The Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences

Student Learning Outcomes

All candidates for the BS in Biological Sciences will demonstrate mastery in the following Student Learning Outcomes:

1. Students can describe the structure and function of cellular components and explain how they interact in a living cell.

2. Students can demonstrate an understanding of the mechanisms driving evolution and can describe similarities and differences of the major taxonomic groups.

3. Students can describe how cells interact to develop tissues and organs and how these contribute to a functional organism.

4. Students can describe how organisms interact with one another and to their environment and are able to explain interactions at the population and community levels.

5. Students demonstrate an understanding of, and ability to use, the processes and methods of scientific inquiry.

6. Students can formally communicate the results of biological investigations using both oral and written communication skills.

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.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. Please request a plan from your major advisor or view it and other current advising information at http://em.csuchico.edu/aap/ProgramSearch.

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 151.

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See "Diversity Requirement" in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education.

U.S. History, Constitution, and American Ideals: 6 units

See "U.S. History, Constitution, and American Ideals" under "Bachelor's Degree Requirements". For this major, this requirement is normally fulfilled by completing HIST 130 and POLS 155 or approved equivalents.

Majors may count HIST 130 for a Breadth Area C requirement and POLS 155 for a Breadth Area D requirement.

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 130 (or its equivalent) with a C- or better before you may register for a WP course.

Course Requirements for the Major: 78 units

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

Major Core Program: 53 units

Lower-Division Requirements: 39 units

10 courses required:

BIOL 151 Principles of Cellular and Molecular Biology 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: Recommend CHEM 111 or concurrent enrollment.
BIOL 152 Principles of Ecological, Evolutionary, and Organismal Biology 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 151 or faculty permission; recommend CHEM 112 or concurrent enrollment.
BIOL 153 Principles of Physiology and Development 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 151; CHEM 112 or concurrent enrollment recommended.
CHEM 111 General Chemistry 4.0 FS *
Prerequisites: Second-year high school algebra; one year high school chemistry. (One year of high school physics and one year of high school mathematics past Algebra II are recommended.)
CHEM 112 General Chemistry 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: CHEM 111 with a grade of C- or higher.
CHEM 270 Organic Chemistry 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: CHEM 112.
ENVL 105 Environmental Literacy 3.0 FS *
PHYS 202A General Physics 4.0 FS *
Prerequisites: High school physics or faculty permission. High school trigonometry and second-year high school algebra or equivalent (MATH 051 and MATH 118 at CSU, Chico).
PHYS 202B General Physics 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: PHYS 202A.
MATH 109 Survey of Calculus 4.0 FS *
Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement; MATH 118, MATH 119 (or High School equivalents).

Upper-Division Requirements: 14 units

Biological sciences majors are expected to have completed BIOL 151, BIOL 152, BIOL 153, CHEM 111, and CHEM 112 before beginning their upper-division requirements.

5 courses required:

BIOL 350 Fundamentals of Ecology 3.0 FS WP
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 (or its equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher, BIOL 152 or faculty permission. Some taxonomic background is recommended.
BIOL 360 Genetics 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 153 or permission of instructor.
BIOL 492 Seminars in Biological Science 1.0 FS
Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing or faculty permission.
CHEM 370 Organic Chemistry 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: CHEM 270 with a grade of C- or higher.
MATH 315 Applied Statistical Methods I 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: MATH 105 or MATH 350 or faculty permission.

Major Option Course Requirements: 25 units

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required dependent upon the option chosen. Students must select one of the following options for completion of the major course requirements.

The Option in Cellular and Molecular Biology: 25 units

4 courses required:

BIOL 409 Molecular Biology 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 153, BIOL 360.
BIOL 411 Cell Biology 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 153, BIOL 360.
CHEM 451 Biochemistry 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: CHEM 370 with a grade of C- or higher.
CHEM 455L Biochemistry Laboratory 2.0 FS
Prerequisites: CHEM 320, CHEM 451; CHEM 370L or CHEM 370M; or faculty permission.

