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Course Options for MS Students

MS students must complete at least 36 units of course work as a graduate student. Students may choose to complete more than the minimum required 36 units to help them achieve their goals.

Of the 36 units, at least 12 units must be in courses other than research (BGGN 271 and BGRD 200). Note: BGGN 299 and 297 cannot be used to satisfy any of the 36 MS unit requirements. Course selection should be determined in consultation with the MS thesis advisor. All MS coursework must be approved by the thesis advisor when the student advances to candidacy in their final graduate quarter. Students may refer to the MS Coursework Requirement for additional information.

Find course descriptions, instructors, and schedules:

Request a prerequisite/restriction waiver:

  1. Submit a prerequisite/restriction waiver request via the UC San Diego Course Pre-Authorization System. *Student User ID/PID and Password/PAC required*
  2. A submission confirmation email will be sent to the student's account.
  3. Once a final decision is made on the prerequisite waiver request, an email will be sent to the student's account.

Important Notes:

  • If the prerequisite/restriction waiver request is approved, it is the student's responsibility to add (or waitlist, if full) the course via WebReg. All standard add/drop deadlines apply.
  • Final decision time will vary and is dependent on instructor response time.
  • System availability coincides with the release of the Schedule of Classes for the given quarter and is available until 4:00 p.m. on Friday of the second week of classes.

School of Biological Sciences Graduate Courses

Students may refer to the UCSD Schedule of Classes for official schedules and the Tentative Course Offerings page for more detail about planned course offerings.

  • Biology MS students may enroll in Biology graduate courses open to students in the BI84 major code.
  • Biology MS students pursuing the Specialization in Biology Education Research may enroll in Biology graduate courses open to students in the BI87 major code.

Biology Master's students may request enrollment in courses not offered to their major through (note that authorization is not guaranteed).

Advanced Topics Courses in the School of Biological Sciences

Biology graduate advanced topics courses (BGGN 28X) may be co-scheduled with the corresponding BIXX 194. Students will not receive credit for the same topic taken previously as a BIXX 194. Students will only receive credit once for a BGGN 28X on a given topic.

Details about topics may be found on the BIXX 194/ BGGN 28X Course information webpage by selecting the appropriate quarter.

Courses in other Departments that Satisfy the 12 Unit Requirement

  • Other academic departments in which MS students have completed courses include (but are not limited to):
    • Biomedical Sciences (BIOM)
    • Chemistry/Biochemistry (CHEM)
    • Neurosciences (NEU)
    • School of Medicine (CMM, FPM, MED, SOM, etc.)
    • SIO (SIO)
  • Note: when necessary, students may request authorization to enroll in non-Biology courses through, or as required by the course department.
  • Students are encouraged to review the UC San Diego Schedule of Classes and the General Catalog for course descriptions and enrollment restrictions.

Other Course Options in Biological Sciences

One-unit seminars and journal clubs in Biological Sciences. (Students should apply no more than 4 units of these courses toward their MS degree.)
  • BGSE 200 (see below)
  • BGJC

BGSE 200

Requirements for BGSE 200 credit:

  • Attend 10 biological science based seminars (can be hosted by the School of Biological Sciences, Salk, or another department)
  • Write up a 1-page summary for each seminar. Include your name and the date, location, and title of the seminar you attended. The summary may be double or single-spaced.
  • Email all 10 summaries to the instructor of record by the last day of the registered quarter.
    • All summaries must be combined into one document and sent in a single email

Students must find and select seminars to attend.

Some are listed on the Biological Sciences events webpage.

The Salk Institute also hosts many seminars.

Seminar information from other science departments may be found on their web pages.

Current UCSD students: Please submit your questions via the VAC. An advisor will respond in 1-3 business days.
Drop-in Advising times are posted on the Advising Calendar.