Biology  {SF State Bulletin 2011 - 2012}

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Biology

College of Science and Engineering

Dean: Sheldon Axler

 

Department of Biology

Hensill Hall 534
Phone: 415-338-1548
Web Site: http://biology.sfsu.edu

Chair: Michael A. Goldman
Graduate Coordinator: Robert Patterson
Graduate advisers:
Cell and Molecular Biology/Microbiology: D. Chu
Conservation Biology/Ecology and Systematic Biology: R. Patterson
Marine Biology: F. Wilkerson
Physiology and Behavioral Biology: M. Fuse
Biomedical Science: L. Chen

 

Faculty

Professors: L. Chen, Bayliss, Blackwood, Breckler, Burrus, Carpenter, Connor, Desjardin, Domingo, Goldman, Hafernik, He, Márquez-Magaña, Parker, Patterson, Ramirez, Romeo, Rothman, Routman, Spicer, S. Williams
Associate Professors: Boyer, Chu, Cohen, Denetclaw, Fuse, LeBuhn, Moffatt, Pasion, Weinstein
Assistant Professors: J. Chen, Crow-Sanchez, de la Torre, Engelbrecht, Riggs, Sehgal, Smith, Stillman, Tanner, Vrendenburg, Zink
Research Associate Professor: Cipriano
California Academy of Sciences Research Professors: Almeda, Burke, Daniel, Drewes, Dumbacher, Fisher, Fritsch, Gosliner, Griswold, Kavanaugh, Leviton, McCosker, Mooi, Roopnarine, Steiner, Tang, Van Syoc, G. Williams
Research Scientists, Romberg Tiburon Center: Cochlan, Dugdale, Kimmerer, Wilkerson

 

Programs

Bachelor of Arts in Biology, General

 

Bachelor of Science in Biology

Concentrations in:

 

Minor in General Biology

 

Certificate in Biotechnology

 

Master of Science in Biology

Concentrations in:

 

Master of Science in Biomedical Science

Concentrations in:

 

Certificate in Genetic Engineering

 


 

Program Scope

The Department of Biology provides undergraduate and graduate programs covering the breadth of biology. Course work ranges from introductory biology to specialized courses in disciplines of modern biology. The department has grouped courses into "concentrations" to help advise students of appropriate programs of study in various biology disciplines. Each concentration provides breadth of background in basic biological concepts as well as depth in the specific discipline. Students should consult with an adviser early in their program of study to design an individualized program within the concentration of interest. Lists of advisers are available from the Biology Department office and web site, http://biology.sfsu.edu.

 

Students are responsible for information posted at the department web site (http://biology.sfsu.edu) and in a weekly e-mail bulletin, which declared majors will receive, as well as for complying with University, College and Department requirements.

 

The department offers the Master of Science in biology with concentrations in cell and molecular biology, conservation biology, ecology and systematic biology, marine biology, microbiology, and physiology and behavioral biology. These graduate degree programs provide advanced course work, seminar experiences, and require original research and a written thesis. The department also offers an internship-based science master’s degree option in Master of Science in biomedical science with concentrations in biotechnology and stem cell science to prepare graduates for diverse professional careers. Thus, the master’s degrees in biology provide substantial educational depth and training, giving the student a sound foundation for employment or for study in doctoral programs.

 

Faculty and student research is supported by a new state-of-the-art SF State Greenhouse, the Harry D. Thiers Herbarium, the Molecular Genetics Laboratory (MGLab), and the Cell and Molecular Imaging Center (CMIC).

 

Collaborative Programs with the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies and the California Academy of Sciences.

Opportunities for graduate and undergraduate study in Marine Biology are enhanced by the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies (RTC), SF State’s marine and estuarine field station situated on San Francisco Bay in Marin County. RTC faculty and research scientists offer courses in the marine biology programs and supervise graduate student research and undergraduate independent study projects.

 

The Department of Biology and the California Academy of Sciences have instituted a program that builds on the complementary strengths of each institution to address the national and international imperative to train a new generation of biologists in systematics, ecology, and conservation biology. Curators of the California Academy of Sciences who have joined the Department of Biology as research professors contribute to the teaching program, offer seminars and other courses at the California Academy of Sciences and supervise graduate student research.

 

Cooperative Doctoral Program with Collaborating Doctoral Universities. This cooperative partnership presents an exceptional model program between a "non-degree" comprehensive institution (SF State) and seven pre-eminent Carnegie Foundation designated Research I institutions (UC, Davis; UC, San Francisco; UC, Los Angeles; UC, San Diego; Harvard University, Northwestern University; and Stanford University). Students participating in this Bridge cooperative program have the choice of eight graduate biology and chemistry/biochemistry MS concentrations at SF State in preparation to earning the Ph.D. in biology, chemistry, or biochemistry in one of the nineteen Ph.D. programs at UC, Davis; thirteen Ph.D. programs at UC, San Francisco; five Ph.D. programs at UC, Los Angeles; four Ph.D. programs at UC, San Diego; five Ph.D. programs at Harvard University; three Ph.D. programs at Northwestern University; and one Ph.D. program at Stanford University.

 

Career Outlook

This is an exciting time for graduates with degrees in biology. New breakthroughs in understanding living systems are leading to the development of new career opportunities at a rapid rate. In this regard, the undergraduate degrees can open the door to excellent career opportunities in industry, health care, public agencies, secondary school teaching, academia, and many other areas. Many graduates enter careers in the biotechnology industry, in the health professions, and environmental and conservation biology. High level positions in industry and academia commonly require advanced graduate work. The bachelor of science degrees are designed to give students the training they need to enter doctoral or master's programs in biology and related disciplines. Each year many San Francisco State biology graduates are accepted into the top doctoral programs in the country. SF State's biology programs also have a strong record of placing students in medical and dental schools.

