Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog 
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog


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Department Office
Darwin Hall 200
(707) 664-2189

Chair, Dr. Sean Place

For faculty information, please see Faculty  or the Biology faculty web page.

The Department of Biology offers a dynamic learning environment, exciting research and training opportunities, and intensive mentoring of students at all levels. Our faculty members are dedicated educators and active scholars who engage in primary research to address diverse topics in the biological sciences. The overall mission of our undergraduate and graduate programs is to educate the next generation of scholars, professionals, and citizens so that they are prepared to meet the biological, environmental, and technological challenges of the future.

Students in the Department of Biology may select from two broadly based Bachelor’s degree programs or a Master of Science degree. Within the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science program, students can select a more focused concentration.

The educational and research activities in the department explore the full range of biology, including molecular and cell biology, physiology, marine biology, microbiology, genetics, ecology, conservation biology, evolutionary biology, and zoology.

Laboratory instruction includes use of modern facilities to provide students with valuable hands-on experience in the latest techniques and research methods. Excellent laboratory and greenhouse facilities exist for maintaining live material for education and research. Resources include microscopy and core genetics facilities. 

Field courses draw upon the unparalleled diversity of habitats in the North Bay region. They also capitalize on two spectacular nature preserves: Fairfield Osborn Preserve and Galbreath Wildlands Preserve, administered by Sonoma State University. In addition, the department maintains museum collections of local plants, (North Coast Herbarium of California), vertebrates (Jack Arnold Vertebrate Collection) insects, and other invertebrates.

The Master’s program is comprised of an active cohort of graduate students engaged in primary research with faculty members. External funding sources often support graduate student research. Graduate student support includes  teaching associate positions that involve close mentoring relationships with instructional faculty.

Careers in Biology

The biology curriculum, supported by physical sciences and mathematics, is designed to provide students with a strong background in the principles of biology and their application to current research questions and biological resource management challenges. This combination of breadth and in-depth instruction allows students to develop the intellectual foundations, skills and flexibility needed to deal with the specific biological concerns of today and future needs of the profession.

Biology graduates enter careers in many areas including health care, biological and biotechnology research, education, agency positions in parks, recreation, conservation and restoration. Graduates from the department have an outstanding record of acceptance in graduate programs.

Biology Degree Plans 

The BA and BS plans share a common lower- and upper-division core, which allows beginning students to select an optional degree plan after the first or second year. Students seeking BA may select the Zoology concentration, while those seeking a BS may select one of the four concentrations. Students should contact the department and their assigned advisor for additional advice concerning how to complete the requirements for various concentrations.


    MajorConcentrationMastersMinorSample Four-Year PlansSample Two-Year Transfer Plans

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