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Undergraduate Students

All Biology Majors, including Marine Biology and Microbiology are now Impacted

**If you are admitted to the program, it is very important that you sign up for an early advising session

(SOAR for Freshman, EONS for Transfer students)

- Many classes are already full by August, so it is recommended that you attend an advising session in June




- Freshman must take a variety of tests before they can be placed into their English, Math, and Chemistry Classes. 


** It is highly recommended that you test as soon as possible, and before your orientation so that you have test scores in hand for orientation and class registration.

- For more information on these tests, please go to the Testing, Evaluation and Assessment page.  


* All incoming Freshman must take the Entry Level Math (ELM) and English Placement (EPT) tests (please see the ELM/EPT page for more information). 

* Depending on your ELM test score, you may have to take some pre-baccalaureate classes before you can enroll in Calculus for Biology Majors (Math 119A).  These pre-bacc courses include (MAPB1, MAPB11, and/or Math 113)


- The Chemistry Placement Test is also very important.  It will determine if you are able to enroll in Chem 111A, which is the first chemistry course required for marine biology majors.   More information on the Chemistry Placement Test


If offered admission, freshmen will be admitted as a pre-marine biology major, because marine biology is currently impacted. In order to change from a pre-marine biology major to a marine biology major, the student will be required to meet additional requirements for that major by the time they reach 60 units (usually their 4th semester). If they do not meet the additional requirements by the time 60 units have been completed, "pre-majors" will be required to select another major outside the biological sciences, and one that is not impacted.

Additional Requirements required to become a marine biology major:

To be eligible for admission from the pre-major to the major in Marine Biology, applicants must have completed the following classes all with a grade of “C” or better:

  • Calculus I (Math 119A or Math 122) and
  • General Chemistry I (Chem 111A) and

    General Chemistry II (Chem 111B)

  • Intro to Evolution and Diversity (Biol 211)


---- For more information for Freshman on how to apply and campus tours, click here ----

Contact the Marine Biology Undergraduate Advisor




Transfer Students:

- Transfer students should sign up for EONS advising during June, if possible.  By July and August, most of the science classes are full.

- It is very important that you take as many lower division science classes as you can before you apply to CSULB.

 * It is best if you take 2-3 science courses along with 1-2 GE classes each semester, rather than try to get all of your GE classes completed before you come.

* A good plan is to take 2-3 courses from these categories (Math, Chemistry, Physics, Biology) each semester before you come to CSULB.  (Example: A typical semester might consist of Caclulus, Chemistry, Biology, + 1 GE)

* Most of our science classes have prerequisites, so once you get here, you may only be able to take 2 science classes at a time, which is generally only 6-7 units.  You would then fill in your schedule with GE classes.



- Please see Undergraduate Courses to determine which science courses you will need to get your degree and ASSIST to help determine which classes will transfer.

* Note: All transfer students MUST take 3 Capstone GE courses at CSULB, even if you are GE certified.

Please visit this link to see more information on transfer applicants to impacted majors.

Supplemental Criteria for Admission to Marine Biology for Transfer Students

To be eligible for admission to the major in Marine Biology, applicants must demonstrate the following prior to the semester for which the application is submitted:

1) meet the requirements for admission to the University including a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5

2) have completed the following courses (or equivalents) with a grade of “C” or better

3) have a 2.0 GPA or greater in the following courses:

    • Calculus I (Math 119A or Math 122), and
    • General Chemistry I (Chem 111A) and
    • General Chemistry II (Chem 111B)
    • Intro to Evolution and Diversity (Biol 211), Intro to Molecular Cellular Biology (Biol 212) and Intro to Ecology and Physiology (Biol 213) are highly recommended
  • In addition, all of the following General Education Foundation courses must be taken:

    Written Communication

    Oral Communication

    Critical Thinking

Eligible applicants will be selected for admission on a space-available basis based on cumulative grade point average.

Data on Biology Admissions and GPAs for Transfer Students from 2010:

Number Applied (to all Biology Majors, including Marine Biology): 703

Number Accepted: 101 (14%)

Median overall GPA of those accepted: 3.36


--- For more information for Transfer Students on how to apply and campus tours, click here --

Contact the Marine Biology Undergraduate Advisor



Second Bachelor's / Postbaccalaureate degree Students:

Currently, we are not currently accepting 2nd bachelor's degree students into the biological sciences.  Please check back for changes to this CSULB policy.

- Students who have graduated from a 4 year college or university with a degree in something other than Marine Biology can apply to CSULB as a postbaccalaureate student.

- To complete a B.S. degree in marine biology, students will need to complete only courses required for the major (see B.S. degree); no GE courses are required.

 - For more information on this type of degree, click here.


(students can take and transfer all of the lower division marine biology requirements at a community college while waiting for this staus to change)




Graduate Students:

- Graduate students wishing to obtain a Master's of Science degree in the area of marine biology should apply to

the Dept. of Biological Sciences.

- Students whose undergraduate degree is in an area other than a biological science are required to take the Biology Subject GRE test.

- Students who wish to pursue an MS degree in the marine biology field should contact a Faculty Member with whom they wish to do research, prior to applying to CSULB.

---- For more information for Graduate Students, click here ---

Contact the Marine Biology *Graduate* Advisor



Last Updated January 2014