Upper-Division Writing Requirement in Biology

A goal of CSU Fullerton is to provide opportunities for students to develop skills in written communication through courses that have been certified as Upper-Division Writing Courses, as defined in University Policy Statement (UPS) 320.020PDF File . For undergraduate students in the Biology major, the Upper-Division Writing Requirement (UDWR) can be fulfilled either through completion of an approved 3-unit "writing intensive" course or a research thesis. 


Writing Intensive Courses for Biology Majors

Students majoring in Biology may complete any one of the three certified writing intensive courses below with a grade of "C" or better to meet the UDWR.  The Biology program offers one writing intensive course that also requires concurrent or prior enrollment in research units in the laboratory of one of the faculty members of CSU Fullerton conducting research. 

BIOL 398 - Scientific Communication Workshop

Instruction and practice in written and oral scientific communication, including retrieval, citation and evaluation of relevant literature. Must be involved in laboratory research. Offered fully online (asynchronous).

Prerequisite: junior or senior standing; BIOL 299L, BIOL 499L (or equivalent in non-Biology majors)

ENGL 301 - Advanced College Writing

Writing expository prose for non-English majors. Precision in rhetoric and development of individual style by concentration on matters of diction, audience, emphasis and persuasion.

Prerequisite:  ENGL 101.

 ENGL 363   -  Scientific Writing

Advanced composition stressing scientific rhetorical situations, genres and styles. Writing, designing and editing journal articles, proposals, personal statements, research posters and portfolios. Communicating with effective, scientific style at the sentence, paragraph and document levels.

Prerequisite: completion of G.E. Category A.2.

Senior Thesis 

Undergraduate students undertaking research under the mentorship of faculty in the Department of Biological Science may fulfill the UDWR by writing and defending a thesis describing their original research project, as described in UPS 400.020PDF File . Credit for the thesis writing is implemented through enrollment in the certified writing course BIOL 498 - Senior Thesis. BIOL 498 is a variable unit course that requires preparation, presentation, and defense of a formal thesis and may be taken in an individual semester as 1 - 3 units or over multiple semesters. The research plan must be approved by the Thesis Committee at least two semesters prior to enrollment in BIOL 498. Students must complete 3 units of BIOL 498 with a grade of "C" or better to meet the UDWR.