College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

CALS Exploratory & Introductory Courses

A number of elective and introductory courses in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences can help students explore interests, meet requirements for their individual degrees, and decide on a potential major or minor.


CALS Exploratory Courses

These courses are great for freshmen and sophomores; they do not have prerequisites and most are general education.

  • AEB 2014 - Economic Issues, Food and You

    Credits: 3 (S)     Summer B, Fall, Spring (online course)

    This course emphasizes the role of agriculture and economics: the how's and why's of their influence on food prices and the world food situation, the environment, natural resources and government policy; and economic issues, including inflation and money.

  • AEB 2451 - Economics of Resource Use

    Credits: 3 (S)     Fall

    Introduces how economists value the environment and regulations designed to protect our natural resources from overuse and degradation.

  • ALS 2410 - Challenge 2050: Global Uncertainty

    Credits: 3    Fall

    Explores questions in human well-being and sustainability building a foundation for addressing global challenges associated with global population. Transdisciplinary experts lead diverse and innovative discussions, complex adaptive problem solving; and the integration of economic, environmental, food, health, and social system perspectives.

  • ANS 2002 - The Meat We Eat

    Credits: 3 (B)     Fall, Spring

    Consumer-oriented elective covering meat as a food, its inspection for wholesomeness, meat grading, identification, processing, selection, preparation and serving. Emphasizes preparation of economical, nutritious and palatable meals centered on meat.

  • ANS 2005 - The Role of Animals in Human History

    Credits: 3

    Surveys the importance of animals through human history, from the Stone Age to the present. The domestication of dogs, cats, major farm animals and some less familiar, such as camels, reindeer, and buffalo and the role they played in different societies and cultures across human history.

  • AOM 2520 - Global Sustainable Energy: Past, Present and Future

    Credits: 3    Fall (online course) 

    Students will explore the global history of energy sources. New energy sources are investigated and international solutions to future needs are analyzed.

  • ENY 1001 - Bugs and People

    Credits: 3 (B)     Summer B, Fall, Spring

    Introduction for lower-division students who want to learn popular information about insects and associated organisms.

  • ENY 2040 - The Insects

    Credits: 3 (B)     Summer B, Fall (online)

    Introduces insect biology, insect-organism interaction and insect association with man. Features discussion of basic biological principles using insects as examples.

  • EVR 2001 - Introduction to Environmental Science

    Credits: 3 (P, B and N)     Fall, Spring

    Delivered from a systems perspective, an interdisciplinary approach explores contemporary environments that are comprised of both human and non-human elements. Explores physical, chemical, and biological processes to understand pressing environmental challenges and cultural values, attitudes, and norms expressed by individuals and populations around the globe.

  • FAS 2024 - Global and Regional Perspectives in Fisheries

    Credits: 3 (B)     Spring

    Fish biology, ecology and habitats relevant to fisheries on both a global and regional (Florida) scale. Follows the fisheries occurring from cold mountain rivers to the depths of the oceans, with special topics (e.g., artificial reefs, fisheries by catch and aquaculture). Intended for non-science and science majors.

  • FOR 2662 - Forests for the Future

    Credits: 3 (S,WR)     Fall, Spring

    Examines current environmental issues that impact individual, community, and institutional decisions about North American forest resources. Each issue will be reviewed with a framework that uses human behavior, policy options, and media messages. Students are expected to understand the issues and to discuss and analyze the major social and ecological variables affecting each issue.

  • FOS 2001 - Man's Food

    Credits: 3 (B)     Fall & Spring (online)

    Summer B (2 sections online with on-campus components and 1 section completely online)

    Discussion of current nutrition and food science topics concerning nutritional quality and safety of foods as they relate to one's health. For science and nonscience students.

  • FRC 1010 - Growing Fruit for Fun and Profit

    Credits: 1    Spring; Prereq: Freshmen and sophomores only.

    Especially for non-majors who desire a concise mini-course in fruit growing and marketing. Fruit crops include citrus, pecan, blueberry, strawberry, peach, grape, apple, mango and avocado.

