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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 an online application and all supporting documents through Cal State Apply by the posted deadline.

The deadline for Fall admission into the biology graduate program is February 15. Note that there is no general 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 15. 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 through Cal State Apply to the correct degree program 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
    • In your statement, clearly describe your academic and professional background and training in the biological sciences. Explain your reasons and motivations for pursuing an MS or MA degree at Sacramento State. State your research or project interests and career goals. Be as specific as possible. Name the faculty members in the Department with whom you would like to study and have corresponded, and why you wish to study with them.

Note: The Department does not require the GRE for admission; therefore, GRE scores do not need to be submitted with your application.

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

To be considered for admission, all applicants must submit a completed application through Cal State Apply by the posted application deadline date of the term for which they are applying.

A complete application for admission into the Graduate Program in Biological Sciences includes all of the following:

  • an online application for admission;
  • two sets of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, other than Sacramento State;
  • a Department supplemental application;
  • two letters of recommendation; and
  • a statement of purpose.

To submit an online application, visit the Office of Graduate Studies application information page. Note that you will be prompted to upload all supporting documents (i.e., transcripts, Department supplemental application, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose) through Cal State Apply during the application process.

International Applicants: For International students, visit Applicants with Foreign Documents. International students (with F or J Visas) must apply through International Admissions. Do NOT fill out the general graduate studies application, as it will slow down your application process.

To allow time for all steps of the application process to be complete before the deadline, the online application should be completed at least one week before the posted application deadline.

After you apply, you will receive a Sac State ID, login credentials, and instructions for correspondence about the status of your application.

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

Note: The Department of Biological Sciences currently does not have a general call for admission in the spring semester. Applicants with special circumstances 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.