Students in lab

Policies for All Programs

Department Policies

The following are policies that apply to all students in courses offered by the department:

  • A student must complete all prerequisites for a BIOC, BIOL, or CHEM course with a C- or better before taking the course (except as noted in the course description).
  • Students with a total of three unsuccessful attempts (below C-) in any combination of BIOC, BIOL, and CHEM courses will be automatically dropped from subsequent enrollment in department courses.
  • Any single BIOC, BIOL, or CHEM course may only be taken two times at APU.
  • Students may not earn a chemistry minor if they are majoring in biochemistry, nor may they earn a biology minor if they are majoring in allied health or biochemistry.
  • Students missing more than three labs in a course receive an automatic F in the course.
  • Courses with labs in an online or correspondence format are not allowed to transfer as BIOC, BIOL, or CHEM courses.

Additional Requirements for Allied Health, Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, and Chemistry Majors

All of the following requirements must be met to continue as an allied health, biological sciences, biochemistry, or chemistry major. Failure to maintain these requirements will result in a student being dropped from the major. Reentry to the major is by petition only.

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all biology, chemistry, biochemistry, math, and physics courses required for the major must be maintained.
  • A student must complete each course required for the major or minor with a C- or higher for the course to meet a degree requirement in the Department of Biology or Chemistry.
  • Any single course within the major can be taken only two times at APU; students must change to a major outside the department after two unsuccessful (below C-) attempts in a single required course.
  • Only two courses total within the major can be repeated; students must change to a major outside the department after unsuccessful (below C-) attempts in any three required courses.
  • All majors are required to take BIOL 496 to meet their General Education Senior Seminar or Writing 3 requirement.
  • While courses required of the major may be taken at other accredited institutions, subject to approval via a transfer inquiry form, both lecture and laboratory components must be taken at the same institution in the same semester.
  • It is strongly recommended that freshmen in all biological sciences majors (including biochemistry) take General Chemistry I (CHEM 151) and General Biology I (BIOL 151) the first year, and that chemistry majors start with General Chemistry I (CHEM 151) and Calculus I (MATH 165) the first year. Should math placement assessment require algebra of the student, then that class should be taken the first year and a five-year program may be indicated.
  • BIOL 151 should be taken by allied health, biochemistry, and biological sciences majors and biology and chemistry minors who receive AP biology credit. Many medical schools and graduate programs will not accept AP biology to meet requirements for admission.
  • Students may take a maximum of 3 units total from BIOL 390, BIOL 391, BIOL 490, BIOL 497, or BIOL 498 for elective credit toward the BS in Allied Health or the BS in Biological Sciences.

Students may take a maximum of 3 units total from the following courses for elective credit toward the BS in Allied Health, the BA in Allied Health, the BS in Biological Sciences, or the minor in biology:

  • BIOL 390 Pre-health Seminar (1 unit)
  • BIOL 391 Medical Missions Practicum (1 unit)
  • BIOL 394 Directed Research Internship (1-3 units)
  • BIOL 395 Biological Science Internship (1-3 units)
  • BIOL 490 Biology Seminar (1 units)
  • BIOL 497 Readings (1-3 units)

The following courses may not be taken to meet upper-division elective requirements in any major in the department:

  • BIOL 325 Humans and the Environment (4 units)
  • BIOL 330 Gender Differences (3 units)
  • BIOL 400 Science and Children (4 units)
  • BIOL 470 Science for the MCAT (1 unit)

Dismissal Policy

The department will audit student compliance with these policies each semester. Failure to maintain these requirements will result in the student being dropped from the major or minor. Reentry to the major or minor is by petition only.

Note: This information is current for the 2023-24 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.