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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Physical and Biological Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: BIOL 290
Course Title: Principles of Cell Biology
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Theoretical foundations of basic cell biology, including structure, function and synthesis of the plasma membrane and subcellular organelles; cell adhesion and the extracellular matrix; cell transport, communication, division, cancer and programmed cell death. Students majoring in Biology must earn a grade of C or higher. Prerequisites: BIOL 110; CHEM 109 or CHEM 110. Concurrent enrollment in BIOL 290L is strongly recommended.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

BIOL 110; CHEM 109 or CHEM 110. Concurrent enrollment in BIOL 290L is strongly recommended.

Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

General texts addressing molecular aspects of cell biology are suitable, such as:

Essential Cell Biology
By Alberts, et al. (Garland)
Molecular Cell Biology
By Lodish, et al. (W.H. Freeman)
Cell and Molecular Biology Concepts and Experiments
By Karp (Wiley)
The Cell: A Molecular Approach
By Cooper (ASM Press)
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Examine fundamental principles that characterize cellular organization and function.
  2. Understand the composition of biological membranes, and relate structure to membrane function.
  3. Understand the mechanisms of the cell cycle regulation.
  4. Examine the function of the various subcellular organelles.
  5. Understand the mechanisms of signaling pathways.
  6. Describe the composition, structure, and function of the extracellular matrix and basal lamina.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
  • Visualizing cells
  • Structure of biological membranes
  • Transport across biological membranes
  • Protein sorting into subcellular organelles and vesicular transport
  • The cytoskeleton
  • Cell cycle control
  • Cell-to-cell adhesion and the extracellular matrix
  • Chemical signaling between cells
  • Stem cells
Culminating Experience Statement:

Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


Recommended maximum class size for this course: 25

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Kent Strodtman Date: September 9, 2015
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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