MS Applications | Biological Sciences

Application Information for MS Program in Biology

Fall 2022 applications accepted: Oct 1., 2021 - March 15, 2022

Please see the following link for Deadlines for applications to the MS Biology program.

Application Overview

All applicants must complete an online application to the University through Cal State Apply. The Department examines each applicant's potential for success in a research-based graduate program, considering factors such as match with research mentors, prior experience, and academic preparation. Applicants are evaluated on the merits of their own application in comparison with those of all other applicants for the semester. Applicants without proper documentation, i.e., academic history, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation etc., will not be processed. Recommendation for admission will only be based upon files that are complete.

Students who are admitted but do not register in the semester for which they applied must reapply through Cal State Apply and pay another application fee if seeking admission to any future semester. There is no deferred admission. We encourage you to complete your application file as soon as possible. Once your file is complete, we can proceed with the evaluation and issue a decision.

Application Checklist:

  • University application ('Personal Information', 'Academic History', and 'Supporting Information' sections of Cal State Apply);
  • Departmental application ('Program Materials' section of Cal State Apply);
  • Unofficial transcripts ('Program Materials' section of Cal State Apply);
  • Statement of purpose ('Program Materials' section of Cal State Apply);
  • Three letters of recommendation (enter contact info for referees in the 'Program Materials' section of Cal State Apply);
  • One set of Official sealed Transcripts sent to the Cal State LA Office (Cal State LA students and alumni do not need to request/submit their transcripts)

Transcripts may be sent by mail to:

California State University Los Angeles
Office of Admissions and Recruitment (SA 101)
5151 State University Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90032 USA

The admission process from application to Department review can take anywhere from 8-12 weeks. Completed applications begin the review process as soon as they are received. We recommend that you submit your application as early as possible. All required materials must have been submitted through CSUApply by the deadline. Only complete applications that are submitted by the deadline will be considered.

Some Additional Information on Application Requirements:

Identification of a Potential Faculty Research Advisor

Identifying a research advisor is a key component of the departmental application. Note that a successful 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 statement 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.

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. You will provide contact information (name and email address) for your three referees in the Program Materials section of the CSUApply application, and the system will send them secure links for uploading their letters of reference.