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IPHY 3430 Introduction to Human Physiology

Instructor Contact:

Françoise Bentley


Course Description:

This course is intended for non-Integrative Physiology majors who have a general interest in human physiology and/or are taking this course as a pre-requisite for a health profession degree program.  We will cover fundamental concepts of molecular, cellular, and systems physiology to understand how the human body functions and maintains homeostasis.  Although medical examples are used to illustrate general physiological principles, this is not a course in medical physiology. Still, the core of physiological knowledge that we cover should help you better understand human health and disease.


By the end of the course you will be able to accomplish the following:

  1. Use basic chemical/biochemical, physical, and mathematical principles to describe the functioning of life processes associated with the topics in this course.  (Cell physiology, neurophysiology, endocrinology, muscle physiology, cardiovascular physiology, respiratory physiology, renal physiology, immunology, reproductive physiology)
  2. Demonstrate the use of the scientific method and quantitative reasoning to the field of physiology.
  3. Diagram and identify the regulated homeostatic variable, sensor, integrator and effector in the homeostatically regulated system and predict how a perturbation to the system will be compensated for.
  4. Integrate knowledge of the major systems to outline how these systems interact to maintain homeostasis.
  5. Relate structure and function in physiology.
  6. Apply the physiological concepts presented to real world examples.

Required Text:

Human Physiology: an integrated approach.  Silverthorn 6th edition (with Interactive Physiology CD). I also recommend purchasing the Interactive Physiology CD, this is a great visual resource


Practice Problems: 8%

Case Study: 8%

Unit 1 Quiz = 19%

Unit 2 Quiz = 19%

Unit 3 Quiz A (Cardiovascular & Respiratory) = 19%

Unit 3 Quiz B (Renal & Immune) = 19%

Final Exam = 27%

Total Course Grade Calculation

= (8%*grade) + (8%*grade) +(19%* grade + 19%*grade + 19%*grade) + (27%*final grade)

= Practice Problems + Case Study +  3 x Unit Quizzes  + Final exam

If your final exam score is higher than your unit exam score average, the final exam will count for your exam portion of your grade.(Grade calculation in this situation (Final (84%) + Case Study(8%) + Practice Problems (8%). This is a common calculation in the course as most students improve throughout the semester!

Though there are three units in the course, there are four quizzes (unit 3 quiz will be split into two quizzes, 3a and 3b, one for Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiology and the other for Renal and Immune. You will be allowed to drop the lowest quiz score. This will accommodate for both learning and if something happens at the last minute and you are not able to take a quiz, that you have one chance for this to not penalize your grade in the course.

Hence, there are many ways to approach this course. I do this because I believe sometimes you just need time to process and learn, and I want to reward students who demonstrate improvement throughout the course.


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Monday – Friday
7:30am to 4:30pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado