College of Science & Engineering

Department Policies

Department Waitlist Policy

Do NOT contact the biology department, instructors or faculty members regarding your position on the waitlist. Students may view their waitlist position via Web4u. Frequently asked waitlist questions and instructions are available here.
All Biology courses (except independent study, research, teaching practicum, and graduate-level courses) will be part of Western's automatic waitlist system. The Biology Department does not actively manage waitlists for 100-level, and most 200-level courses. Students who are on a waitlist will be offered seats on a “first in, first out” basis. Given the variability of enrollment needs across courses within our department, we reserve the right to manage course waitlists as summarized below. Application of this policy may change your position on the waitlist without advance notice. It is the student’s responsibility to check their position on a course waitlist in order to make timely registration decisions.
BIOL 204, 205 and 206
Students (regardless of their major) who have been on the waitlist for the same course for two consecutive quarters will be given priority. Waitlists in these courses will be evaluated during registration and reprioritized without advance notice.
Upper Division (300 and 400) Courses
In courses where waitlist management is necessary, prioritization will be done primarily to expedite time to degree completion to accommodate students who are close to graduation. Students who have formally applied for graduation and who require a specific course as part of their degree plan - will be given the highest priority. It is the responsibility of the student to approach the Department as soon as possible for assistance if they are unable to get into a required course as specified on their approved graduation checklist. Additionally, students on the waitlist may be prioritized based on one or more of the following considerations: number of credits completed, declared major/degree requirements, and/or enrollment in the course for the first time.
First Day Attendance Policy
According to Western's Class Attendance Policy, "any student who fails to attend the first meeting of a course may be required to drop it if another student, previously unable to register for the course due to enrollment limitations, seeks admission." The Biology Department enforces this attendance policy for all upper-division courses that have a waitlist on the first day of class.
On the first day of class in all waitlisted upper-division biology courses, the instructor will take attendance. Proof of identification may be required.  Any student who is on the class roster, but not in attendance on the first day will be notified via email that course withdrawal is required. Once a student has been asked to withdraw from the course, the seat will be offered to the next student on the waitlist.
If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent a student from attending class on the first day, notification must be sent to the course instructor prior to the first meeting. It is the instructor's discretion whether to excuse the student's absence.

Prerequisite Policy

The Biology Department enforces Western’s campus-wide prerequisite policy. Students who are enrolled in a course but have failed to pass the prerequisite course with a C – or higher will be required to withdraw from the course immediately. Students who have failed prerequisites will be notified via email within a week after final grades are posted.