Human Anatomy and Physiology II

Gain an even greater knowledge of the human body in the Human Anatomy and Physiology II course. You will learn the basic characteristics of the four main types of tissues, the general and special senses, cellular metabolism, body chemistry, and significant events in the life span, from fertilization through old age.

6 Weeks / 24 Course Hrs
Starting  July 17, 2024
Offered in partnership with your preferred school


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Learning method

Course code: hp2

In this course, you will cover topics that weren't covered in Human Anatomy and Physiology I. You will start with basic histology, which is the study of the different tissues in the body. From there, you will move on to a discussion of the different senses. You will also delve into the important topic of cellular metabolism (the chemical reactions that occur in cells), and you will learn the roles water, acids, bases, and salts play in keeping you alive.

You will then turn your focus to the human lifespan from prenatal life to late adulthood. You will also learn ways to stay as healthy as possible as you age. By the end of this course, you will have a greater appreciation of the complexity and wonder of the human body!

What you will learn

  • Recognize the four types of tissues present in the human body
  • Explain the perception of skin sensations by the brain
  • Describe the senses of proprioception and equilibrium
  • Explain the visual process involving the structures of the eye and the brain
  • Describe the production and perception of balance and hearing sensations
  • Identify the structures associated with the senses of taste and smell
  • Describe the chemical reactions occurring during cellular metabolism
  • Explain the structure and function of water, acids, bases, and salts
  • Identify events that occur during prenatal development
  • Describe the effects of pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and breastfeeding on the parent
  • List the major events in neonatal, infancy, and childhood development
  • List the significant events in puberty, adulthood, and late adulthood

How you will benefit

  • Gain an even greater appreciation and understanding of the human body
  • Be well-prepared to continue your education with courses like Introduction to Biology
  • Discover a new passion or career path

How the course is taught

  • Instructor-Moderated or Self-Guided online course
  • 6 Weeks or 3 Months access
  • 24 course hours

In our first lesson, you will learn about the four major types of tissues—epithelial, connective, muscle, and nervous tissue. We will go over their significant characteristics, how they're named, their functions, and where they're located. You will learn some hints on identifying specific tissues with a microscope and why every organ in your body contains all four major types of tissues. 

In this lesson, we will explore the topic of sensation as you learn about the sensations of touch, pressure, temperature, and pain. You will discover the differences between free nerve endings, Merkel disks, Meissner corpuscles, root hair plexuses, and Pacinian corpuscles. We will also talk about sensory adaptation and referred pain. You will learn where in the brain messages from sensory receptors end up. We will end the lesson by discussing three disorders of cutaneous sensation—tactile defensiveness, congenital insensitivity to pain, and peripheral neuropathy. 

In this lesson, you will learn about sensory receptors (muscle spindles, Golgi tendon organs, and joint proprioceptors) that tell your brain how much tension is in your muscles and the position of your body parts. You will learn why accurate information from these receptors is essential and how the brain uses it to help you plan your movements. We will also discuss the sense of equilibrium—that sense that lets you know if you're upright and if you're in danger of falling. You will study the structures of the vestibular system and learn how they contribute to both static and dynamic equilibrium. The end of the lesson will let you know what happens when a person experiences proprioceptive or vestibular dysfunction. 

Now it's time to learn about the physics of light and color and find out how light is bent and focused. In this lesson, you will learn about the composition of the eyes, including their three coverings and the structures inside the eyeballs. We will talk about special sensory receptors called rods and cones and how the information they receive is sent to the brain and analyzed. We will end this lesson by discussing three common eye disorders—glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration. 

In this lesson, you will discover the physics of sound. You will learn why sounds differ in pitch and loudness, and you will find out about a quality of sound called color. We will then talk about the different structures that make up the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. You will learn what happens when sound waves enter the ear and how information from the ear travels to the brain for analysis. We will end this lesson with a discussion of hearing loss. 

In this lesson, we will finish our study of the senses by discussing the senses of smell and taste. You will learn about the structures that respond to chemicals of smell and taste and how the brain perceives smell and taste sensations. We will also talk about disorders of both of these senses, and you will have an opportunity to perform a fun experiment to test the importance of smell to the perception of flavor. 

