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Science Core: Biology

7.01x comes in four versions. All versions cover the same core material, which includes the fundamental principles of biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, and cell biology; differences lie in their approaches to the subject matter. 

7.012 (Fall term by lottery): 

Covers basics of biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, recombinant DNA, cell biology, developmental biology, genomics, cancer, immunology, neurobiology, rational medicine and evolution.

  • For whom? For all students
  • Pre-Requisite: Some high school chemistry 
  • AP Credit: AP Credit is not accepted
  • Advanced Standing Exam or Transfer Credit: Passing MIT’s Advanced Standing Exam; Transfer credit not granted.

7.015 (Fall term):

Explores biological principles through trending topics in biotechnology, microbiology, human diseases, genetics, and metabolism in a small class format.

  • For whom? For all students
  • Pre-Requisite: Some high school chemistry 
  • AP Credit: AP Credit is not accepted
  • Advanced Standing Exam or Transfer Credit: Passing MIT’s Advanced Standing Exam; Transfer credit not granted

7.014 (Spring term):

Understanding microorganisms as geochemical agents responsible for the evolution and renewal of the biosphere and of their role in human health and disease

  • For whom? For all students
  • Pre-Requisite: Some high school chemistry
  • AP Credit: AP Credit is not accepted
  • Advanced Standing Exam or Transfer Credit: Passing MIT’s Advanced Standing Exam; Transfer credit not granted.

7.016 (Spring term):

Fundamental principles of biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics for understanding the functions of living systems.

  • For whom? For all students
  • Pre-Requisite: Some high school chemistry 
  • AP Credit: AP Credit is not accepted
  • Advanced Standing Exam or Transfer Credit: Passing MIT’s Advanced Standing Exam; Transfer credit not granted.

Chemistry Preparation for Biology

You will need some chemistry background to be successful in 7.01x. Before enrolling in one of the Biology classes, you should either have a strong high school chemistry background (e.g., score of 5 on AP Chemistry), or you should complete one of the MIT core chemistry subjects (5.111, or 5.112 or 3.091) before enrolling in Introductory Biology.

When Should You Complete the Biology Requirement?

  • If you are interested in pursuing a major in life sciences, you should try to take a version of 7.01x in your first-year.
  • First-year students interested in Course 20 Biological Engineering are strongly encouraged to complete a version of 7.01x sometime in their first year.
  • Any version of 7.01x will serve as the prerequisite for other biology subjects and will meet the basic requirement for application to medical school. Students should take the version which is most personally interesting.
  • There are enrollment limits that are subject to availability in each version of 7.01x. Any Biology GIR class that is over-subscribed will be subjected to a general lottery. After the August 27 first-year registration deadline, the lottery is run and students are informed by the instructor if they have been moved to another 7.01X course. Students will have the opportunity to complete the Biology GIR every semester but are not guaranteed a seat in a specific class.

Be sure to also check out the videos about GIRs that can be found on the School of Science YouTube playlist at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdvxZS1QSbk1t4ojfSArHvzOH-YzSHUrJ.