May 28, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs and Degrees


Program Description for Undergraduate Majors

Biology is the study of life, its origins, diversity and intricacies. It emphasizes the relationship between structure and function in living systems and the processes by which organisms grow, reproduce and interact with each other and their environment. The Biology Program provides its undergraduate and graduate students with a strong theoretical foundation in biology, combined with extensive hands-on laboratory experiences using state-of-the-art technology. Students take a series of core courses augmented by electives selected from areas of special interest.


The Bachelor of Science in Biology provides breadth and depth in biology and supporting sciences and is designed for students who wish to enter health professional (e.g., medical, dental, veterinary, pharmacy) programs, graduate schools in all aspects of biology, or seek careers in business, industry or government. By following course roadmaps that align with their interests and career goals, students can choose electives that prepare them for careers in biotechnology, natural resources, conservation, education or for entry into certification programs in health-related fields (including medical imaging, clinical laboratory science, and public health microbiology).

The Bachelor of Arts degree provides a general background in both the concepts and the technical skills of modern biology and is designed for students seeking a more flexible degree program. Within the Bachelor of Arts program, students can choose to follow an elective course roadmap required for entering a single subject credential program in science for teaching at the high school and middle school levels. Additional courses in geology, astronomy, and chemistry are recommended to meet the breadth requirements for credential programs.

The Biology Minor provides non-majors with a background in biology necessary for many graduate and professional programs. Equipped with a minor in biology, students with majors in other disciplines will have a greater understanding and knowledge of the latest advances in many areas of biology and will therefore be more versatile in their career paths. The requirement for a Minor in Biology is 21 units.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from the Biology program will be able to:

  • Explain the basic structures and fundamental processes of life at molecular, cellular and organismal levels;
  • Identify the evolutionary processes that lead to adaptation and biological diversity;
  • Describe the relationship between life forms and their environments and ecosystems;
  • Collect, organize, analyze, interpret and present quantitative and qualitative data and incorporate them into the broader context of biological knowledge;
  • Effectively apply current technology and scientific methodologies for problem solving;
  • Find, select and evaluate various types of scientific information including primary research articles, mass media sources and world-wide web information; and
  • Communicate effectively in written and oral forms.


Amy Denton, Ph.D.
Chair and Professor of Biology
Director, M.S. Biotechnology Program
Aliso Hall, Room 201
(805) 437-8458

Ruben Alarcón, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Aliso Hall, Room 203
(805) 437-2634

Allison Alvarado, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Ojai Hall, Room 1973
(805) 437-8896

Geoff Dilly, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Aliso Hall, Room 204
(805) 437-3726

Erich Fleming, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Aliso Hall, Room 202
(805) 437-3696

Nancy Mozingo, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Aliso Hall, Room 205
(805) 437-8989

Dawn Neuman, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Sage Hall, Room 2037
(805) 437-8441

Nitika Parmar, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Director, Stem Cell Technology Program
Aliso Hall, Room 206
(805) 437-8873


Contact Information

For graduation roadmaps for the B.S. B.A. and M.S. programs in Biology, please visit:

Program Description for Graduate Programs

The Master of Science in Biotechnology & Bioinformatics is a professional degree program designed to meet the needs of biotechnology industry and related public and private agencies and organizations. The program combines rigorous scientific training in interdisciplinary areas in biotechnology, bioinformatics, biomedical engineering and stem cell technology with course work and experience in business management and regulatory affairs. The program includes a set of core courses with three emphases to choose from: biotechnology, biomedical engineering and stem cell technology and laboratory management, and several elective courses.

Biotechnology is centered in the laboratory and employs sophisticated molecular biology techniques for applications in human and animal health, agriculture, environment, and specialty biochemical manufacturing. In this century, the major driving force for biotechnology will be the strategic use of the data derived from large-scale genome sequencing projects. Biomedical engineering is an interdisciplinary field, fusing molecular and cellular life sciences with contents in engineering analysis, design, and synthesis approaches, business management, bioethics, law and regulation, and globalization of biotechnology. It introduces the principles and applications of bioinformatics, biomechanics, biorobotics, biomaterials, nanotechnology, genetics, cellular, tissue and organ engineering, biomedical instrumentation and devices, biosensors, and medical imaging in biological systems. Stem cell technology and laboratory management introduces the current knowledge and highly specialized technical skills in the stem cell field and trains technical and managerial personnel in stem cell research and development. Our approach also includes team projects drawn from biotechnology industries to focus on real-world problems and applications of biological sciences, internships and to inculcate interpersonal as well as problem-solving skills using multiple perspectives.

Graduates from this program will develop analytical, managerial and interpersonal skills along with sophisticated expertise in biotechnology, bioinformatics, biomedical engineering or stem cell technology. They will be ready to make immediate contributions to scientific research and development, management in biotechnological, biomedical, biomedical engineering, and pharmaceutical industries, biotechnology law and regulations, governmental or environmental agencies, research institutes, consulting firms, research and clinical laboratories, private and public health organizations, or education.

Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants must have a BS/BA degree in Biology, Computer Science, Chemistry, Biochemistry, or Mathematics. Alternatively, applicants with a BA/BS degree in any field and equivalent work experiences in one of the above fields may be granted conditional admission, and they must fulfill all conditional requirements before they can be fully classified.
  2. Applicants seeking admission to the professional MS in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics program must be officially accepted into the CI academic program.
  3. Applicants must declare themselves as graduate students in the professional MS degree program in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics.
  4. Applicants for the Stem Cell Technology and Laboratory Management Emphasis must commit to the stem cell technology internship requirement.
  5. Applicants will be evaluated by the Program Admissions Committee which will consider the applicants in the context of the total applicant pool using our general admission standards, including all academic work, GPA, test scores, relevant work experience and other factors that may have a bearing on the individual’s potential for success. The following materials are required for our evaluation and admission process:
    • Applicants must submit their transcript(s) from their undergraduate institution(s), Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test scores or the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores.
    • Applicants who have received their undergraduate degrees from a university where English is not the language of instruction, or have studied fewer than two years at a university where instruction is in English, must submit their Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores for evaluation.
    • Applicants must submit a one page “Statement of Purpose” and two letters of recommendations from people able to judge the applicant’s academic capacity.


    Major(s)Major(s) - AA/AS-T (Transfer Model Curriculum) Degrees OnlyMinor(s)Master(s)Certificate(s)

    Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs and Degrees