Science Prerequisites for Health Professionals

PHSL 1010: Medical Physiology

Credits - 4


In this course, learners will be introduced to core concepts that shape our knowledge of the workings of the human body. Cell-cell communication and membrane dynamics will first be studied as central themes that govern coordination in individual cells and tissues, and within and between organ systems. Structure/function correlates will introduce the study of each system and the regulation of each system will be illustrated via lecture presentations, laboratories, discussions, and journal clubs. Students will learn to address problems in physiology, and to apply their knowledge and new understandings to case studies similar to those they may encounter in clinical settings.



There are 3 required materials for this course.

  1. Mastering A&P Access Code (Modified Mastering)
  2. One version of the Human Physiology: An Integrated Approach text
  3. Webcam.

1. Mastering A&P Access Code (Modified Mastering)

Note: You must register for Modified Mastering through Brightspace. We recommend that you always access your Modified Mastering course through Brightspace after that.

  1. Sign in to Brightspace and enter your course.
  2. Select any Pearson link in the Content area under “Pearson’s MyLab and A&P Mastering”.
  3. Enter your Pearson account username and password.
    • If you don’t have a Pearson account, select Create and follow the instructions.
  1. Buy access using a credit card or PayPal account.

2. One version of the Human Physiology: An Integrated Approach Text:

  • Silverthorn, Dee U., et al. Human physiology: an integrated approach, 8e. San Francisco: Pearson, 2019
    *Can purchase a used or rented version (from any website).

For the best experience, check the system requirements from the publisher.

3. UNE-compliant external webcam – To be used during proctored exams

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

As a result of participating in the learning experiences in this course, students will be able to:

  • Apply the concepts of cell-cell communication and control of complex systems in laboratories, discussions, journal clubs, and assignments
  • Explain the basic components of systems physiology, particularly those associated with the neuromuscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, and endocrine structure and function.
  • Apply the components of cellular and systems physiology to case studies in endocrine control and to complex problems such as exercise and environmental physiology.
  • Contribute to a learning community that will create and explore original applications of physiological concepts in discussions, journal clubs, and Lesson Plans.

Learning Outcomes for Science Prerequisites for Health Professions Program

In lecture courses, students should be able to:

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

In lab courses, students should be able to:

  1. Ask a question or define a problem that can be tested.
  2. Hypothesize possible result(s).
  3. Plan and/or conduct an investigation individually and/or collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.


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.


Lectures and Videos:

Before you complete your labs, please view the assigned lecture videos. The lecture videos are organized into playlists corresponding to each week’s topics.


The majority of your readings are from the Silverthorn textbook. You will find specific pages in the text assigned to each week’s topics.

Labs and Practical Activities:

This sixteen-week course is organized into five units of study.  In every unit, you will complete multiple laboratory assignments. The labs and practical activities provide hands-on learning opportunities in each topic of study.


There will be a total of 3 proctored and timed physiology unit exams, 2 timed histology practical exams which are not proctored, and a proctored and timed Final Exam.

The 3 physiology unit exams and the Final Exam are timed and must be proctored by ProctorU; see below for more information. Study guides will be provided to assist you in getting ready for the exams. These exams are closed book and closed notes. This course does not allow scratch paper or whiteboards during the proctored exams.

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

You must purchase the Official UNE-compliant External Webcam to take your proctored examinations. Remember to order your webcam at least three weeks prior to scheduling your first proctored exam.

For all exams, you must review the Proctored Examinations information and requirements in the Policies section of this syllabus.

Discussions and Journal Club:

Throughout the course, you will participate and interact with peers in seven Discussions and five Journal Club learning activities. You can access both of these activities through the links in the weeks where a Discussion question or Journal Club is included. You can also access both activities through the Discussion tab on the course menu.

