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Department of Plant Science

Student Michael Urner cotton research.

How to Apply

Admission Criteria
Prerequisite Courses

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 Final application deadlines are typically June 1st for fall semester (begins in late August) and November 1st for spring semester (begins in January).  However, to be considered for funding (fellowship, assistantship, etc.), one must apply much earlier. 

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 (sbenes@csu 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 ($70)
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores (V, Q, Analytical Writing). Your application will not be processed without these scores.
  • Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score— required 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). Students who completed their undergraduate degree at Fresno State do not have to submit a transcript.  Domestic students from other institutions should have transcripts sent to Graduate Admissions as explained at students can submit their transcript electronically, but an official transcript in an unsealed envelope must be presented upon arrival to Fresno State.  


Departmental Application

The following materials should be submitted in one email to Dr. Sharon Benes (

  • Statement of Research Interest (approx. 500 words) which addresses a specific area of research interest.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume.
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can discuss your academic qualifications. At least one of these should be from a current professor, advisor, or employer. Letters can be emailed directly to by their author. 
  • Transcripts: scanned copy of an official transcript from your undergraduate institution, or a website download, is acceptable for the department level application
  • GRE scores: electronic copy of the “Test Taker Score Report” which the student receives from ETS is acceptable.
  • TOEFL scoresrequired if your bachelor’s degree was from a school in which English was not the primary language of instruction. Electronic copy of the “Test Taker Score Report” from ETS is acceptable.