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The Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences

Student Learning Outcomes

All candidates for the BS in Biological Sciences will demonstrate mastery in the following Student Learning Outcomes:

1. Students can describe the structure and function of cellular components and explain how they interact in a living cell.

2. Students can demonstrate an understanding of the mechanisms driving evolution and can describe similarities and differences of the major taxonomic groups.

3. Students can describe how cells interact to develop tissues and organs and how these contribute to a functional organism.

4. Students can describe how organisms interact with one another and to their environment and are able to explain interactions at the population and community levels.

5. Students demonstrate an understanding of, and ability to use, the processes and methods of scientific inquiry.

6. Students can formally communicate the results of biological investigations using both oral and written communication skills.

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.

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.

This major has approved GE modification(s). See below for information on how to apply these modification(s).

  • BIOL 360 is an approved major course substitution for Upper Division Natural Sciences.
  • BIOL 350, BIOL 371, and BIOL 470 are approved GE Writing Intensive substitutions.

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 complete the GE Written Communication (A2) requirement before you may register for a WP course.

Course Requirements for the Major: 78 units

Completion of the following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, is required of all candidates for this degree. Additional required courses, depending upon the selected option are outlined following the major core program requirements.

Major Core Program: 47 units

Lower-Division Requirements: 36 units

10 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
A university success course for biology majors new to California State University, Chico. Appropriate for all incoming freshmen and transfer students. The course explores academic and social opportunities in addition to resources available to promote successful completion of the student's educational goals. Meets twice a week for the first half of the semester. 1 hour lecture. Credit/no credit grading. (021133)
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. This is an approved General Education course. (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. This is an approved General Education course. (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 analysis, and peer reviewed presentation of results. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (020284)
Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement; 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 and engineering programs. Topics include atoms, molecules and ions, reactions, stoichiometry, the periodic table, bonding, chemical energy, gases, and solution chemistry. The laboratory sequence supports the above topics including both qualitative and quantitative experiments, analysis of data, and error propagation. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (001816)
Prerequisites: CHEM 111 with a grade of C- or better.
A continuation of CHEM 111. Topics include kinetics, equilibrium, acid-base chemistry, electrochemistry, chemical thermodynamics, coordination chemistry, and nuclear chemistry. The laboratory sequence supports the above topics including both qualitative and quantitative experiments, analysis of data, and error propagation. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001817)
This course introduces students to the issue and practices of environmental literacy. Environmental literacy is the capacity to perceive and interpret the relative health of environmental systems and to connect the environment to human physical, mental, and social health. Students are encouraged to recognize that their lives depend upon the environment, and that their personal decisions affect the environment. 3 hours lecture.This is an approved Writing Intensive course. This is an approved General Education course. (021259)

OR (the following course may be substituted for the above)

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
This course introduces students to the issue and practices of environmental literacy. Environmental literacy is the capacity to perceive and interpret the relative health of environmental systems and to connect the environment to human physical, mental, and social health. Students are encouraged to recognize that their lives depend upon the environment, and that their personal decisions affect the environment. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (003723)
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. This is an approved General Education course. (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)
Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement; MATH 118, MATH 119 (or High School equivalents).
This course covers the fundamental concepts and techniques of differential and integral calculus with an introduction to differential equations. Emphasis on applications from the Life Sciences. This course is not intended for majors in mathematics, physics, chemistry, or engineering. No credit for students with credit in MATH 120. A score that meets department guidelines on a department administered calculus readiness exam must be achieved by those who claim high school equivalence. 4 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (005512)

OR (the following course may be substituted for the above)

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement; both MATH 118 and MATH 119 (or college equivalent); first-year freshmen who successfully completed trigonometry and precalculus in high school can meet this prerequisite by achieving a score that meets department guidelines on a department administered calculus readiness exam.
Limits and continuity. The derivative and applications to related rates, maxma and minima, and curve sketching. Transcendental functions. An introduction to the definite integral and area. 4 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (005506)

Upper-Division Requirements: 11 units

Biological sciences majors are expected to have completed BIOL 109, BIOL 151, BIOL 152, BIOL 153, CHEM 111, and CHEM 112 before beginning their upper-division requirements.

