While taking biology classes at Skyline College, students can expect to learn proper scientific reporting techniques and a thorough understanding of the scientific method, and they will use biological study, observation and experimentation to test hypotheses and analyze results. Biology classes also fulfill General Education requirements for a variety of majors.
The college also offers Environmental Science classes that provide a strong interdisciplinary approach to understanding environmental issues from a scientific perspective. Environmental science brings together the disciplines of biological, physical and earth sciences to address the impact of humans on ecological systems.
Average Salary in California
Jobs Growth Rate over 10 Years*
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
A degree in biology opens career paths in a variety of fields: medical and health sciences; agricultural and food sciences; environmental science; zoology and wildlife sciences; forensics; and more.
Biology is the study of life and living organisms, including their morphology, physiology, anatomy, behavior, origin, and distribution. In order to succeed in biology, students should be passionate about the natural world and demonstrate strong analytical and problem solving skills.
The applications for a course of study in Biology, or a degree in Biotechnology or Natural Science, include a variety of careers in the sciences in both private and public industry. Many jobs in biology or the natural sciences require a Ph.D.; taking biology classes or pursuing a Biotechnology or Natural Science degree at Skyline College is a good launching point for pursuing further education at a four-year college or university.
Biologists spend much of their time working in offices and conducting research in laboratories. Most biologists work full time. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Biological Scientists in California make an average of $98,800 per year.
Looking for a list of classes offered this semester?Check out the current class schedule.
BIOL 101 Our Biological World (4 units)
Study of biology as it relates to humans and their environment with special emphasis on ecological interrelationships, evolution and genetics, and topics of current importance. Recommended for non-science majors to fulfill laboratory science transfer requirement.
BIOL 110 Principles of Biology (4 units)
Using natural selection and physiological survival as a unifying theme, this course deals with the basic problems common to all living systems, and compares the functional solution that various organisms have evolved, illuminating the unity in diversity that characterizes life on earth. Recommended for non-science majors to fulfill laboratory science transfer requirement.
BIOL 111 Natural History of California (4 units)
Introduction to common animals and plants of the San Francisco Bay Region, their natural history and distributions.
BIOL 130 Human Biology (3 units)
Designed to provide students with an appreciation of the structure, function, and development of their own bodies. Topics include an introduction to science and scientific methods of investigation and some elementary chemistry (no previous background necessary) as a basis for understanding human functions such as digestion, circulation, reproduction, heredity, evolution, human ecological roles and other systems. Some diseases and other causes of body malfunction are discussed.
BIOL 140 Animals, People, and Environment (3 units)
Familiarizes students with the methods and importance of behavioral investigation in animals. Emphasis on past and current human-animal relationships, the impact on animal populations and increasing need for wildlife protection.
BIOL 145 Plants, People & Environment (3 units)
A survey of plants emphasizing those aspects of plant biology that have affected the lives of people. Topics include: the success and failure of modern agriculture; the impact of humans on the environment; and the importance of plants in solving critical problems of hunger and conservation of energy. Attention is given to modes of inquiry or ways in which scientists carry out their investigations.
BIOL 150 Introduction to Marine Biology (3 units)
A non-technical introduction to the scientific method used in studies of marine biology. Major emphasis is given to the natural history of marine animals and plants and their relationship with the oceanic environment.
BIOL 170 Principles of Applied Bioscience (3 units)
A survey of the principles that govern the living world, from molecules to cells and tissues, to organs and whole organisms, to populations and ecosystems, to the entire biosphere. Special emphasis is placed upon experimental approaches, current issues, and practical application of the scientific method and biological principles to issues affecting public health, agriculture, and socioeconomic change. Current news and developments in relevant areas of biological sciences and biotechnology will be reviewed and discussed. Also listed as BTEC 170.
BIOL 171 Laboratory Principles of Applied Bioscience (1 units)
Introduces students to practical methods in preparing materials, reagents and media for conducting biological investigations and products of genetic engineering. Students will learn to measure and prepare solutions of various concentrations and pH, how to use basic chemistry and biological instrumentation such as digital scales, pipettes and micropipettes, centrifuges, and vertical and horizontal electrophoresis apparatuses. Students will plan and conduct biological experiments using the scientific method and employing modern laboratory methods and instrumentation. Data will be analyzed using spreadsheet software for tabulation and graphing. Teamwork, responsible lab technique, and proper and thorough notebook keeping will be emphasized. Also listed as BTEC 171.
BIOL 215 Organismal Biology: Core I (5 units)
BIOL 215 in combination with BIOL 230 constitutes an integrated basic core program for students majoring in the life sciences. BIOL 215 is an introduction to organismal diversity focusing on the fundamental mechanisms that generate and maintain biological diversity. Emphasis is on evolution of the diversity of plants and animals using the tree of life as an organizing theme. Topics include resource acquisition, development, ecology, and population genetics. Laboratories cover fundamental biological principles including natural selection and ecology using representative living organisms.
BIOL 230 Introduction to Cell Biology: Core II (5 units)
An introduction to life functions as seen at the cellular level; cellular structure, macromolecular architecture and function, cellular energetics, chemical regulation, photochemical activities, molecular genetics, and genetic engineering. It is the second course in the two-course Biology core sequence.
