Nov 30, 2023  
General Catalog 2023-2024 
    
General Catalog 2023-2024

Biology, B.S.


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Degree Requirements

The Bachelor of Science in Biology is a 120-unit program. Of the total, 48 units are required to satisfy the university’s General Education Program and 21 units are required by the Department of Biology to satisfy the biology core. The core curriculum is a sequence of courses required for all biology majors. The core curriculum builds the foundation upon which further learning in biology will be based. Additional requirements are listed below.

The biology degree program prepares students for entry into a wide range of careers, for further academic study at the graduate level, including the department’s own M.S. in Biology, and for entrance into professional degree programs. Within the scope of the major requirements and electives, students may focus their studies in areas that best meet their future career needs. Students must consult an advisor for help in selecting courses appropriate to their interests and career objectives. An emphasis on cellular and molecular processes prepares students for the department’s professional science Master of Biotechnology.

Students planning for graduate and professional schools should be aware that entrance requirements for those programs will often exceed the minimal requirements for a Biology B.S., particularly in the ancillary fields of chemistry, physics, and mathematics. An advisor should be consulted for specific information on graduate and professional school requirements.

Students should meet with an advisor a minimum of once a semester so the advisor can review the student’s program and progress.

Major Requirements (42 units)


Biology Core (21 units)


The biology core is required of all majors (see Advising Notes.)

Other Major Requirements (21 units)


In addition to the core, all majors must complete major and additional requirements described as follows:

All students must take a minimum of three upper-division biology (BIOL) laboratory courses. Of these, at least one must be designated as a diversity course, and one must be designated as a physiology course, both identified below. The third course may be any other laboratory course, also identified below. All other courses taken as part of the major requirements are the choice of the student. One of these additional courses may be either BIOL 67A  or BIOL 67B , but no other lower-division course may be used.

Other Degree Requirements


In addition to the major program requirements, every student must also complete the University’s baccalaureate degree requirements such as:

  • American Government and Institutions (PLSI 2 )
  • General Education Requirements (48 units)
  • Multicultural and International (MI)
  • Upper-division Writing
  • Sufficient Elective Units to Meet Required Total Units (varies); it is recommended that units in this area be utilized to complete a second major or minor.

A full description of the University’s graduation requirements can be found in the Baccalaureate Degree Requirements  . 

Total: 120 Units*


*General Education, MI, and Upper-division Writing courses can be double counted with major requirements. (See advising note 1)

Advising Notes


  1. The total of 120 units assumes biology majors will maximize the 10 units of General Education requirements that also may be applied to major and additional required courses as follows: 4 units of CHEM 1A /CHEM 1AL  in G.E. Breadth B1; 3 units of BIOL 1A  in G.E. Breadth B2; and 3 units of MATH 70  or MATH 75  in G.E. Foundation B4. Consult your major academic advisor for details.
  2. B.S. in Biology majors who have taken introductory sequences other than BIOL 1A  and BIOL 1B /BIOL 1BL  must consult with their faculty advisor or department chair for equivalency evaluation prior to beginning their upper-division coursework.
  3. Please note that CHEM 128B  is a prerequisite for CHEM 155A .
  4. Pre-medical, pre-pharmacy, pre-veterinary, and preclinical laboratory science students are required to take CHEM 128B  in addition to CHEM 128A , and PHYS 2B  in addition to PHYS 2A . Pre-pharmacy students are required to take, and most pre-medical and pre-veterinary students should take, CHEM 129B . Preclinical laboratory sciences students are required to take CHEM 105 . Some pre-pharmacy and pre-medical students should take MATH 76 .
  5. CR/NC grading is not permitted in the Biology major.
  6. General Education, MI, and elective requirements may be used toward a double major or minor (See Degree Requirements). Consult the appropriate department chair, program coordinator, or faculty advisor for additional information.

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