The Life Sciences (LS) concentration features an interdisciplinary curriculum that provides a solid foundation in the sciences with courses that embody the latest discoveries in biology and chemistry and a pedagogy that challenges students to apply what they have learned to realistic scenarios. Within the Life Sciences concentration, students practice science through authentic research experiences that train students in experimental design, data collection and analysis, and presentation of experimental results.
To fulfill the LS concentration requirements, students take at least one foundational course that is a prerequisite for many upper level LS courses: Foundations of Chemistry (CHEM 150) or Organisms to Ecosystems (BIO141). With Integrated Biology and Chemistry (IBC 200), these two courses can either fulfill the physical science and biological science general education requirements, or they may count as LS concentration courses; they cannot be double-counted.
Students concentrating in Life Sciences are required to take at least one Project-Based Laboratory (PBL) course and a minimum of two additional 300 or 400-level concentration courses. LS students also complete a capstone project with a scientific focus. Students are able to fulfill their concentration requirements in either a focused or broad fashion from course offerings within the fields of biology and chemistry, or through courses from other concentrations that are cross-listed with Life Sciences.
When Life Sciences students graduate, they should be able to
- Demonstrate technical laboratory skills through the generation of novel data in the context of authentic course- based research
- Demonstrate problem-solving and experimental design skills
- Acquire and synthesize scientific knowledge
- Communicate science effectively
One goal of the Life Sciences Concentration is to prepare students for post-graduate study in medical and affiliated health fields (dental, veterinary, physical therapy, physician’s assistant, nursing, pharmacy, etc) or graduate study toward a doctoral degree in the sciences. In addition, students should be well-prepared to directly enter the workforce after graduation in biotechnology, basic or medical research, or pharmaceutical careers as laboratory technicians. Students will also be able to use their scientific training in diverse careers, such as those related to policy, communication, law, forensics, education, and food science.
Some LS courses have redundant and overlapping content with some Science and Mathematics general education courses. Therefore, enrollment in certain LS courses will prevent co- or later enrollment in some general education Science and Mathematics courses. Please check course catalog descriptions carefully.
Topics (290), Advanced Topics (390, 490), Special Study (298, 398, 498), and Independent Study (299, 399, 499) courses may be offered as needed at 1-4 units.