Course Title: General Histology (DDS 6214)
University of Minnesota School of Dentistry
Minneapolis, MN

Course Purpose
The purpose of this course is for students to learn the structure and basic function of cells, tissues, organs and organ systems. We will start the course with a brief introduction to histology (we’ll talk about how slides are made, the various stains we use, etc.), followed by a lecture on early human embryologic development (a theme which will be picked up later when we discuss each individual organ system). Then, we’ll look at the four types of tissues that compose every part of the human body: epithelial, muscle, nervous, and connective tissue. After that, we’ll move on to specific organ systems, covering everything except the mouth and associated regions, which you will cover next year in oral histology.

The point of the course is to give you a clear mental image of the human body at the microscopic level. You’ll be able to describe and identify the microscopic features and functions of cells, tissues, organs and organ systems. This is an important first building block for your future courses in dental school such as biochemistry, physiology, gross anatomy, oral histology, pathology, microbiology, pharmacology and oral pathology.

The course also will prepare you well for boards. We’ll be using some boards-like questions throughout the course to give you an idea of what to expect on boards.

Official reasons aside, this material is just plain awesome and interesting. How is it, for example, that the 12-foot-long small intestine has a surface area equal to that of a tennis court? How do we develop from something that looks like a flattened Egg McMuffin into an incredibly complex being in just a few months? I hope you’ll find the tiny things we look at as beautiful and incredibly perfect as I do.

The Course Director is Kristine Krafts, M.D. Please feel free to email me at kkrafts@umn.edu with any questions you have regarding the course.

The optional textbook used in this course is Atlas of Human Histology: A Guide to Microscopic Structure of Cells, Tissues and Organs by Robert L Sorenson. It’s available in the bookstore. There’s also a nice interactive website that goes along with the book. It’s basically a virtual microscope with a set of gorgeous slides and nice explanations of everything you’re looking at. You should use the textbook and website however they benefit you in order to supplement and reinforce the content you receive in lectures. 

Here is our current syllabus, which expands on what is described on this page, and includes details about SOD course policies.

Our lecture schedule is on the lectures page. Next to each lecture title, you’ll find the slides for that lecture in both ppt and PDF formats. All of our lectures will be recorded, and I’ll post the recordings as soon as the recording people send them to me (usually it’s a few hours after the lecture). I also made video summaries of each lecture (short and ridiculously short versions, take your pick) in case you want a quick review of a particular lecture.

There are three exams in this course, as listed on our lectures page. All of our exams will be delivered online using ExamSoft (Examplify), and they’ll be open and available for the entire exam day (24 hours). You’ll have a set amount of time (usually two hours) to complete the exam once you start.

I like this flexibility for you guys. If you’re a morning person, great – I don’t know how you do it, but go for it – take it at 5 or 6 am if you want. If you’re a night owl, take it as soon as it opens at midnight, if you want. I also like the immediate feedback and data on each question that I get to look at from my end. So it’s a win-win.

Exam scores will be posted on Canvas.

At the end of the course, your scores for all three exams will be added together to give you a single numerical score for the course. No weighting of exams or anything, just straight-up add all the points together to get a total. Your final grade will be determined as follows:

A = scores greater than or equal to 90% of the total possible points for the course
B = scores between 80% and 90%
C = scores between 70% and 80%


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s