Biology BS Requirements

2018-2019 catalog - View past years

This degree opens doors to hundreds of exciting careers in a wide variety of biology-related fields. An awesome group of faculty, an incredible location, great facilities, the latest technologies, small class sizes and a supportive learning environment come together to offer you a first-rate biology education with concentrations in:

  • Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Teacher Preparation

For additional information about the major, including internships and undergraduate research opportunities, please visit the School of Natural Sciences website.

Required Courses

Special Requirements

AS-T certified students can earn a Biology B.S. by completing the special requirements found on the Requirements for AS-T certified students in Biology page.

All other Biology majors, see below.

Standard Requirements

In order to graduate, you will also need to complete your general education and university requirements.

The Biology major begins in the freshman year with specific math and science requirements because all upper-division (junior/senior) biology courses require lower-division (freshman/sophomore) courses as prerequisites.

Biology students complete the 'core' courses listed below and select a concentration.

Core Courses

Complete ALL of the following courses:

Complete ONE of the following, which also fulfills the CSU Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR):

Complete ONE of the following Service Learning courses:

Complete ONE of the following Capstone seminar courses:

Concentrations

Select one of the following concentrations and complete the specified coursework.

Molecular Biology Concentration

Unless otherwise indicated, courses may not double-count for two different requirements.

Complete the following courses:

Complete ONE of the following courses:

Complete ONE of the following courses:

Complete ONE of the following Organic Chemistry course combinations:

Complete ONE of the following Research Methods courses:

Complete FOUR of the following Molecular Biology concentration electives for at least 12 units.

NOTE: Either BIO 310: Biochemistry I (3 units) or CHEM 312: Organic Chemistry II (5 units) may count in both the organic chemistry requirement and as one of the following Molecular Biology concentration electives.

Ecology, Evolution, and Bio Organismal Biology Concentration

Unless otherwise indicated, courses may not double-count for two different requirements.

Complete ALL of the following courses:

Complete ONE of the following Research Methods courses:

Complete TWO of the following Ecology, Evolution, or Physiology courses:

Complete FOUR of the following ECOLOGY, EVOLUTION, AND ORGANISMAL BIOLOGY concentration electives for at least 12 units.

NOTE: CHEM 312: Organic Chemistry II (5 units) may double-count with the organic chemistry requirement above and as an Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology elective below.

Teacher Preparation Concentration

Complete the following courses:

Complete ONE of the following Research Methods courses:

Complete TWO of the following Ecology, Evolution, or Physiology courses:

Complete FOUR of the following Teacher Preparation concentration elective courses for at least 12 credits:

NOTE: CHEM 312: Organic Chemistry II (5 units) may double-count with the organic chemistry above and as a Teacher Preparation Concentration elective below.

Learning Outcomes

MLO 1: Mathematical Foundations

Students apply the fundamental mathematical and statistical constructs used to analyze, interpret and communicate quantitative information.

MLO 2: Physical Science Foundations

Students use the nomenclature, concepts and methodology of chemistry and physics to describe, measure and predict the chemical and physical properties and processes of physical and biological systems.

MLO 3: Biological Foundations

Students understand and describe the role of evolution as it applies to the diversity of life and life processes on earth, including molecular and cellular biology, genetics, organismal biology and ecology, and they apply basic scientific principles and methods to these biological processes.

MLO 4: Communication and Ethics in Biology

Students identify, research, analyze and present clearly, in oral and written formats, for scientific and non-scientific audiences, historical and current complex biological concepts in appropriate contexts. Students analyze their own and other ethical frameworks surrounding such issues.

MLO 5: Research Methods and Applied Skills

Students detect, describe and observe patterns that emerge from the analysis of biological questions, use the scientific method to develop questions and test hypotheses, and demonstrate competence in the analysis and display of data.

MLO 6: Advanced Knowledge in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Genetics

Students apply scientific principles and methods to the study of molecular life processes and the structure and function of cells.

MLO 7: Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

Students apply biological principles and scientific methods to the study of ecological or evolutionary or organismal biology.

MLO 8: Service in Biology

Students demonstrate the ability to share an understanding of biology with culturally, linguistically, economically and technologically diverse communities.

MLO 9: Biology Depth of Knowledge

Students obtain additional expertise in their chosen biological field through advanced elective courses, and complete a capstone research project or demonstrate proficiency in biology via a standardized exam.

Course Pathways

The freshman and transfer pathways (semester-by-semester course recommendations) listed here are just examples of course sequences to complete your degree requirements. Many courses have prerequisites, so these pathways can also help you get a feel for the order in which you should take courses. Each of the following course pathways provides just one example of a course sequence you might follow.

Other pathways will also work and may even be necessary for your individual situation. The best way to design a pathway that works for you is to meet with an advisor to discuss your goals.

