Undergraduate Majors

Drosophila Embryo The Biology Departments offer 10 different majors, giving students flexibility to pursue their individual interests. The Biological Sciences B.A. and B.S majors allow the greatest number of electives & choice, while the specialized majors allow students to concentrate on specific disciplines. All of the majors are excellent preparation for careers and advanced degrees in biology.


This preparatory course work for all majors consists of a subset of courses and laboratories selected from introductory biology, general chemistry, mathematics (calculus and or a combination of calculus and statistics), physics, and organic chemistry.

General Biology Majors

Biological Sciences
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees in Biological Sciences offer generalized training in all aspects of biology.

Specialized Biology Majors

Aquatic Biology (EEMB)
Explores marine biology, biological oceanography, the ecology of oceans, lakes, streams, and estuaries as whole ecosystems, and the biology of marine and freshwater organisms.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MCDB)
Concentrates on the chemical and physical properties of biological molecules, the complex array of chemical reactions occurring in cells, and the function and regulation of genes.

Cell and Developmental Biology (MCDB)
Focuses on understanding the structures and behaviors of cells, the interaction between cells, and the mechanisms controlling the assembly of groups of cells functioning in organisms.

Ecology and Evolution (EEMB)
Concentrates on the interactions among organisms and their relationships to their environment, the mechanisms by which they evolve and adapt, and the impacts of environmental change on populations and communities.

Microbiology (MCDB)
Emphasizes the fundamental biology of microorganisms and their effects on human health, with specializations in general microbiology, biomedical sciences and genetic engineering.

Pharmacology (MCDB)
Explores the structures and chemistry of drugs, and their effects on cells and organisms. The emphasis in this major is on pharmacology as a basic science, rather than on the therapeutic principles of pharmacology.

Physiology (EEMB)
Emphasizes the integrated functioning of tissues and organ systems in whole organisms and the impacts of their physiological adaptations on their ecology, evolution, and survival.

Zoology (EEMB)
Explores animal structure, animal diversity, and evolutionary and environmental relationships within the animal kingdom.

Undergraduate Program in Biology - University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106