Biological Sciences

About the department

The Biological Sciences Department offers bachelor’s degree programs in Biotechnology, Environmental Biology, and Biology with subplans in Botany, General Biology, Microbiology and Zoology. In addition, minors in Botany, Microbiology, and Zoology are offered, and the department participates in interdisciplinary minors in Comparative System Analysis, Environmental Health Specialist, and Physiology. Concurrent enrollment in two of the majors offered by the Biological Sciences Department is not allowed.

For those planning a career as a secondary school teacher, a Single Subject Credential in Science is required. This credential is obtained by completing coursework in Education and passing the National Teacher Examination. The latter can be waived by taking the courses listed in the Single Subject Matter Preparation Program for Prospective Teachers of Science with a concentration in Biology ( Prospective teachers are encouraged to contact the Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (CEMaST) early in their academic programs at or 909-869-4063.

Departmental facilities include molecular biology laboratories, greenhouses, controlled environmental units, a radiation biology laboratory, plant and animal collections, an electron microscope facility, BioTrek Rainforest and Ethnobotany Learning Centers, and the Mesozoic Garden Learning Center. Interdisciplinary research and education in computational and experimental techniques applied to molecular and material modeling, surface science, and engineered materials are supported by the university-wide Center for Macromolecular Modeling and Materials Design (CM3D). Ecological studies are facilitated by accessibility to natural habitats on campus and by the university’s proximity to desert, mountain, and seashore areas. Courses in terrestrial marine and fresh water biology provide preparation for teaching, conservation, wildlife management, or graduate research in aquatic biology. Courses in marine biology interact with the Ocean Studies Consortium of the CSU. A variety of field biology courses utilize the CSU Desert Studies Center at Zzyzx, near Baker, California. Students majoring in biological sciences and who have at least a 3.0 GPA have the opportunity to join Beta Beta Beta, an honorary society in the Biological Sciences. In addition, students can join any of the other student organizations such as the Biological Sciences Club, Zoologists of Cal Poly, Microbiology Club, Pre-Pharmacy Club, Biotechnology Club, and Journal Clubs.  For additional information contact the department office.

A cumulative 2.0 GPA is required in core courses in all Biological Sciences majors in order to receive a degree in that major.