MS in Biological Sciences

The first of its kind in the nation, our MS in Biological Sciences is presented in partnership with internationally acclaimed research center, the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, and innovative biopharmaceuticals developer, BioMarin.

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About our MS in Biological Sciences

Our students benefit from rigorous research, conducted in laboratory facilities at the Buck Institute,the premier and internationally acclaimed research center focused on developing early diagnostic tests and treatments for age-related disease, and Bio Marin, which develops innovative biopharmaceuticals for serious diseases and focuses on product candidates that address unmet medical needs, or in our on-campus laboratories. Our graduate students work with notable scientists and faculty, whose research is directed towards detecting, preventing, and treating age-related conditions and diseases, such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cancer, and stroke.

Learn more about our MS in Biological Sciences program > 

Program Highlights

  • 36 unit, two-year program
  • Lab placements begin in the first semester, making this program one of the most innovative and hands-on graduate science programs in the country
  • Students study with nationally and internationally acclaimed scientists, researchers and professors while receiving generous accompanying scholarships
  • Opportunities to present findings at national and international conferences and to publish in peer-reviewed journals
  • An intellectually vibrant setting that promotes rigorous study, yet encourages collaboration among colleagues

Program Objectives

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of biological topics pertaining specifically to your research
  • Acquire the skills needed to conduct original scientific research
  • Learn how to communicate your findings at conferences and in peer-reviewed publications
  • Acquire academic credentials to continue graduate studies, whether your objective is to obtain a doctorate or a medical degree
  • Earn the professional credentials needed to pursue a rewarding career in scientific research

Dominican In the News

MS Grad Students Contribute to Research Study in PNAS

Research Links Cadmium to Breast Cancer Cell Growth - PLOS ONE

Steam Shown to Kill California Plant Disease - San Francisco Chronicle

Dominican Professor Explores Links to Breast Cancer - Marin IJ

Admission Requirements

  1. Completed online application
  2. Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, or its equivalent, from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning
  3. An official copy of general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores - GRE Code 4284
  4. Official transcript of course work from each college or university attended (undergraduate and graduate). Transcripts must be in a sealed envelope sent directly from the college or university. 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 and the agency submit an official report to Dominican. Contact the Office of Admissions for further instructions. 
  5. Two letters of recommendation (academic or professional, on letterhead)
  6. Resume
  7. A personal statement (between 300 and 800 words) describing why the student is interested in pursuing a graduate degree
  8. In addition, all candidates for admission are expected to have satisfied the following prerequisite requirements: 
  • 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 
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 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.

9. International Candidates must meet additional admissions requirements

A note for International Applicants:

International students are not eligible for placement at the Buck Institute or Bio Marin. As such, admission of international students to the Master of Science in Biological Sciences program is dependent on availability of on-campus placements. 


Contact [email protected]


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