OFFICE: Life Sciences 104
UNDERGRADUATE ADVISING OFFICE: Life Sciences 102
TELEPHONE: 619-594-6442 / FAX: 619-594-5676
Chair: Cripps, Richard M., Professor of Biology and Fred Henry Chair of Life Sciences (B.S., Ph.D., University of York, United Kingdom)
Associate Chair and Graduate Adviser, M.A./M.S. Programs: Zeller, Robert W., Professor of Biology (B.A., Boston University; Ph.D., California Institute of Technology)
Vice Chair: Hovel, Kevin A., Professor of Biology (B.S., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick; M.S., State University of New York at Stony Brook; Ph.D., College of William and Mary)
Graduate Adviser, Cell and Molecular Biology Ph.D. Program: Kalyuzhnaya, Marina G., Associate Professor of Biology (B.S., M.S., Dnepr State University, Ukraine; Ph.D., Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia)
Graduate Adviser, Ecology Ph.D. Program: Oechel, Walter C., Albert W. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Biology (A.B., San Diego State University; Ph.D., University of California, Riverside)
Graduate Adviser, Evolutionary Biology Ph.D. Program: Waters, Elizabeth R., Professor of Biology (B.A., Grinnell College; M.S., North Carolina State University; Ph.D., Washington University)
Graduate Adviser, Microbiology, M.S. Program: Segall, Anca M., Professor of Biology (B.S., University of Maryland; Ph.D., University of Utah)
Graduate Adviser, Molecular Biology, M.S. Program: Zayas Ventura, Ricardo M., Professor of Biology (B.S., Fairfield University; Ph.D., Tufts University)
Graduate Adviser, Ecology, M.S. Program: Long, Jeremy D., Professor of Biology (B.A., University of San Diego; Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology)
Graduate Adviser, Evolutionary Biology, M.S. Program: Burns, Kevin, Professor of Biology (B.S., Texas A&M University; M.S., Louisiana State University; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley)
Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty:
Bohonak, Andrew J., Associate Dean of Graduate Studies; Professor of Biology (B.S., Allegheny College; Ph.D., Cornell University)
Clark, Rulon W., Professor of Biology (B.S., Utah State University; Ph.D., Cornell University)
Cripps, Richard M., Professor of Biology and Fred Henry Chair of Life Sciences (B.S., Ph.D., University of York, United Kingdom)
Edwards, Matthew S., Professor of Biology (B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara; M.S., San Francisco State University; Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz)
Hedin, Marshal C., Professor of Biology (B.A., Humboldt State University; M.S., Texas A&M University; Ph.D., Washington University)
Kelley, Scott T., Professor of Biology, Director (B.A., Cornell University; Ph.D., University of Colorado)
Lai, Chun-Ta, Professor of Biology (B.S., Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan; Ph.D., Duke University)
Lewison, Rebecca L., Professor of Biology (B.A., Vassar College; Ph.D., University of California, Davis)
Lipson, David A., Professor of Biology (B.A., University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder)
Reeder, Tod W., Associate Dean, Graduate and Research Affairs, College of Sciences; Professor of Biology (B.S., Emporia State University; M.S., University of Missouri, Kansas City; Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin)
Rohwer, Forest L., Professor of Biology (B.A., Albertson College of Idaho; Ph.D., San Diego State University)
Sussman, Mark A., Albert W. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Biology (B.S., University of California, Davis; M.S., California State University, Northridge; Ph.D., University of Southern California)
Zayas Ventura, Ricardo M., Professor of Biology (B.S., Fairfield University; Ph.D., Tufts University)
Zona, Donatella, Professor of Biology (B.S., University of Rome “La Sapienza,” Italy; Ph.D., University of California, Davis)
Barber, Nicholas A., Associate Professor of Biology (B.S., St. Louis University; Ph.D., University of Missouri)
Capelson, Maya, Associate Professor of Biology (B. S., University of Utah; Ph. D. Johns Hopkins University)
Feuer, Ralph, Associate Professor of Biology (B.S., University of California, Los Angeles; Ph.D., University of Nevada, Reno)
Flores Renteria, Lluvia H., Associate Professor of Biology (B.S., M.S., Ph.D., National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico)
Hentschel, Brian T., Associate Professor of Biology (B.S., University of South Carolina; M.S., Ph.D., University of Washington)
Miller, Luke P., Associate Professor of Biology (B.S., University of California, Santa Barbara; Ph.D., Stanford University)
