You'll conduct original research while gaining extensive lab and field experience in CSUN's master's program in biology. The result: Access to doctoral programs, teaching careers and other opportunities.

Why Earn a Master's in Biology?

A master's degree in biology opens doors to further graduate study, a teaching position at the community college level and many research-based careers.

If you're planning to pursue an advanced degree, a master's in biology will give you the research skills and work habits you'll need to thrive. And no matter what career you plan to pursue, you'll build additional knowledge in a specialty that interests you.

Why Earn a Master's in Biology at CSUN?

Every student in the master's program in biology at CSUN conducts original research. You'll work under the supervision of one of our 40 faculty members, whose own research interests span the entirety of life on Earth — from developmental genetics and microbial ecology to population ecology of plants and animals.

Hands-on Experience

Your original research may take you to Santa Catalina Island, an offshore preserve where a marine laboratory provides access to diverse habitats, such as kelp forests and mudflats. Or you might venture to the Carrizo Plain National Monument, to examine relationships between native and invasive alien plant species. You'll get invaluable hands-on experience that can't be learned in a lab or classroom.

Take the Next Step

Research is at the core of building knowledge. You'll build skills in data collection and analysis that are vital to future academic success. A remarkable number of students — 58, from 2010-2015 — went on to Ph.D. programs.

Broad Support

Research takes resources, and our programs draw support from sources including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the CSU Program for Education & Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB).

Lifetime Support

The support you get after your academic career can be as important as the help you receive to make it happen. Many CSUN students qualify for financial assistance such as tuition fee waivers, and paid positions as teaching associates or graduate and research assistants.

What You'll Learn

This research-oriented program requires students to complete a thesis. You'll choose from more than 80 courses to complete the 31 credits required for the program. More than a third of the coursework (12 credits) can be earned for thesis research. Other classes include lab work and fieldwork, seminars and colloquia.

Specialty Areas

  • Marine Biology: Build field experience while exploring nearby rocky intertidal, sand and mudflat communities and kelp forest habitats.
  • Cell and Molecular Biology: Extensive lab classes and biomedical research opportunities lead to the chance to publish in peer-reviewed journals and present at national conferences.
  • Genetics and Development: You'll combine approaches from multiple disciplines in this program, which attracts external funding from a wide range of sources.
  • Microbiology: Perfect your lab skills while taking courses focused on medicine, ecology and prokaryotic diversity.
  • Ecology and Evolution: You'll combine fieldwork in both local and far-away destinations with extensive training in statistics as you ask — and answer — scientific questions.


Careers & Outcomes

Employers of recent alumni include:

  • National Park Service

Graduates of the master's program in biology find jobs in fields including:

  • Professor
  • Naturalist
  • Dentist
  • Pharmacist
  • Research scientist
  • Genetic counselor

Admission Information

To be considered for admission to CSUN as a master’s student, you will need to:

Learn more about applying for a master's program at CSUN.

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