Course and Grading Info

Course Schedule

Homework Assignments

Exam Information


General Genetics (Biol/ MBIOS 301)

Spring 2003 Course Information and Grading
Lectures in Heald Auditorium, TuTh 10:35-11:50

Gary Thorgaard, Heald 205, 335-7438, thorglab@wsu.edu. Office hours Wednesday 9-11 or by arrangement. I will also generally be free immediately following lectures.
Teaching assistants:
Rob Drew, Eastlick 265, 335-1526, redrew@wsu.edu, Office hours Weds 1-3 or by arrangement, Discussion sections #1, 3 and 11.
Suzy Westfall, Abelson 514, 335-2086, sdwestfall@hotmail.com, Office hours (in SLIC, Abelson 227) Weds 11-1 or by arrangement, Discussion sections 5, 6, 8 and 10.
Andrew Giordano, Eastlick 281, 335-7924, arg1@mail.wsu.edu Office hours Weds 3-5 or by arrangement, discussion sections 2, 4, 7 and 9.
Text: Essential Genetics, 2nd Ed.,Daniel L. Hartl and Elizabeth W. Jones. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sudbury Massachusetts. The text is intended to clarify material in the lectures, which will generally follow the text. Material in the text but not in the lectures will generally not be covered on exams.
Discussion sections (except section 11) are held in Abelson 215 or 217 (located inside Abelson 227, the Science Learning and Instructional Center) on Thursdays and Fridays. If you are in sections 1, 2, 3, 7 or 9 you will meet in 215. If you are in sections 4, 5, 6, 8, or 10 you will meet in 217. If you are in section 11 you will meet in Todd 126. The discussion sections will provide opportunities to go over the recommended homework problems, review questions from lecture, and discuss current issues in genetics. Twelve quizzes will be based primarily around the recommended homework problems.
Exams: Two midterms and a final exam will be given. The midterms consist of a combination of multiple-choice, short answer identification, and problem-solving questions. They will emphasize material covered in lectures, discussion sections and recommended homework. The final exam is comprehensive but will emphasize the last part of the course. Because our final exam is late in Finals Week, it will consist solely of multiple-choice questions in order to allow time for grading.
Website: The course syllabus, homework problems, brief lecture summaries and copies of old examinations will be available at the following website:
Note that items will be added to this site throughout the semester.
Exams 320 + Quizzes 80 = Total 400 possible points
The possible points on the exams will be: First, 100, Second, 100, Final 120. Grades on the exams will be scaled so that if the course average on an exam is below 70, points will be added to everyone’s score to bring it to 70. (For example, an average of 65 would result in 5 points being added to all scores). The quizzes (given each week but the first week and weeks of the midterms) are each worth 10 points. We will use your scores on the highest 8 of the 12 quizzes. We will not give make-up quizzes. Written appeals on exams and quizzes will be accepted for up to a week after the graded tests are handed back.
Extra credit assignment: An extra-credit assignment worth up to 20 points is available. This involves choosing at least two articles from scientific journals on a genetics subject of interest to you and reviewing them. You should (in two typed double-spaced pages) describe and critique the studies, their implications for basic and/ or applied genetic research, and the future work that needs to be done in this area. You can provide the citations and abstracts of the papers to your TA by April 4 (worth 5 points) and provide your report to your TA by April 18 (worth up to 15 points). The total points earned on the extra credit assignment will be added to the point total for exams and quizzes at the end of the semester.

The grade distribution will be as follows.


Total course points


> 90

> 360





























< 50

< 200


Reasonable accommodations are available for students who have a documented disability. Please notify the instructor during the first week of class of any accommodations needed for the course. Late notification may cause the requested accommodations to be unavailable. All accommodations must be approved through the Disability Resource Center (DRC) in Administration Annex 206, 335-1566.