The CSUF Department of Biological Science is dedicated to educating the individual student using active-learning, inquiry-based educational approaches throughout its curriculum. The curriculum for biology majors provides a broad exposure to key biological principles through the core and depth of knowledge within the student's chosen emphasis. Many opportunities for faculty-mentored student research exist. Our focus is on guiding students to acquire the skills, develop the attitudes, and master the information necessary to continue their education, obtain desirable employment in biology-related areas, and be productive citizens.
What can students expect to gain from their experience in the biology major?
Skills in experimental design, hypothesis testing, critical thinking, problem solving, observation, data collection and record keeping, data analysis and interpretation, use of laboratory and field instrumentation and techniques, information retrieval and evaluation, written and oral communication, and working as part of a team. In this context, students will learn to question and evaluate biological ideas.
A positive attitude toward biology, an appreciation for the value of living systems and bioethics, a desire for life-long learning, and an realization that scientific investigations involve creativity, ingenuity, and imagination.
Mastery of biological principles and concepts and their interrelationships, and an understanding of the unifying role in biology of evolution and biodiversity, and the dynamics of biological systems.
The curriculum uses themes and perspectives to connect and integrate major concepts, principles and basic facts. Three Themes run throughout the curriculum: Evolution (inherited changes in organisms accumulate over time), Unity and Diversity (organisms possess common characteristics while exhibiting a wide range of variability), and Dynamics of Biological Systems (living systems continually respond to their external and internal environments by making changes necessary to sustain life). Each theme will be presented from two Perspectives: Human Impact (the interactions between humans and the biological world) and Scientific Process (the testing of new ideas, questions or hypotheses through observation and experimentation).
The Bachelor of Science in Biological Science requires 40 units in the major, 34 units of supporting courses in physical sciences and mathematics. All biology majors must complete five core courses: BIOL 151 - Cellular and Molecular Biology, BIOL 152 - Evolution and Organismal Biology, BIOL 251 and 253 L - Genetics and Cell and Molecular Biology Skills Laboratory, BIOL 252 and 254L - Principles of Ecology and Research Skills for Ecology and Organismal Biology and BIOL 325 - Principles of Evolution. All courses must be passed with a “C” (2.0) or better. Those seeking careers in the health professions should speak to a health professions adviser about specific course recommendations. For more information, visit: fullerton.edu/health_professions .
There are five concentrations. Please use the link to the CSUF University Catalog to see the official requirements for each concentration.
1) Ecology and Evolutionary Biology: The study of all biological organisms (ranging from the level of the individual to the ecosystem), their responses to the environment on evolutionary and ecological time scales, and their conservation.
2) Cellular and Developmental Biology: The study of the structural and functional dynamics of cells, including topics such as compartmentalization and secretion, cell motility, and cell-cell interactions as they apply to the the specialized fields of immunology, microbiology, neurobiology, physiology, and developmental biology.
3) Marine Biology: The study of marine organisms and their coastal and oceanic habitats, including classification, structure/function, ecology and physiology of these organisms, and conservation, environmental and evolutionary issues related to these organisms and their habitats.
4) Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: The study of genetics, molecular biology, and biotechnology and their applications to medicine, agriculture and the environment (e.g., cancer, infectious diseases, gene therapy, crop improvement, and bioremediation).
5) Plant Biology: The study of plant biology, including plant diversity, plant cell biology, developmental plant biology, plant ecology, plant evolution, plant genetics, molecular plant biology, organismal plant biology, phycology, plant physiology, plant animal interactions, plant-microbe interactions, and plant pathology.