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Bachelor of Science in Biology: Concentration in Marine Biology

nudibranchThe concentration in Marine Biology provides the foundations of chemistry, physics, and mathematics, basic background in the biological sciences, and the opportunity to obtain greater depth of knowledge in marine and aquatic biology. In the marine biology and limnology specialization, students can take courses dealing with aquatic ecology and different aquatic environments, such as lakes and streams, the upper layers of the ocean and estuaries, and benthic environments. They can take courses dealing with particular groups of organisms, including microbes, algae and aquatic plants, invertebrates, fish, and aquatic mammals. Studies of biological processes such as physiology are also included in the curriculum. Students have a great deal of flexibility in deciding among specialty courses they would like to apply as electives in their major. Students are also encouraged to undertake independent studies projects under the direction of faculty members. Because of the flexibility of the major, students are encouraged to see an advisor every semester, and at least at these points in their careers: when they declare their major, when they begin taking upper-division courses, and when they are preparing to graduate.


Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies

The Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies (RTC) is a research facility administered by SFSU. RTC is located on 25 acres of bayfront land on the east side of the Tiburon Peninsula, 22 miles from the main campus. The research and educational activities at RTC focus on estuarine and marine environments and include biological oceanography, ecological physiology, ecological and evolutionary genetics, marine microbiology, and wetland restoration and ecology. Located on the site are laboratories, classrooms, offices, a greenhouse, an animal culturing and husbandry facility, a shared molecular facility, and vessels for bay and coastal research. Selected biology, chemistry, geography, and geology courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level are taught at RTC each academic year.


Moss Landing Marine Laboratories

San Francisco State University is a member of a consortium of six California State Universities that jointly operate the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories on Monterey Bay. Moss Landing conducts instructional and research activities on near-shore marine and estuarine environments. Oceangoing research vessels based at Moss Landing also participate in wide-ranging offshore marine research. The Moss Landing curriculum supports a range of programs in marine science. Students matriculating at any of the six participating institutions can take part or all of their graduate work at Moss Landing.

Lower-Division Requirements
BIOL 230
Introductory Biology I
BIOL 240
Introductory Biology II
CHEM 115
General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry
CHEM 130
General Organic Chemistry
Units selected from the following:
CHEM 215/216
General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts (3/2)
MATH 226
Calculus I (4)
MATH 227
Calculus II (4)
PHYS 111/112
General Physics I and Laboratory (3/1)
PHYS 121/122
General Physics II and Laboratory (3/1)
Total lower division requirements
Upper-Division Requirements (32-33 units)
BIOL 337
BIOL 355
BIOL 458
Units selected from the following:
BIOL 525
Plant Physiology (3)
BIOL 630
Animal Physiology (3)
Units selected from the following
BIOL 534
Wetland Ecology (4)
BIOL 580
Limnology (3)
BIOL 582
Biological Oceanography (4)
BIOL 585/586
Marine Ecology/Laboratory (3/2)
Upper Division Electives
NOTE: Upper division electives should be selected from alternatives not used in fulfilling the requirements listed above, or from the list below. Upon advisement, students may use other upper division biology courses or appropriate courses as electives.
BIOL 502 Biology of the Algae (3)
BIOL 526 Plant Physiology Laboratory (2)
BIOL 532 Restoration Ecology (3)
BIOL 535 Remote Sensing of Wetlands and Coastal Zones (4)
BIOL 555 Marine Invertebrate Zoology (4)
BIOL 556 Natural History of Marine Invertebrates (4)
BIOL 570 Biology of Fishes (4)
BIOL 575 Fisheries Biology (3)
BIOL 583 Marine Microbial Ecology (3)
BIOL 584 Marine Microbial Ecology Laboratory (1)
BIOL 585 Marine Ecology (3)
BIOL 586 Marine Ecology Laboratory (2)
BIOL 606 Behavioral and Physiology of Marine Mammals (3)
BIOL 631 Animal Physiology Laboratory (4)
CHEM 680 Chemical Oceanography (3)
GEOL 642 Watershed Assessment (4)
MSCI 312-375 Any without duplicating courses taken at SFSU
GEOL 452/OCN 410 Coastal Processes (3)  
Total upper division requirements:
Total for major

B.S. in Biology:  Concentration in Marine Biology Degree Description (pdf)

Recommended 4-year course plan for B.S. in Biology, Concentration in Marine Biology


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