Course Syllabus

Course Structure

Course Description

In this course, students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge of normal physiology while analyzing the consequences of pathophysiological processes and applying this analysis to basic diagnostic and treatment principles. Students will also be evaluating and analyzing current medical advances using the scientific process.

Course Objectives

  1. Apply the principles of physiology as students analyze and master basic concepts of pathophysiology, epidemiology, microbiology, and pathology.
  2. Learn the basics of analyzing a history and physical exam in order to arrive at a correct diagnosis. Students will also know some basic principles of treatment.

Also, please understand the following things about this course:

  1. In this course, you will apply your knowledge of anatomy and physiology as you analyze the diseases and disease mechanism of each organ system of the body. (If you are rusty in physiology, you need to review it. For the most part, we won’t cover normal physiology.)
  2. As you become adept at this process of applying your knowledge, you will be able to predict (to a large extent) the various manifestations of each disease we will cover.
  3. You also need to remember the following:
    • What seems to make sense isn’t always true.
    • Once we know the actual pathophysiological mechanisms involved, things really do make sense.
    • What we all thought made perfect sense yesterday may turn out to make absolutely no sense today.
    • The fact that our understanding of the body changes quickly makes it all the more fun and interesting.
  4. Although we cover a lot of material in this course, the goal is not rote memorization. Again, build upon what you already know, and add to it this semester.
  5. The ultimate and final objective is for you all to apply what you will learn this semester and save lives. Even for those of you who don’t end up in medical careers of one sort or the other, this objective still applies.
  6. Work hard and you will be successful and have tons of fun. Your instructor does both of these things, and you can, too!

Learning Model Architecture

  1. Study Guides: there are study guides posted for each textbook chapter. It is suggested that you print each study guide, then use that as a guide as you read and master each textbook chapter. If textbook material is skipped in the study guide, you will not be held responsible for it.
  2. Case Studies: you will meet with your assigned case study group every other week starting in Week 3 to complete a case study. You will meet a total of four times, and each report submitted is worth 12 to 20 points, depending on the case study. You will also complete a case study in W01 and discuss it in W02.
  3. Quizzes: there are 22 quizzes. The three lowest quizzes will be dropped automatically. Use these drops wisely since the teacher will not grant any extensions or retakes on the quizzes.
  4. Exams: these will occur every other week. The bulk of each exam will cover material covered subsequent to the previous exam, but some comprehensive questions will also appear. Each exam is closed notes/closed book. Exams are administered through Canvas.
    • Your exam scores will not be available until after the exam has closed. For help, you can call the help desk at (208) 496-1411 or text at (855) 808-7102.
    • Each exam and quiz will cover the material covered in the study guide and relevant material in each textbook chapter. If a particular topic (or textbook chapter) is not mentioned in the study guides, you won’t be tested on it. The exams include true/false, multiple choice, and matching. (Questions with different formats than these are rare but not impossible.)
    • Each exam is proctored. Cheating in any form on the exams, as with any other assignment, is strictly prohibited.
  5. What to study: Exam questions come from your textbook as directed in the study guides. Know everything which is in the study guides; don't worry about anything which is not in the study guides.


Course Text

This course uses a zero-cost, PDF-access textbook that has been written and compiled by BYU-Idaho Biology faculty. Read the information in the Textbook Information module to learn how to access your textbook.

Resource Title/Description (books, software, etc.) Author/Provider Ed./Vol.

BIO 381: Pathophysiology 


1st Ed.


Major Points Categories

Your grade will be based on the following activities:

Exams: Each is worth 50 points, except for the W12 Exam, which is worth 25 points.

Midterm and Final Exams: The midterm is worth 100 points, and the final is worth 150 points.

Case Studies: Each is worth 14–22 points.

Quizzes: Each quiz is 20 points, except the syllabus quiz which is worth 5 points.

Week Case Study Quizzes Exams Weekly Total


























































































*Since the lowest three scores are dropped from the quizzes, the total points for quizzes is lower than the sum of all the quizzes by 60 points.

If you need to extend the date of an exam because of an emergency situation, notify the instructor as soon as possible. The instructor can work with a student to work out a late exam for something that is appropriate as a reason to miss an exam. However, exams missed because of procrastination, forgetfulness, or other similar reasons will be rescheduled with a 10% deduction for each day it is late.

