Integrative Biology

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Students who major in Integrative Biology (IB) will gain a broad and deep knowledge in the biological sciences as well as an excellent foundation in the biology of organisms, populations, and communities. This program may be of particular interest to students who wish to pursue graduate studies in any of these research areas. It also provides superb training for students interested in health-related professions (medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, nursing, pharmacy, optometry, etc.) or careers incorporating biology (psychology, sociobiology, forestry, wildlife conservation, environmental and resource management, law, etc.).

The department's broad range of experts includes behaviorists, ecologists, evolutionary biologists, geneticists, morphologists, paleontologists, physiologists, and systematists. 

Course of Study Overview

Students majoring in Integrative Biology choose one of two emphases: Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology (Emphasis 1) or Integrative Human Biology (Emphasis 2). The lower division requirements are the same for all IB students, regardless of the emphasis. The upper division requirements differ slightly for the two emphases, but all students take lecture and lab or field lab classes from IB's three groups: Evolution and Genetics; Ecology, Behavior, and Biodiversity; Structure, Function, and Human Health. For detailed information, please see the Major Requirements tab.

Declaring the Major

In order to declare Integrative Biology as a major, students must earn a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 overall, a 2.0 GPA in the required major coursework (lower and upper division combined), and a 2.0 GPA in the upper division coursework for the major. Students meet with a staff adviser and a faculty adviser as part of the declaration process.
At the time of declaration, students must be enrolled in or have completed:

Students can declare in their first semester if enrolled in INTEGBI 77A or INTEGBI 77BTransfer students are highly recommended to complete all lower division requirements before arriving at Berkeley. Please see the department's website for detailed instructions to declare the IB major.

Honors Program

Students with a minimum 3.3 overall GPA, a minimum 3.3 major GPA, and who are conducting biological research are encouraged to participate in the honors program. Interested students must identify an appropriate faculty sponsor who agrees to advise them on an original research project and enroll in two consecutive semesters of the honors thesis course (INTEGBI H196A and INTEGBI H196B). Honors students must present the results of their work in the form of a written honors thesis and a poster presentation. In order to graduate with honors, students must maintain the minimum required GPAs.

Minor Program

There is no minor program in Integrative Biology.

Visit Department Website

Major Requirements

In addition to the university, campus, and college requirements, listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.

General Guidelines

  1. All major requirements must be taken for a letter grade.
  2. Standardized test credit (e.g., Advanced Placement) cannot be used to satisfy any major requirements.
  3. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs. Double majors and simultaneous degrees may overlap two upper division courses.
  4. Students must maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 overall, a 2.0 GPA in the required major coursework (lower and upper division combined), and a 2.0 GPA in the upper division coursework for the major.
  5. A maximum of two upper division courses may be taken for major credit from outside the Department of Integrative Biology. This includes study abroad courses, as well as non-IB courses, even if they are approved electives. Visit the IB website for a list of pre-approved study abroad and elective courses.

For information regarding breadth, residence, and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.

Lower Division Requirements, Both Emphases

Math Requirement 1
Select two from the following lists: A, B, and C. Only one course can count from each list.
Math List A
Analytic Geometry and Calculus [3]
Calculus [4]
Methods of Mathematics: Calculus, Statistics, and Combinatorics [4]
Math List B
Analytic Geometry and Calculus [3]
Calculus [4]
Methods of Mathematics: Calculus, Statistics, and Combinatorics [4]
Math List C
Introduction to Statistics [4]
Introduction to Probability and Statistics [4]
Foundations of Data Science [4]
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory 2
General Biology Lecture
and General Biology Laboratory
BIOLOGY 1BGeneral Biology Lecture and Laboratory4
INTEGBI 77AIntegrative Human Biology1
or INTEGBI 77B Integrative Human Biology
PHYSICS 8AIntroductory Physics 34

More advanced calculus can substitute for List A and B courses. Consult with a staff adviser.


CHEM 4A can be substituted for CHEM 1A/CHEM 1AL.


PHYSICS 7A  can be substituted for PHYSICS 8A .

Upper Division Requirements, Common to Both Emphases (24 units minimum)

Group Requirements
One course from Group A: Evolution and Genetics
One course from Group B: Ecology, Behavior, and Diversity
One course from Group C: Structure, Function, and Human Health
Two upper division lab courses
Unit Requirement
Select additional approved courses, as needed, from the group, lab, and elective lists to total at least 24 upper division units
Optional: Research or Honors
3 units of research credit in INTEGBI 191, INTEGBI H196A, or INTEGBI H196B can be counted as an elective.

