Personal guidance, rich opportunities.

As a graduate student in Pacific's Department of Biological Sciences, you will benefit from close, personal interactions with dedicated faculty members who have a passion for teaching, research and learning in the vast field of biology; rich experiential learning opportunities; innovative and cutting-edge research; and state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities.

Career preparation

Our master's degree program provides you with a broad background in the biological sciences that serves as preparation for entry into PhD degree programs, employment in the biotechnology industry and environmental-monitoring agencies as well as teaching positions at the high school and community college levels.

Graduate studies cover molecular and cellular biology, physiology, microbiology, ecology, paleontology, and plant and animal systematics. Or you can specialize in one area.

Tuition remission and stipends

Pacific offers qualifying graduate students financial support in the form of Graduate Assistantships (GAships). Each GAship includes full tuition remission, employment as a lab teaching assistant (with a nine-month salary), and health insurance. With tuition and health insurance covered by the GAship, grad students are able to use their teaching assistant earnings to pay rent, groceries and other living expenses.

GAship qualification is based on the student's entering GPA and past academic training. GAships are renewable for the second year of the MS program.

masters program alumna Sasha Larsen Akins
Success After Pacific
Sasha Larsen Akins '09, '11

Sasha has been working on the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19 at the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute. She gained her initial experience in lab work as a graduate student in Pacific's biological sciences program.

Stockton campus

In-person course format

2 years full-time

Applicants holding a baccalaureate or equivalent degree and interested in working toward a graduate degree must complete a University of the Pacific Graduate School application. 

All applications must be complete for official acceptance into the program and require the following:

  • application form (can be completed online)
  • essay (300-500 words in which the applicant discusses their academic interests, objectives and plans for graduate study)
  • official undergraduate transcripts
  • three letters of recommendation (at least one letter from a professor is preferred)
  • GRE optional
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (in some rare instances lower GPAs can be accepted)
  • The student’s last 60 units from their undergraduate degree can be used for this calculation

Applications received complete (including submission of test scores) will be given the highest priority. 

Applications completed or received after the deadline will be evaluated, and students will be admitted on a space-available basis.

Students are not permitted to register until they have returned to the Graduate School the confirmation card that is sent with notification of admission. 

Review the current course catalog to learn more about the classes offered in the MS in Biological Sciences program.

All students admitted to the Biology MS program receive a Graduate Assistantship (GAship) to support them financially during their graduate work. GAships include tuition remission, a teaching stipend, and free health insurance.

Tuition remission: Biology MS students receive 100% tuition remission credit, sufficient to cover all necessary coursework during their MS program (up to 16 graduate units per year), so that students do not need to pay tuition while earning their Biology MS degree.

Teaching stipend: Biology MS students are offered employment as teaching assistants in one of the undergraduate biology courses that have laboratory sections, e.g. general biology, genetics, anatomy, physiology, microbiology or ecology. Students receive a stipend for their teaching work. Earnings from the teaching stipends can be used to pay for rent, groceries and other cost of living expenses.

Health insurance: Biology MS students who do not have health insurance are enrolled in Pacific’s Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) at no cost to the student.

Each GAship is good for one year. GAships are renewed annually as long as the student is in good standing in the MS program and making appropriate progress to complete their degree.

Take the Next Step

We take a hands on approach with our students. This means we want to get to know you throughout your discovery and application process. If you have questions, please contact Eric Thomas, director of Graduate Studies, at the request information link. Help us connect with you by taking the next step.

craig vierrra

Contact Us

Biology student looking into microscope
Department of Biological Sciences

College of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Ave.
Stockton, CA 95211