Course Descriptions | Biological Sciences


The items in this submenu link to comprehensive descriptions of the programs offered by the Department of Biological Sciences.

The links on this page point to lists of courses offered by the department. Lower division courses are numbered in the range 1000–2999, upper division in the range 3000–4999, and graduate courses are 5000 level or above. Courses below the 1000 level are subcollegiate courses which cannot be used for credit towards a degree.
All links will take you to the University Catalog.


Post Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Biotechnology (UPDATED for Fall 2018)

This post-baccalaureate credit certificate program provides students with relevant baccalaureate degrees a broad framework of concepts and practices employed in modern biotechnology industries. With close interactions and partnerships between Cal State LA and local biotechnology companies, students of this program will experience a broad industry-responsive curriculum taught by academic and industrial experts, extensive hands-on biotechnology laboratory skills training, and a focused summer biotechnology industry internship at the end of the academic year. All of these are designed to prepare and facilitate our students for employment and career advancement in the biotechnology sector. Courses taken to fulfill certificate requirements may also be applied toward the Master of Science degree in biology. The program has been approved as a Gainful Employment Program by the Department of Education. This means that eligible students can apply for Federal Financial Aid to support them during the year that they are in the program.

The certificate program requires completion of a minimum of 18 units, taken in postbaccalaureate or graduate standing, of which 12 units are in required courses and 6 units or more are in electives. Refer to General Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Information for general information governing all certificate programs.

Admission to the Program:

Application to the Department of Biological Sciences and the University is required. Acceptance by the University to post-baccalaureate status; Baccalaureate degree in a biological or related sciences, such as biochemistry, biology, physics, medical technology, or microbiology, which is equivalent to the Bachelor of Science degree offered at Cal State LA. Undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75 in last 90 quarter or 60 semester units attempted; Completion with a B (3.0) grade or higher, in any one of the following upper level undergraduate  courses or their equivalents:

  • Cell Biology (e.g., BIOL 3400 - Cell Biology and Genetics)
  • General Genetics (e.g., BIOL 3400 – Cell Biology and Genetics)
  • Microbial Genetics (e.g., MICR 3300 - Microbial Genetics)
  • Biochemistry (e.g., CHEM 4310 - Biochemistry I)

Requirements for the Certificate (minimum 18 units)

Required Core (12 units)

  • BIOL 4170 - Gene Manipulation (3)
  • BIOL 4450 – Bioscience Companies: From Concept to Market (3)
  • BIOL 4460 – Biotechnology Applications of Cell and Molecular Biology (3)
  • BIOL 5950 – Biotechnology Internship (1)
  • BIOL 5980 – Graduate Directed Study (1); must repeat once

Electives (minimum 6 units)

In consultation with the program advisor, select a minimum of 6 units of electives from 4000 and 5000 level courses in Biology, Microbiology, Chemistry, Criminal Justice, Physics, Engineering and Management that address topics in cellular and molecular biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, forensics, physics, engineering and project management. Include no more than one seminar course.

For more information on the Certificate Program in Biotechnology, please contact:
Dr. Howard Xu
Professor of Microbiology
Director, Post-bac Certificate Program in Biotechnology
Director, Incubator Development and Programming
Phone: (323) 343-2188
Office: Annenberg Science Complex (ASC) 356
Lab: Annenberg Science Complex 337
Mailing address: Dept. of Biological Sciences, BS-143
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90032

Courses in Biology
Courses in Microbiology


For more information regarding the Graduate Resource Center, please see below:
Graduate Resource Center and Thesis, Project, and Dissertation Guidelines websites.