minimum of two hours.
- Differentiate by touch: hotness/coldness, wetness/dryness, and hardness/softness.
- Use the small muscle dexterity necessary to do such tasks as gloving, gowning, and operating controls on laboratory instrumentation.
- Respond promptly to spoken words, as well as monitor signals and instrument alarms.
- Identify behaviors that would endanger a person’s life or safety and intervene quickly in a crisis situation with an appropriate solution.
- Remain calm, rational, decisive, and in control at all times, especially during emergency situations.
- Manipulate small parts, and make fine hand adjustments to machines and test equipment.
- Operate a computer.
BIO 101. Introduction To Nutrition (formerly NUT101). 3 Credits.
This course introduces the broad aspects of nutrition as it applies to human existence. Included in the topical analysis are items related to digestion, essential nutrients, energy balance, vitamins, water, fitness, and weight control, as well as a discussion of changing needs of individuals as they age or become ill. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement.
BIO 102. Introduction To Forestry. 4 Credits.
This course provides a general introduction to the practice and profession of forestry. This course will not result in becoming a forester but will equip participants with the tools to understand forest ecology and forest management decisions. This course will allow you to communicate with foresters and understand forests' complexity, their values, and the factors influencing forest stewardship. Lab sessions will be hands-on experiences revolving around and applying the topics listed in the lab section of the syllabus. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement. Fall.
BIO 103. Human Health And Disease. 3 Credits.
This lecture-based course describes the basic structure and function of most organ systems within the context of some common human diseases. Homeostasis, the dynamic equilibrium in which the internal environment of an organism is maintained fairly constant, is the theme of this course that allows the understanding of certain common diseases. Students with little science background will investigate human disease within a personal context. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, MAT 092 or placement.
BIO 104. Introduction To Natural Resource Conservation. 4 Credits.
This is an introductory course in natural resource conservation that will provide comprehensive overview of local, regional, and global resource and environmental issues. Topics will include population growth, soil conservation and agriculture, aquatic environments, air and water pollution, forest and wildlife management, global climate change, and energy usage. Strategic thinking towards sustainability will be a unifying theme in exploring the natural resources we depend upon in our complex, interconnected global environment. Lab sessions will be hands-on experiences revolving around and applying the topics listed in the lab section of the syllabus. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement. Fall.
BIO 105. Current Topics in Biological Science. 3 Credits.
This course will give the student an exposure to, and understanding of, contemporary issues in biological science. Topics may change each semester. Representative topics to be explored might include antibiotics, antibiotic resistance, and vaccination, genetic engineering, climate change and its impact on food, water and disease, bioterrorism, overpopulation, and nutritional supplements. Topics will be explored through a variety of avenues, including discussion, readings, videos, and student research. Prerequisites: ENG 098, MAT 092 (or co-requisite), RDG 098, or placement.
BIO 109. Biology I. 4 Credits.
Biology, as a science, represents a way of interacting with the world in a rational manner. The nature of science, cellular structure and function, the molecules of life, the acquisition and use of energy by living organisms, the code of heredity, principles of genetics, and genetic recombination will be considered in this course. Lab sessions will be hands on experiences revolving around and applying the topics listed in the lab section of the syllabus. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement.
BIO 110. Biology II. 4 Credits.
Biology is the study of life. This course will consider the origin and evolution of life on Earth, natural selection, the diversity and the unity of life in all its many forms, the geological timelines as it applies to evolution, the modern sciences of taxonomy and phylogeny, including analysis of proteins, RNA and DNA for the purpose of building phylogenies of organisms, human evolution, and behavior as an adaptive mechanism. Lab sessions will be hands-on experiences revolving around the topics of the course. Two and one half lecture/discussion hours and two lab hours per week. Prerequisites:ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098 or placement.
BIO 112. Biology Of Cancer. 3 Credits.