 

The Bay Area is one of the world's largest centers for the biotechnology industry. The majors in cell and molecular biology and microbiology and the certificate programs in genetic engineering (graduate) and biotechnology (undergraduate) emphasize the latest science of bioinformatics, genomes, transcriptomics and proteomics, and cutting edge technologies such as microarray analysis. Many companies actively recruit SF State students for positions or internships, and SF State graduates are well represented in many prominent biotechnology companies. Employment opportunities vary from manufacturing to technical research support to biotechnology and pharmaceuticals research management.

 

Graduates of the M.S. in Biomedical Science program, with advanced inter-disciplinal science education, internship experience and workplace skills training, tend to be employed in biomedical institutes, biotechnology industries, business corporations, government and non-profit organizations or continue to other advanced degrees. Consequently, the long term career outlook for professional science master's graduates is excellent.

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Undergraduate Degree Programs in Biology

General Information

All major course work must be completed with letter grades (CR/NC is not acceptable) and a minimum grade point average of 2.0 in all course work applicable to the major. In order to remain enrolled in a biology course, students must be prepared to provide copies of transcripts demonstrating completion of prerequisite courses with a grade of C- or better. Candidates entering the bachelor's programs in biology should have completed three years of high school mathematics and one year of high school chemistry to allow completion of the curriculum in normal time (see Undergraduate Admission Requirements). At least 12 units in biology must be completed at San Francisco State University. Early in the first semester, and at regular intervals thereafter, students must consult with an adviser to plan a program of study. For the most current advising information, consult the SF State Biology home page at http://biology.sfsu.edu.

 

The department does not permit multiple concentrations within the biology degree program. All of the curricula require preliminary work in physics and chemistry because many important biological concepts are based squarely upon principles in the physical sciences. Also, each curriculum includes upper division work in the most fundamental and well-developed segments of biological knowledge so that students who select a concentration also are assured of receiving background of reasonable breadth. Because of the sequential arrangement of courses that is intrinsic to any science curriculum, students are urged to consult descriptions for the prerequisites of courses in which they expect to enroll. Students planning professional careers in biology should become proficient in mathematics through calculus and in English.

 

The Department of Biology is formally affiliated with the California Academy of Sciences. The facilities and collections of the academy are available for selected students pursuing research in the biological sciences. The Sierra Nevada Field Campus near Sierra City and the Romberg Tiburon Center in Marin County, components of the University, and the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories operated by a consortium of the California State University are also accessible for class and research use.

 

Although course electives are listed for most of the majors, new electives are always being added to various programs. Therefore, we highly recommend that students seek advisement prior to enrolling in elective courses in their major.

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Bachelor of Arts in General Biology

See the Undergraduate Degree Programs in Biology section for general information for all biology students.

 

The curriculum in general biology provides students with exposure to a broad spectrum of biological sciences including genetics, cell biology, physiology, ecology, organismal and evolutionary biology. Since basic principles of physical science are central to many biological concepts, course work in physics and chemistry is included in the lower division requirements. The B.A. program is suited for students preparing for professional schools, including teacher credentialing programs, or careers that require students to be versed in diverse areas of biology.

 

Students preparing to become teachers should note that additional science preparation beyond the major is required; (geosciences breadth: meterology, astronomy, geology and oceanography), thus, it is important to consult early and often with a credential adviser in the Biology Department to plan the major and keep abreast of any state mandated changes in requirements.

 

Courses are 3 units unless indicated otherwise. On-line course descriptions are available.

 

Lower Division Requirements (32 - 33 units)

Course Title Units
BIOL 230 Introductory Biology I 5
BIOL 240 Introductory Biology II 5
CHEM 115 General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry 5
CHEM 130 General Organic Chemistry (CHEM 233 also acceptable) 3
CHEM 215 General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts (CHEM 216 is recommended) 3
PHYS 111/
PHYS 112
General Physics I/Laboratory (3/1) 4
PHYS 121/
PHYS 122
General Physics II/Laboratory (3/1) 4
MATH 124
    or
MATH 226
Elementary Statistics
 
Calculus I (4)
3 - 4

Total lower division requirements: 32 - 33

 

Upper Division Requirements (24 - 25 units)

Course Title Units
BIOL 355 Genetics 3
One physiology course from the following: 3
BIOL 442 Microbial Physiology 3
BIOL 525 Plant Physiology 3
BIOL 612 Human Physiology 3
BIOL 630 Animal Physiology 3
One cell biology course from the following: 3
BIOL 350 Cell Biology 3
BIOL 401 General Microbiology 3
BIOL 435 Immunology 3
BIOL 453 General Parasitology 3
BIOL 524 Plant Molecular Biology 3
CHEM 349 General Biochemistry 3
One physiology or cell biology laboratory course associated with course choices listed above (substitutions allowed upon signed adviser consent) 2 - 4
One ecology course from the following: 3 - 4
BIOL 482 Ecology 4
BIOL 529 Plant Ecology 4
BIOL 532 Restoration Ecology 3
BIOL 534 Wetland Ecology 4
BIOL 580 Limnology 3
BIOL 582 Biological Oceanography 4
BIOL 585/
BIOL 586
Marine Ecology/Laboratory 3 / 2
One evolutionary or organismal biology course 1 from the following (substitutions allowed upon signed adviser consent): 3 - 5
BIOL 328 Human Anatomy 4
BIOL 337 Evolution 3
BIOL 380 Comparative Embryology 3
BIOL 425 Emerging Diseases 3
BIOL 453/454 General Parasitology/Laboratory 3 / 1
BIOL 459 Arthropod Biology 4
BIOL 460 General Entomology 4
BIOL 461 Insect Taxonomy 4
BIOL 475 Herpetology 3
BIOL 478 Ornithology 4
BIOL 480 Mammalogy 4
BIOL 500 Evolution and Diversity of Plants 4
BIOL 502 Biology of the Algae 3
BIOL 504 Biology of the Fungi 4
BIOL 505 Comparative Anatomy of Vascular Plants 4
BIOL 514 Plant Taxonomy 5
BIOL 555 Marine Invertebrate Zoology 4
BIOL 570 Biology of Fishes 4
BIOL 638 Bioinformatics & Genome Annotations 4
BIOL 652 Science Education Partners in Biology 4
Upper division electives selected in consultation with an adviser 2 4 - 8

Total upper division requirements: 24 - 25

Total for major: 57

 

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Bachelor of Science in Biology: Concentration in Botany

See the Undergraduate Degree Programs in Biology section for general information for all biology students.

