Science Prerequisites for Health Professionals

BIOL 1050: Cell Biology

Credits - 3


This course will introduce and explore basic concepts and theories of cell biology with an emphasis on its application in understanding human health. Topics include an introduction to cell theory, the chemical composition of cells, cellular functions and cell signaling, reproduction, and genetics. Each of these topics will be explored through course readings, video lectures, and demonstrations, discussions, and a variety of experiential activities, including a course project. Students will demonstrate their mastery of cell biology concepts through quizzes and a cumulative final exam. Students will also have the opportunity to apply the concepts learned in this course to evaluate a human disease.



Main Textbook: Miller, M. (3 April 2018). Cell Biology for Health Occupations. OpenStax CNX.

Supplemental Textbook: Clark, M.A., Choi, J., and Douglas, M. (2020). Biology 2e. OpenStax. 


Openstax Effective Note-Taking Strategies Guide

Mandatory UNE-approved webcam – To be used during proctored exams

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

Program Outcomes

In lecture courses, students should be able to:

  • Communicate scientific concepts and information clearly.
  • Illustrate fundamental laws, theories, and principles of scientific disciplines.
  • Apply knowledge and critical thinking skills to scientific problems.

In lab courses, students should be able to:

  • Ask a question or define a problem that can be tested.
  • Hypothesize possible result(s).
  • Plan and/or conduct an investigation individually and/or collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence.
  • Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (i.e. computational, mathematical, graphical, etc.) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution.
  • Communicate the results by constructing an explanation based on multiple pieces of valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources (including students’ own investigations, models, theories, simulations, peer review) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
  • Apply scientific ideas, principles, and/or evidence gained from various experiments, as well as other observations and/or research, to provide an explanation of phenomena and solve design problems, taking into account possible unanticipated effects.

Course Objectives

  1. Visualize the structure and function of cellular components through illustration or labeling of visual graphics.
  2. Identify the structure and function of cellular components.
  3. Illustrate the structure and function of cellular components.
  4. Illustrate the chemical composition of cells.
  5. Describe how cells transport materials and communicate.
  6. Illustrate how cells transport materials and communicate.
  7. Explain the process of cell reproduction using a visual. 
  8. Discuss the biological basis of diversity.
  9. Describe and illustrate the characteristics of enzymes and explain their importance to cellular functions.
  10. Describe cellular respiration and provide examples of cellular metabolism. 
  11. Explain how genetic information is stored and expressed to form specialized cells
  12. Critique biotechnology currently being used to diagnose and treat diseases.
  13. Apply cell biology knowledge to solve problems in health/health issues.


On the course start date, students will have access to orientation. This must be completed to be able to gain access to the first module in the course. Students must complete the first module to gain access to the next one. We recommend that students spend about 15 hours per week to complete a course in 16 weeks. When trying to complete the course in less than 16 weeks, we typically see students do this successfully within 12-14 weeks. Instructors will be timely in grading and feedback, but it will not be instant.


Application Activities (12)

There will be a total of thirteen application activities in the course. The intent to the Application Activities each week is for them to serve as learning activities that will support your recall, application, and mastery of key cell biology concepts. You can and should research using additional reliable and credible resources (i.e. UNE Library, PubMed, Google Scholar, etc.) to support and supplement the required readings. [This would be done in real-life in a professional health setting to aid in diagnoses and treatment.] Responses to Application Activity questions/scenarios should thoroughly address the questions(s) being asked. Each application activity is worth 10 points, and these activities count towards 10% of the final grade in the course.

Discussion Assignment (5)

There will be a total of five discussion activities in the course.  The first discussion board is an ungraded introductory discussion. The other four discussion assignments are graded, and they are designed to encourage students to reflect on course readings and activities and to collaborate with their peers in the course. Each discussion assignment is worth 10 points, and these activities count towards 15% of the final grade in the course.

Quizzes (14)

There are 14 quizzes in this course. You will have 15 minutes (and only one attempt) to complete each of the quizzes. You may refer to your course e-text(s) and any additional notes that you have taken during the week (physical or e-notes) while completing each quiz. Each quiz is worth 10 points, and these activities count towards 25% of the final grade in the course.

Disease Mystery Digital Story Project

The Disease Mystery Digital Story Project is a multi-week project that students will begin in Week 6 and conclude in Week 15 of the course. The project consists of 5 deliverables. Students will be given specific prompts and instructions for each deliverable of the project. The project is worth 100 points and counts towards 15% of your final grade in the course. 

Final Exam (Proctored) 

Note: All work must be completed before taking the final.

A final exam, which will be proctored, will take place in Brightspace at week sixteen.  This exam will be comprehensive and cover all content introduced in the course. Students will have 90 minutes to answer 60 multiple choice exam items. A final exam study guide will be made available in Week 15 to help students prepare for the final exam. The exam is worth 100 points and counts towards 35% of the  final grade in the course.

