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Department of Biology

Prospective Graduate Students

We are accepting the application for Fall 2021 admission. The deadline is June 1, 2021.

Please see application requirements below. You will need to begin the process through the centralized application system, Cal State Apply ( As long as you are in the system by the application deadline (June 1, 2021), documents may be added later or even after the deadline.

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Program GoalsAcademics | Funding | Admissions

Mission Statement

The graduate program of the Department of Biology will provide state-of-the-art educational experiences that will prepare students to make valuable contributions to society where a knowledge and understanding of biological organisms and processes are required (e.g., biodiversity, conservation and the environment, health sciences, and biotechnology). Students will learn laboratory and/or field techniques and will conduct independent research within the biological sciences. They will also acquire the skills necessary for communicating biological information to professional scientific peers as well as to the lay public.

Program Goals

  • to enhance the student’s depth of understanding of selected topics in the biological sciences.
  • to cultivate skills for acquiring knowledge in the life sciences, both for matriculation and life-long learning.
  • to increase the student’s understanding of experimentation, observation and data analysis, and their application to defined questions in biology.
  • to develop an awareness of available tools and fiscal limitations of conducting specific scientific endeavors.
  • to enhance communication skills, both written and oral, for purposes of conveying biological information to both professional scientists and the lay public.

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The Master of Science in Biology curriculum reflects the diversity represented by the interests of faculty in the Department of Biology. This diversity enables Masters students to customize their program of study while ensuring that they receive exposure to a range of topics. Graduate courses communicate discipline-specific knowledge and also hone universal scientific skills, such as knowledge of modern techniques in the disciplines, critical thinking skills, and scientific literacy, writing, and presentation.

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Our graduate students typically receive financial support for their studies in a number of ways, including:

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Admissions/Application Requirements

To be admitted into the Biology Department Master of Science program, students must first be admitted as a post-baccalaureate student at California State University, Fresno. Key requirements include:

  1. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  2. GPA greater than 2.5 (applicant needs to arrange official transcripts to be sent to the following address or email)
    Attn: Graduate Admissions
    5150 N. Maple Ave M/S JA57
    Fresno, CA 93740
    Electronic transcripts:
  3. A commitment from a prospective faculty research mentor in the Biology Department. This is very important. You need to establish whether there is an advisor who you would like to work with and who is willing to take you on.
  4. TWO letters of support (ideally from academic references). Prospective students shall arrange two letters of recommendation to be directly submitted to the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Hwan Youn, by email:
  5. Personal statement (250+ words) of why you want to pursue the MS Biology @ Fresno State. The statement will be sent to Dr. Hwan Youn via email.
  6. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the program-level requirement of general GRE scores is temporarily on hold for the Fall 2021 admission. However, your prospective thesis advisor may still require general GRE scores in evaluating/accepting you as his/her student.

Applicants meeting all the Departmental admissions criteria may be admitted as classified students. Should an applicant fail to meet some of these admission requirements, that applicant may still be admitted as a conditionally classified student. Visit the Division of Research & Graduate Studies website for more information on "Conditional" or "Classified" standing.

Visit the California State University, Fresno Division of Research & Graduate Studies website and the California State University, Fresno Catalog website for more admissions information.

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