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Biology, B.A.

School of Natural Sciences

What is possible when you delve into the fundamentals of life?
Anything.

Biology is the study of life and at the root of big questions like what we’re made of and how we got here. Explore these big questions as you learn to navigate faith and science in your studies.

As a biology major at Fresno Pacific University, you'll cover a range of topics – like molecular biology, global ecosystems, human biology and the diversity of life – and study under professors whose specialization ranges from bacteria to insects, trees to fluid dynamics

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.

With bachelor of arts, you’ll have flexibility in your coursework as you choose an emphasis of interest to you – including one preparing you to become a teacher.

Program Highlights

  • Craft a major to suit your particular interests with Environmental, Human Health, Secondary Teaching or an Individualized emphasis.
  • Engage in off-campus summer and study abroad programs
  • Join the on-campus, environmental 'Shalom Club' to work on the campus garden
  • Participate in trips around California with classmates
  • Work one-on-one with faculty to choose from a broad range of topics for your capstone research project

Emphases*

General Emphasis

General biology provides maximum flexibility to craft a major to suit your particular interests and toward the career you choose. You’ll be encouraged to consider off-campus summer programs and semester abroad programs for additional course enrichment.

Secondary Teaching

Secondary teaching will guide you toward becoming a teacher in the field of biology, ensuring you’ve taken all the steps in preparation for a credential program.

* The Biology, B.A. requires that students choose an emphasis.

Catalog

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.

Emphases Catalog*

General Emphasis

Program Director: Andrew Sensenig, Ph.D.

Overview

The total coursework requirements include a minimum of 48 units of biology, chemistry, physical science and mathematics beyond the general education prerequisites, of which a minimum of 24 must be upper division.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate content knowledge in the major subject areas of biology: breadth, depth, and organizing concepts.
  2. Demonstrate information literacy in science as it is typically communicated (e.g., scientific journal articles, including graphs and tables).
  3. Design, conduct and critically evaluate scientific research.
  4. Practice a broad spectrum of technology used in scientific research.
  5. Demonstrate the capacity to communicate scientific information.
  6. Exhibit the skills necessary to independently increase scientific expertise.
  7. Describe the philosophical basis of science, its capabilities and limitations, relative to epistemology, ethics, and religion.
  8. Commitment to seek to serve the Church, society, and creation.

Locations Offered

Main Campus Fresno

Lower Division Major Prerequisites

  • BIOL 111 - General Biology: Cells and Physiology Credits 3
  • BIOL 111L - General Biology: Cells and Physiology Lab Credits 1
  • CHEM 103 - General Chemistry I Credits 3
  • CHEM 103L - General Chemistry I Lab Credits 1
  • MATH 140 - Pre-Calculus Credits 4

Required Courses (32 Units)

  • BIOL 121 - General Biology: Diversity and Ecology Credits 3
  • BIOL 121L - General Biology: Diversity and Ecology Lab Credits 1
  • BIOL 312 - Ecology Credits 3
  • BIOL 312L - Ecology Lab Credits 1
  • BIOL 332 - Human Physiology Credits 3
  • BIOL 332L - Human Physiology Lab Credits 1
  • BIOL 370 - Bioethics Credits 3
  • BIOL 450 - Genetics Credits 3
  • BIOL 450L - Genetics Lab Credits 1
  • BIOL 470 - History and Philosophy of Science Credits 3
  • BIOL 485BIO - Senior Seminar Credits 2
  • CHEM 104 - General Chemistry II Credits 3
  • CHEM 104L - General Chemistry II Lab Credits 1
  • MATH 205 - Introductory Statistics Credits 3
  • MATH 206L - Introductory Statistics Lab Credits 1

Emphasis Required Courses (18 Units)

  • 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.
Secondary Teaching

Program Director: Andrew Sensenig, Ph.D.

Overview

The total coursework requirements include a minimum of 48 units of biology, chemistry, physical science and mathematics beyond the general education prerequisites, of which a minimum of 24 must be upper division.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate content knowledge in the major subject areas of biology: breadth, depth, and organizing concepts.
  2. Demonstrate information literacy in science as it is typically communicated (e.g., scientific journal articles, including graphs and tables).
  3. Design, conduct and critically evaluate scientific research.
  4. Practice a broad spectrum of technology used in scientific research.
  5. Demonstrate the capacity to communicate scientific information.
  6. Exhibit the skills necessary to independently increase scientific expertise.
  7. Describe the philosophical basis of science, its capabilities and limitations, relative to epistemology, ethics, and religion.
  8. Commitment to seek to serve the Church, society, and creation.

