BIOLOGY

BIOLOGY
BIOLOGY
DEPARTMENT OFFICE
Darwin Hall 200
(707) 664-2189
www.sonoma.edu/biology/
DEPARTMENT CHAIR
Murali Pillai
ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR
Jen Aaseth, Rosemary Galten
Faculty
Michael F. Cohen
Daniel E. Crocker
J. Hall Cushman
Nicholas R. Geist
Derek J. Girman
Joseph Lin
Murali C. Pillai
Sean Place
Nathan E. Rank
Andrew Rogerson
Richard Whitkus
Programs Offered
Bachelor of Arts in Biology
Zoology Concentration
Bachelor of Science in Biology
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Concentration
Marine Biology Concentration
Molecular Cell Biology Concentration
Physiology Concentration
Minor in Biology
Master of Science in Biology
The Department of Biology offers a dynamic learning environment,
exciting research and training opportunities, and intensive mentoring of students at all levels. Our distinguished faculty members are
dedicated educators and active scholars who engage in primary
research to address diverse topics in the biological sciences. The
overall mission of our undergraduate and graduate programs is to
educate the next generation of scholars, professionals, and citizens
so that they are prepared to meet the biological, environmental, and
technological challenges of the future.
Students in the Department of Biology may select from two
broadly based Bachelor’s degree programs or a Master of
Science degree. Within the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science
program, students can select a more focused concentration.
Page 64Biology
The educational and research activities in the department explore
the full range of biology, including molecular and cell biology, physiology, marine biology, microbiology, genetics, ecology, conservation
biology, evolutionary biology, and zoology.
Laboratory instruction includes use of modern facilities to provide
students with valuable hands-on experience in the latest techniques
and research methods. Excellent laboratory and greenhouse facilities exist for maintaining live material for education and research. A
radioisotope laboratory is also available.
Field courses draw upon the unparalleled diversity of habitats
in the North Bay region. They also capitalize on two spectacular
nature preserves: Fairfield Osborn Preserve and Galbreath Wildlands
Preserve, administered by Sonoma State University. In addition, the
department maintains museum collections of local plants, (North
Coast Herbarium of California), vertebrates (Jack Arnold Vertebrate
Collection) insects, and other invertebrates.
The Master’s program is comprised of an active cohort of graduate students engaged in primary research with faculty members.
External funding sources often support graduate student research.
Graduate student support includes teaching associate positions that
involve close mentoring relationships with instructional faculty.
Careers in Biology
The biology curriculum, supported by physical sciences and mathematics, is designed to provide students with a strong background
in the principles of biology and their application to current research
questions and biological resource management challenges. This
combination of breadth and in-depth instruction allows students to
develop the intellectual foundations, skills and flexibility needed to
deal with the specific biological concerns of today and future needs
of the profession.
Biology graduates enter careers in many areas including health
care, biological and biotechnology research, education, and agency
positions in parks, recreation, conservation and restoration. Graduates from the department have an outstanding record of acceptance
in advanced degree programs in health professions and graduate
programs.
Secondary Education Teaching Credential
Preparation in Life Science
Contact the department chair for information on completing a biological sciences preparation program for a Single Subject Credential.
Sonoma State University 2015-2016 Catalog
Biology Degree Plans
Many students are well served by the B.A. and B.S. plans, which do
not include a specific concentration. Students seeking a B.S. may
also select one of two concentrations. The B.A. and B.S. plans share
a common lower-division core, which allows beginning students to
select a degree plan after the first or second year. Students should
contact the department and their assigned advisor for additional
advice concerning how to complete the requirements for various
concentrations.
Degree Requirements
(See page 67 for a sample four-year program.)
