Biology & Biotechnology

Associate Degrees for Transfer

A.S.-T. in Biology

The Associate in Science in Biology for Transfer degree provides students with a major that fulfills the general requirements of the California State University for transfer. Students with this degree will receive priority admission with junior status to the California State University system. The Associate in Science in Biology for Transfer (AS-T) degree may be obtained by the completion of 60 transferable, semester units with a minimum 2.0 GPA, including (a) the major or area of emphasis described in the Required Program outlined below (earning a C or better in these courses) and (b) the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (IGETC-STEM).

Degree Requirements

Course Code Course Title Units
BIOL 400 Principles of Biology 5
BIOL 415 Introduction to Biology: Biodiversity, Evolution, and Ecology (5) 5 - 10
or [ BIOL 410 Principles of Botany (5)
and BIOL 420 ] Principles of Zoology (5)
CHEM 400 General Chemistry I 5
CHEM 401 General Chemistry II 5
MATH 355 Calculus for Biology and Medicine I (4) 4 - 5
   or MATH 400 Calculus I (5)
[ PHYS 350 General Physics (4) 8 - 9
and PHYS 360 ] General Physics (4)
or [ PHYS 410 Mechanics of Solids and Fluids (5)
and PHYS 421 ] Electricity and Magnetism (4)
Total Units: 32 - 39

The Associate in Science in Biology for Transfer (AS-T) degree may be obtained by completion of 60 transferable, semester units with a minimum 2.0 GPA, including (a) the major or area of emphasis described in the Required Program, and (b) the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (IGETC for STEM).

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • apply the scientific method: define problems clearly, construct testable hypotheses, design and execute appropriate experiments, analyze data, and justify appropriate conclusions.
  • demonstrate knowledge of scientific terminology and interpret principle concepts of biology.
  • demonstrate content knowledge, laboratory skills, and study skills to be successful at a four-year institution.
  • record and analyze data using appropriate laboratory skills and instrumentation.
  • assemble and critically evaluate technical information from the scientific literature.
  • apply safe laboratory practices.
  • work effectively in groups, as leaders or team members, to solve problems and interact productively with a diverse group of peers.
  • demonstrate awareness of the role of biology in contemporary societal and global issues.

Associate Degrees

A.S. in Biotechnology

This degree provides the theory and skills necessary for entry into the biotechnology field, which uses cellular and molecular processes for industry or research. Course work includes practical laboratory skills with emphasis on good laboratory practice, quality control, and regulatory issues in the biotechnology workplace. Completion of the degree also prepares the student for transfer at the upper division level to academic programs involving biotechnology.

Degree Requirements

Course Code Course Title Units
BIOL 400 Principles of Biology (5) 4 - 5
   or BIOL 440 General Microbiology (4)
   or BIOL 442 General Microbiology and Public Health (5)
BIOT 301 Biotechnology and Human Health 3
BIOT 307 Biotechnology and Society 2
BIOT 311 Biotechnology Laboratory Methods - Molecular Techniques 2
BIOT 312 Biotechnology Laboratory Methods - Microbial and Cell Culture Techniques 2
[[ CHEM 305 Introduction to Chemistry (5) 5 - 10
and CHEM 306 ] Introduction to Organic and Biological Chemistry (5)
or CHEM 309 ] Integrated General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry (5)
or [ CHEM 400 General Chemistry I (5)
and CHEM 401 ] General Chemistry II (5)
ENGWR 300 College Composition 3
ENGWR 301 College Composition and Literature (3) 3
   or ENGWR 302 Advanced Composition and Critical Thinking (3)
STAT 300 Introduction to Probability and Statistics (4) 4
A minimum of 1 unit from the following: 1
BIOT 498 Work Experience in Biotechnology (1 - 4)
   or BIOT 305 Introduction to Bioinformatics (1)
Total Units: 29 - 35

The Biotechnology Associate in Science (A.S.) degree may be obtained by completion of the required program, plus general education requirements, plus sufficient electives to meet a 60-unit total. See ARC graduation requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • apply biological and chemical concepts to biotechnology research and its practical applications.
  • demonstrate biotechnology laboratory procedures involving protein and DNA techniques, cell culture methods, and solution preparation.
  • design and interpret experiments involving biotechnology laboratory procedures.
  • evaluate biotechnology laboratory practices in the context of good laboratory practice, quality control, and regulatory issues.
  • analyze biotechnology data using mathematical and statistical methods.
  • integrate laboratory skills and theory into job-related tasks in the biotechnology workplace.
  • appraise social and ethical issues related to advances in biotechnology research and its practical applications.

Career Information

This degree prepares the student for entry-level work in the bioscience industry in the areas of research and development, production, clinical testing, and diagnostic work. Potential employers include biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, as well as laboratories in hospitals, government, and universities.


A.S. in General Science

This program provides a broad study in the fields of biological and physical sciences in preparation for transfer to a four-year program and continuation of studies in upper division science courses.

