Biology is an inherently broad and diverse discipline, ranging from studies of molecules to whole ecosystems. As a result, the UCI School of Biological Sciences offers students a selection of Majors and Minors to best fit their interests.

Undergraduate Majors

Biological Sciences

The Biological Sciences major presents a unified, in-depth study of modern biology. The courses range from ecology and evolutionary biology to genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology.

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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major provides students with a comprehensive background in this modern, conceptual understanding of biology. Ideal for students interested in studying the molecular basis (including development, gene expression, immunology, pathogenesis, disease, virology, and evolution).  This major is also designed for students that wish to pursue an advanced degree in biological or medical sciences. In addition, and particularly with the explosive growth in biotechnology and its significant influence in everyday life, graduates could use their backgrounds very effectively to pursue careers in business, education, law, and public affairs.

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The Biology/Education major allows students to earn both a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences along with a California Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential within four years. Upon completion of this major, individuals will be authorized to teach biology and general science in a middle school or high school.

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Developmental and Cell Biology

The Developmental and Cell Biology major provides students with intensive training in cutting edge approaches to understanding the structure and function of cells. Additionally, students learn how cells interact to produce a complex organism, starting with a fertilized egg.

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Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

The Ecology and Evolutionary Biology major is designed for students interested in understanding organismal change. Ideal for students interested in how organisms have evolved, interacted with each other, and their environment. Courses cover topics in molecular biology, physiology, population and community ecology, and ecosystem-level processes.

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Exercise Sciences

Virtually every organism is dependent on movement (both intracellular and extracellular) in one form or another. With respect to humans, physical activity imposes unique stresses on a broad spectrum of cell types, tissues, and organ systems. However, physical activity plays a key role in shaping fundamental biological processes necessary for maintaining health and preventing disease. While both human and nonhuman species exhibit many common biological phenomenon, there are also many unique aspects of their physiology. This major will also highlight some of the unique physiological traits of nonhuman species and how such unique phenomenon may provide important insights into human health. Additionally, upper-division courses in this major are designed to integrate fundamental principles of biology, chemistry, and physics into a coherent understanding of how physical activity/inactivity impacts human health under healthy and diseased states.

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The Genetics major is designed to benefit motivated undergraduates who have a particular interest in learning about developmental genetics, evolutionary genetics, and molecular genetics and to allow them to explore how our knowledge of genetic mechanisms contributes to our understanding of human development and disease.

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Human Biology

Human Biology provides an in-depth look at cutting edge topics in physiology and epidemiology as they relate to global issues of ethics, anthropology, and socioeconomics. The major also provides the student an understanding of human health beyond basic biological function. Students will learn to evaluate healthcare risks and challenges as they relate to global economies, cultural opinions and environment. Additionally, students will extrapolate information from clinical research publications and relate new findings to accepted knowledge. Topics covered will investigate  intrinsic and extrinsic diseases as well as disorders of the brain and appreciate ethical considerations and dilemmas that face clinicians, research scientists and drug developers.

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Microbiology and Immunology

The Microbiology and Immunology major which encompasses microbiology, immunology and virology allows students to focus on microorganisms and the immune system.

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The Neurobiology major is designed to teach students how neurobiologists apply cellular, molecular, systems, and behavioral analyses in understanding how the nervous system works. Most noteworthy, the hallmark of the major is a year-long, in-depth exploration of the intellectual nervous system. Through neurobiology, satellite courses, students acquire advanced factual knowledge about neurobiology

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Undergraduate Minors


To see the requirements to change to any of these Majors and Minors, click here. Furthermore, students interested in learning about graduate programs click here.