BIO-152: Cell and Molecular Biology

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
Biological Science
Academic Level
Course Subject
Course Number
Course Title
Cell and Molecular Biology
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
92.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
92.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
ENG-131 eligible; BIO-131 or BIO-134 or BIO 135 or BIO-150 with a grade of C or better OR a Biology 131 waiver; CHEM-131 or CHEM-141 with a grade of C or better (CHEM-141 recommended for biology majors). Biology 131 waiver information can be accessed through a link in the “Additional Information” section of Biology 131 course listings in the Self-Service Schedule.
Catalog Course Description

A one-term course that, with BIOLOGY 150, collectively forms the majors-level introductory biology course unit designed to meet the needs of students transferring to a four-year institution with a major in biology, including pre-pharmacy, pre-medical, and pre-dental programs. Course focuses on the diversity and unity of living organisms from the perspective of molecular and cell biology, including scientific inquiry, biological chemistry, cell structure and physiology, energy transformations, genes and gene expression, and biotechnology. Laboratory experiments enhance student understanding of course topics. Three hours of lecture and three hours of lab per week.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Core Course Topics
  1. Scientific inquiry and biological themes
    1. The science of biology
    2. Scientific reasoning
    3. Scientific method
    4. Themes and concepts of biology
  2. Chemistry
    1. Basic chemistry related to biological systems
    2. Importance of water
    3. Macromolecules of life
  3. Cells: The building blocks of life
    1. The study of cells: microscopy and cell fractionation
    2. Cell theory
    3. Prokaryotic cells
    4. Eukaryotic cells
    5. Cell structure and organelles
    6. Membrane structure and function
  4. Energy transformations in living organisms
    1. Chemistry and physics of life: thermodynamics, enzymes, and metabolism
    2. ATP: the energy currency of life
    3. Cellular respiration and fermentation
    4. Photosynthesis
  5. Cell physiology
    1. Cell communication
    2. Feedback controls in cell physiology
    3. Cell division
    4. Cell cycle
    5. Cell cycle control
    6. Cancer and the cell cycle
  6. DNA, RNA and Protein
    1. DNA structure and function
    2. DNA replication
    3. The genetic code
    4. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic transcription
    5. RNA processing in eukaryotes
    6. Ribosomes and protein synthesis
    7. Regulation of gene expression
    8. Cancer and gene expression
    9. Development and gene expression
  7. Biotechnology
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Design, plan, and carry out a valid biological experiment, record and analyze data, and present results and conclusions.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in standard biological laboratory skills, in keeping with laboratory safety guidelines.
  3. Explain and apply the scientific method. Explain the role of inductive and deductive reasoning in the scientific process.
  4. Explain how the concept of emergent properties applies to biological systems.
  5. Explain how chemical principles underlie biological processes.
  6. Explain how the cell is the fundamental unit of life, describing the basic structures, functions and processes of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
  7. Describe the structure of biological membranes, and explain their role in transport, signaling and energy transformations.
  8. Describe mitotic cell division and the cell cycle, explaining cell cycle control mechanisms in normal and cancer cells.
  9. Explain how genes encode the genetic information of the cell, how they are regulated, and how they contribute to the mechanism of protein synthesis.
  10. Explain how genetic information is conserved, modified, and passed on from one organism to another.
  11. Explain how living organisms require the transfer and transformation of energy and matter.
  12. Explain how interactions are essential in biological systems, emphasizing cell signaling and feedback regulation.
  13. Explain how evolution accounts for the unity and diversity of living things.
  14. Explain how biotechnology is the application of biological processes to solve problems.
  15. Demonstrate the ability to clearly explain biological concepts in written form, using scientific terminology.
  16. Demonstrate the ability to apply critical thinking in the analysis of scientific information.
  17. Demonstrate professional behavior in all aspects of the course.
General Information

We've added information regarding BIO 131 waivers to make the process more equitable for all students.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

Student assessment focuses on course objectives. Assessments include but are not limited to: lecture exams, homework, lab quizzes and exams, lab assignments, presentations and skill demonstrations, with the percentage of student achievement for these elements and the percentage of the total course being standard across sections.

Where appropriate, instructors are encouraged to use both written and oral assessments, and to use these in both formal and informal settings. Instructors will also assess students’ professional behavior.

Texts will be chosen from among recognized "majors-level" texts.


General Education Categories
  • Natural Sciences
Institutional Outcomes
  • Scientific Reasoning
MTA Categories
  • Category 6: Natural Sciences (Lecture and Lab)
Satisfies Wellness Requirement
Effective Term
Winter 2023