The Program

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"Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does Nature..." - Leonardo da Vinci

The University of San Francisco offers a Master of Science degree in Biology in which hands-on lab research with full-time faculty is the focus. Students can start the graduate program each year in the fall (late August) or spring (late January).

Graduate students choose from among following areas for their research:

  • Behavioral Biology
  • Cancer Biology
  • Conservation Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Parasitology
  • Photobiology
  • Physiology (ecological)
  • Plant Ecology
  • Virology

Student-professor interaction is highly valued. Students, together with their advisors, design and undertake an active research project that culminates in a formal written thesis. Students enjoy well-equipped research labs for biological, biochemical and molecular genetic experimentation. The Department of Biology is located in the Harney Science Center. Completion of the program generally requires two to two-and-one-half years of study.

There are typically 8 graduate students in the Biology and Chemistry programs. The majority hold teaching assistantships. Students come from many parts of the world as well as from the United States, making the programs truly international.

Program of Study

The graduate program in Biology is intended for students with an undergraduate degree in Biology or its equivalent. If a graduate student is admitted and is lacking a proper foundation for Biology graduate work, then some advanced undergraduate coursework will be required in the first year of studies. The program involves the following:

  • Completion of 24 units of credit, of which 16 units must be graduate-level course work
  • A written thesis based on original research
  • Graduate seminar

The typical courseload is 6 units each semester. The program of study is planned by the student in collaboration with her or his faculty advisor during the first semester of studies. (see Courses for details for details).

Biology Courses (see Courses for details)

Graduate Seminar (see Courses for details)

Written Thesis (see Courses for details)

Graduate Student Handbook (see Graduate Handbook for details)

For additional information about the department, please visit the Department of Biology.