4 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Completion of GE Written Communication (A2) requirement; 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: Junior or senior standing or faculty permission.
Analysis of seminars on various topics in the biological sciences. 1 hour seminar. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (001232)
Prerequisite: MATH 105, MATH 109, or MATH 120, or faculty permission.
Single and two sample inference, analysis of variance, multiple regression, analysis of co-variance, experimental design, repeated measures, nonparametric procedures, and categorical data analysis. Examples are drawn from biology and related disciplines. The statistical programming language R is used. Appropriate for biology, agriculture, nutrition, psychology, social science and other majors. 3 hours discussion. (005568)

Major Option Course Requirements: 31 units

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required dependent upon the option chosen. Students must select one of the following options for completion of the major course requirements.  Use the links below to jump to your chosen option.



The Option in Cellular and Molecular Biology: 31 units

6 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: BIOL 153, BIOL 360.
Detailed analysis of structure and related functions of cells with an emphasis on the molecular mechanisms of gene expression and gene regulation. Lectures and laboratory sessions focus on current theories and methodologies associated with cloning, nucleic acid analysis, gene expression, bioinformatics, and genomics. 2 hours lecture, 6 hours laboratory. (020282)
Prerequisites: BIOL 153, BIOL 360.
Detailed study of cellular function with an emphasis on intracellular and intercellular communication. Topics include protein structure and function, properties of biological membranes, signal transduction, protein trafficking pathways, vesicular transport, cell cycle, apotopsis and cancer. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001169)
Prerequisites: CHEM 112.
A study of the fundamental principles of organic chemistry: the chemistry of carbon compounds. Lecture topics include structure, bonding, nomenclature, physical properties of organic compounds, stereochemistry, basic spectroscopy, and basic chemical reactions and their mechanisms. Laboratory topics include the discussion and application of organic laboratory techniques, reactions, and an introduction to organic synthesis. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001840)
Prerequisites: CHEM 270 with a grade of C- or higher.
A continuation of CHEM 270. Topics include properties and reactions of ethers, conjugated systems, aromatic compounds, aldehydes and ketones, amines, carboxylic acids and derivatives, and biologically relevant molecules. 3 hours discussion. (001852)
Prerequisites: CHEM 370 with a grade of C- or higher.
A general study of the chemistry of biomolecules. Conformation and function of enzymes and other proteins; metabolism, energy generation, and storage; brief discussion of important physiological processes. 3 hours discussion. (001900)
Prerequisite: CHEM 451 (may be taken concurrently). Recommended: CHEM 370L or CHEM 370M.
Separation, identification, and/or analysis of biological materials by modern procedures, such as spectrophotometry, chromatography (gas, TLC, column, ion exchange), electrophoresis, enzymology, fluorimetry, and high-speed centrifugation. Fulfills laboratory requirement for certain biological science majors. Does not fulfill requirement for biochemistry major. 3 hours laboratory. (021067)

