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Welcome to the Department of Biological Sciences at CSUSM

                   ecologylab  group

What is Biology?

Biology is the study of life, from vast continental and marine ecosystems to a microscopic bacterial cell. Biology has three interconnected subdisciplines: 1. Ecology- the study of how organisms interact with each other and their environment; 2. Physiology- the study of organism function, from whole organisms to organ systems, tissues, and individual cells; and 3. Cell and Molecular Biology- the study of the fundamental building blocks of living things, including cells, DNA, proteins, and other organic molecules.

What’s unique about studying Biology at CSU San Marcos?

Students who come to CSU San Marcos to study Biology receive a cutting-edge and hands-on education with close faculty-student interactions and small class sizes. Biology majors at CSUSM take a minimum of seven laboratory-based Biology courses, with 24 students in each lab. This equates to at least 315 hours of hands-on, practical Biology lab experience for every student, far more than most Biology undergraduate degree programs. As a primarily undergraduate institution, undergraduate students are the priority at CSU San Marcos, and Biology undergrads have unique opportunities to engage in faculty-supervised research projects, participate in academic clubs related to Biology, and pursue local life sciences internships.

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What career paths do CSUSM Biology majors pursue?

Biology is a broad-based discipline, and our alumni pursue a wide variety of careers. A Bachelor of Science in Biology is excellent preparation for careers in medicine and allied health fields. Alumni with an interest in ecology often work in natural resources management, environmental consulting, and for state/federal agencies concerned with environmental research and monitoring. Many of our alumni pursue graduate studies in Biology and then move on to research-based careers at universities, federal/state agencies, or the biotechnology/life sciences industry. Alumni interested in teaching are well qualified to teach Biology at the middle school and high school levels after completing their teaching credential. Finally, San Diego County is a worldwide biotechnology hub with more than 1,000 local biotechnology companies, so many of our alumni work in San Diego County’s robust biotechnology industry.

Top employers of our alumni include Thermo Fisher Scientific (Carlsbad), Illumina (San Diego), San Diego Zoo Global (San Diego, Escondido), and CSU San Marcos (San Marcos).

What is the earnings potential of a CSUSM Biology degree?

Based on CSU Chancellor’s Office data, alumni who have completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology at CSU San Marcos show strong earnings growth as they progress through their careers.