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Department of Biological Sciences College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

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Graduate Student Admissions

To be considered for admission into the biology graduate program, you must submit both a university and a supplementary department application.

The deadline to ensure full consideration for the graduate program is February 1 for entry into the graduate program the following Fall semester (there is no call for admission in the spring semester).

NOTE for applicants to the MA Stem Cell Program: this degree program has a priority application deadline of December 8, and a final deadline of February 1. To ensure that your application is considered, you must select the MA Stem Cell Program option in Cal State Apply. Applications will be considered until openings are filled.

It is the applicant’s 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.

NOTE: an applicant who is accepted into the department’s graduate program but is not admissible to the university will be denied admission.

Admission Requirements

Admission as a classified graduate student to the MA or MS 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 sciences courses or courses in closely related fields, each of which must be passed with a "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;
  • a faculty member who has agreed to serve as the applicant's graduate advisor;
  • two letters of recommendation from persons qualified to judge the applicant's potential for successful graduate study; and
  • a statement of purpose.

It is important to note that meeting all admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the graduate program. Applicants who have deficiencies in admission requirements that can be removed by specified additional preparation 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. Any deficiencies in admissions requirements at the time of acceptance into the graduate program will be noted in a written communication to the applicant.

Admission Procedures

All applicants must complete a university application and supplemental department application by the posted application deadline date for the term applying.

The following are required for the university application:

  • an online application for admission; and
  • two sets of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, other than Sacramento State.

To submit a university application, visit the Office of Graduate Studies application information page.

In addition, all applicants must submit the following supplemental application materials to the Department of Biological Sciences:

Department supplemental application materials must be submitted separately from the university application and require a Sac State ID and login credentials; these will be assigned to you after you submit a completed university application.

Therefore, it is important that you submit your university application far enough ahead of the application deadline (at least one week) to allow for receipt of your Sac State ID and upload of your supplementary appilcation materials.

Once you receive your Sac State ID and login credentials, you may upload your supplemental application materials at:

Approximately eight to ten weeks after receipt of all items listed above, a decision regarding admission will be mailed to the applicant.

NOTE: There is currently no general call for admission in the spring semester. However, an applicant may petition the department to begin in the spring. A petition for spring admission requires a compelling reason and support by a faculty member in the department. Please contact your potential graduate advisor (i.e., a faculty member in your area of interest) if you wish to discuss this option.