Graduate Programs

The SF State Department of Biology community provides a rich academic experience for graduate students through peer collaboration, hands-on mentored research training, and a rigorous curriculum focused on discussion-style courses and seminars. Altogether, our programs provide an effective springboard to enable our graduate students to further their professional careers in academic research, education, environmental consulting, governmental agencies, biotechnology, health professions and more.


Masters of Biology & Professional Science



We Prepare Biology Students for Graduate School



Biology Degree Program Data

Graduation Rate
2 Years
to Graduate
Min. Units

Graduate Opportunities

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Research Opportunities

Home to over 45+ research faculty labs across 18+ academic disciplines, biology graduate students conduct their own research that is often published in scientific journals and presented at national or local conferences.

Group of diverse SF State students

Funding Opportunities

Many of our biology students have successfully earned prestigious grants and fellowships to support their education and research. By providing access to funding opportunities, we increase educational access for many biology students from diverse backgrounds.

hands holding up an acorn

Climate HQ 

Climate HQ is a campus-wide initiative launched in April 2021 with the mission to serve as SF State's communication hub and broadcast service for all things climate action. Join our network of social justice warriors and get involved on campus. Act now and join our growing campus community to address climate change.

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Graduate Opportunities to Learn Data Science (GOLD) Certificate

Learn data science and earn a 9-unit graduate certificate in Data Science for Biology and Chemistry. Incoming graduate students can learn applicable skills for pursuing a career in biotechnology or graduate school to earn their Ph.D.

View Virtual Orientations Videos

Visit our Youtube channel, SF State Biology, and view graduate orientations from previous semesters. Learn more about the program, our culture, and an overview of graduate life. 




Pathway to Biology Graduate Study

Biology graduate students conduct their own research that is often published in scientific journals and presented at national and local scientific conferences. Due to the research requirement for our Biology graduate programs, we only accept students have been invited to join a faculty member's graduate lab. Prior to submitting an application, we encourage potential graduate students to meet with a faculty member and lab members to assess cultural fit, research interests, financial support, expectations, and potential research projects. Every lab and every graduate faculty member is different, so it is critical to communicate with professors, especially a potential faculty mentor who may serve on your thesis committee. 

Our department is home to 45+ labs across 18+ research disciplines.

Take the next step and learn more about the application process. View information about prerequisites, admissions requirements, personal statements, applying through Cal State, and more. 

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.

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

Each biology graduate student typically takes 2 years to complete their degree and research project. However, the timeline is variable per student depending on their chosen research project. 

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