Lower Division Major Prerequisites

  • BIOL 111 - General Biology: Cells and Physiology Credits 3
  • BIOL 111L - General Biology: Cells and Physiology Lab Credits 1
  • CHEM 103 - General Chemistry I Credits 3
  • CHEM 103L - General Chemistry I Lab Credits 1
  • MATH 140 - Pre-Calculus Credits 4

Required Courses (32 Units)

  • BIOL 121 - General Biology: Diversity and Ecology Credits 3
  • BIOL 121L - General Biology: Diversity and Ecology Lab Credits 1
  • BIOL 312 - Ecology Credits 3
  • BIOL 312L - Ecology Lab Credits 1
  • BIOL 332 - Human Physiology Credits 3
  • BIOL 332L - Human Physiology Lab Credits 1
  • BIOL 370 - Bioethics Credits 3
  • BIOL 450 - Genetics Credits 3
  • BIOL 450L - Genetics Lab Credits 1
  • BIOL 470 - History and Philosophy of Science Credits 3
  • BIOL 485BIO - Senior Seminar Credits 2
  • CHEM 104 - General Chemistry II Credits 3
  • CHEM 104L - General Chemistry II Lab Credits 1
  • MATH 205 - Introductory Statistics Credits 3
  • MATH 206L - Introductory Statistics Lab Credits 1

Emphasis Required Courses (18 Units)

  • PHYS 120 - General Physics I Credits 3
  • PHYS 120L - General Physics I Lab Credits 1
  • PHYS 150 - Earth Science Credits 3
  • Additional courses in biology or physical sciences to complete 48 units in the major.

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.

 

* The Biology, B.A. requires that students choose an emphasis.

Three-year Degree Option

The emphases listed below also are available as a three-year bachelor's degree or as a standard four-year bachelor’s degree.

Sample Curriculum Map

Below is a sample curriculum map for this program. This map serves as an example of how courses are set up to ensure completion of the degree in three years. The course listing is based on a sample year and follows a fall, spring and summer academic year. Some courses are only offered on odd or even years. An advisor will work with you to create a curriculum map that is unique to you.

Secondary Teaching

Year 1

Fall

Code Title Units
CP 152 Freshman Seminar 1
BIB 100 Jesus and the Christian Community 3
BIOL 111 General Biology: Cells and Physiology 4
MATH 140 Pre-Calculus 4
  Written/Oral Communication 3
  PE 1
  Total units 16

Spring

Code Title Units
BIOL 121 General Biology: Diversity and Ecology 4
PHYS 150 Earth Science 3
  Written/Oral Communication 3
PSY 120 General Psychology 3
HIST 120 Ancient Civilizations 4
  Total units 17

Summer

Code Title Units
HIST 130 Medieval and Early Modern Civilizations 4
KIN 120 Concepts of Wellness 3
HIST 150 American Civilization 3
  Total units 10

Year 2

Fall

Code Title Units
CHEM 103 General Chemistry I 4
LA 385 Critical Approaches to Teaching 3
BIOL 312 Ecology 4
  Humanities/Social Science 3
MATH 205 Introductory Statistics 3
  Total units 17

Spring

Code Title Units
CHEM 104 General Chemistry II 4
BIOL 332 Human Physiology 4
BIOL 370 Bioethics 3
PST 355 Adolescent Development 3
  Humanities/Social Science 3
  Total units 17

Summer

Code Title Units
HIST 140 Modern Civilizations 4
  Biblical Literature 3
EDUC 638 Health Education for Teachers 2
  Elective 3
  Total units 12

Year 3

Fall

Code Title Units
BIOL 450 Genetics 4
PHYS 120 General Physics 4
BIOL 321 or
BIOL 322
Vertebrate Zoology or
Invertebrate Zoology
4
EDUC 604 Foundations of Education 4
  Total units 16

Spring

Code Title Units
BIOL 470 History and Philosophy of Science 3
BIOL 485 Senior Seminar in Biology 2
THEO 430 Contemporary Theology 3
  Micro or Botany 4
EDUC 605 Teaching the Exceptional Learner 3
  Practicum/Internship/Res 1
  Total units 16

Total Units: 120

* The Biology, B.A. requires that students choose an emphasis.

Possibilities Await
With an FPU Education

Whether you're a high school student, transfer student or parent, you'll find all the resources you need including application steps, tuition & financial aid, transfer and orientation information.

