Apr 25, 2024  
2009-2010 Academic Catalog 
2009-2010 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Biological Sciences B.A./B.S.

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

Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences

The degree Bachelor of Arts is designed to provide breadth and background in the natural sciences and to allow sufficient flexibility to accommodate the diverse needs of the general student. Persons preparing for careers in such areas as agriculture, industry, and elementary teaching will find this degree adaptable to their career objective.

Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences

The degree Bachelor of Science is designed to provide the comprehensive background in the sciences required for students planning to seek a career in secondary teaching or additional training for 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.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science

1. Complete University General Education requirements for the bachelor’s degree

(51 units)

Click here to view General Education requirements. 

2. Complete the following prerequisites to the major:

a. Required courses in the major field:

(8 units)

b. Required courses in supporting fields.

(14 units for the Bachelor of Arts degree; 26 units for the Bachelor of Science degree):

3. Complete the major.

The major consists of not less than 25 upper-division units for the Bachelor of Arts or not less than 29 upper-division units for the Bachelor of Science, including course requirements as specified for the majors. No more than 4 units of CR-graded coursework from courses graded exclusively CR/NC may apply toward the major.  Upper-division GE courses may not apply as electives toward the major.

4. Completion of a minor or concentration is not required.

The Major

(35-39 units)

1. Animal and Plant Sciences

(8 units)

These must be upper-division, 4- or 5-unit courses with laboratories.

a. Select one course from Entomology or Zoology.

b. Select one course from Botany or Microbiology.

c. One of the above courses must deal with the diversity of organisms.

(Acceptable courses are indicated by an asterisk (*) in the course description section of the catalog.)

3. Genetics

(5-6 units)

4. Complete


7. Electives

Complete 8 units of electives in the Biological Sciences for the Bachelor of Arts degree or 12 units of electives in the Biological Sciences for the Bachelor of Science degree. With approval of the major adviser, a maximum of 4 units may be satisfied by lower-division courses.  A  maximum of 4 units may be satisfied by independent study, internship, or teaching assistantship.

Optional Concentrations in the Major


(16 units minimum, unless specified otherwise)

Students wishing to have a specific concentration may do so by completing all the requirements for a major in Biological Sciences, to include specific concentration requirements listed below. A minimum of 16 upper-division units must be completed within the area of concentration. Additional units within the concentration will be selected with the assistance of the adviser. Units taken to complete a concentration also count where appropriate, within the major. The following concentrations are offered:


An additional 4 units selected with assistance of the adviser.

2. Clinical Laboratory Sciences

The curriculum for the Clinical Laboratory Science concentration prepares students for entry into hospital-based, one-year training programs that are prerequisite to the licensure examination.

Complete the following required courses:

3. Ecology and Field Biology


An additional 4 units selected with assistance of the adviser.

5. Genetics

6. Marine Biology

  • One term of residence at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories or another marine station.

8. Microbiology

8. Zoology

Select at least one course from each of the following groups:

Environmental Sciences

A biological sciences major 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.