Jul 15, 2024  
2017-2018 University Catalog 
2017-2018 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Science


Alison A. Baski, Dean
Kristine Hartney, Associate Dean
Robert Kerbs, Interim Associate Dean

As one of only 8 polytechnics in the US, the College of Science (COS) at Cal Poly Pomona is committed to creating an environment of discovery and innovation, generating modern and evolving academic programs which include interdisciplinary curricula that emphasize a learn-by-doing philosophy for teaching and learning science, and advancing scientific knowledge by promoting a creative and professionally active faculty of teacher-scholars that engage students through and in research.

Majors in nine fields leading to the Bachelor of Science degree are offered by the seven exceptional Departments (Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Computer Science, Geological Sciences, Kinesiology and Health Promotion, Physics and Astronomy, Mathematics and Statistics) that compose the College of Science. Graduate programs leading to the Master of Science degree are offered in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geology, Kinesiology, and Mathematics.  All programs are fully aligned with the University’s polytechnic, “learn by doing” philosophy, organization, and mission. 

Unique among these programs are the undergraduate Biotechnology major offered by the Biological Sciences Department, the first of its kind among the 23 campuses of the CSU; and the Adapted Physical Education specialization in the Master of Science in Kinesiology degree program offered through the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion, the only such program in the CSU.


Biological Sciences - Craig LaMunyon, Chair

Biology Major (BS)
      Subplan in Botany
      Subplan in General Biology
      Subplan in Microbiology
      Subplan in Zoology
Biotechnology Major (BS)
Environmental Biology Major (BS)
Minor Degrees offered in
Master of Science (MS) in Biological Sciences

Chemistry and Biochemistry - Lisa Alex, Chair
Chemistry Major (BS)
      Subplan in Biochemistry
      Subplan in Chemistry
      Subplan in Industrial Chemistry
Minor in Chemistry
Master of Science (MS) in Chemistry

Computer Science - Daisy Tang, Acting Chair
Computer Science Major (BS)
Minor in Computer Science
Master of Science in (MS) Computer Science

Geological Sciences - Jonathan Nourse, Chair
Geology Major (BS)
Minor in Geology
Master of Science (MS) in Geology

Kinesiology and Health Promotion - Laura Chase, Chair
Kinesiology Major (BS)
      Subplan in Exercise Science
      Subplan in Health Promotion
      Subplan in Pedagogy
Master of Science (MS) in Kinesiology

Mathematics and Statistics - Berit Givens, Chair
Mathematics Major (BS)
      Subplan in Secondary Teacher Prep/Pure Mathematics
      Subplan in Applied Mathematics/Statistics
Minors offered in
Master of Science (MS) in Mathematics

Physics and Astronomy - Hector Mireles, Chair
Physics Major (BS)
Minors offered in


To prepare students for single subject teaching credentials in the sciences, subject matter preparation is offered by the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Geological Sciences, Kinesiology and Health Promotion, Mathematics and Statistics, and Physics and Astronomy.  Numerous outreach programs (listed below) are available to support pre- and in-service teachers.  The Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (CEMaST) coordinates the subject matter preparation programs in science and advises students interested in becoming single subject teachers. Details of teacher preparation programs are provided on the CEMaST website. Prospective science teachers are encouraged to contact CEMaST early in their academic programs at cemast@cpp.edu or 909-869-4063. Those interested in a single subject math credential should contact the Department of Mathematics and Statistics (909-869-3142).

Career Ladder Program:  A partnership between the Pomona Unified School District, Cal Poly Pomona, and Western University of Health Sciences, the Career Ladder Program identifies young people in Pomona schools who are interested in health science careers and helps guide them through an undergraduate health/science degree program at Cal Poly Pomona that aligns with one of the health profession degree programs at Western University.  The Career Ladder is a program-based network of outreach, guidance, mentoring, and financial assistance. 

