Biology's Bachelor of Arts Program
The Biology B.A. degree is designed for students seeking a broad foundation in biology as part of a liberal education. Provided that careful attention is paid to the requirements for advanced (post-baccalaureate) and professional programs, the B.A. degree is appropriate for students: (1) preparing for dentistry, medicine, optometry, pharmacy or veterinary medicine; (2) seeking a teaching credential; or (3) intending to enter a graduate program. The B.A. degree is also suitable for careers in such areas as pharmaceutical sales and medical illustration. Click here to see: Biology's B.A. program, the core courses and their prerequisites, or more about career choices.
Biology's Bachelor of Science Programs
The Biology B.S. degree is appropriate for students seeking in-depth training in a particular biological field as preparation for a specific career. Each option in the program is designed to prepare students for: (1) employment in commercial, industrial or governmental operations or labs; (2) traineeships required for certification or licensure in designated areas of applied biology and microbiology; or (3) specific academic graduate programs. Each of the five options offers a distinct pathway to the degree.
- The Cell and Molecular Biology program (Option I) prepares students for work in private or government labs where modern cellular and molecular techniques are used. This option also prepares the student for advanced graduate study. Click here to see the program, the core courses and their prerequisites, or more about career choices.
- The Environmental Biology program (Option II) prepares graduates for employment in positions such as ecologist or wildlife preserve manager; for positions with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Land Management, National or State Parks and other government agencies and private organizations; or for consulting positions in formulating environmental impact reports. A modified version of this option is appropriate for students seeking a teaching credential. This option also prepares the student for advanced graduate study. Click here to see the program, the core courses and their prerequisites, or more about career choices.
- The Microbiology program (Option III) prepares students for employment in microbiology labs, both government and private, and meets the requirements of the California Department of Health Services. This option also prepares the student for advanced graduate study. Click here to see the program, the core courses and their prerequisites, or more about career choices.
- The Biotechnology/Medical Technology program (Option IV) is designed to meet two distinct needs: (1) to meet the State academic requirements for Clinical Lab Science (Medical Technology) or Public Health Microbiology; or (2) to prepare a student for a career in biotechnology. Students who complete the course sequence for Medical Technology will be prepared to apply for the clinical year of training in Clinical Lab Science or to begin a career in industry or government. Students completing the Biotechnology course sequence will be well prepared for an entry-level biotechnology position in industry or government or for graduate programs in biotechnology. Students choosing either track of this option should consult an advisor as early as possible concerning the proper course sequence to be followed and other requirements in each field. Click here to see the Medical Technology program, the Biotechnology program, the core courses and their prerequisites, the role of the clinical year for Medical Technology, and more about career choices.
- The Marine Biology program (Option V) prepares graduates for advanced graduate study and for employment in the marine sciences. Click here to see the program, the core courses and their prerequisites, or more about career choices.
Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees compared
A Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree are equivalent degrees, typically awarded at US universities upon the completion of four years of undergraduate study. The degree titles are historical and do not reflect the specific nature of study, that is, whether in the arts or in the sciences. In the US, a B.A. is typically awarded upon completion of a broad-based program in the liberal arts, in the sciences, or in both. In contrast, a B.S. degree typically focuses more directly on a specific aspect of a field and is commonly intended as preparation for admission into an entry-level job upon completion. Both degrees prepare graduates for advanced study, the B.A. in the field as a whole (e.g., biology), the B.S. in a narrow segment of that field (e.g., cell biology or environmental biology).