This introductory level biology course integrates the cellular and molecular basis of biology with up-to-date information in an extensive survey of the nature, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of various forms of cancer. In addition, the course is designed to convey the relationship between the process by which science works in basic biomedical research and the advances made in public/personal health. In studying the biology of cancer, students will use online resources and electronic communication. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, MAT 092 or placement. Offered occasionally.
BIO 113. Life Science for Allied Health (formerly BIO 099). 4 Credits.
This course is designed to prepare students to succeed in Anatomy & Physiology I and II. Students build a foundation of biology concepts related to chemicals critical to life, cellular structure and function with emphasis on cellular transport, energy production and molecular genetics. Instruction will actively engage students in their learning and student success skills are integrated with the scientific body of knowledge as students prepare to enter various allied health programs. Theoretical concepts are applied through hands-on laboratory experiences related to topics listed in the course syllabus. A GRADE OF 'C' OR HIGHER IS REQUIRED FOR ADVANCEMENT TO NEXT COURSE. Prerequisites: ENG 098, MAT 092 (or co-requisite), RDG 098 or placement.
BIO 115. Human Biology. 4 Credits.
An introductory study of the human body that orients students to the normal structures and functions of the human body. This broad perspective of human life addresses the basic principles of cellular biology, tissues, and key organ systems. Lab sessions will be hands-on experiences revolving around and applying the topics listed in the lab section of the syllabus. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, MAT 092 or placement.
BIO 116. Ecology. 4 Credits.
This course is the study of relationships between organisms and the environment. Ecology is a broad scientific discipline ranging from the study of individual organisms to the global scale. This is a course in modern experimental ecology that emphasizes the conceptual foundations of the discipline. Natural history provides our foundation, while evolution is the conceptual framework. The laboratory focuses on lab and field experiments that use the scientific method to demonstrate key concepts and develop an understanding of experimental and statistical methods commonly used in ecology. Lab sessions will be hands-on experiences revolving around and applying the topics listed in the lab section of the syllabus. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement. Fall.
BIO 117. Emerging Diseases: Past And Present. 3 Credits.
This course will discuss some of the old diseases, epidemics, plagues, and scourges and apply what we've learned from them to some of the new, reactivated, and recurrent diseases we face today. The human immune system will be discussed along with an explanation and discussion of how some of the current agents of disease evade and/or defeat this system. We will discuss the social, financial, political, and religious impacts where appropriate. We will also discuss what the future may hold in our battles with infectious agents. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement. Offered occasionally.
BIO 120. Horticulture. 4 Credits.
This course is designed for those students interested in understanding the processes by which plants grow and how that understanding can be used to improve the quality of plants grown in the garden, the landscape, and the home. Students will also examine the structure and function of flowering plants. A workshop approach will be used and experiments will be conducted in the lab and greenhouse. Lab sessions will be hands-on experiences revolving around and applying the topics listed in the lab section of the syllabus. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.
BIO 122. Zoology: The Biology Of Animals. 4 Credits.
Animals are found in every environment and have various roles or niches that they occupy in these environments. Each environment presents different problems that these animals overcome with various structural, functional, and behavioral adaptations. The study of these adaptations is the central theme of this course. Laboratory is an integral part of this course with a focus on living animals with a minimal amount of dissection. Lab sessions will be hands-on experiences revolving around and applying the topics listed in the lab section of the syllabus. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, MAT 092 or placement. Spring.
BIO 128. Plants And Society. 3 Credits.
This course is a survey course looking at the origins, historical, and current use of plants in societies including food, spices, clothing, beverages, building material, and medicines. The search for and exploitation of many plant species by humans have directly and indirectly shaped the geopolitical world we now live in. These topics will follow a brief introduction to basic plant structure, function, and life cycle. The increasing role of plants in biotechnology will also be studied, as well as the important uses of algae and fungi as they relate to people, plants, and plant products. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, MAT 092 or placement.
BIO 130. Plant Science. 4 Credits.