B. A.
B. S.
General Education (50 units, 12 units covered by
major requirements in math and science)
38
38
Lower-Division Biology (BIOL 130, 131)
8
8
Upper-Division Biology Core (BIOL 320, 321)
8
8
Upper-Division Organismal Biology/Diversity
4
4
Upper-Division Biology Electives
(as specified by concentration)
20
24
Research Experience
--
3
10
10
CHEM 335A
3
3
CHEM 335B
--
3
CHEM 336A*
--
2
CHEM 445 or 446*
--
3
MATH 165 or Math 161 (BA)
4
4
MATH 161
--
4
4 or 3
--
Physical Sciences and Mathematics:
CHEM 115AB
B. A.
PHYS 210A and 209A or GEOL 102
3. Supervisory courses in biology. These courses are: BIOL 393,
494, 495, 496, 498, and 499 (see Restrictions, below, for unit
limits for these courses).
4. Biology colloquium, BIOL 390, may be taken twice (2 units
total) for major credit.
5. A maximum of 4 units from courses related to biology from other departments, or from Biology non-majors courses numbered
200-319. To apply the units to the major, students are required
to obtain written permission from their advisor and Department
chair before taking these courses by completing course substitution forms (available from the department office). Acceptable
courses in this category from other departments include: ANTH
301, 302, 318, 345, 414; CHEM 441, 445, 446; ENSP 315, 322;
GEOL 313; KIN 360; PSY 451.
Restrictions
1. A maximum of 4 units taken in the Cr/NC grading mode may
be applied to the major from the following courses: BIOL 390,
498, 499. All other courses in the Biology major must be taken
in the traditional grading mode (A-F).
2. A maximum of 7 units from the following list of courses may
be applied to the major: BIOL 390, 393, 494, 495, 496A, 496B,
498, and 499.
General B.A. in Biology
The upper-division major requirements are:
BIOL 320 Integrated Ecology and Evolution
4
BIOL 321 Molecular Biology and Physiology 4
One upper-division Organismal Biology/Diversity course 4
Additional upper-division major electives
20
General B.S. in Biology
The upper-division major requirements are:
B. S.
PHYS 210A, 209A and 210B
(PHYS 114 and 116 may substitute for 210A and 209A)
--
7-8
General Electives
21-22
4
120
120
Total units needed for graduation
* Required for Molecular Cell Biology, and Physiology concentrations only.
4
BIOL 321 Molecular Biology and Physiology 4
One upper-division Organismal Biology/Diversity course 4
Additional upper-division major electives
24
Research Experience (minimum of 3 units)
3
BIOL 494 Independent Research (3) or
BIOL 496A and BIOL 496B Honors Thesis (3-6)
Upper-Division Biology Electives
Biology major electives are upper-division courses beyond those
used to fulfill the upper-division core B.A. and B.S. concentration
specific requirements. Major electives are used to meet the total
upper-division unit requirement for the B.A. or B.S. Major electives
are chosen from the following:
1. Additional courses from the upper-division core areas and
alternative courses in a concentration.
2. Any Biology course numbered greater than 321 (except BIOL
398). This list is subject to revision following this catalog edition. Students should check with their academic advisor for
updates. Seniors may also take graduate courses (500 level)
with permission of the instructor.
Sonoma State University 2015-2016 Catalog
BIOL 320 Integrated Ecology and Evolution
Concentrations in Biology
The following is the approved concentration in the B.A. that will appear on a student’s diploma. The upper-division major requirement
are:
B.A. Zoology Concentration
BIOL 320 Integrated Ecology and Evolution 4
BIOL 321 Molecular Cell Biology and Physiology
4
Four additional upper-division courses
14-16
Additional upper-division major electives
8-11
Biology
Page 65
The following are approved concentrations in the B.S. that will appear on a student’s diploma. The upper-division major requirements
for each are:
B. S. Molecular Cell Biology Concentration
For admission to most health profession schools, regardless of
major, it is typically recommended or required that specific upperdivision biology courses be incorporated into the B.A. or B.S. degree.
