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Online Medical Physiology

PHSL 1010: Online Physiology Lecture and Lab

2016/17 Academic Calendar | 2016/17 Academic Catalog | Technical Requirements

This one-semester online medical physiology course is designed to meet the physiology prerequisite for students who are applying for admission to health profession programs. Most students taking this course will have an undergraduate degree. The overall goal of this online course is to provide the student interested in the health professions with an introduction to physiology that emphasizes the concepts that will be important for, and provide the basis for, the topics the student will encounter in their professional studies.

Course outline

This online medical physiology course contains the same major subject and content areas as traditional physiology courses taught on campus. The focus is human medical physiology as it pertains to human health and a virtual laboratory, highly focused on health problems, accompanies the course. This course is team-taught by three professors who have extensive experience teaching graduate health science students and are experts in their teaching areas. Most students, especially those who work in clinical settings, will find this course challenging but rewarding. Click here to see the syllabus for Online Medical Physiology, PHSL 1010.

Course delivery

All course material, for both lecture and laboratory, is on the web or sent through the mail. This online Physiology course is delivered using online streaming audio of lectures and power point slides. Virtual labs will be completed using a Physiology Interactive Lab Simulations (Ph.I.L.S.) CD. Assigned questions (at the discretion of the instructor) and online support are delivered using Blackboard Learn.


The laboratory for Online Medical Physiology is conducted using a computer program called Ph.I.L.S (Physiology Interactive Lab Simulations) developed by Dr. Phil Stephens at Villanova University. The current version we are using is 3.0. Each assigned laboratory simulation corresponds to key physiology concepts taught in the course.

This software offers students the flexibility to change the parameters of every Medical Physiology Lab experiment, with no limit to the amount of times a student can repeat experiments. This power to manipulate each experiment reinforces key physiology concepts by helping students to view outcomes, make predictions, and draw conclusions.

The laboratories are at a level used for Physiology majors and pre-health science majors at challenging institutions, and are a good fit for pre-medical, dental, PA, DPT, pharmacy and nutrition students.

For a brief video demonstrating the laboratory, click here.

A list of the laboratory experiments for medical physiology PHSL 1010L

  • Ph.I.L.S Lab #1: Varying Extracellular Concentration
  • Ph.I.L.S Lab #17: Thyroid Gland and Metabolic Function
  • Ph.I.L.S Lab #8: Resting Potential and External [K+]
  • Ph.I.L.S Lab #9: Resting Potential and External [Na+]
  • Ph.I.L.S Lab #10: The Compound Action Potential
  • Ph.I.L.S Lab #14: Facilitation and Depression
  • Ph.I.L.S Lab #4: Stimulus-Dependent Force Generation
  • Ph.I.L.S Lab #20: Starling’s Law of the Heart
  • Ph.I.L.S Lab #36: Deep Breath and Cardiac Function
  • Ph.I.L.S Lab #37: Glucose transport

How does the Medical Physiology Lab work?

The Ph.I.L.S 4.0 Lab Simulations CD contains a total of 37 Lab Simulations. However, as you proceed through the course lectures, you will be assigned a total of only 10 laboratory simulations from these 37, that correspond to the course material.

The number of labs you do in each unit of study will vary

  • Unit 1 has one lab assignment
  • Unit 2 has five lab assignments
  • Unit 3 has three lab assignments
  • Unit 4 has one lab assignment


Each of the 10 dynamic lab simulations begins with a set of objectives, stating what you are expected know when you have completed the lab. This is followed by an introduction to the lab, which will help you make the connection between lecture concepts and lab activity. You will then take a “Pre-Lab” quiz. This quiz is simply to give you an idea as to your current understanding of the concepts. This Pre-Lab quiz is not graded.

Wet lab

After doing the Pre-Lab quiz, you will proceed to the ‘wet lab’. You will view the laboratories as you would in a traditional laboratory setting. Each simulation guides you through measuring, analyzing data and creating graphs. Simply follow the instructions. You will work at your own pace and perform the experiment as many times as needed to gather the necessary data. When finished, you will be presented with a Post-Lab quiz to test your understanding, typically containing 5 to 10 questions. Finally, you will print and submit a lab report with a graph, table, and the answers to the questions.

How are laboratories graded?

As explained in the course syllabus, you will complete a total of 10 labs in this course, and each of the Post Lab quizzes for these labs count a total of 10 points (ie, if it is a 5 question Post-Lab quiz, each question is worth two points; if the Post-Lab quiz is 10 questions, each question is worth 1 point). Therefore, you have the possibility of acquiring 100 points towards your final grade in the Lab Component of this course (10 quizzes x 10 points each = 100 potential points, total). A printed copy of the Post-Lab quiz results for each of the labs required in a unit must be turned in to the exam proctor when the exam for that unit is taken.

What happens if a student messes up an experiment?

Since you may repeat the experiment as many times as necessary, this will not happen.

Some other schools that use Ph.I.L.S.:

  • East Tennessee State University
  • Lake Michigan College
  • Saint Louis University
  • Simmons College
  • Texas Southern University

Complete at your own pace

Working at the pace typical for a four semester hour course, the average student will complete this online Physiology course in approximately 16 weeks. Many students are nontraditional students who have elected an online course for flexibility. Since the course is self-paced, you may complete the course in fewer than 16 weeks.


A one-semester college-level biology course must be completed before registering for this course. All prerequisite courses must have been completed successfully within the past seven years.

Technical Requirements

To learn more about the technical requirements for this and other Post-Baccalaureate courses, click here.

Required Course Materials


  • Vander’s Human Physiology
    13th Edition, ISBN: 9781259660627
  • Includes CONNECT Access Code


  • Vander’s Human Physiology
    13e, ISBN: 9780077510213
  • Includes CONNECT Access Code

Both options include the ebook that can be read from a tablet, along with all CONNECT homework, Smartbook/LearnSmart, APR access, PHILS 4.0 access (that you will need to do your labs online) and all CONNECT homework for APR and PHILS. Do not purchase the PHILS software by itself for the course, because both options above include access to the PHILS labs online.

Students with a copy of the book but do not have a McGraw Hill Connect access code can purchase one within the online course once the course begins.

Tuition and Fees

Credits: 4
Tuition: $1320
Registration: $25
Total: $1345

The cost of the materials is not included in this total.

Exam Procedures

All exams are taken online. Major exams are required to be proctored. For instructions on how to take your exams online, visit Online Learning's ProctorU site.

Enrollment online anytime

You may enroll at any time via our self-service registration portal. Please keep in mind that courses start on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month. Payment is due in full at the time of registration.  Your official start date is the date that the course opens, and you will have 16 weeks from that date to complete your course.  

Courses start on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month

You must be registered for your class by 12:00 noon EST on the Monday before the class starts. See the UNE Academic Calendar for more details. 

Assistance with registration

If you have any questions or need help with registering for your class, please call an Enrollment Counselor at 1-855-325-0894, email, or view the online FlexReg course registration tutorial

If you intend to use VA Benefits or Military Tuition Assistance, please do not use the self-registration portal. Please call 1-855-325-0894 to be directed to the appropriate office for assistance.

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