Biology education at UCSB is distributed between two large departments; the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology (EEMB)and the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB). The Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees in Biological Sciences are offered collaboratively by the two departments and are designed to provide students with a broad range of experiences within the diverse field of biology. In addition, 8 specialized Bachelor of Science degrees are offered. These more focused majors allow students with particular interests and career goals to gain more experience in the area of their interest.
All students interested in any area of the biological sciences enter UCSB as pre-biology majors. The pre-major provides a strong interdisciplinary foundation for all the majors and provides students with opportunities to explore the subdisciplines of biology before deciding which biology major best fits their goals and interests. After completion of a subset of this key preparatory coursework, students may petition to declare one of the 10 biology majors. Over 150 upper division courses are available for students in these majors. These courses include laboratory and field studies, lectures and seminars, and independent studies and group projects.
EEMB Undergraduate Programs
The programs available through the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology reflect the range of disciplines within modern ecology, evolution, and organismal biology. Courses, seminars, and laboratory and field opportunities exist in population and community ecology, evolution, ecosystems ecology, oceanography, genetics, physiology, animal behavior, parasitology, zoology, and plant science. The department is intrinsically interdisciplinary with faculty engaged in marine science, limnology, paleontology, environmental change, conservation, and biogeography. Many students participate in faculty research programs including field research in California and throughout the world. The UCSB Education Abroad Program provides additional opportunities to investigate tropical forest and coral reefs. EEMB majors provide excellent preparation for careers in environmental sciences, health sciences, agriculture, education, and scientific research.
MCDB Undergraduate Programs
The programs available through the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) reflect the range of disciplines within the fields of modern molecular biology. Courses, seminars, and laboratory opportunities exist in biochemistry, cell biology, developmental biology, genetics, immunology, microbiology, neurobiology, plant biology, and virology. Interdisciplinary work reflects faculty interest in marine sciences, pharmacology, and the biomedical sciences. Students are encouraged to involve themselves in faculty-sponsored research programs, research seminars, and various internship programs available in the health sciences and the biotechnology industry. MCDB majors provide excellent preparation for careers in the health sciences, biotechnology, the pharmaceutical industry, and agriculture, as well as for research careers in academic, industry, and governmental laboratories.