Skip to content

Course Syllabus

Course: BIOL 2420

Division: Natural Science and Math
Department: Biology
Title: Human Physiology

Semester Approved: Spring 2019
Five-Year Review Semester: Summer 2024
End Semester: Fall 2024

Catalog Description: Human physiology is the study of the functions of the human body. A major emphasis is placed on the mechanisms that regulate the functions of individual organ systems. The complex interactions between systems that maintain a constant, dynamic internal environment which is important for normal cell function will also be discussed. This class is for students whose major course of study is an allied health profession and for those interested in careers in biology, medicine or dentistry.

To be successful in Human Physiology it is strongly recommended that the following courses have been completed:

CHEM 1110 or CHEM 1210
BIOL 1610 or BIOL 2060 or BIOL 2200

Many allied health programs require or award extra points for some of these recommended courses; it is suggested that students verify the specific prerequisites of any programs they intend to apply to. A voluntary supplemental instruction course will be taught each week as a benefit for student learning.

Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Credit/Time Requirement: Credit: 3; Lecture: 3; Lab: 0

Corequisites: BIOL 2425

Justification: A basic course in human physiology is required for admission into programs for nurses, physical therapists and other allied health professions. The scope of topics covered is very broad but each will be covered in sufficient detail to provide the scientific foundation for future educational courses in all allied health professions as well as for biological professions. For the natural sciences, science is the systematic inquiry into natural phenomena organizing and condensing those observations into testable models and hypotheses, theories or laws. The success and credibility of science is anchored in the willingness of scientists to: 1) expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by other scientists which requires the complete and open exchange of data, procedures and material; 2) abandon or modify accepted conclusions when confronted with more complete or reliable experimental evidence. Adherence to these principles provides a mechanism for self-correction that is the foundation of the credibility of science. (Adapted from a statement by the Panel on Public Affairs of the American Physical Society which was endorsed by the Executive Board of the American Association of Physics Teachers in 1999.) While properties of matter and energy in the physical sciences are common to life science, the emergent properties resulting from the complexities of life require additional study to amplify and clarify the molecular mechanisms of life.

Student Learning Outcomes:
Students will read the text and be presented with information that will demonstrate how the human body, as an example of life, accomplishes all the basic functions that a living organism does. They will learn the functional complexity of the living body on a variety of levels from the atom to the body systems. Where appropriate, comparisons to other life forms will be drawn.   Students will demonstrate their understanding through a variety of assessments, such as quizzes, written assignments, projects, poster presentations, homework, tests, and final exams.

Student mastery of life science basic concepts relating to human physiology will be further examined as they apply concepts to faculty-selected questions dealing with the natural world. These topics might include disorders and disease states that can occur in the human body, including how the body protects itself (immune system) from harmful invaders and substances, diet and nutrition, environmental quality and pollution, holistic medicine, etc. Course focus is not on disorders/diseases but rather the application of scientific principles to assist in the resolution of problems exemplified by one or more disorders/diseases.   Students will demonstrate their understanding through a variety of assessments, such as quizzes, written assignments, study guides, one or more library projects, homework, tests, and final exams.

Students will read and discuss key scientific literature found in the textbook or from peer-reviewed journals to gain skills necessary to discern the credibility of sources of scientific information.  Class discussions, essay questions on tests or library projects are the best vehicles to ascertain student skills.

Students will identify a topic within human physiology that has captured their interest and passion. They will become able to write and converse knowledgeably about that topic.  Questions on the final exam and/or final written assignment will assess their level of understanding of their topic of choice.

Course content will be covered by reading assignments in the textbooks, handouts, lecture and class discussions, and library project(s). Any topic not covered as described above remains the responsibility of the student to explore. This course will include: Introduction to the scientific method as a method of learning; Introduction to physiology; Homeostasis: the discussion of homeostasis continues through all systems; Chemistry; carbon chains and rings, functional groups, polymers; Cells; Tissues; Enzymes and Energy; Cellular Respiration and Fermentation; Cell Function and Communication; Neurons and Neuroglia; The Nervous System; Sensory Perception; Endocrine System; Muscle; Circulatory System; Defense and the Lymphatic System; Respiratory System; The Urinary System; The Digestive System; Nutrition; Reproduction; Development

Key Performance Indicators:
tests and quizzes 60 to 80%

final exam 10 to 20%

homework, study guide, special projects including library projects and posters, and/or reports 10 to 20%

Representative Text and/or Supplies:
Dee Unglaub Silverthorn, Human Physiology, An Integrated Approach, current edition, Pearson Benjamin Cummings, San Francisco, CA; Stuart Ira Fox, Human Physiology, current edition, McGraw Hill, New York, NY.

Pedagogy Statement:
While this is a lecture-based course, active learning techniques such as class discussions, short answer/essay questions, use of current scientific literature, problem-solving exercises, and hands-on activities will be used to aid in the understanding of the material.

Instructional Mediums:



Maximum Class Size: 48
Optimum Class Size: 24