Biology Degrees

Associate in Science Degree for Transfer Degree in Biology

The Associate in Science in Biology for Transfer degree (AS-T in Biology) is a 60-unit program which provides students the lower division coursework required for transfer to a CSU institution for the major in Biology. Students who complete the AS-T in Biology will be able to communicate core biological principles both orally and in writing. These principles include but ar e not limited to the following; the procedures of the scientific method, the results of experiments, and their analysis of biological problems; the setup of experiments implementing the scientific method, collection and analysis of data, identification of sources of errors, and interpretation of results; use of critical thinking and observational skills when applying knowledge of biological principles and concepts to novel problems, demonstration of knowledge of the relationship between structure and function in biological systems; understanding of how principles of evolution by natural selection impact living systems, how information stored in DNA is transmitted and expressed in biological systems, and how conversion of matter and energy are fundamental in living systems. Students must complete the following requirements:

  • A minimum of 60 semester or 90 quarter CSU transferable units
  • the California State University-General Education-Breadth pattern (CSU GE-Breadth); OR the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) pattern.
  • a minimum of 18 semester or 27 quarter units in the major or area of emphasis as determined by the community college district.
  • obtainment of a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0
  • earn a grade of C or better in all courses required for the major or area of emphasis.

Students are not required to complete the information competency requirements, PE requirements or cultural diversity requirements found in other degrees at the College.

Required Core Courses (9 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
BIOL 40 Organismal Biology 4 units
BIOL 43 Principles of Cell Biology 5 units

List A (25 units)

Students should take either PHYS 2A and PHYS 2B OR PHYS 4A and PHYS 4B.

Course Number Course Title Units
CHEM 1A General Chemistry 5 units
CHEM 1B General Chemistry 5 units
MATH 3A Calculus and Analytical Geometry 5 units
PHYS 2A General Physics - Mechanics 5 units
PHYS 2B General Physics – Electricity and Magnetism 5 units
OR
PHYS 4A Engineering Physics – Mechanics 5 units
PHYS 4B Engineering Physics – Electricity and Magnetism 5 units

Major Requirements: 34 units

CSU GE Breadth or IGETC for CSU Requirements: 37 – 39 units

Elective Units As Needed To Total 60 CSU Transferable Units

Fall, Year 1 (9 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
BIOL 40 Organismal Biology 4 units
MATH 3A Calculus and Analytic Geometry 5 units

Spring, Year 1 (5 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
CHEM 1A General Chemistry 5 units

Fall, Year 2 (10 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
CHEM 1B General Chemistry 5 units
PHYS 2A General Physics - Mechanics 5 units

Spring, Year 2 (10 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
BIOL 43 Principles of Cell Biology 5 units
PHYS 2B General Physics - Electricity and Magnetism 5 units

Required Major Total: 34 units

Associate of Science Degree in Biological Science

The Associate of Science in Biological Sciences program supports students wishing to transfer whose academic pathways include a variety of biological based degrees, ranging from health sciences to zoology, or students who wish to grow in their critical thinking and analytical abilities that are present in the Biological Sciences or other disciplines. Upon completion of the program students should demonstrate the ability to apply the scientific method; use critical thinking and/or utilize observational skills to apply biological knowledge to a novel problem; exhibit proper use of laboratory and/or field equipment, techniques and/or technology. Students should demonstrate understanding of basic principles of biology such as, cell theory, genetics, evolution by natural selection, patterns of forms and function, conversion of matter and energy in biological systems, and understand the background of current issues related to health and the environment so they may make informed decisions. The Biological Sciences support a wide array of transfer majors. Students should consult counselors at both West Valley College and their transfer institutions to determine the Biological Sciences A.S. course pathway most suitable for the degree they seek.

After completing an Associate of Science degree in Biology, a student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate proper use of laboratory equipment, techniques and/or technology commonly employed in the field of Biology
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and observational skills by applying knowledge of biological principles and concepts to a novel problem
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the scientific method by applying to a laboratory problem

Required Core Classes (15 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
BIOL 41 Principles of Animal Biology 5 units
BIOL 42 Principles of Plant Biology 5 units
BIOL 43 Principles of Cells 5 units
BIOL 45 Microbiology 5 units
BIOL 47 Human Anatomy 5 units
BIOL 48 Human Physiology 5 units

Electives List A (2 Courses Different from Above)

