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The Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 120 units

See Bachelor's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. You can view MAPs on the Degree MAPs page in the University Catalog or you can request a plan from your major advisor.

This degree is appropriate for students pursuing single subject matter preparation in science with a concentration in biological sciences. This degree is also an excellent preparation for students considering biology-related interdisciplinary fields. Students who choose this program should consult with their major advisor.

General Education Pathway Requirements: 48 units

See General Education in the University Catalog and the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Pathway Requirements and course offerings.

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See Diversity Requirements in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education .

Literacy Requirement:

See Mathematics and Writing Requirements in the University Catalog. Writing proficiency in the major is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of a course in your major which has been designated as the Writing Proficiency (WP) course for the semester in which you take the course. Students who earn below a C- are required to repeat the course and earn a C- or higher to receive WP credit. See the Class Schedule for the designated WP courses for each semester. You must pass ENGL 130I or JOUR 130I (or equivalent) with a C- or higher before you may register for a WP course.

Course Requirements for the Major: 60 units

Completion of the following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, is required of all candidates for this degree.

Introductory Core: 12 units

3 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Recommend CHEM 111 or concurrent enrollment.
Introduction to biological molecules, bioenergetics, cellular structure and function, elements of molecular biology and genetics, and mechanisms of macroevolution and systematics. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001122)
Prerequisites: BIOL 151 or faculty permission; recommend CHEM 112 or concurrent enrollment.
Introduction to evolutionary history and biological diversity, microbes and protists, invertebrates, vertebrates, and plants. Form and function of plants and animals. Ecological principles. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001123)
Prerequisites: BIOL 151; CHEM 112 or concurrent enrollment recommended.
Introduction to plant and animal physiology and development. Laboratory consists of small group independent investigations of biological questions that include student-devised experiments; application of biological techniques, data anaylsis, and peer reviewed presentation of results. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (020284)

Science Breadth: 27 units

8 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Second-year high school algebra; one year high school chemistry. (One year of high school physics and one year of high school mathematics past Algebra II are recommended.)
Principles of chemistry for students in science, medical, and related professions. Atomic structure, chemical bonding, stoichiometry, periodic table, gases, solids, liquids, solutions, and equilibrium. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001816)
Prerequisites: CHEM 111 with a grade of C- or better.
A continuation of CHEM 111. Chemical energetics, rates of reaction, acids and bases, solubility, oxidation-reduction, and nuclear chemistry. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001817)
Prerequisites: CHEM 112.
An introduction to the theory and mechanism of organic reactions. To be followed by CHEM 370, which completes the two-semester sequence for science majors. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001840)
Prerequisites: High school chemistry or physics is recommended; students with no previous science courses are advised to enroll in GEOS 101. No college credit for those who have passed GEOS 101.
Physical and chemical processes in the earth, including origin and identification of rocks and minerals; earth's interior; movements and major features of the earth's crust; erosion and sedimentation; geological structures; topographic maps; mineral resources. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (004069)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or JOUR 130 (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher; CHEM 107 or CHEM 111; PHYS 202A or PHYS 204A or PHYS 341.
An intermediate treatment of astronomy, meteorology, and oceanography, with emphasis on climate change and its impacts. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (004137)
Prerequisites: NSCI 141, NSCI 142 or faculty permission.
Students have the opportunity to work with elementary and middle school students in a science teaching/learning environment in the hands-on Science Education Laboratory facility on campus. The hands-on lessons provide early teaching experiences in science for undergraduates exploring teaching as a career. All lessons are based on the California content standards in science. Students cover instructional strategies as well as content as part of the one-hour teaching and two-hour follow-up laboratory experience. 1 hour lecture. ABC/no credit grading. (015904)
Prerequisites: High school physics or faculty permission. High school trigonometry and second-year high school algebra or equivalent (MATH 051 and MATH 118 at CSU, Chico).
Mechanics, properties of matter, wave motion, sound, heat. Science majors are encouraged to take PHYS 204A instead of this course. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (007394)
Prerequisites: PHYS 202A with a grade of C- or higher.
Light, electricity, magnetism, selected topics in modern physics. Science majors are encouraged to take PHYS 204B instead of this course. Algebra and trigonometry are used. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (007395)

Upper-Division Biology: 18 units

6 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or JOUR 130 (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher; BIOL 152 or faculty permission.
Some taxonomic background is recommended. Interrelationships among living organisms, field observations of such phenomena. Application of quantitative and qualitative methods to the interpretation of ecological phenomena. 2 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (001206)
Prerequisites: BIOL 153 or permission of instructor.
A detailed study of the principles of classical, molecular, and population/evolutionary genetics. Activities will include computer simulations of segregation, linkage, and population genetics, internet-based database searches for genetic diseases and cloned genes, and searches of the current genetic literature. 3 hours lecture, 1 hour discussion. (001173)
Prerequisites: BIOL 151, BIOL 152, and BIOL 153, or faculty permission.
Advanced study of plant anatomy, morphology, physicology, ecology, and evolution. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (020280)
Prerequisites: BIOL 151, BIOL 152, and BIOL 153, or faculty permission.
Advanced study of animal anatomy, morphology, physiology, ecology, and evolution. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (020281)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or JOUR 130 (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher; BIOL 151, BIOL 152, BIOL 153, or faculty permission.
Introduction to the biology of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms, as well as viruses. Topics include cell structure, metabolism, genetics; ecological interactions; pathogenic mechanisms; and the roles of microorganisms in sanitation, food production, and biotechnology. The lab focuses on methods for growing and studying diverse microbes. 2 hours lecture, 6 hours laboratory. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (020279)
Prerequisites: Necessary background for the specific internship.
This internship course is offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register with a supervising faculty member. The internship program is designed to provide students with direct field or laboratory research experience in occupational settings. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 15.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (001228)

Electives: 3 Units

3 units selected from:

Any upper division BIOL course chosen in consultation with your Major Advisor.

Electives Requirement:

To complete the total units required for the bachelor's degree, select additional elective courses from the total University offerings. You should consult with an advisor regarding the selection of courses which will provide breadth to your University experience and possibly apply to a supportive second major or minor.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Catalog Cycle:12