Programs & Curriculum

Biological Sciences undergraduate programs in the United States need to be revised and improved via the incorporation of mathematics, the physical and informationalsciences, and statistics in order to teach undergraduates the importanceof utilizing other disciplines to address biological sciences questions.

The Teaching Pentagon is a pedagogical paradigm that drives QBIC's integration strategy. It involves the merging of class syllabi, so that QBIC Scholars experience immediate reinforcement and contextualization of the material; learning a concept in a variety of different ways to increase the possibility of long-term retention.

In the Teaching Pentagon, the required biology course for the semester drives the topic progression of the master syllabus.

For example, scholars learn a biological concept in General Biology lecture, design experiments to test the concept in General Biology lab, discuss cutting-edge science related to the concept in Journal Club, reinforce the concept in a peer-led team learning session (PLTL), and then take the data collected in lab to their sophomore statistics class for analysis.

QBIC has been designed by FIU faculty to meet and exceed the mathematical and science requirements to earn a BSc in Biological Sciences from FIU. QBIC has now been approved as an official Quantitative Track in the Biology Department as outlined in pages 164-165 of the Undergraduate Course Catalog.

Scholars are able to pursue other majors and minors, given that they do not conflict with the QBIC schedules.

As QBIC classes are small and integrated (please see the Teaching Pentagon), they are offered at set times; QBIC is essentially a block-registered program for the first two years.

QBIC Scholars enroll in foundational courses such as Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Ecology, Genetics, and Statistics during their Freshman and Sophomore years. The Junior and Senior years offer a more flexible schedule of upper-division courses and funded research opportunities.

Please click on class links for syllabi, articles, and other coursework. curriculum Specific schedules are available from the QBIC Office.

The first cohort of QBIC Scholars highly recommended a pre-collegiate workshop in order to introduce potential QBIC Scholars to the fundamentals of college-level science instruction and techniques for success before they commit to QBIC classes.

Therefore, the QBIC program offers a free, six-week summer workshop beginning in July: the QBIC Bound Summer Session. QBSS both eases the transition to university and allows prospective scholars to make an educated decision about their compatibility with QBIC.

QBSS is mandatory for all incoming QBIC freshmen unless given an exemption by the QBIC Program Director.

Prospective scholars are on campus between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., four days a week, and are taught by the QBIC faculty and staff that teach during the academic year. Mornings are spent in general biology lecture, lab, PLTL, or Journal Club, and afternoons are spent reviewing pre-calculus and calculus.

The QBIC program can help arrange summer accommodations in the FIU dorms for scholars who have FIU Housing contracts.

Please contact the QBIC office for a QBSS schedule.

QBIC Confluence is a seminar series that introduces undergraduates to the lives and work of researchers in the field of biology.

We strive not only to discuss the latest scientific questions being addressed, but more importantly, to talk about when, how, and why these influential men and women decided to pursue their work in scientific research.

Seminar speakers address their work, inspirations, advice, and how they feel their efforts impact our lives in an hour-long seminar.

After the open seminar, our guests are interviewed in front of a live audience of undergraduate students. They delve more deeply into personal thoughts, and the audience is encouraged to interact with the speaker during the open question and answer session.

The QBIC program is proud to present these interviews here for your viewing pleasure.

Please contact the QBIC office for a QBSS schedule.

Biology without Borders: An integrative strategy for increasing conceptual resonance among biology majors. Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching, Proceedings of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education 32:327. Dewsbury BM, Lowenstein MK, Rosenblatt A (2011)

QBIC, an interdisciplinary and quantitative biological sciences curriculum: concept to implementation. J Science Education 12(1) 11-13. Weeks O, Villamor E, Tracey M, Stoddard P, Shapiro S, Makemson J, García R, Gavassa S, Philippi T, Pitzer T, Dewsbury B, Narasimhan G, McGoron A, Bhaijee S, Alberte J, Graves P, Gómez R, Koptur S, Galvez M, Heffernan J, Kos L, Lowenstein M, Rosenblatt A, Baker J, Quirke M, Brewe E, Tashakkori A (2011)

Florida Education Research Association (FERA) 54th annual meeting. Orlando, FL. November 19-21, 2009. "A Quantitative and Integrative Biological Sciences Undergraduate Program: Challenges, Emerging Strategies, and Possible Outcomes" Demonstration Session

Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE) 32nd annual conference. Halifax, Nova Scotia. June 22-26, 2010. "Once a loser always a loser? Using crayfish to teach behavioral endocrinology" Anna Goldina, Tanya M. Simms, and Thomas Pitzer

Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE) 32nd annual conference. Halifax, Nova Scotia. June 22-26, 2010. "Biology Without Borders: An Integrative Strategy for Increasing Conceptual Resonance among Biology Majors" Bryan M. Dewsbury, Marcia K. Lowenstein, and Adam Rosenblatt