Jun 18, 2024  
2021-2022 University Catalog 
2021-2022 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology, B.S.: 120 units

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Offered by: College of Science, Biological Sciences Department

The curriculum matrix for the degree program may be found here. The curriculum matrix is the alignment of courses (curriculum) with the desired goals and student learning outcomes of the program. It shows what is taught and how these outcomes are achieved through the completion of the degree program. 

Major Required: 56-58 units


  1. Distribution of “Major Required” units and “Major Electives” units:
  2. If you plan to take Organic Chemistry I / Organic Chemistry Laboratory I  (CHM 3140 /CHM 3140L ), you must also take Organic Chemistry II (CHM 3150 (3))  in order to take any Biochemistry courses, CHM 3210  or CHM 3270 . In such case, CHM 3150  will count toward your Non-Emphasis Electives.
  3. If you take CHM 3270 - Biochemistry I , you will also be taking its 1 unit co-requisite CHM 3270L , which can count toward your Non-Emphasis Electives.

Major Electives: 32-34 units

Total “Major Electives” units are combined units from “Non-Emphasis Electives” and “Emphasis Electives”.

Non-Emphasis Electives: 3-8 units

At least 3 units of 3000-level GE Synthesis B5 area courses offered by the Biological Sciences Department (listed below) is required. In addition, students can take 0-5 units of any 2000, 3000, or 4000-level courses from any department in College of Science or College of Engineering that are not listed under Major Required.

Emphasis Electives: 24-31 units

  1. At least 12 units must be at 4000-level or above. Emphases are listed to provide guidance for helping students to choose courses of interest that best fit your career goals, but there is no requirement for choosing a specific emphasis for fulfilling Emphasis Electives units - students can choose any courses from one or more emphases to fulfill the total needed units.
  2. Please note that up to 4 units combined from research supervisory, service learning, and internship courses can also count as electives under this category. These courses include BIO 2000  or BIO 4000 , BIO 4410 , BIO 4590S /BIO 4590AS , BIO 4610 , BIO 4620 , and BIO 4910S /BIO 4910AS .
  3. Please also note that all special topics courses listed as BIO 2990 /BIO 2990A /BIO 2990L  or BIO 4990 /BIO 4990A /BIO 4990L  are not included in any emphasis below but they can also count as electives under this category.
  4. Courses listed in emphases marked with * are recommended for students interested in medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy.

**Courses with double asterisks are required for admission to Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) programs.

Emphasis 1 - Integrative Biology

Other Electives

Consider selecting a variety of courses from emphases 2 to 6 listed below.

Emphasis 2 - Botany

*Emphasis 4 - Microbiology

*Emphasis 5 - Neuroscience and Physiology

Emphasis 6 - Zoology

General Education Requirements: 48 units

Students should view their Degree Progress Report (DPR) for information regarding their General Education requirements. Unless specific GE courses are required for their major, please refer to the list of approved courses in the General Education Program in the University Catalog, https://catalog.cpp.edu. When viewing the catalog, students should select the catalog year associated with the GE requirements listed in their Degree Progress Report.

  Course Term Taken Grade
Area A. English Language Communication and Critical Thinking (9 units)
At least 3 units from each sub-area
1. Oral Communication      
2. Written Communication      
3. Critical Thinking      
Area B. Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning (12 units)
At least 3 units from each sub-area
1. Physical Sciences      
2. Life Sciences      
3. Laboratory Activity      
4. Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning      
5. Science and Technology Synthesis      
Area C. Arts and Humanities (12 units)
At least 3 units from each sub-area and 3 additional units from sub-areas 1 and/or 2
1. Visual and Performing Arts      
2. Literature, Modern Languages, Philosophy and Civilization      
3. Arts and Humanities Synthesis      
Area D. Social Sciences (9 units)
At least 3 units from each sub-area
1. U.S. History and American Ideals      
2. U.S. Constitution and California Government      
4. Social Science Synthesis      
Area E. Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (3 units)      
Area F. Ethnic Studies (3 units)      

For an alternative and interdisciplinary way to complete some of their GE requirements, students may choose the Interdisciplinary General Education program, see below. 

Interdisciplinary General Education: 18 units

An alternate pattern for partial fulfillment of GE Areas A, C, and D available for students is the Interdisciplinary General Education (IGE) program.  Students should see an advisor for specific GE coursework required by their major.  Please refer to the University Catalog General Education Program section for additional information.

How IGE fulfills General Education Requirements:

Year Completion of IGE Courses Satisfies GE Requirements
First IGE 1100 IGE 1200   A2 and C2
Second/Third       IGE 2150 , IGE 2250 
IGE 2350 
IGE 3100  
D1 and C2
C3 or D4

American Institutions: 6 units

Courses that satisfy this requirement may also satisfy GE Areas D1 and D2.

Graduation Writing Test

All persons who receive undergraduate degrees from Cal Poly Pomona must pass the Graduation Writing Test (GWT).  The test must be taken by the semester following completion of 60 units for undergraduates.

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