Graduate Admission

Applying to the Graduate Program in Biological Sciences is a two part process. To be considered for admission into the biology graduate program, you must submit both a university and a department application. The deadline to ensure full consideration is February 1st, (except for the MA Stem Cell Program, which has a priority deadline of December 8th, and final deadline of February 1st) for entry into the graduate program in the following Fall. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as they are received until all openings are filled. It is your responsibility to submit all requested application materials by the posted deadlines. Failure to do so will result in your application for admission not being considered.


Graduate Admission Requirements

Admission as a fully classified graduate student to the MS or MA degree program in Biological Sciences requires:

  • A baccalaureate degree
  • Completion of a major in biological sciences or closely related field; or completion of 24 units of upper division biological science courses or courses in closely related fields, each of which must be passed with a grade of C- or better
  • A minimum GPA of 2.75 in all biology courses and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in upper division biology courses
  • GRE General Test scores (NOTE: GRE General Test scores will be accepted after the application deadline, but only if the test was taken prior to the deadline)
  • A faculty member who has agreed to serve as their graduate advisor*
  • Two letters of recommendation from persons qualified to judge the applicant’s potential for successful graduate study
  • A statement of purpose

*Applicants should contact faculty with whom they would like to work well in advance of the application deadline. Students who have not obtained an agreement from a faculty member to serve as their graduate advisor (i.e., major professor) are much less likely to be admitted. In the case of the MA Applied Stem Cell concentration, Dr. Rosalee Sprowls automatically serves as the graduate advisor.

NOTE: Meeting all requirements for admission as a classified graduate student does not guarantee admission into the graduate program. Students who have deficiencies in admission requirements that can be removed by specified additional preparation, or who have not been accepted by a thesis advisor, may be admitted with conditionally classified graduate status. Admission as a conditionally classified graduate student does not guarantee fully classified status. Fully classified graduate status is conferred when all deficiencies identified at the time of admission are removed and a biology faculty member has agreed to serve as a student's graduate advisor. Any deficiencies in admission requirements at the time of acceptance will be noted on a written response to the admission application.

Graduate Admission Procedures 

All prospective graduate students, including CSUS graduates, must submit two applications. Failure to submit both applications will result in your application not being considered for admission to the Graduate Program in Biological Sciences. See Graduate Admissions for more information about University policies.

University application:

  1. General Application: submit online through (click "Apply Today" and follow the step-by-step instructions)
  2. Supplementary Application*
  3. A statement of purpose* (1-2 single-spaced pages)
  4. GRE general test scores* (the exam must be completed by the application deadline)
  5. Two sets of official transcripts from all colleges and universities (including junior colleges) attended, other than Sacramento State. You must submit transcripts from junior colleges, even if you subsequently received a degree from Sacramento State.
  6. Two letters of recommendation* (form); there will be a link to provide your recommender for letter submission via gradsup
*Process for Submitting the Supplementary Application Materials

To submit materials described in #2-6 (supplemental application, statement of purpose, GRE scores, transcripts, and recommendation letters) you must:

  1. Submit an application at Cal State Apply
  2. Wait for an email from Office of Graduate Studies providing you with a Sac State ID
  3. Create a SacLink Account here
  4. Load supplementary documents using your new SacLink account at:

Please disregard the statement at the end of the Supplementary Application that indicates you should mail the materials to the Graduate Secretary, and instead follow the instructions listed here.

NOTE: On both the university and departmental applications, you must select the specific program (i.e., MS or MA degree) and concentration to which you are applying. Students may apply to both the MS and MA degree programs.  To apply to both programs, students must complete a separate departmental application for each; however, only one university application is required. Although a single set of transcripts and GRE scores may be submitted for both applications, separate letters of recommendation and statements of purpose that are specific to the intended degree program must be submitted for each application.

International Student Applicants 

All international applicants must submit the departmental application and all requested documentation directly to the department.  DO NOT submit the departmental application to the International Admissions office. Doing so will result in your application not being considered for admission to the Graduate Program in Biological Sciences.

Graduate Coordinator, Dr. James Baxter,