Academic Catalog

Biological Sciences

Program Description

The major in Biological Sciences is primarily intended for students who plan to transfer to a four-year institution to earn a bachelor's degree. This major prepares students for careers in the health professions, teaching, forestry, agriculture, environmental protection and conservation, wildlife biology, biotechnology, basic research and many other fields. Students who plan to major in the Biological Sciences should also visit the Biology website.

Students with an interest in biology who do not intend to transfer to a four-year institution and earn a bachelor's degree are encouraged to look into some of the other programs offered by the Biological and Health Sciences Division, which are: dental assisting, dental hygiene, diagnostic medical sonography (ultrasound), environmental horticulture, paramedic, pharmacy technician, radiologic technology, respiratory therapy, veterinary technology and/or veterinary assistant.

Students who already have a bachelor's degree can meet the biology requirement for medical school by taking BIOL 1A, BIOL 1B, and BIOL 1C.

The department also offers a Certificate of Achievement in Bio-Health Diversity and Inclusion Leadership. Medical schools, healthcare employers, and biological research organizations specifically seek out candidates with an understanding of how issues of diversity impact their work. These organizations and employers understand that attending to diversity is critical for patient health and for excellence in research. This certificate provides a pathway for biology and health science students to gain certification in diversity, equity, inclusion, and service in their fields, such that students are more competitive for transfer and job applications. In earning the certificate, students will complete their major biology courses for their field alongside at least one service learning course focusing on service in bio/health fields.

Learn more about the program on the Biology website.

Associate Degree for Transfer

This program also offers Associate Degrees for Transfer. Learn more and review the degree requirements on the following listings: Biology AS-T, Environmental Science AS-T, Nutrition and Dietetics AS-T and Public Health Science AS-T.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • The biology majors sequence prepares students to use the scientific method to formulate questions, design experiments to test hypotheses, interpret experimental results to draw conclusions, communicate results both orally and in writing, and critically evaluate the use of the scientific method from published sources.
  • The biology majors sequence prepares students to apply evolutionary theory at the molecular, cellular, organismal and population levels to explain the unity and diversity of living things.

Award Type(s)

  • AS = Associate in Science Degree
  • CA = Certificate of Achievement

Units Required

  • Major: 48-53
  • Certificate(s): 17-22

Additional Information

Students planning to transfer to a four-year institution should meet with a counselor to develop an educational plan to ensure that both university general education and lower division major preparation requirements specific to the transfer institution(s) of choice are satisfied.

Students intending to transfer to the CSU system should inquire about the AS-T (Associate in Science for Transfer) in Biology.

Associate Degree Requirements

English Proficiency
Select one of the following:
ENGL 1ACOMPOSITION & READING5
ENGL 1AHHONORS COMPOSITION & READING5
ENGL 1S
ENGL 1T
INTEGRATED COMPOSITION & READING
and INTEGRATED COMPOSITION & READING
8
or equivalent
Mathematics Proficiency
Select one of the following:
MATH 105INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA5
MATH 180QUANTITATIVE REASONING5
or any MATH course approved for Foothill GE Area V, Communication & Analytical Thinking

A minimum of 90 units is required1 to include:

  • Completion of one of the following general education patterns: Foothill General Education, CSU General Education Breadth Requirements or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
  • Core courses (48-53 units)


Note: All courses pertaining to the major must be taken for a letter grade. In addition, a grade of "C" or better is required for all core courses used for the degree or certificate.

Core and Support Courses

Core Courses
BIOL 1APRINCIPLES OF CELL BIOLOGY6
BIOL 1BFORM & FUNCTION IN PLANTS & ANIMALS6
BIOL 1CEVOLUTION, SYSTEMATICS & ECOLOGY6
CHEM 1AGENERAL CHEMISTRY5
or CHEM 1AH HONORS GENERAL CHEMISTRY
CHEM 1BGENERAL CHEMISTRY5
or CHEM 1BH HONORS GENERAL CHEMISTRY
CHEM 1CGENERAL CHEMISTRY & QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS5
And select one option from the following:15-20
Option #1: Organic Chemistry
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LABORATORY
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LABORATORY
HONORS ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LABORATORY
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LABORATORY
HONORS ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LABORATORY
Option #2: Physics
Select one of the following sequences:
GENERAL PHYSICS
and GENERAL PHYSICS
and GENERAL PHYSICS
GENERAL PHYSICS (CALCULUS)
and GENERAL PHYSICS (CALCULUS)
and GENERAL PHYSICS (CALCULUS)
Total Units48-53

Certificate Requirements

Certificate of Achievement in Bio-Health Diversity and Inclusion Leadership

  • Units: 17-22
Select one of the following options:15-18
Option 1
PRINCIPLES OF CELL BIOLOGY
FORM & FUNCTION IN PLANTS & ANIMALS
EVOLUTION, SYSTEMATICS & ECOLOGY
Option 2
HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY I
HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY II
HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY III
And, for either option, select one of the following:2-4
COMMUNITY HEALTH PROMOTION
LEARNERS ENGAGED IN ADVOCATING FOR DIVERSITY IN SCIENCE
Total Units17-22