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Bachelor of Science in Biology: Concentration in Physiology

The rapid growth of knowledge about the nature and function of biological mechanisms has made physiology a corner-stone of the biological and medical sciences. The Physiology program at San Francisco State University is designed to provide students with a strong background in the basic sciences and an opportunity to obtain either a general overview of the field or to specialize. Emphases in Physiology include the neurosciences, reproductive and endocrine physiology, and comparative and ecological physiology, and aging.  Studies at the master's level may include, in addition to the above, emphases in ethology, the neural mechanisms of behavior, and human psychophysiology.

Teaching and research facilities include a modern, fully-equipped eight-story building with a variety of laboratories for behavioral, biochemical, electrophysiological, and anatomical studies. Additional fieldwork may be done in association with the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Sierra Nevada Field Campus, the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, the San Francisco Zoo, and Marine World. Research internships are currently being conducted in cooperation with the University of California, San Francisco; Veterans Administration Hospital; and the Pacific Medical Center.

The highly competent faculty, all with Ph.D. degrees, have research interests in comparative biochemistry, endocrinology, reproductive physiology, human sexuality, ecological physiology, environmental enrichment and behavior of captive wild animals, population biology and physiology of marine mammals, neurophysiology, and sensory electrophysiology.


Lower-Division Requirements (38 - 39 units)
BIOL 230
Introductory Biology I
BIOL 240
Introductory Biology II
CHEM 115
General Chemistry I
CHEM 130
General Organic Chemistry
CHEM 215/216
General Chemistry II and Laboratory (3/2)
MATH 226
Calculus I
One course selected from the following:
3 - 4
MATH 124
Elementary Statistics
MATH 227
Calculus II
BIOL 458*
One set of the following:
PHYS 111/112
General Physics I Laboratory (3/1) and
PHYS 121/122
General Physics II and Laboratory (3/1) OR
PHYS 220/222
General Physics with Calculus I and Laboratory (3/1) and
PHYS 230/232
General Physics with Calculus II and Laboratory (3/1)
Total lower-division requirements
38 - 39
Upper-Division Requirements (29-33 units)
BIOL 350
Cell Biology
BIOL 355
CHEM 340 OR CHEM 349
Biochemistry I OR General Biochemistry
Physiology core courses selected from the following (one lecture must be Biol 612 or Biol 630)
BIOL 525
Plant Physiology (3)
BIOL 612
Human Physiology (3)
BIOL 616
Cardiorespiratory Physiology (3)
BIOL 617
Environmental Physiology (3)
BIOL 620
Endocrinology (3)
BIOL 621
Reproductive Physiology (3)
BIOL 622
Hormones and Behavior (3)
BIOL 630
Animal Physiology (3)
BIOL 640
Cellular Neurosciences (3)
BIOL 642
Neural Systems Physiology (3)
One Physiology Lab selected from the following:
BIOL 526
Plant Physiology Lab (2)
Human Physiology Lab (3)
Animal Physiology Lab (4)
Upper Division Electives (10 - 11 units)
Electives selected in consultation with an advisor from the following:
Criteria for elective units: 1 elective must contain a laboratory component; 1 elective must be chosen from each of the emphases listed below; and additional electives may be selected from the list of physiology core courses and/or either of the emphases listed below.
Cellular and Molecular Emphasis Units
CHEM 343
Biochemistry I Lab (3)
Experiments in Cell and Molecular Biology (4)
BIOL 357
Molecular Genetics (3)
BIOL 382
Developmental Biology (3)
BIOL 435
Immunology (3)
BIOL 615
Molecular Pathophysiology (3)
BIOL 652
Science Education Partners in Biology (4)
BIOL 699#
Special Study in Biology (1-3)
BIOL 623
Pharmacology (3)
BIOL 865#**
Advances in Physiology & Behavioral Biology (2)
Ecological, Anatomical, and Evolutionary Emphasis Units
BIOL 328
Human Anatomy (4)
BIOL 337
Evolution (3)
BIOL 482
Ecology (4)
BIOL 504
Biology of Fungi (3)
BIOL 505
Comp Anatomy of Vascular Plants (4)
Plant Ecology (4)
BIOL 555
Marine Invertebrate Zoology (4)
BIOL 585/586
Marine Ecology and Lab (3/2)
BIOL 600
Animal Behavior (3)
BIOL 614
Vertebrate Histology (4)
BIOL 652
Science Education Partners in Biology (4)
BIOL 699#
Special Study in Biology (1-3)
BIOL 865#**
Advances in Physiology & Behavioral Biology (2)
Total upper division units
Total for major
67 - 72

*Meets lower division requirements.  **Graduate seminar courses may be taken by qualified seniors with permission of the instructor.   #No more than one BIOL 699 or BIOL 865 course may be used as an elective.

Students interested in pursuing graduate study in physiology should take the one-year organic chemistry sequence (CHEM 333/233 and CHEM 335) and the one-year biochemistry sequence (CHEM 340 and CHEM 341) in place of CHEM 130 and CHEM 349.

Students are strongly urged to consult with a Physiology advisor early in the program.

Students interested in pursuing a health profession (eg. medicine, dentistry ...) please consult "Pre Health Professions" information in the SFSU Bulletin.

B.S. in Biology:  Concentration in Physiology (pdf)

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


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