How To Apply

Thank you for your interest in graduate school in the Department of Biology at Colorado State University!

For potential MS and PhD students:

Before you begin the formal application process, please review the research interests of our faculty and identify one or more potential advisors. Please contact these individuals to let them know that you are interested in joining their research group as a graduate student. Tell them about yourself (e.g. your research background and goals, your academic record, as well as any work experience you may have had), and ask if they are currently taking new students. This is critical, because MS and PhD students are typically not admitted to our department without the support of a primary advisor.

You can find a list of our faculty, along with brief descriptions of their work and links to their lab webpages, here:

For potential PSM students in Zoo, Aquarium and Animal Shelter Management:

If you are applying for our PSM program, you do not need to identify a potential faculty advisor. Please review our detailed PSM program information here:

To apply for an MS, PhD, or PSM degree through our department, please use the Online Graduate Application. For full consideration, please have your application materials in by January 1st. For the PSM program, we will continue to accept and review applications until we have identified a full cohort. Please note that the PSM only admits students for Fall.

All of the information that we need for your application will be entered in the Online Graduate Application – we need no additional supporting information from you. Our MS students typically pursue a Thesis/Plan A Master’s Degree; unless you have specific reason to do otherwise based on conversations with your potential advisor, please apply for a Plan A Master’s.

Our department is currently in the process of changing the name of our MS and PhD degrees to Biological Science (from Zoology and Botany). Our incoming Fall of 2018 class will be enrolled in a Biological Science degree program. Because the name change has not yet received final approval, the online application system must still list our degrees as Zoology and Botany. We apologize for the inconvenience, but if you are applying for an MS or PhD in Biological Science, you should choose either Zoology or Botany in the online application.

You can access the online application here:

MS and PhD graduate students advised by faculty in our department can also participate in multi-departmental graduate programs including:

Graduate Degree Program in Ecology (GDPE,
Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program (CMB,
Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Neurosciences Graduate Program (MCIN,

If you are interested in joining and/or having your degree conferred through one of these programs, please see their website for admissions procedures.

Thank you again for your interest. We look forward to learning more about you!