First Steps to Admission

  • Submit an application for admission (online or printable mail-in)
    There is a $40 application fee, which may be waived with attendance at certain events.
  • Send official copies of your transcripts to FPU.
  • Complete the FAFSA. It can be completed starting October 1st. (FAFSA Code: 001253)
Recommended High School Courses for Admission
  • 4 years of college preparatory English
  • 3 years of college preparatory mathematics
  • 2 years of social studies
  • 1 year of laboratory science
  • 1 year of performing art
  • 3 years of the same foreign language with a C- or better
Things to Keep in Mind

Fresno Pacific University’s accepted students have average GPAs of 3.2-3.6. Please speak with an admission counselor to discuss your eligibility.

All application materials should be submitted online or mailed to:

Office of Undergraduate Admission
Fresno Pacific University
1717 S. Chestnut Ave. #2005
Fresno, CA 93702
ugadmis@fresno.edu

Emphasis Requirements*

Secondary Teaching

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.

* The Biology, B.A. requires that students choose an emphasis.

Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) Information*

General Emphasis

1. Biology (AS-T) to Biology, B.A.

BA courses fulfilled through ADT:

  • All lower-division General Education requirements fulfilled
  • BA co-requisites and major courses fulfilled through ADT:
    • BIOL 111     General Biology: Cells and Physiology (4)
    • BIOL 121     General Biology: Diversity and Ecology (4)
    • CHEM 103    General Chemistry I (4)
    • CHEM 104    General Chemistry II (4)
    • MATH 210    Calculus I (4) [*replaces MATH-140]
  • This program is offered as daytime traditional

ADT Guarantee is the completion of BA/BS degree in 68 units.

Secondary Teaching

1. Biology (AS-T) to Biology, B.A.

BA courses fulfilled through ADT:

  • All lower-division General Education requirements fulfilled
  • BA co-requisites and major courses fulfilled through ADT:
    • BIOL 111     General Biology: Cells and Physiology (4)
    • BIOL 121     General Biology: Diversity and Ecology (4)
    • CHEM 103    General Chemistry I (4)
    • CHEM 104    General Chemistry II (4)
    • MATH 210    Calculus I (4) [*replaces MATH-140]
  • This program is offered as daytime traditional

ADT Guarantee is the completion of BA/BS degree in 68 units.

* The Biology, B.A. requires that students choose an emphasis.

Non-traditional Admission

Steps for Re-application

For those students who have applied to FPU’s traditional undergraduate program within the past 2 years and did not attend. Students who applied more than 2 years ago will need to resubmit a full application for admission:

  1. Fill out the re-application form
  2. Submit a non-refundable re-application fee of $15
  3. Submit any missing documents or updated transcripts
Steps for Re-admission

Former FPU students who have not been enrolled in and/or have not submitted a leave of absence form for the previous semester are required to re-apply for admission to FPU:

  1. Fill out the re-admission form
  2. Submit a non-refundable re-admission fee of $15
  3. Submit official transcripts from other educational institutions attended during absence from FPU
Steps for Non-matriculated Admission

Students interested in taking classes, usually for personal or professional development, or to transfer to another institution, and is not interested in a degree from FPU. Non-degree students are not eligible for federal, state or institutional aid. Other requirements, class limits and pre-requisites may apply. See the academic catalog for more information:

  1. Fill out the Application for Admission indicating Non Matriculating/Non-Degree status non-matriculation application
  2. Submit a non-refundable admission fee of $15
  3. Submit proof of high school graduation or equivalent
  4. Some classes may require a pre-requisite course. If required, a college transcript will need to be provided
  5. Personal essays are not required
Auditing a class

Students wishing to audit a class at FPU may apply for audit status. Audit classes are not eligible for financial aid and students will not receive course credit.

  1. Fill out the Application for Admission indicating audit status
  2. Submit a non-refundable admission fee of $15
  3. Personal essays are not required

Four-Year Graduation Guarantee

Four-year graduation guarantee graphic

Earning a degree in four years allows you to get a head start on achieving your goals of entering the work force or starting graduate school. FPU guarantees graduation within four years in the traditional undergraduate areas of study. We commit to providing the courses, advising, instruction and preparation. If you fulfill your responsibilities and are unable to graduate in four years, you will receive the needed courses the following semester at no cost in tuition or fees.

Incoming requirements

This guarantee is limited to basic graduation requirements of 120 minimum units including general education, upper-level and elective courses sufficient for a single major with no minor.

