• Student taking notes

The biology major will provide you with an understanding of the unifying concepts of biology. You will study a range of topics such as molecular biology, global ecosystems, human biology and the diversity of life. With a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology, you’ll gain greater flexibility in your undergraduate coursework. This flexibility may be used to incorporate a minor, a second major, a study abroad program or additional elective courses.


  • General biology emphasis - provides the maximum flexibility to craft a major to suit particular interests. Students are encouraged to consider off-campus summer programs and semester abroad programs for additional course enrichment.
  • Secondary teaching emphasis - for students interested in teaching secondary biology.


  • Flexibility to craft a major to suit your particular interests
  • Off-campus summer and study abroad programs encouraged
  • Secondary teaching emphasis offered

Career opportunities

Common careers for biologists include teacher, researcher and environmental scientist. Our graduates are also well-prepared for graduate study, including teacher credential programs, master’s and doctoral research.

Program director

Alan Thompson, Ph.D.
Alan Thompson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology

Course listing

General Education Prerequisites

BIOL-111General Biology: Cells and Physiology4
CHEM-103General Chemistry I4
or MATH-210Calculus I4

Required Courses (30 Units)

BIOL-121General Biology: Diversity and Ecology4
BIOL-332Human Physiology4
BIOL-470History and Philosophy of Science3
BIOL-485Senior Seminar in Biology1
CHEM-104General Chemistry II4
MATH-311Statistics for the Natural Sciences3

B.A. in Biology: General Emphasis

  • One course in chemistry, mathematics or physical science (3- 4 units)
  • Upper division biology (5 units minimum)
  • Additional courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics or physical sciences to complete 48 units in the major.

B.A. in Biology: Secondary Teaching Emphasis

PHYS-120General Physics I4
PHYS-150Earth Science3

Additional courses in biology, physical sciences or LA-385 Critical Approaches to Teaching to complete 48 units in the major.