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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Genetics: The Fundamentals

Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX


This is the first genetics course in a multi-part series. Building upon the concepts from biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology from our 7.00x Introductory Biology MOOC, these genetics courses go to a new level of depth. How do we know what we know about heredity and how can we design experiments to test hypotheses in genetics?

How do we study the inheritance of different traits? How does that information help us understand heritable diseases? Professors Michael Hemann and Peter Reddien will challenge you to take your foundational knowledge of genetics to the next level. You will explore the foundations of the field of genetics and how to apply those concepts to understand modern studies of heredity.

We developed the 7.03x Genetics series with an emphasis on:

  • Developing your scientific thinking skills including articulating hypotheses, designing experiments, performing thought experiments, and interpreting data.
  • Using data based on real scientific experiments and highlighting the scientific process in assessments.
  • Asserting that biology is an active field that changes daily through examples of research and relevance to medicine, not static information in a textbook.
  • Uniting themes and principles that inform how scientists conduct and interpret research.
  • Implementing the science of learning in the course design.


  • Introduction to Genetics
  • Mendelian Genetics
  • Inheritance Patterns and Pedigrees
  • Recombination and Linkage
  • Tools for Analyzing Linkage
  • Analyzing Human Mendelian Traits

Taught by

Michael Hemann, Peter Reddien, Mary Ellen Wiltrout, Darcy Gordon and Caitlin Friend


4.3 rating, based on 3 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Genetics: The Fundamentals

  • Great course, but might be quite hard to follow without a relatively good grasp on previous subjects (that and being willing to revisit your math knowledge it you're not too math-oriented)
  • Anonymous
    There is a lot of material in the course and is quite comprehensive. However, there is not enough time to complete the course. The course requires much more work and should be longer. The course is essentially classroom lectures videotaped and put…
  • Anonymous
    Good and diverse content coverage, awesome explanations by professors, and really good problem sets to increase your understanding on the topics...

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