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Biological Sciences

Information » Programs » BIOL Courses


Department Chair: Brian T. Livingston

Department Office: Hall of Science (HSCI) 104

Telephone / FAX: (562) 985-4806 / (562) 985-8878


Faculty: Bengt J. Allen, James W. Archie, Flora Banuett, Judith A. Brusslan, Ashley Carter, Jesse G. Dillon, Elizabeth D. Eldon, Amanda Fisher, Deborah Fraser, Henry C. Fung, Editte Gharakhanian, Gwen Goodmanlowe, Erika Holland, David G. Huckaby, Kevin M. Kelley, Balwant S. Khatra, Laura Kingsford, Lisa S. Klig, Kay K. Lee-Fruman, Brian T. Livingston, Christopher G. Lowe, Steven L. Manley, Andrew Z. Mason, Douglass Pace, Jacqueline Pal, Bruno G. Pernet, Shenaz Rehmat, Bryan C. Rourke, Gary Shin, Kevin Sinchak, Theodore Stankowich, Houng-Wei Tsai, Dessie L. A. Underwood, Christine Whitcraft, Raymond R. Wilson, Jr., Kelly A. Young, Mason X. Zhang

Administrative Support Coordinator: Catherine Durham

Credential: James Kisiel, Tim Williamson


  • General Biology – Kay K. Lee-Fruman and Ashley Carter
  • Biology Education – Gwen Goodmanlowe
  • Cell and Molecular Biology and Physiology – Kay K. Lee-Fruman
  • Marine Biology – Gwen Goodmanlowe
  • Microbiology – Jesse Dillon
  • Organismal Biology – Gwen Goodmanlowe

Graduate: Kevin Sinchak, Catherine Durham

Health Professions Advising Office: HSCI 164

Biotechnology Certificate Advisor: Lisa S. Klig

Students desiring information should contact the department office for referral to one of the faculty advisors.

Career Possibilities

Biologist • Lab Technician • Biological Aide • Technical Writer • Biological Illustrator • Forester • Quality Control Technician • Biomedical Engineer • Pharmaceutical Sales Representative • Fish and Wildlife Biologist • Food Technologist • Microbiologist • Criminologist • Dietitian • Medical Technologist • Health Planner • Physician's Assistant • Medical Librarian • Respiratory Therapist • Curator • Ecologist • Environmental Specialist • Sanitarian (Some of these, and other careers, require additional education or experience. For more information, see Various entry-level trainee positions in business and industry are available for graduates regardless of academic discipline.


The biological sciences include all of the areas of scientific endeavor centered around the general question of the nature of life. Such diverse areas as biochemistry, ecology, paleontology, and animal behavior are all part of the biological sciences. The discipline of biochemistry is located in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the discipline of paleontology is located in the Department of Geological Sciences. For information about the programs in these disciplines, consult the appropriate section of this catalog. The remaining disciplines of the biological sciences represented in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics are located in the Department of Biological Sciences, which offers five degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Biology, a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology, a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, a Master of Science in Biology, and a Master of Science in Microbiology. The B.S. in Biology has, in addition to a general option, three specialized options in Biology Education, Organismal Biology, and Molecular Cell Biology and Physiology. See below for the specific requirements for each of these degrees and options. The Department of Biological Sciences also participates in the Desert Studies Consortium and the Ocean Studies Institute. Information on the latter program is listed in this catalog under Ocean Studies Institute.

Academic Advising and Facilitated Enrollment into Classes

All entering students who declare a major in a degree program offered by this department need to contact the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics' Academic Advising Center (HSCI 164) and participate in the College's Science Safari to Success (for first time freshmen) or EONS (Enrollment and Orientation in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics for transfer students) Program. These programs are held in June/July for those starting in the Fall Semester and in January for those starting in the Spring Semester. Department advisors will be available to provide an overview of the students' chosen baccalaureate degree program, to assist with academic advisement, to provide information on the many career opportunities available, and to aid students in enrolling in classes. Contact the CNSM Academic Advising Center (HSCI 164), Jensen Student Access to Sciences and Mathematics Center (HSCI 164), or department office for additional information.

The Richard B. Loomis Research Award

This annual departmental award provides supply and travel support for thesis research projects. Graduate students submit research proposals to the department's Graduate Studies Committee, which grants funding to the more meritorious proposals.

Handloser Graduate Student Tuition Grant

The Handloser Graduate Student Tuition Grant is offered to an outstanding M.S. Biology applicant interested in pursuing master's thesis research in the area of marine biology.

Frank Schatzlein Scholarship Award

The Frank Schatzlein Scholarship Award is available to an outstanding undergraduate student in biological sciences, with upper division standing, studying in the area of cellular physiology. Applications can be obtained from the Biological Sciences Department Office during the month of March.

Linda Warren Graham Medical Technology Scholarship

The Linda Warren Graham Medical Technology Scholarship is available to senior microbiology majors who have applied/been accepted into a Clinical Laboratory Scientist (or a Medical Technology) Internship program. Scholarship applications can be obtained from the Biological Sciences Department Office during the month of November prior to graduation.

Financial Support, Assistantships

The Department of Biological Sciences offers to graduate students a limited number of teaching associate and graduate assistant appointments. Forms requesting consideration for these appointments are available in the department's Graduate Office. Duties consist of approximately 20 hours per week devoted to preparation and/or instruction in general undergraduate laboratory classes. These appointments are limited to a maximum of six semesters per individual.
The department also has a limited number of technical assistant positions as well as some hourly employment. Several members of the faculty have grants that provide for research assistantships. A number of scholarships are available through the university.

Graduate and Health Professional Preparation

The department provides preparation for advanced study at the graduate level and for entry into various health professional schools. Students should consider the degree requirements listed in the catalog as minimal; some graduate schools, professional schools, or careers may require additional coursework in mathematics, physics, chemistry, or biological sciences.

Students desiring entrance into a graduate school to obtain a master's or doctoral degree in some area of the biological sciences should determine the entrance requirements for the school(s) of interest early in their undergraduate years. Specifically, students contemplating graduate work in mathematically oriented areas of the biological sciences should consider taking more calculus (MATH 122, 123, 224, and 364A or 370A will substitute for MATH 119A and 119B) and those contemplating graduate work in chemically oriented areas should consider taking additional chemistry (CHEM 220A,B; 251; 377A,B; 441A,B).

Students desiring entrance into one of the various health-related professional schools should consult with the Health Professions Advising Office in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics' Jensen Student Access to Science and Mathematics (SAS) Center (HSCI 164) for more information. Most of these schools do not require students to major in any particular discipline but favor holders of a bachelor's degree; and want students who have done well in their major and who also took the prerequisite courses required by that particular school.

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