The Biological Sciences Department is deeply dedicated to the University’s mission to offer a quality education to the students in our region. We currently find ourselves, however, struggling to fulfill this mission due to unmanaged growth in our major. As reluctant as we are, after thoughtful consideration we have come to the conclusion that it is in the best interest of our student population to seek impaction status for the BS in Biology degree (this does not include the BS in Biotechnology). Given facilities and staffing constraints on our ability to offer sufficient laboratory sections of required courses, and based on admission and yield rate data, we estimate that we can support 700 majors. This is in contrast to the nearly 900 majors we currently struggle to serve (and we additionally serve nearly 160 Biotechnology majors). To align enrollment with our capacity in a way that reflects our priorities of diversity and inclusion, the Department plans to:
1) continue to admit eligible students in our local admission area;
2) admit additional students from outside of our local admission area up to the 175 total freshman that we estimate we are able to serve; and
3) enforce the existing catalog requirement that transfer students must complete all lower division required majors classes before admission (SB1440).
By implementing these measures, we will be able to meet regional demand while offering all of the classes that our students need to pursue their careers. This is particularly significant, given the unique laboratory-intensive curriculum that is the hallmark of our Biology program. Moreover, by being able to offer classes in a timely manner, we will be able to improve time to degree completion, and provide a greater percentage of our majors with the high-impact practices that are so important to student success, such as access to independent research opportunities.