Students may earn a Bachelor of Science degree in one of three different majors within the department: Biology (general biology); Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution; and Marine Biology. The majors build on similar lower-division introductory courses and differ primarily in the upper-division requirements. The Biology major is designed for students who desire exposure to a wide range of biological subjects. The remaining two majors — Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution and Marine Biology — provide more specialized instruction and strong preparation for employment or subsequent graduate study in the respective disciplines.
Two of the majors offered in the department are designated capstone majors: Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution and Marine Biology. In both programs students apply theory and technique learned through four years of classroom and laboratory experience to their own independent projects. The main purpose of the capstone is to provide a unique field experience that involves designing and executing a research project. Students are aided in the scientific process of learning about a new ecosystem, developing relevant questions, designing conceptually based projects, troubleshooting and completing the work, and writing a publication-ready manuscript. They are also expected to exhibit strong teamwork, problem-solving, and communication skills.
The department offers two quarter-long programs of advanced courses in field biology: the Field Biology Quarter (FBQ) and the Marine Biology Quarter (MBQ). These programs focus on the biology of organisms living in their natural environments, emphasize independent student research projects, and take place at field sites away from the UCLA campus. The course composition varies somewhat from year to year, but each program always carries 16 units of course credit. The Field Biology Quarter involves some combination of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 103, 113B, 114B, 115, 118, 124A, 124B, 125, C126, 132, 134B, and 151B. The Marine Biology Quarter includes some combination of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 102, 106, 123A, 123B, 147, 148, 163, 164, 165, and 182. The Field and Marine Biology Quarters may occur during fall, winter, or spring quarter, depending on location and faculty participation. To participate, students must enroll in all courses in the respective program. Participants in both programs are selected by personal interview. Information and applications are available in the Undergraduate Advising Office.
An overall grade-point average of 3.4 and a 3.4 in the major are required for graduation with honors. Highest honors are awarded to majors who have a GPA of 3.6 overall and a 3.6 in the major at graduation and who have successfully completed Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 198A and 198B.
Majors in Biology; Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution; and Marine Biology may select a specialization in Computing by (1) satisfying all the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in the specified major, (2) completing Program in Computing 10A, 10B, 10C, 30, and 60, and (3) completing one course from Computer Science CM186, Psychology 186A, or 186B. A grade of C− or better is required in each course, with a combined grade-point average in the specialization of at least 2.0. Students must petition for admission to the program and are advised to do so after completing Program in Computing 10B (petitions should be filed in the Undergraduate Advising Office). Students graduate with a bachelor’s degree in their major and a specialization in Computing.