BIOL 240 General Microbiology (4 units)
Morphology, taxonomy, ecology, and physiology of microorganisms, with emphasis on bacteria. Laboratory techniques on culture and identification of bacteria. Recommended for agriculture, biochemistry, nursing, pre-medical and pre-dental, biotechnology engineering, and other life science majors.
BIOL 250 Human Anatomy (4 units)
Gross and microscopic structure of the human body through lecture and laboratory study of dissections, histology slides, anatomy models, and prosected human cadavers. Primarily intended for Nursing, Respiratory Care, Allied Health, Surgical Technology, Kinesiology, and other health-related fields. Elective for pre-dental, premedical, and pre-veterinary students.
BIOL 260 Human Physiology (5 units)
Study of how the organ systems function in maintaining homeostasis - regulating change and growth processes in humans. Recommended for students in allied health areas such as nursing, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, radiology, and related fields.
BIOL 310 Nutrition (3 units)
Comprehensive introduction to scientific principles of nutrition and the interrelationships of metabolism; nutrient functions, structure and food sources; health consequences of nutrient excesses, deficiencies and diet related chronic diseases. Emphasis is placed on evaluating the nutrient content of foods, and evaluation of personal dietary habits using current dietary guidelines and nutritional assessment methods.
BIOL 426 Genetic Engineering (1 units)
This course will examine how genes work and how they can be manipulated and cloned. Topics include DNA and protein synthesis, genetic engineering, and DNA fingerprinting. Also includes laboratory experience with DNA analyses: RFLP and PCR.
BIOL 430 Introduction to Immunology (1 units)
This course will examine the immune system and how it protects us from disease. Topics include vaccine and antiserum production by traditional methods and by genetic engineering. Also includes laboratory experience with laboratory techniques.
BIOL 665 Selected Topics in Biology (0.5- 2 units)
This course is designed to develop specific skills, techniques or concepts that are appropriate to biology and/or biotechnology. The course will focus on one specific topic; for example, new or leading edge developments in biotechnology.
BIOL 695 Independent Study in Biology (0.5- 3 units)
Designed for students who are interested in furthering their knowledge via self-paced, individualized instruction provided in selected areas or directed study to be arranged with instructor and approved by the division dean using the Independent Study Form. Varying modes of instruction can be used -- laboratory, research, skill development, etc. For each unit earned, students are required to devote three hours per week throughout the semester. Students may take only one Independent Study course within a given discipline.
The Skyline College STEM Center brings together academic and student support services for students taking science, technology, engineering and math courses.
The center supports student success by ensuring students have access to resources such as academic tutoring, counseling services, a resource depository for STEM pathways and transfer, a hub for internships and work based learning opportunities, as well as a place where students and staff can collaborate and build a community and supportive connection.Check out the STEM Center
Upon completion of the program students will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method and the ability to use appropriate models to solve problems.
- Apply the knowledge of biological science to distinguish between observations, inferences, relationships, and testimonials under investigation.
- Demonstrate the ability to use scientific knowledge to assess personal and environmental health.
- Use the scientific knowledge and skills necessary for active citizenship.
- Discuss and understand one area of biological science (e.g., marine mammals; emerging infectious disease)
- Demonstrate understanding of how the major groups of living organisms are related to each other and of their adaptations for survival.
- Demonstrate understanding of the major concepts in cell biology, and the experimental approaches taken to address them.
- Write clear and well-argued descriptions of topics in biological sciences, based on the course material and articles.
- Master laboratory techniques including microscopy, spectrophotometry, gel electrophoresis, and PCR.
- Design, perform and analyze experiments in biology.
- Continue with upper division coursework in Biology.
- Use aseptic technique in clinical and laboratory environments.
- Discuss and understand the role of microorganisms in healthy individuals and in infectious diseases.
- Demonstrate understanding of the structure of the human body.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the functions of the organ systems of the human body.
- Apply the concept of homeostasis to basic principles in medicine.
- Discuss and understand the principles of cellular metabolism, molecular genetics, and immunology.
Biology & Chemistry Scholars (BCS)
Biology & Chemistry Scholars (BCS) is an accelerated STEM learning community designed to support students in Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, and pre-health or pre-medical pathways. BCS students are enrolled in accelerated math and entry-level biology and chemistry courses to establish foundational skills. Students enrolled in BCS take major-related courses together with their cohort until transfer. Through support cohort-based learning and participation in introductory research, students advance through the biology and chemistry pathway, gaining valuable skill sets for internship placement, transfer, and career readiness.
BCS prepares students for an Associate of Science Degree for Transfer (AS-T) in Biology and transfer to university. We provide our students a specific STEM course “track” based on their intended field of study to guarantee that their efforts satisfy both general transfer requirements and lower-division requirements for their major.
How to Apply
For more information on program enrollment, please contact Bryan Swartout and fill out the online application. The program is a fall-start program that accepts students enrolling in BIO 215, CHEM 192, or CHEM 210 during the Fall.
- Learn together: Each cohort receives priority enrollment for impacted STEM courses and are enrolled in major-related courses together for four to six semesters until transfer.
- Explore your career options: Students gain exposure to opportunities in biology and chemistry pathways through field trips, extracurricular activities, and mentorship.
- Gain tangible experience: Students gain introductory research experience and build valuable skills in our Innovation Lab.
- Prepare for your future: Prepare for internship placement through workshops on resume building, interviewing, and professional etiquette.