Science Lab


About Biology

Biology is the science of life. Biology studies the structure, function, growth and development of living organisms at the physical and chemical level. It also studies the origin, evolution and distribution of these organisms on Earth. Modern biology is a vast field, composed of biochemistry, botany, cellular & molecular biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, genetics, anatomy & physiology and zoology.

The courses offered within the biology discipline at West are listed below. The discipline offers numerous sections of each of these courses in both the regular fall and spring semesters. Several biology courses are also offered in the winter and spring semesters as well. Contact the faculty for more information.

Programs Offered


  • Associate in Science in Biology for Transfer (AST) Degree

Students should consult the Counseling Office for major preparation and general education (GE) requirements for the particular transfer institution of their choice. Visit the Transfer Center for more information about transfer. 

In 2012, the California Community Colleges and CSU launched the new Associate Degree for Transfer (AA-T/AS-T) Pathway. The Science Division now offers an Associate in Science in Biology for Transfer (AST) Degree. Upon successful completion, you are guaranteed admission to the CSU system as a junior. 

Associate Degrees for Transfer comply with The Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act (Senate Bill 1440).

To earn an Associate in Science in Biology for Transfer (AS-T) Degree, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of 60 semester units or 90 quarter units of degree-applicable courses,
  • Minimum overall grade point average of 2.0,
  • Minimum grade of "C" (or "P") for each course in the major, and
  • Completion of IGETC and/or CSU GE-Breadth.

Students will not be required to complete additional local graduation requirements to obtain this degree.


  • BIOLOGY 006 General Biology I (5 units)
  • BIOLOGY 007 General Biology II (5 units)
  • CHEM 101 General Chemistry I (5 units) AND
  • CHEM 102 General Chemistry II (5 units)
  • PHYSICS 037 Physics for Engineers and Scientists I (5 units) AND
  • PHYSICS 038 Physics for Engineers and Scientists II (5 units)
  • MATH 261 Calculus I (5 units)

Don't miss out on obtaining this degree. Contact the faculty for more information on applying for this degree.

Introduction to Biology 

This course is designed for non-biology majors and emphasizes the basic principles in biology and the fundamental characteristics of organisms. Topics covered in lecture and in lab include the scientific method, basic biological molecules, cell structure and function, energy acquisition, reproduction, gene expression, genetics, evolution, and ecology. This course fulfills the general education (GE) requirement for a biological science course with laboratory. When offered a hybrid class section offers an on-line lecture combined with on-campus lab. 

UC/CSU Transferable

General Biology I

The principles of molecular biology, cell structure and function, bioenergetics, genetics and development are studied in this course. Together, BIOLOGY 006 and 007 satisfy requirements of lower-division biology for biological science majors, along with pre-medical, pre-dental, and pre-pharmacy majors. 

Note: Many four-year institutions recommend the completion of both BIOLOGY 006 and BIOLOGY 007 as a core program.

UC/CSU Transferable

Recommended: BIOLOGY 003 or equivalent college-level biology

General Biology II

This course covers the principles of organ and organ system physiology in plants and animals, ecology and the course of evolution. A survey of the various plant and animal groups is included. 

Note: Many four-year institutions recommend the completion of both BIOLOGY 006 and BIOLOGY 007 as a core program.

Recommended: BIOLOGY 003 (or BIOLOGY 006) or equivalent college-level biology

Transfer: UC/CSU

Natural History

Students examine biological principles including evolution, adaptation and scientific methods using the local environment. Includes the role of climate in the distribution of plant and animal species and a systematic survey of the common local plants, aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, birds, and mammals. 

UC/CSU Transferable

Genetic Analysis & Biotechnology

This course is designed for life science majors as a continuance of their general biology studies. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to molecular genetics, genomics and genetic analysis, whereby students examine topics such as the molecular biology of DNA and RNA, chromosome analysis, population genetics and genomes. This course also provides a comprehensive introduction to the science of biotechnology by providing the theory of current laboratory procedures, together with and hands-on experience.

UC/CSU Transferable


Study of microorganisms, including their structure, metabolism, methods of multiplying, and classification. The techniques used to control microorganisms and the human body’s defenses against microbial attack are emphasized. The laboratory covers the microscopic examination of microorganisms, aseptic techniques, the cultivation of bacteria, the effects of antimicrobial agents, and the influence of the environment on bacterial growth.

Pre-requisite BIOLOGY 003

UC/CSU Transferable


BIOLOGY 003 & 010
Vered Mirmovitch, PhD
Phone: (310) 287-4316

BIOLOGY 006, 007 & 110
Phone: (310) 287-4452

Laurimar Escudero, PhD
Phone: (310) 287-4271