This Final Exam must be taken though ProctorU. See UNE’s ProctorU page for information about signing up and scheduling your exam. The official UNE webcam is required. 

Proctored exams are closed for review. You will not be able to review them at any time. Please contact your instructor for specific feedback.

Grading Policy

Your grade in this course will be determined by the following criteria:

Grade Breakdown

Assignment CategoryAssignment Category
Application Activities 10%
Final Exam35%

Grade Scale

Grade Points Grade Point Average (GPA)
A 94 – 100% 4.00
A- 90 – 93% 3.75
B+ 87 – 89% 3.50
B 84 – 86% 3.00
B- 80 – 83% 2.75
C+ 77 – 79% 2.50
C 74 – 76% 2.00
C- 70 – 73% 1.75
D 64 – 69% 1.00
F 00 – 63% 0.00








Introduction to Cells

Main Text – Sections from Chapter 3: Cell Structure

  • Application Activity
  • Quiz Prep
  • Week 1 Quiz


Eukaryotic Cells

Main Text – Sections from Chapter 3: Cell Structure

  • Application Activity #1
  • Application Activity 2 
  • Week 2 Quiz


Cells in the Human Body

Main Text – Section from Chapter 3: Cell Structure and Chapter 6: Tissue Level of Organization

  • Application Activity
  • Discussion #1
  • Week 3 Quiz


Chemical Composition of Cells

Main Text – Chapter 2: The Chemical Foundation of Life

  • Application Activity
  • Week 4 Quiz


Cell Transport

Main Text – Chapter 4: Structure and Function of Cell 

  • Application Activity
  • Week 5 Quiz


Cell Communication

Supplemental Text – Chapter 9: Cell Communication

  • Application Activity
  • Week 6 Quiz
  • Review the Disease Mystery Digital Story Project  Guidelines
  • Project Deliverable #1



Main Text – Section 5.1: Energy and Metabolism from Chapter 5: How Cells Obtain Energy

  • Application Activity
  • Week 7 Quiz


Cellular Respiration and Fermentation

Main Text – Chapter 5: How Cells Obtain Energy

  • Discussion #2
  • Week 8 Quiz
  • Project Deliverable #2


Cell Cycle and Cell Division

Main Text – Chapter 7: Cell Reproduction

  • Application Activity
  • Week 9 Quiz


Sexual Reproduction

Main Text – Chapter 7: Cell Reproduction

  • Application Activity
  • Week 10 Quiz
  • Project Deliverable #3 



Main Text – Chapter 8: Mendel’s Experiments and Heredity and Chapter 9: Modern Understandings of Inheritance 

  • Discussion 3
  • Week 11 Quiz


DNA Structure and Replication

Main Text – Chapter 10: Molecular Biology 

  • Application Activity
  • Week 12 Quiz
  • Project Deliverable #4


Gene Expression

Main Text – Chapter 10: Molecular Biology and all of Chapter 11: Gene Expression 

  • Application Activity
  • Week 13 Quiz



Main Text – Chapter 12: Biotechnology

  • Discussion 4
  • Week 14 Quiz
  • Project Deliverable #5


Cell Biology Health Issues

Final Exam Study  Guide

  • The Disease Mystery Digital Story Project (submit project)


Final Exam

Final Exam Study Guide

  • Final Exam

Student Resources

Student Portal: Your Best UNE Resource

We created the UNE Online Student Portal, specifically for you, to be a useful collection of information to support you as you navigate your online course(s).

From the UNE Online Student Portal, you can access:

  • Blackboard/Brightspace
  • Technical Support
  • Library
  • Bookstore
  • UNE Email
  • U-Online

The portal also features:

  • Dates to Remember
  • Support and Services
  • Contact information for your Support Specialist
  • Academic Resources - links to the Academic Calendar, Registrar and Academic Calendar
  • Financial - links to eBilling, Financial Aid and Student Accounts

Instructor and Support Contact Information

Check Blackboard/Brightspace for specific instructor and support specialist contact information.

Further Assistance

Your student service advisor monitors course progression and provides assistance or guidance when needed. They can assist questions regarding ordering course materials, University policies, billing, navigating the course in Blackboard/Brightspace, and more.

Student Lounge

The Student Lounge Discussion Board is a designated support forum in which students may engage with each other and grapple with course content. Feel free to post questions, seek clarification, and support each other, but be mindful of UNE's Academic Integrity Policy.

Your instructor will monitor this forum. However, if you are seeking specific and timely answers to questions about course content or your personal grades, please contact your instructor via course messages. For questions about course materials, program policy, and how to navigate and proceed through the course, please contact your Student Service Advisor through the Student Portal.


