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Advanced Inquiry Program

What if the biology requisite course is offered under a quarter or trimester system?

The course must be worth the equivalent of 3 semester hours. Conversion charts are available online and through most schools.

Does the biology requisite course have to be offered for biology majors?

No. Biology for non-majors is fine.

Must the course be called "Intro to Biology"?

No. There are other names for a general biology course that would be appropriate (e.g. Ecological Biology, General Biology, Principles of Biology, Life on Planet Earth, etc.). The main criterion is that the course provides fairly comprehensive coverage of the biological sciences including coverage of many of the following topics: genes, cells, organisms, populations, communities, habitats, photosynthesis, growth and reproduction, evolution, biodiversity of life, human anatomy and physiology. Combinations of certain courses (e.g., several veterinary or environmental sciences courses) might also fulfill the general biology requirement. If you have questions or feel you may have taken courses that can fulfill the biology requirement, please fill out the following form:

Does the biology requisite course have to be offered from within a biology department?

No, though the department should be focused on the life sciences. These go by different names such as biology, biological sciences, zoology, ecology and evolution, and environmental sciences. Combinations of certain courses from other departments may apply (see above). In addition, some online courses may be acceptable that are not directly offered from within a biology department. It is important that the course be taught from the perspective of the biological sciences.

Does the course have to be offered from an accredited college?

Yes. Whether online or held in person, the course needs to be taken from an accredited university or college. You may confirm that the institution is accredited by searching

Are online courses acceptable?

Yes, as long as the online course is accredited as noted on an official transcript from a university accredited by the U.S. Department of Education and taught from a biological perspective. Universities are searchable at the following website: There are numerous online course offerings, some of which may not be legitimate or may be misleading. Each student is responsible for making sure that all issues are addressed with online course offerings. For instance, some online courses require separate acceptance into an affiliated college for release of credits.

Would a course that includes some biological principles or related concepts (e.g., evolution, behavior, botany, sustainability, etc.) be acceptable?

No. The biology requirement course must have sufficiently broad coverage of the biological sciences, as typically offered in a general biology course.

Do I need to earn a certain final grade?

Yes. To fulfill the biology course requirement for the AIP or the GFP, you must earn a grade of B- or higher.

I took AP biology in high school and earned college-level credit. Does this fulfill the program’s biology requisite?

Yes, as long as the AP credit is noted on a student’s undergraduate transcripts.

When must the biology requisite course be taken?

If you have not met the biology requisite through previously taken coursework, it is highly recommended that students who have not previously met this requirement through coursework taken as an undergraduate student take a basic biology course within the first year of the master's program. A foundation in biology will increase your ability to do well in the courses you take as you work toward your master’s degree. A student MUST meet this requirement before the master's degree will be granted.