Biology Department photograph montage

Applying to SFSU Biology Graduate Programs

Application for Fall 2021

Priority Deadline
Extended to Feb 15, 2021

Please note: The minimum GPA requirement for applying to
the M.S. in Biology program at SFSU is
3.0 in your last 60 semester (90 quarter) units.

Here are the steps you need to take to apply to the biology department graduate program at San Francisco State…

Step 1

Apply to SF State using the Cal State Apply website.

The Fall 2021-application will be available October 1.

Step 2

Start preparing the following documents and eventually upload them to
CAL State Apply application portal.

Personal Statement of Purpose
You will need to write a Statement of Purpose explaining why you want to attend this program.  You can upload this file as a (.doc, .docx, .pdf, or .rtf format). Prepare a two-page essay that discusses your interests and goals relating to your pursuing a M.S. in Biology. In this essay, please address the following:

Let us know a little about who you are. This can include where you are from, your upbringing, your educational experiences, or relevant stories that help us get to know you. Tell us about how your motivation to pursue graduate studies in Biology developed. Describe previous research or laboratory experience. Describe how participation in our program will benefit your educational or career goals. Identify which faculty members whose research matches your interests.

Instruction can be found here:

All Science Transcripts
You will need to list of all the science courses you have taken on our All-Science Transcript form, found here...

All-Science PDF Version (Requires full version of Acrobat to save)

All-Science MS Word Version

Letters of Recommendation
You need a minimum (2) Letters of Recommendation. Letters of recommendation can be submitted through the evaluation tab in your application.

Alternatively, letters of recommendation may be emailed to:
Subject: Letter of Recommendation for applicant {Your Name}

Instructions for recommenders

English Language requirements


The Department of Biology does not require the GRE General or Subject Test. If you would like to submit your scores, you may do so; however, GRE scores are not used as criteria for admission.

International Students (
All graduate study applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. To demonstrate your English language ability, you should submit an official Test of English as a Foreign Language(TOEFL), International English Language testing System(IELTS), or Pearson Test of English(PTE) Academic score report to the Division of Graduate Studies. If you earned a U.S. Bachelor's or Master's degree, the English language testing requirement will be waived.

The Division of Graduate Studies minimum TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE Academic scores are:

550 Total score on the paper based test
80 Overall score on the internet based test (iBT TOEFL)


Overall band score of 7.0


PTE Academic (
Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic overall score of 65.


Step 3

Begin to identify potential SFSU faculty mentors you would like to work with by browsing the Biology Faculty Profiles to see what research interests you.  Contact each faculty member (via email) whose research fits with your interests, and arrange an individual appointment to discuss opportunities in their laboratories. We encourage you to be proactive.  You will need to list the names of the faculty member on your application.

You can find their profiles (listed by emphasis) at

Important - Please Read
We admit only those applicants who have been
invited to join the lab of a graduate faculty member.

For those interested in applying to the...
M.S. Professional Science Masters

Please email for more information.
Also review information about this major at:

The majors are

    • Biomedical Science: Concentration in Biotechnology
    • Biomedical Science: Concentration in Stem Cell Science

Visit the San Francisco State University
Division of Graduate Studies Wesbite for more information

Information about applying to SFSU


LOR Instructions253.43 KB
Statement of Purpose Guidelines1.08 MB
All Science Transcript - Word Version28.01 KB
All Science Transcript - PDF Version1.33 MB