BS Biological Sciences

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Program Learning Objectives

  1. Students will demonstrate a writing style appropriate for communicating scientific results to a diverse audience.
  2. Students will integrate math, physical sciences and technology to answer biological questions using the scientific method.
  3. Students will demonstrate proficiency of lab and field techniques in their area of specialization.
  4. Students will master and retain fundamental concepts in biology (atom to ecosystem).
  5. Students will demonstrate the skill to assess and analyze data with objectivity.
  6. Students will demonstrate proficiency in searching, reading and evaluating the scientific literature.

Degree Requirements and Curriculum

In addition to the program requirements listed on this page, students must also satisfy requirements outlined in more detail in the Minimum Requirements for Graduation section of this catalog, including:
  • 60 units of upper division courses
  • Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR)
  • 2.0 GPA
  • U.S. Cultural Pluralism (USCP)
Note: No major, support or concentration courses may be selected as credit/no credit.
BIO 160Diversity and History of Life4
BIO 161Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology (B2&B4) 14
BIO 162Introduction to Organismal Form and Function4
BIO 263Introductory Ecology and Evolution4
BIO 351Principles of Genetics5
BIO 414Evolution4
BIO 461Senior Project - Research Proposal2
or BIO 462 Senior Project - Research
Ecology 2
Select from the following:4
Wildlife Ecology
Principles of Conservation Biology
Behavioral Ecology
Plant Ecology
Microbial Ecology
Marine Ecology
Physiology 3
Select from the following:4
Principles of Animal Physiology
Environmental Physiology
Plant Physiology
Concentration or General Curriculum in Biology 4,5
(See list of Concentrations and General Curriculum in Biology below)43
CHEM 127General Chemistry for Agriculture and Life Science I (B3&B4) 14
CHEM 128General Chemistry for Agriculture and Life Science II4
CHEM 129General Chemistry for Agriculture and Life Science III4
CHEM 216Organic Chemistry I 55
or CHEM 312 Survey of Organic Chemistry
MATH 161Calculus for the Life Sciences I (B1) 14
MATH 162Calculus for the Life Sciences II (B1) 14
PHYS 121College Physics I4
PHYS 122College Physics II4
PHYS 123College Physics III4
STAT 218Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences4
(See GE program requirements below.)56
Free Electives5
Total units180

Required in Major/Support; also satisfies GE.


 Students in the Wildlife and Biodiversity Concentration should take either BIO 327 or BOT 326 to fulfill this requirement.


Students planning to take Anatomy and Physiology courses should take BIO 361 to fulfill this requirement.


Courses taken to meet a major or support requirement cannot be double-counted in the concentration or general curriculum.


Students in the Molecular and Cellular Biology concentration should take CHEM 216 to fulfill this requirement.

General Curriculum in Biology or Concentrations (Select one)

General Education (GE) Requirements

  • 72 units required, 16 of which are specified in Major and/or Support.
  • See the complete GE course listing.
  • Minimum of 12 units required at the 300 level.
Area ACommunication
A1Expository Writing4
A2Oral Communication4
A3Reasoning, Argumentation and Writing4
Area BScience and Mathematics
B1Mathematics/Statistics (8 units in Support) 10
B2Life Science (4 units in Major) 10
B3Physical Science (4 units in Support) 10
B4One lab taken with either a B2 or B3 course (in Major) 1
Area CArts and Humanities
C3Fine/Performing Arts4
C4Upper-division elective4
Area C elective(Choose one course from C1-C5)4
Area D/ESociety and the Individual
D1The American Experience (Title 5, Section 40404 requirement)4
D2Political Economy4
D3Comparative Social Institutions4
D4Self Development (CSU Area E)4
D5Upper-division elective4
Area FTechnology
F Upper-division elective4
Total units56

Required in Major/Support; also satisfies GE.