BS in Biological Science (Cell and Molecular Biology)

Units required for Major: 73-85, includes units of study in chosen concentration (see below).
Total units required for BS: 120

Program Description

The concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology is designed for students interested in advanced studies at the Masters or Ph.D. level, students pursuing career working in biotechnology, or pre-health professions majors pursuing a fundamental understanding of the bimolecular basis of disease. Students completing the degree requirements for the Cell and Molecular Biology concentration also fulfills the requirements for a minor in Chemistry.

Program Requirements

Required Lower Division Core Courses (37-41 Units)
BIO 1Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology 15
BIO 2Cells, Molecules and Genes5
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry I 15
CHEM 1BGeneral Chemistry II5
Select one of the following:3 - 6
Organic Chemistry Lecture--Brief Course 2
Organic Chemistry Lecture I
Organic Chemistry Lecture II
Select one of the following:3 - 4
Calculus I for the Social and Life Sciences
Calculus I
PHYS 5AGeneral Physics: Mechanics, Heat, Sound4
PHYS 5BGeneral Physics: Light, Electricity and Magnetism, Modern Physics4
STAT 1Introduction to Statistics 13
Required Upper Division Core Courses (7 Units)
BIO 100Introduction to Scientific Analysis3
BIO 184General Genetics4
Concentration (29-37 Units)
Select from the following concentrations:29 - 37
General Biology
Biomedical Sciences
Cell and Molecular Biology
Clinical Laboratory Sciences
Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation
Forensic Biology
Total Units73-85


  • Pre-Health Professional students should take the Chemistry and Math requirements as stated in the Pre-Health Professional Program section of this catalog.
  • With approval, up to six units of upper division coursework from related fields may be applied as electives in the major.

Concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology (34-36 units)

Required Courses (25-27 Units)
BIO 121Molecular Cell Biology3
BIO 180Advanced Molecular Biology4
BIO 187Advanced Cell Biology4
BIO 188Evolution3
CHEM 20LIntroductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory1 - 3
or CHEM 25 Organic Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 31Quantitative Analysis4
CHEM 161General Biochemistry 13
CHEM 162General Biochemistry Laboratory 23
Elective Courses (9 Units)
Select one of the following:4
Comparative Vertebrate Morphology
Developmental Biology
Plant Anatomy and Physiology
Systemic Physiology
Select one of the following Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity electives:3
Part A: Biodiversity Electives
Plants and Civilization
Plant Taxonomy
Medical Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases
The Diversity of Microorganisms
Human Parasitology
General Entomology
Ichthyology: The Study of Fishes
Amphibians and Reptiles: An Introduction to Herpetology
Part B: Ecology and Evolution Electives
Evolution and Speciation in Flowering Plants
Natural Resource Conservation
General Ecology
Animal Behavior
Principles of Fisheries Biology
Conservation Biology & Wildlife Management
Select additional upper division electives in consultation with an advisor to total 9 units.2
Total Units34-36
  • No more than 3 units from the following combined can be applied to the Biological Sciences upper division major requirement.  No more than 2 units of Bio 195 and 197 series courses may be used to count toward the degree.

BIO 195Biological Internship1 - 2
BIO 197ALaboratory Teaching Assistant1 - 2
BIO 197BLaboratory Techniques1 - 2
BIO 197CCo-curricular Activities in Biology1 - 2
BIO 199AIntroductory Undergraduate Research1 - 2
BIO 199BDirected Readings1 - 2

General Education Requirements1

Area A: Basic Subjects (9 Units)
A1 - Oral Communication3
A2 - Written Communication3
A3 - Critical Thinking3
Area B: Physical Universe and Its Life Forms
B1 - Physical Science 20
B2 - Life Forms 20
B3 - Lab (Note: Lab experience to be taken with one of the following: B1, B2 or B5) 20
B4 - Math Concepts 20
B5 - Additional Course (Any B to reach 12 units) - Take upper-division course to complete Area & upper division requirements. 20
Area C: Arts and Humanities (12 Units)
C1 - Arts3
C2 - Humanities3
C1/C2 - Area C Course3
C1/C2 - Area C Course - Take upper-division course to complete Area & upper division requirements.3
Area D: The Individual and Society (9 Units)
Area D Course3
Area D Course3
Area D Course - Take upper-division course to complete Area & upper division requirements.3
Area E: Understanding Personal Development (3 Units)
Area E Course3
Area F: Ethnic Studies (3 Units)
Area F Course3
Total Units36

Graduation Requirements1

Graduation Requirements (required by CSU) (9 Units)
American Institutions: U.S. History3
American Institutions: U.S. Constitution & CA Government3
Writing Intensive (WI)3
Graduation Requirements (required by Sacramento State) (12 Units)
English Composition II3
Race and Ethnicity in American Society (RE)3
Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement 26