Discussions will be organized around a topic, often a case study, and you will be given questions to answer. Once your answers are posted, you will be able to read the answers posted by your peers and respond to at least two peers to discuss their answers. The Journal Club assignments are an opportunity to practice and get feedback on the type of analysis needed to complete the final lesson plans. In the Journal Club, you will be given a scholarly article to review and a prompt to answer and discuss with your peers. Once again, you will be asked to post your answer and to respond to at least two of your peers.

Analysis of Exercise Data:

Please read the instructions for the Project, which can be found on your main menu. Please keep a careful record of your data for each repetition of the exercise; you’ll need them for the final laboratory assignment of the course (Analysis of Exercise Data). You MUST use the data table in the Excel Spreadsheet shared with you for your personal data in this project. Note that several weeks will elapse between each repetition of the Exercise Project. Please copy the spreadsheet before you begin entering your data; do not directly edit the template found at the link. Share your data with your instructor after each repetition of the Exercise Project by sharing your copy of the spreadsheet via email or via Course Messages.

Sensory Nervous System, Digestive System, and Reproductive System Portfolios:

In this course, there will be three topics on which you will need to create a study aid and a presentation. The portfolio submissions will include a video presentation and an educational activity (study aid) for you to master a particular topic. The video and all accompanying materials (the PowerPoint slideshow, worksheet and answer sheet, concept maps, study guides, etc.) are to be submitted for grading.

You must begin your video by showing yourself full-screen, looking directly into the camera, and clearly stating your full name while holding up a piece of paper on which your full name and the date are clearly written in bold writing. If you fail to do so, the assignment will not be graded. You will have to submit it again prior to your course end date.

Grading Policy

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

Grade Breakdown

AssignmentsPercent of Final Grade
Physiology Unit Exams30% (10% each)
Histology Exams (Not Proctored)10%
PhysioEx Labs10%
Exercise Project and Graphing Activity5%
Discussions (Journal Clubs, Case Studies, Discussion Forums)15%
Physiology Final Exam15%
Study Aids and Presentations15% (5% each)

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


Please note that the weeks are provided for guidance, as there are no due dates other than midnight ET on the final course date.


Week 1: Introduction to Human Physiology

Lectures/Videos: Homeostasis, Human Tissues

Readings: Silverthorn 8e: pp. 1-25; 73-88 (Chapters 1, 3)

Labs: Exercise Project: First Data Collection; *Histology of Human Tissues: Introduction to Histology, Epithelium (Lecture)

Discussion: Introduce yourself

Assignment Submission: Graphing Activity

Week 2: Excitable Tissues; Membrane Dynamics

Lectures/Videos: Excitable Tissues: Membrane dynamics, Resting membrane potential

Readings: Silverthorn 8e: pp.61-71; 121-160 (Chapters 3, 5)

Labs: PhysioEx: Cell Transport Mechanisms and Permeability; *Histology: Connective Tissue (Lecture)

Week 2 Discussion

Week 3: Nerve Physiology

Lectures/Videos: Functional anatomy, Action potentials, Cell-cell communication, Postsynaptic potentials, Autonomic nervous system, Signaling pathways

Readings: Silverthorn 8e: pp. 223-371 (Chapters 8, 10, & 11)

Labs: PhysioEx: Neurophysiology of Nerve Impulses; Exercise Project: Second Data Collection; *Histology: Nervous Tissue (Lecture)

Assignments: Sensory NS Portfolio and review questions

Week 3 Journal Club Discussion


Readings/Practice: *Study Guide for Physiology Exam; Practice Histology Exam (slideshow); Practice Physiology Exam

Physiology Exam #1 (Proctored)


Week 5: Muscle Physiology

Lectures/Videos: Muscle – an excitable tissue, Skeletal muscle, Smooth muscle, Cardiac muscle

Readings: Silverthorn 8e: pp. 374-410 (Chapter 12)

Labs: PhysioEx: Skeletal Muscle Physiology; *Histology: Muscle Tissue (Lecture)

Week 5 Case Study Discussion

Week 6: Cardiovascular Physiology

Lectures/Topics: Heart anatomy, Electrophysiology, Regulatory Mechanisms, Peripheral circulation, Arrhythmias

