Course Options for MS Students

MS students must complete at least 36 units of course work as a graduate student. Many students 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.

For the most updated official course offerings and descriptions, see the UC San Diego General Class Catalog.

Please refer to the UCSD Schedule of Classes for official schedules.

How to 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 4:00pm on Friday of the second week of classes.

Division of Biological Sciences Graduate Courses

Below is a list of graduate courses that we expect to offer during the academic year. Please refer to the UCSD Schedule of Classes for official course offerings and schedules.

For Biology MS (BI84) Students Only
4-unit courses

  • BGGN 211 – Recent Advances and Experimental Approaches in Modern Biology (Fall)
  • BGGN 215 – Applied Bioinformatics Lab (Spring)
  • BGGN 240 – Neural Data Science (Winter)*
  • BGGN 250 – Developmental Neurobiology (Spring)*
  • BGGN 251/252 – Computational Cellular Neurobiology/Computational Systems Neurobiology (Alternating Springs)*
  • BGGN 253 – Neurobiology of Stress and Mental Disorders (Winter)*
  • BGGN 254 – Neuroanatomy (Winter)*
  • BGGN 255 –  Systems and Circuits Neuroscience (Spring)
  • BGGN 293 – Scientific Writing in Biology (Winter & Spring)
  • BGGN 295 – Scientific Presentation in Biology (Spring)

*These courses may be co-scheduled with the corresponding BIPN course.

For Biology MS (BI84) Students Only
2-unit courses
Details about topics may be found here by selecting the appropriate quarter.

  • BGGN 280 – Advanced Topics: Biochemistry (Fall)
  • BGGN 281 – Advanced Topics: Cellular Development (Winter and Spring)
  • BGGN 282 – Advanced Topics: Ecology, Behavior & Evolution (Not offered in 2019-2020)
  • BGGN 283 – Advanced Topics: Molecular Biology (Fall, Winter and Spring)
  • BGGN 284 – Advanced Topics: Physiology/Neuroscience (Fall, Winter and Spring)
  • BGGN 285 – Advanced Topics in Modern Biology (Fall and Winter)

*These courses 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.

Open to MS and PhD students
4-unit courses

  • BGGN 201 – Methods in Computational Neuroscience (Spring)
  • BGGN 203 – Topics in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution (For EBE students only - Spring)
  • BGGN 204 – Topics in Community and Population Ecology (For EBE students only - Fall)
  • BGGN 212 – Introduction to Quantitative Evolutionary Biology (Winter)
  • BGGN 214 – Introduction to Quantitative Biology (Fall)
  • BGGN 218 – Principles of Drug Development and Pharmacology (Winter)
  • BGGN 222 – Graduate Cell Biology (Winter)
  • BGGN 223 – Graduate Genetics (Spring)
  • BGGN 225 – Graduate Immunology (Winter)
  • BGGN 227 – Graduate Topics in Plant Biology (Winter)
  • BGGN 228 – Graduate Developmental Biology (Winter)
  • BGGN 231 – Current Concepts in Stem Cell Biology (Fall)
  • BGGN 232 – Innate Immunity (Spring)
  • BGGN 237 – Quantitative Methods in Genetics (Winter)
  • BGGN 238A – Integrative Microbiology I (Winter)
  • BGGN 238B – Integrative Microbiology II (Spring)
  • BGGN 246A – Computational Neurobiology (Winter)
  • BGGN 260 – Neurodynamics (Fall)
  • BGGN 262 – 3-D Cryo-Electron Microscopy of Macromolecules and Cells (Winter)
  • BGGN 264 – Structural Biology of Viruses (Winter)

2-unit courses

  • BGGN 202 – Professional Development for Biologists (Fall) 
  • BGGN 245 – Advanced Topics in Cancer Research and Therapy (Fall)

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: Students must contact the course instructor to obtain permission to enroll in non-Biological Sciences courses.
  • Students are encouraged to review the UCSD Schedule of Classes and the General Catalog for more information on these courses.

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
    • BGJC
    • Other upper division undergraduate courses in Biological Sciences not taken as undergraduate

Students in the MS program may take upper division (undergraduate) courses to fulfill some course requirements for the MS degree. These units must be completed during your graduate year and the course cannot have been taken as an undergraduate.