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Undergraduate Courses

Key Courses

Evolution for Everyone (BIOL 105/ ANTH 280F)

4 credits. Offered each fall. Satisfies BU's General Education Social Science requirement. Recommended introduction for those new to evolution. As of winter session 2008, now available as an online course!

This course explains the basic principles of evolution and why they are so important for the study of humans in addition to the rest of life. Students from all majors are welcome and a background in science is not necessary. Those who have already learned about evolution will still learn much in this course about the relevance of evolution to human affairs. This course can be taken by itself and also serves as the best introduction to EvoS as a multi-course integrated curriculum.

Current Topics in EvoS (EVOS 451)

2 credits. Offered each semester in association with the EvoS seminar series. Required at least twice for undergraduate certificate.

This course is built on the EvoS seminar series, which brings distinguished speakers to campus at regular intervals. The course consists of reading one or more articles in preparation for each speaker, writing a short response to the article(s), attending the seminar, and meeting with each speaker after the seminar for an extended discussion over food. This is a superb way to engage in interdisciplinary interactions with other members of EvoS and with some of the most distinguished scientists and scholars of our day. The course can be taken multiple times.

More Suggested Courses

Introduction to Evolutionary Theory (ANTH 280B)

To some, an evolutionary perspective is the only logical one from which to study the full spectrum of human development and behavior. To others, it is a flawed attempt to diminish the enormous complexity of human cultural variation to reductive biological factors. This course will provide an introduction to the major topics and debates in historic and contemporary evolutionary theory from an anthropological perspective. Topics to be discussed include: the historical development of evolutionary thought; natural selection; Social Darwinism; eugenics; punctuated equilibrium; competition and cooperation; multilevel selection; sociobiology; evolutionary psychology; evolutionary medicine; Darwinian literary studies; and the arguments for and against (including examples of) using evolutionary theory to understand human sexual behavior. This course has no prerequisites and will be a safe place for the introduction, appreciation, and constructive criticism of multiple voices. This course receives an N.

Mechanisms of Evolution (BIOL 351)

Fundamental principles of synthetic theory of evolution and its development. Sources of variability; organization of genetic variability in populations; differentiation of populations; reproductive isolation and origin of species; role of hybridization in evolution; major trends of evolution; processes of evolution in man. Prerequisites: BIOL 117 and 118 or equivalent.

Macroevolution (BIOL 378)

Patterns and processes of evolution and the assembly of terrestrial ecosystems through deep time. Science and hypothesis testing in historical inference. Evolution and adaptation tempo and mode. Ecology of past terrestrial communities. Inferring structure/function in fossil plants and vertebrates, including dinosaurs. Causes of background and mass extinction. Biological evidence for climate change. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 117.

Cultural Evolutionary Theory (BIOL 452)

Information can be transmitted across generations by cultural in addition to genetic processes, especially in humans, but also other species. This course will review the modern study of culture as an evolutionary process, including the social and psychological mechanisms that enable cultural transmission to take place, the differences, and similarities between biological and cultural evolution, and the consequences of gene-culture co-evolution. Format may vary by sections: Prerequisites: BIOL 105 (cross-listed as ANTH 280F), ANTH 111, BIOL 351, or permission of instructor

All Courses

Course numbers may change from year to year. Important Note: Not all courses are offered every year or even on a repeating basis.

Anthropology Department

ANTH 168 Introduction to Biological Anthropology (L)

ANTH 246 Sex & Evolution

ANTH 247 Human Genetics

ANTH 248 Darwinian Medicine

ANTH 280B Introduction to Evolutionary Theory

ANTH 280F /EVOS 105 /BIOL 105 Evolution for Everyone – Social Science (N)