Shikuma, Nicholas J., Associate Professor of Biology (B.S., University of the Pacific; M.S., University of Hawaii; Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz)
Xu, Xiaofeng, Associate Professor of Biology (B.A., Henan Normal University, China; M.S., Chinese Academy of Sciences, China; Ph.D., Auburn University)
House, Carrie D., Assistant Professor of Biology (B.A., George Mason University; Ph.D., George Washington University)
Luallen, Robert J., Assistant Professor of Biology (B.A., University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D., University of California, San Diego)
Monkkonen, Teresa, Assistant Professor of Biology (B.S., Rice University; Ph. D. Baylor College of Medicine)
Riestra, Angelica, Assistant Professor of Biology (B.S., University of California, Los Angeles; Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles)
Roach, Dwayne R., Assistant Professor of Biology and Conrad Prebys Chair of Virology (B.S., Ph.D., St. Catherine University)
Sbeglia, Gena, Assistant Professor of Biology (Ph.D. Stony Brook University)
Schrankel, Catherine S., Assistant Professor of Biology (B. Sc., M. Sc., The George Washington University; Ph. D. University of Toronto)
Sethuraman, Arun, Assistant Professor of Biology (Ph.D. Iowa State University)
Sukumaran, Jeet, Assistant Professor of Biology (B.S., University of Texas, Austin; M.S., University of Malaya, Malaysia; Ph.D., University of Kansas)
Zuniga, Cristal, Assistant Professor of Biology (Ph.D. Autonomous Metropolitan University)
Maloy, Stanley R., Professor of Biology, Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation of Graduate and Research Affairs (B.S., University of California, Irvine; M.S., California State University, Long Beach; Ph.D., University of California, Irvine)
Segall, Anca M., Professor of Biology (B.S., University of Maryland; Ph.D., University of Utah)
Welter, Stephen C., Vice President, Research and Graduate Dean, Graduate and Research Affairs; Professor of Biology
DiDomenico, Angela M., M.S., Biology
Ekdale, Eric C., Ph.D., Biology
Finley, Kim D., Ph.D., Biology
Norgard-Sumnicht, Karin E., Ph.D., Biology
Anderson, Todd W., 2000-2021, Professor of Biology
Archibald, J. David, Ph.D., 1983-2011, Professor of Biology
Avila, Vernon L., Ph.D., 1973-2003, Associate Professor of Biology
Barnett, Carol A., Ph.D., 1971-2000, Professor of Biology
Baxter, William L., Ph.D., 1963-1992, Professor of Biology
Bernstein, Sanford I., Ph.D., Albert W. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Biology
Berta, Annalisa, Ph.D., 1982-2015, Professor of Biology
Bizzoco, Richard W., Ph.D., 1977-2016, Professor of Biology
Bohnsack, Kurt K., Ph.D., 1956-1983, Professor of Zoology
Breindl, Michael J., Ph.D., 1986-2003, Professor of Biology
Carmichael, Nancy M., Ph.D., 1968-1995, Assistant Professor of Biology
Carpenter, Roger E., Ph.D., 1963-1993, Professor of Biology
Chen, Lo-chai, Ph.D., 1969-2001, Professor of Biology
Clark, Mary E., Ph.D., 1969-1986, Professor of Biology
Collier, Boyd D., Ph.D., 1966-1998, Professor of Biology
Collier, Gerald, Ph.D., 1961-1995, Professor of Biology
Cox, George W., Ph.D., 1962-1996, Professor of Biology
Deutschman, Douglas H., Ph.D., 1997-2017, Professor of Biology
Dexter, Deborah M., Ph.D., 1967-2001, Professor of Biology
Doran, Kelly S., Ph.D., 2007-2018, Professor of Biology
Dowler, Michael J., Ph.D., 1971-2001, Professor of Biology
Ebert, Thomas A., Ph.D., 1969-1999, Professor of Biology
Etheridge, Richard E., Ph.D., 1961-1992, Professor of Biology
Fisher, Kathleen M., Ph.D., 1988-2004, Professor of Biology
Franklin, Janet, Ph.D., 1988-2009, Professor of Biology
Frey, Terrence G., Ph.D., 1986-2011, Professor of Biology
Glembotski, Christopher C., Ph.D., 1986-2020, Albert W. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Biology
Gottlieb, Roberta A., M.D., 2007-2013, Professor of Biology
Hanscom, III, Zac, Ph.D., 1978-2002, Associate Professor of Biology
Hemmingsen, Barbara B., Ph.D., 1973-2004, Professor of Biology
Huffman, Edward W., Ph.D., 1955-1980, Professor of Zoology
Hurlbert, Stuart H., Ph.D., 1970-2006, Professor of Biology
Johnson, Kenneth D., Ph.D., 1972-2001, Professor of Biology
Krekorian, Neil C., Ph.D., 1970-2001, Professor of Biology
McClenaghan, Jr., Leroy R., 1977-2014, Professor of Biology
McGuire, Kathleen L., Ph.D., 1990-2013, Professor of Biology
Monroe, Ronald E., Ph.D., 1973-1997, Professor of Biology
Neel, James W., Ph.D., 1963-1993, Associate Dean, College of Sciences; Professor of Biology
Paolini, Jr., Paul J., Ph.D., 1970-2003, Professor of Biology
Parsons, John A., Ph.D., 1965-1990, Professor of Biology
Perrault, Jacques, Ph.D., 1984-2013, Professor of Biology
Phleger, Charles F., Ph.D., 1971-2001, Professor of Biology
