MS Applications | Biological Sciences

Application Information for MS Program in Biology

Overview of Application Procedures

To apply to the Master of Science degree program in Biology, two separate applications must be completed: 1) the University application, to be submitted using CSUMentor, and 2) the Department of Biological Sciences application. Both applications must be accompanied by an official set of transcripts. All students must meet the University's minimum requirements for graduate studies.

The deadlines for applications to the MS Biology program can be found here.

Overview of Application Procedures

The Department of Biological Sciences application procedure involves several components. In addition to the completed University application, you must

  • submit a completed Departmental application;
  • identify a potential research advisor;
  • submit a statement of purpose;
  • have general Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores (no minimum score requirement) sent to the Department;
  • have three letters of recommendation sent to the Department;
  • have official transcripts sent to the Department.

These requirements are described in more detail below.

All required materials must have been submitted to the department by the deadline. These requirements are described in more detail below. Please read carefully all instructions and contact the Department if you need more information. Only complete applications that are submitted by the deadline will be considered.

Department Application

Admission into the MS Degree Program in Biology is contingent upon review and acceptance of your application by the Department of Biological Sciences. The application form is provided below. Submit this application directly to the Department of Biological Sciences, Cal State LA, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90032-8201.


MS Biology application form MS in Biology Application Form

Identification of a Potential Faculty Research Advisor

Identifying a research advisor is a key first step in the departmental application process. Note that a successful department application requires either confirmation of acceptance into a research laboratory or evidence of completed interviews with three faculty members in your area of interest.

We recommend that you explore the research areas of our faculty using our Department Web Site. Then schedule an appointment with the faculty member of interest via email or telephone. If you are off campus, you may want to schedule all interviews for the same day. To prepare for the interviews we recommend that you read representative publications of the faculty members of interest and formulate a list of questions regarding the research field and research environment. Sample questions might include:

  • How many graduate students has the faculty member supported?
  • How many students are currently being supported?
  • What funding is available for student support?
  • Where have graduates been placed after completing the program?
  • How much time will the faculty advisor have for you?
  • How much time does it take to complete the Master's Degree?

In addition, you should be prepared to answer questions addressing:

  • Your research interests
  • Your expectations for the program
  • Your immediate and long-term professional plans

Statement of Purpose

In your atatment of purpose, please comment on your specific research interests, your academic goals, and how our program can be of help to you. Comment on why you chose our program, what qualities make you a suitable candidate, and how you could contribute to our program. Please do not submit an essay about your general life experiences; the Department would like to know about your academic and scientific qualifications.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Scores

Graduate Record Exam scores are required as part of your application. Include your general GRE scores on the Departmental application form. Although there is no miiumum score requirement, GRE results are used as part of the evaluation process.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required as part of your application. Choose professional individuals (e.g. research supervisor, supervisor in science related employment, professors) who are best suited to comment on your intellectual talents, motivation, interactions with peers, work attitude and performance. Ask these individuals to make specific comments on your suitability for the degree program.

Official Transcripts

You need two sets of official transcripts for your application to the Graduate Degree program in Biology. One is for our Department and one is to be submitted to the University Admissions Office.