Biological Sciences

General Instructions

  • The program or contract form is the graduate equivalent of a "curriculum sheet." As an undergrad, you may have had a "curriculum sheet" which detailed the courses and other requirements for your degree. Since the courses required for the MS degree are determined on an individual basis, there is no standard "curriculum sheet". Instead, this form is used to determine the curriculum for each student. Note that you cannot graduate without having filed this form.
  • Fill out the GS101 pdf form for the year you entered the Master’s program (see below for detailed instructions). Once the form is complete, submit the form through polydoc (under Program of Study – Master’s Contract), including your major professor’s information as the Advisor.
  • Complete the contract by week 6 of your second semester in the program. Registration holds will be placed for incomplete contracts. A contract is complete when the student, advisor, graduate coordinator, department chair, dean, and graduate studies have approved it. Please allow two weeks for approvals.
  • If you have already filed a Graduate Contract (GS101), then you should not file a new one.  If you wish to amend your current contract you must submit a Graduate Academic Petition (see forms page).
  • ALL approvals must be made through polydoc. No other type of signatures will be accepted by Graduate Studies.
  • IMPORTANT: For students who began the program Fall 2021 or later priority for TA positions and graduate student research funds will be given to students who submit their contract on time (by week 6 of the second semester in the program).
  • Make sure to save a copy of your contract for future reference.

Download the form and instructions for the term that you began the program:

How to change courses on the contract after it is approved

This is a common occurrence and is easy to do. Do NOT file a new contract. The Graduate Student Academic Petition is specifically designed to allow deletion and addition of courses to the Program. If your additions/deletions change the total number of units in your program, be sure to indicate the change in the total units in the "Statement of Action other than Course Substitution" section. The Graduate Student Academic Petition is initiated by the student through Polydoc. A link is available on the forms page. Please consult with the Graduate Coordinator if you have questions about filling out the petition.

Transfer courses

Courses taken at another university may be included on the program, subject to the following considerations:

  • The course must be allowed for graduate credit at the institution where the course was taken. Check the transcript from that institution. Transcripts include an explanation of the course numbering system that will indicate what courses are allowed for graduate credit.
  • The course must be approved by the major professor and thesis committee.
  • You may not list more than 13 units of transfer courses. This includes units taken at another school, units taken as an undergrad for graduate credit, units taken while in another degree program, units taken as an unclassified graduate student, and units taken through the Open University.

When including transfer work on a Master's contract, or filling out a petition to substitute a CPP course for a transfer course at another University, please indicate the following information:

  • Name of University where transfer work was taken
  • Course number of transfer work
  • Course title of course taken at the University
  • Units earned

If you have not already submitted an official set of transcripts of transfer work to the Registrar's office, please include the official set of transcripts with petition, or contract, when submitting to the Graduate Studies Office.