SC 122a Anatomy and Physiology I

Course Description:
First semester of a two-semester sequence course dealing with the structure and function of the human body and mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis covering anatomical terminology, basic biochemistry, the study of cells, tissues, and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular and nervous systems.

  • Prerequisite Courses: SC 120 with a grade of “C” or better.

The student will be able to:

  1. Describe the structure, function, and basic pathologies of the human body.
  2. Demonstrate a solid foundation in basic biological sciences.
  3. Describe health career and allied professions and gain experience working effectively in groups with health professionals to address human life sciences and health problems.
  4. Discuss, analyze, and interpret fundamental and current issues relevant to human life sciences and health problems, and communicate information in a critical, scientific, and technologically advanced manner

The student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the atomic, molecular, cellular, and tissue levels of organization of the human body.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the organ and organ system levels of organization of the human body, including specific knowledge demonstrated regarding the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous systems, and sense organs.
















I = Introduced
D = Demonstrated
M = Mastered

The student will be able to:

General SLO 1: . Demonstrate knowledge of the organ and organ system levels of organization of the human body, including specific knowledge demonstrated regarding the endocrine, blood, lymphatic, cardiovascular, immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems.

Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

1.1 Define the terms anatomy and physiology, list and discuss in order of increasing complexity the levels of organization of the body, define homeostasis, explain how positive and negative feedback are involved in maintaining homeostasis, and describe the relationship between homeostatic imbalance and disease.

Quiz and/or examination. Laboratory exercise.

1.2 Define anatomical position, name the 9 abdominopelvic regions, label the 4 abdominopelvic quadrats, list the organs contained in each quadrat, list the major body cavities and the serous membranes contained within, and apply anatomical terms to describe body regions, directions, and body planes (sections).

Quiz and/or examination. Laboratory exercise (demonstrate)

1.3 Define element, atom, chemical bonds, subatomic particles, ions, atomic number, atomic mass, isotope, and radioisotope, differentiate compounds and mixtures, compare solutions, colloids, and suspension, describe the main types of chemical reactions, describe enzymatic activity and enzyme affects on reaction rates.

Quiz and/or examination

1.4 Define the terms salt, acid, and base, explain the concept of pH and affects of pH on the human body (alkalosis and acidosis), describe the structure and function of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and nucleic acids, and explain metabolism and the importance of organic and inorganic compounds in maintaining homeostasis.

Quiz and/or examination

1.5 Describe the composition and function of the plasma membrane, differentiate active and passive transport, define osmosis, differentiate hypotonic, hypertonic, and isotonic solutions, describe the structure and function of cellular organelles, the cytoskeleton, and cellular appendages (cilia/flagella), compare structure and function of intercellular junctions, and describe and identify the phases of mitosis and meiosis.

Quiz and/or examination. Laboratory exploration of cellular transport and tonicity. Identify cell phases in laboratory exercise using microscope.

1.6 Identify, classify, and explain the structure and function of all epithelial, connective, nervous, and muscle tissues, classify glands, and explain the process of inflammation and tissue healing.

Quiz and/or examination. Identify in laboratory using microscope.

General SLO 2: Demonstrate knowledge of the organ and organ system levels of organization of the human body, including specific knowledge demonstrated regarding the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, and endocrine systems

Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

2.1 Describe the structure and function of the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis, list epidermal layers, describe the process of keratinization, explain the mechanism of thermoregulation, vitamin D, and melanin synthesis, describe the structure and function of the skin appendages (hair, sebaceous and sweat glands, erector pili muscles, skin receptors, and nails), differentiate 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree burns, apply the “rule of 9s” to estimate burn severity, describe steps required in burn care, explain burn treatment, define cancer, and explain what produces cancer, describe common causes of skin cancers (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma).

Quiz and/or examination Demonstrate ability to indentify components in laboratory.

2.2 Describe bone function, list parts of a long bone and describe their importance, describe macroscopic and microscopic structure of a bone, differentiate spongy and compact bone, describe processes of ossification and bone homeostasis, list the 3 major bone cells, explain how different hormones, minerals, and physical stress influence the process of bone remodeling, describe types of fractures and steps required for fracture repair, name, describe, and identify the bones (and their major processes and openings) of the axial and appendicular skeleton, classify joints structurally and functionally, describe fibrous, cartilaginous, and synovial joint structure, describe the anatomy and range of motion of the elbow, knee, hip, and shoulder joints, and list the most common joint injuries and symptoms, and discuss problems associated with each.