Grades will be calculated by percentage and assigned according to the following percentages schedule:

1000 to 930 A
929 to 900 A-
899 to 870 B+
869 to 830 B
829 to 800 B-
799 to 770 C+
769 to 730 C
729 to 700 C-
699 to 670 D+
699 to 630 D
629 to 600 D-
599 to 0 F

Checking Your Grades

Your grades will be available in the Canvas Gradebook. Keep an eye on them and let your instructor know if something is incorrect.

University Policies

Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office at (208) 496-9210 or visit their website and follow the Steps for Receiving Accommodations. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with students and instructors by the Disability Services Office.

This course may require synchronous meetings. If you are currently registered with the Disability Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber for these meetings, please contact the deaf and hard of hearing coordinator at (208) 496-9219.

Other University Policies

Student Honor and Other Policies

Please read through the document called University Policies. It gives important information about the following topics:

  • Student Honor
    • Academic Honesty
    • Student Conduct
      • Sexual Harassment
  • Student with Disabilities
  • Complaints and Grievances
  • Copyright Notice

Go to the Student Resources module to review further resources and information.

 Copyright Notification

This course website contains copyrighted materials. Those materials may include text, images, graphics, audio and video clips, and other content (collectively, the “Content”). In some cases, the copyright is owned by third parties, and Brigham Young University-Idaho is making the third‐ party Content available to you by permission or under the fair use doctrine.

The Content is made available only for your personal, noncommercial educational and scholarly use. You may not use the Content for any other purpose, or distribute or make the Content available to others, unless you obtain any required permission from the copyright holder. Some Content may be provided via streaming or other means that restrict  copying; you may not circumvent those restrictions. You may not alter or remove any copyright or other proprietary notices included in the Content.



Communication with Your Instructor

Be sure to keep an eye on your official BYU-I email account. Your instructor will email you frequently with reminders, clarifications, relevant comments, etc.

Online Support Center

If you need assistance, visit the I-learn help tab located on the left hand side of your screen to contact the appropriate support center.


Week Level Objectives are as follows: 

Week 1: Innate Immunity and Inflammation

  1. Understand innate immunity and how it works to protect the body
  2. Describe the inflammatory response
  3. Explain the complement system

Week 2: Adaptive Immunity and Leukemia

  1. Explain adaptive immunity and how it works to protect the body
  2. Describe leukemia (common types and common causes)
  3. Describe neutropenia and explain some common causes
  4. Explain infectious mononucleosis
  5. Describe lymphoma (common types and common causes)
  6. Describe the characteristics of multiple myeloma

Week 3: Hemostasis and Red Blood Cells

  1. Be able to explain the platelet plug, clotting factors, and coagulation cascade
  2. Explain the things that work to prevent platelet activation and blood clotting
  3. Describe how blood clots are broken down and dissolved
  4. Explain the disorders of hemostasis mentioned in the study guide
  5. Explain how red blood cells are produced and broken down
  6. Describe the red blood cell disorders of spherocytosis, sickle cell, thalassemia, iron deficiency, megaloblastic anemia, and polycythemia

Week 4: Cardiovascular System

  1. Explain how lipids are processed and transported in the body
  2. Discuss how lipid metabolism, processing, and transportation can be dysfunctional and contribute to vascular disease
  3. Describe primary and secondary hypertension
  4. Recall how adrenocortical hormones can contribute to blood pressure regulation
  5. Discuss high blood pressure in pregnancy
  6. Describe venous circulation issues including varicose veins, venous insufficiency, venous ulcers, and DVTs
  7. Explain the pathophysiology of infective endocarditis and rheumatic heart disease
  8. Describe the cardiomyopathies and their characteristics
  9. Explain heart failure and the symptoms of failure on the right and left side of the heart
  10. Explain the different types of shock and how they occur

Week 5: Endocrine Disorders

  1. Review and recall hyopthalamic-pituitary regulation
  2. Discuss the characteristics of a pituitary adenoma in general and specifically for a prolactin-secreting adenoma
  3. Describe the physiology of hypersecretion and hyposecretion of growth hormone
  4. Discuss the characteristics of gigantism and acromegaly
  5. Explain how the thyroid gland is organized and how it is regulated
  6. Describe thyroid hormone synthesis
  7. Describe the causes and characteristics of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism
  8. Discuss the physiology of regulation, hypersecretion, and hyposecretion of mineralocorticoid
  9. Describe the physiology, regulation, hypersecretion, and hyposecretion of hormones that affect diuresis