FEDCO Grant:  Supported by the California Charitable Foundation, the FEDCO mini-grant program is open to full-time public school teachers serving students in grades Kindergarten through 12 located in school districts in San Bernardino County and some districts in Los Angeles County (Azusa Unified School District (USD); Bassett USD; Bonita USD; Charter Oak USD; Claremont USD; Covina-Valley USD; Glendora USD, Hacienda La Puente USD; Pomona USD; Rowland USD; Walnut Valley USD; West Covina USD). Grants support hands-on, classroom, or “real-world” field trip projects that “bring learning to life” and increase student academic achievement. Details regarding the application process are available on the CEMaST website.

California Mathematics Project at Cal Poly Pomona (cmp@cpp.edu): CMP is a K-16 network dedicated to providing students a rich, rigorous, and coherent mathematics curriculum taught by competent and confident mathematics teachers who foster ALL students’ proficiency in mathematics-achieving equity in quality. CMP enhances teachers’ mathematical content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge that is aligned to the California Common Core Standards in Mathematics. It is housed in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

San Gabriel Valley Science Project (SGVSP):  SGVSP is a regional site of the California Science Project, a statewide network that provides high quality standards-based professional development in science to ensure that every student achieves the highest standards of academic performance.  Administered through the Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (CEMaST), the SGVSP takes lessons learned from educational and scientific research regarding effective professional development and incorporates them into the design of programs for teachers in the context of their schools and districts.

CSU’s Math and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI): Focused on the recruitment and nurturing of outstanding mathematics and science majors, the MSTI program provides opportunities to ensure quality preparation and successful retention of high quality teachers. Administered by CEMaST, the program utilizes a multi-faceted approach to expand opportunities for outstanding mathematics and science teachers including the MSTI scholarship that provides $5,000 per year for two years. Students should contact CEMaST early in their academic programs at 909-869-4063 or cemast@cpp.edu.

Reinvigorating Elementary Science through a Partnership with California Teachers (RESPeCT): Supported by the National Science Foundation, this partnership between CEMaST and Pomona USD offers a 3-year professional development program for K-6 teachers. RESPeCT is designed to help teachers deepen their understanding of core science concepts, identify and address student misunderstandings, integrate Common Core English Language Arts and Mathematics standards into science lessons, analyze and improve their teaching, and provide professional development to peers.

Noyce Master Teacher Fellows (MTF):  MTF is supported by the National Science Foundation and the San Gabriel Valley Science Project. The overarching goal of the program is to provide local middle school science and math teachers from high-needs urban schools with the training, support and professional development (PD) to grow as educational leaders within their schools and districts. Over a 5 -year period the MTF program engages teachers in PD activities including content deepening, coaching, training, mentoring support and leadership opportunities.

California Mathematics and Science Partnership (CaMSP):  The California Mathematics and Science Partnership (CaMSP) grant program, administered by the California Department of Education (CDE), is dedicated to increasing the academic achievement of students in mathematics and science by enhancing the content knowledge and teaching skills for classroom teachers through professional learning activities.  With support from the College of Science, CEMaST has partnered on two such grants.  One is focused on mathematics with Hacienda La Puente USD and the other is focused on science with Rialto USD.


Interdisciplinary General Education (IGE):  Students majoring in the various programs in science are encouraged to take part of their General Education requirements through the Interdisciplinary General Education Program (IGE). The IGE program is specially designed to meet the needs of science students particularly in the areas of writing, critical thinking, humanities and the social sciences.  See the “University Interdisciplinary Programs” section of this catalog for additional information.

Environmental Health Specialist Minor:  The Environmental Health Specialist Minor is an interdisciplinary program which may be pursued by majors in any field. Its purpose is to prepare students for careers as environmental health specialists by meeting the standards for the state internship program. State-employed specialists enforce and administer laws governing water, food and air contamination, noise, land-use planning, occupational health hazards, and animal vectors of disease. The minor is particularly suitable for students majoring in Biology, Biotechnology, Environmental Biology, and Agricultural Biology.  See the “University Interdisciplinary Programs” section of this catalog for additional information.