These include:
BIOL 320 Integrated Ecology and Evolution 4
BIOL 321 Molecular Cell Biology and Physiology
4
BIOL 344 Cell Biology
4
One upper-division Organismal Biology/Diversity course 4
BIOL 325 Molecular and Cellular Lab Techniques 1
BIOL 349 Animal Physiology
BIOL 342 Molecular Genetics
4
BIOL 472 Developmental Biology
Research Experience (minimum of 3 units)
3
BIOL 480 Immunology
BIOL 494 Independent Research (3) or
BIOL 496A and 496B Honors Thesis (3-6)
Additional upper-division major electives
10
B. S. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Concentration
BIOL 320 Integrated Ecology and Evolution
4
BIOL 321 Molecular Cell Biology and Physiology 4
BIOL 333 Ecology
4
BIOL 341 Evolution
4
One upper-division Organismal Biology/Diversity course 4
Research Experience (minimum of 3 units)
3
BIOL 342 Molecular Genetics
BIOL 344 Cell Biology
An upper-division biochemistry course (e.g. CHEM 446) is often required/
recommended.
Minor in Biology
The minor consists of a minimum of 20 units in the Department of
Biology. The purpose of the minor is to provide a student with a rigorous background in biology that supplements the student’s major.
Students must develop a program in consultation with a faculty
advisor in the Biology Department. Requirements of the Biology
Minor are:
8
BIOL 130 (4)
BIOL 496A and 496B Honors Thesis (3-6)
Additional upper-division major electives
16
BIOL 131 (4)
Additional units in Biology
B. S. Marine Biology Concentration
BIOL 320 Integrated Ecology and Evolution
4
BIOL 321 Molecular Cell Biology and Physiology 4
One upper-division Organismal Biology/Diversity course 4
BIOL 332 Marine Biology
3
14-16
Additional upper-division major electives
Research Experience (minimum of 3 units)
3
BIOL 496A and 496B Honors Thesis (3-6)
B. S. Physiology Concentration
BIOL 320 Integrated Ecology and Evolution
4
BIOL 321 Molecular Cell Biology and Physiology 4
One upper-division Organismal Biology/Diversity course Additional upper-division requirements
12
At least eight units must be upper-division courses for majors and at
least one course must have a laboratory. One GE course in Biology,
one unit of Biology Colloquium (BIOL 390), or a third lower-division
Biology major’s course may also be applied. All courses applied to the
minor must be taken for a letter grade, except BIOL 390.
5-7
BIOL 494 Independent Research (3) or
4
16
Additional upper-division major electives
8
Research Experience (minimum of 3 units)
3
BIOL 494 Independent Research (3) or
BIOL 496A and 496B Honors Thesis (3-6)
Preparation for Applying to Health Professions Programs
Students majoring in biology and intending to pursue careers in the
health care profession may follow the guidelines for a B.S. degree, or
a B.A. degree with the addition of MATH 161, CHEM 335B and 336A,
and PHYS 210AB and 209AB. They are encouraged to enroll in SCI
150, Introduction to Careers in the Health Professions, during their
first fall semester.
Page 66Biology
BIOL 340 General Bacteriology
Two lower-division major’s courses listed below
BIOL 494 Independent Research (3) or
Additional upper-division requirements
BIOL 328 Vertebrate Evolutionary Morphology
Master of Science in Biology
The Master of Science degree in the Department of Biology is a thesis program. Students complete 30 units of course work, which may
include classroom courses in addition to mentor-supervised research
units, to master the concepts and techniques in their chosen area.
They also conduct original research under the direction of a member
of the graduate faculty and write up their findings as a Master’s
Thesis.
Graduate students in the Department of Biology are supported
through a variety of sources. The Department has a limited number
of paid teaching associate positions available each semester. The
University offers a limited number of tuition fee waivers for qualified teaching associates. In addition, students may receive research
associate positions through their faculty mentor’s research grants.
Students can also obtain academic scholarships and financial aid.
Faculty in the Biology Graduate Program are actively involved in
research in a wide range of disciplines, including ecology and restoration ecology, evolutionary biology, molecular and cell biology,
Sonoma State University 2015-2016 Catalog
biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, functional morphology,
marine biology, and primatology.
