Each semester before the pre-registration period, the Registrar will send you an email message with your pre-registration information. The Registrar will also list the time of your pre-registration appointment in the Pre-Registration Master Schedule, which will be available in the Biology Office and elsewhere on campus (e.g., Connelly Center); you should pick one up as soon as possible, or consult the online version, to plan your course schedule. You must meet with your academic advisor before your scheduled pre-registration appointment to plan your course schedule. Most advisors will post sign-up sheets for pre-registration advisement. Students pre-register using the myNova web interface, using a PIN number that they obtain from their academic advisor after discussing course selections. To help you keep track of the courses that you have taken, download and complete the Graduation Requirements for Biology Majors worksheet.

Juniors and seniors, with a GPA of at least 3.0, may register for 7000-level Biology courses. Seniors with a GPA of at least 3.8 may register for 8000-level Biology courses. In both cases, the student must submit a 'Permission To Enter Graduate Course' card, obtained from the Biology Office and initialed by the professor teaching the course, and signed by your advisor and the Department of Biology Chair. You then turn the card in to the Registrar during pre-registration.

All course sections now receive a unique number ("CRN") that the Registrar uses to maintain computerized enrollment records in a program called Banner. You can save time and effort at registration if, when penciling in your schedule, you jot down the CRNs-which are listed each semester in the Master Schedule-for all sections in which you hope to enroll, along with the more traditional department and course number codes. You will also need CRNs to make any changes in your schedule later (see next item).

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Option

Juniors or seniors may take elective courses on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis; courses that fulfill a major, minor, or core curriculum requirement may not be taken on a S/U basis. No more than one course per semester may be taken on a S/U basis. To select the S/U option, you must register for the course during pre-registration and then fill out a change form, available in the Registrar's Office, during the Drop/Add period. This form does not require the signature of your advisor, but we strongly recommend that you consult with your advisor to be certain that the S/U option is appropriate. The student earns an S grade if their performance in the course is equivalent to C or better. Otherwise, a grade of U is recorded.

Audit Option

You may audit a course with the consent of your advisor. Students who audit a class 'sit in' on class meetings, but do not complete the course assignments nor receive a grade; they are assessed tuition, on the same basis as any other course. To select this option, you must register for the course during the pre-registration period and then fill out a change form, available in the Registrar's Office, during the Drop/Add period. This form does not require the signature of your advisor, but we strongly recommend that you consult with your advisor to be certain that the audit option is appropriate.

Transfer Credits

Credit for university-level courses taken at other institutions can be transferred to Villanova and will count toward the total credits required for graduation. Only courses taken at 4-year colleges and universities that grant a baccalaureate degree will be considered for transfer credit; credit will not be granted for courses taken at community colleges. To receive credit for a course taken elsewhere, submit a copy of the course description and the transcript on which the grade and number of credits granted is recorded to the Department of Biology office.

If you wish to take a course offered by another university (for instance, in the summer), you should obtain approval before registering for that course to insure that the transfer credit will count towards your Villanova degree requirements. Fill out a request for Transfer Credit form with a copy of the description of the course (from the course catalog of the school to be attended) to the Department of Biology office. Upon approval by the department chair, you should submit the form to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; you should also request a letter to take for registration at the school where you will take the course. Upon completion of the course, the grade must be sent to Villanova; some schools will do this automatically. We recommend that you check with the Registrar to be certain that the grade has been submitted to Villanova.

There are many opportunities that will allow biology students to receive credit for summer research, summer field courses, and related opportunities. Often, transfer credit may be granted for Biology course equivalents required for graduation. In most cases, the Department chair will match up the transferred course with a specific equivalent course at Villanova. Students should be aware that in this instance, they may not subsequently take the same course for credit at Villanova.

Some opportunities for transfer credit are available to students who have completed only General Biology (2105, 2106), but most are geared toward students between the junior and senior years. The bulletin boards on the first floor of Mendel (outside the Biology office), the large loose-leaf notebooks in the Department of Biology Office, and your advisors can provide you with information about a range of opportunities to suit your interests.

While transfer credits can count toward the credits you need for graduation, they are not included in the calculation of your Villanova GPA. However, most graduate and professional programs will take into account not just your Villanova GPA, but the grades you earn in all college-level courses you complete. Therefore, it is advisable to put just as much effort into courses you take elsewhere as you would in courses taken on the Villanova campus.

Change in Major

Students who wish to transfer into Biology from another major must complete a transfer request form in the Department of Biology Office, they will then be asked to discuss their application with one or more members of the Department of Biology’s Advisory Committee. That committee subsequently will evaluate the request and make its recommendation to the Chair of the Department of Biology, who will notify the student of the outcome. Prospective transfer students should be aware that they may require additional time, relative to their original incoming class, to complete all the graduation requirements for the Biology major, depending on the mix of courses they have completed prior to their transfer. Students who wish to transfer from Biology to another major must complete a transfer request form in the office of the department/program into which they wish to transfer.


There are times when it becomes necessary to make changes in your course schedule. This can be done only during the Drop/Add period (usually the first five days of each semester). You should meet with your advisor to discuss the changes you wish to make, fill out a Drop/Add form (available in the Department of Biology Office and elsewhere), and get your advisor's signature. The form should then be turned in to the Registrar.

Transfer to Villanova University

Students who wish to transfer to Villanova from another institution in order to major in Biology must file an admissions application with the Admissions Office. Upon acceptance to the University, the Department of Biology Advisory Committee will evaluate the application to decide which courses will be accepted and for which required courses transfer credit will be granted.

Credit by Examination

A registered student who has not previously been enrolled in an equivalent course has the opportunity to show academic competency in that course through the Credit by Examination program. The student may satisfy the requirements and earn credit for the course by passing a departmentally-administered examination. Each test is generally administered shortly after the mid-semester break and pre-registration. A fee of $35 per credit hour is charged for credit received as a result of passing one of these examinations. A student can earn up to 30 credits through this program. More specific details are available from your advisor.