Biology Transfer Pathway

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

Course expectations

  • 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. To check which of your community college courses satisfy the Pathway course expectations at multiple UC campuses, refer to the UC Transfer Pathways Guide for a summary list. Use ASSIST to find the specific classes offered at your community college that will satisfy the expected coursework at a particular UC campus. In addition to the coursework above, you will need to fulfill the 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.

If you're working on an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) in biology at your community college, there's a lot of overlap with UC Transfer Pathway coursework. The difference between what UC expects and what some ADTs require is a year of organic chemistry. Also, while the UC Transfer Pathway does not require physics, some UC programs do require one year of calculus-based physics with lab before graduation from UC. To fulfill the physics requirement for both the ADT and those UCs, take calculus-based physics, not trigonometry-based physics. Additional courses required for an ADT may be eligible for UC credit at some campuses. Check ASSIST for details.

Applicable majors

The Biology Pathway applies to the degree programs listed below as well as all degree programs listed for the Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Molecular Biology Pathways. More degree programs may be added in the future so you should check back periodically to see if your major has joined this list.

  • 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
  • General science majors:
    • Science Education, B.S. at Santa Cruz
  • Genetics majors:
    • Genetics, B.S. at Irvine
  • Human biology majors:
    • Human biology, B.S. at San Diego 
  • Microbiology majors:
    • Microbiology, B.A. and B.S. at Riverside
    • Microbiology, B.S. at Santa Barbara
    • Microbiology, B.S. at San Diego
    • Microbiology & immunology, B.S. at Irvine
  • Neuroscience majors:
    • Neuroscience, B.A. and B.S. at Riverside
  • Pharmacology majors:
    • Pharmacology, B.S. at Santa Barbara
  • Physiology or Neurobiology majors:
    • Neurobiology, B.S. at Irvine
    • Neuroscience, B.S. at Santa Cruz
    • Physiology, B.S. at Santa Barbara

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.