Zoologists study animals—their origin, behavior, diseases, and life processes. Some experiment with live animals in controlled or natural surroundings while others study the structure and function of animal cells, tissues, and organ systems. Some zoologists go on to study veterinary medicine. Zoologists participate in research that has practical outcomes in farming, medicine, pharmacy, wildlife conservation, and pest control. Zoology encompasses many specialties. At CSU, students may focus on general training in animal biology or choose a concentration in the following areas: animal behavior, development, aquatic biology, ecology (how animals adapt to their environments), genetics and evolution, invertebrate organisms, cellular/molecular biology and physiology, systematics, and morphology of vertebrate organisms.

The curriculum is designed to provide a basic understanding of zoology through a variety of laboratory experiences in combination with the study of basic theories and defining concepts. The program encourages flexibility, strength, and depth. The course work includes a two-semester introductory biology sequence, one course each in invertebrates and vertebrates, and courses in evolution and ecology. Required courses in the physical sciences include a minimum of one year of introductory chemistry and at least one course in organic chemistry, two courses in physics (all with labs) and one in biochemistry. A course each in calculus and statistics is also required. In addition, students select a minimum of 15 credits of Zoology courses in their chosen areas of concentration.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Interpret scientific data.
  • Demonstrate strong organizational and laboratory skills.
  • Define scientific hypotheses and design experiments to test them.
  • Work effectively in groups.
  • Demonstrate strong writing and oral communication skills.

Potential Occupations

This major prepares students to work in various areas of zoology, such as research or private industry, or to begin graduate school or professional studies. Career opportunities include medical biotechnology, research technician, protective agencies such as shelters and refuges, trainers and handlers, animal-related business, aquatic/marine biologists, exotic animal specialists, and wildlife conservation. It is an appropriate major for students planning to attend medical or veterinary school. Graduates often pursue advanced degrees to carry out basic research or advance into leadership positions in industry. Participation in internships, laboratory, or research opportunities is highly recommended and encouraged by the department to enhance practical training and development.

Additional careers for Zoology majors include, but are not limited to: aquarium and museum curator/director; zoo keeper, animal trainer and instructor, science librarian, environmental technician, fish and wildlife technician, veterinary technician/assistant, marine bacteriologist or biologist or ecologist, humane society positions, cytotechnologist, ecologist, fisheries biologist or conservationist, laboratory technician, marketing researcher, medical technologist, park ranger, pharmaceutical sales representative, production supervisor, quality analysis technician in food or pharmaceutical industry, radiation protection technician, research technician, industrial hygienist, wildlife photographer.

Effective Fall 2017

To be qualified for graduation, students in the Zoology major must have a minimum grade of C- in each of their biological, physical science, and mathematical courses used to meet requirements for the major. This applies to courses taken as substitutions for meeting these requirements. The minimum scholastic average acceptable for graduation is 2.000 computed only for courses attempted at CSU.

Freshman
AUCCCredits
Select one group from the following: 8
Group A:
  
Principles of Animal Biology (GT-SC2)3A 
Animal Biology Laboratory (GT-SC1)3A 
Principles of Plant Biology (GT-SC1)3A 
Group B:
  
Attributes of Living Systems (GT-SC1)3A 
Biology of Organisms-Animals and Plants  
CHEM 111General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)3A4
CHEM 112General Chemistry Lab I (GT-SC1)3A1
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)1A3
Select one from the following: 4
Calculus for Biological Scientists I (GT-MA1)1B 
Calculus for Physical Scientists I (GT-MA1)1B 
Arts and Humanities3B3
Social and Behavioral Sciences3C3
Electives 5
 Total Credits 31
Sophomore
 
BZ 212Animal Biology-Invertebrates 4
BZ 214Animal Biology-Vertebrates 4
BZ 220Introduction to Evolution 3
CHEM 113General Chemistry II 3
CHEM 114General Chemistry Lab II 1
Select one group from the following: 3-5
Group A:
  
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry  
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry Laboratory  
Group B:
  
