College of Science & Engineering


Biology Course Access and Registration

Most lower level biology courses are open to all students who have successfully met the prerequisites except for a handful of courses that are required components of special departmental programs. All upper-division (300/400 level) biology courses are major restricted and the restrictions vary widely by course. It is important to review the department's detailed registration information sheet each quarter to fully understand the major restrictions that will be enforced. This registration information is distributed as widely as possible several weeks before registration begins. It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of the prerequisites, major restrictions and override request timelines required for each biology course.

Course Access Information Sheet

Repeat Overrides

In Fall 2017, the Registrar implemented a new retake policy that restricts registration in courses previously passed with a C – or higher. If you are a declared Phase I biology major and plan to retake one of the six Phase I courses (CHEM 161, 162, 163, BIOL 204, 205, 206) to improve your GPA for admission, you will need a repeat override to register for one of these courses during the first phase of registration. Repeat override requests should be made directly to

Pre-health Students

If you are a student with a Pre-Health interest, but not declared in a major that has access to a specific course, you will need to request permission to register for the course via an Instructor Override. Although not guaranteed, special consideration will be made for those students who may need the following courses to prepare for professional schools: BIOL 321, 322, 345, 346, 348, and 349. Please contact the instructor directly with your request using the Override Request Web form.

Course Access for Biology Minors

Students who are declared biology minors will have the same registration priority as Phase II general biology majors during the first phase of registration as long as those courses are not already restricted to specific emphases within biology major (e.g., marine biology). If they are restricted, biology minors must wait until the course opens to all Phase II biology majors (or to general biology majors) before they may register.

First Day Attendance Policy

In accordance with Western’s Class Attendance Policy, any student who is absent from the first class meeting without discussing the absence with the instructor in advance may be asked to withdraw from the course.

Prerequisite Enforcement

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 by email within one week after final grades are posted.