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Biological Sciences

Biology is the study of living organisms, and includes plants, animals, bacteria and fungi. Biology studies their molecular and cellular structures as well as the whole organism and also includes structure - function relationships and organismal behavior.

Career paths chosen by students pursuing undergraduate studies in biology commonly include pharmaceutical sales, biomedical research, biomedical engineering, fish and wildlife biology, animal handler/trainer, zoo/aquarium biologist, forestry service, national parks service, environmentalist, biology teacher.

Careers in the discipline that generally require graduate-level degrees include medicine, pharmacy, veterinary, optometry and dentistry, bioinformatics (biology & computer science), medical research, scientific research. Even students who choose not to major in biology find that coursework in the field can improve their ability to think critically, solve complex problems, improve their skills at writing, research and analysis, understand modern scientific, medical and environmental issues as well as their own health issues.

College of the Desert’s biology curriculum includes course offerings that provide a general overview of the discipline, as well as coursework in mathematics, physics and chemistry.

The College offers an Associate of Science degree, as well as courses leading to transfer to a university. Students earning an associate’s degree in biology may pursue entry-level positions as laboratory assistants or may choose to continue their study in the discipline toward a bachelor’s or graduate degree. COD has transfer agreements with the California State Universities and University of California systems in this discipline/program. However, transfer requirements at four-year colleges and universities vary from institution to institution; students should consult with a counselor for specific information regarding the transfer requirements of their preferred college or university. For more information please call (760) 773-2573.


Robert Rosteck - Biology, Pre-medicine, Environmental Studies
rrosteck@collegeofthedesert.edu; 760-776-7284

Alexa Sawa - Biology, Pre-medicine
asawa@collegeofthedesert.edu; 760-776-7276

Michael Silveira - Biology, Nursing
msilveira@collegeofthedesert.edu; 760-674-7798

Anthony Tesch - Microbiology, Nursing, Pre-medicine
atesch@collegeofthedesert.edu; 760-776-7274


The Associate in Science in Biology for Transfer Degree, also called the Biology AS-T, is designed to prepare students for a seamless transfer with junior status to a CSU campus in a program or major in Biology for completion of a baccalaureate degree. Upon successful completion of courses leading to the Biology AS-T Degree the student will be able to know and understand Biology concepts, skills and applications to attain upper division status in Biology at any CSU institutions.

This Biology AS-T degree requires students to meet both of the following requirements:

  1. Completion of 60 semester units that are eligible for transfer to the California State University, including both of the following:

    • The Intersegmental GE Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) or the California State University GE-Breadth Requirements (CSU GE-B).

    • A minimum of 18 semester units in a major or area of emphasis. All courses in the major or area of emphasis must be completed with a grade of "C" or better.

  2. Obtainment of a minimum grade point average of 2.0. There are no additional graduation requirements. Students are advised to consult with a counselor to verify transfer requirements.

Dept. No. Title Units
Required Core Courses
BI 5 Molecular And Cell Biology 5
BI 6 Biology Of Organisms 5
CH 1A General Chemistry I 5
CH 1B General Chemistry II 5
MATH 1A Calculus 4
MATH 1B Calculus 4
PH 2A College Physics I 4
and PH 2B College Physics II 4
PH 3A Engineering Physics (4)
and PH 3B Engineering Physics (4)
Required Subtotal 36
COD General Education Pattern (confer with Counselor) 31-33
Transferable Electives (as needed to reach 60 transferable units)

1 Units for the major may be double counted for CSU GE or IGETC for STEM, confer with Counselor.
2 Elective units to reach 60 unit total must be CSU transferable, confer with Counselor.
* Please refer to Associate Degree for Transfer (SB1440) on page 42 of the 2017-18 COD Catalog