Modern Organic Chemistry I  
STAT 301 or 307Introduction to Statistical Methods
Introduction to Biostatistics
 3
Arts and Humanities3B3
Global and Cultural Awareness3E3
Historical Perspectives3D3
 Total Credits 30-32
Junior
 
Select one group from the following: 4-6
Group A:  
Principles of Biochemistry  
Group B:  
Comprehensive Biochemistry I  
Comprehensive Biochemistry II  
BZ 350Molecular and General Genetics4A,4B4
Students should take the following two courses only if CHEM 341 was selected in the sophomore year: 0-5
Modern Organic Chemistry II  
Modern Organic Chemistry Laboratory  
Select one group from the following: 10
Group A:
  
General Physics I (GT-SC1)3A 
General Physics II (GT-SC1)3A 
Group B:
  
Physics for Scientists and Engineers I (GT-SC1)3A 
Physics for Scientists and Engineers II (GT-SC1)3A 
Upper-Division Zoology Courses (see list below) 6
Electives 5
 Total Credits 29-36
Senior
 
BZ 310Cell Biology 4
LIFE 320Ecology4C3
Upper-Division Zoology Courses (see list below) 9
Advanced Writing23
Electives1 2-11
 Total Credits 21-30
 Program Total Credits: 120

Upper-Division Zoology Department List

BMS 360Fundamentals of Physiology4
BSPM 302Applied and General Entomology2
BSPM 303AEntomology Laboratory: General2
BSPM 462/BZ 462/MIP 462Parasitology and Vector Biology5
BZ 300Animal Behavior3
BZ 301Animal Behavior Laboratory2
BZ 311Developmental Biology4
BZ 329Herpetology3
BZ 330Mammalogy3
BZ 335Ornithology3
BZ 346Population and Evolutionary Genetics3
BZ 348/MATH 348Theory of Population and Evolutionary Ecology4
BZ 349Tropical Ecology and Evolution3
BZ 353/NR 353Global Change Ecology, Impacts and Mitigation3
BZ 384Supervised College Teaching1-5
BZ 401Comparative Animal Physiology3
BZ 402Molecular Cytogenics4
BZ 403Comparative Endocrinology3
BZ 415Marine Biology4
BZ 425Molecular Ecology3
BZ 430Animal Behavior and Conservation3
BZ 466Biological Basis of Animal Behavior4
BZ 471Stream Biology and Ecology3
BZ 472Stream Biology and Ecology Laboratory1
BZ 474Limnology3
BZ 476/BZ 576Genetics of Model Organisms3
BZ 479/VS 479Biology and Behavior of Dogs3
BZ 487Internship1-12
BZ 492ASeminar: Behavior1-3
BZ 492BSeminar: Ecology1-3
BZ 492CSeminar: Genetics1-3
BZ 492DSeminar: Ornithology1-3
BZ 492ESeminar: Herpetology1-3
BZ 492FSeminar: Evolution1-3
BZ 495Independent Study1-3
BZ 498Laboratory or Field Research1-6
BZ 510Zoophysiological Ecology3
BZ 535Behavioral Ecology3
BZ 577/MIP 577Computer Analysis in Population Genetics2
BZ 578/MIP 578Genetics of Natural Populations4
BZ 584Supervised College Teaching1-3
BZ 587AInternship: General1-6
BZ 587BInternship: Herbarium1-6
BZ 594Independent Study1-3
GEOL 342Paleontology3
FW 300Biology and Diversity of Fishes2
FW 301Ichthyology Laboratory1
FW 400Conservation of Fish in Aquatic Ecosystems3
FW 405Fish Physiology3
1

Select enough elective credits to bring the program total to a minimum of 120 credits, of which at least 42 must be upper-division (300- to 400-level).

