The Bachelor of Science (BS) program in Biology was first offered in 1973 as BS Biological Sciences when day classes were opened in the UP Extension in Manila. There were 85 students listed under the program in the first semester of Academic Year (AY) 1973-1974. It is unknown whether all 85 students were freshmen.
A teaching staff of 3 biology, 1 geology, and 2 mathematics teachers first managed the program, initially under the so-called Division of Physical and Biological Sciences later known as the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Physics and Chemistry subjects were cross-enrolled in UP Diliman. Lack of teachers and facilities prevented the opening of more than one section for Biology students.
The next ten years saw growth in enrollment and increase in the teaching force and physical facilities. In 1983, the curriculum was revised and the degree course changed to BS Biology. In the same year, two blocks of freshmen students were admitted to the program. Since then, the student quota had been set at 75 students, assigned to two blocks. There were only ten (10) biology teachers who handled the program.
In 1991, the BS Biology curriculum was revised anew and then approved by the University Council in the July 19 meeting. The yearly quota dropped to 60 students and there were about 20 faculty members handling the program. The same year saw the historic founding of the Department of Biology when the Board of Regents (BOR), during its August 29 meeting, approved the separation of the Department from the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
Beginning AY 1994-1995, the number of freshmen enrollees increased to 90 students. There were about 24 faculty members and the state of laboratory facilities and the level of teaching and research expertise were continuously upgraded to accommodate the increase as well as to keep in step with university, national, and global advances.
Effective AY 1995-1996, a revised BS Biology curriculum was implemented. This revision allowed the students to finish the core areas within the first three years prior to enrolling in Research Methodology and Undergraduate Thesis. In the same year, a number of faculty members became involved in extension services and in several research projects. Also, the teacher-student dialogue was re-launched and dubbed as “Kapihan”.
Again, with its aim to incorporate recent advances in biological sciences, the Department has included elective courses such as Microbiology and Developmental Biology as part of its major courses. Laboratory component for Cell and Molecular Biology was also included and students were given more time to work for their undergraduate thesis. The revised curriculum took effect in AY 2004-2005.
The Department of Biology, with more than 20 full-time faculty members, is now very active in implementing the following functions of the university: instruction, research, and extension service.