Frequently Asked Questions
Questions below marked with an asterisk (*) have answers that apply ONLY TO APPLICANTS FOR QUARTERS BEFORE Fall 2011 . The answers are different for those applying to Fall 2011 or later. Read the new application requirements.
- What are the background requirements for the program?*
- What is the GPA requirement for admission?*
- Is the GRE required?*
- Are letters of recommendation required?*
- What should be in my letter of intent (statement of purpose)?
- Are classes offered in the evenings?
- Can my sponsor be from another department or university?
- Which should I do first, find a sponsor or apply to the university?
- What happens after I apply?
- What happens if I don't get a sponsor?
- Who do I contact for questions?
Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, with a major in one of the disciplines in the biological sciences or related area. Undergraduate preparation should include courses comparable to the requirements for the bachelor's degree in biology at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, including 24 quarter units (or equivalent) of upper division courses in the biological sciences, 15 quarter units of chemistry, and 12 quarter units of physics and/or math. Sponsors will determine whether your background is adequate.
Applicants must have at least a 3.0 overall GPA for their undergraduate studies. There is no GPA which will guarantee admission to the program. The only way to be admitted is to have a sponsor.
The department does not require the GRE. It is recommended that you take the GRE Biology subject test and submit your scores. Potential sponsors often find GRE scores valuable in making a determination of your potential for success in the program.
The department doesn't require them, but it is recommended that you have 3 letters sent to the graduate coordinator. Potential sponsors usually want to see letters. The letters should be sent to the graduate coordinator directly by the person writing the letter.
Describe your academic background, especially any research experience. Describe your research interests - be as specific as it is possible for you. Describe your professional goals (Ph.D.? Medical school? Employment?). It is not necessary for you to provide personal or family history, or your motivations for seeking the degree. You are not forbidden to discuss these matters, but the primary purpose of the letter of intent is to inform potential sponsors of your research background and interests. This is not an admission essay.
No. This is a day program. If you are employed or have other commitments requiring your attention during the day, you would need sufficient flexibility to be able to get to campus to take classes. There is usually flexibility with respect to when the research may be conducted.
It doesn't matter - you can do either first. You don't need a sponsor to apply, only to be accepted.
The Admissions Office will do the initial processing of your application. They will require all transcripts and fees be supplied. Check the status of your application to see if everything has been received at Admissions. When Admissions has everything, they will send your file to the graduate coordinator in the department (this status is called "Academic Review"). The graduate coordinator will notify you that your file is in the department. The graduate coordinator also notifies the faculty that a new graduate application has been received. The graduate coordinator will add any letters of recommendation and your statement of intent (if submitted) to your file. Your file is then made available to the graduate faculty for their inspection.
If you have arranged for a sponsor, that faculty member will contact the graduate coordinator to indicate sponsorship. The graduate coordinator will notify you that your application has been sponsored. The graduate coordinator then requests that the Admissions office process your acceptance. You will eventually receive material from the Admissions office and from the Registrar's office.
You will not be admitted to the university. Your application will become inactive. To "reactivate" your application will usually require the payment of another application fee.
|Priority Filing Period||Usual Deadline|
Fall: October 1 - November 30 of previous year
Winter: June 1 - 30 of previous year
Spring: August 1 - 31 of previous year
Summer: February 1 - 29 of the same year
Applications for Summer 2011 will not be accepted.
The Biological Sciences Department does not have deadlines or closures other than those imposed by the university.
Deadlines for filing applications and supplying supporting documents vary. Consult the Admissions Office.