Taking the following courses will prepare you to major in biology at any UC campus.

Expected coursework

  • General biology with lab (full introductory sequence)
  • General chemistry with lab (one-year sequence)
  • Calculus for STEM majors (one-year sequence)
  • Organic chemistry with lab (one-year sequence)

Full sequences can take two to four terms to complete (depending on whether your institution is on semesters or quarters), so you'll want to start them early. Use ASSIST to find the specific classes offered at your community college that will satisfy the expected coursework. In addition to the specific coursework above, you will need to fulfill minimum requirements expected of all transfer applicants to UC.

Looking ahead: Some of UC's biology majors also require one year of calculus-based physics with lab (not trigonometry-based physics) and/or one term of statistics before graduation from UC. You can complete these courses at your community college if your schedule allows, but you can also complete them after transfer without negatively affecting your competitiveness for admission to UC.

Associate Degree for Transfer

If you're working on an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) in biology at your community college with the goal of applying to CSU as well as UC, there's a lot of overlap in coursework. Here's what you need to know about the differences between what UC expects and what CSU requires for biology transfer students:

  • The UC pathway expects organic chemistry to be completed at the CCC; CSU doesn't.
  • CSU requires physics; the UC pathway doesn't. However, some UC programs will require one year of calculus-based physics with lab before graduation from UC. To fulfill the physics requirement for both CSU and UC, take calculus-based physics, not trigonometry-based physics.

Applicable majors

The biology pathway applies to the degree programs listed below as well as all degree programs listed in the Biochemistry, Cell biology and Molecular biology pathways. (More may be added in the year ahead.)

  • Aquatic and marine biology majors:
    • Aquatic biology, B.S. at Santa Barbara
  • Disease biology majors: 
    • Global disease biology, B.S. at Davis 
  • Ecology & evolutionary biology majors:
    • Ecology & evolutionary biology, B.S. at Irvine
  • Exercise science majors:
    • Exercise sciences, B.S. at Irvine
  • General biology majors:
    • Biology, B.A. and B.S. at Riverside
    • Biology, B.S. at Los Angeles
    • Biology, B.S. at Santa Cruz
    • Biology / education, B. S. at Irvine
    • Biological sciences, B.S. at Davis
    • Biological sciences, B.S. at Irvine
    • Biological sciences, B.S. at Merced
    • Biological sciences, B.A. and B.S. at Santa Barbara
    • General biology, B.S. at San Diego
    • Integrative biology, B.A. at Berkeley
  • Genetics majors:
    • Genetics, B.S. at Irvine
  • Human biology majors:
    • Human biology, B.S. at Santa Cruz
    • Human biology, B.S. at San Diego
  • Microbiology majors:
    • Microbiology, B.S. at San Diego
    • Microbiology & immunology, B.S. at Irvine
    • Microbiology, B.S. at Santa Barbara
  • Pharmacology majors:
    • Pharmacology, B.S. at Santa Barbara
  • Physiology or Neurobiology majors:
    • Neurobiology, B.S. at Irvine
    • Physiology, B.S. at Santa Barbara
    • Neurosciences, B.S. at Santa Cruz
    • Physiology and Neuroscience, B.S. at San Diego

Campus GPA requirements

Admission to different UC campuses and majors varies in competitiveness depending on how many students apply and how many slots are available. As a result, the minimum GPA and grade requirements for particular courses may vary from campus to campus. Make sure to look on the campus admissions websites to find minimum expected grade point averages for the major you are interested in.

Transfer Pathways

Biology is one of UC's top majors offering a new Transfer Pathway: a single set of courses students can take to prepare for admission to any of UC’s nine undergraduate campuses.

Tools to help you prepare

  • Use ASSIST to ensure that your courses are accepted by each campus as part of major preparation.
  • Use the Transfer Admission Planner to track and plan your coursework.