Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30-10:50am
Final Grade Assessment
Final grades for biology graduate students will be calculated using the following distributions:
Midterm Exams (2 @ 100pts each) 40%
Quizzes (12 @ 10pts each; lowest dropped) 15%
Homework (Sapling + Textbook) 15%
Final Exam (200pts cumulative) 20%
Graduate Review Paper 10%
Overall, final course grades will be based on the following scale: A (90% or higher); B (80-89.9%); C (70-79.9%); D (60-69.9%); F (59.9% or less). If you do not get 90% or better on every assignment, you should not expect to get an A in the course.
Quizzes, Exams, and Textbook Homework – Graduate Students
Graduate students will be expected to provide more complete and more sophisticated answers on all quizzes, homework questions, and exams. Exams will include one additional synthesis question not found on undergraduate exams and/or graduate students will be asked to read and answer questions on a selected journal article for their exams. Should a journal article be required as part of the exam, the article will be provided to the graduate student prior to the exam so that the student has ample time to read it and prepare.
Graduate Review Paper
In consultation with the instructor, the graduate student will select a particular topic in biochemistry about which they will write a mini-review article. The student will research their given topic and find 10 peer-reviewed primary journal articles published within the last 5 years about their topic and then synthesize these 10 papers into a review article on their topic (e.g., students will use primary journal articles as the source material to write a secondary review article that describes the current state of research on their topic). The review paper must be a minimum of 10 written pages (excluding cover page, reference list, etc.) in 12 point font, double-spaced, and 1 inch margins all the way around. Students will be held to high standards of grammatical accuracy.
Late Assignment Policies
Lecture Attendance Policies
To monitor attendance, a seating chart or attendance sign-in sheet will be kept. Students who sign-in for students that are not present will be referred to the Dean of Students. Because quizzes and assignments cannot be made-up and because exams are written off of my lectures, attendance of the lecture is critical. If you need to leave class early, it must be for a good reason and you must tell be before class begins or you will be marked absent. Do not email me regarding lecture absences or bring doctor’s notes, etc. if you miss lecture. If you miss lecture, it is up to you to find out from another student what was missed and obtain notes from other students. For further information on Class Attendance policies, see the MSU Student Handbook, available online through the Student Life section of the MSU website.
Excusable reasons for missing an exam include the following:
Students MUST notify me, the instructor, PRIOR to the start of the exam to receive consideration for an excused absence. If you are physically unable to notify me, then have a friend or family member notify me. Notifying me after the fact will result in an unexcused absence and a zero for the exam.
Inexcusable reasons for missing an exam include the following:
In general, none of these excuses will be accepted for missed exams as all of them stem from a lack of responsibility on the part of the student to maintain control over their own schedules. You know exactly when your exams are scheduled, and you should make every effort to take them.
Absolutely no electronic devices of any kind may be used during exams. All exams are closed book and will be monitored for cheating. If you are caught doing anything suspicious, your exam will be taken away from you and you will receive an automatic zero for the exam.
University-Sponsored Teams and Organizations
All members of in-season sports teams or other campus organizations who will be missing class because of university sanctioned events MUST present to me a written statement on university letterhead and signed by a university official indicating those dates that will be missed because of travel or participation in the university-sponsored event. Athletics documentation must be presented to me within the first 2 weeks of the beginning of the semester. Other documentation (such as for theater, etc.) must be presented to me at least one week prior to the time that will be missed.
Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities are required to register with Disability Support Services (DSS) before classroom accommodations can be provided. The instructor then needs to be notified by the student of the nature of these accommodations. This notification will take the form of an official letter obtained from DSS by the student and given to the instructor. Every effort should be made to provide me with this documentation within the first 2 weeks of the semester to avoid losing accommodations because you failed to provide proper notification in a timely manner. It is always the responsibility of the student to arrange accommodations with DSS. Students with disabilities must still take their exams on the same day as the rest of the class.
Course Policies Regarding Disruptive Behavior
Disruptive students will be given one (1) verbal warning to improve their behavior. Second offenders will be asked to leave the classroom and will be referred to the Dean of Students. Abusive students will be dismissed from the class permanently.
Policy on Electronic Devices [READ THIS TWICE]
University Code of Conduct
For university standards of conduct please refer to the MSU Student Handbook. In general, students are to attend all meetings of all classes; instructors may drop students for excessive absences, indifference, disruptive behavior, or failure to complete class assignments; students are prohibited from cheating, plagiarizing, or colluding. Students are expected to have read the Student Handbook.
Cheating, plagiarism, and collusion (as well as several other forms of conduct) are all strictly prohibited at MSU. Please read the MSU Student Handbook definitions of cheating, plagiarism, and collusion and MAKE SURE that you do not engage in any of these behaviors. If you are unclear on what may count as cheating, plagiarism, or collusion, please see the instructor or the Dean of Students.
According to the 2012-2013 MSU Student Handbook, p. 47, “An instructor may drop a student any time during the semester for excessive absences, for consistently failing to meet class assignments, for an indifferent attitude, or for disruptive conduct.” For the purposes of this course, “consistently failing to meet class assignments” includes consistently not turning in assigned work or turning in work that consistently receives a failing grade.
By enrolling in this course, the student expressly grants MSU a “limited right” in all intellectual property created by the student for the purpose of this course. The “limited right” shall include but shall not be limited to the right to reproduce the student’s work product to verify originality and authenticity, and for educational purposes.