 

The program provides opportunities for study in ecological, systematic and taxonomic, physiological, morphological, anatomical, molecular, and genetic aspects of botany. Course work in an array of groups is offered, including vascular plants, algae, fungi, mosses, and lichens. Where applicable, field work in courses is emphasized, including instruction at the Sierra Nevada Field Campus and at the Romberg Tiburon Center.

 

Lower Division Requirements (34 - 35 units)

Course Title Units
BIOL 230 Introductory Biology I 5
BIOL 240 Introductory Biology II 5
CHEM 115 General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry 5
CHEM 130 General Organic Chemistry (CHEM 233 also acceptable) 3
Units selected from the following: 16 - 17
CHEM 215/
CHEM 216
General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts/Laboratory 3 / 2
MATH 226 Calculus I 4
MATH 227 Calculus II 4
PHYS 111/
PHYS 112
General Physics I/Laboratory 3 / 1
PHYS 121/
PHYS 122
General Physics II/Laboratory 3 / 1

Total lower division requirements: 34 - 35

 

Upper Division Requirements (32 - 33 units)

Course Title Units
BIOL 337 Evolution 3
BIOL 355 Genetics 3
BIOL 458 Biometry 4
BIOL 525/
BIOL 526
Plant Physiology/Laboratory 3 / 2
Units selected from the following: 4
BIOL 529 Plant Ecology 4
BIOL 534 Wetland Ecology 4
Units selected from the following: 4
BIOL 500 Evolution and Diversity of Plants 4
BIOL 505 Comparative Anatomy of Vascular Plants 4
Units selected from the following: 3 - 5
BIOL 502 Biology of the Algae 3
BIOL 504 Biology of the Fungi 4
BIOL 514 Plant Taxonomy 5
Upon advisement, electives from the alternates not used in fulfilling the requirements listed above or any other upper division biology courses not specifically excluded for major credit, or any graduate course in biology. 4 - 7

Total upper division requirements: 32 - 33

Total for major: 67

 

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Bachelor of Science in Biology: Concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology

See the Undergraduate Degree Programs in Biology section for general information for all biology students.

 

Fundamental course work in allied sciences and mathematics prepares the student for advanced studies in cell and molecular biology. The program is also recommended for pre-medical students because it includes many of the courses required for admission to medical school. (For more information, see Pre-health Professions.)

 

Lower Division Requirements (38 - 39 units)

Course Title Units
BIOL 230 Introductory Biology I 5
BIOL 240 Introductory Biology II 5
CHEM 115 General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry 5
CHEM 215/
CHEM 216
General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts/Laboratory (3/2) 5
CHEM 233 Organic Chemistry I 3
MATH 226 Calculus I 4
PHYS 111/
PHYS 112
General Physics I/Laboratory 3 / 1
PHYS 121/
PHYS 122
General Physics II/Laboratory 3 / 1
One course selected from the following: 3 - 4
MATH 227 Calculus II 3 4
CSC 210 Introduction to Computer Programming 3
BIOL 458 Biometry 4

Total lower division requirements: 38 - 39

 

Upper Division Requirements (30 units)

Course Title Units
BIOL 350 Cell Biology 3
BIOL 351 Experiments in Cell and Molecular Biology 4
BIOL 355 Genetics 3
BIOL 357 Molecular Genetics 3
CHEM 335 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 349* General Biochemistry 3
*Students may take CHEM 340 (3) and CHEM 341 (3) in lieu of CHEM 349 upon advisement.

Electives upon advisement. At least one elective course must have an upper division laboratory component. Graduate level courses may be used upon advisement: 11 units

 

Electives

Course Title Units
BIOL 337 Evolution 3
BIOL 356 Honors Genetics 2
BIOL 380 Comparative Embryology 3
BIOL 382 Developmental Biology 3
BIOL 401 General Microbiology 3
BIOL 420 General Virology 3
BIOL 425 Emerging Diseases 3
BIOL 435 Immunology 3
BIOL 446 Microbial Genomics 4
BIOL 525 Plant Physiology 3
BIOL 630 Animal Physiology 3
BIOL 638 Bioinformatics & Genome Annotation 4
BIOL 640 Cellular Neuroscience 3
BIOL 699 Special Study 3
CHEM 343 Biochemistry I Laboratory 3

Total upper division requirements: 30

Total for major: 68 - 69

 

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Bachelor of Science in Biology: Concentration in Ecology

See the Undergraduate Degree Programs in Biology section for general information for all biology students.

 

This program offers a flexible but rigorous plan of study in the plant and animal sciences for students interested in ecology, natural history, conservation, and population biology; students interested in entomology, botany, or zoology may also find this concentration appropriate. The program stresses firm foundations in ecological theory, ecological technique, and natural history.

