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Resources for Undergraduates

Advisement is an essential component of successful and timely academic achievement. Students are strongly advised to seek advisement at the beginning of their program and and at least once each academic year. All on-duty faculty members are available for general advisement regarding academic requirements, course selection, and career opportunities in the biological sciences during faculty office hours. For graduation checks and reinstatements, students must make an appointment with the Principal Undergraduate Advisor. You can make an appointment with any of the full-time faculty members through the Biological Sciences Department Office in person or over the phone.

The Health Careers Advisement Office (HCAO) serves pre-health professional students who are interested in the following professions: medicine (allopathic, osteopathic and chiropractic), optometry, veterinary medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, podiatry, and physician assistant. Visit the HCAO website for more information.

Roadmaps to Graduation

Graduation Roadmaps are suggested academic plans designed to inform students about the sequence of courses needed to satisfy degree requirements. Linked below are roadmaps for both the quarter system and semester system. Four-year roadmaps are provided for freshman who are attending college full-time. Five-year roadmaps are provided for freshman who are working part-time while attending college. Two-year roadmaps are also provided for transfer students who have satisfied all the general education requirements before coming to Cal State LA.

For 2021 GE Catalog Year 

BIOL BS Roadmaps for the Semester System

Four-Year Roadmap for Biology Freshmen (semesters) Four-Year Roadmap for Biology Option

Roadmap for GE-Certified BIOL BS Transfer Students (semesters)

Four-Year Roadmap for Ecology, Evolution, and Environment Option

Roadmap for GE-Certified BIOL BS Transfer Students (semesters)

Four-Year Roadmap for Microbiology Option

Roadmap for GE-Certified BIOL BS Transfer Students (semesters)

Four-Year Roadmap for Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Option

Roadmap for GE-Certified BIOL BS Transfer Students (semesters)

Four-Year Roadmap for Physiology Option

Roadmap for GE-Certified BIOL BS Transfer Students (semesters) Roadmap for GE-Certified BIOL BS Transfer Students 

 

Fall 2020 and Later

BIOL BS Roadmaps for the Semester System

Four-Year Roadmap for Biology Freshmen (semesters) Four-Year Roadmap for Biology Option

Roadmap for GE-Certified BIOL BS Transfer Students (semesters)

Four-Year Roadmap for Ecology, Evolution, and Environment Option

Roadmap for GE-Certified BIOL BS Transfer Students (semesters)

Four-Year Roadmap for Microbiology Option

Roadmap for GE-Certified BIOL BS Transfer Students (semesters)

Four-Year Roadmap for Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Option

Roadmap for GE-Certified BIOL BS Transfer Students (semesters)

Four-Year Roadmap for Physiology Option

Roadmap for GE-Certified BIOL BS Transfer Students (semesters) Roadmap for GE-Certified BIOL BS Transfer Students 

Program Forms (Fall 2020 or Later):

General Option Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology: General Option
EEE Option

Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and the Environment Option

Micro Option

Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology: Microbiology Option

MCD Option

Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology: Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Option

Physiology Option

Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology: Physiology Option

 

Other Forms

Below are a few additional forms that may be useful. You should not attempt to submit these forms without consulting with an academic advisor. You can make an appointment with any of the full-time faculty members through the Biological Sciences Department Office via email.

General Academic Petition Form

This form is used to petition undergrduate academic requirements which may occur under unusual circumstances. An example might be a subsitution of a course for the General Education requirements. Consult with an advisor before submitting this form.

Academic Petition Form Academic Petition Form

Request for Course Substitution

This form is used to request a course substitution in your undergraduate major or minor. Consult with an advisor before submitting this form.

Request for Course Substitution Request for Course Substitution

Bachelor's Degree Worksheet

This form is used as a checklist of the requirements for a baccalaureate degree. Complete this form before you meet with the Principal Undergraduate Advisor for a graduation check.

Bachelor's Degree Worksheet Bachelor's Degree Worksheet

Grade Appeal & Academic Grievance Form

This form is used to file a formal grade appeal or academic grievance. Before filing this form you must attempt to resolve the dispute informally. You are strongly encouraged to read carefully Cal State LA's Grade Appeal/Academic Grievance Policy.

