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CSUN offers many field courses in marine and terrestrial environments providing opportunities for hands-on research experience in ecology and evolution. The Bachelor of Science Program (B.S.) offers students specialty options in Environmental Biology or Marine Biology. Graduate students in the Biology Master's program (M.S.) develop a customized curriculum that supports their interests and thesis research topic. CSUN students frequently publish their research in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals. Graduates often go on to Ph.D. programs at other institutions or establish careers in natural resource management.
Seniors and graduate students have the option of enrolling in special topic 15 week field biology semesters when offered.
Tropical Biology Semester
For one semester students study the ecology and evolution of tropical ecosystems. Eight weeks of the term are on the CSUN campus and 7 weeks are in Ecuador. Courses include Tropical Ecology and Conservation, Biology of Tropical Vertebrates, Seminar on Topics in Tropical Biology, and Tropical Biodiversity. Students design and carry out field experiments during their seven week stay in Ecuador with the final four weeks at CSUN summarizing and presenting their results to the CSUN community.
Marine Biology Semester
Students spend 15 weeks living at Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island near Los Angeles taking lectures, lab and field studies with close access to marine habitats. Courses include Marine Invertebrate Zoology, Ecology of Marine Fishes, Marine Biological Processes, Special Topics in Ocean Studies, and Directed Research.