Chemistry & Biochemistry Undergraduate Preceptor Program

For a current Preceptor Application, please go to Forms Page

Preceptors are highly motivated students who wish to provide instructional support both in and out of the classroom. Preceptors are not expected to serve as content experts. Instead, they function as student mentors and guides and as instructional assistants.

The CBC Preceptor Program adheres to the general requirements and guidelines specified in The University of Arizona Undergraduate Preceptorship Policies & Guidelines ( Policies-Guidelines 9-09.pdf). In addition to these University-level policies, the CBC Preceptorship Program has the following department-specific policies and requirements:

  • Only students who have previously successfully completed the course (grade of A or B) may qualify as preceptors. At the Department’s discretion, exceptions may be made for outstanding students who have completed different, but equivalent coursework with a grade of A or B.
  • Only students with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 are eligible for preceptorship.
  • All preceptors (not just those with access to student grades and records) must have completed the online FERPA tutorial.
  • Although preceptors may be involved in recording of student participation or attendence data, it is the department’s policy that they should not grade homework assignments or exams.

General Terms:

Students who are interested in becoming preceptors are expected to agree to the following general terms:

  1. I agree to prepare diligently so as to be able to assist students with understanding the course material. This may include review of the textbook or additional resources and completing class assignments on an accelerated schedule. I understand that it is critical that I understand the course material and that this will be one measure of the fulfillment of my preceptor contract.
  2. I will treat those involved with the course with courtesy and respect.
  3. I understand that students may not seek or want assistance, and they are free to make this decision.
  4. I understand that my role is not to provide answers but to help students find their own solutions to problems.
  5. I understand that sometimes I will not know how to address student questions. For situations beyond my level of expertise, I will ensure that students have the opportunity to speak with a graduate teaching assistant (TA) or the course instructor.
  6. I understand that the instructor and TAs are committed to making the preceptorship an educational and rewarding experience for me. I will reciprocate by using every opportunity to make my experience as a preceptor a positive learning experience.
  7. I understand that each unit of credit corresponds to three hours of activity per week.
  8. I understand that in order to earn 3 credits for the preceptorship, I have to complete a Special Project. Examples and guidelines for Special Projects are included here.

Preceptorship Registration Information

291 and 491: Preceptorship
(Credit varies) Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of instruction and practice in actual service in a department, program, or discipline. Grades available: S, P, F

291H and 491H: Honors Preceptorship
[See Honors College Guidelines for Preceptorship, (]
(Credit varies) Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of instruction and practice in actual service in a department, program, or discipline. Grades available: Grades available: A, B, C, D, E

Credit limitations: Students may enroll in a maximum of 6 units per Preceptor course. Students may serve as a Preceptor for the same course (e.g., CHEM 151) for a maximum of 3 units. Lead Preceptor positions can be used to extend the limit for the same course to 6 units; include a description of Lead Preceptor duties in the application.

  1. Determination of credit: The University and Board of Regents require a minimum of 45 hours of course work for each unit of credit awarded.
  2. The number of credits of Preceptorship must lie within the approved credit range listed in the catalog course description.
  3. For an undergraduate Preceptorship course of three units, the instructor and student must provide a project plan detailing the scope of the project.
    1. All proposal forms and project plans must be signed by the instructor and the student and filed in the CBC Advising Office within a week after the term commences.
    2. At the end of the term, or whenever the student completes the project, the instructor or project advisor must complete a record of the outcome that explains the grade submitted. The record of outcome form with the instructor’s signature should be filed in the department or program office when the course grade is submitted.
  4. If registration for a Preceptorship course occurs after the twenty-first day of the regular semester, after the first two days of Winter Session or Pre-session, or after the first week of a Summer Session, the department head (or designee) must sign the Change of Schedule form, in addition to the instructor.
  5. If a grade of Incomplete is awarded for a Preceptorship course at the end of the term, another Project Advisor must be identified who agrees to evaluate the student’s work, should the original Project Advisor become unavailable.

Guidelines for Preceptorship

  1. Notify the course instructor about your interest in becoming a preceptor and complete the preceptor contract together.
  2. FERPA tutorial must be completed online with completion certificate attached to the completed Preceptor Approval Form (For a current Preceptor Application, please go to Forms Page). You will not be enrolled without the successful completion of this training. To access the training, click on Tutorial at the following website:
  3. A student may not be a preceptor in more than one course per semester.
  4. The enrollment fee for Preceptorship credit is calculated at the same rate as for other credit courses.
  5. Students should enroll within a week after the term commences.  Students must complete the required 45 hours of course work per credit unit before the last day of the term. The last day to register for Preceptorship in Fall and Spring Semesters without incurring a late charge is the same as for all other courses; see and
  6. University Honors students requesting Honors Preceptorship and the faculty who agree to supervise them should consult the Guidelines for Honors Preceptorship ( as endorsed by the Undergraduate Council, 4/7/2009.
  7. Project Summary: A written summary of the special project activities and outcomes must be submitted to the instructor and to the CBC Advising office no later than the last day of class each semester.  This is requirement for posting grades for those registered for three units.  The summary (at least half page in lenght) should include at minimum:  (1) a project description (what was proposed and why) (2) an explanation of the project (what was done) (3) a summary of any finding or a concluding statement (if apprpriate to the project)

Honors preceptorships should reflect a depth and intensity of work that exceeds the scope of a non-Honors preceptorship, as indicated by receipt of a regular letter grade upon completion. Whether assisting during a lab course, running study sessions, or supporting a professor directly, Honors preceptors should be required to exceed the standard preceptor duties, primarily by the addition of an intellectual, academic or research component. In addition to the preceptor’s standard duties, Honors preceptorships might include the following components:

  • An assignment that includes both research into and analysis of information relevant to the preceptoring duties
  • An assignment in self-reflection, which might include a portfolio or journal
  • An in-depth study into a specific area of the discipline upon which the course is based, requiring the Honors student to engage more intensely with the material than the non-Honors preceptors
  • Engagement in the study of theory appropriate to the discipline
  • Assessment of the learning outcomes from the assignments listed above would occur through an individual presentation to the class where the preceptorship is conducted, a panel presentation by several preceptors to the class, or a report submitted to the instructor
  • Additional research or reading from which the student writes a 5-7 page paper that relates to the preceptorship experiences
  • Regular meetings with the faculty member in charge of the course in order to assist students in self-reflection and self-assessment