This course includes basic plant structure and function. This will include the anatomy and physiology of the plant cell, tissues, roots, stems, and leaf growth and development. Laboratory will include the study of the above with preserved and live specimens and with field study where possible. The effects of various plant pathogens on plant growth will be considered. Lab sessions will be hands-on experiences revolving around and applying the topics listed in the lab section of the syllabus. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement. Fall.
BIO 140. Introduction To Greenhouse Management. 4 Credits.
Theory and practice of operation/management of a commercial greenhouse will be the major content of this course. This course will integrate the science of the greenhouse industry with the need to remain competitive. This four-credit lab science will use the MWCC greenhouse to study the science of the greenhouse including root substrate, fertilizer formulations, and the business of greenhouse management. Emphasis will be placed on chemical/non-chemical methods of control of plant pathogens. Lab sessions will be hands-on experiences revolving around and applying the topics listed in the lab section of the syllabus. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement. Spring.
BIO 141. Fundamentals of Sustainable Agriculture. 4 Credits.
This course will explore what is meant by sustainable agriculture in contrast with “conventional” agriculture that has evolved and been practiced since the end of WWII. Food production in this country and much of the world has become an industrialized, mass production model with various high cost, chemically synthesized inputs supported by government policies, including the Farm Bill. In addition, a majority of commodity crops grown today in the USA are genetically engineered, which began in the 1990’s. We will exam alternatives to our “conventional” system of food production focusing on issues surrounding soil and water management, fertilization, pest control, and nutrient dense food production. These and other topics will not only be studied through classroom discussions, current readings, and documentary films, but also experientially through visits to local farms in our area. These interactive visits will expose students firsthand to a variety of growers that are practicing sustainability in producing farm products, both plant and animal. Lab sessions will be hands-on experiences revolving around and applying the topics listed in the lab section of the syllabus.Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or permission of Division Dean.
BIO 145. Introduction to Field Biology. 4 Credits.
A strong educational foundation in scientific principles should be rooted in some way to our own understanding of natural ecological systems. There are incredible challenges encountered when attempting to experimentally test scientific theories under unpredictable natural biological systems. Although not all students in introductory Field Biology courses will go on to become research scientists, the skills acquired in courses like this provide training on basic ecology, taxonomic identification, ecological survey methods, complex interactions, hypothesis testing, data analysis, and results interpretation. Lectures will be posted on Black Board three times per week and will be based on the text and supplemental material on related topics. The Laboratory portion of the course will include 6 hr. and will consist of approximately 2/3 field work mostly at Wachusett Mountain State Reservation and 1/3 examination and specimen identification in the laboratory on campus. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or permission of Division Dean.
BIO 152. Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology. 4 Credits.
Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology is an introduction to the basic anatomy and physiology of the human body with an emphasis on the interrelationships among the systems and their maintenance of homeostasis. The disruption of homeostasis in several disease models and in the aging process will also be considered. This course is designed for students pursuing a degree in selected programs such as practical nursing in Health Information Management. Class will focus on the physiology of the body systems while lab will primarily cover anatomy. In class and lab students will be expected to engage in independent and collaborative learning through analysis of case studies, problem solving, and hands-on laboratory exercises. A considerable amount of time outside of class is required to master course content through case study analysis, disease research, web based programs, and other assignments. Prerequisites: ENG 098, MAT 092 (or co-requisite), and RDG 098 or placement.
BIO 170. Cell Biology. 4 Credits.
This course introduces the fundamentals of cellular biology, including cell structure and metabolism, cell division, DNA replication, and protein synthesis. Students will also learn about the cells' ability to move, reproduce, grow, and change as well as cell anatomy, membrane function, and organelles, which perform specific functions within a cell. In the laboratory, students are provided with hands-on experience, the process of science, and with course topics. Lab sessions will be hands on experiences revolving around and applying the topics listed in the lab section of the syllabus. Prerequisite: BIO 109. Spring.
