Sample Syllabus
Introduction to Biology - Health Emphasis

Professor: Dr. Lee Boyd
Office: ST 202-D
Phone: 231-1010, ext. 2081

3 hours credit.
The Biology Department offers 3 different entry-level biology courses. This course has a health emphasis. You should switch to a General Education section if you are not planning to major in nursing, physical education, or one of the allied health fields. Students intending to major in Biology (including pre-vet., pre-med., pre-dent., and secondary education in biology programs) or Medical Technology should be enrolled in BI102 (General Cellular Biology).

Campbell, N.A., Reece, J.B. Mitchell, L.G. and M.R. Taylor. 2003. Biology: Concepts & Connections. 4th edition. Benjamin/Cummings, San Francisco, CA.

It is up to you whether you bring the text to class or not. I will frequently refer to illustrations within the text and it may be to your benefit to have the text in front of you so that you can make notations in it.

Exam 1
Exam 2
Exam 3
Exam 4

Each of the 4 regular examinations will consist of approximately 50 multiple choice or true-false questions. These questions are based on material covered in lecture, which in turn comes primarily from the textbook. There may be some questions pertaining to reading assignments not covered in lecture. The test questions will not only examine your knowledge of the material, but also your ability to use or apply the information. The final exam will be comprehensive; there will be 50 questions pertaining to new material and 25 questions reviewing material covered on the first 4 exams.

Exams must be taken on the day scheduled. Missed exams may not be made up unless the student has an extraordinary excuse for their absence. The decision as to whether the excuse is sufficient rests entirely with the instructor. Makeups will be more difficult essay exams and must be taken within one week of the date of the original exam. If you miss a scheduled makeup there is no second chance. Under NO circumstances may more than one exam be made up.

Cheating of any sort will be prosecuted to the full extent of Washburn University policy. Students are referred to the Washburn University Academic Impropriety Policy available from the Academic Affairs Office.

As an additional sixth of your grade, there will be in-class assignments due on the spot, and out-of class assignments due on the dates assigned. These can not be made up or turned in after the assigned deadlines if you are absent. Your lowest score will be dropped and the remaining scores averaged to be weighted equivalent to one regular exam.

Keys to Good Performance
Good attendance is required if you are to pass the course. You are responsible for any information that you miss. To do well in the course you must attend regularly, and study the lecture notes thoroughly between lectures. I recommend skimming the textbook coverage of the topic just before it is covered in lecture, followed by a thorough reading and highlighting after the topic is covered. Start studying intensively about a week before each exam is scheduled. To do well, you should know the material thoroughly enough that you could write it out in your own words.

The course grade will be determined by averaging your percent scores on the 5 exams with the average of your in- and out-of-class assignments. The following scale will be used to determine your grade in this course: 90-100% = A (Exceptional), 80-89% = B (Good), 70-79% = C (Average = most people), 60-69% = D (Poor), below 60% = F (Failed to grasp or present even 60% of the material). Borderline cases will be decided based on my impression of your attendance, attitude, effort, and improvement.

There is one opportunity for extra credit in this course, described on an accompanying sheet. No other extra credit or make-up work will be given.

Dates to Keep in Mind
-Last day to enroll
-Last day to drop without affecting GPA
-Last day to change to P/F
-Last day to withdraw
-Last day of classes

Course Objectives

1. To provide students with a broad background in biology that will enable them to understand and appreciate this important subject.

2. To provide students with the ability to understand and appreciate important developments that will occur within this field during their lifetime.

3. To teach and encourage good study skill habits.

4. To encourage an interest in biology and demonstrate how students can continue to add to their knowledge after completing the course.

5. To encourage students to read effectively. There is a required text from which readings are assigned. Read "How to Use this Text", pages iv-ix. Skim related material prior to lecture, and read it thoroughly for understanding following coverage in lecture. The "Outline" section which opens each chapter and the text subheadings can be used as a study guide. Each paragraph has a topic sentence and identifying this sentence will aid in focusing on key concepts. Words in bold face represent new terminology to be learned. At the end of each chapter is a summary and sample questions. The text has an excellent glossary with pronunciations and definitions. Don't forget to use the index to look up information. You may also wish to review using the CD-ROM and check the on-line resources for each chapter posted on the World Wide Web.

6. To teach students to solve problems using the methods of analysis considering evidence, relevance, and validity. Biology is a way of asking and answering questions about living things. The course will emphasize the critical thinking behind scientific investigation that has led to new discoveries and will be encouraged to understand and apply these methods not only in this class, but in the future as an educated citizen.

7. To teach students to process information in terms of synthesis and analysis. These skills are practiced by responding to questions posed by the instructor during lecture. Further assessment will occur in the form of assignments and examination questions.

Tentative Schedule of Topics to Be Covered

This tentative schedule is designed to guide your reading. Minor changes may be announced later.

Chapter         Topic

Read "How to Use this Text", pages iv-ix

1             Introduction: The Scientific Study of Life
2             The Chemical Basis of Life
3             The Molecules of Cells
4             A Tour of the Cell
5             The Working Cell
6             How Cells Harvest Chemical Energy
7             Photosynthesis: Using Light to Make Food
Exam 1

8            The Cellular Basis of Reproduction and Inheritance
9             Patterns of Inheritance
10           Molecular Biology of the Gene
11           The Control of Gene Expression
12            DNA Technology and the Human Genome
Exam 2

13             Evolution
20             Unifying Concepts of Animal Structure and Function
21             Nutrition and Digestion
22             Respiration: The Exchange of Gases
Exam 3

23             Circulation
24             The Immune Response
25             Control of the Internal Environment
26             Chemical Regulation
27             Reproduction and Embryonic Development
Exam 4

28             Nervous Systems
29             The Senses
30             How Animals Move
35/38        Conservation Biology
Exam 5


Students at times experience difficulty with issues such as studying, personal problems, time management, or choice of major, classes, or employment. The Center for Learning and Student Success or CLASS (counseling, testing, learning assistance, career services, academic advising) is available to help students. If you feel you need someone with whom to discuss an issue confidentially and free of charge, contact CLASS in Morgan 122, 231-1010, ext. 1299,,

Students with disabilities may identify themselves voluntarily to the Services for Students with Disabilities Office (SSWDO)to request accommodations. The office is responsible for assisting in arranging accommodations and for identifying resources on campus. New requests for accommodations should be submitted two months or more prior to the date services should begin; however, check with the SSWDO office as soon as a need may arise.
Location: Morgan Hall, Room 150
Phone: (voice calls) 785-231-1010, ext 1629
(TDD) 785-231-1025

Students may also voluntarily identify themselves to the instructor to discuss accommodations.


All students are expected to conduct themselves appropriately and ethically in their academic work. Inappropriate and unethical behavior includes (but is not limited to) giving or receiving unauthorized aid on examinations or in the preparation of papers or other assignments, or knowingly misrepresenting the source of academic work.

Washburn University's Academic Impropriety Policy describes academically unethical behavior in greater detail, and explains the actions that may be taken when such behavior occurs. For a complete copy of the Academic Impropriety Policy, contact the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Morgan 270, or go on-line to:

© 2003 by Lee Boyd

[ WU Home ] [ Directory ] [ A-Z Index ] [ Sitemap ] [ Contact WU ] [ Statements & Disclosures ] [ Accessibility ] [ Search ]
© 2015 Washburn University, 1700 SW College Ave, Topeka, Kansas 66621 785.670.1010
Contact with questions or comments.