Undergraduate Programs

Six undergraduate degrees are offered by the Biological Sciences Department, as well as two minors.

This degree major is designed for students pursuing careers that involve the study of life. This general option is designed to expose students to a wide range of biological topics and is the most flexible option in terms of courses required. With the right elective choices, this option can work for students planning on future careers in health professions or graduate and professional studies in Biological Sciences.

This option is designed solely for students who wish to become secondary school Biology teachers.

This option is designed primarily for those interested in careers that involve biology at the cell, molecular and organ system levels and is particularly appropriate for those contemplating graduate work in these fields or entering one of the health professions, such as medicine and physical therapy.

This option is designed primarily for those interested in careers that are related to zoology, ecology, and botany. It is particularly appropriate for students who wish to attend veterinary or graduate school, and for those seeking employment in environmental consulting firms, and fish and wildlife agencies.

Marine biology is the study of the biology and ecology of organisms found in the ocean. This degree provides a base to pursue graduate school, along with a variety of careers in environmental consulting, government, teaching, and public aquaria.

Microbiology is the study of microorganisms and their interactions with humans, other organisms, and the environment. This degree is appropriate for those contemplating graduate work in microbiology or, with the inclusion of appropriate classes, may be utilized by pre-professional students.

Additional information can be found in the Biological Sciences - CSULB Catalog (2024-2025).

For the Degree in Biological Sciences

  1. Describe basic biological principles operating at the molecular, cellular, organismal, population and community levels.
  2. Apply and use methods of scientific inquiry. Be able to pose questions, design experiments, and solve problems.
  3. Use appropriate instruments, experimental techniques and quantitative methods to collect, organize and interpret data.
  4. Be able to locate and critically to evaluate scientific literature, including on-line resources.
  5. Communicate findings in written and oral form using appropriate format, language, and images.

For the Degree in Marine Biology

  1. Characterize the phylogenic, morphological, and physiological diversity of marine organism, from microbes to marine mammals.
  2. Describe the flow and transformations of energy in marine systems, including the factors that control primary production and production of higher trophic levels.
  3. Explain how general concepts of ecology and evolution apply to marine organisms.
  4. Use examples to explain how human activities impact the biology of marine systems.
  5. Read and critique primary scientific literature, and write using scientific format.

For the Degree in Microbiology

  1. Demonstrate subject matter knowledge in the areas prescribed by the American Society for microbiology including general principles of microbiology, microbial genetics, microbial ecology, immunology, virology, and cell and molecular biology.
  2. Demonstrate competency in laboratory skills in microbiology including proper safety procedures.
  3. Think critically, acquire scientific information, solve problems, and apply the scientific method.
  4. Communicate effectively in written and oral forms.
  5. Describe how microbiology relates to other scientific fields and society in general.