Biology 3A & 4A Course Description


The two main goals of AP Biology are to help students develop a conceptual framework for modern biology and to help students gain an appreciation of science as a process. The ongoing information explosion in biology makes these goals even more challenging. Students are encouraged to focus on understanding important relationships, processes, mechanisms, and potential extensions and applications of concepts. ( AP Biology Syllabus )

AP Biology (Bio 3A and 4A) are also offered as a dual credit course through Saint Louis University's 1818 Program. (SLU 1818 Syllabus). The course is intended for advanced students who are juniors or seniors in high school.

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BIOL 1240 - Principles of Biology I (3) - First semester of the two-semester Principles of Biology sequence. Students learn about chemical and molecular basis of living organisms, cell structure and function, gene structure, expression and heredity, animal anatomy and physiology, and animal development. In addition to learning concepts in biology, students practice critical thinking and problem-solving. Requires BIOL 1245 to be taken simultaneously in the same semester.

BIOL 1245 - Principles of Biology I (1) - covers experimental approaches used in molecular and cellular biology, genetics, and animal physiology. Students will learn to use scientific instruments and techniques implemented in these fields. Students will propose and test hypotheses, collect and analyze data, represent data visually, and practice written and oral scientific communication skills. Requires BIOL 1240 to be taken simultaneously in the same semester.

Benefits of taking Biol 1240 and 1245

  • Earn college credits which are transferable to SLU and other institutions
  • Lowerd cost of this class compared to classes at universities
  • Rigorous curriculum that will prepare you for advanced studies


Bio 3A and 4A course Information

These courses will take the entire year to complete. With a final exam required in the spring semester for those taking the class for SLU credit. Registration for SLU credit will occur in the fall, grades will be reported to SLU at the end of the spring semester.

Course uses an online opensource textbook, Biology (2e) by Openstax. It is free to download this book and read it on any of your devices. Reading guides are available for many of the chapters.

Biology 3A/4A is also designated as an AP Biology course, you may choose to take the AP test in the spring, but it is not required.