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Biology BS

CSUMB’s Biology B.S. program features small classes, a wide availability of study groups and tutoring, expert faculty dedicated to student success, research and internship opportunities, and advisors who specialize in science majors.

The Monterey Bay area is a prime location for a biology major - with easy access to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, rugged Big Sur mountains and coastline, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Reserve, Salinas Valley agriculture, and other biologically-rich destinations. The concentrations offered in this major connect students to the concepts surrounding biodiversity, habitats, ecology, genomics, bioinformatics, and science education. Skills gained throughout this program help prepare students for careers in biological labs, museum curation, environmental consulting, health science, teaching, or advancement to graduate-level programs.


Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

Use the latest technologies to learn about biodiversity, habitats, and ecological processes. Typical careers for students who choose this concentration include veterinarian school, lab technician, field or marine biologist, graduate school in biology, naturalist, museum curator, zoo biologist or aquarist, and environmental consultant.

Molecular Biology

At the intersection of biology, chemistry, and genetics, this concentration is for students interested in the fields of bioinformatics, genomics, and biochemistry. This concentration also provides Pre-health students with the foundation needed to attend medical, pharmacy, and dental schools, physician assistant programs, and genetic counseling programs.

Biology Teacher Preparation

CSUMB Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) teacher preparation provides advising, mentoring, teaching experience through service learning, financial aid, academic support and hands-on activities designed to improve student teaching and learning. Students who have a strong desire and dedication to become highly qualified science and/or mathematics teachers at the middle or high-school levels receive mentorship and strategic advising for a career in teaching. Collaborative learning support in early STEM courses (introductory biology, chemistry, and physics) immediately after high school promotes the recruitment and retention of teachers from courses. Frequent and varied grade level experience of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned content within a classroom prepares future teachers to implement inquiry in their classrooms. Engaging future teachers in the practical tasks of teaching, assessment, observation, and reflection improves the process of learning and development aligned with NGSS in the discipline. Professional Development around Assessment of Learning where teachers incorporate data analysis to support improving students’ achievement, iteratively teaching to meet the standards. STEM coaching provide teachers with necessary support to change instructional strategies and build STEM content knowledge. Mentoring by STEM Leaders, CSUMB faculty who co-teach, co-plan, and model lessons with new teachers, encourage the adoption of best practices. We work with teachers to strategically integrate technology in instruction and plann NGSS aligned lessons. We foster an iterative culture of teaching as science where experimentation and innovation are celebrated. We are investing in the next generation of science educators.

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Biology Teacher Preparation


Visit the CSUMB Biology Requirements page to learn more about required courses, learning outcomes, and course pathways for each concentration.

Biology Capstones

The purpose of the biology capstone is for students to demonstrate their cumulative knowledge in the biological sciences. The biology capstone is designed to prepare students for their future field of study, whether it is in a professional degree program, research position in a laboratory, graduate school, or another biology-related field. The biology capstone was designed to fit the diverse needs and interests of students obtaining a degree in biology.

Keep in mind that different capstone courses are offered during Fall and Spring semesters. The best way to decide what capstone options are right for you is to create, and frequently update, a learning plan with your advisor. This will help you complete all the correct prerequisites for the capstone that will be most beneficial to you.

Biology Faculty

Visit the Biology Faculty page to learn more.


Students should meet with their academic advisor every semester. Visit the advising page to learn more .

School of Natural Sciences