Home » Free Online Courses » Duke University & Coursera Online Course on Genetics

Duke University & Coursera Online Course on Genetics

Genetics is the study of genes. Genes are the units inside a cell that control how living organisms inherit features from their ancestors. Genetics is to identify which features are inherited and explain how these features pass from generation to generation.

Duke University with Coursera engage thousands of students from all over the world to provide online education.

User Review
0 (0 votes)

“Introduction to Genetics and Evolution” is a free online course offered by Duke University. This online course gives a brief introduction to the students about the principles behind fundamental areas of biology.

During the course students will learn about the basic biology about the “genome sequences,” commercial kits that can tell about the ancestry (including pre-human) from the DNA or disease predispositions, debates about the truth of evolution, why animals behave the way they do and how people found “genetic evidence for natural selection”.

The class will consist of multiple lecture videos which are mostly of 10-20 minutes in duration. Some videos may contain 1-3 integrated quiz questions. There will also be 2 test assessments and a non-cumulative final exam.

Course Details

The course will start from 3rd January 2014 for the duration of 12 weeks. The course will demand 5-6 hours/week for study.

Course Syllabus

During the course the topics listed below will be covered:

-Evidence for evolution
-Introduction to basic genetics
-Recombination and genetic mapping simple traits
-Complications to genetic mapping
-Genes vs. Environment
-Basic population genetics and Hardy-Weinberg
-Gene flow, differentiation, inbreeding
-Natural selection and genetic drift
-Molecular evolution
-Adaptive behaviors and sexual selection
-Species formation and phylogenetic
-Evolutionary applications and misapplications


No prior knowledge of coursework is required in the subject. If candidates have a working knowledge of High School level math, including basic algebra then this will help them during the course and will also be useful in solving the assigned problems.

Statement of Accomplishment 

After successfully completing this online course students will receive a Statement of Accomplishment which will be signed by the instructor of the course.

About the Instructor

Dr. Mohamed Noor is the Earl D. McLean Professor and Chair of Biology at Duke University. He has received several awards for research, teaching and mentoring and has been active in the scientific community. His expertise is in molecular evolution and a large part of his research has been devoted to trying to understand the genetic changes that ultimately lead to the formation of new species.