Feb 28, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog

Biology, M.S.

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(30 UNITS)

The Master of Science in Biology is a thesis-based degree for which the student completes original, independent research in one of the following areas of research specialization of the department’s faculty. Thesis topics typically fall in the areas of cell and developmental biology, ecology and evolutionary biology, marine biology, molecular biology and biotechnology, plant biology, physiology or biology pedagogy research.

Admission Requirements

Students must meet the CSU requirements for admission to a master’s degree program. Please consult the Graduate Admissions  section in this catalog for complete information. In addition, acceptance into this program is contingent upon the following:

  • A B.A. or B.S. in Biological Science or related area at an accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA in biology and releated courses and 2.5 GPA in the related supporting courses (mathematics/statistics, chemistry and physics.
  • Completing the program application (available from the department).
  • Submitting two letters of recommendation.
  • Acceptance into the research laboratory of a tenured or tenure-track faculty thesis adviser.

Students who lack appropriate prerequisite coursework or training may be considered for conditional acceptance into the program. For conditionally accepted students, the specific conditions and a deadline for their completion are determined at the time of admission; continuation in the M.S. program is dependent upon completion of the admission conditions by the specified deadline. Coursework required for completing conditions shall not exceed 7 units.

Application Deadlines

Departmental applications for fall  and spring admissions. Check the Department of Biological Science website at https://www.fullerton.edu/biology for annual deadlines and additional information. A completed departmental application and all required documents must be received by the published deadlines.

Classified Standing

Students admitted with conditional acceptance must meet conditions (see above) before being considered for classified standing.

Advancement to Candidacy

A student who has been granted classified standing becomes a candidate for graduation after a graduation check request is submitted and the fee is paid for graduation by the student with an affirmative recommendation is made by the graduate program adviser. The graduation check must affirm completion of 30 units of committee-approved coursework with an overall minimum graduate grade point average of 3.0 (B) for all 400- and 500-level coursework attempted subsequent to admission to a degree program, including all transfer work and previous coursework apprved for use in the student’s graduate program, and an overall minimum grade point average of 3.0 for all Study Plan coursework. Students must also successfully complete two thesis committee meetings prior to the culminating experience.

Degree Requirements

At least half of the study plan’s total units must be at the 500 level.


* Must take 5 or 6 units, depending on the elective units chosen.

Graduate-level Seminars (6 units)

Choose from the following or other graduate-level seminar courses approved by the thesis committee.

Adviser-Approved Electives (9-10 units)

Select from the following or other graduate-level courses in consultation with and approved by the thesis committee.

Culminating Experience (6 units)

The culminating experience marks the end of a graduate program. It demonstrates mastery of disciplinary materials and meets requirements from Section 40510 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. Please consult the Culminating Experience section in this catalog for more information.

For more detailed information or advisement, students should contact the Department of Biological Science or the department M.S. graduate program adviser at biogradadv@fullerton.edu.

Total (30 units)

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