Introductory Biology

Introductory Biology Syllabus

  • Course Code: BIOU 8000


    Yes. Your transcript will come from the records office at Brandman University. They are regionally accredited and award Proffessional Development Units (PDU).

    Credits: 3 Professional Development Units (PDU)


    Since Professional Development units (PDU) are not academic credits, they typically cannot be used towards graduation of an undergraduate degree. However, the course may be able to be used as a prerequisite at some schools and/or graduate programs. Since graduate programs usually just need to verify the course has been taken, PDUs are usually acceptable. Ask your counselor for pre-approval by sending him/her the Course Description on Brandman's Site. The course can also be used to learn the material and then receive credit at your college using Credit by Examination. (K-12 use)

    Enrollment Schedule:

    Enroll any day of the year, and start that same day. Students have five months of access, plus a 30 day extension at the end if needed. Students can finish the self-paced courses as soon as they are able. Most students finish the lower level courses in 4 - 8 weeks. The upper level math classes, such as Calculus and above, usually take students 3-4 months. (Note: The 30-day extension cannot take your total course time six months beyond the date of enrollment. At the end of the six months, we must post a grade with the university.)

    Required Textbook:

    Yes, this course requires a textbook.

    Grading Mode:

    Standard Letter Grade

    Proctored Final: No


    An introduction to the major concepts of biology with emphasis on its relevance to current problems in the world. The course stresses the scientific process, genetics, heredity, cellular structure, cellular chemistry, evolution, reproduction, ecology, behavior, and diversity of plants and animals.
    Prerequisite: None

    Learning Outcomes

    At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to:

    1. Explain clearly scientific concepts and principles.
    2. Explain the steps of the scientific method.
    3. Apply scientific concepts and principles to real life problems.
    4. Analyze and communicate effectively about scientific information.
    5. Research and analyze current scientific findings.
    6. Explain how a company is currently addressing a scientific problem.
    7. Present a project report (paper) that integrates scientific concepts, ethical responsibilities and social or civic applications.
    8. Identify and describe each level of biological organization, from the chemical to the ecosystem level.
    9. Describe metabolism at the cellular level and how it is central to life processes, such as respiration, reproduction, and inheritance.

    Methods of Evaluation:

    Quizzes 35%
    Midterm 20%
    Homework 20%
    Proctored Final Exam 25%
    (You must get at least 60% on this final in order to pass the class with a C or better.)


    A 90-100 A Clearly stands out as excellent performance and, exhibits mastery of learning outcomes.
    B 80-89 B Grasps subject matter at a level considered to be good to very good, and exhibits partial mastery of learning outcomes.
    C 70-79 C Demonstrates a satisfactory comprehension of the subject matter, and exhibits sufficient understanding and skills to progress in continued sequential learning.
    D 60-69 D Quality and quantity of work is below average and exhibits only partial understanding and skills to progress in continued sequential learning.
    F 0-59 F Quality and quantity of work is below average and not sufficient to progress.

    Course Content Menu:

    Unit 1

    Biology Today

    Lessons Homework HW Quiz
    1.   Cells 1 1
    2.   Essential Chemistry for Biology 2 2
    3.   The Molecules of Life 3 3
    4.   A Tour of the Cell 4 4
    5.   The Working Cell 5 5
    6.   Cellular Respiration: Obtaining Energy from Food 6 6
    7.   Photosynthesis: Using Light to Make Food 7 7

    Unit 1 Test


    Unit 2


    Lessons Homework HW Quiz
    8.   Cellular Reproduction: Cells from Cells 8 8
    9.   Patterns of Inheritance 9 9
    10.   The Structure and Function of DNA 10 10
    11.   How Genes Are Controlled 11 11
    12.   DNA Technology 12 12

    Unit 2 Test


    Unit 3

    Evolution and Diversity

    Lessons Homework HW Quiz
    13.   How Populations Evolve 13 13
    14.   How Biological diversity Evolves 14 14
    15.   The Evolution of Microbial Life 15 15
    16.   Plants, Fungi, and the Move onto Land 16 16
    17.   The Evolution of Animals 17 17

