Biological Sciences, Bachelor of Arts College of Biological Sciences

Departments of Evolution & Ecology; Microbiology & Molecular Genetics; Molecular & Cellular Biology; Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior; and Plant Biology

The Program

The Biological Sciences major is broad in concept, spanning the numerous core disciplines of biology. The Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) program includes preparatory work in mathematics, general and organic chemistry, physics, and introductory level biology, as well as upper division core classes emphasizing the breadth of biological sciences. Students in the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) program can pursue upper division coursework outside of the biological sciences. Research and internships are encouraged.

Career Alternatives

The degree program prepares students for admission to graduate schools or professional schools, leading to either a variety of professional health careers or further study in basic and applied areas of biology. They provide suitable preparation for careers in teaching, biological and biotechnological research with various governmental agencies or private companies, government regulatory agencies, environmental consulting, biological illustration and writing, pharmaceutical sales, biological/environmental law, and biomedical engineering.

Faculty Advisor

Lesilee Rose, Ph.D.


Biology Academic Success Center (BASC) in 1023 Katherine Esau Science Hall (formerly Sciences Laboratory Building); 530-752-0410.

Teaching Credential Subject Representative

Associate Director of Teacher Education (School of Education); see the Teaching Credential/M.A. Program.

Bodega Marine Laboratory Program

Students interested in Marine Biology should visit Marine & Coastal Science Major & Bodega Marine Laboratory.

The major requirements below are in addition to meeting University Degree Requirements & College Degree Requirements; unless otherwise noted. The minimum number of units required for the Biological Sciences Bachelor of Arts is 76.

Preparatory Subject Matter
Biological Science15
Introduction to Biology: Essentials of Life on Earth
and Introduction to Biology: Principles of Ecology & Evolution
and Introduction to Biology: Biodiversity & the Tree of Life
Choose the 002 or 004 series: 110
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry
General Chemistry for the Physical Sciences & Engineering
and General Chemistry for the Physical Sciences & Engineering
Choose the 008 or 118 series: 26-12
Organic Chemistry: Brief Course
and Organic Chemistry: Brief Course
Organic Chemistry for Health & Life Sciences
and Organic Chemistry for Health & Life Sciences
and Organic Chemistry for Health & Life Sciences
Choose the 017 or 021 series: 38
Calculus for Biology & Medicine
and Calculus for Biology & Medicine
and Calculus
Choose the 001 or 007 series:6-12
Principles of Physics
and Principles of Physics
General Physics
and General Physics
and General Physics
General Chemistry
General Chemistry for the Physical Sciences & Engineering
Calculus for Biology & Medicine
Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal45-57
Depth Subject Matter
Biological Science
BIS 101Genes & Gene Expression4
BIS 105Biomolecules & Metabolism3-6
or BIS 102
BIS 103
Structure & Function of Biomolecules
and Bioenergetics & Metabolism
STA 100Applied Statistics for Biological Sciences4
or STA 013 Elementary Statistics
or STA 013Y Elementary Statistics
EVE 100Introduction to Evolution4
ESP 100General Ecology4
or EVE 101 Introduction to Ecology
Choose one:3-4
Introductory Microbiology
General Virology (Discontinued)
Yeast Molecular Genetics
Animal Physiology, Behavior or Development
Choose one:3-5
Cell Biology
Developmental Biology
Systemic Physiology
Animal Behavior
Cell Signaling in Health & Disease
NPB 141
Plant Physiology or Development:
Choose one:3-5
Developmental Plant Anatomy
Plant Physiology
Plant Growth & Development
Molecular & Cellular Biology of Plants
Plant Morphology & Evolution
Plant Biochemistry
Laboratory Requirement
Choose course(s) for a minimum total of six hours/week of laboratory or field work from the list of courses below:3-5
Choose two with three hours lab or field work/week:
Running, Swimming & Flying
Experimental Ecology & Evolution in the Field
Experimental Ecology & Evolution in the Field
Computer Programming for Biologists
Introductory Microbiology Laboratory
Neurobiology Laboratory
Systemic Physiology Laboratory
Physiology of Reproduction Laboratory
Comparative Vertebrate Organology
Plant Ecology
Population Biology of Invasive Plants & Weeds
Other courses with approval of the faculty advisor.
Choose one with six hours lab or field work/week; a course may fulfill both the lab and a depth topic requirement:
Genomics Laboratory
Phylogenetic Analysis of Vertebrate Structure
Mechanical Design in Organisms
Biology of Invertebrates Laboratory
Experimental Invertebrate Biology
Human Gross Anatomy Laboratory
General Microbiology Laboratory
Microbial Diversity Laboratory
Molecular Biology & Biochemistry Laboratory
Cell Biology Laboratory
Principles of Genetics Laboratory
NPB 141P
Developmental Plant Anatomy
Plant Morphology & Evolution
Introductory Mycology
Other courses with approval of the Faculty Advisor.
Depth Subject Matter Subtotal31-41
Total Units76-98

With BASC advisor approval, this combination also satisfies the Chemistry requirement: CHE 004A-CHE 002A (3 units w/no lab)-CHE 002B.


With BASC advisor approval, this combination also satisfies the Organic Chemistry requirement: CHE 118A-CHE 008B.


With BASC advisor approval, this combination also satisfies the Mathematics requirement: MAT 021A-MAT 017B; MAT 017A-MAT 021B.