BIOL R120 - Principles of Biology I

Course description:
The first semester of biology for majors introduces the student to principles of cellular and molecular biology. Knowledge from a breadth of disciplines related to health, medical and research science careers is examined including: biochemistry, metabolism, molecular biology, genetics, cellular biology, recombinant DNA, developmental biology, microbiology and molecular evolution. While the diversity of life is surveyed, an emphasis is placed on the biology worldview derived from experimental data of specific model genera, animal cell culture systems and prokaryotic/eukaryotic viruses. The method of generating hypothesis based research results and the role of paradigms in advancing biological science theory are examined. This course is applied towards fulfilling University biology prerequisites and the Community College Biotechnology Certificate. Field trips may be required.

CHEM R120 (General Chemistry I)

Prerequisite for:
BIOL R120 is required for the following courses:

  • ANAT R101 (General Human Anatomy)
  • BIOL R122 (Principles of Biology II)
  • MICR R100 (Principles of Microbiology)

This course can be taken with or as a prerequisite for BIOL R120L (Principles of Biology I Laboratory).

Degree fulfillment:
BIOL R120 can be used to fulfill major requirements for the following programs:

  • A.A. in Biology (required course)
  • A.A. in General Studies Pattern I, Natural Sciences emphasis
  • A.A. in General Studies Pattern II, Natural Sciences or Mathematics emphasis
  • A.A. in General Studies Pattern III, Natural Sciences or Mathematics emphasis

GE fulfillment:
BIOL R120 partially fulfills General Education requirement A (Natural Sciences) for all associate degrees at Oxnard College (when not used to fulfill a major requirement).

IGETC and CSU GE-Breadth fulfillment:

  • BIOL R120 partially fulfills the Area 5 (Physical and Biological Sciences) requirement for IGETC certification.
  • BIOL R120 partially fulfills the Area B (Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning) requirement for CSU-GE Breadth certification.

See a counselor for more information on IGETC or CSU GE-Breadth certification.

Some transfer information:

Credit for BIOL R120 can be transferred to several universities; the chart below shows a few of the possibilities. For more complete transfer information, see a counselor at the Transfer Center or visit ASSIST online.

University            BIOL R120 equivalent


Supplemental Course Materials, listed by instructor

Professor: James Harber
Contact info: Office phone: (805) 986-8500, ext. 1986; Email:

Reading Notes (by Clarissa Sandoval)
Chapter 1: Theme in the Study of Life
Chapter 2: The Chemical Context of Life
Chapter 3: Water and the Fitness of the Environment
Chapter 5: Structure and Function of Large Biological Molecules
Chapter 6: A Tour of the Cell
Chapter 7: Membrane Structure and Function
Chapter 14: Mendel and the Gene Idea
Chapter 15: The Chromosomal Basis of Inheritance
Chapter 22: Descent with Modification: A Darwinian View of Life

Week 1: Worksheet
Week 2: Vocabulary Review
Week 3: Water
Week 3: Organic Chemistry Review
Week 4: Large Biological Molecules
Week 5: Eukaryotic vs. Prokaryotic Cell
Week 5: DNA
Midterm 1 Review
Week 7: Cytoskeleton
Week 8: Membranes
Week 9: Cell Communication
Week 9: Meiosis and Mitosis
Week 9: Meiosis and Mitosis Diagram
Week 10: Inheritance Crossword
Week 10: Mendelian Genetics
Chapter 16
Websites on DNA Replication
Chapter 18: Regulation of Gene Expression
Chapter 20: Biotechnology
Chapter 8: Intro to Metabolism
Aerobic Cellular Metabolism