In this lesson, we will go over the fascinating topic of cellular metabolism—the chemical reactions that occur in your body's cells. We will review the essential concepts of homeostasis and negative feedback. You will learn that homeostasis is maintained by thousands of chemical reactions that occur every second. Those chemical reactions either build larger molecules from smaller ones or break apart larger molecules into smaller ones, so we will discuss what happens in those two major types of reactions. You will also learn about the capture and storage of energy, the role of enzymes in metabolic pathways, and disorders of cellular metabolism. 

In this lesson, we will continue our study of essential chemicals in the human body. We will start by reviewing the differences between atoms and ions and between ionic and covalent bonds. We will then move on to a study of water, its unique properties, and its essential functions. You will learn that water breaks apart molecules called electrolytes and that the three major types of electrolytes include acids, bases, and salts. We will discuss the pH scale—a way to measure a substance's acidity degree; you will learn about the conditions called acidosis and alkalosis. We will finish the lesson by discussing imbalances of three essential ions—sodium, potassium, and calcium. 

In this lesson, you will go over the wonders of prenatal development. You will learn about the roles both parents play in the creation of the zygote—the very first cell that starts a new human life. You will then follow that new creature through the amazing changes that happen during the first eight weeks after fertilization (the embryonic period). The lesson will also discuss significant events that occur during the rest of the pregnancy (the fetal period). At the end of this lesson, you will learn about some common causes of infertility.

In this lesson, you will learn about pregnancy from the childbearing parent's point of view. The lesson will start with a discussion about the placenta and then talk about the way pregnancy affects the pregnant parent's different organ systems. It will also discuss the events of childbirth and what occurs during the postpartum period. Many childbearing parents choose to breastfeed (lactate), so this lesson will also tell you how breasts prepare for lactation, how milk is produced, and how it's secreted. You will end this lesson with a discussion of a complication of pregnancy called gestational diabetes.

This lesson will focus on the neonatal period, infancy, and childhood. We will start with a discussion of the normal circulation of blood in children and adults and compare that to circulation in the fetus. This will help you understand the significant changes in the heart, blood vessels, and lungs as soon as babies take their first breaths. We will then talk about other changes in the first four weeks after birth (the neonatal period), and we will discuss reflexes and brain maturation during the first year. We will also discuss some significant changes that occur during childhood. At the end of this lesson, you will learn about a common developmental disorder in children called cerebral palsy. 

In our final lesson, we will go over puberty, adulthood, and late adulthood. You will learn how hormones work during puberty and what physical changes occur. We will also discuss changes that occur during the young adulthood and middle age years and then spend some time on menopause. We will devote a chapter to senescence—the aging process for those 65 and over. In that chapter, you will learn why getting older causes age-related changes. We will end this lesson by discussing ways to slow the aging process.

Holly Trimble

Holly Trimble earned a bachelor's degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Colorado, a master's degree in Pediatric Physical Therapy from Boston University, a master's degree in Biology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and a doctoral degree in Physical Therapy from Arcadia University. After working as a physical therapist for many years, Dr. Trimble transitioned into teaching. She has lectured on health-related topics to all age groups and has taught middle and high school science courses in both private and public school settings. Holly also taught Human Anatomy and Physiology for a local community college system for 16 years. She received the Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award both of the years she was nominated and is the author of the eBook, "College Success Now!"

Instructor Interaction: The instructor looks forward to interacting with learners in the online moderated discussion area to share their expertise and answer any questions you may have on the course content.


There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 10 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

Instructor-Moderated: A new session of each course begins each month. Please refer to the session start dates for scheduling.​

Self-Guided: Your course begins immediately after you enroll.​

Instructor-Moderated: Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the 6 week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends. You will interact with the instructor through the online discussion area. There are no live sessions or online meetings with the instructor.

Self-Guided: You have 3 months of access to the course. After enrolling, you can learn and complete the course at your own pace, within the allotted access period. You will have the opportunity to interact with other students in the online discussion area.

Instructor-Moderated: The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you're encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release. However, you will have access to all lessons from the time they are released until the course ends.​

Self-Guided: There is no time limit to complete each lesson, other than completing all lessons within the allotted access period. Discussion areas for each lesson are open for the entire duration of the course.

Instructor-Moderated: Students enrolled in a six-week online class benefit from a one-time, 10-day extension for each course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.​

Self-Guided: Because this course is self-guided, no extensions will be granted after the start of your enrollment.