3 Years of Lab Science

3 Years of Lab Science

Arizona universities require students to complete three years of laboratory sciences.  This typically means taking biology, chemistry, and physics in courses that provide a laboratory component.  Additional courses, such as anatomy, may also meet university requirements, while environmental science may not.  Be sure to speak with your high school counselor, or a university admissions counselor to ensure you will have your 3 years completed before graduation.

As with any requirement, there are students who complete the bare minimum, and there are students that exceed expectations.  It is perfectly fine to take more than 3 years of science if your school offers additional courses.  Students who take extra courses in math and science often have much better chances when applying to colleges and scholarships because math and science are seen as the most challenging courses.


Although you should always plan to complete the Sweet 16 courses, you could have up to 1 year missing in the laboratory sciences and still be admitted (assuming you have completed all the coursework in at least four of the remaining five areas of study, and are not missing ANY math courses). 

How to Plan for Science

Below is a chart that can provide an idea of which classes a student should be taking each year to complete 3 years of science.  Extra years are marked with an * in the chart below.  This chart is only an example of possible course combinations a student might complete.  You should always consult your school counselor each year when designing your schedule, and identify yourself as a "college-bound" student.

  Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
TYPICAL Biology Chemistry Physics  
HONORS Honors Intro to Science Honors Biology Honors Chemistry Honors Physics
ADVANCED Honors Biology AP Chemistry AP Physics AP Chemistry II