Degree Requirements

Course Code Course Title Units
A minimum of 18 units from the following: 181
Physical Science Courses
ASTR 300 Introduction to Astronomy (3)
ASTR 310 The Solar System (3)
ASTR 320 Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology (3)
ASTR 330 Introduction to Astrobiology (3)
ASTR 400 Astronomy Laboratory (1)
ASTR 481 Honors Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology (4)
ASTR 495 Independent Studies in Astronomy (1 - 3)
ASTR 499 Experimental Offering in Astronomy (0.5 - 4)
CHEM 305 Introduction to Chemistry (5)
CHEM 306 Introduction to Organic and Biological Chemistry (5)
CHEM 309 Integrated General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry (5)
CHEM 310 Chemical Calculations (4)
CHEM 400 General Chemistry I (5)
CHEM 401 General Chemistry II (5)
CHEM 420 Organic Chemistry I (5)
CHEM 421 Organic Chemistry II (5)
CHEM 423 Organic Chemistry - Short Survey (5)
CHEM 495 Independent Studies in Chemistry (1 - 3)
CHEM 499 Experimental Offering in Chemistry (0.5 - 4)
GEOG 300 Physical Geography: Exploring Earth's Environmental Systems (3)
GEOG 301 Physical Geography Laboratory (1)
GEOG 305 Global Climate Change (3)
GEOG 306 Weather and Climate (3)
GEOG 307 Environmental Hazards and Natural Disasters (3)
GEOG 308 Introduction to Oceanography (3)
GEOG 309 Introduction to Oceanography Lab (1)
GEOG 391 Field Studies in Geography: Mountain Landscapes (1 - 4)
GEOG 392 Field Studies in Geography: Coastal Landscapes (1 - 4)
GEOG 393 Field Studies in Geography: Arid Landscapes (1 - 4)
GEOG 394 Field Studies in Geography: Volcanic Landscapes (1 - 4)
GEOG 495 Independent Studies in Geography (1 - 3)
GEOG 499 Experimental Offering in Geography (0.5 - 4)
GEOL 300 Physical Geology (3)
GEOL 301 Physical Geology Laboratory (1)
GEOL 305 Earth Science (3)
GEOL 306 Earth Science Laboratory (1)
GEOL 310 Historical Geology (3)
GEOL 311 Historical Geology Laboratory (1)
GEOL 320 Global Climate Change (3)
GEOL 325 Environmental Hazards and Natural Disasters (3)
GEOL 330 Introduction to Oceanography (3)
GEOL 331 Introduction to Oceanography Lab (1)
GEOL 345 Geology of California (3)
GEOL 390 Field Studies in Geology (1 - 4)
GEOL 495 Independent Studies in Geology (1 - 3)
GEOL 499 Experimental Offering in Geology (0.5 - 4)
PHYS 310 Conceptual Physics (3)
PHYS 311 Basic Physics (3)
PHYS 312 Conceptual Physics Laboratory (1)
PHYS 350 General Physics (4)
PHYS 360 General Physics (4)
PHYS 410 Mechanics of Solids and Fluids (5)
PHYS 421 Electricity and Magnetism (4)
PHYS 431 Heat, Waves, Light and Modern Physics (4)
PHYS 495 Independent Studies in Physics (1 - 3)
PHYS 499 Experimental Offering in Physics (0.5 - 4)
PS 300 Introduction to Physical Science (3)
PS 301 Physical Science Laboratory (1)
PS 495 Independent Studies in Physical Science (1 - 3)
PS 499 Experimental Offering in Physical Science (0.5 - 4)
Biological Science Courses
ANTH 300 Biological Anthropology (3)
ANTH 301 Biological Anthropology Laboratory (1)
ANTH 303 Introduction to Forensic Anthropology (3)
ANTH 370 Primatology (3)
ANTH 372 Primatology Field Studies (2)
ANTH 480 Honors Biological Anthropology (3)
ANTH 495 Independent Studies in Anthropology (1 - 3)
ANTH 499 Experimental Offering in Anthropology (0.5 - 4)
BIOL 300 The Foundations of Biology (3)
BIOL 301 Evolution (3)
BIOL 303 Survey of Biology (4)
BIOL 305 Natural History (4)
BIOL 310 General Biology (4)
BIOL 322 Ethnobotany (3)
BIOL 332 Introduction to Ornithology (4)
BIOL 342 The New Plagues: New and Ancient Infectious Diseases Threatening World Health (3)
BIOL 352 Conservation Biology (3)
BIOL 370 Marine Biology (4)
BIOL 375 Marine Ecology (3)
BIOL 390 Natural History Field Study (0.5 - 4)
BIOL 400 Principles of Biology (5)
BIOL 410 Principles of Botany (5)
BIOL 415 Introduction to Biology: Biodiversity, Evolution, and Ecology (5)
BIOL 420 Principles of Zoology (5)
BIOL 430 Anatomy and Physiology (5)
BIOL 431 Anatomy and Physiology (5)
BIOL 440 General Microbiology (4)
BIOL 442 General Microbiology and Public Health (5)
BIOL 482 Honors Marine Biology (4)
BIOL 495 Independent Studies in Biology (1 - 3)
BIOL 499 Experimental Offering in Biology (0.5 - 4)
BIOT 301 Biotechnology and Human Health (3)
BIOT 305 Introduction to Bioinformatics (1)
BIOT 307 Biotechnology and Society (2)
BIOT 311 Biotechnology Laboratory Methods - Molecular Techniques (2)
BIOT 312 Biotechnology Laboratory Methods - Microbial and Cell Culture Techniques (2)
BIOT 499 Experimental Offering in Biology (0.5 - 4)
NATR 300 Introduction to Natural Resource Conservation and Policy (4)
NATR 302 Introduction to Wildlife Biology (4)
NATR 303 Energy and Sustainability (3)
NATR 304 The Forest Environment (3)
NATR 305 Fisheries Ecology and Management (4)
NATR 306 Introduction to Rangeland Ecology and Management (3)
NATR 307 Principles of Sustainability (4)
NATR 310 Study Design and Field Methods (4)
NATR 320 Principles of Ecology (4)
NATR 322 Environmental Restoration (2)
NATR 324 Field Studies: Birds and Plants of the High Sierra (1.5)
NATR 330 Native Trees and Shrubs of California (4)
NATR 332 Wildflowers of California (3)
NATR 346 Water Resources and Conservation (3)
NATR 495 Independent Studies in Natural Resources (1 - 3)
NATR 499 Experimental Offering in Natural Resources (0.5 - 4)
PSYC 310 Biological Psychology (3)
PSYC 311 Biological Psychology Laboratory (1)
PSYC 495 Independent Studies in Psychology (1 - 3)
PSYC 499 Experimental Offering in Psychology (0.5 - 4)
Total Units: 18

