Explore Biological Sciences Degrees

VIDEO: Explore Biology at CSU Long Beach

The Biological Sciences Department is dedicated to the teaching of biology and discovering new biological truths for society. Our students learn to think like scientists, using concept-based knowledge in biology, rather than to only focus on mastering facts that have become increasingly unwieldy as the knowledge base grows.

Undergraduate Degree Programs

The Biological Sciences Department offers 6 undergraduate degree programs.

B.S. Biology, General Biology option


General Biology is designed to expose students to a wide range of biological topics and is the most flexible option in terms of courses required. This area can work for students planning on future careers in health professions or graduate and professional studies in biological sciences.

B.S. Biology, Biology Education option

children examining preserved bugs

Biology Education is designed for students who wish to become secondary school biology teachers.

B.S. Biology, Molecular Cell Biology and Physiology option

cell examined through electron microscope

Molecular Cell Biology and Physiology 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.

B.S. Biology, Zoology, Botany, and Ecology option

monkey gazing at food in its grasp

Zoology, Botany, and Ecology (formerly Organismal Biology) is designed primarily for those interested in careers that are related to animals, plants, and ecological environments. 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.

B.S. Marine Biology


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

B.S. Microbiology

parasite larvae

Microbiology is the study of microorganisms and their interactions with humans, other organisms, and the environment. This area is appropriate for those contemplating graduate work in microbiology or for pre-professional students.

Learn more about the undergraduate degree programs in Biological Sciences.

Graduate Degree Programs

The Biological Sciences Department offers 2 graduate degree programs.

M.S. Biology & M.S. Microbiology

The Biology and Microbiology M.S. degrees cover a wide spectrum of biology and include both laboratory and field study. Graduate students in our programs work with a faculty advisor on original scientific research to complete and defend their thesis. We value faculty-student relationships as key determinants of graduate student success. The degrees are a good fit for students looking to prepare for further studies at the doctoral level and for professional careers in education, industry, consulting, research, and government.

Learn more about the graduate degree programs in Biological Sciences.


The department offers numerous opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to be involved in the research of its faculty. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in our research, thereby finding an opportunity to increase and apply the knowledge acquired in class.

Below are two of our many amazing research labs here at California State University, Long Beach.

Spotlight: Shark Lab

Lead by Dr. Chris Lowe, the mission of the Shark Lab is to study the physiological and behavioral ecology of marine animals, emphasizing the effect of human activity on the ocean; to utilize and develop innovative technology to answer challenging questions important for the conservation and restoration of depleted populations; and to train the next generation of marine biologists.

VIDEO: Why Undergrad Students Join Shark Lab

Spotlight: Mammal Lab

Lead by Dr. Ted Stankowich, the Mammal Lab studies the evolution and ecology of predator-prey interactions including antipredator behavior and defensive weaponry using field and lab experiments, comparative phylogenetic analyses, and museum studies. Our primary behavioral field work includes long term studies of wild striped skunks and coyotes, and we are generally interested in the evolution body armor and spines in mammals, including work on armadillos, echidnas, pangolins, and porcupines.

VIDEO: Social or Stinky? How Animal Defenses Evolve

Learn more about faculty research in Biological Sciences.

Learning Through Experience

The department offers opportunities to learn in settings outside of the classroom and still receive course credit.

Learn more about the experiential learning opportunities in Biological Sciences.