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). As a source of materials and review, we recommend the MIT Biology Hypertext on the web.

TEXT for Fall 06: Life, the Science of Biology, 7th EDITION Purves, et al. (available at the MIT Coop and elsewhere.)


Tutors are available at no charge for any students who wish to have extra help with the course material, either for a one-time session or on a regular basis. Feel free to contact the tutors by email to arrange meetings; please be sure to notify the tutors in advance if you are unable to make a pre-arranged meeting.


Regular weekly attendance is expected. Each section meets twice per week for 50 minutes. Recitations begin on Wednesday, September 6th.

Please go to the recitation section assigned to you by the registrar. To change to another section you must email 7.012-recitations [at] by October 5th. Include your current section information and the section you wish to attend. Please note that section enrollment is limited and not all requests can be accommodated. Attend your assigned section until the change is confirmed by email.


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Problem Sets
Problem sets are available here with the stated due dates.

The solutions to the problem sets will be posted on the web after the problem set due date. The lowest grade of the six problem sets is dropped in calculating your final grade (see below).

Although you may engage in general discussions of problems, sharing of answers is a violation of the trust placed in all students in the class, each of whom is entrusted with producing her/his own set of answers. Students who copy problem set answers or allow their problem sets to be copied may receive a 0 for all the Problem Sets (and thus lose 20% of the grade).

Completed problem sets must be put in the appropriate TA's box in the wooden cart stationed outside room 68-120 by 5 p.m. on the due date.

***Problem sets will NOT be accepted late and will be scored ZERO points if not turned in on time.***


There will be four examination dates: three during the term, from 10:05 a.m. to 10:55 a.m., and a comprehensive final (worth 2 exams), given during finals week.

The exams during the term will take place simultaneously in two locations, 10-250 and Walker Gym (50-340) on the dates listed in the syllabus. The room where you will take the exam will be announced prior to each exam. 

There will be NO make-up quizzes and NO conflict quizzes given for ANY reason!!!

The Final Exam will be a 3 hour long, cumulative exam, covering the entirety of the course, with emphasis on the material not previously covered on a quiz. The score will be divided in two and count as two exams in calculating your grade. The date, time, and location of the final will be announced as soon as this information is available. Academic dishonesty concerning quizzes is not acceptable and will result severe consequences.

Regrades of Quizzes & Problem Sets.  If you find an addition error, you may submit a written explanation of your regrade request, to 68-120 by the date specified in lecture.  All exams are xerxoed before they are returned to the students, so you do not need to submit your original exam, as we will do all regrades off of our xerox copy.


Grading Policy
Your overall course grade is determined by the following components:

# Pts
6 of 7 Graded Problem Sets
120 pts
Your lowest of 7 PS scores will be dropped
Quiz 1
100 pts
Quiz 2
100 pts
Quiz 3
100 pts
Final Exam
200 pts


Adding the course later in the semester
If you add the course after registration day, you are responsible for all the work (problem sets and quizzes) that you have missed. See the course instructor to find out about what you must make up.