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New master's degree at CSUB
  June 23, 2006
Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456,,
or Jaclyn Loveless, 661/654-2138,

California State University, Bakersfield's biology department will offer a master of science in biology beginning in the fall 2007.

"The faculty have worked very hard designing a program that will provide students advanced knowledge and training in biology," said Paul Smith, a professor in the department and biology graduate program coordinator.

Smith said the graduate program in biology fosters the integration of many disciplines. "A wide range of faculty expertise and research interests enables the department to offer a curriculum that spans the fields of molecular biology, genetics, animal, plant and cell physiology, animal and plant ecology, zooarchaeology, taxonomy, systematics and evolution," he said.

Laboratory and/or field research is an integral component of the program, which emphasizes a "hands-on" approach with close faculty mentoring. Research experience also enables students to hone investigative skills relating to experimental design, implementation, data analysis, and interpretation.

Students will have the opportunity to choose either a thesis option (research-based) or non-thesis option for the master's degree. Graduates with a master of science in biology will be prepared to continue study at the doctorate level, to pursue careers in private industry or government labs, or to teach at the community college level.

Some of the special features of the program include:

  • Close, individual guidance by highly trained faculty.
  • Incorporation of science pedagogy and teaching experience (a limited number of paid teaching assistantships will also be available).
  • Many late afternoon course offerings, making the program accessible for persons who work during the day.
  • Close partnerships with the private and public sector. With appropriate approval, students will be able to conduct their thesis research off campus in a partnership with a company or governmental agency.
  • Well-equipped, modern laboratory facilities and access to numerous field sites in the area.

To pursue the master of science degree in biology, students must apply to both the university and biology department for admission. Application materials will be available in September.

For more information about the new program, please contact Smith at (661) 654-2385, or