How to Apply

Applicants for admission to the M.S. program in Plant Science must complete two application packets. One seeks acceptance as a graduate student at California State University, Fresno. The other application seeks admission to the Plant Science degree program.

Deadlines: For current deadlines for fall and spring admission, check the Division of Graduate Studies website at Typical deadlines are April 1 for fall semester (which begins late August). However, to receive funding (fellowship, assistantship, etc.), communication prior to Jan. 1st is encouraged. For spring semester (begins in January), deadline is August 31st.

Under limited circumstances, applications may be accepted after these deadlines, but options for financial assistance are very limited. In some cases, domestic students can take one or two courses through Open Enrollment ( the semester prior to being fully admitted to a graduate program. In that case, no more than 9 units can be transferred in. Please contact the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Sharon Benes ( regarding this option.

University Application: Apply online at Use the drop down menu to select Plant Science major and the M.S. degree. This will require:

  • Payment of the application fee
  • Submittal of an official copy of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. Your application will not be processed without these scores.
  • Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score— if your bachelor’s degree was from a school in which English was not the primary language of instruction.
  • Official transcripts from your undergraduate institution(s).

Departmental Application: The following materials should be mailed to the Department of Plant Science at the address below:

  • Statement of Research Interest (approx. 500 words) which addresses a specific area of research interest.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume.
  • Three letters of recommendation in separate, sealed envelopes from individuals who can discuss your academic qualifications. At least one of these should be from a current professor, advisor, or employer.
  • GRE scores: a photocopy of the “Personal Score Report” of your GRE scores which a student receives several weeks after taking the GRE exam. Acceptance into the Plant Science M.S. program will be conditional upon confirmation of these scores.
  • TOEFL scoresif your bachelor’s degree was from a school in which English was not the primary language of instruction. Include a photocopy of the “Personal Score Report” you received after taking the TOEFL exam.

Send to:

                     Department of Plant Science

                     Attn: Dr. Sharon Benes, Graduate Program Coordinator

                     California State University, Fresno

                     2415 E. San Ramon Ave., M/S AS72

                     Fresno, CA 93740-8033