Physiology Minor:  The Physiology Minor is an interdisciplinary program which can be elected by students majoring in any field. Its purpose is to improve the training and advising of students in order to facilitate their pursuit of careers in biomedical fields that require knowledge of physiology. It is particularly appropriate for students majoring in Animal Science, Behavioral Sciences, Biology, Biotechnology, Environmental Biology, Chemistry, Electrical and Computer Engineering (Biomedical Engineering), Foods and Nutrition, and Kinesiology.  See the “University Interdisciplinary Programs” section of this catalog for additional information.

Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Minor or Major:  The Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Minor is an interdisciplinary program which integrates knowledge in the natural sciences and in technology as well as in the humanities and social sciences. The STS Minor provides science and technology majors with a sense of how science and technology exists in a broader human context. A major leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Science, Technology, and Society is also available through the Department of Philosophy in the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences.  The Major opens opportunities for science and technology oriented students to enter writing and argument-intensive science and technology-related careers (such as those in law and public policy).  See the “University Interdisciplinary Programs” section of this catalog for additional information.


First-Year Experience (FYE): The first year courses, SCI 101/A and SCI 102/A, promote the development of students as  scientists or mathematicians through learning about the role of science and mathematics in society, developing attitudes, behaviors, and skills leading to academic success, and building community through collaborative learning activities.

Cooperative Education Program Designed for students who want to obtain paid real-world work experiences in their area of interest while pursuing a degree. For information contact the Center for Community Engagement at 909-869-3434.

Science Educational Enhancement Services (SEES): SEES programming reflects the university’s commitment to providing educational services for students enrolled in the College of Science who are first-generation college students, unfamiliar with a university environment, or who for other reasons can benefit from working with faculty and other students to strengthen their connection to the University and enhance their ability to succeed academically. The SEES program promotes building community among underrepresented students in the sciences through provision of advising services, a study center, workshops, mentoring programs and research opportunities. Established in 1987, the program has had considerable success in retaining and graduating students, particularly those underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.  For information, contact SEES at 909-869-3676.

Academic Excellence Workshops:  These workshops serve as supplemental instructional support to foundation courses in mathematics, chemistry, and computer science. Workshops promote technical excellence in the subject area while also developing student communication skills under the guidance of a trained facilitator.

CSU-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program (CSU-LSAMP): Funded through the NSF and CSU Chancellor’s Office, LSAMP at Cal Poly Pomona focuses on strengthening analytical skills important to success in STEM disciplines. LSAMP works in collaboration with the SEES program to provide academic support and advising for entering freshman and transfer students. LSAMP promotes and funds student involvement in undergraduate research opportunities, preparation for graduate school and career networking opportunities. Support begins in the freshman or transfer year and continues until graduation and placement in STEM graduate programs.

Science Student Advising Center: Located in the College of Science (Building 3, Room 1645), the College of Science Advising Center was created in Fall 2008 to better serve students majoring in the sciences. The center currently employs 3 full time staff members who complement discipline-centered advising by faculty and assist with student orientation, outreach and recruiting events and activities. Contact the Advising Center at sci_advising @cpp.edu or 909-979-5654.

Pre-Professional Advising: A faculty advisor provides individual assistance in preparing for medical, dental, pharmacy or other post-graduate studies in the health professions.

Learning Resource Center: Located in the University Library, the Learning Resource Center offers free individual and small group tutoring sessions on a drop-in basis for many math and science courses.

Cal Poly-Western Medical School 4+4 Linkage Program: This articulation agreement between Cal Poly and Western University of Health Sciences allows students at Cal Poly who are in the 4-year pledge or honor program to apply for early (and guaranteed) admission to WMS provided they meet entrance requirements set by WMS. 

