Course Summary
Credit Type:
ACE Course Number:
24 weeks (126 hours)
Dates Offered:
Credit Recommendation & Competencies
Level Credits (SH) Subject
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 biology


The course objective is for students to learn the classification, structure and function of organisms, ecological principles, and mechanisms of evolution.

Learning Outcomes:

  • apply the processes of scientific inquiry including experimental design
  • explain the essential elements of life, major hypotheses for life's history, mechanisms for the diversification of life, and macroevolution
  • apply the tools of evolutionary biology to the analysis and evaluation of historical relationships among organisms;
  • evaluate the ecological relationships of organisms at the population, community, and ecosystem level
  • describe flow of energy within an ecosystem and the role of nutrient cycling in maintaining ecosystem integrity
  • explain fundamental prokaryotic replication, metabolism, and cellular structure in relationship to evolution of diversity
  • compare and contrast differences in animal and plant development and their life cycles
  • describe how plants and animals maintain homeostasis: water and ion balance, gas exchange, energy and nutrient acquisition, temperature regulation; identify major groups and arrange them within currently recognized taxa
  • compare and evaluate different phylogenies in terms of relationships amongst taxa
  • describe structural organization/morphology
  • identify and describe structures and relate them to their functions
  • classify individual representative specimens to phylum

General Course Topics:

  • Overview of the tree of life
  • Phylogeny/evolutionary history of major taxa
  • Systematics and taxonomy: classification schemes
  • Prokaryotes
  • Protists
  • Fungi
  • Survey of animal phyla
  • Survey of plant phyla
  • Animal systems structure: anatomy
  • Animal systems function: physiology
  • Plant systems structure: anatomy
  • Plant systems function: physiology
  • Animal development and life cycles
  • Plant development and life cycles
  • Population ecology
  • Population structure, growth, regulation, and fluctuation
  • Intraspecific interactions
  • Social systems and behavior
  • Community ecology
  • Interspecific interactions: predator-prey relations, competition, symbiosis
  • Community structure and succession
  • Ecosystem diversity (biomes)
  • Ecosystems ecology: trophic structure
  • Energy flow
  • Nutrient cycling and ecosystem integrity
  • Conservation biology
  • Mechanisms of evolutionary change: natural selection, genetic drift, gene flow, and mutation, and nonrandom mating
  • Population genetics
  • Speciation and extinction
Instruction & Assessment

Instructional Strategies:

  • Audio Visual Materials
  • Computer Based Training

Methods of Assessment:

  • Quizzes
  • Proctored Final Examination

Minimum Passing Score:

Supplemental Materials

Other offerings from Excel Education Systems, Inc.