Jul 20, 2024  
2016-2017 CSU East Bay Catalog 
2016-2017 CSU East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biological Science, Physiology Option, B.S.

Biological Science (B.S.) 180-187 units

Program Description

Biology is concerned with living matter in all its forms, responses, and interactions. It deals with the study of anything that has been or is alive: microbes, all plants, and all animals, including humans. The science of biology includes a large number of highly integrated sub-disciplines such as microbiology, genetics, ecology, evolution, physiology, systematics, and behavior. Biologists must draw upon a wide variety of academic disciplines to make observations and draw conclusions, and well-trained biologists have solid backgrounds in chemistry, mathematics, computer science, statistics, physics, and the humanities, as required by graduate programs and professional schools, to meet the demands of professions in the life sciences.

The Department of Biological Sciences offers a diversified curriculum in the life sciences. Courses are designed for biology majors with specific degree objectives, for students seeking applied technical training, and for non-major students with general interest in biological subjects. Undergraduate programs will prepare students for both graduate work and for a diversity of careers. Biology majors may enter specialized or general careers in life science and find themselves working in laboratories, offices, the field, farms, administrative posts, academic institutions, industry, government agencies, private foundations, botanic gardens and zoos, wildlife preserves, and elsewhere.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a B.S. or B.A. in Biological Science from Cal State East Bay will be able to:

  1. demonstrate how evolutionary processes give rise to the diversity and unity of life, from genomes to ecosystems;
  2. explain the relationship between structure and function across all levels of biological organization, from ions to ecosystems;
  3. clearly communicate biological information in a variety of formats (written, oral, graphical, computational) using a style appropriate for the intended audience;
  4. apply methods of scientific inquiry-specifically, students will be able to formulate testable hypotheses, collect and analyze data, and report conclusions;
  5. gather, interpret, and evaluate published scientific information.

Career Possibilities

  • Administrator
  • Biotechnologist
  • Botanist
  • Cell Biologist
  • Consultant
  • Dentist
  • Ecologist
  • Entomologist
  • Environmentalist
  • Genetic Engineer
  • Physiologist
  • Geneticist
  • Health Scientist
  • Lab Assistant
  • Marine Biologist
  • Medical Doctor
  • Medical Technologist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Population Biologist
  • Researcher
  • Teacher
  • Space Biologist
  • Technical Sales
  • Technical Writer
  • Toxicologist
  • Veterinarian
  • Zoologist


Classes are offered on the Hayward campus in well-equipped facilities, at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories located on Monterey Bay, and at a number of field locations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including the South San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Field Station, and the Garin Reserve adjacent to campus.

A program in Biomedical Laboratory Sciences is offered to qualify students for California hospital traineeships which lead to state licensure as medical technologists.


A student who has successfully completed an advanced placement course in biology in high school and has earned a score of “3,” “4” or “5” on the Advanced Placement Examination will be granted 9 units of credit in place of BIOL 1001-2 and 2040 or, if student is a Biology Major, 10 units in place of BIOL 1401 and 1403. No Advanced Placement credit is given for BIOL 1402.

Prerequisite courses for all Biology courses must be passed with a grade of “C-” or better. All requests for Grade Forgiveness are subject to space availability, with priority given to newly enrolled students.

Major Requirements (B.S.) 100-113 units

The B.S. degree should be considered by students anticipating careers in biology or the health sciences that require graduate school, professional school, or specialized training programs such as biotechnology and medical technology. All students wishing to enter medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or biomedical laboratory positions should obtain a Bachelor of Science degree. Students wishing to teach in secondary schools may want to consider the B.A. degree. The B.S. degree requires a minimum of 180 units; 187 units with the Forensic Science Option.

  • The core major consists of 43 units;
    • the Cell and Molecular Biology Option consists of 63 units;
    • the Ecology and Conservation Biology Option consists of 41-48 units;
    • the Forensic Science Option consists of 68-70 units;
    • the General Biology Option consists of 57 units;
    • the Microbiology/Biomedical Laboratory Sciences Option consists of 62 units;
    • the Physiology Option consists of 56-64 units.
  • GE/USHG/UWS consists of 84 units (some courses may double-count units - see your advisor).
  • Free Electives (if any) consist of any remainder units to reach the 180 total units (see your advisor). 

Note: Requirements are subject to change, so consult your advisor in the Department of Biological Sciences for clarification and interpretation of your major requirements. Because the upper division requirements of the B.S. degree are not large, students also need to carefully track their progress toward the 60 upper division units required for graduation.

Biological Sciences Core (20 units)

The following core courses are required:

Physical Sciences and Mathematics Core (23 units)

The following core courses are required:

Physiology Option (56-64 units)

Course Descriptions

Use this link to see all Course Descriptions  available throughout this catalog.

Other Undergraduate Degree Requirements

In addition to major requirements, every student must also complete the University requirements for graduation which are described in the Undergraduate Admission and Degree Information & FAQ  chapter in the front of this catalog. These include the General Education-Breadth requirements; the second composition (ENGL 1002 ) requirement; the cultural groups/women requirement; the performing arts/activities requirement; the U.S. history, U.S. Constitution, and California state and local government requirement; the University Writing Skills Requirement; and the residence, unit, and grade point average requirements.