Biology & Botany Master of Science Application Checklist

Admission Requirements and Application Procedures


Requirements for admission to the MS in Biological Sciences program (Classified Status):

1. A baccalaureate in biological sciences (or related field) from an accredited institution, or an equivalent approved by the Office of Graduate Studies.

2. GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 units of course work taken as an undergraduate. This can include any courses taken post-baccalaureate or in another graduate degree program.

3. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination (general test). A minimum combined score (verbal and quantitative) of 1000, and an analytical score of 3.5 or higher on the general exam is recommended.4. Letter of Intent describing the applicants experience and goals as they pertain to the pursuit of a Master’s of Science in Biology.

5. Two letters of recommendation.

6. Identify a member of the Department of Biological Sciences faculty who has agreed to serve as a thesis advisor.

Applicants who do not meet these criteria can be admitted to the program under a Conditionally Classified Status at the discretion of the department.

To apply to the program, the following items must be sent to:

Graduate School
California State University, Chico
Chico, CA 95929-0875
  1. Graduate Application for Admission and Residency Questionnaire (additional information)
  2. All transcripts from accredited institutions attended since high school (community colleges and universities)
  3. Test Scores for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Aptitude Test. Test scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to the Graduate School. Allow at least six weeks for processing.

Additionally, the following materials and information must be sent directly to:

The Graduate Coordinator
Department of Biological Sciences
California State University, Chico 
Chico, CA 95929-0515

  1. Contact information: Your name, address, phone, e-mail address
  2. Two letters of recommendation. At least one letter must be from a professor who is familiar with the quality of your work.
  3. A letter of intent which addresses: A. Your reason for applying, B. Your professional goals, C. Your research interests, and D. Faculty you have contacted and/or considered working with.
  4. Include a photocopy of: A. Your scores from the GRE General Aptitude Test, B. Scores from the Biology Subject GRE, and C. Transcripts from accredited institutions attended. The Biology Subject GRE Scores will be used to identify deficiency areas that may require you to take additional coursework and must be received before classes begin or during your first semester of graduate study.
  5. In addition to the materials submitted to the Graduate School and to the Biology Graduate Program, you must have contacted potential faculty research mentors (e-mail or phone) with research interests compatible with yours. You should discuss thesis projects and whether the faculty member would be willing to accept you into their research group. If the professor agrees, he/she must notify the graduate coordinator.

Note: We expect prospective students to contact faculty and inquire about possible research projects. Student initiative, interest, and enthusiasm can be very important, and the most successful graduate students enter with a clear research goal and a commitment from a faculty member.

Advising: Students should consult with faculty in their area of interest regarding classes to take during the first semester. All graduate students must take Biology 600 their first fall semester.