FAQ for new Biology degree options at CSUSB beginning 2016-2017


Q: What changes to the Biology degree options are occurring?

A: Starting 2016-2017 academic year (AY), the following degree options will no longer be offered: BA in Biology Pre-Med Option, BS in Biology Pre-Med Option, and BA in Biology Integrated Teaching Track (ITT). The degrees offered will be BA in Biology, BS in Biology, BS in Biology Ecology and Evolution Option (EEO), and BS in Biology Western University of Health Sciences DO Articulation Program.

In addition, with the exception of the Western Articulation Program, the new BA and BS degrees (including EEO) will have some important changes. In brief:

  • BA: The number of Biology elective units will decrease from 20 to 16.
  • BS: There is no longer a requirement for CHEM345 or CHEM436A. There is no longer a Group 1 (BIOL354 and BIOL424) or Group 2
  • (BIOL431, and BIOL331 or BIOL342) requirement, although these classes will still be offered and will still count towards Biology elective units. The number of Biology elective units will increase from 19 to 31, and CHEM436A can count towards your Biology elective units. See below regarding CHEM345.
  • BS-EEO: There is no longer a Group 1 (BIOL354 and BIOL424) or Group 2 (BIOL431, and BIOL331 or BIOL342) requirement, although these classes will still be offered and will still count towards Biology elective units. The number of elective units increased from 12 to 18.
  • For all degree options: the list of Group A and Group B electives has changed slightly (a few courses were added and a few courses no longer offered were removed.)

For details, please consult the 2016-2017 CSUSB Course Bulletin when it becomes available (http://bulletin.csusb.edu).

Q: If I enrolled in the university prior to 2016-2017 and am currently declared as BA, BS, or BS-EEO, what will happen?

(this pertains to non-Pre-Med degree options)

A: Starting Fall quarter 2016, you will be automatically transitioned to the new degree option - you will not have to do anything. However, you should check your PAWS report during Fall quarter 2016 to make sure that the degree change has occurred, and that you understand the new graduation requirements, which are less stringent. There will be no fee for this change from the Registrar's Office.

Q: If I enrolled in the university prior to 2016-2017 and am currently declared as BA Pre-Med or BS Pre-Med Option, what will happen?

A: Starting Fall quarter 2016 and ending Nov. 22, 2016 (end of priority registration for Winter 2017), you may opt-in to switch to the new (non-Pre-Med) BA or BS degree options. If you opt-in during this time period, there will be no fee for the degree change from the Registrar's Office. After Nov. 22 you can still change to the new degree options, but you will have to go the Office of the Registrar in University Hall and you will be charged the standard $6 fee for switching degree options. Note that for the fee waiver, you may switch from BA Pre-Med to BA or BS, and you may switch from BS Pre-Med to BA or BS, but you may not switch from any Pre-Med option to the EEO (that is, you may still switch to EEO but you will not qualify for the fee waiver). You should check your PAWS report during Winter quarter 2017 to make sure that the degree change has occurred, and that you understand the new graduation requirements, which are less stringent.

Q: If I am currently declared as one of the Pre-Med options and I wish to opt-in to the new (non-Pre Med) BA or BS degree options, how do I do that?

A: Starting Fall quarter of 2016, go to https://www.csusb.edu/registrar/evaluations/change-major to download the pdf form or use the online form. Sign up for this will end Nov. 22, 2016, after which if you wish to switch to the new BA or BS you will need to go to the Registrar's Office on the first floor of University Hall and pay the $6 fee.

Q: Can I elect to stay with my BA Pre-Med or BS Pre-Med degree option?

A: Yes, but we strongly advise you to switch to the new BA and BS options, as it will allow you far greater flexibility in completing your degree, which means that you will likely graduate more quickly. When applying to medical schools, having "Pre-Med" in your degree will not give you any competitive advantage.

Q: If I enrolled in the university prior to 2016-2017 and am currently declared as BA-ITT or BS Western Articulation Program, what will happen?

A: Your degree option will remain as before. No changes will occur.

Q: If I enrolled in the university prior to 2016-2017 and am currently declared as BS or BS Pre-Med Option, and previously I took CHEM345 Quantitative Analysis to meet my upper division chemistry requirement, is that now a wasted class?

A: No. Any Biology student who took CHEM345 prior to 2016-2017 to fulfill their BS or BS Pre-Med degree requirements will automatically have CHEM345 substituted as CHEM436A for the purposes of their degree audit. Be sure to check your PAWS report to see that this has been implemented.

Q: Will CHEM345 Quantitative Analysis count as a Biology elective under the new BS degree option?

A: No. However, for those of you interested in careers in Ecology, Environmental Science, Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS, also called Medical Laboratory Scientist or MLS), Criminology, or similar career options, we still strongly encourage you to take CHEM345, which may be part of the requirements for those careers. It is also a great elective for Biology majors in general in terms of it helping you be successful in biology - it just won't count toward the BS degree requirement.

Q: Will CHEM436A Biochemistry I count as a Biology elective under the new BA degree option?

A: No. You may still take CHEM436A as a general elective, of course.

Q: Who can I talk to if I have any questions?

A: Any advisor in the College of Natural Sciences Advising Center, any Biology Department faculty member, or the Department Chair of Biology can help you.