  • HOS 1014 - Vegetable Gardening

    Credits: 1    Fall

    Primarily for non-majors who desire to learn the basic principles of vegetable gardening. A garden is required of each student.

  • MCB 2000 - Microbiology

    Credits: 3 (B)     Summer A, Fall, Spring

    The role of microorganisms in chemical transformations, disease, public health and agriculture. Fundamental concepts are discussed, followed by beneficial and harmful actions of microorganisms as they affect our lives. Suitable as a general education science course, but not acceptable for admission to advanced microbiology courses nor for the preprofessional curricula required for the medical/veterinary sciences.

  • MCB 2000L - Microbiology Laboratory

    Credits: 1     Summer A, Fall, Spring

    Laboratory exercises demonstrate biochemical transformations and present methods for studying microbial properties. Suitable as a general education science course, but not acceptable for admission to advanced microbiology courses nor for the preprofessional curricula required for the medical/veterinary sciences.

  • ORH 1030 - Plants, Gardening and You

    Credits: 1    Summer B, Fall, Spring

    A non-majors overview of environmental horticulture that emphasizes the art and science of growing, installing and maintaining plants used to enhance and improve the human environment indoors and outdoors. Gain familiarity with the science and the industries associated with environmental horticulture.

  • PCB 1051 - Exploring Your Genome

    Credits: 3    Fall (online)

    The genome sequence, how it is analyzed, and its implications on human health. The course promotes genetic literacy.

  • PCB 2441 - Biological Invaders

    Credits: 3 (B)     Fall

    Introduces plants and animals that are invading Florida and the U.S. Why biological invaders are second only to habitat destruction as threats to natural ecosystems, what makes some species invasive, how to control or prevent invasions, where international commerce may be regulated, and who is affected by such issues.

  • PEN 1136 - Openwater Scuba Diving

    Credits: 2     Summer C, Fall, Spring; Prereqs: Swim test

    Beginning scuba diving including compass navigation, openwater diving environment, dive preparation and five openwater dives. Payment of required additional course fees and successful completion results in national certification as Openwater Scuba Diver.

  • PLP 2000 - Plants, Plagues and People

    Credits: 3 (B or H)   Summer C, Spring (online)

    Biology and history of the human species for non-science majors. A chronological presentation from the origin of life to the present with emphasis on the impact that plants, animals and diseases have had and are having on human civilization.

  • PLP 2060 - Fungus Among Us: Mushrooms, Molds and Civilization

    Credits: 3 (B)    Spring

    Role of fungi in human affairs, including their historical use as food or medicine or in religious activities. Also includes their current impact on society as pathogens of plants and animals, in the deterioration of food and fabric, and in the synthesis of important drugs.

  • PLS 2003C - Plants That Feed the World

    Credits: 3 (B)     Fall

    Introduces 25 of humankind's most important food crop plants with emphasis on soil and climatic adaptations, major producers and consumers, nutritional attributes, processing needs and types of products. Students will see the plants and seeds, and the food and industrial products of the crop plants under study. This is an introductory course for majors and non-majors who have no previous academic experience with food crop plants.

  • SWS 2007 - The World of Water

    Credits: 3 (P)     Fall, Spring

    The full range of water issues including abundance and quality of water in the environment, water policy and conflict.

  • VEC 2100 - World Herbs and Vegetables

    Credits: 3 (B)    Fall

    Introduces a variety of vegetables and culinary herbs. Emphasizes genetic, phytochemical and botanical diversity and importance of food phytochemicals and role of vegetables in nutrition.

  • WIS 2040 - Wildlife Issues in a Changing World

    Credits: 3 (B)     Summer A, Summer B, Fall, Spring (online option)

    The biological and ecological basis of wildlife issues and the pathways humans use to resolve these issues. Topics include: major animal phyla; evolutionary history of vertebrates; state, federal and international agencies that manage wildlife; and the impacts of human activities on wildlife.

