Jul 17, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Baccalaureate Degree Requirements Advising Sheet

Biological Sciences B.S.

View information for the Department of Biological Sciences , including Learning Objectives for the department and its programs.

View the degree program Roadmap, which provide recommended advising maps to complete the degree program. Please consult your academic advisor as you develop your academic plan.

The degree Bachelor of Science is designed to provide the comprehensive background in the sciences required for students planning to seek a career in biological sciences, secondary teaching, or a career requiring training in graduate or professional schools. Students planning to seek advanced or professional degrees should consult their department adviser early in their undergraduate program to determine what courses are required for graduate and professional programs.

Program Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Skills

  1. Biological knowledge: Successful students will demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles and unifying themes of biology.
  2. Cognitive skills: Successful students will demonstrate the ability to think critically, synthesize rather than memorize information presented to them, and use this information to formulate scientific questions, design experiments to answer these questions, and collect, analyze, interpret, and report data.
  3. Research skills: Successful students will demonstrate the ability to find, evaluate, and integrate published information, and demonstrate computer literacy through the ability to use databases and information technology.
  4. Communication skills: Successful students will demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing as professional scientists.
  5. Technical/Analytical skills: Successful students will demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to use mainstream laboratory/field procedures, methods, and instrumentation to conduct biological investigations and safety issues associated with each.
  6. Teamwork skills: Successful students will demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively and solve problems in a group.


   7. Stewardship advocacy: Successful students will demonstrate understanding and appreciation of the relevance of biology to society, the value of knowledge and life-long learning, integrity, and the ability to identify and evaluate ethical issues.
   8. Natural Resources: Successful students will have an appreciation of the inherent value of the components of the natural world and their interconnectedness.


1. Complete the Baccalaureate Degree Requirements.

A student must comply with all University regulations and satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Units and Residency  (minimum of 120 units: 40 units of upper division coursework and 30 semester units at Stanislaus State. At least 24 of these 30 units must be earned in upper-division courses, at least 12 must be in the major, and at least 9 must be applicable to General Education-Breadth requirements)
  2. Grade Point Average  (minimum grade point average of 2.0 (C) or better)
  3. General Education  (minimum of 49 units)
  4. Upper Division Writing Proficiency  (minimum of 3 units)
    - Writing Proficiency (WP) Course (may double count in the major)
  5. United States Constitution and California State and Local Government  (minimum of 3 units)
  6. Multicultural Requirement  (minimum of 3 units) (may double count with General Education requirements or in the major)

Subsequently all students must submit an application for graduation and receive approval from the major advisor, department chair, and Director of Academic Advising. For more information see the Baccalaureate Degree Requirements .

2. Complete the prerequisites to the major.

(a minimum of 8 units)

3. Complete the cognates to the major.

(a minimum of 25 units)

The Major

(45 units)

Courses taken without the prerequisites will not be applied toward the degree. In some concentrations, 4 units of specific non-biology science courses may be applied toward the major. A maximum of 4 units may be satisfied by lower division courses (with advisors approval). A maximum of 2 units may be satisfied by BIOL 4900 series courses (colloquium, independent study, internship, teaching assistantship) or CR-graded coursework from courses graded exclusively CR/NC. Completion of a minor is not required.

1. Complete the Biology core courses.

(13 units)

2. Complete the subareas or an optional concentration.

(32 units)

Complete the following or complete one of the optional concentrations:

Optional Concentration in Organismal, Ecological, and Evolutionary Biology

(32 units)

This concentration provides a focus on the structure and function of organisms in an ecological and evolutionary context.

Students opting for this concentration must take the prerequisites, cognates, and Biology core of the major with the following:

1. Ecology

(4 units)

Optional Concentration in Molecular, Cellular, and Microbial Biology

(32 units)

This concentration provides a focus on biological processes at the cellular and sub-cellular levels.

Students opting for this concentration must take the prerequisites, cognates, and Biology core of the major with the following:

Environmental Sciences

A student with a major in biological sciences may complete additional requirements in the sciences and mathematics to qualify for an Environmental Sciences concentration, in addition to the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences. This program requires study in biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and physical sciences, along with an environmental seminar and investigation of an environmentally-related problem. Further details are found on the Environmental Sciences Concentration  page.