STUDENTS WHO ARE MATRICULATING FALL 2010 AND AFTER:
Advanced placement credit will be awarded for a score of 4 or 5 on the American AP exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level International Baccalaureate (IB) exam or GCE A-Levels. Credit will be recorded on your transcript as BIO 20 (fomerly 19), but it will not allow placement out of any Biology courses for the major. All Biology majors, regardless of whether you’ve had AP Bio or not, will take the same biology ‘gateway’ courses: Bio 201L (101L) and 202L (102L). These courses will introduce the three foundations of modern biology: molecular biology, genetics and evolution. The gateway courses will take you deep into the topics, beyond AP Bio, and provide a foundation for other advanced courses in biology. Upper-level courses in biology typically specify either 201L (101L) or 202L (102L) as prerequisites, though there are several courses that would be appropriate for students with just a strong science background and AP BIO credit.
Although you can only use two AP credits to reduce the number of credits you need to take for graduation (from 34 to 32), any number of AP credits can be used for placement out of introductory courses where appropriate. So, advanced placement in chemistry, math and physics will reduce the courses needed to complete the Biology major, freeing you up to take more advanced courses or courses in other disciplines.
Please note that the Undergraduate Biology Major underwent a curriculum revision in Fall 2010. Biology 25L, our previous Introductory Course, is no longer offered.
STUDENTS WHO MATRICULATED BEFORE FALL 2010:
For students who matriculated before Fall 2010, the undergraduate Biology program began with a single semester introductory biology course, BIO 25L (Principles of Biology). BIO 25L alone was a prerequisite for most upper-level biology courses.
PLACEMENT BY EXAM OR TRANSFER
Advanced placement out of BIO 25L is possible with adequate scores on an approved examination. Advanced placement credit will be recorded as BIO 19 for a score of 4 or 5 on the American AP exam or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level International Baccalaureate (IB) exam or GCE A-Levels. Credit for either BIO 19 will satisfy the biology prerequisite, in lieu of BIO 25L, for courses that specify BIO 25L as a prerequisite.
Advanced placement, but not course credit, may be possible in the absence of a placement exam or transfer credit. There are two options that may be pursued in exceptional cases:
I. If a student's background is strong in a particular area, then it may be possible to take a corresponding upper-level course with the consent of the instructor. A student should meet with the course instructor and present documentary evidence that they are well prepared for the upper-level course. Consent must be sought on a course by course basis and it will not waive the introductory or gateway biology prerequisite for the Biology Major.
II. For a biology major who believes that believes that they are generally are well prepared for upper-level courses in biology, then they may receive a waiver out of the Bio 25L requirement for the major with approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) in Biology. The student must submit a written request for placement to the DUS which addresses the following concerns:
1. Was the caliber of high school training at the college level and equivalent to a standard AP Biology class? Documentation should include a syllabus, description of the text & labs, or a statement from the teacher.
2. Was the student's performance in the course was well above average, corresponding to an AP exam score of 4 or 5 had they taken the exam?. Documentation should include a grade (transcript), copies of exams, or a statement from the teacher.
3. Was there some reason that the student did not take the exam? Was it consistent with the likelihood that they would have done well had they taken it?
4. Is there are some reason that taking Bio 25L would have been a significant problem for the student's academic program here at Duke?
Upon approval, the student will receive a note indicating that they have a conditional waiver from taking BIO 25L. Final approval is conditional on the student's performance (B- or better) in their first upper-level course. A note will be entered into the student's transcript indicating that they have advanced placement in biology.
For students matriculating before Fall 2010, a waiver of BIO 25L by the DUS will satisfy the biology prerequisite for the Biology major. Note, however, that it does not grant either course credit nor examination credit.
Duke Biology Box 90338 Durham, NC 27708 Phone: 919-660-7372 Fax: 919-660-7293