Degree Requirements / Curriculum

The department offers the Master of Science degree in Biological Sciences. Course work (program of study) and area of research are determined on an individual basis.

The unconditional graduate student with an advisory committee will develop a program in a selected discipline of biology based upon interests and preparation. The student's approved program will include required core courses, a selection of additional formal courses in a specialization, independent study and an appropriate thesis. It will normally constitute 45 to 50 quarter units of credit.

Requirements - ONLY FOR STUDENTS ENTERING PROGRAM DURING OR AFTER FALL QUARTER 2011

PENDING FINAL APPROVAL, the department expects to implement these curriculum requirements for students starting the program in Fall Quarter 2011 or later.

REQUIREMENTS

  1. The degree program must include a minimum of 45 quarter units; at least 24 units must be in 500-600 level courses.
  2. No more than 13 units of acceptable graduate credit may be transferred from another graduate institution. No more than 13 units taken through Extended University may be used on a contract. No more than 13 units of acceptable graduate credit may be petitioned by an undergraduate student.
    • A total limit of 13 transfer units, Extended University units, and/or units petitioned for graduate credit may be included on the Program for the Master of Science in Biological Sciences. The stipulated time limit of 7 years applies to all of the above.
  3. The student must complete the program based upon the curriculum outlined below.
  4. A grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better must be maintained in all upper division undergraduate and all graduate classes. A grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better must be maintained in all courses listed on the Program for the Master of Science in Biological Sciences.
  5. Advancement to candidacy requires: (1) filing of an approved Program for the Master of Science in Biological Sciences; (2) passing the Graduation Writing Test (GWT); (3) successfully completing the thesis proposal (BIO 693); and (4) completing the comprehensive examination, consisting of the Graduate Record Examination subject test in Biology. A scaled score of 650 or greater must be achieved to complete this requirement.
    • If you have already taken the GRE subject test in Biology and achieved a scale score of 650 or greater, you do not need to re-take the test. If you have not already had your scores sent, simply have your scores sent to the University by standard ETS procedures.
  6. All graduate students are required to attend the annual Graduate Symposium every year. Students in their second year in the program will present their research at the Symposium.
    • This requirement is contingent on the symposium being held.
  7. All graduate students must file a written progress report with the adviser and graduate coordinator each academic year.
    • The progress report is Microsoft Word document (2003 version; 74 KB) that can be completed by the student electronically. Follow the instructions on the document.
    • Students will download the form and fill in all but the last page, save as a Microsoft Word document, and email it to the major professor as an attachment. The major professor will enter comments in the area provided and evaluate the student on the Graduate Student Learning Objectives. The major professor will then print the form, sign the form, and return it to the student. The student will sign the form and submit it to the Graduate Coordinator to be placed in the student's file.
  8. A final oral examination/thesis defense must be successfully completed.
  9. An acceptable thesis must be completed and submitted for binding in accordance with university regulations.
  10. The candidate must be enrolled in the university during the quarter of graduation. Students must be registered for units and pay fees in the quarter in which they graduate. It is a requirement adopted by the Academic Senate, approved by the President, and placed in the catalog several years ago. The department does not have the option of overriding this policy.
  11. Bio-580 may not be used for degree credit. Do not include it on GS-101 (graduate contract).
  12. Other important items to consider for progress towards degree completion:
    • Course work more than 7 years old becomes invalid.
    • If for any reason a student expects to take more than 2 consecutive quarters off, they must file a Leave of Absence petition. If a Leave of Absence petition is not filled and the student decides to return to the University after being absent for 3 or more quarters, the student will need to re-apply to the University and will be subject to all requirements for the new curriculum year.

CURRICULUM

Required Courses

BIO 680 Seminar in Biology

3 units

BIO 693 Presentation of Research Proposal

1 unit

BIO 694 Thesis Research in the Biological Sciences

6 units

BIO 696 Master's Degree Thesis

3 units

Required Subject-Area Courses

One course from List A (Cellular/Molecular) (opens in new window)

Courses from Lists A, B, & C 10 - 15 units

One course from List B (Physiology/Organismal) (opens in new window)

One course from List C (Ecology/Evolutionary) (opens in new window)

Elective Courses

  • At least 11 units from Subject-Area Courses and Elective Courses must be at the 500-level (excluding BIO 500)
  • Remaining courses may be 400-, 500-, or 600-level
  • No more than 3 units from the combination of BIO 500, BIO 691, and BIO 692

 

17 - 22 units

TOTAL

The total units must be at least 45, and must not exceed 50. At least 24 of the total units must be at the 500-600 level

45 - 50 units

 


 

Requirements - ONLY FOR STUDENTS ENTERING PROGRAM PRIOR TO FALL QUARTER 2011

  • The degree program must include a minimum of 45 quarter units; at least 24 units must be in 500-600 level courses.
  • No more than 13 units of acceptable graduate credit may be transferred from another graduate institution. No more than 13 units taken through Extension may be used on a contract. No more than 13 units of acceptable graduate credit may be petitioned by an undergraduate student. A total limit of 13 transfer and/or extension and/or units petitioned for graduate credit may be included on a master's contract.
  • The student must complete the program based upon the curriculum outlined below.
  • A grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better must be maintained in all upper division undergraduate and all graduate classes.
  • A grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better must be maintained in all courses listed on the program of study. No course listed on the program of study may have a grade less than C.
  • The Graduation Writing Test (GWT) must be passed prior to Advancement to Candidacy.
  • Advancement to Candidacy (Thesis proposal - BIO 693) is required.
  • An acceptable thesis must be completed and submitted for binding in accordance with university regulations. See the University Library Thesis Regulations .
  • A final oral exam (thesis defense) must be successfully completed.
  • The candidate must be enrolled in the university during the quarter of graduation. It is a requirement adopted by the Academic Senate, approved by the President, and placed in the catalog several years ago. The department does not have the option of overriding this policy.

Curriculum

The degree requires a minimum of 45 quarter units, distributed as follows:

  Course Units
Required Courses Seminar in Biology (BIO 680) - usually taken 3 times for 1 unit each
3
  Presentation of Research Proposal (BIO 693)
1
  Thesis Research in Biological Sciences (BIO 694)
6
  Master's Degree Thesis (BIO 696)
3
 
Total: Required Courses (quarter units)
13
Courses in a Specialization To be selected with consent of the student's thesis committee from 400, 500 and 600-level courses; minimum of 32 (maximum of 37) units, including at least 11 units of 500 and 600-level courses.
32
 
TOTAL: Required Courses + Courses in a Specialization
45

 
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