 

Lower Division Requirements (34-35 units)

Course Title Units
BIOL 230 Introductory Biology I 5
BIOL 240 Introductory Biology II 5
CHEM 115 General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry 5
CHEM 130 General Organic Chemistry 3

 

Units selected from the following: 16 - 17

Course Title Units
CHEM 215/
CHEM 216
General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts/Laboratory 3 / 2
MATH 226 Calculus I 4
MATH 227 Calculus II 4
PHYS 111/
PHYS 112
General Physics I/Laboratory 3 / 1
PHYS 121/
PHYS 122
General Physics II/Laboratory 3 / 1

Total lower division requirements: 34 - 35

 

Upper Division Requirements (32 - 33 units)

Course Title Units
BIOL 337 Evolution 3
BIOL 355 Genetics 3
BIOL 458 Biometry 4

3 Units selected from the following physiology courses on advisement:

Course Title Units
BIOL 525 Plant Physiology 3
BIOL 630 Animal Physiology 3

6 - 8 Units selected from the following ecology courses on advisement:

Course Title Units
BIOL 482 Ecology 4
BIOL 529 Plant Ecology 4
BIOL 530 Conservation Biology 3
BIOL 532 Restoration Ecology 3
BIOL 534 Wetland Ecology 4
BIOL 577 Ecological and Environmental Modeling 4
BIOL 580 Limnology 3
BIOL 582 Biological Oceanography 4
BIOL 585 Marine Ecology 3
BIOL 586 Marine Ecology Laboratory 2

Upon advisement, electives from the alternates not used in fulfilling the requirements listed above, or any other upper division biology courses not specifically excluded for major credit, or any graduate course in biology: 11 - 14

Total upper division requirements: 32 - 33

Total for major: 67

 

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Bachelor of Science in Biology: Concentration in Marine Biology and Limnology

See the Undergraduate Degree Programs in Biology section for general information for all biology students.

 

Undergraduates may elect a general emphasis in marine invertebrate zoology, marine vertebrate zoology, marine botany, marine microbiology, or limnology. Graduate work may also be general or follow specific strengths such as ecology, evolution and systematics, functional morphology, physiology, behavior, estuarine or freshwater biology. The curriculum and facilities of San Francisco State University are strongly supported by the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies and Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.

 

Lower Division Requirements (34 - 35 units)

Course Title Units
BIOL 230 Introductory Biology I 5
BIOL 240 Introductory Biology II 5
CHEM 115 General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry 5
CHEM 130 General Organic Chemistry 3

 

16 - 17 Units selected from the following:

Course Title Units
CHEM 215/
CHEM 216
General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts/Laboratory 3 / 2
MATH 226 Calculus I 4
MATH 227 Calculus II 4
PHYS 111/
PHYS 112
General Physics I/Laboratory 3 / 1
PHYS 121/
PHYS 122
General Physics II/Laboratory 3 / 1

Total lower division requirements: 34 - 35

 

Upper Division Requirements (32 - 33 units)

Course Title Units
BIOL 337 Evolution 3
BIOL 355 Genetics 3
BIOL 458 Biometry 4

 

3 Units selected from the following:

Course Title Units
BIOL 525 Plant Physiology 3
BIOL 630 Animal Physiology 3

 

3 - 5 Units selected from the following:

Course Title Units
BIOL 534 Wetland Ecology 4
BIOL 580 Limnology 3
BIOL 582 Biological Oceanography 4
BIOL 585/586 Marine Ecology/Laboratory 3 / 2

 

Upper Division Electives: 14 - 17
Upper division electives should be selected from alternatives not used in fulfilling the requirements listed above or from the list below. Upon advisement, students may also use other upper division biology courses or appropriate graduate courses as electives.

Course Title Units
BIOL 502 Biology of the Algae (3) 3
BIOL 526 Plant Physiology Laboratory (2) 2
BIOL 532 Restoration Ecology (3) 3
BIOL 535 Remote Sensing of Wetlands and Coastal Zones (4) 4
BIOL 555 Marine Invertebrate Zoology (4) 4
BIOL 556 Natural History of Marine Invertebrates (4) 4
BIOL 570 Biology of Fishes (4) 4
BIOL 575 Fisheries Biology (3) 3
BIOL 583 Marine Microbial Ecology (3) 3
BIOL 584 Marine Microbial Ecology Laboratory (1) 1
BIOL 585 Marine Ecology (3) 3
BIOL 586 Marine Ecology Laboratory (2) 2
BIOL 606 Behavior and Physiology of Marine Mammals (3) 3
BIOL 631 Animal Physiology Laboratory (4) 4
CHEM 680 Chemical Oceanography (3) 3
GEOL 642 Watershed Assessment (4) 4
MSCI 312-
MSCI 375
Any without duplicating courses taken at SF State  
OCN 410 Coastal Processes 3

Total upper division requirements: 32 - 33

Total for major: 67

 

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Bachelor of Science in Biology: Concentration in Microbiology

See the Undergraduate Degree Programs in Biology section for general information for all biology students.

 

The student may select courses emphasizing general microbiology or medical microbiology. The selection of an appropriate program not only prepares the student for careers in research, industry, public health, clinical laboratory, or state or federal service but also provides the basis for post-graduate study which may lead to the Master of Arts in Biology: Concentration in Microbiology.

 

Lower Division Requirements (35 - 36 units)

Course Title Units
BIOL 230 Introductory Biology I 5
BIOL 240 Introductory Biology II 5
CHEM 115 General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry 5
CHEM 215/
CHEM 216
General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts/Laboratory 3 / 2
MATH 226 Calculus I 4
PHYS 111/
PHYS 112
General Physics I/Laboratory 3 / 1
PHYS 121/
PHYS 122
General Physics II/Laborator 3 / 1

 

3 - 4 Units selected from the following:

Course Title Units
MATH 124 Elementary Statistics 3
MATH 227 Calculus II 4
MATH 228 Calculus III 4
CSC 210 Introduction to Computer Programming 3
BIOL 458 Biometry 4

Total lower division requirements: 35 - 36

 

Upper Division Requirements (33 units)

Course Title Units
BIOL 355 Genetics 3
BIOL 401/
BIOL 402
General Microbiology and Laboratory 3 / 2
BIOL 442/
BIOL 443
Microbial Physiology and Laboratory 3 / 2
CHEM 233/
CHEM 335
Organic Chemistry I and Organic Chemistry II 3 / 3
CHEM 340
    or
CHEM 349
Biochemistry I
 
General Biochemistry
3

Electives in microbiology (i.e., BIOL 411- BIOL 454), including at least 2 laboratory courses with approval of an adviser: 11

Total upper division requirements: 33

Total for major: 68 - 69

 

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Bachelor of Science in Biology: Concentration in Physiology

See the Undergraduate Degree Programs in Biology section for general information for all biology students.

