College of Science

Curriculum Related FAQs

Curriculum Resources
  • Curriculum sheets list all course requirements for a particular major.  Road maps allow you to plan quarter-by-quarter for graduation in 4 years.  The curriculum sheets and road maps for each major as well as the class schedule are posted on the University website,
  • University Catalog (courses and programs):

Which Curriculum Year Should I Follow?
  • Students should follow the curriculum year in which they first enrolled, or the year they graduate.  To change to the latter, students should file the “Curriculum Year Change Request Form” linked from the Registrar’s Office Forms.
  • If a student changes majors, he/she must follow the curriculum year in which they changed majors, or the year they graduate.

How do I Know When a Course will be offered?
  • See the document Projected Course Offerings” on the Biology Department website for the most updated version.
  • For all departments, use the university’s Three-Year Course Offerings website.
  • There are many factors which may change when a course is offered.  Always check the schedule of classes on BroncoDirect.

What are Co-Requisite Courses?
  • If the lecture and lab courses are co-requisites, you must take both during the same quarter.  You must register for both—put both in your cart—before you approve (submit) your registration on-line. 

What are Pre-Requisite Courses?
  • Check catalog for pre-requisites before registering for a course.  Success in a course depends upon your having taken the pre-requisite course(s). 
  • If you attempt to register for a course but have not taken the pre-requisites that are listed in the catalog, you will receive a message that says “Requisites not met” and you will not be able to register for that course.  If you have a compelling reason that you could take the course without the pre-requisites, please contact the instructor directly.  Only the instructor on record can override the pre-requisite requirement.
  • If a pre-requisite has been satisfied by a transfer course that was missing on your CPP record, you may bring your proof (your transcript & report or a petition form) to the Department Office to request a permission number.  The Department Office will help verify the pre-requisite(s), but not override the missing pre-requisite(s).

What are Lower-Division, Upper-Division, and Graduate Courses?
  • 100 and 200 level courses are considered lower division courses, and should be completed before taking upper division courses (300 and 400 level) courses.
  • Undergraduates may take a graduate (500 level) course for undergraduate credit if they have senior status, have a 2.75 upper division GPA, meet the pre-requisites, and have permission from the instructor.  No more than 13 units of 500 level courses may be counted towards a B.S. degree.

General Education (GE)
  • HST 202 and PLS 201 satisfy both GE Area D1a and D1b, as well as the 8-unit requirement for American Institutions; HST 202 also satisfies the 4-unit American Cultural Perspectives requirement.
  • A list of approved GE courses in each category is found in the on-line catalog,  You may also search its availability in a particular term under BroncoDirect “Search for Classes” tab using the “Course Attribute” (e.g. C) and “Course Attribute Value” (e.g. C1).

Electives for Core or Support Courses

  • Electives provide the opportunity to specialize, to take courses that are of interest to you, and to explore other areas of biology
  • Core electives are usually 300 or 400 level BIO courses that are specific to your major/option.
  • Support electives may include courses from lower division and/or other departments.  Please be aware that many programs have a restricted list of electives.  Please read the description in your curriculum sheet carefully.
  • May I Apply BIO 499 Courses to my Electives? Yes, if your electives have no restricted list of courses.  If the BIO 499 course topics fit to your discipline well, it is likely that it could be counted toward your restricted electives.  Please verify that with your major faculty advisor before taking the course and then file a petition after adding the class.

Can GE B5 courses be counted toward electives?
  • Some courses designed for GE B5 may be used as Support Electives for majors that do not have an approved list of electives.
Courses Core Elective Support Elective GE B5
BIO 300 Genetics and Human Issues     yes
BIO 301 Human Sexuality   yes yes 
BIO 302 Biology of Cancer   yes yes
BIO 309 Biology of the Brain * yes yes
BIO 311 Sexually Transmitted Diseases     yes
BIO 328 Biology of Aging   yes yes
MIC 301 Germs and You     yes

*BIO 309 can be used as a core upper division elective only for students who have not taken (or who will not take) BIO 424 Neuroscience.                    

Can I apply supervisory courses toward my degree?

  • Include BIO 200, 400, 461, 462.  Student must be doing a project under the supervision of a professor.   An “Application for Enrollment in Supervisory Courses” form must be completed with professor’s signature.
  • BIO 200 and BIO 400 cannot be used as Core Electives.
  • Comparison of supervisory courses by majors. 
Major* BIO 200 or 400 BIO 441 or 461 BIO 462
Biology-General Biology (S) 2 4 2
Biology-Botany (S) 2 4 2
Biology-Microbiology (S) 2 4 2
Biology-Zoology (S) 2 4 2
Biotechnology (C)† - 4 2
Environmental Biology (C)† - 4 2
* (S) Elective Support Courses; (C) Elective Core Courses
† The program has only “Core Electives” and no “Support Electives”.  Therefore, BIO 200 and 400 cannot be used toward degree.  The units specified in the table do not include the 2 units of BIO 441 in the Required Core Courses.