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The Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree: 120 units

See “Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree” in The University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

The department has prepared a suggested Four Year Advising Plan to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. Please request a plan from your major adviser or view it and other current advising information on the CSU, Chico Web.

General Education Requirements: 48 units

See “General Education Requirements” in The University Catalog and The Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Requirements and course offerings. The course requirements marked below with an asterisk (*) may also be applied toward General Education.

Biological Sciences majors may meet the Breadth Area B2 requirement by completing BIOL 006A.

Cultural Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See “Cultural Diversity” in The University Catalog. Most courses used to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education.

American Institutions Requirement: 6 units

See the “American Institutions Requirement” under “Bachelor’s Degree Requirements.” This requirement is normally fulfilled by completing HIST 050 and POLS 055. Courses used to satisfy this requirement do not apply to General Education.

Literacy Requirement:

See “Mathematics and Writing Requirements” in The University Catalog. Writing proficiency in the major is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of a course in your major which has been designated as the Writing Proficiency (WP) course for the semester in which you take the course. Students who earn below a C- are required to repeat the course and earn a C- or better to receive WP credit. See The Class Schedule for the designated WP courses for each semester. You must pass ENGL 001 (or its equivalent) with a C- or better before you may register for a WP course.

Course Requirements for the Major: 63 units

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required of all candidates for this degree. Additional required courses, dependent upon a selected option or advising pattern, are outlined following the degree core program requirements.

Lower-Division Requirements: 31-32 units

2 courses required:

BIOL    006A    Biological Principles    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: Recommend CHEM 037 or concurrent enrollment.

BIOL    006B    Biological Principles    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: BIOL 006A; recommend CHEM 038 or concurrent enrollment.

1 course selected from:

BIOL    009    General Botany    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: BIOL 006B or faculty permission.

BIOL    010    General Zoology    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: BIOL 006B or faculty permission.

BIOL    011    General Microbiology    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: A college course in biology and in general chemistry.

NOTE: If BIOL 011 is chosen, the number of upper-division elective units required will be reduced by one unit.

5 courses required:

CHEM    037    General Chemistry    4.0    FS *

Prerequisites: Second-year high school algebra; one year high school chemistry or CHEM 016. (One year of high school physics and one year of high school mathematics past Algebra II are recommended.)

CHEM    038    General Chemistry    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: CHEM 037.

CHEM    070    Organic Chemistry    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: CHEM 038.

PHYS    002A    General Physics    4.0    FS *

Prerequisites: High school physics or faculty permission. High school trigonometry and second-year high school algebra or equivalent (MATH 003 and MATH 004 at CSU, Chico).

PHYS    002B    General Physics    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: PHYS 002A.

Upper-Division Requirements: 31-32 units

Biological sciences majors are expected to have completed BIOL 006A, BIOL 006B, and CHEM 038 before beginning their upper-division requirements.

Upper-Division Core: 15-16 units

4 courses required:

BIOL    201    Intro to Biological Literature    1.0    FS

Prerequisites: ENGL 001 (or its equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher; junior standing; BIOL 006B.

BIOL    207    Genetics    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: BIOL 006B.

BIOL    258    Fundamentals of Ecology    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: BIOL 006B. Some taxonomic background is recommended.

CHEM    170    Organic Chemistry    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: CHEM 070.

Physiology requirement:

1 course selected from:

BIOL    206    Cell Physiology    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: BIOL 006B; CHEM 028 or CHEM 070.

BIOL    214    Vertebrate Physiology    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: BIOL 006B, BIOL 010; CHEM 028 or CHEM 070.

BIOL    215    Plant Physiology    4.0    FS

Prerequisites: BIOL 006B or BIOL 008; BIOL 009; CHEM 028 or CHEM 070; or faculty permission.

BIOL    272    Bacterial Physiology    4.0    SP

Prerequisites: BIOL 011; BIOL 207; CHEM 070. CHEM 250A is recommended.

Upper-Division Electives: 15-17 units

15-17 units selected from:

Any 200-level biology (BIOL) courses.

Select courses in addition to the Upper-Division Core requirement to complete the minimum required number of 63 units total for the major. A maximum of 3 units of BIOL 199 may be taken in one semester, and a maximum of 3 units of BIOL 199, BIOL 289, or BIOL 299H may be credited toward the major.

NOTE: With your adviser’s approval, you may substitute one of BIOL 009, BIOL 010, or BIOL 011 for a 200-level course if it has not been used to meet the lower-division requirements. In addition, the following courses are acceptable substitutes for 200-level biology courses.

BIOL    123    Microtechnique    2.0    Inq

Prerequisites: BIOL 006B.

BIOL    152    Computer Applications Biology    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: BIOL 006B and a computer science course providing skills in programming. Recommended: MATH 007A or a statistics course.

BIOL    199    Special Problems    1.0-3.0    FS

CHEM    170L    Organic Chem Laboratory    1.0    FS

Prerequisites: CHEM 170 may be taken as a prerequisite or concurrently with CHEM 170L.

CHEM    250A    Biochemistry    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: CHEM 170.

In selecting courses to meet the 15-17 unit elective requirement, you should consult with your adviser to create a package of elective courses that will best meet your career goals. You could select groups of courses that will allow you to concentrate in a given area such as cell/molecular biology, ecology, botany, zoology, or select courses that will meet requirements for a teaching credential, graduate or professional school, or a specific occupation.

Electives Requirement:

To complete the total units required for the bachelor’s degree, select additional elective courses from the total university offerings. You should consult with an adviser regarding the selection of courses which will provide breadth to your university experience and apply to a supportive second major or minor.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade, except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program.
Consult your undergraduate adviser for specific information.

Honors in the Major

Honors in the Major is a program of independent work in your major.
It involves 6 units of honors course work completed over two semesters.

Your Honors work will be recognized at your graduation, on your permanent transcripts, and on your diploma. It is often accompanied by letters of commendation from your mentor in the department or the department chair. Most importantly, however, the Honors in the Major program allows you to work closely with a faculty mentor in your area of interest on an original performance or research project. This year-long collaboration allows you to work in your field at a professional level and culminates in a public presentation of your work. Students sometimes take their projects beyond the university for submission in professional journals, presentation at conferences, or competition in shows; such experience is valuable for graduate school and later professional life.

Some common features of Honors in the Major program are

1. You must take 6 units of Honors in the Major course work. At least 3 of these 6 units are independent study (299H) as specified by your department. You must complete each class with a minimum grade of B.
2. You must have completed 9 units of upper-division course work or 21 overall units in your major before you can be admitted to Honors in the Major. Check the requirements carefully, as there may be specific courses that must be included in these units.
3. Your cumulative GPA should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5 percent of majors in your department.
4. Your GPA in your major should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5 percent of majors in your department.
5. Most students apply for or are invited to participate in Honors in the Major during the second semester of their junior year. Then they complete the 6 units of course work over the two semesters of their senior year.
6. Your honors work culminates with a public presentation of your Honors project.

While Honors in the Major is part of the Honors Program, each department administers its own program. Please contact your major department or major adviser for further information.