Biology Program Description


A.S. Biology: Biology Concentration Option
A.S. Biology: Health Science/Pre-Professional Option
A.S. Biology: Pre-Nursing Option
AS-T – Biology

Program Description

What do Ebola, hemophilia, DNA fingerprinting, sequoias, cuttlefish, intertidal zones, and global climate change have in common? These are a few examples of the diverse topics that are explored in Biology, which is the scientific study of living organisms including their structure, function, evolution, and interactions with other organisms and with the environment. The CRC Biology Department offers a variety of courses that are organized into the following three areas:

  • General education courses for non-science majors who want to gain an understanding of the biological world (BIOL 300, 307, 310, 342, 350, 352, 390, and 462).
  • Clinically related courses for students pursuing careers in nursing and allied health (BIOL 100, 102, 430, 431, 439, and 440).
  • The first two years of a Biology major for those transferring to Bachelor Degree programs in fields related to the life sciences (BIOL 400, 410, and 420).

Students who transfer to four-year universities report a very high level of satisfaction with the education they received at CRC.

Career Opportunities

  • Nursing
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Microbiology
  • Physician's Assistant
  • Teaching
  • Wildlife Biology
  • Marine Biology
  • Pharmacy
  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Optometry
  • Research
  • Nutrition
  • Sonography

Some Career Opportunities require more than two years of college study. Classes beyond the associate degree may be required for some Career Opportunities or to fully prepare students for transfer to a university program.


The Biology Department is dedicated to providing a rigorous, but supportive and diverse academic experience. We emphasize challenging lecture and laboratory courses where instructors work closely with students to help them reach their goals. We strive to:  

  • Understand the diverse backgrounds, learning styles, and challenges of community college students. 
  • Use innovative teaching that encourages critical thinking, student success, and lifelong learning. 
  • Provide extensive laboratory experiences so that students can learn the process of science.
  • Offer day and evening sections for our pre-nursing and pre-allied health courses, with online offerings for pre-allied health courses. 
  • Offer stimulating honors courses in human cadaver dissection and intertidal ecology.

Students can increase their leadership and academic skills by participating in MESA (Math, Science, and Engineering Achievement Program), which provides field trips, career counseling, tutoring, and camaraderie. 

Note to Transfer Students:
If you are interested in transferring to a four-year college or university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in this major, it is critical that you meet with a CRC counselor to select and plan the courses for your major. Schools vary widely in terms of the required preparation. The courses that CRC requires for an associate’s degree in this major may be different from the requirements needed for the bachelor’s degree.

For information about the student learning outcomes for this program, see

Field Study Classes at Cosumnes River College
Nature is often the best classroom! Come learn outside in Cosumnes River College’s field study courses. These classes consist of short classroom sessions followed by extended trips to some of the most unique and beautiful environments in California, including Big Sur, Monterey Bay, Mt. Lassen, Point Reyes, Yosemite and more! These short-term classes are offered by several departments, including Biology, Geography, Geology and Photography. For more information about specific classes, consult the class schedule or contact each department.