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Curricular Tracks

Currently, the BS/MS Program offers two curricular tracks: the general BS/MS program as well as a specialization in Biology Education Research.

Biology Education Research Specialization

The Education Research Specialization provides an opportunity for students who wish to pursue projects on discipline-based education research. This research is guided by the teaching professors in the Division of Biological Sciences and encompasses topics such as: how students learn concepts in biology, what misconceptions impede their learning, how instructor’s teaching methods influence students’ learning. Students who will enroll in this specialization will receive a Master’s degree in Biology with a Specialization in Biology Education Research.


The requirements for completion of the Biology Education Specialization are similar to those in the general BS/MS program with three main exceptions:

  1. Undergraduate research is measured through enrollment in BISP 193, rather than BISP 196/199.
  2. Students must complete BGGN 272 (4 units): Learning Theories. This course must be taken for a letter grade. All other coursework requirements are the same. See below for additional recommended courses.
  3. The committee chair must be a teaching professor in Biological Sciences. The second committee member or co-chair may also be a teaching professor. All other committee composition requirements are the same.

Additional Recommended Courses

There are a variety of applicable courses across campus that students may choose to pursue. All course work must be taken for a letter grade, unless the course is only offered S/U or P/NP.

These courses include:

  • EDS 102 Introduction to Qualitative Methods in Education Research (4 units)
  • EDS 103 Introduction to Quantitative Analysis in Education Research (4 units)
  • BGJC 215 Journal Club in Biology education research (1 unit)
  • BGGN 202 Professional Development for Biologists (2 units)
  • BGGN 211 Experimental Approaches & Methods in Modern Biology (4 units)
  • BGGN 293 Scientific Writing in Biology (4 units)
  • BGGN 295 Scientific Presentation in Biology (4 units)
  • BGGN 500 Introduction to College Biology Education (4 units)
    • Note BGGN 500 is available for Instructional Assistants in their first quarter as a Biology IA

Data Science & Biology Track

Students who are interested in gaining additional training at the intersection of data science and biology can complete additional data science and computational courses. A more formal specialization in Data Science & Biology is currently under development.

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.