Welcome to the Biology Department's advising page!


Andrew Bohonak, Eddie Lopez, Arlene Castillo

Biology and microbiology degree information

Biology course information

Top 5 tips for success

25 Frequently Asked Questions

Bioadvising office hours for the next 3 weeks (in LS-135)

Week of Jan 13

M Tu W Th F
Week of Jan 20        
M Tu W Th F

Eddie Lopez available Call for advisor availability Office closed    





Overview of the Department

The Biology department at San Diego State University has excellent degree programs with courses taught by over 40 full time, research active faculty members. We serve and mentor approximately 1500 undergraduate majors in Biology and Microbiology, 80 minors, 200+ graduate students, and thousands of students from other departments. SDSU offers a rich variety of coursework in cellular and molecular biology, ecology, evolution, and related fields. In a typical semester, undergraduates have access to over 50 courses. Nearly all of these have class sizes less than 30, or have associated laboratory sections with less than 25 students. We have a large number of laboratory and field-based courses compared with Biology departments at other institutions. The lower division laboratories are taught by graduate students (rather than undergraduates), and many of the upper division laboratories are taught by the professors themselves.

There are significant opportunities for our undergraduates to conduct research with an internationally recognized faculty. Academic Analytics consistently ranked SDSU faculty research productivity highly when they performed these analyses in 2007-2010: #1 out of 92 small research universities in the United States, #15 out of all 155 public research universities, and #35 out of all 222 American research universities. Within SDSU, the department of Biology has one of the strongest research programs, with undergraduate, Master's and PhD programs in the areas of Cell and Molecular Biology, Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology.

The SDSU student body is tremendously diverse. See a summary of student diversity and graduation rates on our Frequently Asked Questions page, FAQ #19.

Because of our emphasis on laboratory courses, hands-on activities and research opportunities, our graduates are uniquely prepared for a career in biology or the health professions, or postgraduate education.


Important: registration blocks

  1. Beginning in Fall 2013, Biology 366 has a new prerequisite. You must be admitted to the major before registering for Biology 366. See the Bioadvising office if this new prerequisite impacts your registration plans for 2013-2014.
  2. You cannot register for courses numbered Biology 450 or above until you complete certain upper division writing requirements. See the details on our Frequently Asked Questions, #8.
  3. The university blocks students from repeating a course if they earned C or better the first time. There are no exceptions.
  4. SDSU blocks students from taking any course three times. If you cannot earn the grade you need after repeating the course, please meet with the Biology advisor immediately.

Course checklist for 2013-2014

Click here for a summary course checklist from the 2013-2014 academic year.


Are you graduating in 2015?

In April 2010, we held an advising session specifically targeted towards students that were planning for graduation. The advice still holds true for 2014-2015, so please click here to watch the event and get advice for the coming year!

This is an approximately 30 minute MPEG (mp4) movie. The file is large (131 MB), but will probably start playing inside your web browser part-way through the download.


Contact us

Dr. Andrew J. Bohonak, Professor and Vice Chair of Biology
     and Director of Undergraduate Advising and Curriculum

Mr. Eddie Lopez, M.S., Associate Director of Advising
Ms. Arlene Castillo, M.S., Administrative Coordinator

Biology Undergraduate Advising Office, LS-135   See a map
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Dr.
San Diego, CA 92182-4614
(619) 594-6442

The office is open 8:00-noon and 1:00-4:00, Monday to Friday.

* Please print a current copy of your Degree Audit Report (DAR) from WebPortal, and bring it to your advising appointment. *


Important links

Office of Advising and Evaluations
Office of the Registrar
Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement
Pre-Professional Health Advising Office
Office of Admissions

Highlights from the Academic Calendar

Jan 7 Registration begins  
Jan 21 Registration closed  
Jan 21 Campus closed  
Jan 22 First day of Spring classes  
Feb 4 Add/drop deadline 11:59 PM  
Feb 4 Last day to apply for May or August graduation  
March 15 Explore SDSU Open House for prospective students  
March 21 No classes. NCAA basketball tournament  
March 31
 - April 6
Spring Break. No classes.  
May 8 Last day of classes  
May 9-15 Finals  
May 16 Commencement 1 PM (Viejas Arena)  
May 21 First day of Summer classes  
Aug. 25 First day of Fall classes  
Sept. 1 Labor Day. No classes.  
Nov. 11 Veterans Day . No classes.  
Nov. 6-28 Fall Break. No classes.  
Dec. 10 Last Day of Fall classes  
Dec. 11-17 Final exams  

Documents labeled PDF are in Portable Document Format and require Adobe Reader to view and print. Download Adobe Reader free from the Adobe website.