Distinctive Requirements for Degree Program:
TO PREPARE FOR FIRST SEMESTER: The curriculum for the Zoology major assumes students enter college prepared to take calculus. Entering students who are not prepared to take calculus will need to fulfill pre‐calculus requirements in the first semester. LIFE 102 requires high school chemistry as a prerequisite; CHEM 111 requires Algebra II as a prerequisite (this prerequisite is met by having Algebra II by test credit, transfer credit, or placement out of MATH 117 and MATH 118 on Math Placement Exam). Earned grade of C or better is required in each of their biological, physical science, and mathematical courses used to meet requirements for the major.  Term 5 may have to be adjusted if the student chooses 2 semesters of Organic Chemistry.  Do not attempt BZ 310 and BZ 350 before Junior year.  Do not take BZ 350 and BZ 310 together. 

Freshman
Semester 1CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Select one group from the following:X  4
Group A:
    
Principles of Animal Biology (GT-SC2)  3A 
Animal Biology Laboratory (GT-SC1)  3A 
Group B:
    
Attributes of Living Systems (GT-SC1)  3A 
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)  1A3
Social and Behavioral Sciences  3C3
Electives   5
MATH 117, MATH 118 may be necessary for some students to fulfill pre-calculus requirements.X   
 Total Credits   15
Semester 2CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Select one course from the following:X  4
Principles of Plant Biology (GT-SC1)  3A 
Biology of Organisms-Animals and Plants    
CHEM 111General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)X 3A4
CHEM 112General Chemistry Lab I (GT-SC1)X 3A1
Select one course from the following:   4
Calculus for Biological Scientists I (GT-MA1)  1B 
Calculus for Physical Scientists I (GT-MA1)  1B 
Arts and Humanities  3B3
CO 150 must be completed by the end of Semester 2.X   
MATH 124, MATH 125 may be necessary for some students to fulfill pre-calculus requirements.X   
 Total Credits   16
Sophomore
Semester 3CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
BZ 212Animal Biology-Invertebrates   4
BZ 220Introduction to Evolution   3
CHEM 113General Chemistry IIX  3
CHEM 114General Chemistry Lab IIX  1
Arts and Humanities  3B3
Historical Perspectives  3D3
MATH 155 or MATH 160 must be completed by the end of Semester 3.X   
 Total Credits   17
Semester 4CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
BZ 214Animal Biology-Vertebrates   4
Select one group from the following:X  3-5
Group A:
    
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry    
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry Laboratory    
Group B:
    
Modern Organic Chemistry I    
Select one course from the following: X 3
Introduction to Statistical Methods    
Introduction to Biostatistics    
Global and Cultural Awareness  3E3
 Total Credits   13-15
Junior
Semester 5CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Select one course from the following:   3-4
Principles of Biochemistry    
Comprehensive Biochemistry I    
To complete CHEM 341 series option:   0-5
Modern Organic Chemistry II    
Modern Organic Chemistry Laboratory    
Select one course from the following: X 5
General Physics I (GT-SC1)  3A 
Physics for Scientists and Engineers I (GT-SC1)  3A 
Elective   2
Upper-Division Zoology Course (See List on Concentration Requirements Tab)   3
STAT 301 or STAT 307 must be completed by the end of Semester 5.X   
 Total Credits   14-19
Semester 6CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
To complete BC 401 series option:   0-3
Comprehensive Biochemistry II    
BZ 350Molecular and General Genetics X4A,4B4
Select one course from the following: X 5
General Physics II (GT-SC1)  3A 
Physics for Scientists and Engineers II (GT-SC1)  3A 
Elective   2-3
Upper-Division Zoology Course (See List on Concentration Requirements Tab)   3
 Total Credits   15-17
Senior
Semester 7CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
BZ 310Cell Biology   4
Advanced Writing  23
Electives   0-5
Upper-Division Zoology Course (See List on Concentration Requirements Tab)   3
PH 121 must be completed by the end of Semester 7.X   
 Total Credits   10-15
Semester 8CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
LIFE 320EcologyX 4C3
ElectivesX  2-6
Upper-Division Zoology Courses (See List on Concentration Requirements Tab)X  6
The benchmark courses for the 8th semester are the remaining courses in the entire program of study.X   
 Total Credits   11-15
 Program Total Credits:   120