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What Are the Different Types of Biology Prerequisites?

Biology prerequisites vary based on the level and focus of study. They typically include foundational courses in chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Advanced studies may require genetics, microbiology, or biochemistry. What specific prerequisites have you encountered in your biology studies or career?
K. Kinsella
K. Kinsella

Universities that offer undergraduate degree programs in biology normally require applicants to have completed certain classes while at high school. Biology prerequisites for admission purposes often include science and mathematics courses. Additionally, students currently enrolled in biology degree programs must complete various prerequisites in order to graduate.

Generally, anyone who wishes to enroll in a biology degree course at college must first have taken a biological science course while at high school. Other types of science related biology prerequisites include physical science, marine biology and chemistry. Beyond science, most colleges also require students to have achieved good scores in mathematics and some higher educational establishments require students to have achieved minimum scores in all subjects even if some of those topics are not directly related to science.

Some biology programs require students to be knowledgeable about lab safety procedures.
Some biology programs require students to be knowledgeable about lab safety procedures.

College students normally begin biology degree programs by taking classes such as introduction to biology, basic chemistry, and general science classes. Typically, each of these classes lasts for a single semester. These basic courses serve as prerequisites for the more advanced biology related classes that undergraduates must take later in the degree program. Students who have successfully completed the classes that are classified as first year biology prerequisites can go on to study topics such as marine ecology, biological conservation, human biology and other related subjects.

Placement tests may be especially helpful for older students who are returning to school after several years of hands-on experience in the workforce.
Placement tests may be especially helpful for older students who are returning to school after several years of hands-on experience in the workforce.

In most countries, undergraduates have to complete a certain number of credit hours before they become eligible to graduate. Students often have to complete both classes that are directly related to their degree program and classes in subjects that provide them with a basic insight into other subject matters such as language courses or information technology (IT) topics. A college may list some of these non-science related classes as biology prerequisites that students must complete before they can receive their diplomas.

Some universities offer postgraduate degree programs in biology and related science topics and as with undergraduate degree programs, biology prerequisites typically include completing high school level science classes with above average grades. Additionally, postgraduate students must have successfully completed an undergraduate degree in biology or a related subject. In most instances, postgraduate degrees focus on a narrow subject matter in which case prospective students may have to have completed particular science classes while earning their undergraduate degrees. Someone applying for a postgraduate degree program on marine ecology may have to have studied marine plant life and animals while an undergraduate. For postgraduate degree programs, successful completion of a dissertation is normally listed as one of the graduation requirements.

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    • Some biology programs require students to be knowledgeable about lab safety procedures.
      By: markos86
      Some biology programs require students to be knowledgeable about lab safety procedures.
    • Placement tests may be especially helpful for older students who are returning to school after several years of hands-on experience in the workforce.
      By: Tyler Olson
      Placement tests may be especially helpful for older students who are returning to school after several years of hands-on experience in the workforce.