Skip to main content

Placement for Physics

Biola offers two types of general physics courses – an algebra-based physics course and a calculus-based physics course. For undergraduate students in the School of Science, Technology & Health, this page includes information on the major requirements for physics, how students test into and register for their required physics course, and important placement deadlines.

Majors Requiring Physics

The following majors take PHSC 111/117: Physics I + Lab or PHSC 100/117: Physics I with Foundations + Lab. Both courses fulfill the same requirement:

  • Allied Health, B.S. General Health*
  • Biological Science, B.S. General Biology
  • Biological Science, B.S. Pre-Med/Pre-Health Care Professional
  • Biological Science, B.S. Secondary Instruction
  • Health Sciences, B.S. Pre-Health Care Professional
  • Human Biology, B.S. Pre-Health Care Professional (21-22 catalog and prior)
  • Kinesiology, B.S. Health and Human Performance*
  • Kinesiology, B.S. Exercise Science
  • Public Health, B.S. Pre-Health Professions

*Please note: Allied Health, B.S. General Health major (23-24 catalog and beyond) and Kinesiology, B.S. Health and Human Performance majors (24-25 catalog and beyond) may opt to take PHSC 111/117 as a major elective, but it is not required for graduation.

The following majors take PHSC 132/134: General Physics I: Mechanics and Heat + Lab (calculus-based physics):

  • Applied Physics, B.S.
  • Biochemistry, B.S.*
  • Biochemistry, B.S. Pre-Medical Studies
  • Chemistry, B.S.
  • Engineering, B.S.
  • Engineering Physics, B.S.
  • Physical Science, B.S.
  • Physical Science, B.S. Secondary Instruction
  • Physics, B.S.
  • Robotics, B.S.

*Biochemistry, B.S. majors have the option of taking PHSC 132/134 or PHSC 111/117

Placement Options for Physics

There are several ways to place into physics. Review the following options for placement and select your path by completing the form below. The Physics and Engineering Department department will send further placement instructions based on your chosen path. 

Incoming students are encouraged to complete the physics placement by August 15, 2024 for the most accurate class schedule.

Placement Options Path 1 Path 2 Path 3 Path 4 Path 5
PHSC 111/117 — Physics I

Online placement exam with a score of 25 or higher. Can be attempted one moth later if not passed on the first attempt.

Verified AP Physics exam score of 3 or higher

Verified AP Calculus exam score of 3 or higher Equivalent college-level Calculus course (with transferable grade) or MATH 150: Calculus I at Biola Equivalent college-level Precalculus course with C- or higher (course not offered at Biola)
PHSC 100/117 — Physics I with Foundations

Note: PHSC 100: Physics with Foundations has an additional 3 hours of supplemental recitation/class time each week compared to PHSC 111: Physics 1

Score of 24 or lower on physics placement exam

Opt-into the course

PHSC 132/134 — General Physics I: Mechanics & Heat Verified AP Calculus AB or BC score of 4 or 5 Equivalent college-level Calculus course (with  transferable grade) or MATH 150: Calculus I at Biola

Choose Physics Path

Once you successfully finish a path, the Physics and Engineering Department will provide your scores to your academic advisor in the Advising Center so they can determine your class schedule (incoming students) or will give you instructions for adding the course (continuing students).

Study Guide

These resources cover much more material than the test does, so please focus your studying on only the topics listed above. This exam mainly tests your math proficiency, not your specific knowledge of physics.

How to Register for Physics

Incoming Students

Incoming students are registered into their first semester courses by the Advising Center.

Generally, students whose major requires PHSC 132/134 will take this class during their second semester. Your academic advisor will register you for the class once you complete your physics path and notify you via your email when the course is added. (Chemistry and Biochemistry majors will take this class during their second or third year).

For those whose major requires PHSC 111/117, you will likely take this class during your second or third year at Biola. When you finish your selected path, your academic advisor in the Advising Center will contact you via your email if you need to be registered for the class during your first year.

Current Students

Once a current student completes one of the placement paths, the Physics and Engineering Department will verify your placement and email instructions to your email for how to register for PHSC 111/117 or PHSC 132/134.


Email the Physics and Engineering Department at Please include your student ID and use your Biola email address when reaching out for support.