    Unit 3 Test


    Unit 4

    Ecology & Plant Structure

    Lessons Homework HW Quiz
    18.   An Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere 18 18
    19.   The Life of a Flowering Plant 19 19

    Unit 4 Test



    Time on Task:

    This course is online and your participation at home is imperative. A minimum of 8 - 10 hours per week of study time is required for covering all of the online material to achieve a passing grade. You must set up a regular study schedule. You have five months of access to your online account with a thirty-day extension at the end if needed. If you do not complete the course within this time line, you will need to enroll in a second term.


    Below is the suggested time table to follow to stay on a 17 week schedule for the course. The following schedule is the minimum number of sections that need to be completed each week if you would like to finish in a regular semester time frame. You do not have to adhere to this schedule. You have five months of access plus a 30 day extension at the end if needed. You can finish the course as soon as you are able.

    Week Complete Sections
    1 1 - 2
    2 3 - 4
    3 5 - 6
    4 7 - 8
    5 9
    6 10
    7 11
    8 12
    9 Midterm
    10 13
    11 14
    12 15
    13 16
    14 17
    15 18
    16 18
    17 19
      Final Exam

    Conduct Code:

    Code of Ethics:

    Regulations and rules are necessary to implement for classroom as well as online course behavior. Students are expected to practice honesty, integrity and respect at all times. It is the student's responsibility and duty to become acquainted with all provisions of the code below and what constitutes misconduct. Cheating is forbidden of any form will result in an F in the class.

    Respectful communications:

    When contacting Omega Math or Westcott Courses, you agree to be considerate and respectful. Communications from a student which are considered by our staff to be rude, insulting, disrespectful, harassing, or bullying via telephone, email, or otherwise will be considered a disrespectful communication and will result in a formal warning.

    We reserve the right to refuse service. If we receive multiple disrespectful communications from person(s) representing the student, or the student themselves, the student will be excluded from taking future courses at Westcott Courses/Omega Math.

    Grading information and proctored final policies:

    The grading rules are put in place to protect the integrity of online education by stopping grade inflation, which is done by demanding a display of competency in exchange for a grade. By agreeing to the terms of service agreement, you agree to read the 'Grading' Policy from within your account, and the 'Proctored Final Information' page, if applicable. You have 24 hours after your first log-in to notify us if you do not agree to the grading policy and proctored final policy ( if applicable ) outlined in the pages inside of your account, otherwise it is assumed that you agree with the policies. There are no exceptions to these policies, and the pretext of not reading the pages will not be deemed as a reasonable excuse to contest the policies.

    Examples of academic misconduct:

    Cheating: Any form of cheating will result in an F in the class. If there is an associated college attached to the course, that college will be notified of the F due to cheating and they will determine any disciplinary action.

    Any form of collaboration or use of unauthorized materials during a quiz or an exam is forbidden.

    By signing up for a course, you are legally signing a contract that states that the person who is named taking this course is the actual individual doing the course work and all examinations. You also agree that for courses that require proctored testing, that your final will be taken at a college testing center, a Sylvan Learning center, and the individual signed up for this course will be the one taking the test. Failure to do so will be considered a breach of contract.

    Other forms of cheating include receiving or providing un-permitted assistance on an exam or quiz; taking an exam for another student; using unauthorized materials during an exam; altering an exam and submitting it for re-grading; failing to stop working on the exam when the time is up; providing false excuses to postpone due dates; fabricating data or references, claiming that Westcott Courses/Omega Math lost your test and or quiz scores. This includes hiring someone to take the tests and quizzes for you.

    Unauthorized collaboration:

    Working with others on graded course work without specific permission of the instructor, including homework assignments, programs, quizzes and tests, is considered a form of cheating.

    Important Notes:

    This syllabus is subject to change and / or revision during the academic year. Students with documented learning disabilities should notify our office upon enrollment, as well as make sure we let the testing center know extended time is permitted. Valid documentation involves educational testing and a diagnosis from a college, licensed clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.