Course Number Course Title Units
BIOL 2 Environmental Biology 3 units
  AND  
BIOL 2L Environmental Biology Laboratory 1 unit
BIOL 10 Introduction to Biology 3 units
  AND  
BIOL 10L Introduction to Biology Lab 1 unit
BIOL 11 Human Biology 4 units
BIOL 12 Introduction to Ecology and Wildlife 4 units
BIOL 13 Natural History of California 3 units
BIOL 14 California Plants and Animals 4 units
BIOL 18 Marine Biology 4 units
BIOL 22 Genetics 4 units
BIOL 23 Introduction to Infectious Diseases 3 units
BIOL 24 Bio in the News 3 units
BIOL 25 Lab Technician Methods 2 units
BIOL 27 Scientific Literacy and Technical Writing 1 unit
BIOL 35 Biology of Birds 4 units
BIOL 36 Animal Behavior 3 units
BIOL 37 Evolution - Life on Earth 3 units
BIOL 38 Biodiversity and Extinction: Hotspots, Crisis and Conservation 3 units
BIOL 40 Organismal Biology 4 units
BIOL 41 Principles of Animal Biology 5 units
BIOL 42 Principles of Plant Biology 5 units
BIOL 43 Principles of Cell Biology 5 units
BIOL 45 Microbiology units
BIOL 47 Human Anatomy 5 units
BIOL 48 Human Physiology 5 units
BIOL 50 Human Cadaver Dissection 1 unit
BIOL 55 Biology of Sex 3 units
BIOL 56 Ecology of the Sierra Nevada 3 units
BIOL 58 Field Ecology 3 units
BIOL 59 Climate Change 3 units

Electives List B (Minimum 1 Course)

Course Number Course Title Units
CHEM 1A General Chemistry 5 units
CHEM 30A Fundamentals of Chemistry 4 units 

Total Major Units: 21–30 units

To be awarded an A.S. Degree in the above, a student must:

  1. Achieve a grade of “C” or better in the major requirements
  2. Complete additional units to meet the college graduation requirements

Students should choose those general education requirements which may apply both toward graduation requirements of the college and toward the bachelor’s degree requirement at the four-year institution to which he/she plans to transfer.

Fall, Year 1 (5-10 units)

List A Course, List B Course

Spring, Year 1 (6-10 units)

List A Course, Core Course

Fall, Year 2 (5 units)

Core Course

Spring, Year 2 (5 units)

Core Course

Required Core: 15 units

Electives Total: 6-15 units

Required Major Total: 21-30 units

Associate of Science Degree in Ecology, Biodiversity, and Conservation

The goals of the Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation transfer degree are to educate students in diverse areas of ecological and environmental science in order to understand conservation of the biodiversity found in the natural world. Students will receive a broad overview of topics such as ecological patterns, biodiversity, extinction, conservation, and evolution. The degree may exceed 60 units if students select higher unit courses.

Through this transfer degree, the student will develop the ability to think logically, analyze data, apply critical thinking and scientific methodology, and develop problem-solving skills necessary for success in any field of study. The Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation major is transferable to four-year universities where students have the opportunity to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Environmental Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Marine Biology, Evolution and Ecology, Integrative Biology, Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity, Environmental Science, Ecology, Behavior and Evolution, Conservation Biology, Wildlife Management, Conservation and Resource Studies.

  • Agricultural Biologist
  • Biochemist
  • Biologist
  • Botanist
  • Entomologist
  • Environmental Specialist
  • Fish and Game Technical Aide
  • Fish and Game Warden
  • Forester
  • Horticulturist
  • Habitat Restoration
  • Ecologist
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Marine Biologist
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Park Naturalist/Ranger
  • Research Assistant
  • Conservation Biologist
  • Researcher
  • Scientific Illustrator
  • Educator
  • Technical/Science Writer
  • Naturalist
  • Park Management
  • Veterinarian
  • Wildlife Specialist
  • Zoo Curator
  • Zoologist
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Policy and Management
  • Green Technology
After completing an A.S. in Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation, a student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the scientific method by applying to a laboratory problem.
  • Apply proper use of laboratory equipment, techniques and/or technology commonly employed in the field of biology.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and/ or observational skills by applying knowledge of biological principles and concepts to a novel problem.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the relationship between the structure of a biological component (such as an organism or ecological system) and its function.
  • Analyze and illustrate how evolution by natural selection can be seen at every level in the hierarchy of life.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of how biological systems depend on obtaining, converting and releasing energy and matter
  • Evaluate and demonstrate ability to make informed decisions pertaining to the environment.

Required Core Courses (14-20 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
BIOL 2 Environmental Biology 3 units
  OR  
BIOL 37 Evolution – Life on Earth 3 units
  OR  
BIOL 38 Biodiversity and Extinction: Hotspots, Crisis, and Conservation 3 units
BIOL 12 Introduction to Ecology and Wildlife 4 units
BIOL 13 Natural History of California 3 units
  OR  
BIOL 14 California Plants and Animals 4 units
BIOL 41 Principles of Animal Biology 5 units
  AND  
BIOL 42 Principles of Plant Biology 5 units
  OR  
BIOL 40 Organismal Biology 4 units

List A (2 Courses Different from Above)