12 units selected from:

BIOL 371 Microbiology 4.0 FS WP
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 (or its equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher; BIOL 151, BIOL 152, BIOL 153, or faculty permission.
BIOL 399 Special Problems 1.0 -3.0 FS
BIOL 412 Bacterial Physiology 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 371, BIOL 360, CHEM 270. CHEM 451 is recommended.
BIOL 416 Vertebrate Physiology 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153; CHEM 108 or CHEM 270.
BIOL 418 Neurophysiology 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153; CHEM 108 or CHEM 270.
BIOL 426 Embryology 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153, or faculty permission.
BIOL 440 Plant Development 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
BIOL 446 Plant Pathology 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 153 or PSSC 101 or faculty permission.
BIOL 460 Histology 4.0 S1
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153.
BIOL 462 Hematology 3.0 S1
Prerequisites: BIOL 153. Recommended: BIOL 424 and CHEM 270.
BIOL 464 Medical Genetics 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 360.
BIOL 466 Immunology 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
BIOL 470 Medical Bacteriology 5.0 FA WP
Prerequisites: BIOL 371, BIOL 466, CHEM 270. Immunization against tetanus and diphtheria required.
BIOL 476 General Virology 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 153. Recommended: BIOL 371.
BIOL 480 Developmental Biology 3.0 F2
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
BIOL 485 Electron Microscopy 2.0 SP
Prerequisites: PHYS 202A, PHYS 202B.
BIOL 489 Internship 1.0 -3.0 FS
Prerequisites: Necessary background for the specific internship.
BIOL 499H Honors Research in Biological Sciences 3.0 -6.0 Inq
Prerequisites: Faculty permission.
BIOL 609 Advanced Cellular/Molecular Biology 4.0 F2
Prerequisites: BIOL 409 or CHEM 451.
BIOL 611 Advanced Physiology/Cell Biology 4.0 F1
Prerequisites: BIOL 411 or BIOL 414 or BIOL 416 or BIOL 417.
BIOL 670 Plant Molecular Biology 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 409.

Note: Undergraduate students need permission to enroll in 600-level courses. Please see the Department of Biological Sciences to obtain permission.

Unit Restrictions

A maximum of 3 units of BIOL 399 may be taken in one semester, and a maximum of 3 units of BIOL 399, BIOL 489, or BIOL 499H may be credited toward the major.

The Option in Ecological, Evolutionary, and Organismal Biology: 25 units

1 course required:

BIOL 408 Principles of Evolution 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 360.

1 course selected from:

BIOL 369 Advanced Plant Biology 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 151, BIOL 152, and BIOL 153, or faculty permission.
BIOL 370 Advanced Zoology 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 151, BIOL 152, and BIOL 153, or faculty permission.

1 course selected from:

BIOL 411 Cell Biology 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 153, BIOL 360.
BIOL 414 Plant Physiology 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 108 or BIOL 153; CHEM 108 or CHEM 270; or faculty permission.
BIOL 416 Vertebrate Physiology 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153; CHEM 108 or CHEM 270.

15 units selected from:

Select courses from the following groups, for 25 units total for this option.

1 course selected from:

BIOL 456 Field Botany 2.0 SM
Prerequisites: BIOL 152.
BIOL 484 Field Ecology 3.0 Inq
Prerequisites: BIOL 152.
BIOL 479 Zooarchaeology and Field Ecology 3.0 SM
Prerequisites: Faculty permission.

This course is also offered as ANTH 479.

BIOL 496 Field Studies in Natural History 1.0 -3.0 Inq

1 course selected from:

BIOL 402 Microbial Ecology 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 152. Recommended: BIOL 371.
BIOL 404 Aquatic Ecology 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, CHEM 112.
BIOL 428 Animal Behavior 3.0 F1
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
BIOL 613 Population Ecology 4.0 F2
Prerequisites: BIOL 350.
BIOL 668 Community and Ecosystem Ecology 3.0 S1
Prerequisites: BIOL 350 and a statistics course.
BIOL 672 Plant Ecology 4.0 S2
Prerequisites: BIOL 350, BIOL 448, graduate standing.
GEOS 536 Applied Ecology 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 350.

Note: Undergraduate students need permission to enroll in 600-level courses. Please see the Department of Biological Sciences to obtain permission.

