It appears that your browser does not support JavaScript. We use JavaScript on our website to display some information. Please use a browser that supports JavaScript.

Introduction to Biology

Course Details

Course Number
Bolin Hall
Kimberly Beck (view Profile)


Biology, Science for Life (without physiology, 5
Course Objectives

General Learning Goals

·         Demonstrate knowledge of the major issues and problems facing modern science, including issues that touch upon ethics, values, and public policies

·         Critically examine scientific issues and problems

·         Effectively communicate with each other and the instructor

·         Solve empirical and quantitative problems related to biology

·         Consider different points of view and work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal

Specific Learning Goals

·         Understand the ways in which science (i.e. biology in particular) impacts their lives

·         Practice general laboratory safety

·         Demonstrate effective use of a microscope

·         Utilize the Scientific Method

·         Know and explain the functions different parts of the cell and compare and contrast different cell types

·         Describe the functions of DNA and RNA

·         Describe the functions of and differentiate between mitosis and meiosis during cellular division and predict the results should problems occur

·         Understand how genetics plays a part in: inheritance of characteristics, evolution,  human variation, and population dynamics

·         Utilize Punnett squares and genetic ratios to predict or understand inheritance of a particular trait

·         Identify genetic disorders

·         Identify organisms to taxonomic groups based upon characteristics, and identify similarities and differences among taxonomic groups

·         Understand what role environmental factors and ecological relationships play in natural selection and the survival of species

·         Understand the role of natural selection in speciation and the impact of the environment

·         Explain the ecosystem organization and energy flow and how it affects the organisms

·         Demonstrate understanding of community interactions among organisms in their habitat and niche 

Submission Format Policy Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.
Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Lab attendance:

This class contains both a lecture and lab component. You must be registered in and attend both the lecture and your assigned lab section. More than two absences in the lab portion will result in an instructor-drop from the entire course.


Lecture attendance:

While attendance in lecture will be recorded every day, it will not be used in calculating your grade. However, excessive absences will be used in decisions about dropping students from the course.

You are responsible for all material, announcements, reminders, and changes to the syllabus (should they occur) discussed in class whether or not you were present.


Coming in late

If you must come to class late, absolutely do not distract the class. Do not cross between the class and instructor or try to get to your normal seat – come in very quietly and sit down at the easiest seat to get to without distracting other students.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at