ANTH 280P Evolution Human Sexual Behavior

ANTH 280Z Biology, Culture and Lifestyle

ANTH 333 Human Genetics

ANTH 334 Comparative Aspects of Human Growth

ANTH 335 Human Origins

ANTH 337 Human Biological Variation

ANTH 338 Introduction to the Primates

ANTH 342 Ice Age Europe Through Fiction

ANTH 380J Recent Human Evolution

ANTH 380N/ PSYC 380A Neuroanthropology

ANTH 380R Biomedical Anthropology and Health

ANTH 426 Ancient DNA and Forensics Lab

ANTH 428 Molecular Anthropology Lab

ANTH 480B Evolution and Human Behavior

ANTH 480C Evolution and Women's Health

ANTH 480H Language & Popular Science

ANTH 480T Molecular Anthropology Theory

ANTH 480S /LING 449S Evolution of Language

ANTH 480Z/BIOL 283 Archival Research in Biological Anthropology

Department of Biological Sciences

BIOL 105/ EVOS105 /ANTH 280F Evolution for Everyone – Social Science (N)

BIOL 117 Introduction to organismal & population biology

BIOL 283 / ANTH 480Z Archival Research in Biological Anthropology

BIOL 301 Molecular Genetics

BIOL 330 Genes and Heredity

BIOL 333 Self-Organizing Systems

BIOL 334 Biological Networks (BE 202)

BIOL 340 Genetics Lab

BIOL 351 Mechanisms of evolution

BIOL 366 / GEOL 366 Paleobiology

BIOL 370 Botany

BIOL 371 Zoology

BIOL 372 Paleobiology

BIOL 373 Ecological principles and applications

BIOL 375 Animal behavior – Composition (C)

BIOL 377 Flora

BIOL 378 Macroevolution (W)

BIOL 379 Biology and Conservation of Birds

BIOL 425 Molecular Biology Lab

BIOL 428 Genomics and Proteomics

BIOL 435 Human Genetics

BIOL 441 Molecular Ecology Lab

BIOL 456/ANTH 480B/ PHIL 480A/ PSYC 470 Evolution & Human Beh

BIOL 450 Conceptual foundations in ecology, evolution and behavior

BIOL 451/EVOS 451 Current Topics in EvoS

BIOL 452 Cultural evolutionary theory

BIOL 453 Sociobiology

BIOL 454 Behavioral ecology of Primates (W)

BIOL 459 / EVOS 422 /GEOG 422 Biogeography

BIOL 472 Tropical ecology and conservation

BIOL 476 Population Ecology (W)

BIOL 477 Conservation Biology (W)

BIOL 480 Adv. Genetic Sem

BIOL 480L Biodiversity & Human Health

BIOL 480 Eco-Immunology

BIOL 483 Behavior & Disease

Economics Department

ECON 181A Economics & Evolution 1

ECON 335 Economics & Evolution

ECON 461 Game theory

English Department

ENG 450Q Animal Studies

Environmental Studies

ENVI 481E Evolving Local Sustainability

Geography Department

GEOG 212 Historical Geography

GEOG 422/ EVOS 422/BIOL 459 Biogeography

Geology Department

GEOL 366/ BIOL 366 Paleobiology

Industrial and Systems Engineering

ISE 418X Collective Dynamics of Complex Systems

ISE 419 Applied Soft Computing

Linguistics Department

LING 449S/ANTH 480S Evolution of Language

Philosophy Department

PHIL 311 Faith and Reason (C, H)

PHIL 313 Science & Religion

Psychology Department

SCHL 280A Evolutionary Psychology – Social Science (N)

PSYC 327 Evolution and Behavior

PSYC 380A/ANTH 380N Neuroanthropology

PSYC 470/ANTH 480B /BIOL 456 /PHIL 480A Evolution & Human Beh

PSYC 473B / EVOS 483B Comparative Psychology

PSYC Psychobio of Sex & Reproduction (W)

PSYC 473M Seminar in Evolutionary Psychology

PSYC 473M Cognitive Ethology: Evolution, Development, and the Origins of Thought

PSYC 473S Intimate Relationships (O, S, W)


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Last Updated: 7/30/15