Emphasis 1: Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

Additional Group Requirements
A second course from Group B: Ecology, Behavior, and Diversity
At least one of the two lab courses must be field based (e.g., LF catalog number suffix)

Emphasis 2: Integrative Human Biology

Additional Group Requirements
A second course from Group C: Structure, Function, and Human Health. At least one must be INTEGBI 131 or INTEGBI 132.
A field lab is not required as one of the two lab courses.

Upper Division Requirement Groups

Refer to the IB website for courses that satisfy Groups A, B, and C, plus the lab/field requirements. Some classes are only offered in certain semesters, as noted on the website.

College Requirements

Undergraduate students must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those required by their major program.

For a detailed lists of L&S requirements, please see Overview tab to the right in this guide or visit the L&S Degree Requirements webpage. For College advising appointments, please visit the L&S Advising Pages. 

University of California Requirements

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley and must be taken for a letter grade. 

American History and American Institutions

The American History and American Institutions requirements are based on the principle that all U.S. residents who have graduated from an American university should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

Berkeley Campus Requirement

American Cultures

All undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass this campus requirement course in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses are plentiful and offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.

College of Letters & Science Essential Skills Requirements

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is designed to ensure that students graduate with basic understanding and competency in math, statistics, or computer/data science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course taken for a letter grade.

Foreign Language

The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work taken for a letter grade.

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing, and critical thinking the College of Letters and Science requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete parts A & B reading and composition courses in sequential order by the end of their fourth semester for a letter grade.

College of Letters & Science 7 Course Breadth Requirements

Breadth Requirements

The undergraduate breadth requirements provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program. As the foundation of a liberal arts education, breadth courses give students a view into the intellectual life of the University while introducing them to a multitude of perspectives and approaches to research and scholarship. Engaging students in new disciplines and with peers from other majors, the breadth experience strengthens interdisciplinary connections and context that prepares Berkeley graduates to understand and solve the complex issues of their day.

Unit Requirements

  • 120 total units

  • Of the 120 units, 36 must be upper division units

  • Of the 36 upper division units, 6 must be taken in courses offered outside your major department
Residence Requirements

For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus as a student in the College of Letters & Science. Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes at Cal for four years, or two years for transfer students. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you graduate early, go abroad for a semester or year, or want to take courses at another institution or through UC Extension during your senior year. In these cases, you should make an appointment to meet an L&S College adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

Note: Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence.

Senior Residence Requirement

After you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your B.A. degree), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units. Intercampus Visitor, EAP, and UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC) units are excluded.

You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence requirement, provided that you successfully complete 6 units of course work in the Summer Session and that you have been enrolled previously in the college.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, or the UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) may meet a Modified Senior Residence requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units.

Upper Division Residence Requirement

You must complete in residence a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding UCEAP units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for your major.

Plan of Study

The sample plans below show four-year plans for completing the major in Integrative Biology, taking classes only during fall and spring semesters. Most lower division major requirements are also offered during the summer. Peer and academic advisers are available to help customize a plan to the student's specific situation.

Please note that the sample plans below include only courses required for the major. For more detailed information regarding other requirements, including unit minimums per semester, College of Letters & Science breadth requirements, Reading and Composition (R&C), and the American Cultures (AC) requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.

Sample 4-Year Plan, Either Emphasis

BIOLOGY 1B4MATH 10B (Math List B)4
MATH 10A (Math List A)4CHEM 1A
INTEGBI 77A (Only one of INTEGBI 77A or 77B is required)1INTEGBI 77B (Only one of INTEGBI 77A or 77B is required)1
 9 10
5IB Upper Division3-5
 9 3-5
IB Upper Division3-5IB Upper Division3-5
IB Upper Division3-5IB Upper Division3-5
 6-10 6-10
IB Upper Division3-5IB Upper Division3-5
 3-5 3-5
Total Units: 49-63

Sample 4-Year Plan, Plus Common Pre-Health Requirements

A sample plan of IB major requirements plus some common pre-health requirements. These are planned without needing summer courses.

INTEGBI 77A (Only one of INTEGBI 77A or 77B is required)1INTEGBI 77B (Only one of INTEGBI 77A or 77B is required)1
 10 10
IB Upper Division3-5IB Upper Division3-5
 7-9 6-8
IB Upper Division3-5MCELLBI 102 (IB elective)4
 8-10 8
IB Upper Division3-5IB Upper Division3-5
PHYSICS 8B4IB Upper Division3-5
 7-9 6-10
Total Units: 62-74

Sample 2-Year Plan, Transfer Students

It is highly recommended for transfer students to complete all lower division coursework before enrolling at Berkeley. 

