Admission to the Biology Minor

Application Requirements


Students may apply to Biology Minor status when they: 1) have completed BIOL 204, BIOL 205, CHEM 161/175, and CHEM 162/176 with grades of C- or higher, and 2) have completed the Biology knowledge assessment. Application involves submitting a completed application form, including responding to prompts about the applicant’s experience, motivation, and goals. 

Admission to the Biology Minor is selective, and neither completion of the prerequisite courses nor attainment of any specific GPA or knowledge assessment score guarantees admission. When space is limited and discernment among student qualifications is not possible, a random draw among similarly qualified applicants may be used to determine admission.

Knowledge Assessment

The Biology knowledge assessment evaluates understanding of core concepts in biology and chemistry and quantitative and critical thinking skills used to address questions relating to those concepts. The knowledge assessment may be re-taken once, no sooner than the quarter following the first attempt.

You can find a list of topics that will be the basis for questions on the Knowledge Assessment here.

Written Responses

As part of the online application, students will submit responses to a series of prompts regarding their academic experience, motivation and goals as it relates to a minor in Biology. More information about this aspect of the application will be provided here as details become available.


When to Apply

Students are strongly encouraged to apply to the minor prior to having completed BIOL 206 and/or CHEM 163/225 to ensure timely progress towards graduation. Application deadlines are Friday of the first week of Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters. Only complete, on-time applications will be considered; complete applications submitted after the application deadline will be considered during the following quarter’s application review.

Notification of Admission Decisions

Every effort will be made to notify applicants of admission decisions by the end of the 5th week of the quarter to allow adequate time to plan for course registration for the following quarter.


Students who are denied admission to the minor can reapply; only once and no sooner than the following quarter.

Appeals of limits to re-taking knowledge assessment and/or re-applying to the minor

Under exceptional circumstances, students may be given an opportunity to exceed the limits on re-taking the knowledge assessment (one re-take allowed) and/or re-applying to the minor (one re-application allowed). Students must appeal to the department to request exceptions to these limits; decisions concerning such appeals are final.

Switching from the Biology Minor to the Biology Major

Students who want to switch from the Biology Minor to the Biology Major must submit a major application. The process for this is described in the application requirements section for the Biology Major.

Major/Minor Overlap Policy

Courses used to satisfy requirements within the depth category for the minor must represent specialization in biology beyond a student’s major requirements. This policy also applies to students pursuing more than one minor. Students that are most affected by this requirement are those who are pursuing programs in in Environmental Science, Kinesiology and Biochemistry. When significant overlap occurs, the Biology Department will allow up to 6 upper division credits to be applied to both the student’s major and the biology minor.