Undergraduate Biology/Science Certificate Program

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The Biology/Science Certificate program at Grand Canyon University (GCU) is designed to help aspiring nursing students complete the necessary prerequisites before applying to our accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program. Our ABSN program is geared toward individuals who already have a non-nursing college education but want to pursue a career in nursing. During this science certificate program, students will acquire foundational knowledge in biology and science in preparation for the rigors of nursing school.

In addition to select prerequisite coursework, individuals must also satisfy other ABSN program requirements, including specific general education courses, before applying.

The prerequisite courses and labs offered in the Biology/Science Certificate program are required in traditional pre-nursing programs. Successful completion of this certificate grants students eligibility to apply to an ABSN program. Dedicated students can earn a Biology/Science Certificate in as few as eight months and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in as little as 16 months,1 setting them on an accelerated path toward a rewarding nursing career.


Earn Your Biology/Science Certificate from GCU

Our Biology/Science Certificate program is an eight-month online program that combines the flexibility of online courses with engaging virtual lab activities. The online biology and science courses are taught by expert faculty and the corequisite labs provide a variety of simulations, activities and experiments for you to do at home.

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Complete Prerequisite Courses to Prepare for ABSN Program Requirements

For added convenience and flexibility, aspiring nursing students can fulfill foundational biology and science prerequisite courses in as little as eight months. Students who successfully complete the Biology/Science Certificate program with a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher may apply to the ABSN program, offered in many locations including Arizona, Utah and Nevada.

Learn Foundational Biology and Science Concepts to Become a Successful Nursing Student

Students in this science certificate program will take courses in human anatomy and physiology, general, organic and biochemistry, microbiology, probability and statistics, applied pathophysiology, applied nutrition, and lifespan development. Each online course is led by a knowledgeable GCU faculty member.

Gain Transferrable Lab Experience and Skills With a Biology/Science Certificate

The variety of virtual labs in this certificate program are designed to complement and build upon the knowledge gained in the online biology and science courses. Students will complete lab simulations and activities in human anatomy and physiology, microbiology and general, organic and biochemistry — all from the comfort of home.


Biology/Science Certificate Program FAQs

Whether you have a college education or not, a career in nursing starts with completing foundational biology, science and general education courses. Once you have successfully completed an approved certificate or pre-nursing program, you will be eligible to apply to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. Rigorous courses, skills labs and clinical rotations, prepare BSN graduates to sit for the NCLEX and pursue licensure in order to become registered nurses.

No. All nursing schools require specific prerequisite courses as they are used as the foundation for advanced college-level courses. Prerequisite courses are generally focused in biology and science and can be taken in high school or through certificate programs geared toward prospective nurses.

Mirroring the nursing profession, an ABSN program is fast-paced, requiring dedication, focus and perseverance. Successful ABSN students are organized and able to effectively handle multiple priorities. They are also able to plan ahead and adjust their schedules as needed in order to meet the demands of the accelerated program.

As a BSN-prepared nurse, you have many opportunities to further your education in order to pursue advanced nursing careers. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) allows graduates to apply for licensure and higher-level positions, such as a certified nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner or adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner.

1 Based on location, applicants must transfer a minimum of 60 of the required 123 credits, or have completed a baccalaureate degree, and complete 9 prerequisite courses/labs and 10 general education courses prior to starting the core nursing courses which can be completed in 16 months. An additional prerequisite course is required for students enrolled in Grand Canyon University’s ABSN program in Nevada. For more information on the accreditation of nursing programs and other university licensures, please visit our University Accreditation and Regulations page at gcu.edu/CONHCPAccreditation.



Course List


* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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