 

This program is designed to provide a firm foundation in physiology. Students interested in vertebrate, invertebrate, and plant physiology will find this concentration appropriate. The program is especially suited for preparation for advanced study at the postgraduate level or to prepare for careers in the health professions. In addition to major curricula in physiology, service courses are provided for nursing, clinical science, exercise physiology, kinesiology, and physical therapy majors.

 

Lower Division Requirements (38 - 39 units)

Course Title Units
BIOL 230 Introductory Biology I 5
BIOL 240 Introductory Biology II 5
CHEM 115 General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry 5
CHEM 130 General Organic Chemistry 3
CHEM 215/
CHEM 216
General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts/Laboratory (3/2) 5
MATH 226 Calculus I 4
Units selected from the following: 3 - 4
MATH 124 Elementary Statistics
MATH 227 Calculus II (4)
BIOL 458 Biometry (4)
One of the following sets: 8
PHYS 111/
PHYS 112

  and
PHYS 121/
PHYS 122
General Physics I/Laboratory (3/1)
 
 
General Physics II/Laboratory (3/1)
or
PHYS 220/
PHYS 222

  and
PHYS 230/
PHYS 232
General Physics with Calculus I/Laboratory (3/1)
 
 
General Physics with Calculus II/Laboratory (3/1)

Total lower division requirements: 38 - 39

 

Upper Division Requirements (29 - 33 units)

Course Title Units
CHEM 340
    or
CHEM 349
Biochemistry I
 
General Biochemistry
3
BIOL 350 Cell Biology 3
BIOL 355 Genetics 3
Physiology core courses selected from the following (One lecture must be BIOL 612 or BIOL 630): 9
BIOL 525 Plant Physiology
BIOL 612 Human Physiology
BIOL 616 Cardiorespiratory Physiology
BIOL 617 Environmental Physiology
BIOL 620 Endocrinology
BIOL 621 Reproductive Physiology
BIOL 622 Hormones and Behavior
BIOL 630 Animal Physiology
BIOL 640 Cellular Neuroscience
BIOL 642 Neural Systems Physiology
One Physiology Lab selected from the following: 2 - 4
BIOL 526 Plant Physiology Laboratory (2)
BIOL 613 Human Physiology Laboratory (2)
BIOL 631 Animal Physiology Laboratory (4)

 

Electives

Electives selected in consultation with an adviser from the following: Criteria for elective units: 1 elective must contain a laboratory component; 1 elective must be chosen from each of the emphases listed below; and additional electives may be selected from the list of physiology core courses and/or either of the emphases listed below. (10 - 11 Units)


Cellular and Molecular Emphasis

Course Title Units
BIOL 351 Experiments in Cell and Molecular Biology (4)
BIOL 357 Molecular Genetics
BIOL 361 Human Genetics
BIOL 382 Developmental Biology
BIOL 435 Immunology
BIOL 524 Plant Molecular Biology
BIOL 615 Molecular Pathophysiology
BIOL 652 Science Education Partners in Biology (4)
BIOL 699 Special Study in Biology (1-3)
BIOL 730 Pharmacology
BIOL 865 Advances in Physiology and Behavioral Biology (2)
CHEM 343 Biochemistry I Laboratory

 

Ecological, Anatomical, and Evolutionary Emphasis

Course Title Units
BIOL 328 Human Anatomy (4)
BIOL 337 Evolution
BIOL 482 Ecology (4)
BIOL 504 Biology of Fungi (4)
BIOL 505 Comparative Anatomy of Vascular Plants (4)
BIOL 529 Plant Ecology (4)
BIOL 555 Marine Invertebrate Zoology (4)
BIOL 585/586 Marine Ecology/Laboratory (3/2)
BIOL 600 Animal Behavior
BIOL 606 Behavior and Physiology of Marine Mammals
BIOL 614 Vertebrate Histology (4)
BIOL 652 Science Education Partners in Biology (4)
BIOL 699 Special Study in Biology (1-3)
BIOL 865 Physiology and Behavioral Biology Seminar (2)

Total upper division requirements: 29 - 33

Total for major: 67 - 72

 

Note: Courses may be used only once within the major. No more than one BIOL 699 or BIOL 865 may be used as an elective.

Students interested in pursuing graduate study in physiology should take the one-year organic chemistry sequence (CHEM 233/335) and the one-year biochemistry sequence (CHEM 340/341) in place of CHEM 130 and CHEM 349.

 

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Bachelor of Science in Biology: Concentration in Zoology

See the Undergraduate Degree Programs in Biology section for general information for all biology students.

 

This program provides students with a broad background in animal biology through course work in evolutionary biology, ecology, behavior, anatomy, and physiology of both vertebrate and invertebrate animals. It is recommended that a background in both vertebrate and invertebrate biology be obtained through selection of appropriate elective courses.

