The department offers several undergraduate programs leading to Bachelor of Science degrees in Biological Sciences, Marine Sciences and Microbiology, and minors in Biology and Microbiology. For qualified students, a graduate program is available leading to a Master of Science or a Master of Arts degree. In addition, courses are offered to satisfy biology requirements in academic majors across campus.
The Biological Sciences department teaches courses with the following prefixes: BIO (Biology), BOT (Botany), MCRO (Microbiology), and MSCI (Marine Science).
The department is housed in modern facilities equipped with up-to-date instrumentation. Cal Poly's geographical setting offers unusual opportunities for studying representative plants and animals of both Northern and Southern California. Graduates of the various programs enter fields in teaching; laboratory technology; public health; biotechnology research and manufacturing; wildlife management; consulting; agriculture; industry; and private, state, and national park and forest services. A significant number of graduates enter graduate or professional schools for advanced study of botany, ecology, entomology, microbiology, plant pathology, zoology, marine sciences, veterinary science, cell and molecular biology, medicine, and dentistry. The department offers courses required for preprofessional training in medicine and paramedical fields.