1must be transfer-level and must include one laboratory course in a physical science and one laboratory course in a biological science

The General Science Associate in Science (A.S.) degree may be obtained by completion of the required program, plus general education requirements, plus sufficient electives to meet a 60-unit total. See ARC graduation requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • evaluate new and accepted ideas about the natural universe using scientific methods.
  • analyze a wide variety of natural phenomena using basic definitions and fundamental theories of biological or physical sciences.
  • apply appropriate quantitative and qualitative methods to interpret and analyze pertinent data.
  • outline the basic concepts and fundamental theories of a natural science.
  • articulate orally and/or in writing the importance of continuous examination and modification of accepted ideas as a fundamental element in the progress of science.
  • discuss ethical components of scientific decision making and apply personal and social values within the process of decision making in scientific endeavors.

Certificate of Achievement

Biotechnology Certificate

This certificate provides the theory and skills necessary for entry into the biotechnology field, which uses cellular and molecular biology processes for industry or research. Course work includes practical laboratory skills with emphasis on good laboratory practice, quality control, and regulatory issues in the biotechnology workplace. This certificate is suitable for preparing the student for the biotechnology workplace at the support personnel level.

Certificate Requirements

Course Code Course Title Units
BIOL 303 Survey of Biology (4) 4 - 5
   or BIOL 310 General Biology (4)
   or BIOL 400 Principles of Biology (5)
   or BIOL 440 General Microbiology (4)
   or BIOL 442 General Microbiology and Public Health (5)
BIOT 301 Biotechnology and Human Health 3
BIOT 311 Biotechnology Laboratory Methods - Molecular Techniques 2
BIOT 312 Biotechnology Laboratory Methods - Microbial and Cell Culture Techniques 2
CHEM 305 Introduction to Chemistry (5) 5
   or CHEM 309 Integrated General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry (5)
   or CHEM 400 General Chemistry I (5)
ENGWR 300 College Composition 3
MATH 120 Intermediate Algebra (5) 4 - 5
   or STAT 300 Introduction to Probability and Statistics (4)
A minimum of 1 unit from the following: 1
BIOT 305 Introduction to Bioinformatics (1)
   or BIOT 307 Biotechnology and Society (2)
   or BIOT 498 Work Experience in Biotechnology (1 - 4)
Total Units: 24 - 26

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • apply biological and chemical concepts to biotechnology research and its practical applications.
  • demonstrate biotechnology laboratory procedures involving protein and DNA techniques, cell culture methods, and solution preparation.
  • design and interpret experiments involving biotechnology laboratory procedures.
  • evaluate biotechnology laboratory practices in the context of good laboratory practice, quality control, and regulatory issues.
  • assess the impact of biotechnology on social and ethical issues.

Gainful Employment

The US Department of Education requires colleges to disclose a variety of information for any program that is eligible for financial aid that "prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation." The following link provides Gainful Employment Disclosure information for this certificate program:

Gainful Employment Information for Biotechnology Certificate of Achievement

Career Information

This certificate prepares the student for entry-level work in the bioscience industry in the areas of research and development, production, clinical testing, and diagnostic work. Potential employers include biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, as well as laboratories in hospitals, government, and universities.

American River College is home to the only Biotechnology program in the Sacramento area and offers both a Biotechnology A.S. degree and a Biotechnology Certificate.

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