 

Lower Division Requirements (34-35 units)

Course Title Units
BIOL 230 Introductory Biology I 5
BIOL 240 Introductory Biology II 5
CHEM 115 General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry 5
CHEM 130 General Organic Chemistry 3
Units selected from the following: 16-17
CHEM 215/
CHEM 216
General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts/Laboratory (3/2)
MATH 226 Calculus I (4)
MATH 227 Calculus II (4)
PHYS 111/
PHYS 112
General Physics I/Laboratory (3/1)
PHYS 121/
PHYS 122
General Physics II/Laboratory (3/1)

Total lower division requirements: 34 - 35

 

Upper Division Requirements (32 - 33 units)

Course Title Units
BIOL 337 Evolution 3
BIOL 355 Genetics 3
BIOL 458 Biometry 4
Units selected from the following on advisement: 3
BIOL 630 Animal Physiology
BIOL 612 Human Physiology
Units selected from the following on advisement: 3 - 4
BIOL 350 Cell Biology
BIOL 357 Molecular Genetics
BIOL 380 Comparative Embryology
BIOL 382 Developmental Biology
BIOL 453 General Parasitology
BIOL 600 Animal Behavior
BIOL 620 Endocrinology
BIOL 621 Reproductive Physiology
Units selected from the following ecology courses: 3-4
BIOL 482 Ecology (4)
BIOL 529 Plant Ecology (4)
BIOL 530 Conservation Biology
BIOL 532 Restoration Ecology
BIOL 534 Wetland Ecology (4)
BIOL 577 Ecological and Environmental Modeling (4)
BIOL 580 Limnology
BIOL 582 Biological Oceanography (4)
BIOL 585 Marine Ecology
BIOL 586 Marine Ecology Laboratory (2)
Upon advisement, one course focused on the taxonomy or whole organism biology of an invertebrate or vertebrate: 3-4
BIOL 459 Arthropod Biology (4)
BIOL 460 General Entomology (4)
BIOL 461 Insect Taxonomy (4)
BIOL 464 Medical Entomology
BIOL 475 Herpetology
BIOL 478 Ornithology (4)
BIOL 480 Mammalogy (4)
BIOL 555 Marine Invertebrate Zoology (4)
BIOL 570 Biology of Fishes (4)
Upon advisement, electives from the alternates not used in fulfilling the requirements listed above or any other upper division biology courses not specifically excluded for major credit, or any graduate biology course: 7-11

Total upper division requirements: 32 - 33

Total for major: 67

 

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Minor in General Biology

The minor requires a minimum of 23 units in biology, of which at least one-half must be upper division units.

 

All courses in the minor must be completed with letter grades (CR/NC is not acceptable).

 

Lower Division Requirements (10 units)

Course Title
BIOL 230 Introductory Biology I (5)
BIOL 240 Introductory Biology II (5)

 

Upper Division Requirements (14 - 15 units)

At least one course must be selected, on advisement, from each of the following areas:

Course Title Units
One ecology course (including field work) from the following 3 - 5
BIOL 482 Ecology (4)
BIOL 529 Plant Ecology (4)
BIOL 532 Restoration Ecology (3)
BIOL 534 Wetland Ecology (4)
BIOL 580 Limnology
BIOL 582 Biological Oceanography (4)
BIOL 585/586 Marine Ecology/Laboratory (3/2)
One genetics or evolution course from the following 3
BIOL 355 Genetics
BIOL 337 Evolution
One physiology course from the following 3
BIOL 442 Microbial Physiology (3)
BIOL 525 Plant Physiology
BIOL 612 Human Physiology
BIOL 630 Animal Physiology
Additional upper division electives approved by an adviser. 2 - 4

Total for Minor: 21 - 25

 

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Certificate in Biotechnology

This 14 to 19 unit program is designed to allow students who are pursuing an undergraduate major in biology or biochemistry to learn the theoretical basis, principles, and current applications of biotechnology. An integral part of the program is a supervised internship to be served in a Bay Area biotechnology company laboratory. Laboratory-oriented students will find an expanding demand for their skills upon completion of the program both in the Bay Area and nationwide.

 

Students must earn a grade of C or better in all prerequisite courses, and be prepared to provide copies of transcripts demonstrating completion of prerequisites.

 

Prerequisites

At least one course must be selected, on advisement, from each of the following areas:

Course Title Units
BIOL 355 Genetics 3
BIOL 401 General Microbiology 3
BIOL 402 General Microbiology Laboratory 2
BIOL 442 Microbial Physiology 3
BIOL 443 Microbial Physiology Laboratory 2
CHEM 340 Biochemistry I 3
CHEM 341 Biochemistry II 3

Total prerequisites: 19

 

Required Courses

At least one course must be selected, on advisement, from each of the following areas:

Course Title Units
CHEM 343 Biochemistry I Laboratory 3
BIOL 694 Cooperative Internship in Biology (to be taken in final semester) 3

Total required courses: 6

 

Elective Courses

Cchoose 2 lecture and 2 laboratory courses. (8 - 13 units)

Course Title Units
BIOL 350
  and
BIOL 351
Cell Biology
 
Experiments in Cell Biology and Genetics (4)
 
BIOL 357
  and
BIOL 358
Molecular Genetics
 
Experimental Techniques in Molecular Biology (4)
BIOL 430 Medical Microbiology (2)
BIOL 431 Medical Microbiology Laboratory (2)
BIOL 420
  and
BIOL 421
    or
BIOL 782
General Virology
 
General Virology Laboratory (2)
 
Viral Culture and Diagnosis (4)
BIOL 435
  and
BIOL 436
    or
BIOL 711
Immunology
 
Immunology Laboratory (2)
 
Immunoassays (3)
BIOL 781 Medical Molecular Biology (3)
BIOL 773 Core Concepts of Biotechnology (2)

Total for certificate (excluding prerequisites): 14 - 19

 

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Master of Science in Biology

A student interested in pursuing an advanced degree in any of these programs must meet the general requirements as outlined as well as any additional requirements specified by the major field of study.

 

For current advising information, including research and funding opportunities, consult the SF State Biology Department home page at http://biology.sfsu.edu.

 

General Admission Requirements

An applicant must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and the equivalent major course work for the program area to which application is made. To evaluate an applicant, the Biology Department requires the following: (1) transcripts of all undergraduate work; (2) Graduate Record Examination scores for the general test; (3) a statement of purpose; (4) two or more letters of recommendation, preferably from science faculty. When the Biology Department Office receives this information, the completed file is forwarded to the faculty coordinator of the program area chosen by the applicant. The faculty in the program area evaluate the applicant’s file and recommend admission or denial based on the following criteria:

  • grade point average in the undergraduate major—minimum required GPA in science courses is 2.75,
  • statement of purpose,
  • GRE scores, and
  • letters of recommendation.

