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  • Policy Number: SP.04.017
  • Version: Original
  • Drafted By: Ching-Hua Wang, Amy Denton, Nancy Mozingo
  • Approved By: Richard R. Rush
  • Approval Date:
  • Effective Date:
  • Supersedes:


  • Provide students with the opportunity to earn a BA degree in Biology from the California State University Channel Islands.
  • Equip students with knowledge and skills in life sciences for such diverse vocations as teaching, the health professions, public and private organizations.


The primary distinction between a BA and a BS is that of breadth of experience vs. depth of focus. The traditional Bachelor of Arts degree provides a more broadly based experience in the "liberal arts and sciences" -- a college experience that goes beyond the minimum requirements in Arts and Humanities, as a strong complement to exposure to math and science. The Bachelor of Science degree offers a slightly different label for a degree that is more focused in the sciences and mathematics, with less breadth of experience in other areas.  

Our Bachelor of Arts degree is designed for students seeking a broad foundation in biology as part of a liberal education in the arts and sciences. The BA program provides opportunities for students to explore non-science disciplines and interdisciplinary courses to broaden their scope of education. Provided that careful attention is paid to the requirements for advanced (post-baccalaureate) and professional programs, the B.A. degree is appropriate for those students (1) intending to enter the workforce in setting such as field work, pharmaceutical sales, or a variety of career options, (2) seeking a teaching credential, or (3)preparing for professional schools in dentistry, medicine, optometry, pharmacy or veterinary medicine.



Academic Affairs, Biology Program.






List of other California State University campuses currently offering or projecting the proposed degree major program; list of neighboring institutions, public and private, currently offering the proposed degree major program.

  • There are nine CSU campuses across the state that offer a BA in Biology program, including CSUS, CSUSB, SFSU, SJSU, CSUSM, CSU Sonoma, CSU Stanislaus, CSUN, CSUH. Among the neighboring 4-year comprehensive universities, three CSU campuses, CSUSB, CSUSM and CSUN, two University of California campuses, UCSB and UCSC, and two private universities, Pepperdine University and California Lutheran University provide students with a BA degree program in Biology.

Differences between the proposed program and programs listed in Section 2a above.

  • CSUCI is the only four-year public university in Ventura County that will offer a Bachelors of Art Degree in Biology.
  • None of the above universities offers students a BA in Biology with an Emphasis in Subject Matter Preparation in Teaching Biology. Some of the programs do offer courses to pre-credential students. However, they are not incorporated as an emphasis in the BA program. We also provide a pre-professional track in additional to the general biology track. All emphases require students to complete a set of essential biology courses and other supporting math and science courses. Hence, students can obtain a quality baccalaureate education in the life science area that they could always rely and build on even if they do not get into professional schools or teaching credential programs.

Professional uses of the proposed degree major program.

  • Students in the major will develop analytical skills and expertise in life sciences, which will allow them to further study or work in such diverse areas as field studies, scientific research, science education, consulting, environmental agencies, governmental agencies, biomedical fields, clinics and laboratories, public health organizations, and the various allied health professions.
  • Students can use this degree to apply for and gain acceptance into graduate programs at universities as well as professional schools such as medical, dental, pharmacy, optometry, veterinary, and other medically related professional schools.
  • Students can also apply for single subject credential programs to become a secondary education teacher in biology.

Community/Regional/Statewide need for the proposed program.

  • It is well known that we have a state-wide shortage in science teachers in secondary education. Our program is designed to meet the community, regional and statewide need by producing graduates who could be further trained as science teachers.  Additionally, the program will provide graduates who will attain conventional career pathways as workers in private or public organizations to meet the on-going needs in the communities and the region. The graduates could also further their education in graduate schools or professional schools such as medical, dental, pharmacy and veterinary schools to become useful professionals and citizens to serve the community and society at large.

The expected number of majors in the year of initiation and three years and five years thereafter.  The expected number of graduates in the year of initiation and  three years and five years thereafter.  

                                                                Number of Majors              Number of Graduates

                Initiation Year                      30-40                                     5-10                                                                       

                Third year                             60-80                                     20-30                                    

                Fifth year                              100-120                                 60-70                                                    

Resources Needs for the Proposed Degree Major Program (faculty, instructional, library, other)

  • Existing.
    • At the beginning, our existing faculty members representing expertise in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and general education will be able to provide support to launch the program in fall 2005. 
  • Future.
    • In the near future, we need to hire a physiologist to cover some specialized courses for the program. Two years from now, we may also need additional lab space to be able to offer multiple sections of lab courses to an increasing student population.  



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