The Biology major is designed for students with a broad interest in biology who desire to pursue careers in a wide range of biological and related fields. It provides students with excellent background preparation for postgraduate training in medicine and other health sciences, in tracks leading to academic and public service careers in biology, in biological industries, and even in nonbiological careers such as business, agriculture, and law. Emphasis is on breadth of training to expose students to all levels of modern biology.
The Biology major has the following learning outcomes:
- Broad understanding of basic biology concepts and principles across different levels of biological organization, from molecules to ecosystems
- Effective oral and written communication of scientific information
- Demonstrated understanding of the processes involved in new knowledge generation, including the scientific method, data collection, and data analysis
- Ability to critically evaluate scientific concepts presented in diverse media, from scientific articles to the popular press
Preparation for the Major
Life Sciences Core Curriculum
Required: Chemistry and Biochemistry 14A, 14B, 14BL, 14C, and 14D, or 20A, 20B, 20L, 30A, 30AL, and 30B; Life Sciences 30A, 30B, and 40 or Statistics 13, or Mathematics 3A, 3B, 3C, and Life Sciences 40 or Statistics 13, or Mathematics 31A, 31B, 32A, and Life Sciences 40 or Statistics 13; Physics 1A, 1B, 1C, 4AL, and 4BL, or 5A, 5B, and 5C.
Students must also complete one of two life sciences sequences — either Life Sciences 1, 2, 3, 4, and 23L, or 7A, 7B, 7C, and 23L. They may not substitute courses in either sequence.
Each core curriculum course must be passed with a grade of C− or better, and all courses must be completed with an overall grade-point average of 2.0 or better. Students receiving a grade below C− in two core curriculum courses, either in separate courses or repetitions of the same course, are subject to dismissal from the major.
Transfer applicants to the Biology major with 90 or more units must complete the following introductory courses prior to admission to UCLA: one year of general biology with laboratory for majors, preferably equivalent to Life Sciences 1 and 2, or 7A, 7B, and 7C, one year of calculus, one year of general chemistry with laboratory for majors, and one semester of organic chemistry with laboratory. A second semester of organic chemistry or one year of calculus-based physics is strongly recommended but not required for admission.
Refer to the UCLA transfer admission guide for up-to-date information regarding transfer selection for admission.
Students must complete the following courses:
- Chemistry and Biochemistry 153A
- At least 8 units (two courses) from Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 100, 109, 116, 120 or 185, 121. Students with credit for course 120 cannot also take course 185
- At least 8 laboratory units (two courses) from Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 100L, 101, 103, 105, 109L, 110, 111, 112, 113AL, 114A, 115, 117, 128, 136, 144, 162L, 170, CM173, C174, 181. For courses 100L, 109L, 113AL, and 162L to be applied, the corresponding lecture course must be completed. Four units from the Field Biology Quarter or Marine Biology Quarter may be applied, and one course from Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology C150/150AL or Physiological Science 166 may be included. Students with credit for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 170 cannot also take Physiological Science 166
- At least 8 units (two courses) from Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 100, 101, 103, 105, 107, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113A, 113AL, 114A, 115, 116, 117, C119A, C119B, 120, 121, 122, C126, M127 (or Environment M127 or Geography M127), 128, 129, 130, M131 (or Geography M117), 133, C135, 136, 137, M139 (or Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences M105), 142, 144, M145 (or Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences M118), 151A, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 160, 161, 162, 170, C172, CM173 (or Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences CM173), C174, 175, 176, M178 (or Bioengineering CM186 or Computational and Systems Biology M186 or Computer Science CM186), C179, 180A (counts as one-half course), 180B, 181, 185, 186, 187, 198A and 198B (must take both), 199 (4 units), Life Sciences 107 (students with credit for Life Sciences 4 cannot take Life Sciences 107), Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology 138, 165A. Eight units from the Field Biology Quarter or Marine Biology Quarter may be included, and any departmental course not applied under item 2 or 3 above may be applied in this category. Students with credit for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 120 cannot also take course 185
- At least 12 units (three courses) from Anthropology 120 and/or one course from 124P, 124S, or 128P, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences M105 (or Ecology and Evolutionary Biology M139) or one course from 102, 103, 104, or 130, Biostatistics 100B, chemistry (except Chemistry and Biochemistry 188SA through 199; Chemistry and Biochemistry 153L is strongly recommended), Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences 116, ecology and evolutionary biology (except Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 188SA through 196), Geography 112 and/or one course from 108 or 111, Human Genetics CM124 (same as Computer Science CM124), C144 or one course from Biomedical Research 100HA, 100HB, or 100HC, Life Sciences 107 (students with credit for Life Sciences 4 cannot take Life Sciences 107), mathematics (except Mathematics 105A, 105B, 105C, 106, 188SA through 199), microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics (except Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics 188SA through 199), molecular, cell, and developmental biology (except Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology 190A through 199D), Neuroscience M101A (or Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology M175A or Physiological Science M180A or Psychology M117A), M101B (or Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology M175B or Physiological Science M180B or Psychology M117B), M101C (or Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology M175C or Physiological Science M180C or Psychology M117C), 102, M130 (or Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology M181 or Physiological Science M181 or Psychiatry M181 or Psychology M117J), physics (except Physics 188SA through 199), physiological science (except Physiological Science 188SA through 199), Psychology 115. Any remaining units from the Field Biology Quarter or Marine Biology Quarter not applied in item 3 or 4 may be applied and any course not applied under item 2, 3, or 4 above may be included in this category
A maximum of 8 units of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 198 series or 4 units of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 199 may be applied toward the major. Credit for 199 courses from other departments may not be applied.
With consent of the instructors and department, students may enroll in 200-level courses and apply them toward major requirements.
Each course applied toward requirements for preparation for the major and the major must be taken for a letter grade. Biology majors must earn a C− or better in each course taken as preparation for the major, and at least a 2.0 (C) overall average in all courses applied toward the major. Courses applied to upper-division major requirements must have a minimum of 4 units. A six-unit course counts as one course on the requirements for the major.