Student Clubs: Student clubs associated with the College of Science include Science Council, Biological Sciences Club, Microbiology Club, Geology Club, SAACS Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society, Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Student Chapter, Society of Physics Students, Zoologist of Cal Poly, Cancer Awareness Club, Green Team, KHP Club, Pre-Dental Society, Pre-Optometry Club, and Pre-Pharmacy Society.

Honor Societies: Honor societies that recognize student achievement include Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics National Honor Society), and Kappa Mu Epsilon. 

Scholarships: For information about research, scholarship and grant opportunities visit the College of Science or Office of Undergraduate Research websites.


Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (CEMaST): CEMaST is the central hub through which the College of Science promotes excellent and effective STEM teaching and learning at all levels.  Its mission is to promote, practice, and study research-based practices in science and mathematics education to enhance teaching and learning in our community. CEMaST conducts workshops and courses for teachers, consults with local schools and districts, and maintains an instructional materials library for K-12 teacher and Cal Poly faculty use. In addition, CEMaST coordinates the subject matter preparation programs in science and advises students who are interested in preparing to be science and mathematics teachers. For Information contact the CEMaST office at (909) 869-4063 or cemast@cpp.edu.

Motor Development Clinic: The Motor Development Clinic at Cal Poly Pomona operates out of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion. The Clinic provides therapy programs for children who are experiencing movement problems, instructional concepts and materials for parents so at-home supplementation is possible, and a valuable learning experience for Cal Poly students specializing in teaching adapted physical education, psychology, and related fields.

Agricultural Research Institute: The CSU Agricultural Research Institute (ARI) is a diverse and comprehensive multi-campus (CSU Fresno, CSU Pomona, CSU San Luis Obispo, CSU Chico) applied agricultural and environmental research program that leverages state funding with university and industry capital and intellectual collateral through university-industry partnerships.

California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB): CSUPERB’s mission is to develop a professional biotechnology workforce by mobilizing and supporting collaborative California State University (CSU) student and faculty research, innovating educational practices, and responding to and anticipating the needs of the life science industry. CSUPERB provides grant funding, organizes an annual symposium, sponsors industry-responsive curriculum, and serves as a liaison for the CSU with government, philanthropic, educational, and biotechnology industry partners. The program involves students and faculty from Life, Physical, Computer and Clinical Science, Engineering, Agriculture, Mathematics and Business departments at all 23 CSU campuses.

Council on Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology (COAST): The CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology (COAST) was established in 2008 to integrate system-wide resources and promote interdisciplinary multi-campus collaborations to advance our knowledge of California’s natural coastal and marine resources and the processes that affect them. The coastal zone faces a number of economic, sociological, ecological and technological challenges that require innovative solutions. COAST is uniquely positioned to provide a statewide coordinated response to these challenges.  COAST is a leader in coastal and marine-related research and education throughout California, and dedicated to promoting environmental literacy and elevating public awareness and stewardship of California coastal and marine resources.


College facilities include classrooms, laboratories, and activity spaces in Buildings 8, 3, 4, and 66 with additional use of the Kellogg Gym (Bldg. 43), Darlene May Gym (Bldg. 41) and associated fields by the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion.

State of the art equipment, computer, and media resources support learning and teaching in “smart classrooms” and dedicated laboratory spaces used for Biological Sciences (including a bioinformatics lab with a high performance computer cluster and a microarray facility), Chemistry and Biochemistry (recent acquisitions include 3D microscopes, NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) spectrometer with remote control capabilities), Computer Science (including laboratories with dual-boot workstations running Gentoo Linux and Windows XP Professional and some with videodidact classroom control systems), Geological Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, Kinesiology and Health Promotion, and Mathematics and Statistics classes.