BIO 199. Anatomy and Physiology I (formerly BIO203). 4 Credits.
This course applies the chemical and cellular basis of life to the human body systems focused on control & movement. An in-depth-study of the structure and function of the muscular, skeletal, nervous and endocrine systems is provided. Instruction will actively engage students in their learning of theoretical concepts listed in the course syllabus; students also apply these concepts through hands-on laboratory experiences listed in the course syllabus. Students are strongly discouraged from taking BIO 199 concurrently with BIO 204. Prerequisites: BIO 113 (formerly BIO099), ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement.
BIO 204. Anatomy and Physiology II. 4 Credits.
This course applies the chemical and cellular basis of life to the human body systems focused on processing & transporting chemicals. An in-depth-study of the structure and function of the digestive, cardiovascular, respiratory and renal systems is provided. Instruction will actively engage students in their learning of theoretical concepts listed in the course syllabus; students also apply these concepts through hands-on laboratory experiences listed in the course syllabus. Students are strongly discouraged from taking this course concurrently with BIO 199. Prerequisites: BIO 113 (formerly BIO099), ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement.
BIO 205. Microbiology. 4 Credits.
This is a transferable four-credit laboratory science course. It is a required course for the Nursing curriculum at MWCC. It is recommended for students planning careers in health sciences or animal and plant sciences and will satisfy a lab science requirement here, or for transfer. In addition to a discussion of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and other parasites, this course will discuss practical applications of the techniques of microbiology to the health care and industrial fields. This course is a medically-oriented course that surveys the broad aspects of this field of study. Topics include morphology and nutrition of microbes, pathogenic processes, host-defense mechanisms, allergy, antibiotic therapy, and a review of the common diseases of each system of the body. Lab sessions will be hands-on experiences revolving around and applying the topics listed in the lab section of the syllabus. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement; BIO 113 (formerly BIO 099) or placement, BIO 109, BIO 199 (formerly BIO 203), or BIO 152 with grade of C or better.
BIO 209. Human Sexuality. 3 Credits.
This course is an in-depth study and discussion of all aspects of human sexuality. Emphasis will be on biological aspects and influences on human sexuality. Topics to be considered include structure, function, and dysfunction of the reproduction system, prenatal sexual development, achieving gender identity, sexual behavior, sexual signaling, health and control of sexual reproduction, correcting problems of sexual expression, divergent sexual behavior, and sexually transmitted diseases. Various media forms will be used. A primary objective of the course is a better understanding of one’s own sexuality. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, MAT 092 or placement. Offered occasionally.
BIO 220. Soil Science. 4 Credits.
Soils are the anchors of biological systems. This is a study of the physical, chemical, and biological nature of the soil. This four-credit laboratory course will study the substrate of the ecosystem. Emphasis will be placed on the role of the soil in plant pathology. Lab sessions will be hands-on experiences revolving around and applying the topics listed in the lab section of the syllabus. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098.
BIO 230. Nutrition, Health, And Sustainability. 3 Credits.
Nutrition is the foundation of health and food is its source. This course will look at the historical, cultural, and political influences on our food, food sources, and the provision of food. This course will explore the health implications of these influences. Through covering a variety of topics from the history of how eating has changed to the construction of meaning through eating, we will analyze health and nutrition through a systemic lens within the context of a sustainable food future. Students will read various authors and view films on the subject. Understanding of their local community food sources and eating practices will be explored. Written work will include position statements, a research proposal, and a collaborative research paper/presentation. Prerequisites: MAT 092, or placement; ENG 101. Offered occasionally.
BIO 240. Survey of Diseases. 3 Credits.
This course will give the student an understanding of the various common diseases that are found in the different body systems. Emphasis will be on signs and symptoms, diagnosing methods, and treatment of the diseases. Course is geared for Allied Health majors. Prerequisite: BIO 115 or BIO 199.