Applying to the Program

Application Deadlines

The application deadline for Fall 2020 has passed. Students interested in beginning the program in the Fall of 2021 should still contact a potential supervisor as soon as possible.  Please read the application procedures below and contact the program director (Dr. Brian Sardella, for more information about future deadlines or other information about the program. 

Application Procedures

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.  Move on to the next step only after you have a willing sponsor, you application will be denied without a sponsor.

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 to the Master of Science in Biological Sciences Program Director:

  • 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.
  • Letter from a Stanislaus Biology Faculty stating that they have accepted you as an advisee.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation from university faculty members, employers, or other people who can judge your potential to succeed in graduate school. We accept either signed, sealed original paper copies of letters sent through the mail, or email attachments (pdf files or word documents) sent from the letter writer's work email address. 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. 
  • GRE General Exam scores. To ensure that the scores get sent to our program, please select CSU Stanislaus (code 4713) as the institution and Biological Sciences (code 0207) as the Department/Major Field.

Have these items sent to:
Dr. Brian Sardella, Director
MS in Biological Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences
California State University Stanislaus
One University Circle
Turlock, CA 95382

For questions regarding application procedures, please contact Dr. Sardella at

Application Review

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, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores, 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.