BIOL 2341: Introduction to Genetics

In this introduction to a fascinating and controversial area of contemporary science, students are presented with basic terms, principles, and research methods used in the study of genetics. Students learn about the transmission, distribution, arrangement, and alteration of genetic information and how it functions and is maintained in populations.

Learning outcomes

  • Relate the structure and function of the DNA molecule to its functional role in encoding genetic material.
  • Apply the principles of inheritance as formulated by Mendel.
  • Apply the principles of extensions to Mendelian inheritance, including multiple allelism, lethal alleles, gene interactions, and sex-linked transmission.
  • Analyze genetic data using statistical procedures.
  • Describe normal chromosome number, structure, and behaviour in human cells, and understand the cause and effect of alterations in chromosome number and/or structure.
  • Understand how to identify and classify mutations in DNA.
  • Describe the basic aspects of the flow of genetic information from DNA to proteins.
  • Explain and make deductions about gene regulation with emphasis on the lac operon model.
  • Deduce the relationship between genetic, physical, and cytogenetic maps.
  • Illustrate how information generated by genome sequencing projects can be used to discover practical knowledge about gene expression and relationships between species.
  • Apply the Hardy-Weinberg Law in analyzing population genetics for gene frequency, sex linkage, equilibrium, and heterozygote frequency.

Course topics

Module 1: Structure, Biochemistry, and Functions of DNA and Genomes

Module 2: Transmission Genetics

Module 3: Linkage, Mapping, and Chromosomes

Module 4: Prokaryotic Genetics

Module 5: Specialized Topics

Required text and materials

Students will receive the following:

  1. Hartl, D. L., (2018). Essential genetics and genomics (7th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
    Type: Textbook ISBN: 978-1-284-15245-6

Additional Resources:

The BIOL 2341 Course Resource page consists of an annotated list of websites that can contribute to your success in taking this course and in applying what you learn to your life.


Please be aware that due to COVID-19 safety guidelines all in-person exams have been suspended. As such, all final exams are currently being delivered through ProctorU, which has an approximate fee of $35 involved. There will be more information in your course shell, on how to apply, if your course has a final exam.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Assignment 1: Structure, Biochemistry, and Functions of DNA and Genomes 8%
Assignment 2: Transmission Genetics 10%
Assignment 3: Linkage, Mapping, and Chromosomes 14%
Assignment 4: Prokaryotic Genetics 10%
Assignment 5: Specialized Topics 8%
Final Exam (mandatory) 50%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of your course.

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