Jul 17, 2024  
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog 
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog

Biology, BS

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Program Learning Outcomes

Students that graduate with a BS in Biology from Sonoma State University will:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in quantitative and analytical tools
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the critical role of evidence‐based hypotheses testing
  • Have a deep awareness of structure‐function relationships and emergent properties at various scales
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the integrative nature of biology

Preparation for Applying to Health Professions Programs

Students majoring in biology and intending to pursue careers in the health care professions may follow the guidelines for a BS degree or a BA degree.  For additional information see a Health Professions Advisor for the Health Professions Advisory Program in this catalog.

Degree Requirements

See the “Degree Requirements ” in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements.

General Education Requirements (48 units)

See the “General Education ” requirements in the University Catalog for information on General Education requirements. Some major requirements may double count for GE requirements.


  1. A maximum of 4 units taken in the Cr/NC grading mode may be applied to the major from the following courses: BIOL 390 BIOL 498 BIOL 499 . All other courses in the Biology major must be taken in the traditional grading mode (A-F).
  2. A maximum of 7 units from the following list of courses may be applied to the major:

One organismal / diversity course from the following list

(check concentration for preferred course selection)

Major Electives

Choose 24 units of upper division biology electives in consultation with department advisor.

Upper-Division Biology Electives

Major electives are used to meet the total upper-division unit requirement for the BA or BS Major electives are chosen from the following:

  1. Additional upper division courses in a concentration.
  2. Any Biology course numbered greater than 321 (except BIOL 398). This list is subject to revision following this catalog edition. Students should check with their academic advisor for updates. Seniors may also take graduate courses (500 level) with permission of the instructor.
  3. Supervisory courses in biology. These courses are: BIOL 393, BIOL 494, BIOL 495, BIOL 496A, BIOL 496B, BIOL 498, and BIOL 499 (see Restrictions below for unit limits for these courses).
  4. Biology colloquium, BIOL 390, may be taken twice (2 units total) for major credit.
  5. One course from the approved list of courses related to biology from other departments. To apply the course to the major, students must obtain written permission from their advisor and the Biology Department chair by completing an academic requirements report- update form (available from the department office). List of approved courses in this category from other departments are:


A minimum of 120 semester units is required to graduate with a bachelor of science degree in biology. Note: Students’ individualized educational pathways may vary and require additional units beyond the minimums listed below.

Total GE units: 48

Total units in major core: 23 (6 units count for GE)

Total units in major elective: 24

Total units in support courses: 31 (6 units count for GE)

Total University Electives: 6

Total units required for graduation: 120

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