BioTrek and Mesozoic Garden: A generous gift from the Rain Bird Corporation resulted in the development of BioTrek, a unique educational enterprise that since 2002 has provided opportunities for students from K-16 to study and learn about the environment through visits to the Rain Bird Rainforest, Ethnobotanical Garden, and Aquatic Center facilities located on the Cal Poly campus.  On-going support for Bio Trek and its new companion piece, The Mesozoic Garden, is provided by the Ernest Prete Jr. Foundation.

CSU Desert Studies Center (DSC):  As a member of the Desert Studies Consortium, CPP students have opportunities to travel and utilize facilities operated by the CSU Desert Studies Center, a field station with immediate access to a variety of environments (dry lakes, natural ponds, cinder cones, sand dunes) located within the Mojave National Preserve. A unique living classroom, the DSC hosts classes and research conducted by numerous disciplines at CPP.

CSU Ocean Science Institute (OSI):  Membership in the Ocean Studies Institute provides facilities (research vessels, marine monitoring equipment, laboratories with running sea water, and docking space) that assist our students in exploring marine and coastal environments as part of instruction and/or research efforts.  OSI provides a total immersion experience in the marine sciences through its Marine Biology Semester.  Offered annually and operating out of the Wrigley Center for Environmental Studies at Santa Catalina Island, this program is often a life-changing experience for students who participate.


In 2015/2016, COS faculty generated 98 peer-reviewed publications as journal articles, proceedings, or books and many of these (30%) were co-authored with undergraduate or graduate students.  Research results were also disseminated by way of 421 presentations given at local/regional, national, and/or international conferences over the course of the year.  Of papers presented in these venues, 327 (78%) were authored or co-authored by students. 

Reflecting the strong research interests and capabilities of its faculty, the College of Science is the on-campus leader in securing grants and external funding.   In addition to the management and implementation of 117 on-going grant efforts, 169 new grants seeking support for discipline-specific and education-based research activities were written and submitted in 2015/2016 by College of Science faculty.  Of all new grants submitted, 60% were successfully funded.  This remarkable level of effort and subsequent success involved the work of 82 of the College of Sciences’ 104 full-time tenure track faculty (79%) serving as proposed or funded PIs, Co-PIs, senior personnel or major contributors.

Research conducted by faculty members and students in the College of Science is impressive in its breadth and depth.   While a list of current research projects is too expansive to provide here, listed below are several grant supported efforts that are distinctive because of their focus on undergraduate and/or graduate student research.

Cyber Warriors Program:  This interdisciplinary program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) CyberCorps Scholarships for Service Program provides scholarship support for academic training and research in cyber-security areas to students aspiring to careers that protect the federal government’s critical information infrastructure.

Cal-Bridge Program:  Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) S-STEM program, this partnership among California Community Colleges, the CSU, and University of California system seeks to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups in the sciences completing their bachelor’s degree and successfully entering a PhD. program to study astronomy or a closely related field (e.g. planetary science).

Biological Training in Education and Research (BioTiER) Scholars Program:  This NSF S-STEM supported program provides graduate students in the biological sciences with real-world, hands-on learning experiences in 3 tracks: STEM industries, academia as a community college faculty member, or STEM fields requiring a doctoral degree.  For additional information contact the Director of Science Educational Enhancement Services, Dr. Steve Alas (alas@cpp.edu).

National Institutes of Health (NIH) - RISE program:  The RISE program at Cal Poly Pomona provides a comprehensive, integrated set of developmental and research intensive activities designed to prepare URM students for successful entry into Ph.D. programs and to increase their self-identification as members of the scientific research community.  Three interrelated subprograms serve student populations at different stages of their academic program (new sophomores, junior/seniors, graduate (MS) students).  The long-range goal of the Cal Poly Pomona RISE program is to increase the number of underrepresented minority students (URM) who complete Ph.D. degrees in biomedical and related disciplines.

