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Cal Poly Biological Sciences: We Do It All

The Biological Sciences Department at Cal Poly takes Learn by Doing seriously. Over three-fouths of our courses include a lab section. That means our students spend most of their time out in the field collecting data or in the lab running experiments on modern equipment – not sitting at desks.

Photo of campus, Madonna Mountain (Cerro Alto)
Cal Poly campus in spring
Photo by alumnus Gregg Erickson
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We’re located on California’s Central Coast, the hub of pristine ocean, coastal marine, estuary, riparian, mountain and grassland environments. These unparalleled “living laboratories” are ideal for study and research on plant, aquatic and animal species in a variety of thriving ecosystems.

We offer the latest high-tech equipment allowing our students to study life on a molecular level. Those students headed to a medical career can take specialized anatomy classes and labs usually offered to first-year med school students.

Our undergraduate students are exposed to the full spectrum of biology career choices. They gain hands-on experience in real research projects under the guidance of energized faculty eager to serve as mentors.

The department and its professors are continuously engaged in projects funded by private, state and federal agencies including the National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research and the National Institutes of Health.

In keeping with the Learn by Doing tradition at Cal Poly, our undergraduates are required to participate in research projects and present their findings in a senior project in order to graduate.

All of these things mean our students graduate ready to step into jobs in research laboratories, environmental firms, and state, national and private preserves and parks. Or they can take their pick among master’s and Ph.D. programs around the nation.

Find out more about the Cal Poly Biological Sciences Department and its six concentrations.

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Find out more about what our alumni have to say about their Cal Poly degrees.