Readings: Silverthorn 8e: pp. 432-472; 476-505 (Chapters 14, 15)

Labs: PhysioEx: Cardiovascular Dynamics; Cardiovascular Physiology; Histology: Circulatory system (Heart)

Week 6 Journal Club Discussion

Week 7: Respiratory Physiology

Lectures/Topics: Functional anatomy, Mechanics of ventilation, Ventilatory control, Gas transport

Readings: Silverthorn 8e: pp. 532-558; 562-586 (Chapters 17, 18)

Labs: PhysioEx: Respiratory System Mechanics; Exercise Project: Second Data Collection; *Histology: Gas Conduction System and Alveoli (Lungs) – Lecture

Week 7 Discussion


Readings/Practice: Study Guide, Practice Physiology Exam, Practice Histology Exam

Physiology Exam #2 (Proctored)

Histology Exam #1 (Not Proctored)


Week 9: Renal Physiology

Lectures/topics: Functional anatomy, Filtration, reabsorption; Fluid and electrolyte balance

Readings: Silverthorn 8e: pp. 587-615; 618-653 (Chapters 19, 20)

Labs: PhysioEx: Renal System Physiology, Histology: Kidney (lecture)

Week 9 Case Study Discussion

Week 10: Endocrine Regulation

Lectures/Topics: Functional anatomy, Endocrine, and paracrine communication, Feedback loops

Readings: Silverthorn 8e: pp. 195-204; 728-751 (Chapters 7, 23)

Labs: PhysioEx: Endocrine System Physiology

Week 10 Case Study Discussion

Week 11: Digestion

Labs: PhysioEx: Chemical and Physical Processes of Digestion; Dynamic Modules (for practice)

Readings: Silverthorn 8e: pp. 654-690 (Chapter 21)

Week 11 Journal Club Discussion

Assignment Submission: Review Questions, Lesson Plan Portfolio

Week 12: EXAM WEEK

Readings/Practice: Study Guide, Practice Histology Exam

Physiology Exam #3 (Proctored)

Histology Exam #2 Clinical Assignment – Group Project


Week 13: Reproductive System

Labs: Dynamic Modules (for practice)

Readings: Silverthorn 8e: pp. 800-835 (Chapter 26)

Week 13 Journal Club Discussion

Assignment Submission: Review Questions, Lesson Plan Portfolio

Week 14: Exercise Physiology

Lectures/topics: Cardiovascular response to exercise, Respiratory response to exercise, Training

Readings: Silverthorn 8e: pp. 786-797; review pp. 562-585 (Chapters 25, 18)

Labs: PhysioEx: Acid-Base Balance; Blood Analysis; Exercise Project: Third Data Collection

Week 14 Case Study Discussion

Week 15: Environmental Physiology

Lectures/topics: Altitude and acclimatization; Microgravity and space travel

Readings: Silverthorn 8e: pp. 617-641 (Chapter 20)

Labs: Exercise Project: Fourth Data Collection; Submit Analysis of Exercise Data

Week 15 Journal Club Discussion

Week 16: EXAM WEEK

Final exam (Proctored)

Reading: Study Guide

Student Resources

Online Student Support

Your Student Support Specialist is a resource for you. Please don’t hesitate to contact them for assistance, including, but not limited to course planning, current problems or issues in a course, technology concerns, or personal emergencies.

Questions? Visit the Student Support Science Prerequisites page

Instructor and Support Contact Information

Check 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 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 website, the student will log in to 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.

Practice Proctored Exam

There is a highly recommended Practice Proctored Exam available to all students. The first attempt is free. This exam does not cover course material and is not included in your overall course grade. It prepares test takers for what the testing environment will be like, what forms of identification are needed, and provides a chance to test your external webcam with a live proctor. This is a great way to become familiar with and prepare for your exam!

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 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 Programs: Technical Requirements

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 the enrollment 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. View the incomplete grade policy..


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’s 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 submissions 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.