Graduate Information

Master of Science Degree in Biology

Graduate specializations are available in the following areas:

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

Financial Assistance: Admitted students are eligible for FULL TUITION SCHOLARSHIPS. Teaching assistantships are available for a variety of classes. Research assistantships may also available in certain specializations.

Program Overview: The Master's degree is a program in which the student undertakes an active research project that culminates in a formal written thesis. A student who successfully completes the program will be well prepared to enter into a technical position in a related research or industrial laboratory or to continue further postgraduate work (e.g., Ph.D. or M.D.). See the Biology Department Graduate Student Learning Outcomes website for additional information on our program.

All Master's students must be paired up with a Professor that will guide them in their research efforts while at USF. Interested applicants should contact the graduate advisor (Dr. Dever) regarding the potential matching of students to professors. See the Graduate Faculty website for a brief description of their research!

Requirements for receiving the Master of Science Degree:

  • 24 units of course work in Biology (of which 16 MUST be graduate level)
  • A thesis based on original research
  • Graduate seminar

Prerequisites for admittance:

  • Bachelor's degree in Biology or its equivalent. Minor deficiencies may be corrected during the first year. We require official transcripts be submitted.
  • A grade point average of 3.0 or higher in a student's undergraduate major and in all upper-division course work in Biology.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, including the Biology, Biochemistry or Cell and Molecular Biology Subject Test (if submitted), should be competitive. For information on Subject Test Dates see the ETS website: We require official scores be submitted, however you are encouraged to upload a copy of your scores to your online application as well. The General GRE test is required. The GRE Subject Test is strongly recommended.

Application Deadline: The last day for applicants to submit supporting documents to The Graduate School to be considered for Fall Semester admission is May 15th and for the Spring Semester admission is November 30th.

*The University does not control the issuing of visas by the U.S. government.

Important Links:

For additional information concerning particular areas of study, contact the Biology Department at 415-422-6755 or send email inquiries to the Chair of the Graduate Committee: Dr. James Sikes