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Physiology and Neuroscience

This major provides a program for studying the bodily and neural functions of complex organisms. Students may concentrate upon a more specialized area of study, such as neurobiology, animal physiology, or endocrinology.

This major is designed to provide students with the fundemental courses required for entry into medical school, graduate school in biological or neural sciences, or entry into other health related professions such as nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, physical education, agriculture and wildlife management.

Lower-Division Requirements

  • BILD 1, 2, and 3 (Note: BILD 2 is required for students starting at UC San Diego fall 2011 or later)
  • Mathematics 10A, 10B, and 11/11L or 10C or 20A, 20B, and 11/11L or 20C
  • Chemistry 6A, 6B, 6C, and 7L
  • Physics 1A/1AL, 1B/1BL, and 1C/1CL or 2A, 2B, 2C, and one lab (2BL, 2CL or 2DL)

Upper-Division Requirements

  • Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 140A)
  • Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 140B)
  • Organic Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 143A) 
  • Metabolic Biochemistry (BIBC 102)
  • Genetics (BICD 100)
  • Molecular Biology (BIMM 100)
  • Human Physiology I (BIPN 100)
  • Animal Physiology Laboratory (BIPN 105)
  • Two Physiology and Neuroscience (P&N) Core courses to be selected from the following:
    • Human Physiology II (BIPN 102)
    • Comparative Physiology (BIPN 106)
    • Physiology of Exercise (BIPN 108)
    • Cellular Neurobiology (BIPN 140)
    • Systems Neurobiology (BIPN 142)
    • Developmental Neurobiology (BIPN 144)
    • Computational Neurobiology (BIPN 146)
    • Cellular Basis of Learning and Memory (BIPN 148)
    • Diseases of the Nervous System (BIPN 150)
    • The Healthy and Diseased Brain (BIPN 152)
  • Upper-division Biology Lab: Complete one upper-division biology lab course (at least four units) offered by the UC San Diego Division of Biological Sciences.
    • Biochemical Techniques (BIBC 103)
    • Plant Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology Laboratory (BICD 123)
    • Laboratory in Molecular Medicine (BICD 145)
    • Ecology Laboratory (BIEB 121)
    • Marine Invertebrate Ecology Laboratory (BIEB 131)
    • Aquatic Ecology Lab (BIEB 135)
    • Computer Modeling in Evolution and Ecology (BIEB 143)
    • Animal Communication Laboratory (BIEB 167)
    • Recombinant DNA Techniques (BIMM 101)
    • Laboratory in Microbiology (BIMM 121)
  • Upper-Division Biology Electives - select three additional upper-division courses (each course must be at least four units) taken through the UC San Diego Division of Biological Sciences are required. These may include courses from the P&N Core, P&N lab, and/or the Biology lab requirements listed above that have not already been taken.
    • Only one quarter of BISP 196, 197 or 199 and/or one quarter of BISP 195 may be used to fulfill this requirement. Subsequent quarters of BISP 195, 196, 197 or 199 may be applied toward college and university requirements.
    • The following Scripps Institution of Oceanography courses may be taken and applied to this requirement: 126, 132, 134, 147, 181 and 189. Students are required to meet the Division of Biological Sciences residency requirement.

Additional Requirements

Minimum Grade Requirement

  • All courses required and used toward any biology major requirements must be passed with a grade of “C-“ or better.
  • The minimum grade requirement applies to all lower-division, upper-division, required courses taken in other departments, as well as courses transferred and used toward major requirements.
  • Exceptions will be made only for those required courses that have a P/NP only grading option (i.e., BISP 199).
  • The minimum major GPA requirement remains 2.0.

Please Note: DARS may not automatically reject D grades for the major. If your DARS audit appears blue and you have a D in a required course for the major, please speak with a biology advisor.


Upper-Division Unit Requirement

To receive a bachelor of science degree in biology from UC San Diego, all biology majors, including transfer students, must complete at least 48 or more units of upper-division course work within the major.


Biology Residency Requirement

To receive a bachelor of science degree in biology from UC San Diego, all students must complete at least nine upper-division biology courses (each course must be at least four units) in the Division of Biological Sciences while officially enrolled at UC San Diego. (Students participating in the Education Abroad Program (EAP), and courses at other UC campuses, may petition up to three of these courses to count toward their residency minima.) Biology courses completed through the UC Extension program (concurrent enrollment) will not be counted toward this residency requirement.