Grade Appeal/Academic Grievance Form Grade Appeal & Academic Grievance Form

Fall 2016 to Fall 2019

Mathematics Requirements for Life Science Majors

The following chart summarizes the sequence:

MATH 1050 or MATH 1081 + 1085    MATH 2040 prerequisite & required for BIOL 1100
 
MATH 2040    MATH 2050 prerequisite; requirement for BIOL BS & MICR BS
 
MATH 2050    Requirement for BIOL BS

 

Note that certain math prerequisite courses can be met by exit exams (University Testing Center in Library South). Note that MATH 2110 and MATH 2120 can be substituted for MATH 2040 and MATH 2050, respectively. You'll need to see an advisor in biology for the necessary course substitution.

Math Advisement for Fall 2019 Biology and Microbiology Majors

The biology department has proposed some changes for their math sequence requirements, and as a result, Math 2040 and Math 2050 will disappear in the next academic year. For more information on what math classes to take beggining Fall 2020, please see our advisement guide:  

Math Advisement Math Advisement 

 

Math Exit Exams

Students who wish to test out of certain math courses may take an exit exam at the University Testing Center. This may be a viable option for students who want to demonstrate competency in the material covered by one of these classes because of previous coursework at a community college or elsewhere. 

Roadmaps to Graduation

BIOL BS Roadmaps for the Semester System (Fall 2016 to Fall 2019):
Four-Year Roadmap for Biology Freshmen (semesters) Four-Year Roadmap for Biology Freshmen (semesters)
Roadmap for GE-Certified BIOL BS Transfer Students (semesters) Roadmap for GE-Certified BIOL BS Transfer Students (semesters)
MICR BS Roadmaps for the Semester System (Fall 2016 to Fall 2019):
Four-Year Roadmap for Microbiology Freshmen (semesters) Four-Year Roadmap for Microbiology Freshmen (semesters)
Roadmap for GE-Certified Transfer MICR BS Students (semesters)

Roadmap for GE-Certified MICR BS Transfer Students (semesters)

BIOL MS Roadmaps for the Semester System (Fall 2016 to Fall 2019):
MS Degree in Biology

MS Degree in Biology (F16 to F19)

Semester Programs

Resources for Graduates

The Master's of Science program in Biology involves a combination of course work and original research. There is no comprehensive examination option. Students work closely with a faculty mentor who is their primary source for academic advisement.

Graduate Flow Chart

Program for the Masters of Science Degree in Biology

Graduate Flow Chart

MS Degree Program in Biology Information Sheet

General Requirements for the MS Program

Graduate Student Handbook

This handbook contains information about important policies and services for graduate students, financing your education, and tips for success in your program.

Graduate Flow Chart General Graduate Student Handbook

Graduate Flow Chart

Department Graduate Student Handbook

Graduate Research Prospectus

Graduate students must prepare a prospectus that describes the proposed research on which the master's thesis will be based. The research prospectus must be approved by the student's thesis advisor, their thesis examining committee, and the departmental Graduate Affairs Committee. Students may enroll in BIOL 5940 while they are preparing the prospectus. This prospectus must be approved within two semesters of the date they receive classified graduate standing in order for a student to remain eligible for assistantships. Students normally submit their research prospectus after their second semester of graduate study. Students first enroll in BIOL 5970 and BIOL 5990 once their prospectus has been approved by the thesis committee and submitted to the Department Office by the start of the semester.

Guidelines for the Research Prospectus

The document below provides guidelines for the preparation of the graduate research prospectus.

Prospectus Guidelines Prospectus Guidelines

Rubric for Prospectus Evaluation

The document below is a rubric used by members of the department Graduate Affairs Committee to evaluate a student's graduate research prospectus.

Rubric for Prospectus Evaluation Rubric for Prospectus Evaluation

Common Pitfalls in the Preparation of a Prospectus

The document below describes some of the more common mistakes encountered in the evaluation of a graduate research prospectus.