12 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Completion of GE Written Communication (A2) requirement; 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)
This course is an independent study of special problems offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. Research in biology under direct supervision of faculty member. For majors only. This course counts toward the upper-division biology units required for the BS. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (001167)
Prerequisites: BIOL 371, BIOL 360, CHEM 270. CHEM 451 is recommended.
Study of bacterial structure and function, modes of metabolism, regulatory responses to environmental change and stress, and microbial aspects of nutrition and growth. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001222)
Prerequisites: BIOL 153 or SCED 102; CHEM 108 or CHEM 270; or faculty permission.
Functions in higher plants; water and soil relations, photosynthesis, respiration, enzyme action, and growth. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001181)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153; CHEM 108 or CHEM 270.
General features of vertebrate physiology. Function of muscular, nervous, respiratory, circulatory, excretory, and endocrine systems. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001180)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153; CHEM 108 or CHEM 270.
This course provides students with background and fundamental information necessary to pursue neuroscience at the graduate or professional level. Cellular and molecular mechanisms within mammalian central nervous system are emphasized. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001219)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153, or faculty permission.
Principles and theories of animal development, emphasizing the vertebrate. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001188)
Prerequisites: BIOL 153 or PSSC 101 or faculty permission.
Study of plant pathology encompassing parasitism and disease in plants, pathogen attack strategies, diseased plant physiology, plant defense mechanisms, environmental effects on disease and descriptions of diseases and treatments. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001194)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153.
Microscopic analysis of tissues, organs, and organ systems of vertebrates emphasizing mammalian histophysiology. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001170)
Prerequisites: BIOL 153. Recommended: CHEM 270.
The study of blood in normal and abnormal conditions. 2 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001174)
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
The development and expression of the immune response, the basic principles of antigen-antibody reactions and their relevance to medicine, genetics, taxonomy, and evolution. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001220)
Prerequisites: Completion of GE Written Communication (A2) requirement; BIOL 371, BIOL 466, CHEM 270.
Immunization against tetanus and diphtheria required. Biological characteristics of medically important bacteria. Mechanisms of pathogenecity and host-resistance. Laboratory procedures for isolation and identification. 3 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (001182)
Prerequisites: BIOL 151, BIOL 371. Recommended: BIOL 360.
The physical, chemical, and biological properties of bacteria and animal viruses, and their interactions with the host at cellular and organismic levels. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001185)
Prerequisites: BIOL 360, MATH 315.
This is an introduction to some of the bioinformatics techniques and programs commonly used by biologists to analyze large datasets such as the human genome, microbiomes, proteomic datasets, etc. While not requiring any programming experience, this course includes writing simple queries using SQL and basic programming using Perl scripts. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (021658)
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)
Prerequisite: Faculty permission.
Lecture/discussions to train peer mentors for the biology majors' introductory courses laboratory sections. Peer mentors' laboratories are scheduled to coincide with a lab section for the course in which they are mentoring. Peer mentors assist the laboratory instructor in all phases of lab planning, set-up, and tear-down. In addition peer mentors become involved in laboratory instruction including explaining procedures, providing demonstrations, answering questions, and student evaluation. Peer mentors are encouraged to offer help during the scheduled lab period when first-year mentees inquire about class choices, studying, and other student issues. The peer mentoring program is a rewarding way to help first-year students become part of the university and community. 1 hour lecture, 3 hours independent study. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 4.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (021033)
Prerequisites: Faculty permission.
An intensive 6-unit, one-year course in biological research. See department office for details. (Open only to students with at least a 3.0 GPA in the major.) The course will consist of participation in a team research effort. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (001244)
Presentation and discussion of reports based on current biological literature and special studies by graduate students. 1 hour seminar. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (001249)
Prerequisites: BIOL 409 or CHEM 451.
Theory and strategies used in procaryotic and eucaryotic molecular biology. DNA manipulations, cloning systems, immunological assays, and protein purification and analytical techniques. 3 hours seminar, 3 hours laboratory. (001279)
Prerequisites: BIOL 609.
This course is a special topic offered for 1.0-3.0 units. Detailed discussion of selected topics in molecular and cellular biology. Extensive survey of current literature and analysis of research strategies. Topics are selected and advertised by instructor. Past topics have included molecular actions between plants and microbes; pathogenesis of disease; oncogenes and signal transduction. 1 hour discussion. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 9.0 units. (001281)
Prerequisites: BIOL 411 or BIOL 414 or BIOL 416.
Examination of the underlying molecular and bio-chemical mechanisms which allow physiological adaptations, establishment of pattern formation and differentiation of eucaryotic organisms. 3 hours seminar, 3 hours laboratory. (001280)
Prerequisites: BIOL 611.
This course is a special topic offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. Detailed discussion of selected contemporary topics in physiological and developmental biology. Topic will be selected and advertised by the instructor. 1 hour discussion. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 9.0 units. (001285)

Note: Undergraduate students need permission to enroll in 600-level courses. Please see the Department of Biological Sciences to obtain permission.

Note: A maximum of 3 units of BIOL 399 may be taken in one semester, and a maximum of 3 units of BIOL 399, BIOL 489, or BIOL 499H may be credited toward the major.

