Master of Science in Biological Sciences (MS)

Dominican’s Master of Science (MS) in Biological Sciences is an advanced, research-intensive program designed to train students primarily for successful scientific careers focused on biomedicine.

Through advanced coursework, interdisciplinary research and experiential learning, this program trains tomorrow’s leading-edge scientists in genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell and developmental biology, neurobiology, environmental sciences, biotechnology, genomics, proteomics, protein interaction networks, and bioinformatics.

Students in the Master of Biological Sciences program have the opportunity to immerse themselves in thesis-driven individualized research in their area of interest.

Program Highlights

  • Opportunities to conduct and present your research, gaining valuable skills as a future scientist. 
  • Graduates are well-equipped to pursue careers in PhD, MD, or pharmacy programs. 
  • Internship opportunities with the Buck InstituteBioMarin, and the SENS Research Foundation (SRF)
Application DeadlinesTuition Rate Per UnitNumber of UnitsFormat and Length
Fall: July 1*
Spring: December 1

*Priority deadline is April 1. Submissions are reviewed on a rolling basis, and research spots are limited.

View Tuition and Financial Aid Information for details.
36 Units

(online and in-person)

24-36 Months

Attend an Info Session

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Admission and Financial Aid

A Bachelor’s degree in Biology or its equivalent from a regionally accredited institution of higher education is required to apply to our graduate programs.

  1. Completed Application — Apply now!
  2. Official Transcript(s)
    Official transcript of coursework from each college or university attended (undergraduate and graduate). Find complete instructions on how to submit your transcripts to Dominican here.
  3. GPA of 3.0
    A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 is required for the last 60 units of graded undergraduate or graduate course work.

    Students who received their undergraduate degrees from an institution outside the United States must have credentials evaluated by a third-party evaluation service. The agency must submit an official report to Dominican verifying credentials. Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for further instructions. 
  4. Resume
  5. Statement of Purpose or Intent
    A statement between 300 and 800 words describing why you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree.
  6. Two Letters of Recommendation
    Academic or professional, on letterhead.
  7. Prerequisite Requirements 
    • Biology. Two semesters.
    • Calculus. Two semesters, comparable to Dominican’s MATH 1600 and 1700 
    • Physics. Two semesters, comparable to Dominican’s PHYS 2000 and 2100 
    • Organic Chemistry. Two semesters, comparable to Dominican’s CHEM 3800 and 3900 
    • Biochemistry. One semester, comparable to Dominican’s CHEM 4100  
    • Statistics. One semester, comparable to Dominican’s MATH 2400 
  8. Personal Interview
    Applicants who have been selected to continue on in the application process will be invited to interview at BioMarin or the Buck Institute.
  9. Optional — GRE Record
    An official copy of general Graduate Record Examination scores may be submitted (GRE code 4284).

  10. International Applicants
    International candidates must meet additional admissions requirements.

Competency in the above subjects may be demonstrated by either completion of a college course with a grade of "B" (3.0), successfully testing out of a course through challenge exams, or completion of Dominican’s core competency courses. The Department Chair will make the determination regarding a candidate’s core competency requirements. Students who need the core competencies may be concurrently enrolled at Dominican in the MS program and in a core competency course. The following courses are considered co-requisites: MATH 1700, PHYS 2100, CHEM 3900, and MATH 2400. These must be taken in the first two semesters of the program.

If an application deadline falls on a weekend and/or holiday, applications will be accepted through the end of the next business day.

Spring Deadline December 1
Fall Deadline July 1*

*Priority deadline is April 1. Submissions are reviewed on a rolling basis, and research spots are limited.

Learn about tuition per unit, additional fees and total tuition.

We'll also show you how a Dominican education is more affordable than you might think with support from financial aid, scholarships and loans. 

Tuition and Aid

Program Format and Career Paths

The 36-unit program takes two years to complete and research is focused on a thesis project. Students attend one on-campus evening lecture per week while working in a lab during day hours for full-time hands-on research.

Graduates of Dominican’s Master of Biological Sciences program are prepared for a wide range of exciting careers in the life sciences, including academic or industry research positions, biochemistry, genetics and medical and health services. Graduates may also decide to pursue further education, including PhD, MD or pharmacy programs.

student conducting research in lab


Students pursuing a MS in Biological Sciences from Dominican also have the opportunity to work with BioMarin, a San Rafael-based world leader in developing and commercializing innovative biopharmaceuticals for rare diseases driven by genetic causes. Students conducting research at BioMarin focus on biomedical product development.

student in lab conducting research

Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Since 2009, Dominican and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging have offered a Master of Biological Sciences degree with an emphasis on age research. The Buck Institute for Research on Aging is the first independent research facility in the United States to focus solely on aging and age-related conditions.

student lab microscope

SENS Research Foundation (SRF)

Based in Mountain View, SENS Research Foundation (SRF), is a non-profit organization focused on transforming the way the world researches and treats age-related diseases. Students pursuing an MS degree at the SRF Research Center will develop rejuvenation biotechnologies that will repair accumulated cellular and molecular damage in our tissues to restore youthful vigor.

Faculty and Staff

Meredith Protas headshot

Meredith Protas, PhD

Associate Professor MS Biological Sciences Director
Chris Endicott headshot

Chris Endicott, PhD

Laboratory Manager
Tyler Johnson headshot

Tyler Johnson, PhD

Associate Professor


dominican seal

Lynne Marie LoPresto

Adjunct Professor
Wolfgang Schweigkofler headshot

Wolfgang Schweigkofler, PhD

Research Associate Professor and Lead Scientist at NORS-DUC
dominican seal

Joshua Manio

Adjunct Instructor
dominican seal

Timothy LaKose

Adjunct Instructor
dominican seal

Chenyú Li

Adjunct Instructor

Biological Sciences: In the News

Three students walking together on the Dominican campus.

La Vida Dominican

La Vida Dominican is a program for all students, increasing educational access and connection to support services, enabling degree completion and post-graduation success. Particularly, La Vida is centering experiences of students from Latinx and other historically underserved backgrounds.

Learn More About La Vida Dominican