Biological Sciences, Bachelor of Science 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 Science (B.S.) 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 B.S. degree program complete additional upper division biology coursework, for which they can choose classes from a variety of different areas such as molecular biology and genetics, animal behavior, plant growth and development, bioinformatics, marine biology, forensics, and microbiology 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 Science is 98.

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: 115
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry
and General Chemistry
General Chemistry for the Physical Sciences & Engineering
and 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: 38-12
Calculus for Biology & Medicine
and Calculus for Biology & Medicine
and Calculus for Biology & Medicine
and Calculus
and Calculus (Recommended)
General Physics
and General Physics
and General Physics
Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal56-66
Depth Subject Matter
Section 1: Core Curriculum
BIS 101Genes & Gene Expression4
BIS 104Cell Biology3
BIS 105Biomolecules & Metabolism3-6
or BIS 102
BIS 103
Structure & Function of Biomolecules
and Bioenergetics & Metabolism
Section 2: Depth Subject Topics
Choose one from each topic:21-26
Applied Statistics for Biological Sciences
Introduction to Evolution
Introduction to Ecology
General Ecology
Introductory Microbiology
General Virology (Discontinued)
Yeast Molecular Genetics
Plant Physiology or Development
Developmental Plant Anatomy
Plant Physiology
Plant Growth & Development
Molecular & Cellular Biology of Plants
Plant Morphology & Evolution
Plant Biochemistry
Animal Physiology, Behavior or Development
Systemic Physiology
Animal Behavior
Cell Signaling in Health & Disease
NPB 141
Developmental Biology
Section 3: Laboratory Requirement
Course(s) selected to fulfill the laboratory requirement may also satisfy restricted elective or depth subject matter units (but not both).
Choose course(s) for a minimum total of six hours/week of laboratory or field work from the list of courses below:
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 Faculty Advisor.
Choose one course with six hours lab or field work/week:
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.
Section 4: Restricted Electives
Choose at least three or more courses for a minimum of 11 units from the list of Approved Upper Division Restrictive Electives and/or laboratory courses. No class or laboratory used to satisfy a Section 1 or a Section 2 course requirement may be used as a restricted elective.11
Students may choose any combination of approved courses that align with their academic or career objectives. Up to three of the 11 units may be fulfilled by approved seminar or research courses.
Total Units98-116

With BASC advisor approval, these combinations these combinations also satisfy the Chemistry requirement: CHE 004A-CHE 002A (3 units w/no lab)-CHE 002B-CHE 002C; CHE 004A-CHE 004B-CHE 002C.


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 017C; MAT 017A-MAT 021B.

Approved Seminar/Research Courses

Courses numbered 189, 190/190C, 192, 194H, and 199 in ABI, ANS, BIS, BIT, ENH, ENT, ETX, EVE, MCB, MIC, MMG, NPB, PLB, PLP, PLS, VEN, WFC, as well as:
BIS 122PPopulation Biology & Ecology/Advanced Laboratory Topics5
BIS 123Undergraduate Colloquium in Marine Science1
BIS 133Collaborative Studies in Mathematical Biology3
EVE/ESP 111Marine Environmental Issues1
MIC 191Introduction to Research for Advanced Undergraduates (Pending Approval)1
MCB 138Undergraduate Seminar in Biochemistry1
MCB 139Undergraduate Seminar in Biochemistry2
MCB 148Undergraduate Seminar in Cell Biology2
MCB 158Undergraduate Seminar in Developmental Biology2
MCB 178Undergraduate Seminar in Molecular Genetics1
MCB 191Introduction to Research1
MCB 193Advanced Research3
NPB 139Frontiers in Physiology3
NPB 159Frontiers in Behavior3
NPB 169Frontiers in Neurobiology3

