The Bachelor of Science degree in Biology offers undergraduate students a degree program with depth of training in the biological sciences and supporting fields, emphasizing core concepts and cutting-edge techniques. This program prepares students for entrance into careers in biological sciences or for graduate work.
A total of 120 units is required for the Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. In addition to University and General Education requirements (39 units), the BS degree requires completion of 58 units of core requirements and 23 units within an option. Consult with an advisor for the specific number of units required in all areas of the degree including GE and free electives.
Students earning a B.S. degree in Biology must choose one of five Option areas as follows:
1) General Option - The General Option in Biology is intended to expose students to all of the major areas of study in biology, covering topics that range in scale from biomolecules to ecosystems. This option is the most flexible option in terms of courses required, and students will be trained for a broad range of professional paths. The choice of electives allows students to tailor their degree towards future employment in agricultural, biotechnology, or health-related professions or graduate/professional studies in the life sciences.
2) Ecology, Evolution, and the Environment (EEE) Option - Students in the Ecology, Evolution, and the Environment (EEE) Option of the B.S. degree study our planet’s biodiversity, including how organisms interact and adapt to each other and to their physical environment. Students can specialize in studies of plants or animals, within marine, freshwater, or terrestrial ecosystems, while gaining skills in field studies, molecular techniques, and statistical analysis through choice of electives and research experiences. Graduates from the EEE option are prepared to work in environmental fields, including conservation and sustainability, with governmental or non-governmental agencies, or in the private sector. Further, students are prepared for advanced graduate or professional study.
3) Microbiology Option - The Microbiology Option is designed to provide a broad foundation in areas of general microbiology including physiology, genetics as well as explorations of applications of the discipline in areas of medical, applied and environmental microbiology. Students will learn the fundamental workings of microorganisms and understand the impact of microorganisms on the human experience and the environment. Undergraduate research or internship experience is strongly recommended for option students. The Microbiology option provides preparation for entry into graduate or professional school for careers in the health professions (such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, etc.), the biotechnology industry, public health and registered clinical laboratory science or in academic and research programs in microbiology, immunology, biotechnology, and related fields.
4) Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental (MCD) Biology Option - The Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental (MCD) Biology Option directs students towards a comprehensive understanding of cell structure and function and how these cellular characteristics support organismal development and life. Students will gain a deep understanding of principles from several fields in the biological sciences including cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, and developmental biology. Students will additionally gain hands-on experience with modern research and diagnostic techniques. The MCD Biology Option graduates will possess critical knowledge and skills, which will make them competitive candidates for graduate programs in the life sciences or employment in opportunities including agricultural, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, food, and health related professions (e.g. medicine, pharmacy, dentistry).
5) Physiology Option - The Physiology Option is designed to provide a rigorous foundation in plant and human physiology. Students will learn how to integrate a deep understanding of how living systems work. Undergraduate research or internship experience is strongly recommended for option students, and three credits can be applied to the electives for the option. The Physiology option provides a strong starting point for entry into careers in the health professions (e.g. medicine, pharmacy, dentistry), or into graduate-level academic and research programs (e.g. physiology, biology, neuroscience).