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University Preparation Program - Science

University Preparation Program - Chemistry

This course introduces concepts of chemistry, the central link between the physical and biological sciences

You may feel you know most of the material already. Don’t be misled! The topics may be familiar, but we will be providing a deeper understanding of the fundamental concepts within chemistry. The purpose of taking this course is to build upon your previous exposure to the subject. You will need to move away from just the memorization of terms and definitions and spend more time thinking about the processes and concepts within chemistry. This course will lay the foundation for more advanced courses such as analytical chemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry and physical chemistry.

Note that the course is not designed to “teach” chemistry. It is, however, constructed to help you LEARN chemistry. Students should enter this course ready to ask questions and seek clarification if they do not understand something. It does not get better with time, nor will the material just “click” eventually. Students need to work on forming a solid foundation of understanding the covered material.


Measurement Significant Figures Atoms, Molecules, Ions & the Mole

Atomic structure, Periodic trends, Lewis structures, VSEPR & bonding Stoichiometry & Reactions Equilibrium

Acids & Bases Salts

Buffers Titration curves

Organic chemistry Intermolecular Forces

Energy, Heat, Enthalpy, Work, Thermochemical Equations

Calorimetry, Hess’s Law, Standard Enthalpies of Formation

Bond Enthalpies, Ionic Compounds Entropy, Free Energy, Thermodynamics and Equilibrium Bioenergetics

Redox processes, half-reactions, balancing redox reactions

Voltaic Cells, Cell notation, Electromotive Force, Standard Cell Potentials, Standard Electrode Potentials, Equilibrium Constants from Cell Potentials The Nernst Equation, Commercial Cells Electrolysis

Reaction Rates, Experimental Kinetics, Rate and Concentration, rate Laws, Temperature and rate, Arrhenius Equation, Reaction Mechanisms, Catalysis. Radioactive Decay


Students will be provided with material from first year university level courses in order to expose them to the above topics at an advanced level. There will be several exams to practice with near the end of the program. Students will be receiving university text copies of all material in order to get accustomed to higher order material delivery.

Texts Used:

  1. General Chemistry Principles and Modern Applications. Authors: Petrucci, Herring, Madura, Bissonnette. Pearson, 2011.
  2. General Chemistry 9th Edition. Authors: Ebbing and Gammon. Houghton Mifflin Company BostonNew

York, 2009.

University Preparation Program - Biology

Collectively this course provides a foundation in the major academic and research axes of life science at the University Level. This course provides distinct yet complementary contexts for biological inquiry, and will highlight modes of thinking, controversies and concepts associated with each theme covered. Most importantly, the course introduces major skills of inquiry and analysis.


  1. To develop capabilities for independent study and research.
    1. To develop the ability to assess and analyze biological information.
  2. To reinforce numeracy skills by developing a broader knowledge base of data spreadsheets, statistical analyses and data presentation.
    1. To understand and practice the process of biological inquiry using scientific methods and reasoning.
    2. To develop skills for working in groups cooperatively and efficiently.
    3. To develop effective communication skills.



  1. The processes by which biodiversity originates and is interrelated (evolution, with emphasis on natural selection and “tree thinking”).
  2. Variability occurs at multiple levels: variation (population) vs. diversity (species) and may be visible (phenotypic) or not necessarily visible (genetic).
    1. Causes and consequences of variation at population & species level.
    2. The factors determining, relatedness and phylogeny, genetic isolation.
    3. Adaptation and the pros/cons of specialization, invasions and radiations.
  3. Consequences for competition (short-term, among conspecifics or between species), speciation (long-term), and extinction risk (long-term).


  1. The nature of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their biotic and abiotic environments at the ecological scale.
    1. Variability is expressed at different levels of organization (ecosystems, populations/species, and individuals).
    2. Causes of diversity at each level can be understood by studying the processes operating in the levels below; the consequences of diversity can be examined as they affect diversity in the levels above.
    3. Ecosystem diversity is known to vary both in space and time. Historical processes affect the dynamics of species diversity.
      1. Understanding the complexity of variables associated with the causes and consequences of diversity.
      2. Uncertainty in current dogma and the putative effects of anthropogenic change.


  1. The complexity of organisms and the importance of physical organization and regulatory processes (e.g., information flow, structure/function, development).
  2. Changes in the external environment impacts organisms. Organisms i) exchange molecules with the external environment, ii) regulate internal environment (homeostasis) through feedback mechanisms, iii) regulate, others conform to specific environmental parameters.
    1. Organisms are organized in a hierarchy from cells to tissues to organs to organ systems. Structural features at all levels of organization have functional significance.
      1. Plants respond to environment changes; circadian rhythms, dormancy, temperature stress.
      2. Animals respond to temperature changes differently depending on their thermal group (endothermy, ectothermy): methods of heat transfer; metabolic rate changes with animal size, activity, temperature; strategies to cope with extreme cold in ectotherms and endotherms; time frame of responses (acute, chronic, evolutionary time).
      3. Impacts of climate change in arctic organisms include factors such as physiological change, geographic range and ecosystem disruption.

