Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2023

Course Description

This course serves as an introduction to cellular and molecular biology, and is a prerequisite for upper level courses in Biology. The primary goal of this class is to provide you with a strong foundation in cellular and molecular biology, allowing you to develop a robust understanding of the fundamental processes of cellular life. The course will also facilitate your ability to “think like a scientist,” applying your knowledge to solve problems and answer questions. To do so, we will be investigating a number of topics within the fields of cell and molecular biology, both in class and lab, including cell structure and function, metabolism, cell division, and regulation of gene expression. The sheer amount of information, details, and data presented in this course may seem overwhelming; however, this information can be organized and categorized into basic principles, or "unifying themes,” that will allow you to connect different topics to one another. Ultimately, the course aims to help you identify unifying themes of biology and make connections between these fields and other areas of biology. Your responsibility is to be engaged in focused and critical readings of the material, to come to class prepared for active discussion, and to intently participate in discussions with the instructor and your classmates.

In addition to broad course goals, you each have individual needs and expectations from this class, beyond receiving a particular grade. In order to meet your own learning goals, I ask you to consider the following questions:

  1. What do you want to know and be able to do by the end of the semester?
  2. What specific skills, habits, or resources will you use to achieve your goals?
  3. How will you evaluate your progress toward your learning goals? If you feel you are not reaching these goals, are you willing to make changes in your learning strategy? How do you imagine that you will incorporate these changes?

Student Outcomes

Student Outcomes
After successfully completing this class, you will be able to:

  1. Construct a graph from quantitative data and make conclusions from the data.
  2. List and explain the steps of the scientific method and construct a properly controlled experiment.
  3. Explain how genetic material is inherited from generation to generation and the flow of genetic information within cells.
  4. Describe the flow of energy in cellular metabolism.
  5. Distinguish between mechanisms of biochemical communication of intracellular and extracellular interactions.
  6. Describe the connection between structure and function in biological systems.