Common Pitfalls for the Research Prospectus Common Pitfalls for the Research Prospectus

Master's Thesis

Graduate students must write a master's thesis based on their research. The Department also requires a thesis seminar followed by an oral defense of their thesis. You may invite friends and family to the public seminar. The oral defense is a one to two hour closed-door session with members of your thesis committee. You should allow at least three weeks for your committee to read the final draft of your thesis prior to the defense.

Guide to Preparation of the Master's Thesis

The page below is the University's guide to the preparation of a master's thesis.

Master's Thesis Guide Master's Thesis Guide

Master's Thesis Forms

Below are the forms for establishing a thesis committee and committee approval of the Master's thesis. 

Request for Thesis Committee Request for Thesis Committee (GS-12)
Report of Oral Defense of Thesis Report of Oral Defense of Thesis

Other Forms

Below are a few additional forms related to the graduate program that may be useful.

Request for Transfer Course Level Evaluation

This form is used if you are requesting approval to use transfer courses on your master's degree program

Request for Transfer Course Level Evaluation Request for Transfer Course Level Evaluation (GS-1A)

Request for Course Substitution on Graduate Program

This form is used to request a course substitution in your graduate program. Note that course substitution requests must be submitted before the student completes the courses to be substituted.

Course Substitution on Graduate Program Request for Graduate Credit for Undergraduate Work

Graduate Student Status Change

This form is used as a change of status for a graduate student. An example of a status change would be an advancement to candidacy.

Graduate Student Status Change Graduate Student Status Change (GS-8)

Syllabi

Examples of course syllabi are available below. Keep in mind that these syllabi may not always represent the way the course is currently being taught and that the content of a course may change depending on the instructor. Syllabi were not available for all courses.

Syllabi for Biology Courses

BIOL 1010 - General Biology

BIOL 1030 - Life Science

BIOL 1100 - Principles of Biology I (lecture)

BIOL 1100 - Principles of Biology I (lab)

BIOL 1200 - Principles of Biology II

BIOL 2010 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I

BIOL 2020 - Human Anatomy and Physiology II

BIOL 2030 - Human Anatomy 

BIOL 2040 - Human Physiology 

BIOL 2800 - Physiology for Biomedical Engineering

BIOL 3000 - Biostatistics

BIOL 3084 - Biology of Human Aging

BIOL 3100 - General Microbiology

BIOL 3200 - Professional Writing in the Life Sciences

BIOL 3400 - Cell Biology and Genetics

BIOL 3401 - Cell and Molecular Laboratory

BIOL 3600 - Integrative Organismal Biology

BIOL 3800 - Ecology and Evolution

BIOL 4080 - Experimental Design and Advanced Biostatistics

BIOL 4120 - Human Genetics

BIOL 4130 - Molecular Diagnostics

BIOL 4150 - Population Genetics

BIOL 4160 - Molecular Genetics

BIOL 4170 - Gene Manipulation

BIOL 4180 - Advanced Evolutionary Biology

BIOL 4200 - Global Change

BIOL 4240 - General Embryology

BIOL 4290 - Animal Histology

BIOL 4300 - Plant Physiology I

BIOL 4320 - Fundamentals of Toxicology

BIOL 4330 - Integrative Human Physiology I

BIOL 4340 - Integrative Human Physiology II

BIOL 4350 - Neurobiology: Neuroanatomy and Development

BIOL 4360 - Neurobiology: Cellular and Molecular Physiology of the Nervous System

BIOL 4370 - Cell Signaling

BIOL 4390 - Endocrinology

BIOL 4400 - Plant Systematics

BIOL 4450 - Bioscience Companies: From Concept to Market

BIOL 4460 - Biotechnology Applications of Cell and Molecular Biology

BIOL 4490 - Neurobiology: Development

BIOL 4500 - Botanical Medicine

BIOL 4510 - Ornithology

BIOL 4540 - Special Lecture Topics in Biology

BIOL 4541 - Special Activity Topics in Biology

BIOL 4550 - Mammalogy

BIOL 4570 - Marine Invertebrate Zoology

BIOL 4620 - Plant Ecology

BIOL 4700 - Conservation Biology

BIOL 4720 - Marine Ecology

BIOL 4800 - Modeling Biological Systems

BIOL 4810 - Animal Cell Culture Theory and Technique

BIOL 4840 - Drug Discovery and Development

 

