• 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. The Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology will help you gain greater depth of foundational coursework in supporting fields, additional breadth within the major and a research capstone.


  • Environmental emphasis - for students with interests in environmental biology.
  • Human health emphasis - for students interested in health professions.
  • Secondary teaching emphasis - for students interested in teaching secondary biology.
  • Individualized emphasis - for students with specific interests which are not offered. Must be approved by the program director.


  • 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
MATH-210Calculus I4

Required Courses (43 Units)

BIOL-121General Biology: Diversity and Ecology4
BIOL-312LEcology Lab0
BIOL-332Human Physiology4
BIOL-441Cell and Molecular Biology4
BIOL-470History and Philosophy of Science3
BIOL-485Senior Seminar in Biology1
BIOL-496Biological Research2
CHEM-104General Chemistry II4
CHEM-310Organic Chemistry I3
MATH-311Statistics for Natural Sciences3
PHYS-120General Physics I4

B.S. In Biology: Environmental Emphasis

BIOL-311Field Botany4
BIOL-311LField Botany Lab0
BIOL-321Vertebrate Zoology4
BIOL-321LVertebrate Zoology Lab0
BIOL-322Invertebrate Zoology4
CHEM-340Environmental Chemistry4

Course substitutions may be made with program director approval.

B.S. In Biology: Human Health Emphasis

BIOL-331Human Anatomy4

Select a minimum of 8 additional units of upper division science. (Pre-medical students should enroll in PHYS-121 General Physics II, CHEM-311 Organic Chemistry II and BIOL-421 Biochemistry.)

B.S. In Biology: Secondary Teaching Emphasis

LA-385Critical Approaches to Teaching3
PHYS-121General Physics II3
PHYS-150Earth Science3
PHYS-160Space Science3

Select 3 additional units of upper-division biology courses. Please see the additional requirements for teacher education candidates listed above for the B.A. in Biology, secondary teaching emphasis.

B.S. In Biology: Individualized Emphasis

Electives chosen in consultation with the program director to address specific interests of the student. Courses from field institutes or other institutions may be used. Examples of possible emphases include marine biology, plant science, animal science and bio-psychology.