PHAR 3601: Basic Human Physiology for the Health Professions

Course Details


  • Online course
  • 3 credits
  • Offered Fall, Spring, and Summer

Anatomy is required. A medical terminology course or experience in the medical field is recommended.

Course Materials
Textbook: Widmaier, E., Raff, H., & Strang, K. (2016). Vander’s human physiology: The mechanisms of body function Connect access card (14th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Course Director
Amy Pittenger, PharmD, MS, PhD

Course Description

Are you interested in understanding the function of the human body? This course will expose you to normal functions of the major organ systems and diseases in those systems. Not only will this course prepare you for a future career in the health sciences, you will also gain knowledge about the physical, mechanical, and biochemical functions of various human systems. This course includes an online, simulated lab experience, an innovative tool designed to further your examination of the human body. Human systems discussed during this class include cellular, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, and endocrine.

Special Textbook Information:

Students will receive access to the textbook, Connect website, and course labs directly through the course site, which will be available approximately one week before the course starts each semester. The cost is $90 and will be directly billed to students' accounts two weeks after the semester starts. Students should not independently purchase the textbook.


Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Analyze the relationship between structure and function within each body system.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how each system helps to maintain homeostasis.
  • Build a physiological vocabulary that is essential to success in this course and in future careers.
  • Identify levels of organization of human physiological systems and understand relationships between them.
  • Recognize the relationships among cellular chemistry, function, and signaling mechanisms in human physiology.
  • Correlate basic physiology with the pathophysiologic outcomes that may be encountered in the clinical setting.


  • Cellular Physiology
  • Chemical Messengers and Basic Muscle Physiology
  • Neurophysiology
  • Sensory Physiology
  • Cardiovascular Physiology
  • Respiratory Physiology
  • Renal Physiology and Water Balance
  • Gastrointestinal Physiology
  • Endocrine Physiology
  • Reproductive Physiology