7.016 | Fall 2018 | Undergraduate

Introductory Biology


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).

Before taking this course, you may want to review Pre-7.01 Getting up to Speed in Biology, a self-paced course designed to help prepare students for their first college-level biology class.


The required textbook is: Sadava, D. E., D. M. Hillis, et al. Life: The Science of Biology. 11th ed. W. H. Freeman, 2016. ISBN: 9781319145446.


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


There will be six graded problem sets, but only your best five problem set scores will be used in determining your grade. While general discussions and collaboration on the problem sets are 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 zero for that problem set, and may be assigned a zero for all the problem sets.

In addition to the five problem sets, students will have a sixth assignment in which they will choose to prepare either a news brief or a “hands-on” project, worth 4% of their final grade. Please refer to the Assignments section for more detail.


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.


Your overall course grade will depend on the following components:

Three Term Exams (100 points each) 300 51%
Five Problem Sets (20 points each) 100 15%
News Brief Proposal 20 4%
Comprehensive Final Exam 200 30%
Total 620 100%

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2018
Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets with Solutions
Exams with Solutions
Lecture Videos