Life Sciences

Scope and Objectives

Students who wish to study life sciences have a choice of eight majors, all of which lead to a Bachelor of Science degree: Biology, Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution, and Marine Biology (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department), Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics (Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics Department), Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology (Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology Department), Neuroscience (Neuroscience Interdepartmental Program), Physiological Science (Integrative Biology and Physiology Department), and Psychobiology (Psychology Department). This choice reflects the diversity of undergraduate instruction in life sciences at UCLA. Despite this diversity, all of these majors require a common core of introductory courses that forms the foundation for any study of life sciences and that is required for more advanced courses in each major. The common core includes courses in chemistry, physics, and mathematics, as well as introductory courses in evolution and biodiversity, cellular and organismal biology, molecular biology, and genetics. During the first two years, students may also gain experience in a research laboratory through the Student Research Program. For more information on each major, see the individual departments in this chapter. For additional information on the Life Sciences core curriculum, see the curriculum website.

Students considering one of the life sciences majors are encouraged to declare a major as early as possible, even in their first year. In this way, they are identified by the life sciences advising offices and receive important curricular and other information. Because the core curriculum prepares them for any of the eight majors, they have the flexibility to switch to another life sciences major at any time during their progression through the core curriculum. Note: The Marine Biology and Psychobiology majors may require some courses in addition to the life sciences core curriculum as part of the preparation. Consult the course requirements for both majors.