Plymale, Harry H., D.V.M., 1962-1991, Associate Professor of Biology
Pozos, Robert S., Ph.D., 1994-2016, Professor of Biology
Ratty, Frank J., Ph.D., 1954-1984, Professor of Biology
Rinehart, Robert R., Ph.D., 1964-1994, Professor of Biology
Sabbadini, Roger A., Ph.D., 1977-2008, Professor of Biology
Shepard, David C., Ph.D., 1956-1991, Professor of Biology
Simpson, Michael G., Ph.D., 1986-2015, Professor of Biology
Tsoukas, Constantine D., Ph.D., 1986-2013, Professor of Biology
Van Steenbergen, James F., Ph.D., 1970-1993, Professor of Biology
Wedberg, Hale L., Ph.D., 1959-1983, Professor of Botany
Williams, Kathy S., Ph.D., 1987-2017, Professor of Biology
Zedler, Joy B., Ph.D., 1972-1998, Professor of Biology
Zedler, Paul H., Ph.D., 1969-1998, Professor of Biology
Zyskind, Judith W., Ph.D., 1982-2002, Professor of Biology
Biology. The Department of Biology offers a dynamic and modern program in biology which prepares students both academically and practically for vocations in science and science-related fields or for entry into graduate studies. The major is designed to present a basic background in modern biology and in the supportive disciplines of chemistry, mathematics and physics, and to provide specialized training selected by the student from a variety of areas. The wide range of faculty expertise and research interest allows the department to offer a curriculum which includes general and advanced courses in bioinformatics, ecology, endocrinology, entomology, evolutionary biology, genetics and physiology, immunology, marine sciences, microbiology, molecular biology, and plant and animal sciences. Formal programs of study within the major include Emphases in Cell and Molecular Biology, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Marine Biology, and Zoology. Special studies opportunities with SDSU faculty and scientists at cooperating institutions allow qualified students to gain research experience on an individual basis.
The department offers a specific program of courses to fulfill the state of California’s science requirements for the Single Subject Teaching Credential in Biological Science. Students successfully completing one of these programs may be certified by the department as having demonstrated subject competency as required in part for acceptance into the College of Education single subject credential program.
The department also offers a program leading to the Biotechnology Certificate. The purpose of this program is to prepare undergraduate and graduate students for employment in public and private organizations utilizing biotechnology.
The rapid advances in theoretical and applied biology, the growing demands in health care and the expansion of general interest in and concern for the environment are just a few of the factors which continue to increase society’s need for biologists. Some examples: a biology degree is the common precursor for the medical, dental, veterinarian and allied health professions; government agencies involved in environment protection, public health and conservation need ecologists, inspectors, laboratory technicians and wildlife, forest, coast and park managers; government and private agriculture agencies need entomologists and botanists; private companies, government laboratories and universities involved in biotechnology need microbiologists and molecular biologists; zoos, wild animal parks and aquaria need zoologists; the secondary school system needs biology teachers; textbook and scientific supply companies need science majors. Whether your goal is to work in a laboratory or a forest, there is opportunity for fulfillment and growth in the field of biology.
Microbiology. Microbiology is the study of bacteria, viruses, yeasts, molds, algae and protozoa. These microorganisms are found associated with plants and animals, in soil, and in fresh and marine waters. Many of the free-living species participate in maintaining the quality of our environment. Certain species affect the health and well-being of plants and animals, including humans, by causing infectious diseases. Microorganisms are often used in the molecular biology laboratory as research tools, for experiments in genetic engineering, and in the manufacture of food and chemicals.
The microbiology major is designed to provide the student with a background in basic biology, microbiology, and the disciplines of chemistry, mathematics and physics. The curriculum includes introductory and advanced courses (most with laboratories) in general and pathogenic microbiology, immunology, virology, physiology, and genetics as well as courses in food and industrial microbiology, marine microbiology, and molecular biology.
