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General Biology, B.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
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The General Biology program of San Francisco State University provides students with exposure to a broad spectrum of biological sciences including genetics, cell biology, physiology, ecology, and organismal and evolutionary biology. Since basic principles of physical science are central to many biological concepts, coursework in physics and chemistry is included in the lower-division requirements. The B.A. program is suited for students preparing for professional schools, including teacher credentialing programs, or careers that require students to be versed in diverse areas of biology.

Program Learning Outcomes

Core Competencies

  • Understanding the Process of Science: Students will demonstrate how a theory is supported or can be rejected based on data from experiments.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: Students will be able to create graphs and perform simple statistical tests to determine whether or not differences between groups are significant.
  • Relationship Between Science and Society: Students will be able to explain a biological process or phenomenon as it relates to a societal issue.

Core Concepts

  • Evolution: Students will be able to understand the fundamental concepts of evolution, role of selective pressures, and how genes change.
  • Relationship Between Structures and Function: Students will be able to describe how variation in the structure of an organ in a plant or animal contributes to variation in its function.
  • Information Flow and Storage: Students will be able to explain the transmission of heritable traits.

Career paths

This is an exciting time for graduates with degrees in biology. New breakthroughs in understanding living systems are leading to the development of new career opportunities at a rapid rate. In this regard, the undergraduate degrees can open the door to excellent career opportunities in industry, health care, public agencies, secondary school teaching, academia, and many other areas. Many graduates enter careers in the biotechnology industry, in the health professions, and environmental and conservation biology. High level positions in industry and academia commonly require advanced graduate work. The bachelor of science degrees are designed to give students the training they need to enter doctoral or master’s programs in biology and related disciplines. Each year many SF State biology graduates are accepted into doctoral programs across the country. SF State’s biology programs also have a strong record of placing students in medical and dental schools.

The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the world’s largest centers for the biotechnology industry. The majors in cell and molecular biology and microbiology emphasize the latest cutting edge technologies to provide students with relevant practical skills. Many companies actively recruit SF State students for positions or internships, and SF State graduates are well represented in many prominent biotechnology companies. Employment opportunities vary from manufacturing to technical research support to biotechnology and pharmaceuticals research management.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Credits
    120 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Introductory Biology 
  • General Chemistry 
  • General Organic Chemistry
  • Elementary Statistics 
  • Calculus 
  • Genetics

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks.

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 2.5

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 2.5 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

General Requirements

  • Complete and submit the CSU Application
  • Students will be required to submit official, original or certified/attested copies of all original academic documents in the original language of issue
  • Applicants who are presently attending a college or university in the United States must, in addition to their international records, submit official transcripts of all work completed and in progress
  • Applicants must be qualified to enter a university in their home country and have a good scholastic record from an accredited/recognized school
  • All applicants for admission to the University must pay a $55.00 application fee
  • English language proficiency

Tuition Fee

  • International

    7440 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 7440 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • National

    7440 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 7440 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for San Francisco

  • 2206 - 4120 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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