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Master of Science in Microbiology

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  • Entry requirements
    In addition to the prerequisites for entrance into CSULB as a graduate student, stated previously in this Catalog under Graduate Degrees and Post Baccalaureate Studies, the Department of Biological Sciences requires:
    1. The student is required to find a faculty member in the department who agrees to serve as the thesis advisor of the student prior to her/his acceptance into the M.S. program;
    2. An undergraduate grade point average in all completed science and mathematics courses of at least 2.70, AND a grade point average of at least 3.00 in the last 40 semester (60 quarter) units of science and mathematics courses completed; and
    3. The GRE General Test (and, if required, the GRE Subject Test in Biology or in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology) must have been taken prior to applying to the Department. Scores are utilized as indicators for accrued knowledge and potential success in the M.S. program in Biology. The GRE(s) must have been taken within five years prior to the intended admission date. Applicants without a degree in biological sciences must take the GRE Biology OR Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Subject Test.
    Students who do not meet the minimum required criteria for acceptance are encouraged to take post-baccalaureate courses to bring up their GPA or GRE scores.
  • Course description
    Requirements for the Master of Science in Microbiology
    In addition to the general University requirements stated previously in this Catalog, the student must meet the following requirements before receiving the degree of Master of Science in Microbiology.

    The requirements are:

    1. Advancement to candidacy (see above);
    2. Maintenance of a 3.00 ("B" average), or better, overall graduate grade point average (includes all upper-division and graduate level courses taken since admission to this University and after completion of the baccalaureate degree) and graduate program GPA. If either GPA falls below 3.00, it must be elevated to a 3.00 at the end of the following semester or the student will be dropped from the M.S. in Microbiology program;
    3. Successful completion of the following: written thesis and public defense followed by a private defense with the Thesis Committee; and
    4. Serve as a teaching associate or graduate assistant. Under some circumstances, this requirement may be waived.
    Requests to graduate must be received by Enrollment Services approximately 6 months in advance of the expected graduation date (Check the Schedule of Classes for the date).
    These requirements must be completed within 6 years from when the first course on the Program of Study was completed, including academic leaves, or the student's degree program will be terminated.

    The Thesis Proposal and Program of Study
    After admission to the Department as a Classified or Conditionally Classified graduate student, the student, in consultation with the Thesis Chair, must establish a Program of Study that includes the program of classes and a Thesis Proposal. The student and Thesis Committee Chair will select at least two additional members to serve on the student's Thesis Committee. The Departmental Graduate Advisor serves as an ex-officio member of all thesis committees. Each student must prepare a written Thesis Proposal for approval by the student's Thesis Committee. The Thesis Committee will meet with the student to determine what courses the student must take and indicate them on the M.S. in Microbiology Graduate Program Form.
    The Program of Study will include the completion of a minimum of 30 semester units. At least 20 of these units must be in the 500-600 level courses of which a minimum of 16 units must be in the Microbiology 500-600 series. Required courses, if not taken previously, include: MICR 371 or an upper division/graduate course in genetics; MICR 471 or an upper division/graduate course in cell physiology; MICR 661 (two enrollments with different topics for a total of 4 units is required); BIOL 696A (2 units), BIOL 696B (2 units), MICR 697 (maximum of 3 units); and MICR 698 (6 units). Other elective units included in the graduate program must be 400-600 level courses acceptable to the University and microbiology degree program. Up to 5 units of 300-level courses may be included with an approval from the Thesis Chair and Graduate Advisor. BIOL 696A will be taken during the student’s initial Fall semester; the course will cover experimental design, statistics, and literature research, and it will help students in preparing their Thesis Proposal. BIOL 696B will be taken later in the program, when thesis-related data are available, and will cover both oral and written scientific presentation. BIOL 696B is intended to facilitate manuscript and thesis writing and to help students learn to articulate their findings for their thesis defense.

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