Microbiologists find positions with governmental agencies, in university and private research laboratories, in biotechnology, medical and industrial laboratories, in schools as teachers, with scientific supply companies, or with textbook companies. Depending on the situation, a microbiologist may conduct fundamental and applied research, identify disease-causing microorganisms in medical or veterinary specimens, participate in studies of the environment (e.g., soil, ocean, lakes), aid in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, food, or beverages, or provide quality and safety control. The microbiology major is excellent preparation for entrance into medical, dental, veterinarian, and graduate schools. The Emphasis in Clinical Laboratory Science prepares students to become, after a postgraduate internship, licensed medical technologists or certified public health microbiologists.
Students are required to meet with the undergraduate adviser and satisfy specific requirements in order to declare the major. Contact the biology advising office (LS-102) for admission criteria and procedures. All students admitted to the university with a declared major in biology are urged to meet with their undergraduate adviser within their first two semesters.
The biology and microbiology majors are impacted programs. To be admitted to the biology or microbiology major, students must meet the following criteria:
- Complete with a grade of C (2.0) or better: BIOL 203 , BIOL 203L , BIOL 204 , BIOL 204L , BIOL 215 ; CHEM 200 ,CHEM 201 , CHEM 232 , CHEM 232L ; and MATH 124 . These courses cannot be taken for credit/no credit (Cr/NC);
- Have a cumulative GPA of 2.80 or better;
To complete the major, students must fulfill the degree requirements for the major described in the catalog in effect at the time they are accepted into the premajor at SDSU (assuming continuous enrollment).
Major Academic Plans (MAPs)
Visit http://www.sdsu.edu/mymap for the recommended courses needed to fulfill your major requirements. The MAPs website was created to help students navigate the course requirements for their majors and to identify which General Education course will also fulfill a major preparation course requirement.
Associateships and Assistantships
Graduate teaching associateships and graduate assistantships in biology are available to qualified students on a competitive basis. Application and additional information may be secured from the graduate adviser in biology.
The Department of Biology offers graduate study leading to the degrees of Master of Arts and Master of Science in biology and the Master of Science degree in microbiology. In addition, the Department of Biology offers three doctoral programs leading to the Ph.D. in biology (cell and molecular) with the University of California, San Diego, in ecology with the Graduate Group in Ecology at the University of California, Davis, and in evolutionary biology with the University of California, Riverside. These academic programs can prepare students for careers in research, education, and public service.
Life science buildings provide facilities for graduate study in the biological sciences. San Diego State University also operates the Coastal and Marine Institute Laboratory on San Diego Bay, the SDSU Museum of Biodiversity, the SDSU Field Stations program with research stations at the Sky Oaks Biological Field Station near Warner Springs, the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve near Temecula (Riverside County), and a research site at Fortuna Mountain.
Additional facilities and opportunities available in the community include the Tijuana Estuary Reserve, San Diego Zoo and Hospital, the United States Department of Agriculture, Fish and Game Commission, the Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, the San Diego Natural History Museum, and the Naval Underseas Center.
Admission to Master’s or Doctoral Study
Students applying for admission should electronically submit the university application along with the application fee.
All applicants must submit admissions materials separately to SDSU Graduate Admissions and to the Department of Biology.
The following materials should be submitted as a complete package directly to:
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-7416
- Official transcripts (in sealed envelopes or electronically submitted) from all postsecondary institutions attended;
- Students who attended SDSU need only submit transcripts for work completed since last attendance.
- Students with international coursework must submit both the official transcript and proof of degree. If documents are in a language other than English, they must be accompanied by a certified English translation.
- English language score, if medium of instruction was in a language other than English (http://www.ets.org SDSU institution code 4682).
Master of Arts Degree in Biology
Master of Science Degree in Biology
Master of Science Degree in Microbiology
The following admissions materials must be submitted electronically;
- Personal statement;
- Application for teaching assistantship (optional);
- Three letters of recommendation;
- Unofficial transcripts;
- Curriculum vitae or resume.
Complete instructions can be found at https://biology.sdsu.edu/MSApply.html.
Ph.D. Degree in Biology (Cell and Molecular)
Applications to the Ph.D. program in biology (cell and molecular) require an online application through http://www.calstate.edu/apply. Applications are due by December 15 (or the preceding weekday if December 15 falls on a weekend or holiday). For additional information visit https://biology.sdsu.edu/cmob/propsinfo.html.
