Principles of Biology I

Course Details

Course Number: BIOL 3054  Section Number: 101

Fall 2014

Location: Bolin Hall

Classroom Number: 100

Days & Times:

Lecture:  TR 11-12:30

Labs:  R  1-4, R 5-8, F 1-4

Course Attachments


Life the Science of Biology, 9th ed.  ISBN: 978-1-4292-1962-4

MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Jon B. Scales   
view Profile »

Course Objectives

Course Philosophy:  

This course emphasizes fundamental principles and concepts of biology. Principles I specifically covers the molecular and cellular levels of biological organization and how molecular function underlies all other aspects of biology.

I expect student participation in the form of asking and answering questions, attentiveness and courteous behavior during lectures. It is my opinion that you can only get out of any course what you put into it.

Final Exam12/9/2014  1:00-3:00 PM

Submission Format PolicyNote: 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.

Late Paper Policy

Make-Up Exam Policy:

There will be no make-up exams.

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, 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

Attendance Policy:

Obviously, attendance is required for participation and attendance will be taken periodically. Students not attending regularly will be dropped. Attendance to lab is mandatory. Excused absences are for the following reasons: attending a scientific meeting, a university sanctioned extracurricular event (ie tennis, college bowl, etc), attendance of a funeral of an immediate family member (parent/sibling/grandparent/child). No other reasons will count as excused absences

Other Policies

Course Conduct:

Students are expected to behave as adults. These are ways adults are expected to behave in a classroom setting:

  1. Come to class 2-5 minutes early, take a seat, take out your notebook and be prepared to start class on time.
  2. Go to the bathroom before coming to class
  3. Do not come to class late.
  4. Do not disturb your neighbors or the instructor while the instructor is lecturing.
  5. Put your cell phone on vibrate.  No cell phone use during lecture. 1st offense - removed from lecture, 2nd offense dropped from course
  6. No laptop computers or tablets of any type used in lecture.
  7. No head gear of any kind may be worn during exams. All back packs, coats, purses, etc will be left at the front/sides of the room during exams.

Students should refer to the current MSU handbook and activities calendar for university policy on academic dishonesty, class attendance, student rights and activities. Special attention should be given to pages 66-76. These conduct standards apply to both lecture and lab.



It is expected that you will read the listed chapters from the textbook. One good method of doing this is to scan through the chapter before coming to class and then read the material we cover more thoroughly afterwards. The logic of this approach is that you will have seen new terms we bring up in class in the overall context of the topic and then you can go back for more detail after we discuss it in class.


There could be a pop-quiz on any day, so always come to class prepared.


We will have four (4) exams (including the final) at ~4 week intervals. The first 3 exams are non-comprehensive. The final will cover the last section of new material as well as have a comprehensive portion covering the previous 3 exams.

Make-Up Exam Policy:

There will be no make-up exams. If you miss one exam due to an EXCUSED absence (see attendance policy for definition of excused), your score on the comprehensive portion of the final exam will be substituted for it (in other words, the final exam will count twice). You may only make up one missed exam in this manner. In most cases, missing an exam without previous notification of the instructor makes the absence unexcused no matter what the reason.


The lab portion of the course will be 25% of your total grade. The individual contribution of lab write-ups, quizzes and exams to constitute this 25% will be determined by your TA. Attendance to lab is mandatory. Students will be dropped if they miss 2 lab sessions.



Grade Scale


A ³90


B ≥80


C ≥70



D ≥ 60



F < 60






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 English 1113 and English 1123 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.