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Obtaining approval for the elective courses for your Major (Substitution Form)

The Biology B.S. and B.A. degrees require students to complete upper division Major requirements by taking ELECTIVE courses. The student may take upper division courses that are listed within the Biology major degree description as elective options. However, the student may choose to take alternate upper division Biology or Chemistry courses that are not specifically listed as part of the degree description. If the course is not listed in the degree description, students should obtain the approval of their major advisor BEFORE taking the elective course for Major credit. This Advisor and Department approval is demonstrated by approval on the Department of Biology SUBSTITUTION form.

Biology Substitution Form

The student must meet with the Biology Advisor to confirm that a specific course is acceptable to meet the upper division Major requirement.

The student should bring to the meeting with the Biology Advisor:

  • a copy of his/her unofficial SFSU transcripts
  • a copy of his/her Advanced Standing Evaluation (ASE), and Degree Audit Report (if a transfer student)
  • current course enrollment
  • the Biology Substitution Form listing courses to be used for substitution filled out as follows:
    • If a course is being used to meet elective credit, then it should be listed on the TOP part of the substitution form.
    • If a course is being used to replace an upper division course required for the Major, the course is listed on the BOTTOM part of the Substitution form . The required course being replaced must be indicated on the Substitution form and an explanation provided on the Substitution Form.

    Once the Biology Advisor has approved the form, the student submits the form to the Department of Biology for approval by the Chair of the Department. The student does not meet with the Chair of the Department. The student picks up the form (typically within two days) from the Department after it has been approved.

    Do not wait until submission of the graduation application for approval of the  course substitutions, as they may not be approved by the Advisor or Department.

    Note that it is the responsibility of the student to keep all Department-approved Equivalency and Substitution Forms to submit with the graduation application.

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