The Master of Science in Biological Sciences
Course Requirements for the Masters Degree: 30 units
Continuous enrollment is required. A maximum of 9 semester units of transfer
credit may be applied toward the degree.
Graduate Time Limit: All requirements
for the degree are to be completed within five years of the end of the
semester of enrollment in the oldest course applied toward the degree.
See Graduate Education in The University Catalog for complete details
on general degree requirements.
Prerequisites for Admission to Conditionally Classified Status:
1. Satisfactory grade point average as specified in Admission to Masters Degree Programs in The University Catalog.
2. Approval by the department and the Office of Graduate Programs.
3. An acceptable baccalaureate in biological sciences from an accredited
institution, or an equivalent approved by the Office of Graduate Programs.
4. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination with a minimum combined
score of 1500 on the Aptitude Test.
Prerequisites for Admission to Classified Status:
In addition to any requirements listed above:
1. If based on undergraduate grade point average:
(a) 2.75 cumulative grade
point average or
(b) 3.00 in the last 60 units or
(c) 2.35 cumulative grade
point average if a combined score of 2500 on the Graduate Record Examination
Aptitude Test and Advanced Test in Biology is exceeded.
2. If admission is based on postbaccalaureate performance, a student may
be eligible for admission to the graduate program if he/she has an undergraduate
grade point average of at least 2.5 and completes 15 units of upper-division
or graduate course work in biological sciences or a closely related science
with a grade point average of 3.0 or better.
Advancement to Candidacy:
In addition to any requirements listed above:
1. Satisfactory completion of a written comprehensive qualifying examination
in biological aciences following completion of BIOL 300, Research in the
2. Classified graduate standing and completion at the university of at
least 9 units of the proposed program.
3. Formation of the graduate advisory committee in consultation with the
4. Development of an approved program in consultation with the graduate
Requirements for the MS in Biological Sciences:
Completion of all requirements as established by the departmental graduate
committee, the Graduate Advisory Committee, and the Office of Graduate
Programs, to include:
1. Completion of an approved program consisting of 30 units of 200/300-level
courses as follows:
(a) At least 18 units in the discipline of biological
sciences, including at least one course of 3 or more units outside the
sub-discipline (i.e., botany, zoology, microbiology).
(b) BIOL 300, Research
in the Biological Sciences, to be completed during the first fall semester.
At least one unit of graduate seminar (BIOL 305A or BIOL 305B), completed
during the first year.
(d) At least 18 of the units required for the degree
in 300-level courses.
(e) Not more than 9 semester units of transfer and/or
extension credit (correspondence courses and U.C. extension course work
are not acceptable).
(f) Not more than 15 units taken before admission to
(g) Not more than 2 units of Independent Study (398)
and 6 units of Masters Thesis (399).
2. Completion and final approval of an independent research project resulting
in an acceptable thesis as specified by the students Graduate Advisory
3. Presentation of a seminar based on the students masters thesis research.
This seminar will usually be given during the semester in which the student
plans to complete the degree requirements.
4. Approval by the departmental graduate committee and the Graduate Coordinators
Committee on behalf of the faculty of the university.
Graduate Literacy Requirement:
Writing proficiency is a graduation requirement.
Biological sciences majors will demonstrate their writing competence through
satisfactory completion of a designated portion of the qualifying examination
required as a prerequisite for admission to candidacy.
Graduate Grading Requirements:
All courses in the major (with the exceptions of Independent Study-398
and Masters Study-399) must be taken for a letter grade, except those
courses specified by the department as ABC/No Credit (200-level courses),
AB/No Credit (300-level courses), or Credit/No Credit grading only. A maximum
of 10 units combined of ABC/No Credit, AB/No Credit, and Credit/No Credit
grades may be used on the approved program (including 398, 399, and courses
outside the major). While grading standards are determined by individual
programs and instructors, it is also the policy of the university that
unsatisfactory grades may be given when work fails to reflect achievement
of the high standards, including high writing standards, expected of students
pursuing graduate study.
Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all course work on
the approved masters degree program as well as in all course work taken
subsequent to admission to conditionally classified status.
Graduate Advising Requirement:
Advising is mandatory each semester for biological sciences majors. Consult
the Graduate Coordinator for specifics.