  • Where options between courses are available, students are not guaranteed their first choice.
  • This guarantee does not apply to “fifth-year” programs (teacher education credential requirements) or minimum units beyond graduation requirements (CPA qualifications, etc.) beyond the basic four-year bachelor’s degree.
  • The guarantee does not apply to transfer students or to FPU's degree completion programs.
  • Students not able to register for the courses needed within four years must complete the free course(s) within two terms of the end of four years (e.g. a summer and fall for those completing four years in the spring; or spring and summer for those completing four years in the fall).
  • The four-year period may be extended for students required to leave the university for up to one year (see the Leave of Absence section) for medical, military or personal reasons.
Student responsibilities
To qualify for the guarantee students must:
  • Meet with your mentor during the fall semester of the freshman year.
  • Finalize a major and begin prerequisite or lower-division major courses by the second semester of the freshman year and keep that major until graduation.
  • Complete at least 32 units per year (average 16 per semester) with passing grades in each course.
  • Maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA and remain in good standing behaviorally with the university.
  • Meet with the mentor each semester for advising before registration opens and take the courses approved by the adviser/mentor that complete general-education and major requirements, in the appropriate sequence and as they become available.
  • Register within the first week of registration every semester to gain a spot in the classes needed.
  • Notify mentor if unable to register for an approved course so that an alternative plan can be made.
  • Apply for financial aid and submit required documents by appropriate deadlines.
  • Keep student account up-to-date. (Accounts not up-to-date may be placed on hold, preventing registration for courses.)
  • Complete required courses successfully (see Academic Policies section for minimum acceptable grades) without dropping required or approved courses during a semester.

Two-Year Transfer Guarantee for ADT Pathways

FPU guarantees a student with an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) from the California Community College system, can complete their degree in just two years. If a student meets the qualification requirements, fulfills the responsibilities under the program, and are unable to complete their major in a 2-year period, FPU will assume all additional tuition costs needed to complete their undergraduate degree at FPU.

Incoming requirements
  • 60 transferable units [grades of C- or better] from the California Community College system with a completed ADT (Associate Degree for Transfer)
  • Selected an ADT matched (similar) pathway from FPU’s undergraduate degree programs
  • Have completed the necessary pre-requisites in the discipline specific to intended major
  • Have at least a 2.4 transfer GPA
Student responsibilities
To qualify for the guarantee students must:
  • Enroll in an average of 15- 18 units per semester; not including repeated courses.
  • Remain in good academic standing by maintaining an institutional grade point average of 2.0 or higher
  • Enroll in the required number of consecutive semesters: 3-4 semesters depending on number of units transferred in
  • Make up units for any failed or withdrawn courses during the guarantee period, which may require you to take more than 15-18 units per semester
    • For TUG you may have to enroll in a summer semester.
  • Fulfill all graduation requirements, including core curriculum, major requirements, and upper division course work requirements.
    • Two Year Guarantee: complete enough upper division courses to have at least 40 upper division units by the end of the 4-semester time frame.
  • Take all required courses during the semester recommended by your Academic Advisor.
  • Register for all upcoming courses during the registration period.
  • Any courses from a Community College with “D+” or lower are non-transferable and require additional courses and semesters to graduate.
  • This guarantee may not apply to students starting in a spring or summer semester start (TUG only).
  • This guarantee is limited to basic graduation requirements: 120 minimum units including general education, upper-level and elective courses sufficient for a single major.

Cost & Financial Aid

The below listed prices reflect the 2021-22 Fall and Spring semesters and do not include any financial aid. Paying for college can be an overwhelming step in education your journey. We can help you find all the opportunities to reduce your out of pocket costs. Over 98% of our student body has received financial aid.

Tuition & Fees

2022-2023
Total Cost Item Amount
12-18 units (full time) per year $33,614
Student body fee $498
Total Tuition and Fees $34,112
Room and Board $8,884
Total Tuition, Fees & Board $42,996
Per-Unit Costs Amount
Per unit / Overload $1,218
Summer Session $400
Private Music Instruction $400
2021-2022
Total Cost Item Amount
12-18 units (full time) per year $32,954
Student body fee $498
Total Tuition and Fees $33,452
Room and Board $8,710
Total Tuition, Fees & Board $42,162
Per-Unit Costs Amount
Per unit / Overload $1,177
Summer Session $300
Private Music Instruction $400

Room & Board Rates

Freshman / Sophmore Housing
Module* Fall Spring
Modules $4,313 $4,313
Jost Modules $4,619 $4,619 

* Full Access Meal Plan Included in Cost (Full Access Required)

