Course Descriptions


This course is intended for Life Science majors or those with a strong background in the Biological Sciences.

This course may be used to fulfill the elective requirements of the Biological Sciences major.


Fall, Spring, and Summer




General Biology 119:115-116 or 119:101-102 AND 01:160:161-162 or 163-164 and 160:171.

Open to Juniors and Seniors only

College of Pharmacy students may take this course in their Sophomore year. ALL other students must be Juniors or Seniors (no exceptions).

Course Description

Physiology according to American Physiological Society is the study of life. Physiological studies of normal function provide the basis to understanding abnormal function- at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ and whole animal levels.  In this context, Systems Physiology was designed by Dr. Gary F. Merrill in the mid-1970s to help students  understand body functions and their regulation at the organ systems level (mammals including humans).

Course content will include a survey of the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system, the renal system, the gastrointestinal system, the endocrine system, and aspects of neuro- and muscle physiology. Other topics might also be included at the instructor's discretion.

Course URL

On Sakai Rutgers portal and it will be available on the first day of classes.

Course Satisfies Learning Goals

The goal of this course is to develop the student's knowledge and understanding of the organ systems and human body physiology. Students should be able to identify the operational physiological mechanisms of the majority of the body systems and their function. It is also expected that the students understand the unique role of each organ and organ systems in maintaining homeostasis. They should also be able to distinguish between important physiologic concepts such as the steady state, dynamic equilibrium and homeostasis. It is expected that they understand the synchrony of many systems interacting simultaneously ( e.g. neural control of cardio-respiratory response to maintain the heart rate and blood pressure)

The students should be able to compare, contrast and integrate knowledge of the major organ- function and their complexity of the major body-systems.

Exams, Assignments, and Grading Policy

There will be two hourly mid-term exams, plus a comprehensive final exam that will be administered during finals week.

The points earned for exams #1 and #2 will each be worth approximately 30% of a student's grade (60% combined), with the final exam worth 40% of the course grade.

Course Materials

A selection of good books to study physiology for this course:


Boron, W.F. & Boulpaep,E.L.Medical Physiology, 3e Updated Edition, 3rd Edition, Saunders Elsevier, 2016, ISBN-13: 978-1-4557-4377-3, eBook ISBN: 9781455733286

Boron, W.F. & Boulpaep,E.L.Medical Physiology, 2e Updated Edition, 2nd Edition, Saunders Elsevier, 2012, ISBN-13: 978-1-4377-1753-2, ISBN-10:1437717535.

Sherwood, Lauralee. Human Physiology: From Cells to Systems, 9th edition,Cengage Learning, 2016. ISBN-13: 978-1-285-86693-2, ISBN-10: 1285866932

Sherwood, Lauralee. Human Physiology: From Cells to Systems, 8th edition, Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning, 2013. ISBN-13: 978-1-111-57743-8, ISBN-10: 1-111-57743-9

Silverthorn, Dee Unglaub. Human Physiology: An Integrated Approach with Mastering A&P®, 7th edition, Pearson/Benjamin Cummins, 2016, ISBN-13: 9780321970336, ISBN-10: 0321970330

Widmaier, E.P.; Raff, H.; Strang, K.T. Vander's Human Physiology- The Mechanisms of Body Function, 14th edition. Mc Graw Hill, 2015,  ISBN-13: 9781259294099, ISBN-10: 1259294099

Koeppen, B.M. and Stanton B.A., Berne & Levy Physiology, 6th edition., updated edition, 2010, Mosby-Elsevier, ISBN: 978-0-323-07362-2.

Students are expected to have a copy of one of these books and to refer to it as a resource for clarification and reinforcement of material relevant to the learning objectives in this course. All listed books will be held on reserve in Rutgers Library. Some of these books should be available at the Rutgers University Bookstores.

Course Closed?

If this course is closed, please use the following link to add your name to the wait list: Wait List Sign Up for Fall 2018 Courses . If you have any questions, please contact the Division of Life Sciences - Office of Undergraduate Instruction at 848-445-2075 or visit our office at Nelson Biological Laboratories B112, Busch Campus.


Dr. Gary F. Merrill
B-222 Nelson Labs
Busch Campus
phone: 848-445-2320
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.