Approved Upper Division Restricted Electives

ANG 105Horse Genetics3
ANG 107Genetics & Animal Breeding5
ANS 104Principles & Applications of Domestic Animal Behavior4
ANS 123Animal Growth & Development4
ANS 170Ethics of Animal Use4
ANT 151Primate Evolution4
ANT 152Human Evolution5
ANT 153Human Genetics: Mutation & Migration5
ANT 154AThe Evolution of Primate Behavior5
ANT 154BPrimate Evolutionary Ecology5
ANT 155Primate Conservation Biology4
ANT 157Advanced Human Genetics2
ANT 157LAdvanced Human Genetics Lab4
AVS 100Avian Biology3
AVS 103Avian Development & Genomics3
AVS 115Raptor Biology3
BIM 140Protein Engineering4
BIM 143Biomolecular Systems Engineering: Synthetic Biology4
Biological Sciences (BIS)―all upper division courses. 1
BIT 150Applied Bioinformatics 4
BIT 160Principles of Plant Biotechnology3
BIT 161AGenetics & Biotechnology Laboratory6
BIT 161BPlant Genetics & Biotechnology Laboratory4
CHE 107APhysical Chemistry for the Life Sciences3
CHE 107BPhysical Chemistry for the Life Sciences3
CHE 108Molecular Biochemistry3
CHE 130APrinciples of Medicinal Chemistry3
CHE 130BComputational Drug Design3
CHE 150Chemistry of Natural Products3
ECS 124Theory & Practice of Bioinformatics4
EDU 110Educational Psychology: General4
EDU/GEL 181Teaching in Science & Mathematics2
EDU/GEL 183Teaching High School Mathematics & Science3
ENH 105Taxonomy & Ecology of Environmental Plant Families4
ENH 150Genetics & Plant Conservation: The Biodiversity Crisis3
Entomology (ENT)―all upper division courses. 1
ESP 106Environmental Data Science4
ESP 110Principles of Environmental Science4
ESP/GEL 116NOceanography3
ESP 121Population Ecology4
ESP 123Introduction to Field & Laboratory Methods in Ecology4
ESP 124Marine & Coastal Field Ecology3
ESP 151Limnology4
ESP 151LLimnology Laboratory3
ESP 155Wetland Ecology4
Environmental Toxicology (ETX)―all upper division courses. 1
Evolution & Ecology (EVE)―all upper division courses. 1
Exercise Biology (EXB)―all upper division courses. 1
FST 102AMalting & Brewing Science4
FST 104Food Microbiology3
GDB 101Epidemiology4
GDB 103Microbiome of People, Animals, & Plants 3
GEL 107Earth History: Paleobiology3
GEL 107LEarth History: Paleobiology Laboratory2
GEL 108Earth History: Paleoclimates3
GEL/ESP 116NOceanography3
GEL 141Evolutionary History of Vertebrates3
GEL 144Historical Ecology3
GEL/ESP 150APhysical & Chemical Oceanography4
GEL/ESP 150BGeological Oceanography3
GEL/ESP 150CBiological Oceanography4
HDE 100AInfancy & Early Childhood4
or HDE 100AV Infancy & Early Childhood
HDE 100CAdulthood & Aging4
HDE/ENT 117Longevity4
HPH 115Cannabis & Cannabinoids in Physiology & Medicine 3
Molecular & Cellular Biology (MCB)―all upper division courses. 1
Microbiology (MIC)―all upper division courses. 1
Microbiology & Molecular Genetics (MMG)―all upper division courses. 1
MMI 188AHuman Immunology3
or MMI 188B Human Immunology
NEM 100Plant Nematology 4
NEM 110Introduction to Nematology2
Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior (NPB)―all upper division courses. 1
NUT/ETX 104Environmental & Nutritional Factors in Cellular Regulation & Nutritional Toxicants4
PHI 108Philosophy of the Biological Sciences4
Plant Biology (PLB)―all upper division courses. 1
PLP 120Introduction to Plant Pathology4
PLP 130Fungal Biology & Disease3
PLS 100AMetabolic Processes of Cultivated Plants3
PLS 100BGrowth & Yield of Cultivated Plants3
PLS 101Agriculture & the Environment3
PLS/ESM 144Trees & Forests4
PLS 147California Plant Communities3
PLS 150Sustainability & Agroecosystem Management4
PLS 152Plant Genetics4
PLS 154Introduction to Plant Breeding4
PLS 162Urban Ecology3
PLS 172Biology and Quality of Harvested Crops4
PMI 126Fundamentals of Immunology3
PMI 127Medical Bacteria & Fungi3
PMI 128Biology of Animal Viruses3
SAS/HIS 109Environmental Change, Disease & Public Health4
SAS 110Applications of Evolution in Medicine, Human Behavior, & Agriculture4
SOC 163Population Health: Social Determinants & Disparities in Health4
SSC 111Soil Microbiology4
STA 101Advanced Applied Statistics for the Biological Sciences4
STS/ANT 129Health & Medicine in a Global Context4
STS/ENL 164Writing Science4
UWP 111CSpecialized Topics in Journalism: Science Journalism4
UWP 120Rhetorical Approaches to Scientific & Technological Issues4
UWP 121History of Scientific Writing4
VEN 110Grapevine Growth & Physiology 3
VME 158Infectious Disease in Ecology & Conservation 3
Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation Biology (WFC)―all upper division courses. 13

Courses numbered 198 do not fulfill restricted elective units without advisor approval. Discussion section courses, those noted with a "D" do not fulfill  restricted elective units. Only 3 units of approved seminar or research courses can be applied to the restrictive electives.