Advanced Undergraduate Seminars

Header image of scientist, cell, and campus


These small seminar courses for advanced undergraduates focus on the primary research literature, with the goal of introducing students to the methods of contemporary biological research and the logic of experimental design and interpretation. These seminars are taught by postdoctoral scientists who are practicing researchers. They expose students to the kind of thinking that is central to contemporary biological research and also impart specific knowledge in particular areas of biology. They are intellectually stimulating and provide excellent preparation for a variety of future careers that require an understanding both of what modern biology is and of how it is done.

The courses offer a number of special features:

  • small class size (limited to eight),
  • a high degree of personal contact with the instructor,
  • a focus on the primary research literature, and
  • an opportunity to discuss problems in biology interactively.

Each course is graded pass/fail, carries six units, and meets for two hours weekly. In the case of oversubscription, preference is given to Biology majors: first seniors, then juniors, and to those who haven't already taken one of these seminars. There is no limit on the number of these courses that can be taken if space is available.

Prerequisites for taking any Advanced Seminar (one of the following): 7.03, 7.05, 7.06, or 7.28.

For additional information, contact the instructor of the particular course.


Course Descriptions


2017-2018: Webpage / PDF



2016-2017: Webpage / PDF

2015-2016: Webpage / PDF

2014-2015: Webpage / PDF

2013-2014: PDF

2012-2013: PDF

2011-2012: PDF