Week 6: Neurological Disorders

  1. Describe the pathophysiology and physical characteristics that are found with muscular dystrophy
  2. Discuss the physiology and characteristics of myasthenia gravis
  3. Discuss the characteristics of Guillain-Barré and ALS
  4. Discuss the pathophysiology and characteristics of Parkinson's disease
  5. Discuss the pathophysiology and characteristics of multiple sclerosis
  6. Explain how a stroke can happen and how this can affect the brain
  7. Discuss the characteristics and causes of meningitis and encephalitis
  8. Explain a seizure and how the different types of seizures are categorized
  9. Explain the pathophysiology and characteristics of Alzheimer's disease and dementia

Week 7 (Midterm): Review and Exam on Weeks 1–6

Week 8: Disorders of GI Function

  1. Describe what irritable bowel syndrome (IBD) is. Include the major manifestations and symptoms of this condition.
  2. Explain the condition called inflammatory bowel disease and compare and contrast it with irritable bowel syndrome.
  3. Compare and contrast the characteristics, symptoms and manifestations of the two types of IBD (Chron's disease and ulcerative colitis)
  4. Discuss the treatment options for the inflammatory bowel diseases.
  5. Describe the effects of rotavirus and Clostridium difficile to cause infectious enterocolitis.
  6. Explain the mechanism of escherichia coli to cause infectious enterocolitis and describe the contributions to HUS and DIC.
  7. Describe the causes and manifestations of diverticular disease
  8. Discuss the pathophysiology of intestinal obstruction
  9. Explain the pathophysiology of celiac disease
  10. Describe how Sjogren's syndrome, diverticula, lacerations, and hiatal hernia can contribute to swallowing dysfunction
  11. Explain what gastroesophageal reflux disease is and the manifestations of this condition. Discuss what a Barret's esophagus is.
  12. Recall common treatments for gastroesophageal reflux disease
  13. Describe the condition called Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
  14. Explain what Helicobacter pylori is and how it causes gastritis

Week 9: Respiratory Disorders

  1. Describe what causes pleuritis and describe the different types of pleural effusions
  2. Discuss what causes a pneumothorax and describe the different types
  3. Describe what atelectasis is
  4. Explain the causes, manifestations, and treatments of asthma
  5. Explain the types of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and their causes
  6. Discuss what causes the common cold and its clinical manifestation and course
  7. Explain the pneumonias and how they are classified
  8. Describe the cause and manifestation of tuberculosis

Week 10: Skeletal Disorders and Vision & Hearing Disorders

  1. Describe how osteopenia and osteoporosis develop
  2. Discuss how bone density is measured
  3. Describe rickets
  4. Describe Paget's disease
  5. Compare and contrast osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  6. Describe gout and how it occurs
  7. Describe conditions of inflammation that affect the structures of the external eye
  8. Explain the pathogenesis of retinopathy
  9. Describe how retinopathy is treated
  10. Explain the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration
  11. Describe glaucoma and how it occurs
  12. Describe the different causes of otitis
  13. Describe tinnitus

Week 11: Pain & Headache and Reproductive System Disorders

  1. Explain how pain may be regulated through the gate control theory
  2. Describe the term nociception
  3. Describe the dorsal and lateral tract for pain transmission
  4. Discuss how peripheral sensitization leads to hyperalgesia
  5. Describe how capsaicin works on its receptor
  6. Explain how descending pathways and opioids work to regulate pain
  7. Discuss the different types of pain and how they are categorized
  8. Describe how common pain medication works to modulate pain
  9. Compare and contrast the different types of headaches (migraine, tension, cluster, and chronic)
  10. Describe some common medications to treat headaches
  11. Describe benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
  12. Discuss common disorders of the uterus
  13. Describe the normal physiology of the menstrual, ovarian, and follicular cycle
  14. Discuss the pathophysiology of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  15. Recall the signs and symptoms and risk factors for breast cancer

Week 12: Renal Disorders

  1. Describe the pathophysiology of polycystic kidney disease
  2. Describe glomerulosclerosis
  3. Compare and contrast the different types of kidney stones
  4. Discuss what BUN and creatinine measurements can tell us about kidney function
  5. Describe acute kidney injuries
  6. Discuss the signs, symptoms, causes and treatments of UTIs
  7. Describe painful bladder syndrome

 Week 13: Comprehensive Finals (Review and Test on Weeks 1–12)

Course Summary:

Date Details Due