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Bachelor of Science in Biology in Marine Biology and Limnology

Bachelor (ISCED 2011 level 6)


Duration 8 semesters
Cost Undergraduate Full-Time Attendance for Two semesters $7,254

The concentration in Marine Biology provides the foundations of chemistry, physics, and mathematics, basic background in the biological sciences, and the opportunity to obtain greater depth of knowledge in marine and aquatic biology. In the marine biology and limnology specialization, students can take courses dealing with aquatic ecology and different aquatic environments, such as lakes and streams, the upper layers of the ocean and estuaries, and benthic environments. They can take courses dealing with particular groups of organisms, including microbes, algae and aquatic plants, invertebrates, fish, and aquatic mammals. Studies of biological processes such as physiology are also included in the curriculum. Students have a great deal of flexibility in deciding among specialty courses they would like to apply as electives in their major. Students are also encouraged to undertake independent studies projects under the direction of faculty members. Because of the flexibility of the major, students are encouraged to see an advisor every semester, and at least at these points in their careers: when they declare their major, when they begin taking upper-division courses, and when they are preparing to graduate.

Structural components
Laboratory training
Practical/Field work
Research Project

Application procedure

  • Apply online at during the filing period (see above).
  • Pay the $70 (non-refundable) application fee by credit card online to further speed processing or complete the online fee waiver available with the Cal State Apply application.
  • Answer all questions on the application completely and accurately; quick admission is based on self-reported information.
  • Submit official SAT or ACT test scores. Only your official scores are compared to your self-reported high school GPA.
  • San Francisco State communicates with students via e-mail. Make sure to read all e-mail messages and pay careful attention to deadlines.
  • Check your application status to ensure all supporting materials have been received.

Grant opportunities

San Francisco State students have more than 700 campus and external scholarship opportunities. We encourage you to apply for as many scholarships as possible. Each scholarship has its own criteria, annual amount, and application deadline.

Learn more about scholarships at

Learning outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

Core Competencies

  1. Understanding the Process of Science: Students will demonstrate how a theory is supported or can be rejected based on data from experiments.
  2. Quantitative Reasoning: Students will be able to create graphs and perform simple statistical tests to determine whether or not differences between groups are significant.
  3. Relationship Between Science and Society: Students will be able to explain a biological process or phenomenon as it relates to a societal issue.

Core Concepts

  1. Evolution: Students will be able to understand the fundamental concepts of evolution, role of selective pressures, how genes change
  2. Relationship Between Structure and Function: Students will be able to describe how variation in the structure of an organ in a plant or animal contributes to variation in its function
  3. Information Flow and Storage: Students will be able to explain the transmission of heritable traits


If you are applying from high school, you are eligible if you:

  1. Graduate from high school (diploma or GED)

  2. Complete the required college preparatory courses with a grade of C- or better

  3. Submit SAT or ACT scores and meet or exceed the CSU Eligibility Index

ISCED Categories

Conservation and environmental management
Physical and chemical oceanography