Jul 20, 2024  
2024-2025 Academic Catalog 
2024-2025 Academic Catalog

Department of Biological Sciences

Office: Duncan Hall 254
Telephone: 408-924-4900
Email: bioassistant-group@sjsu.edu
Website: sjsu.edu/biology

Tzvia Abramson
Shelley Cargill
Rachael French, Chair
Jeffrey Honda
Susan Lambrecht
Elizabeth McGee-Bergerol
Cleber Ouverney
Sabine A. Rech
Elizabeth Skovran
Scott Shaffer
Miri VanHoven
Katherine Wilkinson

Associate Professors
Bree Grillo-Hill

Assistant Professors
Walter Adams
Jessica Castillo Vardaro
Maya deVries
Theresa (Thanh) Dinh
David Ensminger
Jennifer Johnston
Leila Khatib
Fred Larabee
Nino Alexander Payumo
Melissa Pickett
Sonia Singhal
Kumar Vishal
Kate Wilkin


As leaders in the education of a highly trained and diverse scientific workforce, our mission is to provide a dynamic educational experience by engaging our students in hands-on, inquiry-based learning activities at the bench and in the field while cultivating an inclusive learning environment that acknowledges and respects individuals from all backgrounds. Through these experiences, our students will gain a conceptual and experiential understanding of the biological sciences spanning from molecules to ecosystems.

Our Program goals are to:

  • Promote the success of our diverse student population in an inclusive and equitable community.
  • Make substantial contributions to the scientific community through our research efforts and that of our students.
  • Foster creativity, a sound theoretical foundation, and the ability to communicate effectively and interact cooperatively with people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Provide students with rigorous laboratory and field experiences within the context of their regular coursework.
  • Create individualized mentoring opportunities and state-of-the-art learning experiences within the context of our faculty research programs.
  • Educate students to be intellectually agile and technologically proficient.
  • Affirm students’ intersecting identities while supporting and fostering their academic development.

Honors Program

Students may apply for the honors program in Biology in BS - Biological Sciences (all concentrations). Students wishing to complete the honors program must:

  1. Have a GPA of 3.5 or higher in courses required in the major,
  2. Have an overall SJSU GPA of 3.0 or higher, and
  3. Complete BIOL 186 BOT 186 , or  ZOOL 186 - Senior Thesis .

Senior thesis courses involve the student in the completion of a research project under the direct supervision of a faculty member. As such, the research project must be on a mutually agreed upon topic. It is recommended that the student submit a proposal for research to the faculty member and have that proposal approved in the last semester of his/her junior year. The student is required to present the results of the research in written form and as a seminar.


    Undergraduate Major(s)

    Undergraduate Minor(s)


    Advanced Certificate(s)


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