Priority deadline is April 1, applicants who contact potential advisors by May 1 may still be considered. Please read the application procedures and contact the Program Director (Dr. Brian Sardella, for more information about future deadlines or other information about the program. 

1. Contact a faculty member in the program who most closely match your research interests. Briefly describe your background and your specific academic interests, and inquire if the faculty member is accepting new grad students. Individual faculty will have their own criteria for acceptance. You must have a faculty member willing to sponsor you before applying to the program.

2. Complete an online Grad School Admissions Application ( There is a $70 nonrefundable application fee. (Note: you do not need to complete the "personal statement" section (Part B section 22) of the online application. Instead, send your personal statement/cover letter directly to the program director- see below).

3. Submit one copy of official (sealed) transcripts from all colleges you have attended to the Graduate School Office. (Note: Stanislaus State undergraduate students who have not attended other schools since graduation do not need to submit their transcripts). Send transcripts to:

Graduate School Office, MSR 160
California State University, Stanislaus
One University Circle
Turlock, CA 95382

4. Submit the following items (electronic copies, preferably pdf files) to the Program Director, Dr. Brian Sardella (

  • Cover letter. In the letter, discuss your career aspirations and academic interests, including specific research interests and possible thesis topics. Identify the faculty member that has agreed to serve as your research mentor. 
  • Resume/CV. Your CV should list your academic and professional accomplishments, including dates, locations, and descriptions of activities.

5. Have your letter writers send their letters (electronic copies, preferably pdf files) to the Program Director.

  • Letter from a Stanislaus State Biology Faculty member stating that they agree to advise you as an MS student.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation from university faculty members, employers, or other people who can judge your potential to succeed in graduate school.  We recommend that at least one letter should come from a university faculty member who is familiar with your academic abilities and/or research skills.

6. Application for Teaching Fellowship should also be completed (if applicable) by the April 1st deadline.

Applications are reviewed in four steps:

1. The Stanislaus State Graduate School reviews the online application, compiles all transcripts, and calculates GPAs. When complete, these materials are forwarded to the Biological Sciences Program.

2. The Program Director compiles the cover letter, resume/CV, and letters of recommendation, and ensures that all application materials are complete.

3. A five-member review panel reviews the applications and ranks the applicants.

4. Selected applicants are admitted to the program.

Updated: March 11, 2024