Biology Teacher Preparation Freshman Pathway

Fall Freshman

Units: 4
Requirements:
  • B1
Units: 5
Requirements:
  • B4
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • E
Course: Language 102
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • C3
  • Language Proficiency

* This FYS class is just an example. The FYS class you choose might meet a different GE area, so you would have to adjust your actual pathway accordingly.

Spring Freshman

Units: 5
Requirements:
  • B1
  • B3
  • Major
Course: Language 201
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Language Proficiency

Fall Sophomore

Units: 5
Requirements:
  • Major
Course: Any Approved Course
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • C1
Units: 6
Requirements:
  • A2
  • A3
  • D3

Spring Sophomore

Units: 4
Requirements:
  • B4
  • Major
Course: Any Approved Course
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • D2

Fall Junior

Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Major
Units: 3
Requirements:
  • B1
  • Major
Course: Upper-division (300 or above) humanities course
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • C2

Spring Junior

Units: 4
Requirements:
  • A4
  • Major
Units: 5
Requirements:
  • Major
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Major

Fall Senior

Course: Concentration Elective #1
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Concentration
Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Major
Units: 5
Requirements:
  • D4
  • Major
Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Major

Spring Senior

Course: BIO 411
Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Major
Course: Concentration Elective #2
Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Concentration
Course: Concentration Elective #3
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Concentration
Course: Concentration Elective #4
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Concentration

Biology Teacher Preparation Transfer Pathway

This pathway represents one example of how you might complete all the requirements for your degree, and assumes that you have completed at least 60 transferable credits, all A-E general education requirements completed, as well as a year of general chemistry with lab, precalculus, and the Biology course series (10 to 12 credits) for biology majors.

Your own unique situation and a number of other factors may mean your actual pathway is different. You'll want to work closely with an advisor or faculty mentor to develop a pathway that's customized for you.

In the meantime, use this example as a starting point for choosing classes or discussing your plans with an advisor. Your advisor is your best resource when it comes to figuring out how to fit all the courses you need, in the right sequence, into your personal academic plan.

Fall Junior

Units: 5
Requirements:
  • Major
Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Major
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Major
Course: Upper-divsion (300 or above) recommended
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • D2

Spring Junior

Units: 4
Requirements:
  • B4
  • Major
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Major
Course: Concentration Elective #1
Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Concentration

Fall Senior

Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Concentration
Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Major
Units: 5
Requirements:
  • D4
  • Major
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Major

Spring Senior

Students must complete 40 credits of upper-division coursework to meet CSU graduation requirements.

Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Major
Course: Concentration Elective #2
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Concentration
Course: Concentration Elective #3
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Concentration
Course: Concentration Elective #4
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Concentration

Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology Freshman Pathway

This pathway is one example of how you might complete all the requirements for your degree, assuming that you enter CSUMB prepared to take CHEM 110: Chemistry I (4 units), CHEM 110L: Chemistry I Lab (1 units), and MATH 150: Calculus I (4 units) in the fall of your freshmen year. Both courses have placement exams that can be admininstered during orientation weekend or move-in weekend, but you should plan to take the placement exam while attending orientation so that you can finalize your course schedule as early as possible. Your own unique situation and a number of other factors may mean your actual pathway is different. Many students need one or more additional MATH courses before taking a college-level calculus course; many need an extra writing or chemistry course depending on their placement exams. Don't worry - there is flexibility built into the curriculum, but taking summer courses can help compensate for extra prequisite courses needed during the freshman year. You'll want to work closely with an advisor and use the academic advisement report to take all that into account and develop a pathway that is customized for you.

Fall Freshman

Units: 5
Requirements:
  • B1
  • B3
  • Major
Course: LANG 102
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • C3

This FYS class is just an example. The FYS class you choose might meet a different GE area, so you would have to adjust your actual pathway accordingly.

Spring Freshman

Units: 5
Requirements:
  • Major
Course: LANG 201
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Language Proficiency
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • B4

Fall Sophomore

Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Major
Units: 6
Requirements:
  • D3
  • E

Spring Sophomore

Course: Any Approved Course
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • A2
  • A3
Course: Any Approved Course
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • C1
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • B4
  • Major

Fall Junior

Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Major
Course: Any Approved Course
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • D2
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Major

Spring Junior

Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Major
Course: Concentration Elective #1
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Concentration

Fall Senior

Course: Concentration Elective #2
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Concentration
Units: 5
Requirements:
  • Major
Course: Concentration Elective #3
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Concentration

Spring Senior

Course: CHEM 312: Organic Chemistry II (5 units) (Concentration Elective #2)
Units: 5
Requirements:
  • Major
  • Concentration
Course: Concentration Elective #3
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Concentration
Course: Any Approved Course
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • D1

Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology Transfer Pathway

This pathway represents one example of how you might complete all the requirements for your degree, assuming that you transferred to CSUMB with at least 60 transferable credits, completed all of your general education, and have also completed a year of general chemistry with lab, one semester of calculus, and a 10-credit or 12-credit sequence of Biology courses for majors, as described in the Preparation section.

