Online Biology

BIO 100 - The Living World

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Can we find life elsewhere in the Universe? This is one of the big questions at the forefront of scientific endeavor. It compels us to explore our celestial neighborhood, searching for signs of life in the Solar System and Earth-like planets beyond. In The Living World, you will learn about the search for life as you master concepts in general biology, including key aspects of biodiversity, evolution, cellular biology, molecular biology, ecology, and human anatomy and physiology.

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Course prerequisites and requirements

To be successful in this course, we recommend English language fluency and computer literacy. We also encourage you to make sure your laptop or desktop computer meets the technical requirements.

Quick facts

Next start date:

Mar. 05, 2024 (8 weeks)

Jun. 18, 2024 (8 weeks)

  • Credits: 4
  • Length: Self-paced, 8 or 16 weeks
  • Cost: $25 + $400

What you’ll learn

  • Evolution: The diversity of life changed and diversified over time by processes of mutation, selection, and isolation
  • Structure and Function: Basic units of structure establish the function of all living things
  • Information Flow, Exchange, and Storage: The macro and microscopic features of organisms result from the expression of genetic information in context
  • Pathways of Energy and Matter: Biological systems are built and maintained by chemical transformation pathways that are governed by the laws of thermodynamics
  • Biological Systems: Living systems are interconnected and interacting
  • Nature of Science: Science proceeds by developing and testing explanations for patterns observed in nature

What to expect in class

The Living World is an innovative course with a format different from most online courses. It is built around interactive activities with rich adaptive feedback. These are not videos or simple readings and quizzes. Usually they are problem-solving activities through which you will be introduced to key concepts, and master them, in a question-driven 'learn-by-doing' approach. Often they will be designed around game-like simulations that you can manipulate, or virtual field trips that you can explore. In some ways, these activities can feel like a serious game! That's not an accident: that's in fact how the pursuit of science feels to professional scientists.

All activities and assessments occur within the interactive BioBeyond Learnspace, which includes modules and associated point values.

Exams and grading

752 pts

Biology Bootcamp

1000 pts

World Biodiversity Expedition

1055 pts

Journey to the Galapagos

484 pts

Time Traveler’s Guide to Life on Earth

850 pts

Into the Cell

1483 pts

Searching for Signatures

1422 pts

Blue Planet

954 pts

A Mission Beyond


This course appears on your transcript identically to how it appears on the transcript of an enrolled ASU student who has taken the course on one of ASU’s campuses. Course attendance dates will be listed on your transcript. A self paced course will appear on your transcript in the session you complete the course.

This course includes a lab and satisfies 4 credit hours toward the Natural Science - Quantitative (SQ) General Studies requirement at Arizona State University. It is strongly encouraged that you consult with your institution of choice to determine how these credits will be applied to their degree requirements prior to transferring your credit.

Faculty and course staff





School of Life Sciences Cellular and Molecular Biosciences

Arizona State University

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Justin St.

Justin St.


Instructional Professional,

Learning Enterprise

Arizona State University

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Why take ASU Universal Learner Courses

  1. Credit you receive is from a regionally accredited university
  2. Your credit is highly transferable
  3. You only pay the $400 course cost if you pass

Related programs

Online BS Biological Sciences

Online BS Geography