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Biological Sciences

Biology is an impacted major!

Talk to an Academic Advisor before changing your major from Biology.  If you drop Biology as a major, you will not be able to re-declare the Biology major in the future.

Biology has four concentrations:

All concentrations require the same lower division coursework, the same upper division core (BIOL 351, BIOL 352, BIOL 352, BIOL 354) and the same number of required elective units (concentration electives [10 units] + upper division science electives [9 units] = 19 units).  If you are declared Biology, you can change your concentration at any time.  The concentrations are:

  • Molecular & Cellular Biology
  • Ecology
  • Physiology
  • General (must select one course from each concentration above)

Prerequisites are Critical!

This major is very prerequisite driven.  You must earn a C or better to move on to the next course.  A C- is considered “not passing”.  The Degree Planner is set up with the recommended order and won’t let you save changes that have been moved out of prerequisite order. Lower division preparation for the major courses will be cleared if an accepted equivalent is listed on

If you believe that a course you took at your previous institution could count for a requirement for the major, transfer students can submit a CSM Course Approval Form to request a review.

Transfer Student Information:

  • In order to register for upper-division Biology courses, at the minimum, the equivalent of CHEM 150/CHEM 150L, BIOL 210 and BIOL 211 must be completed with a C or better. However, additional prerequisites may be required.
  • In order to register for BIOL 351 and BIOL 353, the equivalent of BIOL 215 must also be completed with a C or better. 
  • In order to take BIOL 352 and BIOL 354, in addition to the above requirements, BIOL 212 must be completed.
  • Verify with your ARR that prerequisites have been transferred and are equivalent to major preparation before you attempt to enroll in upper-division courses (300-400 level).
  • In most cases, transfer students should enroll in BIOL 212 and BIOL 215 their first semester at CSUSM. 

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