Biology Department photograph montage

Bachelor of Arts in General Biology

The curriculum in General Biology provides breadth of exposure to fundamental areas of biology. Since basic principles of physical science are central to many biological concepts, course work in physics and chemistry is included in the lower division requirements.

The General Biology degree should be taken by students intending to obtain a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Life Science. Students who are considering teaching life sciences should see a credential adviser in the Biology department before planning the major. Students are required to complete additional courses that specifically prepare them to teach in the California secondary school system (including BIOL 337, CHEM 216; courses covering geology, astronomy, oceanography, and meteorology). The program is subject to changes imposed by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC).

Lower-Division Requirements (32-33 units)


BIOL 230

Introductory Biology I


BIOL 240

Introductory Biology II


CHEM 115

General Chemistry I


CHEM 130

General Organic Chemistry


CHEM 215

General Chemistry II (CHEM 216 (2) is recommended)


PHYS 111/112

General Physics I and Laboratory (3/1)


PHYS 121/122

General Physics II and Laboratory (3/1)


One course from the following two courses:


MATH 124 or STAT 124

Elementary Statistics (3)


MATH 226

Calculus I (4)


Total Lower Division Requirements


Upper Division Requirements (24-25 units)>

BIOL 355



One physiology Course from the following:


BIOL 525

Plant Physiology


BIOL 612

Human Physiology


BIOL 630

Animal Physiology


One Cell Biology Course from the following:


BIOL 350

Cell Biology


BIOL 401

General Microbiology


BIOL 435



BIOL 450

Biology of the Protozoa


BIOL 524

Plant Molecular Biology


CHEM 349

General Biochemistry


One Physiology or Cell Biology Laboratory Course associated with course choices listed above (substitutions allowed upon signed advisor consent)


One Ecology Course from the following:


BIOL 482

Ecology 4


BIOL 529

Plant Ecology 4


BIOL 534

Wetland Ecology (4)


BIOL 580

Limnology 3


BIOL 582

Biological Oceanography 3


BIOL 585/586

Marine Ecology with Laboratory (3/2)


One evolutionary or organismal biology Course from the following:  (substitutions allowed upon signed advisor consent)


BIOL 328

Human Anatomy (4)


BIOL 337

Evolution (3)


BIOL 380

Comparative Embryology (3)


BIOL 453/454

Parasitology and Laboratory (3/1)


BIOL 459

Arthropod Biology (4)


BIOL 460

General Entomology (4)


BIOL 461

Insect Taxonomy (4)


BIOL 475

Herpetology (4)


BIOL 478

Ornithology (4)


BIOL 480

 Mammalogy (4)


BIOL 500

Evolution and Divertsity of Plants (4)


BIOL 502

Biology of the Algae (4)


BIOL 504

Biology of the Fungi (4)


BIOL 505

Comparative Anatomy of Vascular Plants (4)


BIOL 514

Plant Taxonomy (5)


BIOL 555

Marine Invertebrate Zoology (4)


BIOL 570

Biology of Fishes (4)


Upper division Electives selected in Consultation with an advisor


Total Upper Division Units Required (specified UD Units 17-20; Elective Units 4-8):


Total Units required for Major


*Students planning to earn a teaching credential must take an evolution course and an organismal biology course.

Recommended 4-year course plan for B.A. in General Biology