Biological Sciences (MS)

The Master of Science in Biological Sciences is a research intensive program designed to train students primarily for scientific careers focused on biomedicine.

Students in this program will be trained as scientists in interdisciplinary research including topics such as genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell and developmental biology, neurobiology, environmental sciences, biotechnology, genomics, proteomics, protein interaction networks, and bioinformatics.

Students conducting research at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging cover a diverse range of fields related to geroscience (aging). Students conducting research at BioMarin focus on biomedical product development. Students conducting research at Dominican University investigate topics such as: stem-cells, breast cancer, and malaria.

Research conducted by the students in the Master of Biological Sciences program is structured around a thesis project. A research proposal is submitted by the end of the first semester. Upon completion of the program, students submit a formal written thesis and give an oral presentation of findings to faculty, students, and guests. The written thesis and presentation are reviewed and evaluated by an advisory committee that includes the advisor and a faculty member (usually from Dominican University of California).

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  1. Demonstrate a deep knowledge of a specific area of biological science.
  2. Communicate scientific ideas effectively in both oral and written formats.
  3. Solve problems through critical thinking, inquiry, and analysis.
  4. Design appropriate experiments to address a particular question.
  5. Conduct original research in a biological discipline and report on the results at a professional level.
  6. Demonstrate readiness for further study or employment in discipline-related areas.

Biological Sciences (MS) Requirements

  • Completion of 36 units, with a minimum grade of a 'B' or Pass within four years of matriculation. Part-time students may be eligible to complete the degree in 32 units. Please contact the Program Director for more details
  • Completion of an original research thesis approved by the two members of the student’s graduate committee including thesis (research) supervisor and an additional faculty member selected in consultation with the advisor and the thesis supervisor.
  • Successful completion of both a written and oral presentation of their research.
  • Presentation of research findings at a national/international conference and/or publication in a peer-reviewed journal is strongly encouraged.

The program is taught by faculty in the Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics or adjunct faculty from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Transfer credits of 3-6 units may be accepted for students who have completed graduate level courses at another accredited institution.

Required Courses

BIO 5001Graduate Seminar I

1.00 unit

BIO 5002Graduate Seminar II

1.00 unit

BIO 5003Graduate Seminar III

1.00 unit

BIO 5004Graduate Seminar IV

1.00 unit

BIO 5100Graduate Research Methodology

3.00 units

BIO 5200Advanced Molecular Biotechnology

3.00 units

BIO 5300Advanced Biochemistry

3.00 units

BIO 5402Graduate Special Topics: Biological Sciences

3.00 units

BIO 5901Master's Thesis

3.00 units

BIO 5701Graduate Research I

5.00 units

BIO 5702Graduate Research II

5.00 units

BIO 5703Graduate Research III

5.00 units

BIO 5704Graduate Research IV

2.00 units

*NOTE: Students may be eligible to take the BIO 5994 Graduate Teaching Assistant: Biological Sciences for one unit per semester to offset the Graduate Research course.  Contact the Program Director for more information.

Total Credit Hours: 36