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Exploring Biology

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Exploring Biology Class
Explore core concepts, exciting bioscience topics and campus opportunities in Exploring Biology, a course for first-year students interested in majoring in the biosciences.
Course Number: 
Fulfills Requirements: 
First-year seminar
LAS elementary level
Breadth, natural science
First-year student (first-year freshmen only, no transfer students)

Fall 2021:

  • Mon. 2:25 – 4:20 p.m. (designated FIG section)
  • –OR–
  • Wed. 2:25 – 4:20 p.m.

Sign up for combined lecture and discussion.

Integrated Science 100: Exploring Biology

In Exploring Biology you will:

  • learn skills and ways of thinking that will prepare you for success in future biology courses;
  • gain new perspectives on broad topics and current research in biology;
  • explore opportunities and careers that can come with a bioscience degree;
  • pick up great tips and advice on how to get the most out of being a bioscience major from upper-level students; and
  • meet new friends and mentors who share your interest in biology.


A first-year course focused on the core concepts in biology (evolution; transformation of energy and matter; information exchange and storage; structure and function; systems biology), professions in biology, and the foundational skills and knowledge needed for successful academic and post-graduate careers in biology.


Quotes from Integrated Science 100 students:

  • “I learned about different aspects of biology, but also things about my campus and the resources that are available.”
  • “This course allows you to explore major biological themes and the different paths you could take if you continue to study biology or any other science.”
  • “The relationships that I built in the class are ones that I expect to keep in the future.”
  • “I learned skills which will be useful in other college courses.”
  • “I learned of the countless activities on campus and how to get involved. I met some very kind and interesting people.” 


Note: This course is a topics course intended to be taken before the introductory biology series, and is not an introduction to biology course.


Optional FIG Opportunity

Exploring Biology is part of the First-year Interest Groups (FIG) Program, which creates learning communities by connecting students who are enrolled in a cluster of classes together.

Cara Theisen, PhD

Director of Professional Development in Teaching & Learning
Contact Info

(608) 890-4497


445 Henry Mall

Room 114B

Madison WI, 53706

Currently I am course director for:
Exploring Biology (Integsci 100)
Secrets of Science (Integsci 375)