A minimum of two courses from:

BIOL 399 Special Problems 1.0 -3.0 FS
BIOL 420 Invertebrate Zoology 4.0 S2
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153.
BIOL 422 General Entomology 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 152 or faculty permission. Recommended: BIOL 153.
BIOL 430 Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153.
BIOL 432 Ichthyology 4.0 S2
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153.
BIOL 433 Herpetology 4.0 S1
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
BIOL 434 Ornithology 4.0 S2
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153.
BIOL 435 Mammalogy 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 152.
BIOL 446 Plant Pathology 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 153 or PSSC 101 or faculty permission.
BIOL 448 Plant Diversity and Identification 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 152 or faculty permission.
BIOL 451 Plant Geography 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 369.
BIOL 452 Phycology 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 152.
BIOL 454 Mycology 4.0 Inq
Prerequisites: BIOL 152.
BIOL 489 Internship 1.0 -3.0 FS
Prerequisites: Necessary background for the specific internship.
BIOL 499H Honors Research in Biological Sciences 3.0 -6.0 Inq
Prerequisites: Faculty permission.

Unit Restrictions

A maximum of 3 units of BIOL 399 may be taken in one semester, and a maximum of 3 units of BIOL 399, BIOL 489, or BIOL 499H may be credited toward the major.

The Option in Plant Biology: 25 units

3 courses required:

BIOL 369 Advanced Plant Biology 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 151, BIOL 152, and BIOL 153, or faculty permission.
BIOL 408 Principles of Evolution 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 360.
BIOL 414 Plant Physiology 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 108 or BIOL 153; CHEM 108 or CHEM 270; or faculty permission.

1 course selected from:

BIOL 448 Plant Diversity and Identification 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 152 or faculty permission.
BIOL 451 Plant Geography 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 369.
BIOL 484 Field Ecology 3.0 Inq
Prerequisites: BIOL 152.

11-12 units selected from:

Select courses from the following groups, for 25 units total for this option.

A minimum of one course from:

BIOL 409 Molecular Biology 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 153, BIOL 360.
BIOL 440 Plant Development 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
BIOL 446 Plant Pathology 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 153 or PSSC 101 or faculty permission.
BIOL 670 Plant Molecular Biology 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 409.
CHEM 451 Biochemistry 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: CHEM 370 with a grade of C- or higher.
CHEM 455L Biochemistry Laboratory 2.0 FS
Prerequisites: CHEM 320, CHEM 451; CHEM 370L or CHEM 370M; or faculty permission.

A minimum of one course from:

BIOL 370 Advanced Zoology 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 151, BIOL 152, and BIOL 153, or faculty permission.
BIOL 371 Microbiology 4.0 FS WP
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 (or its equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher; BIOL 151, BIOL 152, BIOL 153, or faculty permission.
BIOL 399 Special Problems 1.0 -3.0 FS
BIOL 422 General Entomology 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 152 or faculty permission. Recommended: BIOL 153.
BIOL 442 Plant Morphology 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
BIOL 448 Plant Diversity and Identification 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 152 or faculty permission.
BIOL 451 Plant Geography 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 369.
BIOL 452 Phycology 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 152.
BIOL 454 Mycology 4.0 Inq
Prerequisites: BIOL 152.
BIOL 456 Field Botany 2.0 SM
Prerequisites: BIOL 152.
BIOL 484 Field Ecology 3.0 Inq
Prerequisites: BIOL 152.
BIOL 489 Internship 1.0 -3.0 FS
Prerequisites: Necessary background for the specific internship.
BIOL 499H Honors Research in Biological Sciences 3.0 -6.0 Inq
Prerequisites: Faculty permission.

The Option in General Biology: 25 units

2 courses required:

BIOL 408 Principles of Evolution 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 360.
BIOL 489 Internship 1.0 -3.0 FS
Prerequisites: Necessary background for the specific internship.

Note: BIOL 489 must be taken for 2 units.

1 course selected from:

BIOL 369 Advanced Plant Biology 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 151, BIOL 152, and BIOL 153, or faculty permission.
BIOL 370 Advanced Zoology 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 151, BIOL 152, and BIOL 153, or faculty permission.
BIOL 371 Microbiology 4.0 FS WP
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 (or its equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher; BIOL 151, BIOL 152, BIOL 153, or faculty permission.

1 course selected from:

BIOL 411 Cell Biology 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 153, BIOL 360.
BIOL 412 Bacterial Physiology 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 371, BIOL 360, CHEM 270. CHEM 451 is recommended.
BIOL 414 Plant Physiology 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 108 or BIOL 153; CHEM 108 or CHEM 270; or faculty permission.
BIOL 416 Vertebrate Physiology 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153; CHEM 108 or CHEM 270.

