BIOL-6AH: Biological Form & Function
- HONORS cohort course


The goal of the De Anza Honors Program is to engage, support, and challenge self-motivated students to pursue a deeper education based on the principles of continuous intellectual growth, critical thinking, service-leadership and academic integrity, thereby enabling them to create opportunities for success in both their personal and professional lives.

For details visit the De Anza Honors Program webpage, including eligibility requirements.

Admission into this course requires consent of the Honors Program Coordinator.
To apply, go to
Note the stated deadlines for applications to be considered in time before you may enroll.

A "cohort" is defined as an "educational group; a group of students working together through the same academic curriculum". Thus, for the most part, your participation in the honors course is together — a cohort — with the students enrolled in the standard core course. The honors student must complete an assignment demonstrating deeper understanding of a topic included in the course breadth in addition to all assignments described in the standard core course syllabus.


The BIOL-6AH, Form and Function in the Biological World – HONORS cohort course has the same Student Learning Outcomes as does the core BIOL-6A course:

(1) Analyze and compare the process of homeostasis as applied to common physiological processes across higher taxonomy.

(2) Develop observational skills in the context of scientific methodologies.

(3) Contrast the Linnaen, traditional phylogenetic and cladistic processes of taxonomy.

As an honors course, the students will be expected to complete extra assignments to gain deeper insight in biological form and function. As such, the BIOL-6AH, Form and Function in the Biological World – HONORS cohort course outline list the same course objectives described in the core BIOL-6A syllabus, plus one additional objective:

I. Research a current topic in comparative biology or one or more relevant biological concepts or processes.

    1. Evaluate and synthesize the current work of multiple agencies, institutions or researchers.
    2. Develop written and oral communication skills and/or electronic media for the presentation of a current topic in biological form and function or systematics.

As such, honors students enrolled in BIOL-6AH will conduct in depth literature research or an independent study project on a pre-approved topic in relevant biological sciences and prepare a written or electronic-media presentation of the results citing no less than five reputable primary sources.

Once you’ve been approved for the honors program by the Honors Program Coordinator, to enroll in the BIOL-6AH honors cohort course:

  1. Register for the core BIOL-6A course using the regular CRN for the desired section.
  2. Obtain an add code from your instructor for the BIOL-6AH Honors section during the first week of the quarter.
  3. Drop the regular section of the core course.
  4. Add the Honors section using the new Honors CRN and add code.

Note: If you wish to take an Honors cohort, You must switch to the Honors section by the second Friday of the quarter. Once you switch to the Honors section, you may not switch back to the regular section.

Meet with Professor Heyer as soon as you’ve enrolled to discuss your project topic, program of investigation, and method of presentation.


  • Online Homework Exercises: Percentage score of the total points from all  ~20 homework exercises counts 100 points. 
  • Lab Exercises & Quizzes: ~12 exercises and/or quizzes. Average of all percentage scores = 100 points.
  • Lab Exams: Two lab practical exams. Average of lab exam scores counts 100 points.
  • Lecture Exams: Three exams. Each exam counts 100 points. (3 x 100 = 300 points)
  • Honors Project & Presentation: 100 points

The final class grade will be determined as a percentage of the maximum total 700 points:

92-100% = A

89-91% = A-

86-88% = B+

80-85% = B

77-79% = B-

74-76% = C+

65-73% = C

53-64% = D

<53% = F

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