Sep 27, 2021  
2016-2017 University Catalog 
2016-2017 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biological Science, Department of

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Department Chair

Sean Walker

Department Office/Website

McCarthy Hall 282


Joel Abraham, Catherine Brennan, Jennifer Burnaford, Merri Lynn Casem, Esther Chen, Amybeth Cohen, Math Cuajungco, Joshua Der, Kathryn Dickson, David Drath, Douglas Eernisse, Kristy Forsgren, William Hoese, Michael Horn, Hope Johnson, Robert Koch, Alison Miyamoto, Nikolaos Nikolaidis, Veronica Jimenez Ortiz, E. Misty Paig-Tran, Nilay Patel, William Presch, M. Soledad Ramirez, Melanie Sacco, Darren Sandquist, H. Jochen Schenk, Parvin Shahrestani, Paul Stapp, Marcelo Tolmasky, Christopher Tracy, Sean Walker, Ryan Walter, Danielle Zacherl


Biology is the branch of science concerned with the study of life. The discipline is dynamic, diverse and expanding with the integration of molecular approaches, information technology and concerns for the environment. Through the study of biology students will: learn principles that govern the function of their own body and those of other organisms; explore how complex organisms develop from a single cell and how genes and the environment govern these events; and learn how plants capture the energy from the sun and, ultimately, sustain almost all life on Earth through intricate relationships with other organisms, including humans. In addition, in Southern California, proximity to a variety of businesses, ranging from biotechnology and biomedical companies to environmental consulting firms, provides biology majors with diverse employment opportunities.

The department has designed a curriculum that builds on a core of biology and supporting courses for students who: (1) seek careers in industry and state or federal agencies; (2) wish to prepare for secondary school teaching; or (3) desire to enter graduate and professional schools. The curriculum beyond the basic core experience will be developed through individual advising. Each semester, students are required to meet with their designated faculty adviser in order to develop an appropriate program of study. After discussion with their adviser, students will elect upper-division courses in one of the concentrations that will satisfy their individual interests and professional goals.

Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

Special Programs

In addition to the usual course offerings, the Department of Biological Science participates in consortial programs with other California State University campuses. These are: the Center for Applied Biotechnology Studies (PABS); CSUPERB (California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology); the CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology (COAST); the Ocean Studies Institute (part of the Southern California Marine Institute); and the California Desert Studies Consortium. Each of these centers is described in this catalog under “Research Centers.”

Single Subject Teaching Credential Information

The Bachelor’s Degree in Biology may be effectively combined with subject matter studies necessary for the Single Subject Teaching Credential in Biological Sciences. Contact the Center for Careers in Teaching (657-278-7130, for early advisement and to plan efficient course selections for general education, the major and credential program coursework.

Recommendations for Transfer Students

Students planning to transfer from another college or university should take biology, chemistry, mathematics and/or physics courses that are equivalent to those required for the B.S. in Biological Science (refer to Prospective transfer students should contact the Biology Department as soon as possible prior to transfer to select appropriate courses.

Upper-Division Baccalaureate Writing Requirement

To meet the upper-division baccalaureate writing requirement, students must pass with a “C” (2.0) or better ENGL 301 , ENGL 363  or six units from the following: BIOL 411 , BIOL 414 , BIOL 417 , BIOL 422 , BIOL 426 , BIOL 427 , BIOL 446  , BIOL 447 , BIOL 449 , BIOL 465 , BIOL 466 , BIOL 468 , BIOL 470 , BIOL 495 , BIOL 498 .

Programs and Courses Offered


    Bachelor of ScienceMaster of ScienceNon-Degree


      Biological Science

      Courses are designated as BIOL in the class schedule. Unless otherwise designated, prerequisites may be waived by the instructor of the course if the instructor is satisfied that the student is qualified for the course.

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