A major in biology is designed to allow the student to (1) become familiar with the basic principles, literature, sampling, data analysis, and laboratory techniques of the essential areas of the life sciences; (2) become acquainted with background information, materials, and techniques in the cognate fields of mathematics and the physical sciences; and (3) utilize elective units to take courses which meet the student’s specific vocational needs or interests. The major offers four emphases to better meet the individual needs of the students.

Biology Major Requirements*

Biology Core Courses

62 units

(Required of all biology majors)
BIOL 1211 General Botany 4 units
BIOL 1311 General Zoology 4 units
BIOL 240 Introduction to Molecular and Cell Biology 4 units
BIOL 311 Genetics 4 units
BIOL 409 Microbiology 4 units
BIOL 425 Cell Biology 4 units
BIOL 499C Capstone Seminar in Biology 4 units
CHEM 1202 General Chemistry I 5 units
CHEM 1212 General Chemistry II 5 units
CHEM 304 Organic Chemistry I 4 units
CHEM 305 Organic Chemistry II 4 units
PSCI 223 Mechanics and Heat 4 units
PSCI 225 Electricity, Magnetism and Light 4 units
MATH 180 Calculus I 4 units
MATH 181 Calculus II 4 units

Recommended Botany and Ecology Emphasis Courses

18 to 20 units

Choose 4 units from the following courses:***

BIOL 315 General Ecology 4 units
BIOL 340 Marine Ecology 4 units
BIOL 345 Field Biology — Mountains 4 units
BIOL 346 Field Biology — Desert 4 units
BIOL 470 Special Topic Course 4 units
BIOL 3303 Conservation Biology 3 units
or BIOL 3523 Economic Botany and Plant Propagation 4 units
BIOL 3603 Biogeography 4 units
BIOL 4143 Plant Taxonomy 4 units
Upper Division BIOL Elective 3 or 4 units

Recommended Education Emphasis Courses

15 to 17 units

BIOL 302 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy and Embryology 5 units
or BIOL 305 Physiology of Vertebrates (4 units)
BIOL 414 Plant Taxonomy 4 units

Choose 4 units from the following courses:

BIOL 315 General Ecology 4 units
BIOL 340 Marine Ecology 4 units
BIOL 345 Field Biology — Mountains 4 units
BIOL 346 Field Biology — Desert 4 units
BIOL 470 Special Topic Course 4 units
BIOL 352 Economic Botany and Plant Propagation 4 units
or Approved Elective (3 or 4 units)

Recommended Neuroscience Emphasis Courses

17 to 24 units

BIOL 432 Neuroscience (required) 4 units

Choose 0-8 units from the following courses:

BIOL 202 Histology 4 units
BIOL 204 Human Anatomy 4 units
BIOL 302 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy and Embryology 5 units
BIOL 304 Human Physiology 4 units
BIOL 305 Physiology of Vertebrates 4 units
BIOL 340 Marine Ecology 4 units
CHEM 430 Biochemistry 4 units
CHEM 465 Advanced Biochemistry 4 units
Approved Upper Division Biology or Chemistry Elective 3-4 units
Required Psychology Courses4
PSYC 330 Physiological Psychology 3 units
PSYC 371 Experimental Psychology 4 units
PSYC 449 Cognitive Psychology 3 units

Choose 3-6 units from the following courses:

PSYC 320 Developmental Psychology 3 units
PSYC 332 Abnormal Psychology 3 units
PSYC 335 Social and Psychological Aspects of Aging 3 units
PSYC 350 Theories and Principles of Learning 3 units
Approved Research Course 3-4 units
Approved Upper Division Psychology Elective 3-4 units

Recommended Pre-Medical Emphasis Courses

16 to 18 units

BIOL 202 Histology 4 units or Approved Elective (3 or 4 units)
BIOL 302 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy and Embryology 5 units
BIOL 305 Physiology of Vertebrates 4 units

Choose 4 units from the following courses: 3

BIOL 315 General Ecology 4 units
BIOL 340 Marine Ecology 4 units
BIOL 345 Field Biology — Mountains 4 units
BIOL 346 Field Biology — Desert 4 units
BIOL 414 Plant Taxonomy 4 units
BIOL 470 Special Topic Course 4 units

1 It is essential that BIOL 121 and BIOL 131 be taken during the first year at VUSC in order to meet prerequisites for another biology courses.
2 It is essential that CHEM 120 and CHEM 121 be taken in the first year at VUSC in order to schedule the proper sequence of chemistry courses.
3 A number of Au Sable Institute courses are approved to meet requirements for the Biology or other majors to which field biology units can apply. Note the listing of courses at the end of the Biology Program course descriptions. Au Sable has awarded Vanguard University a scholarship that will pay most of the tuition for one student per year and smaller amounts that would help other students as well. For more information, consult with a faculty representative in the department of Biology regarding Au Sable courses.
4 It is essential that PSYC 103C General Psychology and MATH/SOCI 265C Introduction to Statistical Methods be taken as part of the core curriculum.

* This information is provided for ease of use, however it is not the official record. See the academic catalog for official course descriptions and requirements.