May 21, 2024  
2012-2013 University Catalog (Revised 2012-10-02) 
2012-2013 University Catalog (Revised 2012-10-02) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Biology, B.S.

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Offered by: College of Science, Biological Sciences Department

The Environmental Biology major is designed for students who want to help solve the environmental problems threatening the organisms and life support systems of our planet. Students are able to specialize by selecting most of their upper-division courses from one of three clusters. The Conservation Biology cluster prepares students to identify and protect critical habitat, manage rare and endangered species, and design ecological preserves. The Ecosystem Ecology and Management cluster equips students to conduct ecological field research, manage natural resources on public and private lands, and assess environmental impacts of proposed actions. The Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology cluster emphasizes laboratory research to assess water and air quality, transport and fate of pollutants, and environmental health in general. Eighteen units must be taken from one of these clusters (the student’s primary cluster) and an additional eleven units from the other two clusters. Students selecting the Conservation Biology cluster or the Ecosystem Ecology and Management cluster take a two-course sequence in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). All students conduct an independent research project or complete an internship with a participating agency or private organization. This provides practical problem-solving experience to complement classroom, laboratory, and field studies.

Elective Core Courses: 30 units

At least 18 units from the primary cluster and the remaining 11 units from any of the three clusters. At least 15 units must be taken at the 400 or 500 level. See “Upper-Division Course Clusters” listed on the back if the curriculum sheet.

Upper-Division Course Clusters:

In addition:

Up to 4 units of BIO 441  and/or BIO 461  and 2 units of BIO 462  may count towards core electives.


500-level courses: No more than 13 units may be counted toward an undergraduate degree. Students must have a 2.75 GPA, have senior standing, and file a special petition to receive undergraduate (or graduate) credit for graduate courses taken as a senior.

Required Support Courses: 72-73 units

Unrestricted Electives: 0-1 units

Select a sufficient number of courses so that the total from “Required Support”, “GE”, and “Unrestricted Electives” is at least 113 units.

General Education Requirements: 68 units

Students should consult the catalog website for current information regarding this requirement. Unless specific courses are stated under Support Courses, see the list of approved courses under General Education Requirements, Areas A through E.

Area A. Communication and Critical Thinking (12 units)

  1. Oral Communication
  2. Written Communication
  3. Critical Thinking

Area B. Mathematics and Natural Sciences (16 units)

  1. Physical Science
  2. Biological Science
  3. Laboratory Activity
  4. Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning
  5. Science and Technology Synthesis

Area C. Humanities (16 units)

  1. Visual and Performing Arts
  2. Philosophy and Civilization
  3. Literature and Foreign Languages
  4. Humanities Synthesis

Area D. Social Sciences (20 units)

  1. U.S. History, Constitution, and American Ideals
  2. History, Economics, and Political Science
  3. Sociology, Anthropology, Ethnic and Gender Studies
  4. Social Science Synthesis

Area E. Lifelong Understanding and Self-Development (4 units)

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