Course master: Robert Mercer, PhD (

Blocks: 1-2

Teaching style: Lecture, with small-group discussions

Grading: Five short-answer and multiple-choice exams, homework assignments, occasional quizzes

Passing: 70%

Physiology: a class where memorization doesn’t rule the world. If you’re comfortable with math or physics, you will breeze through. If you aren’t, don’t fret! For studying, the practice tests will ensure your survival. Physiology, whether you love it or hate it, will teach you everything from how your cells manage membrane transport to how your heart pumps. It’s arguably the most important class of first year, and will help you second year. You have lecture once or twice a week, and occasionally there are small groups to solidify concepts. Overall, I’d say it’s one of the more enjoyable classes during first year.

— Bilal A., M1