Information for Admitted & Current Students

New Graduate Student Orientation

New students are expected to attend a new graduate student orientation session, usually the week before the Fall semester begins in August. Students will receive information about the program and department and university resources and required lab/field safety training.

Graduate Student Advising

Graduate students must meet regularly with their thesis advisers to be sure that they are making satisfactory progress.  At a minimum, each graduate student must meet with their adviser at least once per semester. This will typically take place at the time of undergraduate advising, starting around week 12. The student will meet with the adviser to discuss progress on completing Study Plan courses, program milestones, and on research efforts to date. They also will formalize plans for coursework for the next semester, including research- and thesis-related courses, as well as setting goals and making plans for the intervening periods (intersession, summer). The advising forms (Current MSB Advising form as fillable pdf) must be signed by both the student and adviser and submitted to the office to remove advising holds.

Students who have completed all their Study Plan coursework, both Thesis Committee Meetings, and all data collection (i.e., no more lab or field work required), may be eligible for enrollment in GRAD700 through UEE, which allows them to maintain continuous enrollment at a much-reduced cost.

Graduate Student Handbook

The Biology Graduate Student HandbookPDF File contains essential information for new and returning M.S. students, as well as guidelines, procedures and advice for completing the Study Plan, forming and meeting with one's thesis committee, and completing thesis requirements.

Vehicle Use and Driving Policy

Graduate students may need to drive on university business, including leading course field trips and conducting independent research. Depending on the circumstances, students may use their own personal vehicles or one of the Biology department vehicles. Guidelines for the use of vehicles by graduate students and other members of the department are provided in our updated Vehicle Use PolicyPDF File document.

Biology Graduate Student Club (BGSC)

BGSC provides Biology graduate students with opportunities for social activities with other students and the faculty and staff. It serves as a venue for students to help each other with their research, including practicing conference presentations, and to work together on volunteer activities in the community. BGSC members also have the opportunity to be involved with inviting and hosting seminar speakers. Graduate students seeking funding from the Associated Students Incorporated-CSUF for travel to scientific meetings must also be members of BGSC. For more information about BGSC activities, contact one of the officers by email at