How do I Choose the Best Biology Summer School Courses?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Choosing the best biology summer school class may take a few minutes or no time at all. It really depends on why someone is studying biology. Another issue is exactly what meaning the course must have in an academic career. A class could be meant to make up for a poor grade in high school, to avoid having to take biology during the school year at the high school or college level and at the same time fulfill a science requirement, or to advance knowledge by taking a more advanced class. How people choose will depend on individual circumstances.

Private summer school programs often offer advanced biology courses during May, June and July.
Private summer school programs often offer advanced biology courses during May, June and July.

For those students taking a biology summer school class at a traditional high school, there may not be much choice, and a class usually won’t count as a full year of biology credits. Typically students take this course if they need to improve their grade or if they lost a credit due to absences. With budget cuts, only students who absolutely need the class may be able to take it.

If a high school student really wants to take a full biology class that will count in high school, they should consider attending a junior college or a private summer school program that may offer high school or college credits. Generally an introduction to biology class at a local JC will count as a full year of high school biology, and it potentially doubly counts as college credits. The only trouble with this scenario is that biology can be a weighty subject, and taking it in the condensed form of summer school may be difficult for some students.

College students can follow a similar path when they choose a biology summer school class. They may be able to take the class during the summer to fulfill a science requirement they’ll need to graduate. Alternately, students who are majoring in one of the sciences might find another class offered during the summer that appeals to their interest or that fulfills part of the their requirement for their major. Usually summer term has fewer classes, but sometimes a class is taught by a visiting lecturer and offers a unique approach.

In any of these cases, students have to decide how a biology summer school class will best serve them. Whether they are looking to improve a grade, advance studies, fulfill a requirement or simply add to their knowledge, students probably have one or two good choices. Narrowing down these options to a single best choice is then possible.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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When I was in college I elected to participate in programs over the summer that would earn me college credits. It wasn't as much credit as a full semester course but it still helped push me towards my goal.

What I loved about these programs is that a lot of them focused on specialized subjects. In my regular courses we often focused on survey topics and broad principles. And there wasn't much application. But in the summer we often worked on a single big project and we could focus on subjects that interested us. These courses really went a long way to developing my love of biology. I have now been a professional biologist for over 30 years.

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