Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 3 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Recitations: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session


There are no formal prerequisites for this course, but we do presuppose high school-level biology and chemistry (especially familiarity with the fundamental aspects of chemical structure).


The required textbook is: Amazon logo Sadava, D. E., D. M. Hillis, et al. Life: The Science of Biology. 10th ed. W. H. Freeman, 2012. ISBN: 9781429298643.


Regular weekly attendance is expected. Each recitation section meets twice per week for 50 minutes.


Tutors are available at no charge for all students who wish to have extra help with the course material, either on a one-time or on a regular basis.


There will be 7 graded problem sets, but only your best 6 problem set scores will be used in determining your grade. While general discussions and collaboration on the problem sets is appropriate, detailed discussion of specific solutions or sharing of answers is a violation of the trust placed in all students in the class, each of whom is expected to produce their own unique set of answers. Students who copy problem sets or allow their answers to be copied will be assigned a 0 for that problem set, and may be assigned a 0 for all the Problem Sets.


There will be three 50-minute exams given during the term and a comprehensive final given during the Finals week. The Final Exam will be a 3-hour, cumulative exam, covering the entire course.

Class Participation

Class participation during lectures begins on the first day of class, and will be tracked using clicker questions and clickers (student response system) that will be distributed to students. Students will not be graded on whether they answered clicker questions correctly. Clicker questions are used to gauge attendance and to assess students’ learning.


Your overall course grade will depend on the following components:

3 Term Exams (100 points each) 300 45%
Final Exam (200 points) 200 35%
6 Problem Sets (20 points each) 120 20%
Total points possible 620  100%