In addition to inadequacy in any of the above criteria, denial of admission may also be based on:

  • an applicant’s interests are not represented by current faculty, or
  • if faculty in the applicant’s area of interest are unable to support additional students.

 

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Each graduate student is required to demonstrate an acceptable level of written English proficiency at two points. Level One: at the beginning of the first semester's enrollment, the student must pass a proctored essay test administered by the department. Level Two: prior to filing the Advancement to Candidacy (ATC), the student must prepare a thesis prospectus, which is read and approved by the student's thesis committee.

 

Course Requirements

The general requirements of all students are as follows:

  • All courses taken by graduate students in biology for use on the Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) or to satisfy conditional requirements must be completed with letter grades (CR/NC is not applicable, except for BIOL 898).
  • A minimum of 30 units of upper division and/or graduate credit (may include up to 6 units of experimental courses in biology).
  • A minimum of 16 units of credit in graduate level courses.
  • A minimum of two department seminars requiring student presentations.
  • After initiating a research program, a graduate student must enroll each semester in BIOL 897 - until the research is completed.
  • 4 units of BIOL 898 Master's Thesis.
  • An oral defense of the thesis research.

 

On-line course descriptions are available. Most upper division courses in biology are acceptable for the master's in biology upon approval of the graduate adviser. Students are reminded to check the individual concentrations for additional requirements.

 

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Master of Science in Biology: Concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology

See the Master of Science in Biology section above for general information for all biology graduate students.

 

This concentration is designed for students preparing for future graduate work as well as for those wishing to increase their competency in the fields of cell and molecular biology. It emphasizes the study of cells, cell organelles, macromolecules, and the regulation of their production and interaction. As such, it represents an expanding frontier of research that integrates biochemistry, biophysics, genetics, developmental biology, and cell ultrastructure.

 

The specific course requirements shall be determined by the student's committee and are based upon consideration such as goals, interests, and undergraduate preparation. A strong background in chemistry is highly recommended.

 

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Master of Science in Biology: Concentration in Conservation Biology

See the Master of Science in Biology section above for general information for all biology graduate students.

 

Students can select areas of specialization within the framework of conservation biology. Every faculty member serves as adviser and major professor for students working on research programs in the faculty member's area of specialization. The graduate program is tailored by advisement to the interests and needs of each student. The areas of emphasis in the conservation biology program are: conservation, evolution, and population biology of rare and endangered species; ecology of invasive species; management and conservation of natural communities; restoration ecology; applied ecology. For additional details, contact the program graduate coordinator.

 

Concentration Requirements

Course Title Units
Units selected from the following: 12
BIOL 801 Population Genetics
BIOL 812 Systematic Biology
BIOL 815 Advanced Phylogenetic Analysis (4)
BIOL 830 Conservation Biology
BIOL 840 Community Ecology
BIOL 843 Population Biology

 

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Master of Science in Biology: Concentration in Ecology and Systematic Biology

See the Master of Science in Biology section above for general information for all biology graduate students.

 

Students completing the Master of Science in Biology with a Concentration in Ecology and Systematic Biology can select areas of specialization within the framework of ecology, systematics, behavior, and evolutionary biology. Every faculty member serves as adviser and major professor for students working on research programs in the faculty member's area of specialization.

 

The graduate program is tailored by advisement to the interests of each student. The areas of emphasis in this program are: systematics, evolution, population genetics, and behavior of organisms; community, population, reproductive, behavioral, physiological, and evolutionary ecology; taxonomy, biodiversity, and biogeography. For additional details, contact the program graduate coordinator.

 

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Master of Science in Biology: Concentration in Marine Biology

See the Master of Science in Biology section above for general information for all biology graduate students.

 

Programs in this area reflect the fact that marine biology is a meeting place for all the biological sciences and some of the physical sciences. Graduate work may be broad or follow specific program areas as ecology, systematics, functional morphology, molecular biology, physiology, evolution, and behavior.

 

The marine program and facilities of San Francisco State University are strongly supported by the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies (RTC), the marine and estuarine field station of SF State situated on San Francisco Bay in Marin County. RTC's marine/estuarine scientists and oceanographers offer a broad range of courses at both RTC and the main campus. Courses offered by RTC faculty are listed in this Bulletin under Biology, Chemistry, Geography, and Geology. In addition, marine science courses are offered at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, a laboratory on Monterey Bay operated by a consortium of California State University campuses. Courses offered at Moss Landing can be found in this Bulletin under Marine Science.

 

Students in the Master of Science in Biology: Concentration in Marine Biology program follow the requirements of the M.S. in Biology with specific coursework selected upon advisement.

For further information contact the program's graduate coordinator. Applicants must have the equivalent of the Bachelor of Science in Biology at San Francisco State University.

 

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Master of Science in Biology: Concentration in Microbiology

See the Master of Science in Biology section above for general information for all biology graduate students.

 

The study of microbes and viruses is central to the fields of microbiology, pathogenesis, immunity, and biomedicine. Microbiology is also important in the study of the biochemical and genetic properties of cells and organisms. The M.S. in Microbiology is flexible. With a program adviser, students may plan a program of courses that will meet their individual goals and academic or professional interests, such as preparation for professional or doctoral programs or for employment. Prior undergraduate preparation will also be considered.

 

Admission to Program

Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree in biological or physical sciences, with at least two laboratory courses in microbiology, one year of general physics, one year of general chemistry, and one year of organic chemistry. Acceptance to fully classified status will be determined by departmental evaluation.

 

The specific course requirements shall be determined by the student’s committee and are based upon consideration such as; goals, interests, and undergraduate preparation. For additional details, contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.

 

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Master of Science in Biology: Concentration in Physiology and Behavioral Biology

See the Master of Science in Biology section above for general information for all biology graduate students.

