About BIOL 1305 A

For nonscience majors. The process of biological evolution, evidence for evolution, mechanisms of evolutionary change, origin of adaptations, evolution of behavior, social and reproductive behavior. No laboratory. Credit not awarded for both BIOL 1305 and BIOL 1300.


Open to degree and PACE students Non-life science majors only

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Section Description

This course will introduce students to the foundations of evolutionary biology. We will cover the evidence behind the theory of evolution and the applications of evolutionary thinking to essential issues in modern society. This introductory course is geared towards a broad audience of students keen on understanding how evolution shapes biological variation. The course will be divided into four major sections. Section 1 will cover the basics of evolutionary thinking including the history and evidence for the field of modern evolutionary biology, including first principles and terminology. Section 2 will cover the basics of microevolution, looking at evolution through the lenses of genes and mutations. Part 3 will cover the basics of macroevolution including phylogenetics, speciation, and the fossil record. Finally, Part 4 will cover human evolution, including critical questions about current debates in society.

Section Expectation

There is no mandatory textbook in the course, yet primary literature (i.e., scientific articles) will be assigned for reading. Students will have access to PDFs of these articles, at no cost, through the UVM library system. Students will also read selected chapters of Darwin’s Book “The Origin of Species.” Please note that this book is free and in the public domain. In addition, students will also need to have access to an iClicker.


Students will be evaluated based on their understanding of the course materials and their participation in the course. Examinations include 3 midterms, 1 cumulative final, 3 homework sets, 1 group presentation, and quizzes.

Important Dates

Note: These dates may change before registration begins.

Note: These dates may not be accurate for select courses during the Summer Session.

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Last Day to Withdraw with 25% Refund
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BIOL 1305 A is closed to new enrollment.

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