Graduates find themselves with an enhanced understanding of
biology and first-hand experience in the practice of science. Many
M.S. students go on to doctoral programs; others pursue careers in
teaching, research, environmental consulting, resource management,
industry and health care professions.
D. Upper-division coursework demonstrating competence
in three of four core areas (organismal biology; physiology; molecular or cellular biology; ecology or evolutionary
biology);
Admission to the Program
G. Evidence in letters of recommendation of potential for
conducting independent and original research in Biology.
To apply, you must submit: A) items 1-2 (listed below) to SSU
Admissions and Records Office and B) copies of items 1-2 and originals of items 3-5 to the Department of Biology Graduate Coordinator.
The application deadline in the department is January 31 for Fall
semester admission and October 31 for Spring semester admission.
1. Complete an online University application via CSU Mentor (www.
csumentor.edu) NOTE: After you submit online, be sure to print a
hardcopy to send to the Department of Biology.
E. GPA of 3.00 or higher in the last 60 units;
F. A score at or above the 50th percentile on each section of
the General Examination of the GRE; and
Admission requirements, policies, and other information related to
the Master’s Degree program in Biology can be found at:
www.sonoma.edu/biology/graduate/
Sample Four-Year Program for
Bachelor’s Degree in Biology
2. Official copies of all undergraduate transcripts.
FRESHMAN YEAR: 30-32 Units
3. One-to-two page Statement of Purpose essay detailing your
background in biology, objectives for graduate school and
career goals.
Fall Semester (16 Units)
CHEM 115A (B1) (5) CHEM 115B (B1) (5)
4. Two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with
your background in biology and able to comment on your
potential for conducting original work.
GE A2, A3, or C3 (4)
GE A2, A3, or C3 (4)
5. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for the General test.
Biology Subject scores are recommended, but not required.
IMPORTANT: A completed application package must be received in the
Admissions and Records Office, and by the Graduate Coordinator in
Biology, before an applicant will be considered for admission.
BIOL 130 (B2) (4) BIOL 131 (B2) (4)
GE Electives (3)
GE Electives (1-3)
SOPHOMORE YEAR: 28-30 Units
Fall Semester (12-14 Units)
II. Acceptance by a biology graduate faculty member to serve
as a faculty advisor. Students should contact their potential
faculty advisor prior to completing an application and refer to
this communication in the Statement of Purpose.
III. Approval of the Graduate Committee. Applications will be
reviewed for evidence that the prospective student is capable
of initiating and performing original research. Applicants deficient in undergraduate course preparation will be expected to
demonstrate competency before being advanced to candidacy.
As a general guideline, the Department of Biology uses the
following criteria to determine this potential:
Spring Semester (16 Units)
BIOL 320 (4)
BIOL 321 (4)
CHEM 335A (3)
MATH 165 (4)
ENGL 101 (A2) (4) Support Course (4)
GE Electives (1-3)
GE Electives (4)
Admission to the program requires:
I. Meeting California State University admissions requirements.
Spring Semester (14-16 Units)
JUNIOR YEAR: 28-33 Units
Fall Semester (16-17 Units)
Spring Semester (14-16 Units)
Two BIOL UD Electives (8)
GE (4) Two BIOL UD Electives (8)
Support Course or BIOL UD Electives (3-4)
Support Course (4-5)
GE (3-4)
SENIOR YEAR: 30-35 Units
Fall Semester (15-17 Units)
Spring Semester (15-18 Units)
BIOL UD Electives (9-13)
BIOL UD Electives (12-14)
Support Course (3)
GE (3-4)
GE (3-4)
TOTAL UNITS: 120
An undergraduate degree in biology or equivalent, including:
A. One course in calculus or statistics;
B. One year of general chemistry and one semester of organic chemistry;
C. At least one other course in physical sciences;
Sonoma State University 2015-2016 Catalog
Biology
Page 67
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