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Biology Minor

Cal Poly students from other majors can minor in biology through the department.  A minor in biology offers increased factual and conceptual knowledge in biology, an increased understanding of scientific methods and techniques used to study biology, and an increased ability to analyze biological topics in the news or on the job.

Biological issues are relevant in many careers, including those in health-related businesses, agriculture, engineering, city planning, teaching K-12 students, journalism, political science, psychology, and statistics. In addition, an enhanced biology background will help students become better-educated citizens able to evaluate a variety of controversial issues, including genetically-modified organisms in agriculture, human cloning, genetic discrimination, and the pressures of population growth.

Students in more closely related majors, such as Biochemistry or Kinesiology, can strengthen their biology background through the minor. Students may choose courses in environmental biology or in human biology and biotechnology, or may choose to take courses in several areas

Frequently Asked Questions for Biology Minor requirement


As of the 17-19 catalog, the Biology minor is open to any major except Marine Science, Microbiology, and/or Liberal Studies with a concentration in Biology.

Minor Coordinators

Faculty Coordinator   Email Phone Office
Ken Hillers - Students with last name A-I 805-756-1481 33-274
Lars Tomanek - Students with last name J-Q 805-756-2437 33-372
Crow White - Students with last name R-Z 805-756-2954 33-378

Required Coursework

Please refer to the catalog for the most up-to-date minor requirements.

Tentative Course Offerings - Biological Sciences Department

Biology Minor Worksheets and Declaration Form

Biology Minor Worksheets - for information only and to use as a worksheet.


Once you have identified the courses you would like to take and made sure you plan to take all the appropriate pre-requisites, then you should fill out the BIOLOGY MINOR DECLARATION FORM. Before you fill out the form make sure you plan for the following:

  1. You plan to complete 12-14 units of introductory courses (100- or 200-level)
  2. You plan to complete 16 units of upper-division courses (300- or 400-level) for the Minor
  3. You plan to have the proper prerequisites to get into your proposed upper-division courses 
  4. You plan to take at least half of the units for the Minor at Cal Poly (in residence) 
  5. You do not plan to take any course Credit/No Credit (CR/NC)* 
  6. You accept that a minimum 2.0 GPA is required in all units counted for the Minor. 

If you have any questions about this process, please contact the Biology Front Office at  If you have questions about planning and courses, please contact the appropriate Biology Minor Coordinator above.  

*The Biological Sciences Department is making a temporary exception to this requirement: courses taken during the COVID pandemic (Spring 2020 through the present quarter) can be taken CR/NC and applied toward your Minor. 

Make a Change to a Previously Submitted Biology Minor Form

If you need to make a change to a Biology Minor Form submitted prior to 2/1/21 or would like to request a substitution (rare) please fill out this Biology Minor Inquiry Form

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