Ph.D. Degree in Ecology
Application to the Ph.D. program in ecology is a two-step process. The first step requires an online application to the Joint Doctoral Program in Ecology (JDPE) through University of California, Davis at https://ecology.ucdavis.edu/admissions. A joint SDSU-UCD JDPE admissions committee will evaluate applications. Those selected will be asked to submit an abbreviated application at http://www.calstate.edu/apply. All applicants must identify a faculty member at SDSU who has agreed to act as their faculty adviser for the Ph.D. program, if accepted. The person should be listed as the faculty member with whom they have spoken on their SDSU and UCD applications. Applications to UCD are due by December 1 (or the preceding week day if December 1 falls on a weekend or holiday). For additional information, consult the website http://www.bio.sdsu.edu/ecology/ecology_joint-doc_app.php and and https://biology.sdsu.edu/eco/prog_phd.php or the director for the Ph.D. program in ecology.
Ph.D. Degree in Evolutionary Biology
Application to the Ph.D. in evolutionary biology requires online application to SDSU through https://biology.sdsu.edu/eb/jdeb.html.
All applicants must identify a faculty member at SDSU who has agreed to act as their major professor for the Ph.D program. Applications are due by December 1 (or the preceding week day if December 1 falls on a weekend or holiday). For additional information consult the website: http://www.bio.sdsu.edu/eb/jdeb.html.
Section I. Master’s Degree Programs
The Master of Science degrees in biology and microbiology are acceptable as preparation for more advanced degree programs. Studies for degrees in biology must be completed in one of the research programs listed below. The Master of Arts degree in biology has a language other than English requirement.
Admission to the Degree Curriculum
In addition to the general requirements for admission to the university with classified graduate standing, as described in Admission and Registration , a student must satisfy the following requirements before he/she will be considered for recommendation to enter the masters program.
- Meet the requirements deemed equivalent to a baccalaureate degree in biology or microbiology at San Diego State University.
- Have a grade point average of 2.85 or better on work taken for the baccalaureate degree.
- Have a grade point average of 3.0 or better in upper division courses (at least 24 units) acceptable for the major.
- Be considered as capable of graduate work in the biological sciences by at least two letters of reference submitted to the biology graduate adviser.
- Be accepted by a research program and be sponsored by a faculty member of the area (required only for programs in ecology and evolutionary biology).
NOTE: Admission to a research program within the biology graduate program will be limited to the number of students for which adequate facilities and faculty sponsorship are available. Students should therefore be as specific as possible in their indication of research interests and career goals. Individual research programs will admit students solely on the basis of merit in relation to space and faculty availability.
Students who do not meet all of the above requirements for admission with classified graduate standing may be admitted with conditionally classified graduate standing upon the recommendation of the research program. Students so admitted will be advised as to the nature of their deficiency and the time to be allowed to achieve full classified graduate standing.
- Biology (Cell and Molecular), Ph.D.
- Biology, B.A. in Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Biology, B.S. in Applied Arts and Sciences
- Biology, B.S. in Applied Arts and Sciences in preparation for the Single Subject Teaching Credential in Science/Biological Sciences
- Biology, Cellular and Molecular Biology Minor
- Biology, Ecology Concentration, M.A.
- Biology, Ecology Concentration, M.S.
- Biology, Ecology Minor
- Biology, Emphasis in Cellular and Molecular Biology, B.S. in Applied Arts and Sciences
- Biology, Emphasis in Ecology, B.S. in Applied Arts and Sciences
- Biology, Emphasis in Evolutionary Biology, B.S. in Applied Arts and Sciences
- Biology, Emphasis in Marine Biology, B.S. in Applied Arts and Sciences
- Biology, Emphasis in Zoology, B.S. in Applied Arts and Sciences
- Biology, Evolutionary Biology Concentration, M.A.
- Biology, Evolutionary Biology Concentration, M.S.
- Biology, Evolutionary Biology Minor
- Biology, General Biology Minor
- Biology, M.A.
- Biology, M.S.
- Biology, Marine Biology Minor
- Biology, Microbiology Concentration, M.S.
- Biology, Molecular Biology Concentration, M.A.
- Biology, Molecular Biology Concentration, M.S.
- Biology, Physiology Concentration, M.A.
- Biology, Physiology Concentration, M.S.
- Biology, Plant Biology Minor
- Biotechnology Certificate
- Ecology, Ph.D.
- Evolutionary Biology, Ph.D.
- Microbiology, B.A. in Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Microbiology, B.S. in Applied Arts and Sciences
- Microbiology, Emphasis in Clinical Laboratory Science, B.S. in Applied Arts and Sciences
- Microbiology, M.S.