AP Biology (Sem 1)

Enrollment Message:

The required hardcopy or eTextbook must be purchased for this course. Biology, © 2013 by Mader and Windelspecht (11th Edition) Hard Copy ISBN: 978-0-07-662004-3, or eBook ISBN: 978-0-07-663223-7, call 800.334.7344. Schools/students can purchase eBook access for 1 year. ATTENTION: Due to the rigor and testing requirements of this year long course, we highly recommend that a student be enrolled for Sem 2 at the time of their Sem 1 enrollment. Enrolling early increases the likelihood that the student is able to stay with the same instructor all year which is advantageous for student success in this course. There is always the opportunity to drop once 2nd semester begins. This course includes REQUIRED due dates. All due dates in AP courses offered in Semester 2 occur prior to the national AP exam date published by the College Board.

This course is the first semester of a two-semester sequence, aligned to the Advanced Placement curriculum for Biology. The course provides an overview of cell biology, evolution, genetics, ecology, as well as the structure and function of plant and animal systems. In AP Biology, students build the conceptual framework necessary to understand science as a process. Course does not include the AP Exam; students can contact their school’s AP Coordinator or the College Board to sign up to take the Exam. In order to maintain the integrity of AP standards, all AP course midterm and final exams must be proctored. Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry, Algebra I

Course Objectives: Upon completion of the course,

• students will use the scientific method to solve problems, employ metric measurements;

• analyze the chemical composition of organisms;

• describe in detail cell infrastructure and function of cellular organelles;

• assess the role of ensymes in life processes;

• trace the biochemical pathways involved in respiration and photosynthesis;

• describe cell division;

• describe principles of genetics and demonstrate knowledge of the principles of ecology and the role of energy flow, biogchemical cycles, population growth, habitats and niches.

Course Outline: The first semester is broken into six units:

Unit 1: Chemistry of Life

Unit 2: Cell Structure

Unit 3: Metabolism

Unit 4: Cell Reproduction

Unit 5: Genetics

Unit 6: Evolution

Unit 7: The Tree of Life

Resources Included: ExploreLearning Gizmos, BrainPOP Videos, AP WebLabs, SAS in School Curriculum Pathways, Teacher’s Domain videos and animations, AP Free Response Questions, AP Practice Exam Questions, MHE Animations, and other website resources.

Additional Costs: Biology, © 2013 by Mader and Windelspecht (11th Edition) ISBN: 978-0-07-662004-3 (hardcopy), 978-0-07-663223-7 (eText), or 978-0-07-662008-1 (eText with Connect Plus)

Optional additional study materials: eTextbook with Connect Plus option: The Biology textbook can be purchased with a Connect Plus subscription from McGraw Hill that helps test students’ understanding of required reading and information provided in the text as well as take practice tests. This is optional on the part of the student, but recommended by instructor. If you purchase a Connect Plus subscription, please notify your instructor. You can order the text via numerous textbook websites, on amazon.com, or call McGraw Hill Customer Service 800.334.7344.  Course does not include the AP Exam.  Contact your local school counselor or AP coordinator on sign up and fees required to take the College Board's AP Biology exam.

Scoring System: Michigan Virtual does not assign letter grades, grant credit for courses, nor issue transcripts or diplomas. A final score reported as a percentage of total points earned will be sent to students upon completion of a course. Your school mentor is also able to access this score within the Student Learning Portal. Schools may use this score for conversion to their own letter grading system.

Time Commitment: Semester sessions are 18-weeks long: Students must be able to spend 1 or more hours per day in the course to be successful. Summer sessions are 10 weeks long: Students must be able to spend a minimum of 2 or more hours per day, or about 90 hours during the summer, for the student to be successful in any course. Trimester sessions are 12-weeks long: Students must be able to spend 1.5 or more hours per day in the course to be successful.

Technology Requirements: Students will require a computer device with headphones, a microphone, webcam, up-to-date Chrome Web Browser, and access to YouTube.

Please review the Michigan Virtual Technology Requirements: https://michiganvirtual.org/about/support/knowledge-base/technical-requirements/ 

Instructor Support System: For technical issues within your course, contact the Customer Care Center by email at CustomerCare@mivu.org or by phone at (888) 889-2840.

Instructor Contact Expectations: Students can use email or the private message system within the Student Learning Portal to access highly qualified teachers when they need instructor assistance. Students will also receive feedback on their work inside the learning management system. The Instructor Info area of their course may describe additional communication options.

Academic Support Available: In addition to access to a highly qualified, Michigan certified teacher, students have access to academic videos and outside resources verified by Michigan Virtual. For technical issues within the course, students can contact the Michigan Virtual Customer Care by email at customercare@michiganvirtual.org or by phone at (888) 889-2840.

Required Assessment: Online assessments consist of formative and summative assessments represented by computer-graded multiple choice, instructor-graded writing assignments including hands-on projects, model building and other forms of authentic assessments.

Technical Skills Needed: No special skills are required beyond being able to operate a computer and use word processing software.

Additional Information: The official course descriptions for Advanced Placement courses and information about their exams are located on the College Board site at a http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/descriptions/index.html

Michigan Virtual prepares students in AP courses for the AP exam, but does not offer the exam test itself.  It is the responsibility of the school or parent to register for a local administration of the AP exam.  

There are required due dates in AP courses. The pacing of due dates in AP courses aligns to the completion of all lessons and required assignments and assessments prior to the national AP exam date related to this course title. The calendar of AP exam dates is published by the College Board (Exam Calendar).


School Level: High School
Standards: College Board: AP Course Topics and Objectives
NCAA Approved: Yes
Alignment Document: Document
Course Location:
NCES Code: 03056
MDE Endorsement Code: DA - Biology
MMC Minimum Requirements: Science - Biology

When Offered: _Internal Use Only

Content Provider: Michigan Virtual
Instructor Provider: Michigan Virtual

Course Type: Advanced Placement