Students with advanced preparation from high school may be exempted from one or more of the modules in the foundational biology sequence:

  • BIOL 101, Biochemistry and Biophysics
  • BIOL 102, Principles of Cell Biology and Membrane Physiology
  • BIOL 103, Genes and Development
  • BIOL 104, Principles of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Such advanced placement is available only to students who have both (1) received a score of 5 on the AP Biology exam, a score of 7 on the IB biology higher-level exam, a score of A on the GCE biology A-level exam, or the equivalent on other national standardized exams, and (2) demonstrated adequate proficiency on the Yale biological sciences placement examinations.

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. The exams consist mostly of essay questions. Students who take the exams will receive notification of their placement by e-mail prior to the beginning of fall term.

All students interested 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. Even the most advanced high school biology course is unlikely to have covered the field at the level of BIOL 101–104. The professors teaching the sequence are leading scientific researchers, and the classes include discussion of recent cutting-edge research as well as instruction in how to read original research publications. For more information about BIOL 101–104, see under Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering in the Programs of Study section.

Access to the Placement Examinations

The biological sciences placement examinations will be available on line from mid-July to mid-August. During this time period, follow the instructions below for access to the exams.

  • Log into Classes*v2 with your NetID.
  • Under “My Workspace,” click on “Membership” and then on “Joinable Sites.”
  • In the search box on the right side of the screen, type “Biology” and then click “Search.”
  • The search should bring up the Biology Placement site; click on “Join.”
  • After joining the site, click on the “Biology Placement Exams” tab. The site will provide directions for proceeding with the exams.

Please contact the BIOL 101–104 course coordinator, Surjit Chandhoke, with any questions about the foundational biology sequence or the biological sciences placement examinations.