  • WIS 2552 - Biodiversity Conservation: Global Perspectives

    Credits: 3 (B and N)     Summer A, Summer B, Fall, Spring (online course)

    The relationship between humans and the global biotic environment that supports them. This course explores human patterns of resource use and population biology that determine the status of the earth's biodiversity resources. Helps students understand how today's human society affects global life support systems, and how individuals can make lifetime contributions to environmental solutions.

CALS Introductory Courses

These courses are a great way to find out more about one of our majors or start on a CALS minor.

  • ABE 2012C - Introduction to Biological Engineering

    Credits: 3 (WR)     Fall, Spring

    Prereq: MAC 2311

    The process of design is introduced along with approaches to solving engineering problems, manipulations and presentations of engineering data and applied engineering concepts.

  • AEB 3103 - Principles of Food and Resource Economics

    Credits: 4 (S)    Fall, Spring

    Prereq: MAC 2233/2311 or higher

    Introduces the field of food and resource economics, the principles of economics as applied to agriculture, and the economic problems of the agricultural industry and the individual farmer.

  • AGC 3501 - Environment, Food and Society

    Credits: 3 (B)   Spring

    Global issues and trends in population growth, natural resource (soil, water and plant genetic biodiversity) utilization, climate change and potential impacts of current trends on agriculture, natural resources, global food security and sustainability.

  • ANS 3216 - Introduction to Equine Science

    Credits: 3   Summer B, Fall

    Designed for students with an interest in equine sciences but with limited equine experience. Principles of equine selection, care and utilization.

  • ANS 3006C - Introduction to Animal Science

    Credits: 4   Summer C, Fall, Spring

    Role of beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, sheep, poultry and horses in serving humans. Introduces anatomy and physiology of digestion, growth, reproduction and the application of genetics to livestock improvement.

  • ENY 3005 - Principles of Entomology

      Credits: 2 (B)    Summer C, Fall, Spring

        Coreq: ENY 3005L

        Introduces principles of insect study, including insect structure, insect development, evolutionary insect history and its ecological significance.

      • ENY 3005L - Principles of Entomology Laboratory

        Credits: 1 (B)     Summer C, Fall, Spring

        Coreq: ENY 3005

        Provides practical laboratory experience working with insects, dissecting insects and preparing lab reports. Insect collection is required.

      • ENY 3007C - Life Science

        Credits: 3    Summer C, Fall, Spring

        Introduces insects and their interactions with man and the environment.

      • EVR 3323 - Introduction to Ecosystem Restoration

        Credits: 4   Spring 

        Coreq: BOT 2010C or BSC 2010C, or instructor permission.

        Restoration theory and planning, disturbed land reclamation, woodland/wetland/river restoration, invasive species, community involvement, and monitoring, and emphasizes plant selection, establishment and maintenance.

      • EVS 3000 - Environmental Science

        Credits: 3     Fall, Spring

        Prereq: CHM 2045 or CHM 2047 or CHM 2095

        Interactions of humans and their environments, Earth's resources, pollution and environmental management.

      • EVS 3000L - Environmental Science Laboratory

        Credits: 3     Fall, Spring

        Coreq: EVS 3000

        Hands-on experience in data collection and analysis for environmental science and management.

      • FAS 4305C - Introduction to Fishery Science

        Credits: 3     Spring

        Prereq: Refer to the department

        Principles of fish management in freshwater and marine systems. Includes field and laboratory techniques for aquatic habitat and fishery resource assessment, aquaculture practices and consideration of contemporary issues pertinent to sport and commercial uses of renewable fisheries resources.

      • FAS 4405 - Aquariums, Water and Aquaculture

        Credits: 3     Spring

        Prereq: BSC 2010 and BSC 2010L or instructor permission

        Culture methods of fish and shellfish, species selection, biological and environmental principles, case histories and future trends.

      • FOR 3153C - Forest Ecology

        Credits: 3 (B)   Fall

        Ecological principles and their application to the management of forests; major sections include tree population, forest community dynamics and ecosystem processes.

      • FOR 3202 - Society and Natural Resources

        Credits: 3 (S)    Spring

        Local-to-global and individual-to-institutional perspectives on natural resource values, sustainability diversity, and social change with consideration of potential paths for working with complex human and natural resource systems.