12-13 units selected from:

Select courses from the following groups, for 25 units total for this option.

A minimum of one course from:

BIOL 399 Special Problems 1.0 -3.0 FS
BIOL 409 Molecular Biology 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 153, BIOL 360.
BIOL 418 Neurophysiology 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153; CHEM 108 or CHEM 270.
BIOL 426 Embryology 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153, or faculty permission.
BIOL 440 Plant Development 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
BIOL 446 Plant Pathology 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 153 or PSSC 101 or faculty permission.
BIOL 460 Histology 4.0 S1
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153.
BIOL 462 Hematology 3.0 S1
Prerequisites: BIOL 153. Recommended: BIOL 424 and CHEM 270.
BIOL 464 Medical Genetics 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 360.
BIOL 466 Immunology 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
BIOL 470 Medical Bacteriology 5.0 FA WP
Prerequisites: BIOL 371, BIOL 466, CHEM 270. Immunization against tetanus and diphtheria required.
BIOL 476 General Virology 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 153. Recommended: BIOL 371.
BIOL 480 Developmental Biology 3.0 F2
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
BIOL 485 Electron Microscopy 2.0 SP
Prerequisites: PHYS 202A, PHYS 202B.
BIOL 499H Honors Research in Biological Sciences 3.0 -6.0 Inq
Prerequisites: Faculty permission.
BIOL 609 Advanced Cellular/Molecular Biology 4.0 F2
Prerequisites: BIOL 409 or CHEM 451.
BIOL 611 Advanced Physiology/Cell Biology 4.0 F1
Prerequisites: BIOL 411 or BIOL 414 or BIOL 416 or BIOL 417.
BIOL 670 Plant Molecular Biology 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 409.

Note: Undergraduate students need permission to enroll in 600-level courses. Please see the Department of Biological Sciences to obtain permission.

A minimum of one course from:

BIOL 402 Microbial Ecology 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 152. Recommended: BIOL 371.
BIOL 404 Aquatic Ecology 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, CHEM 112.
BIOL 420 Invertebrate Zoology 4.0 S2
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153.
BIOL 422 General Entomology 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 152 or faculty permission. Recommended: BIOL 153.
BIOL 428 Animal Behavior 3.0 F1
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
BIOL 430 Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153.
BIOL 432 Ichthyology 4.0 S2
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153.
BIOL 433 Herpetology 4.0 S1
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
BIOL 434 Ornithology 4.0 S2
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153.
BIOL 435 Mammalogy 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 152.
BIOL 442 Plant Morphology 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
BIOL 446 Plant Pathology 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 153 or PSSC 101 or faculty permission.
BIOL 448 Plant Diversity and Identification 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 152 or faculty permission.
BIOL 451 Plant Geography 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 369.
BIOL 452 Phycology 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 152.
BIOL 454 Mycology 4.0 Inq
Prerequisites: BIOL 152.
BIOL 489 Internship 1.0 -3.0 FS
Prerequisites: Necessary background for the specific internship.
BIOL 668 Community and Ecosystem Ecology 3.0 S1
Prerequisites: BIOL 350 and a statistics course.
BIOL 672 Plant Ecology 4.0 S2
Prerequisites: BIOL 350, BIOL 448, graduate standing.

Note: Undergraduate students need permission to enroll in 600-level courses. Please see the Department of Biological Sciences to obtain permission.

Unit Restrictions

A maximum of 3 units of BIOL 399 may be taken in one semester, and a maximum of 3 units of BIOL 399, BIOL 489, or BIOL 499H may be credited toward the major.

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 advisor regarding the selection of courses which will provide breadth to your University experience and possibly 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 advisor for specific information.

Honors in the Major

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

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 academic competition. Such experience is valuable for graduate school and professional life. 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.

Some common features of Honors in the Major program are

1. You must take 6 units of Honors in the Major course work. All 6 units are honors classes (marked by a suffix of H), and at least 3 of these units are independent study (399H, 499H, 599H) 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 for your major 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% of majors in your department.

4. Your GPA in your major should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% 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 advisor to apply.