Course Number Course Title Units
BIOL 2 Environmental Biology 3 units
BIOL 13 Natural History of California 3 units
  OR  
BIOL 14 California Plants and Animals 4 units
BIOL 18 Marine Biology 4 units
BIOL 22 Genetics 4 units
BIOL 24 Contemporary Biology 3 units
BIOL 35 Biology of Birds 4 units
BIOL 36 Animal Behavior 3 units
BIOL 37 Evolution - Life on Earth 3 units
BIOL 38 Biodiversity and Extinction: Hotspots, Crisis and Conservation 3 units
BIOL 43 Principles of Cell Biology 5 units
BIOL 55 Biology of Sex 3 units
BIOL 56 Ecology of the Sierra Nevada 3 units
  OR  
BIOL 58 Field Ecology 3 units
BIOL 59 Climate Change 3 units

List B (Minimum 2 Courses – one may come from List A)

Course Number Course Title Units
ANTH 1 Introduction to Physical Anthropology 3 units
ANTH 3 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 3 units
ARCH 60 Green Building and Sustainable Design 3 units
CHEM 1A General Chemistry 5 units
CHEM 1B General Chemistry 5 units
CHEM 12A Organic Chemistry 5 units
CHEM 12B Organic Chemistry 5 units
CHEM 30A Fundamentals of Chemistry 4 units
CHEM 30B Fundamentals of Chemistry 3 units
COMM 8 Interpersonal Communication 3 units
GEOG 1 Intro Physical Geography 3 units
GEOL 1A Physical Geology 4 units
GEOL 15 Geology of California 3 units
GEOL 20 Field Geology 2 units
HIST 14 History of the Native North Americans 3 units
MATH 3A Calculus and Analytical Geometry 5 units
MATH 10 Elementary Statistics 4 units
OCEA 10 Introduction to Oceanography 4 units
PMGT 15B Natural and Cultural Resource Interpretation 3 units
PMGT 16A Introduction to Geospatial Technology 3 units
PMGT 16B Mobile GIS 3 units
PHYS 4A Engineering Physics - Mechanics 5 units
PHYS 4B Engineering Physics - Electricity and Magnetism 5 units
PHYS 4C Engineering Physics-Light, Heat and Waves 5 units
PHIL 3 Introduction to Ethics 3 units
PHIL 17 Logic and Critical Reasoning 3 units
PSYC 1 General Psychology 3 units
PSYC 17 Introduction to Social Psychology 3 units
SOCI 1 Introduction to Sociology 3 units
SOCI 2 Social Problems 3 units

Total Major Units: 25-40 units

Fall, Year 1 (3 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
BIOL 2  Environmental Biology 3 units
BIOL 37 Evolution - Life on Earth 3 units
BIOL 38 Biodiversity and Extinction: Hotspots, Crisis and Conservation 3 units

Spring, Year 1 (3-4 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
BIOL 12 Introduction to Ecology and Wildlife 4 units

Spring, Year 1 (4-5 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
BIOL 13  Natural History of California 3 units
BIOL 14 California Plants and Animals 4 units

Fall, Year 2 (9 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
BIOL 41 Principles of Animal Biology 5 units
BIOL 40 Organismal Biology 5 units

Spring, Year 2 (4-5 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
BIOL 42   units
BIOL 40   units

Elective Courses: 4 Courses

Choose two courses from list A (different from your core choices)

Choose two or more courses from list B (one may come from list A)

Multiple options; see your counselor.

Required Major Total: 14-21 units

Electives Total: 25-40 units

Biotech Lab Technician Certificate of Achievement

This program is designed to provide students with the technical skills and knowledge to obtain a certificate in pursuit of a career in the field of biotechnology. This certificate is designed to provide the education and technical experience necessary for employment in pharmaceutical companies, genetics companies, medical technology companies, and biotechnical companies, all of which require employees to have a background in biology, chemistry, and math.

Upon completion of the certificate, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate proper use of laboratory equipment, techniques and/or technology commonly employed in the field of biology.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the scientific method by applying to a laboratory problem.

Students who successfully complete the certificate will be prepared for employment as a lab technician, lab assistant, or quality control officer in biotech companies and similar industries in the Bay Area and elsewhere.

Required Courses (4 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
BIOL 10 Introduction to Biology 3 units
  AND  
BIOL 10L Introduction to Biology Lab 1 unit
  OR  
BIOL 011 Human Biology 4 units

Complete the following courses (13 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
CHEM 30A Fundamentals of Chemistry 4 units
BIOL 45 Microbiology 5 units
BIOL 27 Scientific Literacy and Technical Writing 1 unit
BIOL 26 Certified Quality Improvement 1 unit
BIOL 25 Lab Technician Methods 2 units

Total Certificate Units: 17 units

Fall, Year 1 (8 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
BIOL 10 Introduction to Biology 3 units
AND
BIOL 10L Introduction to Biology Lab 1 unit
CHEM 30A Fundamentals of Chemistry 4 units

Spring, Year 1 (9 Units)

Course Number Course Title Units
BIOL 25 Lab Technician Methods 2 units
BIOL 26 Certified Quality Improvement 1 unit
BIOL 27 Scientific Literacy and Technical Writing 1 unit
BIOL 45 Microbiology 5 units
Last Updated 12/9/19