General Biology B.A.
Major Requirements (SF State Bulletin: Degree Requirements)
Roadmap (SF State Bulletin: Roadmap)
Your major advisor answered a few questions to assist you with your first semester courses — see below.
- General Information
- Transfer Student Information
- Freshman Student Information
- College Resource Center (Advising)
|What are some of the highlights and features to know about this major?||
Students have the opportunity to complete research projects in faculty laboratories by taking BIOL 699 Independent Study (http://biology.sfsu.edu/content/finding-out-about-working-field-or-laboratory-research-sfsu-biology-faculty-biol-699)
Pre-health students may choose this major to meet the requirements for application to a health profession program. It would be a good idea to meet with a major advisor to develop a suitable course plan for the target graduate program (for example: take Organic Chem I and II with labs, CHEM 233/234 and CHEM 335/336, instead of CHEM 130).
Students heading for Ph.D. programs may want to take the full-year of Organic Chemistry AND take Physical Chemistry (CHEM 300 or CHEM 351).
The General Biology degree should be taken by students intending to obtain a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Sciences (Concentration in Biological Science). Students who are considering teaching life sciences should see a credential advisor in the Department of Biology before planning the major. Students are required to complete additional courses that specifically prepare them to teach in the California secondary school system (including BIOL 337 Evolution, CHEM 216 Chem II; courses covering geology, astronomy, oceanography, and meteorology). http://biology.sfsu.edu/content/teaching-k-12
Does this major have GE courses that are met in major?
[These courses are deemed “met in the major” upon completion of the courses listed (even though the courses are not approved for GE). This is true whether or not the student completes the major.]
B1 (Physical Science): CHEM 130 OR CHEM 233
B2 (Life Science): BIOL 240
B3 (Laboratory Science): BIOL 240
UD-B: BIOL 355
|When should I first meet with my major department?||Students should review the degree description (whether first-year or transfer), develop a working course plan for the major, and meet with the major advisor during the first semester to discuss the course plan and customize it to meet post graduate/career goals. Transfer students should meet with the major advisor to have all transfer units officially approved for use in the major.|
|How will I be assigned to a major advisor and how do I contact them?||
Students are not assigned major advisors.
Students who are Undeclared with Interest in Biology BA students should meet with a General Biology Major Advisor. They should check the major advisors list which is updated on the “Meeting with your Biology Advisor” web page: http://biology.sfsu.edu/content/meeting-your-biology-advisor
Faculty advisors have different office hours styles: Some have open office hours, first come, first served, while others have students make appointments. It is best to email the advisor ahead of time.
|Where can I find information about major advising?||
“Meeting with your Biology Advisor” web page:
|Does this major require any pre-work from me before I attend orientation or register for classes?||
There are no pre-authorizations [or work] currently. However, transfer students should have all their transfer units that will be used for major requirements approved by meeting with a major advisor and submitting the form to the Biology Department for approval. The approved form can be used to show instructors that prerequisite courses have been completed AND the form will eventually be turned into the Department with the student’s graduation application.
Obtaining approval for transfer courses for your major (Equivalency Form) http://biology.sfsu.edu/content/obtaining-approval-transfer-courses-your-major-equivalency-form-1
|What should I do if my major core and/or prequisite courses are full?||The student should consider alternate majors courses/electives or courses that will prepare for their future post-graduate plans. The student should check during the next online registration period for seat availability AND should consider attending the first meeting of the course (student should know schedule so that it’s clear which lab sections will work with current class schedule) to ask the instructor for permission to enroll in the class.|
|Is there anything else I need to know about starting in this major?||
Please make sure that the students do not focus on completing their GE/University graduation requirements before initiating major coursework.
Students interested in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences should meet with a Microbiology major advisor to discuss the Clinical Science Track within the Microbiology major.
Students should meet with an advisor to confirm they have a suitable course plan, but there is a resource to help determine the sequence for Chemistry courses to take for each major/career goal: http://biology.sfsu.edu/sites/default/files/ChemistryRequirementsFlowcharts_0.pdf
Biology has an Undergraduate Advising Webpage with these topics:
New Biology Majors: Freshmen and Transfer Students
New Biology Majors: Transfer Students
Continuing Biology Majors
|What upper division courses should I take in my first semester as a transfer student for this major?||
BIOL 355 Genetics (Requires BIOL 230, 240, and CHEM 130 or CHEM 233)
BIOL 350 Cell Biology
BIOL 401 General Microbiology
BIOL 337 Evolution
BIOL 482 Ecology
BIOL 612 Human Physiology
|Are there any prerequisites to these upper division courses for the major?||
BIOL 230 and BIOL 240
CHEM 130 or CHEM 233
BIOL 612 requires: BIOL 230, BIOL 240, CHEM 130 and PHYS 121.
|Are there any registration blocks or holds in the system for this major, and if so, what do I do/who do I contact to clear them?||
Students wishing to enroll in BIOL 230 Intro Biology I:
Students wishing to enroll in Chem 115 General Chem I:
Students wishing to enroll in CHEM 215 or CHEM 130:
Students wishing to enroll in Chem 233:
If prerequisite courses are not on the SF State Transfer Credit Report, student may not be able to register for the Chemistry courses.
The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry has a PREREQUISITE COURSE FORM TO CLEAR BLOCKS ON REGISTRATION FOR A COURSE: http://www.chemistry.sfsu.edu/forms/undergrad_prereq_course_equiv_2015.pdf
Some classes have an “upper division status” block. Example: A student who is a Sophomore in Spring but will be a Junior in Fall...will not be able to register for BIOL 355 Genetics, because in Spring (May), the student will still be a Sophomore. The student may be able to register in during the Final Priority Registration period in January/August (because the student will now be a Junior).
Some classes require the student to be a specific major in order to register. For example, BIOL 402 General Microbiology lab on the Class Schedule course description states:
Must be a Biology (Microbiology) major (BS or MS) to enroll in this course.
|Does this major have an approved Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) roadmap?||
|Are there any courses I should take first as a Freshman to get started in this major and/or are there any lower division GE course requirements that I can take that will also count toward this major?||
BIOL 230* Intro Biology I
CHEM 115* (or CHEM 100 in preparation for CHEM 115)
MATH 124 or a course in the calculus pathway (see below)
ENG 114 or ENG 214 in preparation for GWAR
Mathematics Pathway 2 students that are eligible for MATH 226* should take it in their first semester. Pathway 2 students not eligible for MATH 226 should take MATH 199*. Pathway 3 and 4 students should take MATH 197 in their first semester and MATH 198 in their second semester.
If possible, full time students should register for two of the above Biology, Chemistry, Math, and Physics courses in their first semester (ideally BIOL 230 plus one other CHEM/MATH/PHYSICS course).
*1-unit Supplemental Instruction courses (SCI) are offered for these classes as additional support. These courses can be found in the SFSU Class Schedule (https://webapps.sfsu.edu/public/classservices/classsearch) by searching for the SCI prefix.
|Are there entry or prerequisite requirements for these Freshmen courses?||
CHEM 115 has a placement exam but student can prepare for it with the information provided by the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at:
Can any of my AP or IB tests count toward requirements in this major?
AP exam (score 4 or 5) Course
Biology BIOL 230, 5 units
Calculus AB or BC MATH 226, 4 units
Chemistry CHEM 115, 5 units
Computer Science A. CSC 210, 3 units
Physics 1 PHYS 111/112, 4 units
Physics 2 PHYS 220/222, 4 units
Physics AP-C Mechanics. PHYS 111/112 or 220/222, 4 units
Biology HL BIOL 230, 5 units
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