Majors & Minors

Requirements for the Major in Biology

The major is organized around the hierarchical structure of living organisms within an overarching theme of the evolution of living things. Students are required to take three introductory courses dealing with cell form and function, the form and function of organisms, and the ways in which populations of organisms interact with each other and their environment; more advanced coursework is completed by selecting courses from cellular and molecular, organismal, and population focused courses. Major requirements also include research intensive courses and a senior seminar.

The course selections for the major reflect those sub-disciplines and approaches to biology. The major requires completion of a minimum of 37 credits in biology, with the following provisions:

  1. Completion of three foundation courses:
    Cell and Molecular Biology, BIOL 151, (4 credits)
    The Biology of Organisms, BIOL 152, (4 credits)
    Ecology and Evolution of Organisms, BIOL 251, (4 credits)
  2. Seminar, BIOL 493, (1 credit)
  3. Completion of at least 24 credits in Biology at the 300 level or above of which:

A. Completion of one course from each of the following organizational levels (Note: courses listed in multiple categories can only be counted in one of the categories):

I. Cellular-Molecular—a study of cell structure and molecular-controlled functions
Immunology, BIOL 331, (4 credits)
Microbiology, BIOL 343, (4 credits)
Cell Physiology, BIOL 380, (4 credits)
Molecular Genetics, BIOL 381, (4 credits)
Developmental Biology, BIOL 404, (4 credits)
Animal Histology, BIOL 407, (4 credits)

II. Organismal—a study of the organism, the congruence of form and function, and the maintenance of its internal environment.
Human Physiology and Anatomy, BIOL 300A,B, (4 credits each)
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, BIOL 345, (4 Credits)
Herpetology, BIOL 360, (4 credits)
Entomology, BIOL 386, (4 credits)
Animal Physiology, BIOL 428, (4 credits)
The Southern California Flora: Ecology, Evolution and Taxonomy, BIOL 473, (4 credits)

III. Populations—a study of the interaction of organisms with each other, with the external environment, and the changes that occur through time.
Principles of Ecology, BIOL 351, (4 credits)
Behavioral Ecology, BIOL 365, (4 credits)
Conservation Biology, BIOL 379, (4 credits)
Marine Biology, BIOL 384, (4 credits)
Evolutionary Biology, BIOL 445, (4 credits)
The Southern California Flora: Ecology, Evolution and Taxonomy, BIOL 473, (4 credits)
Advanced Field Studies, BIOL 485, (4 credits)

B. Completion of eight units from the following list of designated Research Intensive courses:

Immunology, BIOL 331, 4 credits
Microbiology, BIOL 343, 4 credits
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, BIOL 345, (4 credits)
Principles of Ecology, BIOL 351, (4 credits)
Behavioral Ecology, BIOL 365, (4 credits)
Conservation Biology, BIOL 379, (4 credits)
Cell Physiology, BIOL 380, (4 credits)
Molecular Genetics, BIOL 381, (4 credits)
Developmental Biology, BIOL 404, (4 credits)
Animal Physiology, BIOL 428, (4 credits)
The Southern California Flora: Ecology, Evolution, Taxonomy, BIOL 473, (4 credits)
Advanced Field Studies, BIOL 485, variable credits
Undergraduate Research, BIOL 496, variable credits

  1. Completion of CHEM 110A,B and one year of college mathematics. For majors seriously considering graduate or professional schools, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, and Calculus are imperative (these courses are required by many graduate and professional schools).

Requirements for the Minor in Biology

Twelve credits of core courses, BIOL 151, BIOL 152, BIOL 251, and at least two additional courses at the 300-level or above.

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