Biological Sciences

MS Concentrations: Ecology, Evolution and Conservation; Molecular and Cellular Biology

MA Concentrations: Grant Proposal; Internship Project Report

The graduate programs in Biological Sciences lead to either a Master of Arts (MA) or a Master of Science (MS) degree and provides an opportunity for students to receive advanced training and to pursue independent investigations in particular fields of biology. It allows students to upgrade their qualifications for educational advancement to doctoral programs or for professional advancement in teaching, laboratory work, or fieldwork. The MA degree requires the completion of a project which is a Grant Proposal, unless the student is in the Stem Cell Concentration which requires an Internship Project Report. The MS degree requires completion of a thesis which has concentrations in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation and in Molecular and Cellular Biology so as to provide advanced training and research experience in these fields.

All students are required to complete a project or thesis involving field, laboratory, or literature research. The project or thesis research may be conducted on campus with a biology faculty member or at an off-campus location. In either case, the student's research must make a new contribution to the field of biology. If the research is conducted off campus, a biology faculty member must be identified as the student's graduate advisor. Following admission to the program, students are advised by a temporary graduate advisor or by the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the student in their project/thesis research. Students should plan their academic programs in consultation with a graduate advisor as early as possible, preferably prior to enrollment in the program.

Admission as a classified graduate student to the MA or MS program in Biological Sciences requires:

  • a baccalaureate degree;
  • completion of a major in biological sciences or closely related field or completion of 24 units of upper division biological sciences courses or courses in closely related fields, each of which must be passed with a "C-" or better;
  • a minimum GPA of 2.75 in all biology courses and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in upper division biology courses;
  • GRE General Test scores;
  • a faculty member who has agreed to serve as their graduate advisor;
  • two letters of recommendation from persons qualified to judge the applicant's potential for successful graduate study;
  • a statement of purpose.

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