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Instructional Lab FAQs

Biology Lab Safety Training and Assessment

I received safety training at another institution, in another subject area, and/or while working in a research lab. Am I required to take the Lab Safety Training and Lab Safety Assessment?
Yes, all students enrolled in the courses listed must take the training and pass the assessment. Since you've received training previously, you likely have a good grasp of basic lab safety but the training covers some site-specific information.
I passed the Lab Safety Assessment in a previous quarter for a different Biology lab class; do I need to take it again?
Yes, you must take the assessment each quarter that you are enrolled in a biology lab class.
I'm enrolled in two Biology lab classes and each requires a safety exam; do I need to complete the Assessment twice?
No, only one assessment needs to be taken per quarter.
I’m an extension (concurrent enrollment) student and I hope to get into a Biology lab. What do I do about the safety exam?
Since you do not have access to the online Lab Safety Assessment, email with your name, contact information and intended lab course/quarter to make alternate arrangements to take the training and assessment.
I dropped my Biology lab course last quarter and now I am enrolled. I passed the safety assessment then. Do I need to take the assessment again this quarter?
Yes: if it's been more than one quarter since you were certified, then you must take the assessment again.
I took and passed the UCSD Chemistry Safety Exam. Do I have to take the Biology Lab Safety Assessment?
I can't take the Lab Safety Assessment online.
Students needing accommodation (such as an alternative format or extra time) due to a documented disability (via AFA form from the Office of Students with Disabilities) must send a detailed email to as soon as possible.
I'm having trouble accessing the exam online.
Please email
I'm really busy before the quarter. Can I take the assessment after the quarter begins?
No. The online Lab Safety Assessment must be completed prior to the first lab meeting. Students who do not complete the online Lab Safety Assessment may have their lab space revoked. It is the student’s responsibility to drop the course or risk receiving a "W" or non-passing grade in the course.
I don’t know if my certification is still valid. I can’t find my certificate of completion for the safety assessment.
Students may log back into the Lab Safety Training and Assessment system to access their Training and Assessment history where they can see their last valid assessment.

Lab Class Enrollment

Will my lab class meet in the first week?
Yes. Lab classes begin on the days in the UC San Diego Schedule of Classes. Do not skip the first lab meeting unless instructed to do so by your professor; students who do not attend the first hour of the first meeting for a lab class may lose their places in class.
I showed up for lab, but the TA says I’m not enrolled.
Stay calm. You may be in the wrong lab room. Most of our lab classes have several sections which meet simultaneously in different rooms. Check your class schedule and assure yourself that you’re in the correct room for your section.
I am on the waitlist for a Biology Lab course. What are my chances of getting in?
We are unable to predict your chances of securing enrollment in a Biology lab course. Your chances are based on the actions of the students currently enrolled in the lab section and those that are ahead of you on the waitlist.
I am on the waitlist for a Biology Lab course. What can I do to better my chances of getting in?
Attend the first class and laboratory meetings. Only those that attend will be considered for enrollment in the course.
My four-year plan indicates that I must take BILD 4 in Fall of my freshman year. I am on the waitlist and may not get in. What do I do?
Remember that the four-year plans are suggested and not every student will be able to follow the plan exactly. If you do not get into BILD 4 your first quarter, prioritize the course in the following quarter. If you have concerns about completing your major requirements in a timely fashion, please consult with a Biology academic advisor.

Lab Safety & Lab Attire

Where can I review the safety policies of the Biology Instructional Labs?
The most up-to-date information is provided in Biology’s online safety training
I forgot my lab safety glasses. Is there a way to get an extra pair? Can I borrow a lab coat?
Your best option in either case is to purchase a replacement item at the Bookstore.
Is the rule about pants different for men & women?
No, everyone must wear long pants (or equivalent clothing).
What do I do with my PPE at the end of the quarter?
Wash your safety glasses with soap and water before taking home. Put your lab coat in a bag and wash it by itself before wearing to another lab or donating it.