The Option in Ecological, Evolutionary, and Organismal Biology: 31 units

1 course required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: BIOL 360.
A detailed study of the evolutionary process, including history, natural selection, population genetics, molecular evolution, speciation, coevolution, and macroevolution. 3 hours discussion. (001201)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: CHEM 107 or CHEM 111 or equivalent.
A survey of organic chemistry emphasizing the structure, properties, and reactions of all major functional groups of organic molecules. Not applicable towards a degree in chemistry or biochemistry. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (001828)
Prerequisites: CHEM 112.
A study of the fundamental principles of organic chemistry: the chemistry of carbon compounds. Lecture topics include structure, bonding, nomenclature, physical properties of organic compounds, stereochemistry, basic spectroscopy, and basic chemical reactions and their mechanisms. Laboratory topics include the discussion and application of organic laboratory techniques, reactions, and an introduction to organic synthesis. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001840)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
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)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: BIOL 153, BIOL 360.
Detailed study of cellular function with an emphasis on intracellular and intercellular communication. Topics include protein structure and function, properties of biological membranes, signal transduction, protein trafficking pathways, vesicular transport, cell cycle, apotopsis and cancer. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001169)
Prerequisites: BIOL 153 or SCED 102; CHEM 108 or CHEM 270; or faculty permission.
Functions in higher plants; water and soil relations, photosynthesis, respiration, enzyme action, and growth. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001181)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153; CHEM 108 or CHEM 270.
General features of vertebrate physiology. Function of muscular, nervous, respiratory, circulatory, excretory, and endocrine systems. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001180)

17 units selected from:

Select courses from the following groups, for 31 units total for this option.

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
This lecture, lab, and field course exposes students to the evolution, ecology, morphology, classification, and identification of North American waterfowl. Additionally, this course has a strong hands-on wetland management component, as well as extensive exposure to the primary literature. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (021105)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 350.
Principles of ecology illustrated in the context of biotic communities. Field studies using quantitative and qualitative approaches. Laboratory segment offered at local field sites. 1 hour discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001203)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: BIOL 152. Recommended: BIOL 371.
The roles and interactions of viruses, bacteria, algae, protozoa, and fungi in the natural and human environment, stressing fundamental principles of ecology and evolution. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001225)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, CHEM 112.
Physical, chemical, and biological factors influencing the ecology of inland waters. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001207)
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
Consideration of the basic problems in animal behavior, including orientation, social behavior, and the nature and organization of animal societies. 2 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001205)
Prerequisites: BIOL 350.
Study and lecture/discussion of population ecology, with an emphasis on field methods used on local populations. 2 hours seminar, 6 hours laboratory. (001303)
Prerequisites: BIOL 350 and a statistics course.
The analysis, modeling, and computer simulation of the structure and function of communities and ecosystems, with emphasis on patterns of competition, predation, energy and nutrient flow and succession. 2 hours seminar, 3 hours laboratory. (001305)
Prerequisites: BIOL 350, BIOL 448, graduate standing.
Autecology, emphasizing California vascular plants, with focus on current topics in behavioral and reproductive ecology. Field project work and detailed literature survey. 2 hours seminar, 6 hours laboratory. (001299)
Prerequisites: BIOL 350.
Examination of the mechanisms, directions, and magnitude of an organism's or ecosystem's response to human perturbation. 3 hours discussion. (004166)

Note: Undergraduate students need permission to enroll in 600-level courses. Please see the Department of Biological Sciences to obtain permission.