 

The Master of Science in Biology with a Concentration in Physiology and Behavioral Biology is a flexible program. With an adviser, the student may plan a program of study to fit his/her particular interests, such as preparation for employment or a Ph.D. program when the Master of Science is required.

 

Admission to Program

In addition to the baccalaureate degree, or the equivalent, in biological sciences, the program requires that the applicant have the equivalent of one semester of upper division physiology with laboratory, two semesters of college physics, two semesters of general college chemistry, and one semester of organic chemistry.

 

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Master of Science in Biomedical Science

Master of Science in Biomedical Science: Concentration in Biotechnology

 

Master of Science in Biomedical Science: Concentration in Stem Cell Science

Graduate advisers: L. Chen (Director), Romeo, Smith, Goldman, Domingo, Pasion, J. Chen, Chu, Burrus, Denetclaw

 

Admission to Program

Students must have a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, Chemistry/Biochemistry, or the equivalent, with minimum GPA of 3.0. Transcripts of all undergraduate work, General Aptitude portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), statement of study purpose and two letters of recommendation are required for admission. Individuals with related degrees that are working in biomedical research or industry may be admitted.

 

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: can be met with a minimum score of 4.0 on the GRE Analytical Writing Test. Students who do not achieve the cut-off score of 4.0 are required to take SCI 614, Graduate Writing Skills. Level Two: requires approval of a written internship project prospectus by the program director and faculty adviser that supervises the student’s research.

 

Course descriptions are available online.

 

Core Requirements (9 units)

Course Title Units
BIOL 716 Skills for Scientific Proposal Writing 2
BIOL 803 Core Concepts of Biotechnology 2
BIOL 871 Colloquium in Microbiology, Cell and Molecular Biology 2
BUS 788 Management Principles and Organizational Behavior 3

 

Concentration Requirements (12 - 15 units)

Concentration in Biotechnology (15 units)

Course Title Units
BIOL 713 Drug Monitoring Pharmacology 2
BIOL 738 Bioinformatics & Genome Annotation 4
BIOL 756
    or
BIOL 781
Principles of Human Genetics
 
Medical Molecular Biology
3
BIOL 763 Molecular Biology of Cancer 2
BIOL 765 Biomedical Immunology Advanced Topics (or equivalent) 2
BIOL 774
    or
BIOL 784
Nucleic Acid Probe Method: Clinical Laboratory Applications
 
Cell Culture & Stem Cell Techniques
2

 

Concentration in Stem Cell Science (12)

Course Title Units
BIOL 782 Developmental Biology 3
BIOL 784 Cell Culture & Stem Cell Techniques 2
BIOL 793 Reproductive Technologies 2
BIOL 849 Bioethics 3
BIOL 861 Topics in Developmental Biology 2

 

Culminating Experience

Course Title Units
BIOL 890 Cooperative Internship Experience 6
BIOL 895 Research Project 3

Total 30 - 33

 

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Certificate in Genetic Engineering

This 13 unit program is designed to allow students who have completed an undergraduate degree in basic science with a molecular biological emphasis to learn the techniques and principles of genetic engineering by both lecture and laboratory/project experience, balanced with an integrated presentation of both ethical concerns and safety considerations. This program will further prepare students to make transitions into careers in the area of biotechnology or to enter advanced degree programs. Graduate students intending to secure both a master's degree and the certificate may pursue these objectives concurrently with consultation and approval of the graduate degree faculty adviser. All course work used to satisfy the requirements must be taken on an A–F graded basis and must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Due to laboratory space limitations, total enrollment in the program will be restricted.

 

Before being considered for acceptance to this certificate program, the student must first be eligible in accordance with all university requirements as outlined in the section Certificate Programs. This same section also includes university program guidelines and procedures to be followed in filing for the award of the certificate when it is completed.

 

Admission to the Program

To be admitted to the program an applicant must have completed a baccalaureate degree and must be admitted to classified graduate standing in the university in accordance with standard admissions requirements and procedures. In addition to application procedures specified by the university, applicants must:

  1. Submit to the certificate coordinator a copy of transcripts used for the baccalaureate degree, transcripts of other relevant study, and evidence of graduate standing in the university. The following courses from San Francisco State University, or their equivalents, are prerequisites and must be completed before the program is initiated.
    1. BIOL 401/402, General Microbiology and Laboratory, or
      BIOL 350/351, Cell Biology and Experiments in Cell Biology and Genetics
    2. BIOL 355, Genetics
    3. BIOL 357, Molecular Genetics
    4. CHEM 340 and 341, Biochemistry I and II, and
      CHEM 343, Biochemistry I Laboratory
  2. Submit to the coordinator a letter of application for admission to the certificate program. This letter should include a description of any relevant experience not evident in the transcripts.
  3. Make arrangements to have a minimum of two letters of recommendation sent to the coordinator.
  4. In addition to the items listed above, the application must include a letter indicating admission to classified status in the graduate program.
  5. Applications should be addressed to Genetic Engineering Coordinator, Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA 94132.

 

The specific course requirements shall be determined by the student’s committee and are based upon consideration such as; goals, interests, and undergraduate preparation. For additional details, contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.

 

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Students must demonstrate an appropriate level of writing competency. This shall be accomplished by satisfactory preparation of written laboratory reports in BIOL 744 which demonstrate competency in scientific report writing and analysis of data. The instructor of this course shall determine whether reports have met those criteria and so specify on the Certificate Approved Program form. If the student's work is unsatisfactory, additional course work directed to achieving English competency may be specified after consultation with the coordinator.

 

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Footnotes

  1. Students planning to earn a teaching credential must take an evolution course and an organismal biology course.( go back )
  2. BIOL 699 Special Study in Biology can be taken to fulfill elective units.( go back )
  3. Students who plan to study for a Ph.D. should complete at least two semesters of calculus and one semester of physical chemistry.( go back )

 

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