Department of Biology
John V.H. Constable, Chair
Science Building, Room 106
The Department of Biology offers diversified undergraduate and graduate programs that matches the breadth and excitement of modern biology and prepares students for the hundreds of career opportunities that use biology as a foundation. The Bachelor of Science degree is awarded to those students who successfully complete the biology core, the additional requirements, and electives.
The undergraduate biology major we offer has three programmatic goals:
- To provide students with a solid foundation in all aspects of modern biology and also the intellectual skills that will serve as the basis for a lifetime of future achievement.
- To provide students with the specialized educational opportunities that will allow them to compete successfully for careers in the biological sciences or for advanced studies in major doctoral programs.
- To provide preprofessional students with the knowledge needed for advanced study in the many fields that build upon a biological foundation.
Our undergraduate biology major is excellent preparation for graduate programs in clinical laboratory science, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, optometry, doctoral programs, and many others. The department offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in biology and a professional science Master of Biotechnology for qualified students who wish to explore some part of biology in greater depth.
The department is housed in a well-equipped science building. Among the specialized equipment and technologies available for students are Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) thermocyclers; apparati for conducting molecular and immunological analysis of nucleic acids and proteins; genetic recombination, including use of electroporation and gene guns; a bioinformatics computing laboratory; a proteomics work station; cell and tissue culture facilities; fermenters and bioreactors; fluorescence, confocal and 4-D microscopes; ultracentrifugation; radioactive materials methodologies; and metabolic studies on all types of life forms. Greenhouse and animal care facilities, as well as media/reagent production complexes, support the instructional and research programs.
Fresno’s proximity to both the Sierra Nevada and the Pacific coast provides a natural laboratory with numerous field trip opportunities that are rarely equaled at other institutions. High Sierra, Mediterranean, desert, foothill, coastal, and forest environments are all within a three-hour drive of the campus. The department maintains a wealth of field equipment to observe and collect wild organisms. A self-contained pond ecosystem offers a unique, on-campus study resource. The department also maintains extensive collections of museum specimens of insects, vertebrates and a herbarium.