Application Procedure for Masters Programs

Step1: Electronic Application to San Diego State University

    Every applicant MUST apply electronically to the CSU via the CSU mentor.  There is a $55 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.

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

Only after you have applied through CSU mentor and received your red id, should you have official transcripts and proof of degree sent.  Sending transcripts to Graduate Admissions before submitting your CSU mentor 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.

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

Only the General GRE is required.  Official GRE scores must be reported directly to the University Graduate Admissions (, SDSU Institution Code 4682). An unofficial copy of your ETS score card may be scanned and included in the single department application document that is to be emailed to the Department of Biology.

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

** Please Note: This information and forms for the Departmental Materials was updated in late August 2014. Please make sure that you have reviewed this new information and application procedures. **

The Department of Biology application form is required of all applicants in ADDITION to the CSU Mentor electronic application.

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

Submit to the Department of Biology:

1. A
Biology Department Application Form (Word File)(Zip File).

(PC: right click on link and choose Save Link As, Mac: Control click on link and choose Save Link As or Download Link)

Get Word Viewer

2. At least three letters of recommendation must be emailed ( to the Graduate Advisor.  The SDSU Recommendation Letter Form (Word File)(Zip File) may be used.

(PC: right click on link and choose Save Link As, Mac: Control click on link and choose Save Link as or Download Link)

    Please carefully read and follow the instructions provided in the Biology Department Application Form.

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

    Dr. Robert W. Zeller (Graduate Advisor)
    Department of Biology
    San Diego State University
    San Diego, CA 92182
    Office:  619-594-6375
    FAX:  619-594-5676

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. Robert W. Zeller
Biology Department
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-4614
Phone (619) 594-6375

Cell and Molecular Biology MS adviser
Dr. Kelly Doran

Ecology M.S. Adviser
Dr. Rulon Clark

Evolutionary Biology M.S. Adviser
Dr. Kevin Burns