Syllabi for Microbiology Courses

MICR 1010 - Introduction to Microbiology (3)
MICR 2010 - Microbiology for Health Related Sciences (3)
MICR 2020 - Microbiology Laboratory for Health Related Sciences (1)
MICR 3100 - General Microbiology (4)
MICR 3300 - Microbial Genetics (3)
MICR 3500 - Bacterial Physiology (3)
MICR 3700 - Medical Microbiology (4)
MICR 3900 - Applied and Environmental Microbiology (3)
MICR 4100 - General Virology (3)
MICR 4200 - Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases (3)
MICR 4220 - Bioterrorism and Biosecurity (3)
MICR 4300 - Hematology (3)
MICR 4400 - Fungal Pathogenesis (3)
MICR 4600 - Theoretical and Applied Immunology (4)

Careers in Biology and Microbiology

Biology is a varied discipline and there are many career paths that one can follow. These include research, heath care, environmental management and conservation, and education. The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) provides good general information on careers in the biological sciences. Career information is also available from professional societies such as the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB), the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), and the Ecological Society of America (ESA). Another good resource is the FindHow career exploration page for biological scientists.

Career information is also available on campus. The CSULA Career Development Center has a list of career areas, employers, and strategies for the biological sciences. It also provides a list of links to career information in the biological sciences. You can also seek career advice from the Biological Sciences faculty. Make an appointment with a faculty member whose research is most closely aligned to your area of interest. You can find numerous useful links related to careers in microbiology

CSU Biocompass

Biocompass LogoThe CSU Biocompass Web Site was created by the California State University (CSU) to better publicize biotechnology degree programs and courses offered at CSU campuses. It features programs that pertain to current life sciences industry workforce needs, as reported by industry partners and associations. This website is useful to working professionals searching for courses to augment their skills and knowledge and students and new graduates who want to learn more about careers in the biotechnology industry.

UC Graduate Admissions

University of California LogoThe University of California created the UC Graduate Admissions website to assist students who are exploring the possibility of graduate school at UC. This website includes an online degree search tool for all UC graduate programs which makes it easier for students to search the 600+ graduate degree programs offered across the ten campuses to find programs that fit their area of interest. This site also offers practical advice and insight on preparing for and applying to graduate school at UC, from tips on writing an effective statement of purpose to resources for financing a graduate education.

LinkUp Job Search Engine

The LinkUp Job Search Engine is a searchable database containing thousands of available jobs across the U.S. Enter a discipline (e.g. microbiology) and city, state, or zip code (e.g. Los Angeles or California) to get listings of available positions.

Faculty Office Hours

There are two types of office hours for full-time faculty. Office hours marked Advisement are reserved for students seeking academic and career advisment. Office hours marked Instructional are reserved for students who are enrolled in a faculty member's classes. Advisement office hours are by appointment only. You can make an appointment for a faculty member's advisement office hours through the Biological Sciences Department Office in person and must bring their CIN card. Do not contact the faculty members directly because they may not know which times have already been scheduled. Students who are enrolled in a faculty member's classes should make use of the instructional office hours. Note that part-time faculty have only instructional office hours. Contact the department office for the most up-to-date information about office hours times.

Quarters Program Archive

Our last term on the quarter-based calendar was Summer 2016. This page provides links to resources about the old quarters programs in the Department of Biological Sciences. The academic requirements for the bachelor of science degrees in biology (BIOL BS), microbiology (MICR BS), and the master of sciences degree in biology (BIOL MS) changed under the new semester system. Below is an archive of quarters program syllabi, forms related to the old quarters programs, and guidance for biology and microbiology majors who transitioned from quarters to semesters.