A minimum of three courses from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
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)
This course is an independent study of special problems offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. Research in biology under direct supervision of faculty member. For majors only. This course counts toward the upper-division biology units required for the BS. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (001167)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152 or faculty permission. Recommended: BIOL 153.
The morphology, ecology, and physiology of insects. Economic entomology and medical entomology, and taxonomy. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001210)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153.
Explanation of the anatomical similarities and differences of selected vertebrates. The evolution and adaptive significance of various systems are considered. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001171)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153.
Morphology, ecology, behavior, and systematics of California fishes, with an introduction to fisheries biology. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001208)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152.
The morphology, evolution, physiology, behavior, ecology, and taxonomy of amphibians and reptiles. California amphibians and reptiles are emphasized, including field studies of local species. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001212)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153.
The morphology, evolution, ecology, physiology, taxonomy, and behavior of birds, including field studies of local species. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001213)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152.
Study of evolution, anatomy, physiology, ecology, and behavior of mammals. California mammals will be emphasized in lab. 2 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001215)
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
Comparative morphology of plant types, emphasizing evolution of structures and methods of reproduction. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001191)
Prerequisites: BIOL 153 or PSSC 101 or faculty permission.
Study of plant pathology encompassing parasitism and disease in plants, pathogen attack strategies, diseased plant physiology, plant defense mechanisms, environmental effects on disease and descriptions of diseases and treatments. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001194)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152 or faculty permission.
Principles of plant classification with field study of local flora, emphasizing the higher plants and their phylogenetic relationships. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001198)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 369.
The composition and distribution of plant communities, emphasizing the ecological, environmental, and evolutionary processes that affect them. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (020283)
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)
Prerequisite: Faculty permission.
Lecture/discussions to train peer mentors for the biology majors' introductory courses laboratory sections. Peer mentors' laboratories are scheduled to coincide with a lab section for the course in which they are mentoring. Peer mentors assist the laboratory instructor in all phases of lab planning, set-up, and tear-down. In addition peer mentors become involved in laboratory instruction including explaining procedures, providing demonstrations, answering questions, and student evaluation. Peer mentors are encouraged to offer help during the scheduled lab period when first-year mentees inquire about class choices, studying, and other student issues. The peer mentoring program is a rewarding way to help first-year students become part of the university and community. 1 hour lecture, 3 hours independent study. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 4.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (021033)
Prerequisites: Faculty permission.
An intensive 6-unit, one-year course in biological research. See department office for details. (Open only to students with at least a 3.0 GPA in the major.) The course will consist of participation in a team research effort. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (001244)

Note: A maximum of 3 units of BIOL 399 may be taken in one semester, and a maximum of 3 units of BIOL 399, BIOL 489, or BIOL 499H may be credited toward the major.

The Option in Plant Biology: 31 units

3 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
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 360.
A detailed study of the evolutionary process, including history, natural selection, population genetics, molecular evolution, speciation, coevolution, and macroevolution. 3 hours discussion. (001201)
Prerequisites: BIOL 153 or SCED 102; CHEM 108 or CHEM 270; or faculty permission.
Functions in higher plants; water and soil relations, photosynthesis, respiration, enzyme action, and growth. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001181)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: CHEM 107 or CHEM 111 or equivalent.
A survey of organic chemistry emphasizing the structure, properties, and reactions of all major functional groups of organic molecules. Not applicable towards a degree in chemistry or biochemistry. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (001828)
Prerequisites: CHEM 112.
A study of the fundamental principles of organic chemistry: the chemistry of carbon compounds. Lecture topics include structure, bonding, nomenclature, physical properties of organic compounds, stereochemistry, basic spectroscopy, and basic chemical reactions and their mechanisms. Laboratory topics include the discussion and application of organic laboratory techniques, reactions, and an introduction to organic synthesis. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001840)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: BIOL 152 or faculty permission.
Principles of plant classification with field study of local flora, emphasizing the higher plants and their phylogenetic relationships. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001198)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 369.
The composition and distribution of plant communities, emphasizing the ecological, environmental, and evolutionary processes that affect them. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (020283)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 350.
Principles of ecology illustrated in the context of biotic communities. Field studies using quantitative and qualitative approaches. Laboratory segment offered at local field sites. 1 hour discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001203)

13-14 units selected from:

Select courses from the following groups, for 31 units total for this option.

