Catalog 2023-2024

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Biological Sciences

Associate in Science Degree

The Associate in Science in Biological Sciences (AS in Biological Sciences) supports students wishing to transfer into academic pathways that include a variety of biological based degrees, ranging from health sciences and physiology to cell biology, zoology and field biology. This program is designed for students interested in acquiring a solid foundation in basic biology, evolutionary theory, and the scientific method. The Biological Sciences Program is transfer-oriented and prepares students to enter four-year baccalaureate majors at the university level. Students will have the opportunity to develop an 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 current issues related to health and the environment. Those who major in biological sciences can transfer to a four-year university where students have the opportunity to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in a variety of biology specific disciplines, such as Botany, Kinesiology, Molecular Biology, Zoology, Marine Biology, Environmental Sciences, Microbiology, Neurobiology, General Biology, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. 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. Career options for Associate in Science in Biological Sciences degree (AS in Biological Sciences) include but are not limited to: Medical assistant, Pharmaceutical and medical sales, Agricultural and food science technician, Biological technician, Forest and conservation technician, Research assistant, Plant science technician, Docent. Career options in Bachelors in Science degrees in Biological Sciences include but are not limited to: Optometrist, Dentist, Veterinarian, Pharmacist, Physician Assistant, Doctor, Biological Technician, Podiatrist, Occupational Therapist, Wildlife Biologist/Conservationist, Bioinformatic Scientist, Cell and Molecular Biologist, Marine Biologist, Environmental Scientist, Geneticist/Genetic Counselor, Pharmaceutical Developer, Educator, Forensic Scientist.

Major Core Requirements (15 units)

Course NumberCourse TitleUnits
Biology Majors

Principles of Animal Biology
Principles of Plant Biology
Principles of Cell Biology

5 units
5 units
5 units
Health Science Majors

Human Anatomy
Human Physiology

5 units
5 units
5 units

Major Electives List A (2 courses different from above) (2-10 units)

Course NumberCourse TitleUnits
BIOL 002 and BIOL 002L are linked.

Environmental Biology
Environmental Biology Laboratory

3 units
1 unit
BIOL 010 and BIOL 010L must be taken together.

Introduction to Biology
Introduction to Biology Lab

3 units
1 unit
BIOL011Human Biology4 units
BIOL012Introduction to Ecology and Wildlife4 units
BIOL013Natural History of California3 units
BIOL014California Plants and Animals4 units
BIOL018Marine Biology4 units
BIOL022Genetics4 units
BIOL023Introduction to Infectious Diseases3 units
BIOL024Bio in the News3 units
BIOL025Lab Technician Methods2 units
BIOL027Scientific Literacy and Technical Writing1 unit
BIOL035Biology of Birds4 units
BIOL036Animal Behavior3 units
BIOL037Evolution - Life on Earth3 units
BIOL038Biodiversity and Extinction: Hotspots, Crisis and Conservation3 units
BIOL040Organismal Biology4 units
BIOL041Principles of Animal Biology5 units
BIOL042Principles of Plant Biology5 units
BIOL043Principles of Cell Biology5 units
BIOL045Microbiology5 units
BIOL047Human Anatomy5 units
BIOL048Human Physiology5 units
BIOL050Human Cadaver Dissection1 unit
BIOL055Biology of Sex3 units
BIOL056Ecology of the Sierra Nevada3 units
BIOL058Field Ecology3 units
BIOL059Climate Change3 units

Major Electives List B (4-5 units)

Course NumberCourse TitleUnits
Biology Majors

General Chemistry

5 units
Health Science Majors

Fundamentals of Chemistry

4 units

Total Major Units: 21-30 units

To be awarded an Associate Degree, a student must:

  1. Achieve a grade of “C” or better in the major requirements.
  2. Completion of WVC, CSU-Breadth, or IGETC General Education patterns. Students whose goal is to obtain a bachelor’s degree should complete the CSU-Breadth or IGETC General Education pattern.
  3. Complete additional degree applicable units to meet the minimum 60-unit Associate Degree requirements.

Upon successful completion of this program a student will be able to:

  • 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.
  • Demonstrate proper use of laboratory equipment, techniques and/or technology commonly employed in the field of biology.
Last Updated 7/19/23