Biological Sciences

The department has facilities and faculty expertise that allow master’s students to complete their programs in almost any area of biology. Laboratories on the main campus are equipped for biotechnology, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, mammalogy, genetic analysis (including DNA sequencing), and computer modeling. Field opportunities include the marine laboratory 14 miles from the main campus, a university forest, and a 90-ft ocean going research vessel, RV Coral Sea.

The Biological Sciences includes the following research areas: Botany, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Ecology and Biodiversity, Marine Biology, Microbiology, Zoology.


Program Coordinator

Dr. Erik Jules, Bio. Sci. Graduate Coordinator
Stephanie Steffen, Administrative Support
Office: Sci B 221
Phone: (707) 826-3245

Application Information

Apply Through Cal State Apply

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES only accepts fall applications

Complete the California State University Graduate Application online at Cal State Apply. A $55.00 application fee is required at time of application. Please note that the Application Fee Waiver is no longer available for Master’s Applications. If you are unable to pay with a credit card, a check can be mailed to the address indicated below.

Please note, once the application deadline closes it still takes time for your file to be processed. Once your file is complete it will be reviewed by the faculty review committee, which can take up to 6 weeks. The earlier your application is completed, the sooner your file will be complete.

You can track your application status by reviewing your HSU status by looking at your Student Services Center. About two weeks after your application submission, you will receive a posted letter with your HSU Student ID and Log-In Information.

International Students

If you are an international student applicant, please visit the Center for International Program Graduate Students page for information about how to apply. Please note that most international students must submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores. However, this requirement may be waived in cases where the applicant has a prior degree from a university where English was the primary language of instruction. Scores from the TOEFL test and the other material indicated at the site should be submitted to:

International Student Admissions 
Humboldt State University
1 Harpst St. 
Arcata, CA 95521-8299 

Other Requirements

You will also be required to submit transcripts from your previous colleges, your GRE scores, names and email addresses of three references, a detailed statement of purpose and a current resume.

1. Important 
You must contact at least one potential advisor before you submit your application to see if the advisor is taking on new students. Please contact them by phone, email, or (best) in person. Make sure that your Statement of Purpose clearly states your research interests and career goals, to better determine which faculty will be the best fit, and to convince at least one faculty member that you would make an excellent graduate student. Check the department website for the list of faculty and their research areas. Graduate advisors are always on the lookout for promising students, so don’t be shy about making contact. You should be proactive and assertive about your strengths. Decisions about acceptance will not be made until your completed application file has been reviewed, so these prior conversations with potential advisors should reveal whether you are a serious candidate for consideration!

2. Official Transcripts 
One official transcript is required from any college or university you have ever attended. They must be sent directly to Graduate Admissions (address below). Official transcripts must be in their original sealed envelope.

Humboldt State University 
Office of Graduate Admissions 
1 Harpst Street, 
Arcata CA 95521

Transcript Exceptions

  • Humboldt transcripts: You do not need to request transcripts for any work completed at Humboldt State University.
  • If you were enrolled at Humboldt as a regularly matriculated student within the past 5 years we will still have your file, so you do not need to request the transcript for college work completed elsewhere unless you completed that college work after you left Humboldt.

3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores 
GRE scores should be submitted electronically through Educational Testing Service (ETS). The institution code is 4345. 
Please Note: If you have not taken the GRE Test, you only need to indicate on the application that the test date is pending.

4. Statement of Purpose & Current Resume 
Send a detailed Statement of Purpose (SOP) and current resume of work experience. In your Statement of Purpose be sure to include: 

a) Potential research areas that are of interest to you; 
b) at least one or more faculty who should review your file; 
c) your reasons for pursuing a M.S. degree.

A detailed Statement of Purpose and current resume can be uploaded to your Cal State Apply application.