      • FOS 3042 - Introductory Food Science

        Credits: 3 (B)    Fall, Spring, Summer C (live and online available)

        Commodities selected for human consumption and the methods used by food technologists to prolong shelf life, retard spoilage and ensure quality. Principles upon which the various processing methodologies are based.

      • FYC 3001 - Principles of Family, Youth and Community Sciences

        Credits: 3 (S)    Summer B, Fall, Spring

        Prereq: 30 hours or more

        Introduces the study and practice of family, youth and community sciences. Presents analytic concepts used in the study of family, youth and community sciences. Emphasizes the vulnerabilities and needs of U.S. children, youth, families and communities, and describes human services that maximize human potential and minimize personal and societal costs. Introduces students to the roles and skills of the human service professional.

      • HOS 3020 - Principles of Horticulture Crop Production

        Credits: 3    Fall

        Provides a basic understanding of the world fruit and vegetable industry. Emphasis will be placed on world., U.S. and Florida production regions, biology, soils, nutrition, terminology, types of fruits and vegetables, site selection and more.

      • HUN 2201 - Fundamentals of Human Nutrition

        Credits: 3 (B)    Summer B, Summer C, Fall, Spring

        Prereq: BSC 2007 or BSC 2005 or BSC 2010 or CHM 1025 or CHM 2045 or APK 2100C or APK 2105C or CHM 1030. 

        The properties, functions, requirements, interrelationships and metabolism of nutrients.

      • MCB 3703 - Astrobiology

        Credits: 3 (WR)    Spring

        Prereq: introductory course in microbiology, astronomy, chemistry, physics or geology

        Astrobiology examines the origin, evolution and future of life in our solar system. Topics include planetary habitability, astrobiogeochemistry, microbial life and human space flight.

      • PKG 3001 - Principles of Packaging

        Credits: 3     Fall

        Focuses on the materials, uses, functions and production processes of packaging. Topics include an industry overview and related applications as well as the historical, societal and technological drivers of packaging and how end-users decide on the product/package combination they use for their product and the impact these choices make on the product's market success.

      • PLS 3004C - Principles of Plant Science

        Credits: 3 (B)     Fall

        Prereq: BOT 2010C or BSC 2010.

        Introduces to the principles and practices of plant production systems. An overview of plant evolution, anatomy, physiology, improvement, pest, water and nutrient management as applied to a variety of plant production systems.

      • SUR 3103C - Geomatics

        Credits: 3     Fall

        Prereq: MAC 1147 and MAC 2311 placement or equivalent

        Introduces angle, distance and elevation measurement, as applied to engineering, boundary location, topography, forest management and construction. Covers error theory as well as horizontal and vertical curves.

      • SUR 3323 - Visualization of Spatial Information

        Credits: 3     Fall 

        Methods of mapping, modeling, communicating and visualizing spatial features. Includes boundary and topographical features, attributes, site modeling, site development and mapping using computer-aided mapping and design features.

      • SWS 3022 - Introduction to Soils in the Environment

        Credits: 3 (P)    Fall, Spring

        Fundamentals of soil science emphasizing the physical, chemical and biological properties of soils in relation to growth of native and agricultural plants and environmental uses.

      • SWS 3022L - Introduction to Soils in the Environment Laboratory

        Credits: 1    Fall, Spring

        Hands-on exposure to soils-related properties and processes.

      • WIS 3401 - Wildlife Ecology and Management

        Credits: 3     Fall, Spring

        Prereq: BSC 2011 and BSC 2011L

        Wildlife as a natural resource with emphasis on principles of conservation, ecology and management.

      • WIS 3402 - Wildlife of Florida

        Credits: 3    Spring

        The diversity of wildlife species in Florida with emphasis on amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds.

      • WIS 3402L - Wildlife of Florida Laboratory

        Credits: 1    Spring

        Laboratory exploring the diversity of wildlife in Florida's ecosystems with emphasis on field identification, natural history and ecology of birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles.