College of Science, Engineering and Technology
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College of Science, Engineering and Technology

NSU - Norfolk State University
BIO 100 : Syllabus
Phone:   (757) 823-2911 Office:   Wood Science Building

Biological Science Lecture (3 Credits)

A study of the general principles and problems of biology with special emphasis on basic chemical concepts as they pertain to living things, especially humans. Also included are selected topics in human anatomy and physiology (development and growth, reproduction, and inheritance, to name a few). The evolution and diversity among living things are discussed from an ecological perspective.

Lecture, class discussion, and demonstrations. Students will complete a variety of independent outside-of-class assignments consisting of research paper(s), reflective journaling, surveys and others to be described.

ENG-101; MTH-103

Bio 100 is a part of the general education core at Norfolk State University. This core provides the foundation for the University’s mission to develop in students the knowledge, qualities and attitudes necessary to become productive citizens who contribute to a globally and rapidly changing society.

At the end of this course the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to meet core competencies at 70%
  2. Understand and appreciate the unifying characteristics, diversity and complexity of living things
  3. List those elements and compounds that are common to living organisms
  4. Explain how chemistry and especially organic compounds relate to the make – up and functioning of living organisms
  5. Identify and describe the structures and functions of the cell and its cell components.
  6. Discuss and describe the mechanisms that control cell division and the outcome of division.
  7. Demonstrate a basic understanding of concepts of simple Mendelian genetics and inheritance
  8. Identify and label the major organs of the organ systems of the body.
  9. Discuss conservation actions and implications

Students should secure the following materials:

  • the required textbooks
  • a notebook
  • pens
  • 3x5 index cards
  • #2 pencils for use with bubble forms during examinations.
  • Required Textbook: Norfolk State University's "Discover Biology" Cain, Yoon, Singh-Cundy fourth edition.

    In addition, students may find a calculator useful for those topics involving computations (i.e. genetics and chemistry).

    WEEK 1Chapter 1 – Invitation to Biology
    The levels and organization of life
    An overview of the unifying principles for all living things
    The steps of the scientific process
    The kingdoms of organism and the diversity of life
    WEEKS 2 - 3Chapter 2 – Molecules of Life
    Atoms and their interactions
    Bonds in biological molecules
    Molecules of Life
    WEEKS 4 - 5Chapter 3 – How Cells are put together
    The cell theory
    Prokaryotic versus eukaryotic cells
    The function of each organelle
    The endosymbiotic hypothesis
    WEEK 6Chapter 4 – How Cells Work
    Diffusion and Metabolism
    How the Membranes Transporters work
    Which way will water move
    Cell membrane mediated transport
    WEEK 7Chapter 7 – How Cells Reproduce
    Chromosome structure and chromosome number
    Mitosis is a kind of nuclear division that maintains the chromosome number
    Meiosis is a kind of nuclear division that decreases by half the number of chromosomes
    The stages of both kinds of division
    WEEKS 8 - 9Chapter 8 – Inheritance Patterns
    Genes are units of instruction for inheritable traits
    Inheritance patterns are not always straightforward – ABO blood typing (co-dominance)
    Many genes interact giving rise to continuous variation for a trait among individuals of a population
    Autosomes and sex chromosomes
    Importance of crossing-over in inheritance
    WEEK 10Chapter 20– Animal Tissues and Organ Systems
    Four Basic types of tissues
    Human Organ Systems
    Human skin example of an organ system
    WEEK 11Chapter 24 – Digestion, Nutrition, and Excretion
    The human digestive system
    The human urinary system
    WEEK 12Chapter 22– Circulation and Respiration
    Characteristics of blood
    Blood circulation
    Anatomy of the heart
    Structure and function of Blood vessels
    Cardiovascular disorders
    Human respiratory system
    WEEK 13Chapter 27 – Animal Reproduction and Development
    The male reproductive system
    The female reproductive system
    Control of human reproduction
    Sexually transmitted Diseases
    The fertilization process
    The process of cleavage and implantation
    Embryonic and fetal development
    WEEK 14 Continuation of Chapter 27
    WEEK 15Last week of class
    Chapter 28 - Population Ecology
    Characteristics of populations
    Chapter 29 - Community Structure and Biodiversity
    What factors shape Community Structure
    Forces contributing to community stability
    Chapter 30 - Ecosystems
    The nature of ecosystems
    Chapter 31 - The Biosphere
    NOTE: Instructors reserve the right to modify course content to reflect current issues that will be beneficial to the student’s academic development.

    50%4 Exams at 15% each
    20%Final Exam
    30% Projects/special assignments, homework, quizzes at the instructor's discretion;
    Extra Credit points = up to 10% of the final grade (meaning of the total points possible for the course can be earned by completing a variety of additional special assignments)
    Grading Scale:
      A : 100 - 90 A- : 89 - 88
    B+ : 87 - 85 B : 84 - 80 B- : 79 - 78
    C+ : 77 - 75 C : 74 - 70 C- : 69 - 68
    D+ : 67 - 65 D : 64 - 60 D- : 59 - 57
      F : 56 - 0  


  • Classroom Attitudes and Behaviors (pdf)
  • Bowman's Academic Skills Checklist (pdf)

    Please consult the NSU Student Handbook on matters regarding student conduct such as attendance, illness, off-campus trips, and grade appeals, etc.

    The College of Science, Engineering and Technology provides tutoring services through the STARS Tutoring Center for those NSU students who may be experiencing difficulties in Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, Nursing, Technology and Physics courses. The STARS office is located in RTC, Suite 100. This service is free of charge and provided to NSU students only. Visit the site at

    In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans With Disabilites Act (ADA) of 1990, if you have a disability or think you have a disability, we ask that you please contact the Supporting Students through Disability Services (SSDS) office.
    LOCATION: Student Services Center Room 110D
    CONTACT PERSON: Marian E. Shepherd - Disability Services Coordinator SSDS
    TELEPHONE: (757) 823-2014

    As part of NSU's commitment to provide the environment and resources needed for success, students may be required to participate in a number of university-wide assessment activities. The activities may include tests, surveys, focus groups and interviews, and portfolio reviews. The primary purpose of the assessment activities is to determine the extent to which the university's programs and services maintain a high level of quality and meet the needs of students. Students will not be identified in the analysis of results. Unless indicated otherwise, by the instructor, results from University assessment activities will not be computed in student grades.

    Class Attendance Policy
  • A student is expected to attend all classes. The student assumes all responsibility for work missed due to an absence. Make-up work may be permitted at the discretion of the instructor. Refer to the NSU Student Handbook ( for further details.

  • NSU email Accounts
  • In an effort to keep students informed about Norfolk State University updates and account information, students must check their official NSU student email account frequently.
    You may access your official NSU email account at Follow instructions on the NSU-webmail login page.

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