Junior / Senior Housing
Suites & Houses Fall Spring
Room only $2,068 $2,068
Room-70 Block Meal Plan (included in cost) $2,719 $2,719
Room - 140 Block Meal Plan (included in cost) $3,276 $3,276
Room - Full Access Meal Plan (included in cost) $4,400 $4,400
Jost Hall (4 person), Willow Gardens (4 person) & Kriegbaum Apartments (3 person) Fall Spring
Apartment - Room only $2,694 $2,694
Apartment - 70 Block Meal Plan (included in cost) $3,345 $3,345
Apartment - 140 Block Meal Plan (included in cost) $3,902 $3,902
Apartment - Full Access Meal Plan (included in cost) $5,026 $5,026
Willow Gardens & Jost Hall  Apartments: 3 Person Fall Spring
Apartments - Room only $3,306 $3,306
Apartments - 70 Block Meal Plan (included in cost) $3,958 $3,958
Apartments - 140 Block Meal Plan (included in cost) $4,514 $4,514
Apartments - Full Access Meal Plan (included in cost) $5,639 $5,639
Stand-Alone Meal Plans Fall Spring
70 Block $651 $651
140 Block $1,208 $1,208
Full Access Meal Plan $2,332 $2,332

* Residents living in the Houses or Willow Gardens Apartments may stay over Christmas break at no extra charge providing they are returning for spring semester. Otherwise, residents must check out at the regular fall check-out dates.

Notes about housing
  • For housing placement purposes only, class standing for the fall semester will carry throughout the entire year (both fall and spring semesters).
  • Residents living in the houses or Willow Gardens Apartments may stay over Christmas break at no extra charge providing they are returning for spring semester. Otherwise, residents must check out at the regular fall check-out dates.
  • Meal plan contract dates will follow the traditional semester.

If you have questions that pertain specifically to housing or what housing you qualify for, please contact Residence Life at (559) 453-5696. Or visit our website at studentlife.fresno.edu/living-campus.

Financial Aid

Freshman Scholarships

Name Amount
Paragon Full Tuition
President's $16,000
Dean's $14,000
Heritage $13,000
Faculty $11,000
Founder's $7,000

Transfer Scholarships 

Name Amount
Transfer Scholar $11,000
Transfer Achievement $8,500
Transfer Academic $6,000
Transfer Partnership $5,000

Performance-based Scholarships

Name Amount
Athletic $500 to Full Tuition
Music $400 to $10,000
Drama $1,300 to $2,000

Other FPU Grants and Scholarships

Name Amount
FPU Possibilities Scholarship Full Tuition
Church Match $500 to $1,500
International Scholarship up to $6,000
Mennonite Brethren Award $4,000
Out of State Student Scholarship $4,000
King & Hamer Leadership Program $4,000
Other Awards $100 to $10,000

Federal and State Grants

Name Amount
Cal Grant A $9,804
Cal Grant B $1,672
Pell Grants $100 to $6,345
FSEOG $100 to $1,500

Federal Loans and Workstudy

Name Amount
Federal Direct $3,500 to $7,500
PLUS Loan Up to remaining cost
Perkins Loan Up to $4,000
Workstudy Contingent on employment

Private Scholarships

Alumni, parents, friends, businesses and foundations have generously provided a special set of scholarships available to students attending Fresno Pacific.

View Private Scholarships

Photo of Alexandra Green

Alexandra Green

Mathematics

The grants, the academic awards, the transfer scholarship – all of it makes it so much more affordable to attend FPU. I know that school isn’t cheap for anyone, but FPU helped me realize that I could actually come to this school because they were going to help me so much financially.

Net Price Calculator

Now that you’ve seen the financial aid opportunities available to FPU students, we can estimate what your true cost may be to attend Fresno Pacific. Please keep in mind that this is just a computer generated, general estimate and may not capture all aid available, please work with your FPU Student Financial Services advisor to discover your true net price.

Calculate for First-Time FreshmanCalculate for Transfer

Career Opportunities

With this degree, you’ll gain the foundation for a broad range of careers in the sciences and beyond. You’ll also be well-prepared for medical and graduate studies, including teacher credential programs, and master’s and doctoral research.

Possible Careers

  • Teacher
  • Researcher
  • Lab coordinator
  • Environmental scientist

Career Development Happens Here

The staff in our Career Development and Experiential Learning Center are here to help you prepare to enter the working world. Whether your a freshman or an FPU alum, there are a number of resources and trainings offered to help you find the internship and job you’re looking for.

  • Resume writing classes
  • Career assessments, exploration & planning
  • Job search and networking opportunities
  • and much more

Visit the Career Development Center