Applied Science Courses and Classes Overview

Applied science is a broad interdisciplinary field that incorporates a multitude of different subjects, including chemistry, biology, engineering, computer science and others. Students in applied science programs work with advisors to create a specialized set of coursework, with the result being a degree that represents a diverse and mutable core of knowledge.

Essential Information

Applied science courses appear at both the undergraduate and graduate level as part of various programs. Students enrolled in these types of programs commonly earn Associate of Applied Science (AAS), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) or Master of Applied Science (MAS) degrees in a number of subject areas.

Here are some common concepts found in applied science courses:

  • Biology
  • Organisms
  • Taxonomy
  • Data and analysis
  • Lab work
  • Cells and DNA

List of Common Courses

Botany Course

This undergraduate course introduces students to plant structure and function, as well as basic plant anatomy, physiology and biology. The life cycles of various types of plants are covered, along with a general overview of the plant kingdom and how different species interact with one another. A study of plant differentiation, reproduction and taxonomy is also usually included.

Ecology Course

At the undergraduate level, the ecology course presents an intricate study of the ways in which organisms relate to and interact with one another and with their physical environment. Concepts such as reproduction and taxonomy are reintroduced here on a broader scale, and laboratory work teaches students to conduct ecological research studies, and to properly analyze and interpret the resulting data. At the graduate level, there are also evolutionary ecology courses, which focus on the principles of evolution from an ecological standpoint.

Environmental Science Course

While some undergraduate programs offer basic, 1-semester environmental science courses, the subject becomes far more extensive at the graduate level. Here, the course usually includes two semesters in an intensive sequence of learning, and topics include steady-state modes, thermodynamics, biogeochemistry and climatology. Additionally, there is a strong emphasis placed on mathematical models for environmental analysis. As a result, some previous mathematical background is required, such as completion of a calculus course.

Genetics Course

Primarily an undergraduate level course, the study of genetics begins with the contributions of Gregor Mendel and moves forward until the modern era. Topics covered include mitosis, genetic crosses, gene mapping, and transformation and transduction. This course usually includes a laboratory aspect, where students learn the fundamental principles of genetics and their applications for plants, animals and humans, and engage in solving genetic problems from a practical and scientific perspective.

Biochemistry Course

The basic science behind biotechnology, biochemistry entwines organic chemistry with biology. Undergraduate biochemistry courses focus on intermediary metabolism, cell compounds and biomolecules. At the graduate level the course reviews the origins of life as well as cell bonding and transport, then moves into numerous other subjects such as DNA and RNA, chemical synthesis and genetic coding. Depending on the specific program, this may be a 2-semester progressive course, and it almost always requires previous completion of general or organic chemistry.

Biotechnology Course

At the undergraduate level, introductory biotechnology courses focus on fundamental biochemistry, cell biology and molecular biology, and their relationship with the biotechnology industry. Other subjects covered include recombinant DNA techniques and bioethical issues such as cloning and stem cell research. As students move into the upper levels of the undergraduate programs and into master's degree applied science programs, the study of biotechnology expands to include manipulating prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, genomic and proteomic data analysis, phylogenetic analysis, and the retrieval, identification, comparison and recognition of molecular sequences.

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