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UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology

Division of Mathematics, Life, and Physical Sciences
4311 Life Sciences and Technology Building
Telephone: (805) 893-3511
Undergraduate Information: (805) 893-3052
Graduate Information: (805) 893-2979
Undergraduate e-mail:
Graduate e-mail:
Department Chair: D├ębora Iglesias-Rodriguez


The Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology (EEMB) offers the bachelor of science degree in four departmental majors—aquatic biology, ecology and evolution, physiology, and zoology. In addition, it cooperates with the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology in offering the interdepartmental biological sciences major, with both B.A. and B.S. objectives. The department offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of master of arts and doctor of philosophy, with emphasis in ecology, evolution, and marine biology. In addition, a wide range of courses is available to all undergraduates for elective enrollment or for the support of their preparation for degrees in other departments or programs.

A variety of hands-on work and research experiences are available through internships and directed independent study projects, including research at University of California Natural Reserve System sites throughout California. In addition, students can obtain training in the biological sciences at institutions throughout the world through the University of California Education Abroad Program.

Many students in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology prepare for entry into graduate or professional schools. Students should become familiar with the requirements of several institutions offering work in the specialty that interests them, and then discuss their programs with their advisor. As well, EEMB majors provide suitable preparation for further study in agriculture, forestry, and wildlife and water management.
Many students who are interested in preparing for careers in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, and nursing, select biological sciences, physiology, or zoology as their major. Students who are interested in pursuing a career in the health professions should contact the Health Professions Office in the College of Letters and Science as soon as possible.

Students with a bachelor’s degree in any of the EEMB majors who are interested in pursuing a California Teaching Credential should contact the credential advisor in the Graduate School of Education as soon as possible.

The department undergraduate academic advisor is available for counseling on matters such as major requirements, schedule planning, course substitutions, petitions, and career and graduate school information. Three faculty members serve each year as graduate advisors. The graduate program assistant helps graduate students in all matters related to their graduate study. Department publications are available from the undergraduate advisor and the graduate program assistant.

Senior Honors Program

Students with outstanding academic records in biological sciences are encouraged to apply for the senior honors program early in the fall quarter of the senior year. The honors program centers on an independent research project carried out under the guidance of an EEMB faculty member, and the preparation of a written report or thesis. Eligibility requirements and applications are available from the undergraduate advisor.

Undergraduate Program

Students are normally expected to complete all courses required in preparation for the major by the end of their sophomore year, but physics may be delayed until the junior year if necessary. Students are urged to complete their basic preparation in general chemistry and mathematics during their freshman year. As the requirements suggest, each major in the department is designed to emphasize a different area in biology.

Upper-division major courses offered on the P/NP-only basis may be taken for major credit to a maximum of 8 units total in any combination for a B.S. or 4 units for a B.A. All other courses for the major, both preparation and upper-division, must be taken for letter grades.