Skip To Content

Athabasca University

BIOL 320: Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates

Lab Exemption Instructions

A lab exemption will only be granted in the following cases. Lab exemptions for BIOL 320* may be granted if:

  1. an equivalent vertebrates course has been taken at a recognized institution with in-person attendance.
  2. the course has been taken within the last 5 years.
  3. the student achieved greater than 60% on the lab component.

Only official, organized laboratory components of credit courses offered at other institutions can be used for lab exemptions. The above can be shown by either one of two options below.

These criteria must be supported by an official transcript that shows a separate grade for the "equivalent laboratory component" of the course. If the lab mark is not shown as a separate mark on the official transcript, then you must arrange to send a "Lab Exemption Request Letter" from the lab coordinator at the previously attended institution to the Course Coordinator ( to include:

  • the name, code(s) of the course(s), and # of credits taken at the sending institution.
  • the date when the student took the course(s) (e.g., Fall Term: Sep-Dec, 2009).
  • the students approximate lab mark or Pass/Fail.

Once you are lab exempted there is course mark redistribution so that your final mark is determined only by course work done with Athabasca University. For more details on the course mark redistribution, please see below.

The Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates lab exemption request information should be directly sent to the Course Coordinator (

*BIOL 320 Lab exemption information must be received BEFORE the course contract end date.

The final grade for the course cannot be processed until the official transcript has been received by Athabasca University.

BIOL 320: Mark Redistribution

Normal Lab Exempted Student
Examination: Marks Distribution (%) Marks Redistribution (%)*
Assignments (2)



Midterm Exam



Final Exam



Laboratory Assignment






*There is no difference between the exams given to lab exempted and non-lab exempted students and when a student is lab exempt, no mention of this appears on your course transcript. Instead, it will look like you completed a course that has a compulsory supervised lab component.

Ref: Biol 320 Course Syllabus


To receive credit for BIOL 320, you must complete the two assignments, the laboratory session (or approved exemption), the midterm and the final examinations. You must also achieve a minimum passing grade of 50 percent on the Final Examination, and 60 percent on the laboratory evaluation. The passing grade for this course is “D” (50 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Assignment Weight
Assignments (2) 20%
Lab. Evaluation 20%
Midterm Exam 20%
Final Exam 40%
Total 100%

Updated December 10 2020 by Student & Academic Services

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.