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Bachelor of Science

Biology Major Requirements Prior to Fall 2009

These requirements apply to students who declared the Biology major prior to Fall 2009.

I. General Requirements for the B.S. In Biology

  • Students must complete a minimum of 36 semester hours of biology courses (as specified below).
  • All courses in the major must be taken for a letter grade; pass-fail grades will not count.
  • Students must earn a "C" (2.0) or higher in all biology courses used to satisfy degree requirements.
  • 15 upper-division credit hours (3000-4000+) must be taken in residence from UCD Biology faculty.
  • Students must meet all graduation (i.e. Core) requirements set by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
  • Hours for repeated courses are counted once, whether taken at UCD or transferred to UCD.

II. Biology core courses — 22 credit hours

Course Credit Hours

BIOL 2051 General Biology I


BIOL 2071 General Biology Lab I


BIOL 2061 General Biology II


BIOL 2081 General Biology Lab II


BIOL 3411 Principles of Ecology
BIOL 3412 Fundamentals of Applied Ecology


BIOL 3611 General Cell Biology


BIOL 3832 General Genetics


One of the following structure/function courses:

  • BIOL 3225. Human Physiology
  • BIOL 3244. Human Anatomy
  • BIOL 3654. General Microbiology
  • BIOL 4335. Plant Science

NOTE: Any structure/function course not used to satisfy this requirement may be taken for upper-division major elective credit.


III. Biology electives — 14 credit hours

Select a minimum of four upper division (3000-4000+) courses totaling 14 credit hours from among departmental offerings to accommodate individual interests and professional objectives. These must include at least one 4000+ level course taken in residence from UCD Biology faculty.

Independent Study and/or Internships

Experiential learning is encouraged for students majoring in biology. Up to six credit hours can be applied toward the 14 required upper-division electives as follows:

  • A maximum of six hours of Independent Study (BIOL 3840/4840);
  • OR a combined total of six hours of Independent Study and Internship (BIOL 3939), including no more than three credits of Internship

Internships are available to students who have completed 60 credit hours maintaining a 2.750 GPA or higher. Visit the UCD Career Center web site for more information.

The following courses will NOT count toward the BS in biology:

  • BIOL 1136-3. Human Biology
  • BIOL 1550-4. Basic Biology: Ecology and Diversity of Life
  • BIOL 1560-4. Basic Biology: From Cells to Organisms

IV. Required Ancillary Courses — 31 credit hours

(All courses must be completed with a minimum passing letter grade)

Course Credit Hours

CHEM 2031 General Chemistry I


CHEM 2038 General Chemistry Lab I


CHEM 2061 General Chemistry II


CHEM 2068 General Chemistry Lab II


CHEM 3411 Organic Chemistry I


CHEM 3421 Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 3810 Biochemistry


MATH 1401 Calculus I*


PHYS 2010 College Physics I


PHYS 2030 College Physics Lab I


PHYS 2020 College Physics II


PHYS 2040 College Physics Lab II

*Students may substitute Calculus I with MATH 2830 & MATH4830. Students declaring the major prior to Fall 2005 are only required to complete College Algebra (MATH 1110) and College Trigonometry (MATH 1120).

Recommended Course Inclusions

Majors are encouraged to include in their program of study:

  • Evolution (BIOL 4974) or Population and Evolutionary Genetics (BIOL 4494)
  • Biochemistry (CHEM 3810)
  • Statistics (MATH 2830)
  • Technical Writing (ENGL 3154)

A maximum of four hours in biochemistry (CHEM 3810-4 or both CHEM 4810-3 and 4820-3) may be counted as biology elective hours, if not taken in place of second semester organic chemistry.

Although organic chemistry laboratory is not required for the Biology major, many professional and graduate programs require a year of organic chemistry with a lab. Students are encouraged to consult a Biology major advisor or Health Careers advisor.

Additional Notes. All majors are encouraged to consult a Biology major advisor annually and must meet with an advisor within two semesters of graduation.