Proctored Examinations

The University of New England has contracted with ProctorU to provide students with the most convenient online exam proctoring system. This system provides a simple, no cost to the student, secure, online proctor for exams and allows the student to take all the exams at home and on their own schedule.

Upon enrollment into the course, each student will register with ProctorU and establish a login name and password. This will give the student access to all of ProctorU's services. When ready, students will schedule each of their proctored exams with ProctorU. Exams must be scheduled at least 72 hours in advance to avoid fees. Prior to taking their exams, students must be sure that they have downloaded the ProctorU Chrome or Firefox extension and are using the most current version of Chrome or Firefox. They must also be sure their testing site's connection meets the minimum requirements by using ProctorU's "Test It Out" utility.

Upon the exam day and hour, students will log in to ProctorU and click on "exams". After following the procedures outlined at ProctorU's web site, the student will log in to Blackboard/Brightspace and locate their correct exam. The proctor will then allow student access to that exam.

Students must use ProctorU and must follow all proctoring requirements for their exams to be credited.

Proctored exams are not available for review at any time. You will not be able to see the questions, nor the answers you've given, after completing the exams. Please contact your instructor for specific feedback.

Course Discussions

Discussion board assignments cover interesting current events or materials related to this course that contribute to a deeper understanding of key concepts and allow you to interact with your classmates and the instructor. Each assignment may require you to conduct internet research, read additional materials (a short journal or magazine article), visit a specific webpage, AND/OR view a short video prior to writing a response following the specific guidelines in the assignment.

To earn full credit: you will need to post a response to the discussion topic, respond to the original posts of at least two other students, and then contribute meaningfully to an ongoing discussion. You will need to post your initial response before you will see any posts from your classmates. Please keep in mind that only this initial response is included in your assignment grade, so make sure you have followed all of the guidelines and written a complete response prior to submitting the post. For special cases where one or two students are accelerating faster through the course, the instructor will participate in the discussion so that everyone has the opportunity to interact.

Please see Blackboard/Brightspace for a full description, along with specific guidelines, for each assignment. Discussion board assignments should be completed, along with all other assignments in the course, in the order that they appear. Due to the course design, you may be unable to take a proctored exam if you do not complete all assignments that appear prior to that exam.

Please also refer to the Grading Policy/Grade Breakdown section of the syllabus to learn the percentage of your grade that each discussion board assignment is worth.

Technology Requirements

Please review the technical requirements for UNE Online Graduate Programs:

Course Length

A schedule of lectures and assignments is included in this syllabus. This is, however a self-paced course and you can complete the course in less time.

  1. Courses in the SPHP program are equivalent to one-semester courses designed to be completed in 16 weeks
  2. Enrollment in the course begins the day your section opens which is listed in the Academic Calendar found on the Student Success Portal.
  3. Course start and end dates are in respect to Eastern Time.

Withdrawal and Refund Policies

Please visit this page to review the withdrawal and refund policies.

Grade Policy

Students are expected to attempt and complete all graded assignments and proctored exams by the end date of the course. To view the incomplete grade policy, please click here.


Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, only the student may request official transcripts. This may be done online by going to the University of New England Registrar website and following the directions on the page.

To view your unofficial UNE student transcript:

  1. Log into uonline at
  2. Select Student Services
  3. Select Student Records
  4. Select Academic Transcript

To request your official UNE student transcript:

Please review your Unofficial Transcript prior to requesting an Official Transcript.

  1. Log into uonline at
  2. Select Student Services
  3. Select Student Records
  4. Select Request Printed/Official Transcript
  5. Follow the prompts

After you click Submit Request, your official transcript will be put into the queue to be printed in the Registrar’s Office.

Academic Integrity

The University of New England values academic integrity in all aspects of the educational experience. Academic dishonesty in any form undermines this standard and devalues the original contributions of others. It is the responsibility of all members of the University community to actively uphold the integrity of the academy; failure to act, for any reason, is not acceptable.

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to the following:

  1. Cheating, copying, or the offering or receiving of unauthorized assistance or information.
  2. Fabrication or falsification of data, results, or sources for papers or reports.
  3. Action which destroys or alters the work of another student.
  4. Multiple submission of the same paper or report for assignments in more than one course without permission of each instructor.
  5. Plagiarism, the appropriation of records, research, materials, ideas, or the language of other persons or writers and the submission of them as one's own.

Charges of academic dishonesty will be reviewed by the Program Director. Penalties for students found responsible for violations may depend upon the seriousness and circumstances of the violation, the degree of premeditation involved, and/or the student’s previous record of violations. Appeal of a decision may be made to the Dean whose decision will be final. Student appeals will take place through the grievance process outlined in the student handbook.