Quarters Syllabi Archive

BIOL 100A - Introductory Biology I

BIOL 100B - Introductory Biology II

BIOL 100C - Introductory Biology III

BIOL 155 - Animal Biology

BIOL 156 - Plant Biology: Plants and People

BIOL 158 - Brain and Behavior

BIOL 165 - Humans and the Biological Environment 

BIOL 180 - Life Science for Elem. Teachers

BIOL 181- Life Science seminar for Elem Teachers

BIOL 200A - Human Anatomy & Physiology I 

BIOL 200B - Human Anatopmy & Physiology II 

BIOL 300 - Biometrics

BIOL 320 - Writting for Biologists 

BIOL 340 - General Genetics 

BIOL 350 - Evolution

BIOL 360 - General Ecology

BIOL 380 - Cell Biology 

BIOL 384N - Biology of Human Aging 

BIOL 408 - Advanced Biometry

BIOL 412 - Human Genetics

BIOL 413 - Molecular Diagnostics

BIOL 414 - Cytogenetics 

BIOL 415 - Popular Genetics 

BIOL 416 - Molecular Genetics 

BIOL 417 - Principles of Gene Manipulation 

BIOL 418 - Evolution 

BIOL 420 - Global Change

BIOL 422 - Vertebrate Structure and Function 

BIOL 424 - General Embryology

BIOL 429 - Histology

BIOL 432 - Fundamentals of Toxicology

BIOL 433 - Animal Physiology I 

BIOL 434 - Animal Physilogy II

BIOL 435 - Neurobiology

BIOL 436 - Neurobiology: Neurophysiology

BIOL 439 - Endocrinology

BIOL 440 - Angiosperm Taxonomy

BIOL 444 - Drug Discovery and Development

BIOL 448: Molecular Biology of the Brain

BIOL 449: Neurobiology of Development

BIOL 451: Ornithology

BIOL 455: Mammalogy (lec)

BIOL 457: Marine Invertebrate Zoology 

BIOL 462: Plant Ecology

BIOL 470: Conservation Biology

BIOL 473: Molecular Ecology

BIOL 481: Animal Cell Culture Theory and Technique

MICR 151: Biology of Microorganisms 

MICR 200A: General Microbiology

MICR 201: Microbiology for Health Related Sciences (lec)

MICR 202: Microbiology for Health Related Sciences (lab)

MICR 300: General Microbiology

MICR 301: General Medical Microbiology 

MICR 302: Pathogenic Bacteriology

MICR 304: Immunology & Serology

MICR 331: Structure and Function of Bacteria

MICR 340: Microbial Genetics 

MICR 401: Virology

MICR 410: Hematology

MICR 430: Bacterial Physilogy

MICR 450: Innate Immunity

Program Form Archive

Beginning Fall 2016, it is possible for students to be under one of three possible BIOL BS or MICR BS programs. Students who declared their major prior to Fall 2013 are under the old quarter system programs in existence at that time, unless they completed a New Program Form Request after Summer 2013. Students who declared a major in the time period from Fall 2013 to Summer 2016 will be under the new quarter programs. Students who become BIOL BS or BIOL BS majors in Fall 2016 or later will be under the new semester programs. To find your major program year, use GET to check your CSU Academic Advisement Report (CAAR) or consult with your academic advisor.

Old Quarters Program Forms (prior to Fall 2013):
BS Degree in Biology Form (before F13) Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology (before F13)
BS Degree in Microbiology Form (before F13) Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology (before F13)
New Quarters Program Forms (Fall 2013 to Summer 2016):
BS Degree in Biology Form (F13 to Su16) Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology (F13 to Su16)
BS Degree in Microbiology Form (F13 to Su16) Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology (F13 to Su16)

Also listed below is the quarter program form for biology graduate students.

MS Degree in Biology (before F16) MS Degree in Biology (before F16)

Below are links to the quarter programs in the University Catalog.

Quarter Programs Prior to Fall 2013:

Quarter Programs from Fall 2013 to Summer 2016:

Roadmaps to Graduation

Graduation Roadmaps are suggested academic plans designed to inform students about the sequence of courses needed to satisfy degree requirements. Four-year roadmaps are provided for freshman who are attending college full-time. Five-year roadmaps are provided for freshman who are working part-time while attending college. Two-year roadmaps are also provided for transfer students who have satisfied all the general education requirements before coming to Cal State LA.

