Biology, B.S.

Bachelor of Science
  • student sitting at microscope

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.

Course listing

In order to obtain a bachelor’s degree from Fresno Pacific University, students must complete at least 120 units. Along with completing all required courses in their selected area of study, general education requirements must be met by all graduates. See the general education summary in the undergraduate academic catalog for more information.

Select programs may not provide enough units for a student to graduate and therefore an emphasis and/or elective courses must be completed alongside the major. Please see below for emphases related to this area of study.

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 370Bioethics3
BIOL 312Ecology4
BIOL 312LEcology Lab0
BIOL 332Human Physiology4
BIOL 441Cell and Molecular Biology4
BIOL 450Genetics4
BIOL 470History and Philosophy of Science3
BIOL 485Senior Seminar2
BIOL 496Biological Research*1-3
CHEM 104General Chemistry II4
CHEM 310Organic Chemistry I3
MATH 311Statistics for the Natural Sciences3
PHYS 120General Physics I4

*Must be taken for a minimum of 2 units

Environmental Emphasis Courses (15 units minimum)

BIOL 311Field Botany4
BIOL 321Vertebrate Zoology4
BIOL 322Invertebrate Zoology4
CHEM 340Environmental Chemistry4

Human Health Emphasis Required Courses

Select 16 units from the following

BIOL 220Healthcare in the United States2
BIOL 331Human Anatomy4
BIOL 340Microbiology4
BIOL 421Biochemistry4
BIOL 482Practicum in Biology1-3
CHEM 311Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 312LOrganic Chemistry Laboratory I2
CHEM 313LOrganic Chemistry Laboratory II1
MATH 220Calculus II4
PHYS 121
PHYS 131
General Physics II or
University Physics II

Other coursework approved by the Biology Program Director

Pre-medical students should enroll in

PHYS 121General Physics II 
CHEM 311Organic Chemistry II 
BIOL 421Biochemistry 

Secondary Teaching Emphasis Courses (15 units minimum)

LA 385Critical Approaches to Teaching3
PHYS 121General Physics II4
PHYS 150Earth Science3
PHYS 160Space Science3

Select 2 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.

Individualized Emphasis Courses (15 units minimum)

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.

Program director

Andrew Sensenig
Andrew T. Sensenig, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology


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

Associate Professor of Biology

Michael Kunz
Michael Kunz, Ph.D.

Biological & Environmental Science Program Director

Human silhouette
Loren Schmidt, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Biology

Krista Edmiston, Ph.D.
Krista Edmiston, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology

Karen Cianci, Ph.D.
Karen Cianci, Ph.D.

Dean of the School of Natural Sciences