The Department of Biological Sciences offers an honors program in biology or microbiology for upper-division students who have completed 70-semester units, including 30 units in the major, with a minimum B (3.0) grade point average both overall and in the major. Students shall have completed at least 18 units of the major in residence at Cal State L.A.

The honors program introduces highly motivated students to an intensive research experience in biology. Honor students are mentored by a faculty adviser and two other faculty committee members.  Enrollment in BIOL 3960 or MICR 3690, Honors Thesis, for 2 units and enrollment in BIOL 4990 or MICR 4990, Undergraduate Directed Study, for 1 unit, prior to or concurrently with BIOL 3960 or MICR 3960, is required. Students can apply these units to their degree program. A prospectus, a written thesis, and a final oral examination about the thesis, administered by the committee, are required parts of the program. Diplomas and transcripts of honors program graduates are designated: “Graduated with Departmental Honors in Biology/Microbiology”.

Department Honors Forms 

Departmental Honors Prospectus Form 

Departmental Honors Thesis Page

Departmental Honors Thesis Guidelines 


This post-baccalaureate credit certificate program provides students with relevant baccalaureate degrees a broad framework of concepts and practices employed in modern biotechnology industries. With close interactions and partnerships between Cal State LA and local biotechnology companies, students of this program will experience a broad industry-responsive curriculum taught by academic and industrial experts, extensive hands-on biotechnology laboratory skills training, and a focused summer biotechnology industry internship at the end of the academic year. All of these are designed to prepare and facilitate our students for employment and career advancement in the biotechnology sector. Courses taken to fulfill certificate requirements may also be applied toward the Master of Science degree in biology. The program has been approved as a Gainful Employment Program by the Department of Education. This means that eligible students can apply for Federal Financial Aid to support them during the year that they are in the program. For more detailed information regarding courses, internships, and research academy, please see this site

Students may begin the certificate program only during the Fall term of an academic year. Applications must be submitted by April 15 via Cal State Apply. Refer to the Graduate Study chapter of the University Catalog for general information governing all certificate programs.


Application submitted via Cal State Apply (including materials for the Department of Biological Sciences and the University) is required. Acceptance by the University to post-baccalaureate status; Baccalaureate degree in a biological or related sciences, such as biochemistry, biology, physics, medical technology, or microbiology, which is equivalent to the Bachelor of Science degree offered at Cal State LA. Undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75 in last 90 quarter or 60-semester units attempted; Completion with a B (3.0) grade or higher, in any one of the following upper-level undergraduate  courses or their equivalents:

  • Cell Biology (e.g., BIOL 3400 - Cell Biology and Genetics)
  • General Genetics (e.g., BIOL 3400 – Cell Biology and Genetics)
  • Microbial Genetics (e.g., MICR 3300 - Microbial Genetics)
  • Biochemistry (e.g., CHEM 4310 - Biochemistry I)


The Post-baccalaureate Certificate Program in Biotechnology accepts applications beginning January 15th through April 15 each year for the following fall term. We are not on rolling-admission and only begin reviewing applications after the April 15 deadline.


Admissions decisions are finalized in mid-May and formally made by the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Email is the university's official method of communication. All applicants will be contacted with final admission decision via email by the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.


We are pleased to report that for Cohorts 1-4, 80% of program participants achieved their next career goals of either an advanced or graduate program acceptance or gainful employment. The employers for some of our students include: Amgen, Grifols, Prolacta Biosciences, Jarrow Formulas, Inc., UCLA, Caltech and Cal State LA.


Required Core (12 units)

  • BIOL 4170 - Gene Manipulation (3)
  • BIOL 4450 – Bioscience Companies: From Concept to Market (3)
  • BIOL 4460 – Biotechnology Applications of Cell and Molecular Biology (3)
  • BIOL 5950 – Biotechnology Internship (1)
  • BIOL 5980 – Graduate Directed Study (1); must repeat once

Electives (minimum 6 units)

In consultation with the program advisor, select a minimum of 6 units of electives from 4000 and 5000 level courses in Biology, Microbiology, Chemistry, Criminal Justice, Physics, Engineering and Management that address topics in cellular and molecular biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, forensics, physics, engineering and project management. Include no more than one seminar course.

Course Work GPA

A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required in all coursework.


Students pay Graduate/PB level fees; please refer to the Cashiers Office website for the most current fee information.



There is a $70 nonrefundable and nontransferable Cal State Apply application fee.


  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Biotechnology Application via Cal State Apply
  • Official Transcripts from all colleges attended—one official set to be sent to Admissions and Recruitment if accepted to the program (step 2 below).
  • Personal Statement as part of the Cal State Apply application (above) 
  • Two Letters of Recommendation (LOR) which should be requested as part of the Cal State Apply application (above)


Complete and submit a Graduate Application for Admission through Cal State Apply 

  1. First, select a term to Apply for.
  2. Then create an account. If you have an account, sign it.
  3. Create a profile and an extended profile.
  4. Under "1. Degree Goal" in your extended profile window, you would select the second radial button next to "Second Bachelor's Degree and Beyond (e.g. Master's Teaching Credential, Certificate, Doctoral)". Then, select "Certificate".
  5. Next, you will be prompted to add a specific program. Under the "Add Program" window, you may browse or search the "Biotechnology" program from CSU Los Angeles.
  6. Complete the rest of the application as instructed. 



Biological Sciences Department

Phone: (323) 343-2050 

Email: [email protected]


Note: The information on this page was modified from what appears in the University Catalog.