2023-2024 Cal Poly Humboldt Catalog 
    Dec 10, 2023  
2023-2024 Cal Poly Humboldt Catalog

Biology, Ecology Concentration, B.S.

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The ecology concentration is designed for students who are interested in a hands-on approach to understanding how living organisms interact with one another and the environment, and the consequences of these interactions for biodiversity and ecosystem function.  

Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree requires a total of 120 units. Students must fulfill General Education & All-University Requirements , residency, unit, and GPA requirements as outlined in the Bachelor’s Degree Requirements . This major does not include a Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) certified course. Students must take a GWAR certified writing intensive course to fulfill the requirement. 

Requirements for the Major (71-79 Units)

Students who receive a grade below a C- in any prerequisite course will require instructor approval for enrollment.

Core Courses (41-42 Units)

The following core courses are required for all biology majors. Take all lower division courses before beginning upper division work.


Concentration Courses (30-37 Units)

Upper Division Electives: Ecologist Skills

​​Complete three additional upper division courses (totaling at least 7 units) chosen with your advisor and focused on developing your skills as an ecologist.

Upper Division Statistics Elective

Complete one of the following upper division statistics courses or other advisor approved course. 

Program Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes identify what a student will learn or be able to do upon completion of their program.

  1. Apply the scientific method to questions in biology by formulating testable hypotheses, gathering data that address these hypotheses, and analyzing those data to assess the degree to which their scientific work supports their hypotheses 
  2. Present scientific hypotheses and data both orally and in writing in the formats that are used by practicing scientists 
  3. Access the primary literature, identify relevant works for a particular topic, and evaluate the scientific content of these works 
  4. Apply fundamental mathematical tools (statistics, calculus) and physical principles (physics, chemistry) to the analysis of relevant biological situations
  5. Identify the major groups of organisms and be able to classify them within a phylogenetic framework. Students will be able to compare and contrast the characteristics of organisms that differentiate the various domains and kingdoms from one another 
  6. Use the evidence of comparative biology to explain how the theory of evolution offers the only scientific explanation for the unity and diversity of life on earth. They will be able to use specific examples to explicate how descent with modification has shaped organismal morphology, physiology, life history, and behavior
  7. Explain how organisms function at the level of the gene, genome, cell, tissue, organ and organ-system. Drawing upon this knowledge, they will be able to give specific examples of the physiological adaptations, development, reproduction and behavior of different forms of life 
  8. Explicate the ecological interconnectedness of life on earth by tracing energy and nutrient flows through the environment. They will be able to relate the physical features of the environment to the structure and dynamics of populations, communities, and ecosystems 
  9. Demonstrate proficiency in the experimental techniques and methods of analysis appropriate for their area of specialization within biology.

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