College of Natural Sciences

MS in Biological Sciences


The biology department at CSU, Chico offers the Master of Science degree in Biological Sciences. The objectives of the graduate program are to develop research and analytical skills so that students are equipped to conduct independent research and teach as professional biologists upon graduation. Faculty research interests offer graduate students a wide range of areas in which to do research.


The Master’s Degree Program offered by the Department of Biological Sciences at CSU Chico helps students prepare for a professional career in science. Students gain research experience through a field- or laboratory-based thesis project and learn how to conduct themselves as professional scientists.

Goals & Learning Outcomes

Following the course of training in the M.S. in Biological Sciences, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate, orally and in writing, knowledge of historical and current literature within their chosen field of study (e.g., ecology, cell & molecular biology, botany, microbiology, etc.) including foundational material as well as current directions within the larger field. Students should be able to articulate how their contributions fit within a larger framework of scientific knowledge and investigation.
  2. Demonstrate, orally and in writing, a basic understanding of experimental design, methods, and data analyses pertinent to their research area, including hypothesis construction and relevant experimental controls.
  3. Develop and execute a scientific investigation that represents a substantive contribution to their discipline.
  4. Communicate the results of their investigation orally and in writing using an appropriate professional style.