Molecular Biology

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2016
Bolin Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

MWF 9:00-9:50

Dr. William B. Cook (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Molecular Biology of the Gene, 7th Edition
An in depth introduction to the principles and practices of Molecular Biology.

Course Objectives

The student will demonstrate an understanding of the universal molecular processes underlying biological functions.

The student will use basic bioengineering concepts and models to solve practical problems.

The student will fruitfully engage available bioinformatics tools and resources.

The student will demonstrate familiarity with major model organisms of molecular biology.

Course Expectations

The student will be required to write effectively in responses to essay questions that will constitute a part of each examination as well as in the preparation of a term paper .  Examination questions will assume a level of understanding beyond rote memorization.  The format will include short answer and multiple-choice questions but will emphasize essay-type questions that require a deep understanding of principles and practices.  Lectures should be recognized as opportunities to gain a firm grasp of concepts.  Reading assigned chapters ahead of each lecture will allow the student to identify difficult topics and ask appropriate questions.  Graduate students will be required to answer additional questions or additional parts of questions beyond those required of undergraduate students.

Each graduate student will prepare a term paper reporting on a contemporary process or phenomenon that is not addressed in the course.  The subject must be of fundamental importance to the field of molecular biology or a closely allied field that uses the tools of molecular biology.  The subject will be selected in consultation with the instructor on or before Thursday, September 18 (10%).  A (complete) first draft of the paper will be submitted on or before Thursday, October 30 (25%).  A final draft may be submitted on or before Thursday, November 20.  The final paper will be submitted on or before Thursday, December 4 (65%).  To earn full credit, the paper will reflect graduate level research, analysis and writing.  Responsive consideration of input from drafts will be required. The report should include a centered title page in all drafts, conform to the specifications of the latest edition of the Graduate Handbook.

The student will be required to demonstrate competency in fundamental mathematical skills through a variety of exercises and routine calculations.

Grading Standards


The final course score will be calculated from the following components:

                              Examination Average                     60%

                              Thought Questions                        10%

                              Weekly Calculation Exercises        10%

                              Term Paper                                    20%



Letter grades will be assigned according to the following course score scale

                                    Course Score                                      Grade

                                         90-100%                                          A

                                         80-89%                                            B

                                         70-79%                                            C

                                         60-69%                                            D

                                         <60%                                               F

Final Exam

12/12/2016 8:00-10:00 A. M.

Submission Format Policy

The term paper must include a centered title page in all drafts and conform to the specifications of the latest edition of the Graduate Handbook.  Specifically, font size, page layout, section headings and pagination should all follow the Graduate Handbook.  The report should be fully referenced and a properly formatted literature cited section should be included at the end of the paper. Plagiarism at any stage will not be tolerated.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Deadlines will be observed.  On-time submission is a requirement of all assignments.  Late submissions will not be graded.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Attendance at all scheduled meetings and any additional training sessions requested by the student is required.

Attendance will be recorded to satisfy the requirements of the registrar's office, but an attendance score will not be awarded.

Other Policies

Please refer to the MSU Student Handbook ( student-life/Student%20Handbook%202016-17%20(web).pdf) for university policies related to student responsibilities, rights and activities.  See pages 43-44 on class attendance (attend all meetings of all classes), page 49 on grounds for an instructor drop (excessive absence, indifferent attitude, disruptive conduct, failure to meet class assignments), and page 120 (Appendix E) on varieties of academic dishonesty.

“Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at