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Experiential Learning

Starting in Fall 2020, all majors in Biological Sciences can get major upper division elective course credit when they take 3 units of "experiential learning" courses, which are:

  • BIOL 494 - internship
  • BIOL 495 - teaching
  • BIOL 496 - research

You can take the 3 units in one course or any combination of the courses as long as they add up to 3 units. To see how these courses fit into your degree program, go to undergraduate programs and look for your major.


BIOL 494 - Undergraduate Internship in Biological Sciences

(1-3 units)

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.

Internship with community agencies, organizations, or companies in the field of biology. Students must arrange an internship prior to registering for the course. Please contact the course instructor for details prior to the semester of intended enrollment. 45 hours of internship per unit.

Letter Grade Only (A-F). May be repeated for a letter grade and degree credit up to a maximum of 3 units; units beyond the three will be taken credit/no credit. Students may only use a total of 3 units of BIOL 494, 495, or 496 combined for degree requirements. Not available to graduate students.

Please see internships for more information.

BIOL 495 - Instruction in Laboratory Teaching

(1 unit)

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor, an "A" or "B" in the course in which the student elects to do BIOL 495 (another course with laboratory may be substituted with consent of instructor), and an overall GPA of at least 3.0.
Individual instruction in organization and techniques of teaching a biological sciences laboratory.

Both grading options. (Conference 1 hr., laboratory 3 hrs. per unit.) May be repeated for a letter grade and degree credit up to a maximum of 3 units; units beyond the three will be taken credit/no credit. Students may only use a total of 3 units of BIOL 494, 495, or 496 combined for degree requirements. Not available to graduate students.

Students interested in BIOL 495 should identify a laboratory course to teach and contact the course instructor.

BIOL 496 - Undergraduate Directed Research

(1-3 units)

Prerequisites: BIOL 211, BIOL 212; one of BIOL 213, BIOL 296, BIOL 311; consent of instructor; and consent of appropriate undergraduate advisor.

Research in a specific topic in biological sciences approved and directed by a faculty member in Department of Biological Sciences.

Both grading options. May be repeated for a letter grade and degree credit up to a maximum of 3 units; units beyond the three will be taken credit/no credit. Students may only use a total of 3 units of BIOL 494, 495, or 496 combined for degree requirements. Not available to graduate students.

Please see student research for more information.