This course is designed for students who are taking or about to take introductory biology at the college level. Its focus will be providing the repeated practice and critical thinking activities that will enable students to be successful in the class in which they are formally enrolled.
WARNING: This course is more "strict" than many Coursera courses:
This course will cover the foundational concepts of cell biology and chemistry:
No background required.
Students who have had high school biology and algebra will find the class much easier.
A college-level introductory textbook will be highly beneficial.
The UCI course that begins in the Fall uses the 10th edition of Biology, Campbell and Reece. Benjamin Cummings. This new edition can be difficult to find cheaply before Fall. Any older edition will work fine for this course.
Another option is to use the free, online OpenStax Biology text.
There will be four units in the course. For the first three units, you will:
Will I get a certificate after completing this class?
Yes. Students who successfully complete this class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment from Coursera.
The class is pretty easy, right? Because it's a "preparation" class?
Actually, no. This class is quite difficult.
As instructors for an introductory biology course for majors, we find students are good at memorizing, but struggle with problem-solving and working through puzzles. So we provide enough basics to allow us to ask really interesting, difficult questions for you to work on. If you pursue the Scholars Track, you will likely need to work together to answer the problems. This is how good students succeed at UC Irvine.
Is a book required or necessary?
You will likely benefit from a reference biology book. The two most common options are:
1. Campbell's "Biology" text by Pearson (go to the UCI Bookstore web page to purchase the custom edition if you are a UCI student)
2. The free text "Biology" by OpenStax. This can be downloaded as a pdf or epub.