CIRM Bridges to Stem Cell Research Program:  In collaboration with CSU Los Angeles, CPP is home to the CIRM (California Institute for Regenerative Medicine) Bridges to Stem Cell Research program.  Program goals are to provide comprehensive stem cell training and research opportunities for qualified students; and to give our large, ethnically diverse student populations a basic understanding of stem cell research.  Commitments to provide internships for students participating in this program have been made by 63 research laboratories at 4 non-profit institutions (Cal Tech, City of Hope, The Scripps Research Institute, and USC).

McNair Scholar Program The Ronald McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program provides undergraduate students an opportunity to work with a faculty mentor, explore and research in their discipline, while preparing for future graduate school enrollment.  The program is designed to increase the number of low-income, first-generation students, or underrepresented students in doctoral degree programs.  The McNair Scholars Program is funded by a grant from the United States Department of Education.

Pasadena City College (PCC)-Cal Poly Pomona STEM pathway in Environmental Sciences:  This collaboration between the Biological Sciences and Geological Sciences Departments aims to enhance recruitment, retention and graduation of community college students enrolled at PCC and assist them to transition to CPP through a number of faculty supervised and mentored independent field projects.  For additional information contact CPP Stem Pathway Director, Dr. Jascha Polet (jpolet@cpp.edu).


Enrollment and Student Diversity:  In Fall 2015, 3,463 undergraduate students with declared majors in the College of Science were enrolled.  Of these, 41% are female and 42% are from groups considered to be underrepresented in the sciences (Hispanic 35%; African American 3.8%; Native American 0.2%; Pacific Islander 0.2%).

Retention Rates:  Cal Poly Pomona ranked 5th among Western Regional Universities for freshmen retention rate according to the U.S. News & World Report 2015 Best College Rankings.

The first-year retention rates for entering freshman is the College of Science over the past 5 year period (2009-2013) averaged 91%. 

Graduation Rates:  In the past several years, the College of Science has generally improved graduation rates for both freshmen and transfer students. The six-year graduation rate for freshmen students entering the College in Fall 2009 was 61%.  The four-year graduation rate for upper-division transfer students was 76% for entering the College in Fall 2011.

Rankings:  Cal Poly Pomona is 20th amongst all private and public schools in the nation in awarding bachelor’s degrees to under-represented minorities (URM) in Mathematics & Statistics and 42nd in the nation in awarding master’s degrees according to the national magazine Diverse Issues in Higher Education (Nov. 2015).  Disciplines in the College of Science also rank particularly high in the award of Bachelor’s degrees to Hispanic Americans in Mathematics and Statistics (12th), Biological & Biomedical Sciences (15th), Physical Sciences (17th) and Computer and Information Sciences (31st); and in the award of Master’s degrees in Mathematics and Statistics (11th) and Biological & Biomedical Sciences (15th).

University Awards to Faculty: Of the 18 Provost’s Awards of Excellence conferred to date, 9 have been bestowed on College of Science faculty members.

Excellence in Teaching - Kristine Hartney, Professor of Biology (2011); Edward Walton, Professor of Chemistry (2012); Laurie Starkey, Professor of Chemistry (2013); and Jennifer Switkes, Professor of Mathematics (2015).

Excellence in Research - Jill Adler-Moore, Professor of Biology (2012); Ángel A. Valdés, Professor of Biology (2014); and Craig W. LaMunyon, Professor of Biology (2016).

Excellence in Service - Barbara Burke, Professor of Chemistry (2011) and Ernest Simpson, Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus (2013).

Accreditation by Professional Organizations: The BS degree program in Chemistry, Chemistry option program is approved and certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS); while the BS degree program in Computer Science is fully accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (CAC/ABET). The Single Subject Credentialing Programs in science and mathematics, and the Added Authorization in Adapted Physical Education are fully accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. 

Biological Sciences

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Chemistry and Biochemistry

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Computer Science

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Geological Sciences

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Kinesiology and Health Promotion

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Mathematics and Statistics

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Physics and Astronomy

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Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

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