BIOL BS Roadmaps for the Quarter System (prior to Fall 2016):
Four-Year Roadmap for Biology Freshmen (quarters) Four-Year Roadmap for Biology Freshmen (quarters)
Five-Year Roadmap for Biology Freshmen (quarters) Five-Year Roadmap for Biology Freshmen (quarters)
Roadmap for GE-Certified BIOL BS Transfer Students (quarters) Roadmap for GE-Certified BIOL BS Transfer Students (quarters)
MICR BS Roadmaps for the Quarter System (prior to Fall 2016):
Four-Year Roadmap for Microbiology Freshmen (quarters) Four-Year Roadmap for Microbiology Freshmen (quarters)
Five-Year Roadmap for Microbiology Freshmen (quarters) Five-Year Roadmap for Microbiology Freshmen (quarters)
Roadmap for GE-Certified Transfer MICR BS Students (quarters) Roadmap for GE-Certified MICR BS Transfer Students (quarters)

Advice for Students Transitioning from Quarters to Semesters

Students who are attending Cal State LA in the quarter system and are unable to complete all their degree requirements before Fall 2016 will take a mixture of quarter and semester courses. These students will be required to work with an advisor to create an Individualized Advisement Plan (IAP).

There are some general rules to follow that will make your transition to semesters go more smoothly. Since the BIOL BS and MICR BS require several course sequences, it is best to try to start and complete these sequences under one system (quarters or semesters). Also, due to changes in some of the 300-level courses, there are combinations of quarter-system 300-level courses that are equivalent to semester-system 3000-level courses. The table below summarizes the course sequence equivalencies for the BIOL BS and MICR BS program requirements. The numbers in parentheses are course units for the quarter and semester systems.

Quarter System Semester System
Biology Course Equivalencies
BIOL 100ABC (5, 5, 5) BIOL 1100 (5) + BIOL 1200 (5)
BIOL 300 (4) BIOL 3000 (3)
BIOL 320 (4) BIOL 3200 (3)
BIOL 340 (4) + BIOL 380 (4) BIOL 3400 (3) + BIOL 3401 (2)
BIOL 350 (4) + BIOL 360 (4) BIOL 3800 (3)
Microbiology Course Equivalencies
MICR 300AB (4, 4) MICR 3100 (4)
MICR 340 (4) MICR 3300 (3)
MICR 430 (3) + MICR 433 (2) MICR 3500 (3)
MICR 350 (5) MICR 3700 (4)
MICR 360 (5) MICR 4600 (4) (elective)
MICR 370 (4) MICR 3900 (3)
Mathematics Course Equivalencies
MATH 104A (4) + MATH 105 (4) MATH 1050 (6)
MATH 104A (4) + MATH 105 (4) MATH 1081 (3) + MATH 1085 (3)
MATH 204 (4) MATH 2040 (3) + MATH 2041 (1)
MATH 205 (4) (BIOL BS only) MATH 2050 (3) + MATH 2051 (1)
Chemistry & Biochemistry Course Equivalencies
CHEM 101, 102, 103 (5, 5, 5) CHEM 1100 (5) + CHEM 1110 (5)
CHEM 291AB (3, 3) + CHEM 301 (3) CHEM 2200 (4) + CHEM 3200 (4)
CHEM 292A (2) CHEM 2201 (1)
CHEM 431AB (3, 3) CHEM 4300 (3) (MICR BS only)
Physics Course Equivalencies
PHYS 101, 102, 103 (4, 4, 4) PHYS 1100 (4) + PHYS 1200 (4)

In cases where it was not possible for students to complete a course sequence under the quarter system, temporary bridge courses may be offered to help students to meet the major requirements more efficiently. The following document provides specific advice on which combinations of courses to complete as you transition from quarters to semesters.

Course Recommendations for Transitioning Students Course Recommendations for Transitioning Students

 

The following planning sheets may be helpful for students who are transitioning from quarters to semesters. They allow students and advisors to list courses term-by-term beginning in Fall 2015.

Course Planning Sheets for BIOL BS Majors Course Planning Sheets for BIOL BS Majors
Course Planning Sheets for MICR BS Majors Course Planning Sheets for MICR BS Majors

Other Information Resources

Course Recommendations for Transitioning Students Course Recommendations for Transitioning Students