IB Group C (Lab optional)3-5IB Group B (with Field Lab if Emphasis 1)3-5
IB Group B or Elective3-5IB Group C or Elective3-5
INTEGBI 77A (Only one of INTEGBI 77A or 77B is required)1INTEGBI 77B (Only one of INTEGBI 77A or 77B is required)1
 7-11 7-11
IB Group A4IB Elective3-5
IB Group B or Elective3-5IB Lab or Elective3-5
 7-9 6-10
Total Units: 27-41

Accelerated Program Plans

For students considering graduating in less than four years, it's important to acknowledge the reasons to undertake such a plan of study. While there are advantages to pursuing a three-year degree plan, such as reducing financial burdens, it can significantly restrict participation in co-curricular activities and research internships, plus limit the possible depth of study. Please consult with an academic adviser before pursuing an accelerated degree plan.

Student Learning Goals

Learning Goals for the Major

  1. Describe the principles of evolution and genetics that underlie all biology.
  2. Demonstrate a broad and integrated understanding of species origins, biological and organismal diversity, how to characterize, understand and protect this diversity, and interactions with the environment.
  3. Demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the relationships between structure and function in animal (human) health.
  4. Describe the basic principles of scientific inquiry and the importance of scientific study in integrative biology.
  5. Illustrate the process of data collection, statistical analysis, and graphing including basic principles of experimental and sampling design.
  6. Critically evaluate data, develop hypotheses, and interpret biological experiments.
  7. Communicate effectively in the oral and written presentation of scientific results.

Major Map

Major maps are experience maps that help undergraduates plan their Berkeley journey based on intended major or field of interest. Featuring student opportunities and resources from your college and department as well as across campus, each map includes curated suggestions for planning your studies, engaging outside the classroom, and pursuing your career goals in a timeline format.

Use the major map below to explore potential paths and design your own unique undergraduate experience:

View the Integrative Biology Major Map.


Integrative Biology offers three types of undergraduate advising: staff advisers, faculty advisers, and peer advisers. The advising office, located in 3060 Valley Life Sciences Building, is part of Biosciences Divisional Services (BDS), providing support for the Department of Integrative Biology, the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, and the Department of Neuroscience.

BDS Student Services Mission Statement
We partner with faculty, staff, and students to create an inclusive academic community that offers holistic advising and innovative services to support educational success. 

Staff Advisers

Staff academic advisers are trained to support students and assist them in successfully completing their IB major. They are excellent resources for questions concerning administration and academics or finding out about other available services. Students should see a staff adviser for the following:

  • Questions about major requirements
  • Advice about schedule planning
  • Declaring the IB major
  • Information about research opportunities, graduate and professional schools, career opportunities, and internships
  • Information and registration assistance for independent research credit
  • Scheduling conflicts or registration holds
  • General assistance or advice
  • Information about upcoming events and programs

Staff advisers are available for drop-in advising and appointments. Complex issues such as probation, academic difficulty, readmission, and major declaration are best discussed in an appointment. Please visit our advising services page for more information.

The general advising email address is This email is checked daily, Monday through Friday, so students will receive a timely answer to their questions.

Faculty Advisers

Faculty advisers are IB professors assigned to advise students about the IB department, courses, research, and other academic issues. Students meet with a faculty adviser when they declare the IB major. Students should see a faculty adviser for the following:

  • Guidance toward achieving academic and career goals
  • Questions about the content of IB courses
  • Questions about biology fields and research
  • Recommendations on graduate training

For a list of faculty advisers and their office hours, please speak with a staff adviser or visit our website: Faculty advisers are not available for office hours during instructional breaks, including summer break. Students may refer to staff advising availability during summer sessions and non-instructional periods.

Peer Advisers

Peer advisers are junior and senior IB students who volunteer their time to complement the advising services by sharing their experiences with classes, student groups on campus, preparation for life beyond Cal, and use of various campus resources. To see the schedule and more information about our peer advisers, visit their webpage:


Integrative Biology

Contact Information

Department of Integrative Biology

3040 Valley Life Sciences Building

Phone: 510-642-3281

Fax: 510-643-6264

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Robert Dudley

5018 Valley Life Sciences Bldg

Undergraduate Student Services

Advising Office

3060 Valley Life Sciences Bldg

Phone: 510-643-1667

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