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Microbiology

The Microbiology Graduate Group offers interdisciplinary, interdepartmental training and combines academic and experimental training in modern molecular approaches to microbiological problems. Areas of research span fundamental, applied, and pathogenic microbiology, including bacterial and viral pathogenesis, eukaryotic microbiology, microbial genomics and genetics, microbial physiology and development, microbial ecology and environmental microbiology, cancer biology, and bioengineering and bioremediation.

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A student discusses a plant specimen with her professor in one of UC Davis's several green houses

Plant Biology

Fascinated by plants? Enjoy research? Want to make a difference in agriculture, health, biotechnology, the environment or industry? Plant biology might be the major for you. Plants are the primary source of food on the planet as well as important buffers against climate change. The plant biology major focuses on fundamental aspects of how plants function as organisms and interact with their environment. 

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Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior

Are you passionate about science? Do you love the idea of hands-on chemistry and biology labs? Then this major is perfect for you. Not only will you focus on organisms and their interactions within their environments, but you will also have the opportunity to be involved in research and internships. This is the most popular major within the College of Biological Sciences and the fifth most popular on campus. The neurobiology, physiology and behavior major educates pre-health students with the mindset to develop solutions that will help humans and animals lead healthy lives.

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Molecular and Medical Microbiology (Formerly Microbiology)

Ever wonder how microorganisms effect human, animal and environmental health? The trillions of tiny organisms dwelling around us and within us affect our lives in profound ways. Some are vital to our bodies or food production; others cause destructive diseases. The field of microbiology contributes to biochemistry, cell biology, evolution, genetics, molecular biology, pathogenesis and physiology. The microbiology major prepares students for graduate studies and a variety of health-related careers.

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Marine and Coastal Science—Marine Ecology and Organismal Biology

Do you want to explore science in an applied, hands-on way? Marine scientists apply scientific skills in the natural and physical sciences to protect ocean and coastal environments and solve modern, global problems. Our oceans account for more than 96 percent of the world’s water, and few of the world’s coastlines are beyond the influence of human pressures.  The marine ecology and organismal biology emphasis concentrates on physiological adaptations to the marine environment and the biology of marine species from the molecular level to entire populations.

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Genetics and Genomics

Are you looking to contribute to the advancements in heredity research? Do you want to explore the evolution of organisms? Geneticists seek to answer fundamental questions about how organisms inherit characteristics and transmit them to their offspring. Concepts of heredity and evolution are important in many areas of modern science and industry, including biotechnology, medicine and agriculture.    

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Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity

Are you interested in understanding the diversity of life on Earth, including the diversity in genes, physiology, shapes, sizes and behaviors? Or have you ever wondered if populations of interacting organisms persist over time or actually become extinct? Students majoring in evolution, ecology and biodiversity will be able to gain a breadth of knowledge in this and much more!

 

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A Cell biology student peeks out from behind the samples he has been working with

Cell Biology

Are you fascinated by how the cell operates in living organisms? Are you curious how the adult cell functions? Cell biology integrates principles from many disciplines, including chemistry, physics, genetics, biochemistry and physiology, for a more complete understanding of cell function. This major will open up doors to scientific opportunities for cellular and molecular exploration.

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Biological Sciences

A single nerve cell, transmitting electrical impulses in a continuous chain of stimulus and response. A wind-polished cypress tree, its roots digging deeper into the soil with every passing season. A patient receiving chemotherapy to help target and destroy the cancer invading her body. Each of these situations, and every function of every living being, is within the scope of interest of a major in biological sciences.

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Exercise Biology

Are you interested in is the body’s responses to physical activity? The exercise biology minor allows students to learn how physical activity levels impact human form and function from physiological, biomechanical and behavioral perspectives. The courses are designed to foster intellectual curiosity, problem solving and critical thinking skills, in the context of understanding organismal animal (including human) biology.

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Students smile in a botanical garden at UC Davis.

Biological Sciences

The biological sciences minor provides an opportunity for students in programs outside of the College of Biological Sciences to complement their studies with a concentration in biology. Student in the minor experience the breadth of biology by taking courses in five core areas:

  1. Molecular biology/biochemistry
  2. Animal biology
  3. Plant biology
  4. Microbiology
  5. Ecology/evolution
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Animal Science

The Department of Animal Science offers five minor programs open to students majoring in other disciplines who wish to complement their study programs. Some courses have required prerequisites not included as part of the minor, and students should plan accordingly.

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Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics

The interdisciplinary minor in quantitative biology and bioinformatics is an integrative program that introduces students to the quantitative and computational approaches that are redefining all disciplines in the biological sciences, from molecular and cell biology, through genetics and physiology, to ecology and evolutionary biology.

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Two female students and their male professor examine an otter skull

Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity

Are you interested in understanding the diversity of life on Earth, including the diversity in genes, physiology, shapes, sizes and behaviors? Or have you ever wondered if populations of interacting organisms persist over time or actually become extinct? The minor in evolution, ecology and biodiversity offers the student a broad background in the theoretical and empirical basis of our understanding of the diversity and distribution of living organisms.  

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A student discusses a plant specimen with her professor in one of UC Davis's several green houses

Plant Biology

This minor explores plants and their dynamic means of interacting with the environment. Three areas of specialization are offered: 

  1. Anatomy and morphology, physiology and development
  2. Evolution and ecology
  3. Biochemistry and molecular genetics 
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neurobiology minor in lab

Neuroscience

Are you interested in the function of the nervous system in animals and humans? The neuroscience minor allows students who are unable to major in the neurobiology, physiology and behavior to learn about the importance of the nervous system. The large breadth of neuroscience courses available include molecular and cellular neurobiology, developmental neurobiology, neurobiology of addictive drugs, and cell signaling in health and disease. Students who obtain a neuroscience minor would be able to demonstrate knowledge of the neurobiological processes in animals and humans.

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Human Physiology

Are you curious about how the body works? The human physiology minor exposes students to general and specialized courses related to human biology including courses such as exercise and aging in health and disease and exercise metabolism. Students in the human physiology minor will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the physiological processes that allow animals to function in their environment. This minor provides a foundation for further training in health-related professions.