Cellular Biology:

DNA, chromosomes, mitosis, Meiosis, Mendelian principles of inheritance, Application of Mendel’s principles, Sex Chromosomes, mutations, from genotype to phenotype, Transcription, Translation, The cell is the fundamental unit of life, Cell membranes, Organelles, The nucleus

Part I. The Human Organism

  1. Humans in the world of biology
    1. Chemistry comes to life
    2. The cell
      1. Organization and Homeostasis

Part II. What is Health and Illness?

  1. What is health? Changingperspectives
    1. Individual, cultural and lifespan perspectives
    2. The seven dimensions of health and wellness
      1. Biological concepts of health and illness

Part III. System Control & Communication as the Foundation of Individual Health

  1. The Control and Communication Network i. Cell- Cell Communication ii. The brain/central nervous system iii. The peripheral nervous system and the senses iv. The endocrine system v. The local support and defense system
  2. Select Physiological Systems i. The cardiovascular and lymphatic systems ii. The digestive system iii. The energy distribution system

Part IV. Homeostasis, Allostasis, and Stress

  1. What is stress?
    1. Homeostasis, allostasis and stress
    2. Physiological complexity and health

Part V. Lifestyle Factors and Health

  1. Physical activity and exercise
    1. Diet, natural health products and nutrition
    2. Therapeutic, performance enhancement and recreational drugs
      1. Stress management
      2. Achieving the balance of psychosocial health
  2. Preventing and fighting disease

Part VI. Aging and Health

  1. Theories on aging
    1. Changes in the body and mind with aging
    2. Understanding death and dying


Students will be provided with material from first year university level courses in order to expose them to the above topics at an advanced level. There will be several exams to practice with near the end of the program. Students will be receiving university text copies of all material in order to get accustomed to higher order material delivery.

Texts Used:

  1. Biology I: Cells, Molecular Biology and Genetics Custom Text. Authors: P. Wilson, N. Nivillac, Y. Sheng. Nelson Education, 2016
  2. Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry 4th  Edition. Authors: David L. Nelson, Michael M. Cox.W.H.

Freeman and Company New York, 2005

  1. Principles of Genetics 5th  Edition. Authors: Snustad and Simmons. John Wiley & Sons, Inc,2009

University Preparation Program - Physics

Students' study schedules at University are often based on a crisis-to-crisis approach (When's my next midterm exam?) rather than on organized learning. To reduce this problem, Introductory Physics for Life Sciences is offered using a "Personalized Instruction" method which gives the student some flexibility in scheduling study time. The central idea of this teaching method is the accommodation of both the student who needs or likes formal lecture teaching and the student who prefers guided self-instruction. Indeed, in this course, any combination of these two extremes may be mixed to the student's own taste.


Introduction to waves - Waves and traveling waves - Superposition and standing waves Acoustic resonance - Energy, power and intensity of sound - The ear

Snell’s Law - The visual process - Refraction at a spherical surface

Lenses - General object-image concepts - The human eye, eye defects and their correction Electromagnetic waves - Diffraction and interference - Resolution

Wave properties of particles - Orbitals; the wave equation

Energy levels and light absorption - Fluorescence, phosphorescence (concepts) & Spectrophotometer - Linear molecules

Ring molecules - Beer’s law - Rotation and vibration - Fluorescence and phosphorescence (calculations) Radioactive decay, half-life - Absorption of radiation - Radiation dose

Coulomb’s law - Fields and potentials

Current, voltage and circuits - Ohm’s law - Simple circuits Kinematics, - Forces

Forces and Torques - Momentum, Work & Energy Energy, Rotational Motion

Rotational Motion Elasticity - Scaling Pressure

Barometric equation, surface tension - Non-Viscous Fluid Flow Viscous Fluid Flow - Pulsatile Flow, Bolus Flow, Turbulence Turbulence, Aneurysms - Perrin’s Experiment

Sedimentation - Diffusion Osmotic Pressure - Heat Heat


Students will be provided with material from first year university level courses in order to expose them to the above topics at an advanced level. There will be several exams to practice with near the end of the program. Students will be receiving university text copies of all material in order to get accustomed to higher order material delivery.

Texts Used:

  1. Physics for the Biological Sciences 5th Edition. Authors: Williams, Sullivan, McFarland, Renninger, Hunt. Thompson Nelson, 2009
  2. Physics for Tomorrow’s World 2nd Edition. Authors: E. L. McFarland, A. J. Hirsch. Published by the Department of Physics University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, 2007
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