MA, Biological Sciences

Description of the Program:

Plan B Master's (MA) Program in Biological Sciences

The MA program is a coursework master's degree, i.e., after 30 units of coursework (of which at least 15 units must be 200-level courses), written and oral exams are taken. Prospective students must acquire a major advisor (committee chair) to gain entrance into the program. After a semester or two, a graduate committee is assembled by asking two professors (or one professor and a professional scientist from the community) to participate along with the major professor. Choices should be discussed with the major advisor beforehand. A committee meeting is called, preferably during the first year of study, to discuss the course of study and individual courses that will be entered on the graduate contract, Faculty Acceptance Form Plan A or B (PDF). The general areas allowed in this plan might include general biology, plant biology, cell biology, ecology, entomology, genetics, microbiology, immunology, systems' physiology, toxicology, zoology, or, under special circumstances, marine biology.

When the graduate committee meets, the members may wish to impose course requirements to be entered on the 'Faculty Acceptance Form Plan A or B.' The committee may, for example, ask the student to complete a certain number of units or certain courses before he attempts to take his master's exams. It may stipulate certain courses to be on the agreement. It is strongly advisable that students meet with their committee during the first semester to provide suggestions regarding courses to take, books to read, and material to study in preparation for master's exams. The format of the written exam is up to the committee. Usually there are two written essays for each of the three members of the committee. Once the written portion of the exam is passed, a two-to-three hour oral is taken. If that exam is passed, the MA degree is awarded.

MA, Biological Sciences


Course Requirements:

MA, Biological Sciences course requirements

MA, Biological Sciences completing requirements