Forms and Information

Major Advising Appointments

  • Step 1: Get familiar with our website! All students must be advised before each registration period: once in the Fall for Winter and Spring terms and once in the Spring for Summer and Fall Terms. After the advising session, the Biology Department Office Staff clears the advising hold in the University system, and the student may then register via any time after the designated registration date and time.
  • Step 2: Signing up for an appointment with your adviser. Students are assigned an academic advisor, and it is the responsibility of the student to make an appointment during the advising period with the assigned advisor. You can find your advisor on Warrior Connect. Advising appointments are usually during the four weeks prior to priority registration. With most advisors, signing up for an appointment is done via Warrior Connect, but you will likely receive more detailed instructions from your advisor by email. Please use your csustan email for this correspondence. If you have to reschedule, you should do so at least 24 hours before your scheduled appointment. Students who miss an advising appointment must contact the advisor for an appointment at the convenience of the advisor.
  • Step 3: Prepare for your appointment. Start mapping your classes. Please use the appropriate worksheets for your catalog year. Please fill in the form, and have it accessible to discuss during the advising appointment. Students with catalog years 2018 and forward should also use the STAN Planner function in Advisees that show up without their advising form and tentative schedules will be asked to reschedule their appointment. If you need to reschedule, here are the instructions to cancel your appointment.

GE Advising

New students determine their English courses using the Directed Self-Placement survey

New students determine their Math courses based on two factors: Their assigned math placement category (I, II, III, or IV) and their results on the math assessment test. Please see the GE advising page for more information

We suggest our student complete their GE area A (communication) and math prerequisites for major coursework before pursuing other GE coursework.

Prerequisites to the Major

All majors are required to complete an introductory year of biology with a lab component (BIOL 1050 and BIOL 1150). The prerequisite for these two courses is an A or B in high school biology, otherwise, they are expected to take BIOL 1010 or equivalent. A two-semester major's Introductory ZOOL/BOTY sequence with labs (here or at another institution) is equivalent to BIOL 1050/1150. AP biology provides no units towards the prerequisites or major; an exception is an AP biology score of 8, which counts as 4 elective units in the major (students are still required to take BIOL 1050/1150).

All students must complete a year of Inorganic Chemistry and a semester of Organic Chemistry with lab, the latter is upper-division here, but we accept a lower division course from elsewhere if it is 4 units, includes a lab, and was a course for science majors (Note: Chemistry will not accept LD Organic Chemistry as part of a chemistry minor). Students opting to complete the second semester of Organic Chemistry, with lab, are eligible for a minor in chemistry if they have passed all of these courses with at least a C grade (note 3 to advisors).

Majors pursuing a B.S. degree have a specific math requirement of either Statistics (MATH 1600 or 1610) or Calculus (MATH 1410 or 1910) with a minimum of 3 units. For most professional programs, Calculus is required; in general, biologists need knowledge of statistical methods.

B.S. students are required to complete a year sequence of introductory physics (either calculus-based or not). Since physics is not a prerequisite for any other course, we usually recommend postponing the physics courses until after the completion of introductory biology and the three chemistry courses.

The Major

Core Courses

  • BIOL 3310 Cellular/Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 3350 Introductory Genetics
  • BIOL 3680 Ecology (includes lab)
  • BIOL 4400 Evolution

Subareas (with optional concentrations)

If they choose to do so, students pursuing a B.S. degree may select a concentration (either Organismal, Ecological, and Evolutionary Biology or Molecular, Cellular, and Microbial Biology. This impacts the number of units required in each subarea.

  • Diversity and Systematics
  • Structure and Function
  • Genetics and Biotechnology
  • Electives