Biology Majors

UCSB biology undergraduate program offers BS and BA degrees in 10 biology majors.

Preparatory course work from introductory biology, general chemistry, mathematics, physics and organic chemistry.
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees in Biological Sciences offer generalized training in all aspects of biology.
Explores marine biology, biological oceanography, the ecology of oceans, lakes, streams, and estuaries as whole ecosystems, and the biology of marine and freshwater organisms.
Concentrates on the chemical and physical properties of biological molecules, the complex array of chemical reactions occurring in cells, and the function and regulation of genes.
Focuses on understanding the structures and behaviors of cells, the interaction between cells, and the mechanisms controlling the assembly of groups of cells functioning in organisms.
Concentrates on the interactions among organisms and their relationships to their environment, the mechanisms by which they evolve and adapt, and the impacts of environmental change on populations and communities.
Emphasizes the fundamental biology of microorganisms and their effects on human health, with specializations in general microbiology, biomedical sciences and genetic engineering.
Explores the structures and chemistry of drugs, and their effects on cells and organisms. The emphasis in this major is on pharmacology as a basic science, rather than on the therapeutic principles of pharmacology.
Emphasizes the integrated functioning of tissues and organ systems in whole organisms and the impacts of their physiological adaptations on their ecology, evolution, and survival.
Explores animal structure, animal diversity, and evolutionary and environmental relationships within the animal kingdom.

 Biology Announcements

Current students should use the biology undergraduate email list to receive important information.

 General Questions

Walk-in Advising Hours:
Mon-Thur 9:30-11:30am and 1-4 pm
Friday 9:30-11:30am

 Academic Advisors


How many upper division biology courses should I take per quarter?

We recommend taking two upper division biology courses per quarter (assuming 8.0 units per quarter) and, if possible, fulfilling area specific requirements first starting one's Junior/3rd year. This will give you the required 48.0 units required for most of our majors. For more detailed recommendations for the MCDB majors please go to: Resource Documents: Recommended Schedule - MCDB majors.

When is the earliest a first year non-biology major can declare pre-biology?

At the beginning of Spring quarter as we require completion of chemistry 1A and 1B with grades of C or better.

Does the Biology program offer a Minor?

The biology program does not offer a minor.

When is the earliest I can declare the full major?

Freshman admits may declare the full major at the end of their second year provided that they have completed MCDB 1A,1B, EEMB 2, 3 (2.0 gpa required), MCDB 1AL, EEMB 3L and either MCDB 1BL or EEMB 2L (2.0 gpa required), Chem 1ABC and two other preparatory courses (2.0 gpa required). Please see the Pre-Biology major requirement sheet for more detailed information.

Junior transfer students may declare the full major after their second quarter (Winter) - usually 4 upper division biology courses completed (2.0 gpa required)

For all students - At the time of petition for full major, you must have a 2.0 or higher grade point average in all courses attempted toward the major within preparatory and within upper division. Also grades earned must meet the grade prerequisites for the full major.

 Resource Files