Biological Sciences

Current Students

Graduate level supervisory courses (BIO 5000, 6910, 6920, 6930, 6940, 6960) are not offered during Summer Semester.  Please plan your schedules accordingly.

The Start-up information below is designed to aid students in their transition into the Biological Sciences Graduate Program. You are also encouraged to browse the Department of Biological Sciences website, as well as the University website for more information.

Step 1. Complete online orientation.

Step 2. Review information for incoming students provided by Graduate Studies, especially the Graduate Student Handbook.

Step 3. Learn about support services for graduate students from the Graduate Resource Center.

Step 4. Read about Teaching Associate positions and financial aid.

Step 5. Determine whether you are required to take the Graduate Writing Test (GWT).

  • The Graduation Writing Test requirement has been suspended through 2024-25.

The Graduate Program information below is designed to aid students in the Graduate Program to plan their graduate careers and keep track of their progress.  Please note that this is a guide and NOT a substitution for meeting regularly with your major professor regarding your plans and progress. 


  1. Review the Degree Requirements.
  2. Review the Projected Course Offerings. Please note that the projected schedule is tentative and subject to change.
  3. Register for classes each semester.
  4. Consult with your major professor about registering for research supervisory units each semester. Fill out the registration form to register for supervisory units. More information can be found on the Policies page.
  5. Submit the Program of Study or Graduate Contract (GS101) form by week 6 of your second semester.

Thesis Research

  1. Develop a thesis research topic and plan in collaboration with your major professor. You will fill in the Thesis Timeline together when you are enrolled in BIO 5800L and review and update the timeline each year when you submit your annual progress report.
  2. If your research project involves animals, you are required to be approved through the Cal Poly Pomona, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Your research sponsor/mentor will assist you through the approval process.
  3. Complete your Thesis Proposal  at least one semester before your Thesis Defense.
  4. Carry out your thesis research.
  5. Apply for graduation.
  6. Complete your Thesis Defense. Make sure all forms and assessments are signed and completed by the deadlines. Make sure the thesis is submitted to Bronco Scholar Works.
  7. At the end of the semester you have applied to graduate the Registrar’s office will do a graduation check to see that you have completed all of the courses on your graduate contract (GS101) and that you have completed all requirements for the thesis.


Submit your annual progress report to remain in good standing.