Students with advanced preparation from high school may be exempt from one or more of the biology modules that compose the foundational biology sequence. The biology modules are listed below:
- BIOL 101, Biochemistry and Biophysics
- BIOL 102, Principles of Cell Biology
- BIOL 103, Genetics and Development
- BIOL 104, Principles of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Each module in the foundational biology sequence has its own placement exam. Students may take all four placement exams or any subset of their choice.
To be eligible to take the biology placement exams, students must be an incoming first-year student and have received a score of 5 on the AP Biology exam, or a score of 7 on the IB biology higher-level exam, or a score of A on the GCE biology A-level exam, or a score of a 720 on both the SAT II Chemistry and SAT II Molecular Biology Tests, or the equivalent on other national standardized exams.
To successfully place out of a biology module, students must meet the eligibility criteria described above and demonstrate adequate proficiency on the module specific placement exam. Students who take the exams will receive notification of their placement on Canvas prior to the beginning of fall term.
All students interested in majoring in the biological sciences are encouraged to take the complete foundational biology sequence, whether or not they are eligible for exemption from one or more modules. One purpose of the foundational biology sequence is to give students a skill set applicable to courses within and beyond the scope of the biological sciences. After completing the biology sequence, students are able to:
- Explain scientific concepts and experimental approaches
- Analyze and interpret scientific data
- Read and discuss scientific papers
- Conduct an independent scientific literature search
- Design and write an original scientific research paper
Another purpose of the sequence is to expose students to content related to each of the four bioscience tracks (E&EB, MB&B, MCDB, and NSCI) offered at Yale. In so doing, students are afforded the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding their major of choice.
For more information about BIOL 101–104, see under Majors in the Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering in the Programs of Study section.
Access to the Placement Examinations
- Click on the site called 2017 Placement Results (BIOL, CHEM, ECON, MATH, PHYS).
- After entering this site, you will be brought to a page listing five disciplines. Click on Biology.
- After clicking on Biology, you will be brought to a page with further instructions on how to navigate Canvas to access the biology placement exams. Please read these instructions carefully.
Contact the BIOL 101–104 course coordinator and instructor, Samantha Lin with any questions about the foundational biology sequence or the biology placement exams.