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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)

M 2:25–4:20
W 2:25–4:20

Sign up for combined lecture and discussion. The course will be taught in a blended remote format. Students will be assigned a 50-minute time period to attend remotely and will also complete activities online.

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.


In Fall 2020, the course will be organized around four primary topics that relate to biology in Wisconsin, with each topic led by a different instructor. We will explore science affecting residents in Wisconsin, look at Wisconsin biological systems as examples of concepts, and learn about how research being done on campus is contributing to discoveries in biology.

This course will be taught via remote instruction, with students engaging in learning activities and discussions online. Students will get to know classmates, instructors, and peer mentors during synchronous class sessions that will meet once a week. This format will give students the opportunity to learn at their own pace and time, to engage in a variety of types of activities, and to develop skills to be successful in remote and online courses.


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)