Quiz and/or examination. Demonstrate ability to identify in laboratory.

2.3 Identify and describe microscopic structure of skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle, describe the anatomy and physiology of the motor unit, explain the sliding filament mechanism, staircase effect, tetanization, muscle tonus, and muscle spasm, explain the basis of muscle contraction biochemistry and how ATP is regenerated during contraction, define oxygen demand and muscle fatigue, differentiate isotonic and isometric contraction, describe prime movers, antagonists, synergists, and fixators, list criteria used in naming muscles, and name skeletal muscles, their orgin, insertion, and action.

Quiz and/or examination. Demonstrate ability to identify in laboratory.

2.4 List basic functions of the nervous system, explain anatomical and functional classification of the nervous system, describe the structure of the neuron and synapse, classify neurons structurally and functionally, define resting and acting membrane potentials, explain how potentials are generated and transmitted, define absolute and relative refractory periods, salutatory conduction, and the way electrical and chemical information is transmitted across synapses, differentiate excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials, define and classify neurotransmitters, name major lobes of the brain, locate brain ventricles, list major fissures and functional areas of the brain, differentiate commissures, association fibers, and projection fibers, describe structure and function of basal ganglia, diencephalon, brain stem, cerebellum, limbic system, and reticular formation, list 3 layers of meninges and the clinical importance of meningeal spaces, explain formation of cerebrospinal fluid, list the most common signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease, describe macroscopic and microscopic anatomy of the spinal cord, list the major ascending and descending tracts and the type of information they carry, differentiate flaccid paralysis, spastic paralysis, and anesthesia, explain the effect of aging on the brain, and list and describe several techniques used to diagnose brain disorders.

Quiz and/or examination. Demonstrate ability to identify in laboratory.

2.5 Define the peripheral nervous system and list its components, classify sensory receptors, define nerves, distinguish between sensory, motor, and mixed nerves, name 12 pairs of cranial nerves, explain their function, and describe how each can be tested, describe the anatomy of the spinal nerve, define the reflex arch and plexus, explain the anatomy and physiology of the autonomic nervous system, differentiate sympathetic and parasympathetic stimulation on different organs, and list 3 levels of sensory integration and describe levels of the motor control integration, and describe symptoms of cerebellar and basal nuclear disease.

Quiz and/or examination. Demonstrate ability to identify in laboratory.

2.6 Explain the significance of REM and slow-wave sleep, describe the mechanism and structures involved in memory, describe the consciousness and coma, describe the location, structures, and pathways involved in the senses of taste, smell, vision, hearing, and balance, describe and identify the anatomy of the eye and its accessory structures, explain the physiology of vision and refractive errors such as astigmatism, hyperopia, and myopia, explain causes of cataracts, glaucoma, and color blindness, describe structure and function of the outer, middle, and inner ear, explain how sound waves are changed into nerve impulses, explain how balance is maintained and what structures are involved in the static and dynamic equilibrium, and list some causes of "pink eye", otitis media, deafness, Meniere’s syndrome, and motion sickness.

Quiz and/or examination. Demonstrate ability to identify in laboratory.


  1. Introduction to organization
  2. Introduction to human anatomy and physiology
  3. Chemical basis of life
  4. Cells
  5. Cellular metabolism
  6. Tissues
  7. Support and movement
  8. Skin and the integumentary system
  9. Skeletal system
  10. Muscular system
  11. Integration and coordination
  12. Nervous system
  13. Somatic and special senses
  14. Endocrine system

Lectures, audio-visuals (including videos/DVDs), laboratory exercises, and observations.


Marieb, E. and Hoehn, Katjz. Human Anatomy and Physiology (2011) , 8th ed. published by Pearson Education (or most recent edition).

Frank H. Netter, MD Atlas of Human Anatomy, Professional Edition, (2010), 5th edition. Published by W.B. Saunders (or most recent edition). Mosby, Mosby’s Medical Dictionary (2008), 8th edition. Published by Mosby Publishing (or most recent edition). Arthur C Guyton, Textbook of Medical Physiology (2005), 11th edition, published by W.B. Saunders (or most recent edition).





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