Biology Graduate Programs

The Department of Biology at San Francisco State University offers programs that cover the natural world to prepare you for professional careers in education, environmental consulting, governmental agencies, biotechnology, health professions and more. These programs are designed to incorporate hands-on mentored research training with rigorous course-work to provide an effective springboard to further professional training (Ph.D., M.D., etc.). For questions about the Biology graduate program please email:

Master of Science in Biology

Professional Science Master of Biomedical Science


Student making presentation

GOLD is a program for SF State Biology and Chemistry incoming graduate students who want to earn a nine-unit graduate certificate in Data Science for Biology and Chemistry. Data Science is a powerful tool for Biologists and Chemists.


About Graduate Study


Biology graduate students conduct their own research in a productive environment using state-of-the-art facilities. Their research is often published in scientific journals. It is common for students to travel to scientific meetings and present the results of their research in talks or posters.


SF State biology grad students learn quickly the value and necessity of seeking extramural funding to support their research. Many of our students are successful in securing grants and fellowships.


There is a strong spirit of collaboration among biology grad students and faculty. While each student has a primary advisor, they have access to all faculty. Each thesis/project committee consists of three faculty members and students can take advantage of the expertise of their committee.

Project-Based Program

The Biology graduate program at SF State is a thesis/project-only program (i.e., every graduate student must submit a M.S. thesis or Applied Research Project based on original research in biology). A minimum of 30 units of course work is also required. See the Student Project Showcase.

Faculty Communication

We accept only those students who have been invited to join a faculty member's graduate lab. Accordingly, we strongly encourage potential applicants to make contact with faculty under whom they wish to study prior to submitting their application. Don't be shy about emailing faculty, as this is how we find out about potential students. Ask questions about expectations of faculty, research interests, financial support, what current and past students have done for their thesis/project and what further opportunities do students have after they receive their M.S. Every lab and every graduate faculty member is different, so it is critical to communicate directly with professors.

Graduate Orientation

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