A minimum of one course from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: BIOL 153, BIOL 360.
Detailed analysis of structure and related functions of cells with an emphasis on the molecular mechanisms of gene expression and gene regulation. Lectures and laboratory sessions focus on current theories and methodologies associated with cloning, nucleic acid analysis, gene expression, bioinformatics, and genomics. 2 hours lecture, 6 hours laboratory. (020282)
Prerequisites: BIOL 153 or PSSC 101 or faculty permission.
Study of plant pathology encompassing parasitism and disease in plants, pathogen attack strategies, diseased plant physiology, plant defense mechanisms, environmental effects on disease and descriptions of diseases and treatments. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001194)
Prerequisites: CHEM 370 with a grade of C- or higher.
A general study of the chemistry of biomolecules. Conformation and function of enzymes and other proteins; metabolism, energy generation, and storage; brief discussion of important physiological processes. 3 hours discussion. (001900)
Prerequisite: CHEM 451 (may be taken concurrently). Recommended: CHEM 370L or CHEM 370M.
Separation, identification, and/or analysis of biological materials by modern procedures, such as spectrophotometry, chromatography (gas, TLC, column, ion exchange), electrophoresis, enzymology, fluorimetry, and high-speed centrifugation. Fulfills laboratory requirement for certain biological science majors. Does not fulfill requirement for biochemistry major. 3 hours laboratory. (021067)

A minimum of one course from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
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: Completion of GE Written Communication (A2) requirement; 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)
This course is an independent study of special problems offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. Research in biology under direct supervision of faculty member. For majors only. This course counts toward the upper-division biology units required for the BS. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (001167)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152 or faculty permission. Recommended: BIOL 153.
The morphology, ecology, and physiology of insects. Economic entomology and medical entomology, and taxonomy. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001210)
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
Comparative morphology of plant types, emphasizing evolution of structures and methods of reproduction. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001191)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152 or faculty permission.
Principles of plant classification with field study of local flora, emphasizing the higher plants and their phylogenetic relationships. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001198)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 369.
The composition and distribution of plant communities, emphasizing the ecological, environmental, and evolutionary processes that affect them. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (020283)
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 350.
Principles of ecology illustrated in the context of biotic communities. Field studies using quantitative and qualitative approaches. Laboratory segment offered at local field sites. 1 hour discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001203)
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)
Prerequisite: Faculty permission.
Lecture/discussions to train peer mentors for the biology majors' introductory courses laboratory sections. Peer mentors' laboratories are scheduled to coincide with a lab section for the course in which they are mentoring. Peer mentors assist the laboratory instructor in all phases of lab planning, set-up, and tear-down. In addition peer mentors become involved in laboratory instruction including explaining procedures, providing demonstrations, answering questions, and student evaluation. Peer mentors are encouraged to offer help during the scheduled lab period when first-year mentees inquire about class choices, studying, and other student issues. The peer mentoring program is a rewarding way to help first-year students become part of the university and community. 1 hour lecture, 3 hours independent study. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 4.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (021033)
Prerequisites: Faculty permission.
An intensive 6-unit, one-year course in biological research. See department office for details. (Open only to students with at least a 3.0 GPA in the major.) The course will consist of participation in a team research effort. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (001244)

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.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program. Consult your undergraduate advisor for specific information.

Honors in the Major:

Honors in the Major is a program of independent work in your major. It requires 6 units of honors course work completed over two semesters.

The Honors in the Major program allows you to work closely with a faculty mentor in your area of interest on an original performance or research project. This year-long collaboration allows you to work in your field at a professional level and culminates in a public presentation of your work. Students sometimes take their projects beyond the University for submission in professional journals, presentation at conferences, or academic competition. Such experience is valuable for graduate school and professional life. Your honors work will be recognized at your graduation, on your permanent transcripts, and on your diploma. It is often accompanied by letters of commendation from your mentor in the department or the department chair.

Some common features of Honors in the Major program are:

  1. You must take 6 units of Honors in the Major course work. All 6 units are honors classes (marked by a suffix of H), and at least 3 of these units are independent study (399H, 499H, 599H) as specified by your department. You must complete each class with a minimum grade of B.
  2. You must have completed 9 units of upper-division course work or 21 overall units in your major before you can be admitted to Honors in the Major. Check the requirements for your major carefully, as there may be specific courses that must be included in these units.
  3. Your cumulative GPA should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  4. Your GPA in your major should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  5. Most students apply for or are invited to participate in Honors in the Major during the second semester of their junior year. Then they complete the 6 units of course work over the two semesters of their senior year.
  6. Your honors work culminates with a public presentation of your honors project.

While Honors in the Major is part of the Honors Program, each department administers its own program. Please contact your major department or major advisor to apply.

Catalog Cycle:17