Application Procedure for Masters Programs

Step1: Electronic Application to San Diego State University

    Every applicant MUST apply electronically to the CSU via Cal State Apply.  There is a $75 application fee.  It is vital to complete the CSU application as soon as possible in order to be issued your RED ID NUMBER.  After you submit your electronic application, instructions on how to obtain your RED ID number will be sent to you via e-mail.  This number will allow you to track your application status online and will enable the Department to create and monitor your application file.
              Fall Application Period: October 1 - March 1

PLEASE NOTE: February 1st is the preferred deadline for all of the masters programs in the Department of Biology. This includes domestic and international applications for admission. Review of complete applications will begin shortly after this date and priority will be given to completed applications received by February 1. The Department of Biology will continue to review completed applications received after February 1 and admission decisions will be made until all spaces are filled. Please note that is takes several days for Cal State Apply to assign a RED ID NUMBER. To ensure that your application is on time, you should apply to Cal State Apply by 24 January.

Step 2: Request and Send or Have Sent Official Transcripts and Test Scores to Graduate Admissions 

Only after you have applied through Cal State Apply and received your RedID, should you have official transcripts and proof of degree sent.  Sending transcripts to Graduate Admissions before submitting your Cal State Apply application can result in processing delays.   You must provide official transcripts to the SDSU Graduate Admissions office from all post-secondary institutions attended.  Students who attended SDSU need only submit transcripts for work completed since last attendance. Please submit this information by 1 February for full consideration, by 1 March for your application to be considered “on time.”

Students with international coursework must submit both the official transcript and proof of degree .  If documents are in a language other than English, they must be accompanied by a certified English translation.  Explanations of criteria used for grading are very helpful.  Do not send extraneous items such as certificates or awards. These items are not needed, and if sent, can result in processing delays.

Send official transcripts to:

Graduate Admissions
Enrollment Services
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-7416

Due to COVID-19:
Grad Council has waived the GRE requirement for Fall 2022 admissions.

An applicant must take the TOEFL, if the medium of instruction was in a language other than English. TOEFL scores must be reported directly to the University Gradual Admissions (, SDSU Institution Code 4682), An unofficial copy of your ETS score card may also be sent along with the department application materials or it may be scanned and included in the single department application document that is to be emailed to the Department of Biology.

Step 3: Departmental Materials

The Department of Biology application form is required of all applicants in ADDITION to the Cal State Apply application.

There are a limited number of teaching assistantships available. To receive full consideration for positions as a Teaching Assistant, all university and departmental application materials must be received by
February 1 for fall admission. 

The Biology Department MS/MA application must be received by 1 February (preferred deadline); 1 March to be considered "on time."

Complete this application at:

The following information is needed to complete the decision desk application:

Electronic copies of transcripts from all colleges and universities (they do not need to be sent directly from your university).

Copies of GRE (and if applicable, TOEFL) test scores

A statement of research interests and professional goals

CV or resume

Email addresses for at least three people to submit letters of recommendation. Letter writers will be prompted by the system to submit their documents. Letters are not accepted by email.

If you have any questions regarding this application process, please contact:

Dr. Marshal Hedin (Graduate Advisor)
Department of Biology
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-4614
Office:  619-594-6230
FAX:  619-594-5676


Jamie Rhine (Graduate Programs Coordinator)
Department of Biology
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-4614
Office:  619-594-2980

Step 4:  Additional Requirements of Program Area

Applicants should read the information for specific programs for any additional requirements and information.  The Ecology and the Evolutionary Biology programs require that applicants be accepted by a prospective thesis advisor before they may be accepted into the M.S. degree program.

Ecology Program

Evolutionary Biology Program

Cell and Molecular Biology Program

5: Tracking Application Status

Use your RED ID number to track the status of your application online. You will be able to monitor when materials have been received and view a list of materials that are still required in order to complete your application file.

Useful Links:

SDSU Graduate Division

Application Information for Foreign Students

Registration Fees

Biology Graduate Advisor
Dr. Marshal Hedin
Biology Department
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-4614
Phone (619) 594-6230

Cell and Molecular Biology MS Coordinator
Dr. Dwayne Roach

Ecology M.S. Coordinator
Dr. Jeremy Long

Evolutionary Biology M.S. Coordinator
Dr. Kevin Burns

Graduate Programs Coordinator
Jamie Rhine