• student sitting at microscope

As a biology major at Fresno Pacific University, you’ll explore big questions and learn to navigate faith and science in your studies. Courses will take you to diverse habitats, from studying the principles of ecology at Kings Canyon National Park to analyzing fish behavior along California’s Central Coast. You'll cover a range of topics, including molecular biology, global ecosystems, human biology and the diversity of life, preparing for a range of careers in science and beyond. Study under professors who have specialized in a wide range of topics, from bacteria to insects to trees to fluid dynamics, and explore opportunities to delve into research projects. With a B.S., you’ll gain greater depth of foundational coursework in the major as you work toward a research capstone.


  • Craft a major to suit your particular interests with Environmental, Human Health, Secondary Teaching or an Individualized emphasis.
  • Off-campus summer and study abroad programs encouraged
  • Join the on-campus, environmental 'Shalom Club' to work on the campus garden and take trips around California with classmates.

Career opportunities

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

Transferring to Fresno Pacific

FPU is a partner school with Transferology, a web-based tool that allows you to match the courses you’ve already taken with FPU programs. Visit Transferology.com to create an account and get started.

Will my courses transfer? Get started on Transferology.com.

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 312Ecology4
BIOL 332Human Physiology4
BIOL 370Bioethics3
BIOL 441Cell and Molecular Biology4
BIOL 450Genetics4
BIOL 470History and Philosophy of Science3
BIOL 485BIOSenior Seminar2
BIOL 496Biological Research
Must by taken for a minimum of 2 units
1 - 3


Supporting Courses

CHEM 104General Chemistry II4
CHEM 310Organic Chemistry I3
MATH 205Introductory Statistics3
PHYS 120General Physics I4

Environmental Emphasis Courses (15 Units Minimum)

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

Course substitutions may be made with program director approval.

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
or 4

Other coursework approved by the Biology Program Director

Pre-medical students should enroll in PHYS 121 - General Physics II, CHEM 311 - Organic Chemistry II and BIOL 421 - Biochemistry.

Secondary Teaching Emphasis Required 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.

Teacher Education Program Information

Students who are interested in applying for admission to the Teacher Education Program should refer to the Graduate School description of admissions requirements for the program and obtain academic advising from the program at least two semesters prior to completion of their degrees.

LA 385 - Critical Approaches to Teaching is recommended to students, as it provides school-based experiences with youth.

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

Photo of Andrew Sensenig

Andrew T. Sensenig, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Program Director, Biology B.S.


Photo of Alan Thompson, Ph.D.

Alan Thompson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Biology, Program Director, Pharmaceutical Science, Pre-Health Sciences & Biology B.A.

Photo of Michael Kunz

Michael Kunz, Ph.D.

Program Director, Environmental Science & Environmental Studies

Photo of Krista Edmiston, Ph.D.

Krista Edmiston, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology

Photo of Karen Cianci, Ph.D.

Karen Cianci, Ph.D.

Dean of the School of Natural Sciences

Human silhouette

Maria A. Soria, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Biology