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7.012 Enrollment Remains High

Five-hundred forty students have enrolled in 7.012, Introductory Biology, this fall, forcing lectures to take place in 26-100 instead of 10-250, as originally planned.

Enrollment in 7.012 has been higher since MIT stopped giving freshmen GIR credit for taking the AP Biology exam in high school. The Class of 2009 was the last class able to receive AP credit for the course. Accordingly, an especially high number of freshmen are enrolled in 7.012, while the number of upperclassmen in the class is roughly the same as last year.

“The enrollment numbers for other freshman core classes, such as 3.091 and 5.111 and 5.112, are quite reasonable this term,” said the Registrar, Mary Callahan. “Enrollment in biology courses seems to be trending high.”

The biology department has added recitation sections to 7.012 to keep sizes at 25 or fewer students.

Last spring, a record 613 students — including 439 freshmen — completed 7.013, one of the spring versions of Introductory Biology, though it was in part due to the absence of 7.014, another spring version whose professor went on sabbatical.

Still, course administrator Michelle D. Mischke expects that the enrollment number will fall as some students drop the class. After the first problem set is due, Mischke said she will e-mail students who have not turned one in to ask if they plan to continue with the course. Doing this in the past, she said, has usually motivated some students to drop.

—Jessica Lin