professor and students hanging out at the segerstrom science building

Biological Sciences Major

Study Biological Sciences at Azusa Pacific University

When you graduate, you’ll be highly prepared for a variety of careers or to continue your education in medicine, health care, conservation, ecology, biotechnology, microbiology, science education, and more. You’ll boost your résumé and stand out among peers  with the opportunity to conduct cutting edge research with faculty with state of the art equipment. You’ll gain a solid foundation in a wide range of biological topics, and you can choose a concentration (Ecological, Biological Systems, or Cellular and Molecular)  for your unique career goals. 

Program at a Glance

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers diverse well-rounded degree programs to prepare critical thinkers to make a difference in the world for Christ.

Upcoming Events

APU One Day

  • March 8, 2024

Night at the Zu

  • March 14-15, 2024

Application Deadline

Early Action (Freshmen Only)

  • November 15

Regular Decision

  • March 1 priority application deadline
  • June 1 final deadline
  • August 1 final transfer deadline

Apply Now

Program Units
71-75

Location

  • Azusa (Main Campus)

 

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Students in laboratory

Gain Hands-on Experience

  • Hands-on, practical training in laboratory and research techniques.
  • Direct access to and training on start-of-the-art instrumentation. 
  • Conduct research with faculty or secure an internship in the field.
  • Study living organisms through a rigorous curriculum with core biological topics
  • Explore your faith in relation to the scientific community and natural world

 

By the Numbers

1 of 126 Best Western Colleges according to Princeton Review's 2023 Best Colleges Guide
10.8 % expected growth of STEM occupations by 2031
70 % of students in APU’s science programs go on to pursue graduate school.

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Zuleika smiling

Zuleika Franco: Getting to Know God Better Through Biology

Biological Sciences  major Zuleika Franco ’23 landed an internship at the top hospital in California while studying at APU and acknowledges the life-changing support of her professors.

Program Details

The Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences focuses on utilizing scientific knowledge to better understand living organisms and the wonders of God’s world, providing a rigorous curriculum and strong foundation in core biology courses such as general biology, microbiology, and cell biology. Additional course requirements provide a foundation in related fields (chemistry, physics, and mathematics), and provide breadth to the study of biology. Biological Sciences  students then use upper-division courses to specialize in biological systems, ecological, cellular and molecular concentrations. . 

Browse the tabs below—if you have questions, visit the Student Services Center page, and we’ll make sure you get the info you need.

General Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Select an option below:

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

While the Department of Biology and Chemistry does not cap enrollment in these majors, students are expected to demonstrate certain levels of achievement (detailed below) to enter and remain in these majors.

Freshman Applicants

To qualify for a major in allied health, biological sciences, biochemistry, or chemistry, freshman applicants must submit documentation of the following (or their equivalents) and indicate their choice for one of those majors to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions before the start of classes. After that date, the requirements in the Matriculated APU Students section (below) must be met.

  • High school GPA of 3.0+
  • At least three years of high school math (an average of C- or better across all three years) or SAT Math score of 530+ or ACT Math score of 21+
  • At least 2 years of high school science (with a B or better in either biology or chemistry)

Transfer Applicants

To qualify for a major in allied health, biological sciences, biochemistry, or chemistry, transfer applicants must submit documentation of the following (or their equivalents) and indicate their choice for one of these majors to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions before the start of classes. After that date, the requirements in the Matriculated APU Students section (below) must be met.

  • Community college/university GPA of 2.8+
  • Completion of Intermediate Algebra or higher (C- or better)
  • Completion of a one-semester science course (C- or better, biology or chemistry course recommended)

Matriculated APU Students

To qualify for a major in allied health, biological sciences, biochemistry, or chemistry, matriculated APU students must submit evidence of all of the following:

  • Completion of BIOL 151 or CHEM 151 (C- or higher)
  • Completion of MATH MATH 95, current ALEKS score of 45+, SAT Math score of 530+, or ACT Math score of 21+
  • Completion of prospective major advising in the Department of Biology and Chemistry

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 biological sciences, chemistry, biochemistry, math, and physics courses required for the major must be maintained.
  • A student must complete each BIOC, BIOL, or CHEM course with a C- or higher for the course to meet a degree requirement in the Department of Biology or Chemistry.
  • Any single class within the major can only be taken 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, or biological sciences majors who receive AP biology credit. Many medical schools and graduate programs will not accept AP biology to meet requirements for admission. AP credit for BIOL 151 will be given only with approval of the chair of the Department of Biology and Chemistry.
  • Students may take a maximum of 3 units total from BIOL 390BIOL 391BIOL 490BIOL 497, or BIOL 498a for elective credit toward the BS in Allied Health or the BS in Biological Sciences.

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)

Although a private college education may seem out of reach for many, recent research from Kiplinger reveals that the actual value of some private universities may prove this assumption wrong. In 2010, Kiplinger selected Azusa Pacific University for its Top 100 Best Values in Private Colleges rankings. Read more about APU’s ranking in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Private Colleges.

APU students may take advantage of three types of financial aid: scholarships and grants, education loans, and student employment.

Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships and grants are considered “gift aid” and do not require repayment. They can come from federal, state, or private sources. Scholarships are typically merit-based, meaning they are awarded depending on demonstrated academic ability or other specific talents.

Scholarships are often available from sources outside of APU. You can search for these scholarships through websites such as finaid.org or fastweb.com. The Student Services Center is sometimes notified of scholarships available through APU departments or local organizations, and can provide information about any available scholarships on request.

Education Loans

Education loans are usually repaid after graduation, may be deferred until after graduate school, and often have very low interest rates.

Military Benefits

Military members—and in some cases their spouses and dependents—qualify for financial assistance covering tuition, housing, and books. Azusa Pacific is a Yellow Ribbon University and Military Friendly School, so you can be confident that you’ll receive the benefits and flexibility you need to complete your education.

Student Employment

On-campus student employment is available for students needing additional income to pay for education-related expenses. APU students also find work off campus in the surrounding community.

Net Price Calculator

We’re committed to helping families understand early in the college search process the value of the APU experience and options for affordable financing of a top-tier Christian university education.

Now that you’re familiar with the financial aid opportunities available to APU students, it’s time to estimate what your true cost may be to attend Azusa Pacific. Remember, estimations are only as accurate as the information you provide. Click on the Net Price Calculator button below to begin.


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To view specific requirements and coursework information, visit the current academic catalog:

Azusa Pacific University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

Featured Faculty

Charles Chen

Charles Chen

Professor, Department of Biology and Chemistry

Sarah Richart

Sarah Richart

Professor, Department of Biology and Chemistry

Kenneth G. Sossa

Kenneth G. Sossa

Professor, Department of Biology and Chemistry

Career Outlooks and Outcomes

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.

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