Your own unique situation and a number of other factors may mean your actual pathway is different. You'll want to work closely with an advisor or faculty mentor to develop a pathway that is customized for you.

In the meantime, use this example as a starting point for choosing classes or discussing your plans with an advisor. Your advisor is your best resource when it comes to figuring out how to fit all the courses you need, in the right sequence, into your personal academic plan.

Fall Junior

Units: 5
Requirements:
  • Major
Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Major
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Major
Course: Upper-Division (300 or above) recommended
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • D2

Spring Junior

Units: 4
Requirements:
  • B4
  • Major
Course: CHEM 312: Organic Chemistry II (5 units) (Concentration Elective #1)
Units: 5
Requirements:
  • Major
  • Concentration
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Major
Course: Concentration Elective #2
Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Concentration

Fall Senior

Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Major
Course: Concentration Elective #3
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Concentration

Spring Senior

Course: Concentration Elective #3
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Concentration
Course: Concentration Elective #4
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Concentration

Molecular Biology Freshman Pathway

This pathway is one example of how you might complete all the requirements for your degree, assuming that you enter CSUMB prepared to take CHEM 110: Chemistry I (4 units): Chemistry I, CHEM 110L: Chemistry I Lab (1 units): Chemistry I Lab, and MATH 150: Calculus I (4 units) in the fall of your freshmen year. Both courses have placement exams that can be admininstered during orientation weekend or move-in weekend, but you should plan to take the placement exam while attending orientation so that you can finalize your course schedule as early as possible. Your own unique situation and a number of other factors may mean your actual pathway is different. Many students need one or more additional MATH courses before taking a college-level calculus course; many need an extra writing or chemistry course depending on their placement exams. Don't worry - there is flexibility built into the curriculum., but taking summer courses can help compensate for extra prequisite courses needed during the freshman year. You'll want to work closely with an advisor and use the academic advisement report to take all that into account and develop a pathway that is customized for you.

Fall Freshman

Units: 5
Requirements:
  • B1
  • B3
  • Major
Course: Language 102
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • C3
  • Language Proficiency
Course: Any Approved Course
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • A1

This FYS class is just an example. The FYS class you choose might meet a different GE area, so you would have to adjust your actual pathway accordingly.

Spring Freshman

Units: 5
Requirements:
  • Major
Course: Language 201
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Language Proficiency
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • B4
  • Major

Fall Sophomore

Units: 5
Requirements:
  • Major
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Major

Spring Sophomore

Course: CHEM 312: Organic Chemistry II (5 units) (Concentration Elective #1)
Units: 5
Requirements:
  • Major
  • Concentration
Course: Any Approved Course
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • A2
  • A3

Fall Junior

Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Major
Units: 6
Requirements:
  • D1
  • D3
Course: Any Approved Course
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • C1

Spring Junior

Units: 4
Requirements:
  • A4
  • Major
Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Major
Units: 5
Requirements:
  • D4
  • Major

Fall Senior

Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Major
Course: Concentration Elective #2
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Concentration
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Major
Course: Any Approved Upper-Division Course
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • C2

Spring Senior

Course: Concentration Elective #3
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Concentration
Course: Concentration Elective #4
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Concentration
Course: Any Approved Course
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • D2

Molecular Biology Transfer Pathway

This pathway represents one example of how you might complete all the requirements for your degree, assuming that you transferred to CSUMB with at least 60 transferable credits, completed all of your general education, and have completed a year of general chemistry with lab, one semester of calculus, a semester of statistics, and a 10-credit or 12-credit sequence of Biology courses for majors, as described in the Preparation section.

Your own unique situation and a number of other factors may mean your actual pathway is different. You'll want to work closely with an advisor or faculty mentor to develop a pathway that's customized for you.

In the meantime, use this example as a starting point for choosing classes or discussing your plans with an advisor. Your advisor is your best resource when it comes to figuring out how to fit all the courses you need, in the right sequence, into your personal academic plan.

Fall Junior

Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Major
Units: 5
Requirements:
  • Major
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Major
Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Major

Spring Junior

Units: 4
Requirements:
  • A4
  • Major
Course: CHEM 312: Organic Chemistry II (5 units) (Concentration Elective #1)
Units: 5
Requirements:
  • Major
  • Concentration
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Major
Course: Any Approved Course
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • D2

Fall Senior

Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Major
Course: Concentration Elective #2
Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Concentration
Course: Concentration Elective #3
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Concentration

Spring Senior

Units: 3
Requirements:
  • Major
Course: Concentration Elective #4
Units: 4
Requirements:
  • Concentration