Mission Statement

The Department of Biological Sciences at California State University, Los Angeles is a proven leader in diversifying the STEM workforce. Our Mission is to cultivate a diverse and thriving intellectual community and prepare students for progressive careers in the life sciences through the acquisition of current knowledge, conceptual learning, quantitative and communication skills, and through opportunities for individually mentored research experiences.

Informed by scholarly work and leading-edge research, the department continually re-invigorates the curriculum and advances student research and critical thinking skills through rigorous coursework, hands-on laboratory and field studies, and through supervised projects. Students complete the program with an extensive portfolio of knowledge and an appreciation for life-long learning and responsible actions, all of which serve as an entryway to future success in Ph.D. programs, professional organizations, and other high-value STEM careers.

Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan for the Department of Biological Sciences was developed in the Spring of 2008. It consists of three strategic initiatives and the associated objectives. In the development of the Department's strategic initiatives, the Strategic Planning Committee felt that is was important to emphasize its vision of the Department as an intellectual community. Rather than dilute this vision, the Committee decided to keep the number of strategic initiatives small, and left the details to the objectives. The three strategic initiatives are

Initiative  Strategies
Initiative 1: Enhance student learning outcomes and opportunities.
Initiative 2: Create a thriving intellectual community.
Initiative 3: Improve infrastructure and support services to facilitate success by students, faculty, and staff.


Student Learning Outcomes

In 2018, the Department of Biological Sciences approved the following student learning outcomes for its undergraduate and graduate programs. The Department has a standing Assessment Committee which implements an ongoing assessment of the Department's activities in each of these areas.



At the completion of the Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology or Microbiology a graduate will have acquired:

1. Knowledge: Mastery of Content and Process Inquiry. Biology graduates will demonstrate knowledge and application of fundamental principles of living systems.

2. Scientific Inquiry: Biology graduates will have acquired the analytical skills and quantitative reasoning used in scientific inquiry, enabling lifelong engagement with progress in the life sciences.

3. Communication: Biology graduates will have developed the ability to effectively communicate scientific findings, concepts, and analyses through both oral and visual presentations and written reports and essays.

4. Critical Thinking: Biology graduates will be able to understand and critically evaluate evidence and arguments used in scientific work.

5. Information Literacy: Biology graduates will be familiar with tools that enable the search and retrieval of scientific literature and will be able to search, retrieve, and utilize the scientific literature.

6. Awareness and Attitudes: Biology graduates will have acquired a clear understanding of the role of science in society and the ethical conduct of science and be prepared to undertake careers in the biological sciences



At the completion of the Masters of Science degree in Biology a graduate student will have acquired:

1. The analytical, communication, problem-solving, interpersonal, and technical skills that will provide a strong foundation for scientific productivity and progressive career development.

2. An in-depth understanding of biological concepts that apply to the student's area of concentration.

3. Experience with the peer scientific review process.