The Biology department at GCC offers fundamental science courses.

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Course Placement

BIO201 and BIO205 Course Placement

Introductory Biology for Allied Health (BIO 156) is a cell and molecular biology course that sets the foundation for Human Anatomy and Physiology (BIO 201 and BIO 202) and Microbiology (BIO 205). We have found that students who do not have a working knowledge of the topics covered in BIO 156 have difficulty passing A&P and Microbiology.

To help insure the chances for student success in these 200-level courses, the Biology Department at Glendale Community College has developed two tools so that students without BIO 156 or 181 can evaluate their preparation and make the best choice as to which is the most appropriate initial college biology course.

You must be eligible to enroll in CRE 101 in order to register for BIO 156, 181, 201 or 205. Eligibility is determined based either a score on the reading comprehension test (ACCUPLACER) that places the student at or exempt from CRE101* or by passing RDG100, RDG111, RDG112 or RDG113 with a “C” or better.  This critical reading requirement is in addition to the biology preparation detailed by the three options listed below.

* (see this link for scores on ACCUPLACER test required to test at these levels)

Option 1: If you earned a "C" or better in BIO156 or BIO181

Register for BIO 201 or 205 if you meet the minimum critical reading level described in the second paragraph above and meet the course prerequisites listed in the BIO course descriptions on the Biology main page.

Option 2: If you have taken high school biology or college-level general biology

Have you taken a year of high school biology or a college level nonmajors general biology course (such as BIO101 or 102) with a grade of  “C” or better (ideally within the last three years) and meet the minimum reading requirement, detailed in the second paragraph above? Then visit Testing Services to take the "Self-Assessment for BIO 201 and 205" before enrolling in BIO 201 or 205. This computerized, multiple choice exam is given at Testing Services on a walk-in basis. It may be taken only one time within a two year period and is valid for 2 years.  

In order to enroll in BIO 201 or 205, you must: 

  1. provide a copy of a transcript documenting the biology course,
  2. discuss your assessment score with a GCC academic advisor and obtain his/her signature. If you score 70% or higher on this test, the advisor will give you permission to enroll in BIO 201 or 205. If you score lower than this and, after your discussion with your advisor, if you still wish to do so, you can enroll in BIO 201 or 205; however, our data indicate that you will not be well prepared for these rigorous 200-level courses and are unlikely to earn a grade of A or B.

Our advisors want to "set you up to succeed" and will urge you to invest a semester in BIO 156 or 181 to increase your odds of doing well in Anatomy & Physiology and Microbiology. Students generally achieve more timely academic progress if they come in to their advanced courses with a solid foundation in biology.

Option 3: If you have not passed BIO 156 or BIO181 with a "C" or better

If you have NOT taken high school biology or a nonmajors general biology course in college and have NOT passed BIO 156 or BIO 181 with a grade of C or better, enroll in BIO 156 (recommended) or BIO 181.

Or, take the BIO156 Waiver Exam at Testing Services and score better than 70%.  The student must bring a scantron, number 2 pencil, and photo ID. The exam may be taken only once within a 12-month period.  Exemption by waiver is only valid for two years. No college credit is given for passing this exam. 

Passing the waiver exam only addresses biology preparation; in order to enroll in BIO 201 or 205, students must also meet the reading eligibility requirement described in the second paragraph above and meet the prerequisites listed the course description. See all BIO course descriptions on the Biology main page.

Preparation for option 2 or 3: The concepts covered in BIO 156 and included on the waiver exam and the self-assessment are outlined in the course competencies. There are no study materials provided, but reviewing these topics in a college general biology book may be helpful. The text used for BIO 156 is Campbell Biology: Concepts and Connections. Taylor, Dickey, Simon, Hogan and Reece. 9th edition. Pearson (Chapters 1-12). It is on reserve in the GCC Library.