Graduate Admission

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, (for MS and MA programs) 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 the applicant's graduate advisor*
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals qualified to judge the applicant’s potential for successful completion of 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 unlikely to be admitted. In the case of the MA Stem Cell concentration, Dr. Kimberly Mulligan automatically serves as 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 graduate 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 applicant through their 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.

A complete application includes online submission of all of the following materials by the posted deadlines:

  1. University Application: Applicants must complete a university application online through Cal State Apply by the posted application deadline date for the term applying.  The university application includes:
    1. an online application for admission; and
    2. two sets of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, other than Sacramento State
  2. Department Application*: In addition, all prospective graduate students must submit the following application materials online through GradsUp by the posted application deadline date for the term applying:
    1. Department Application (fillable pdf);
    2. One set of unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities (including junior colleges) attended, other than Sacramento State. Transcripts from junior colleges must be included, even if you later received a degree from Sacramento State;
    3. GRE General Test scores (NOTE: GRE Test scores will be accepted after the application deadline, but only if the test was taken prior to the application deadline);
    4. Two letters of recommendation: a link will be provided in GradsUp to send to your recommender for online submission of their letter; and
    5. Statement of purpose (1-2 single-spaced pages).

*To submit your department application materials online, you must complete the following steps in order:

  1. Submit a university application through Cal State Apply; after you complete your university application, you will receive an email from the Office of Graduate Studies providing you with a Sac State ID (you will need this to submit the department application);
  2. Create a SacLink Account by clicking here; and
  3. Submit all department application materials online through the GradsUp web portal.

NOTE: On both the university application and the department application, 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 department 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 are required to submit the department application and all requested documentation online through the GradsUp web portal. DO NOT submit the department 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,