Skip to Main Content


Students who wish to apply for admission to our graduate program for the 2023-2024 academic year are not required to take the GRE or MCAT or submit a GRE or MCAT score report as part of their application package. However, students may voluntarily submit GRE or MCAT test scores, which will be reviewed as part of the holistic application consideration. The applications with GRE or MCAT scores will not be given greater weight than those that do not include scores.  

Upcoming Application Deadlines:

Applying for the 2024-25 academic year? The new application will be available after September 13, 2023.

To start September 26, 2024 (Fall quarter), apply by December 1, 2023. Applying by this deadline allows you to be considered for financial support through a Teaching Assistantship.

Applications received after December 1, 2023, and up until June 30, 2024, will be reviewed in early July. However, admission to the program for applicants depends on space availability in the program and does not guarantee financial support through a Teaching Assistantship.

To start January 2, 2025 (Winter quarter), apply by October 1, 2024.

To start March 26, 2025 (Spring quarter), apply by December 1, 2024.

Applicants are expected to have completed a bachelor’s degree in the biological, physical sciences, or engineering. Applicants are generally expected to have completed a year of coursework in each of the following: calculus; physics; biology; inorganic chemistry; and biochemistry. An overall scholastic average of a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better is required, or its equivalent if the letter grade system is not used, and in any post-baccalaureate study. A departmental faculty admissions committee considers applicants based on (1) prior scholastic performance; (2) three letters of recommendation; (3) scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Medical College Admission Test (MCAT); (4) a statement of purpose which should include relevant background information relevant to degree preparation and a description of the applicant’s degree objective, expectations, and future goals; and (5) prior research experience. Applicants must include a description of their specific area of interest in physiology, their research interests, and the name of one or more departmental faculty they wish to consider as a potential research mentor.

For information concerning the faculty and their research interests check out the faculty section of this site. Applicants are encouraged to communicate directly with the faculty, including through a personal interview before the application process. For a complete outline of degree requirements, see Program Requirements for UCLA Graduate Degrees available in the program office and accessible on the Graduate Education website.

M.S. Program Advising

Students must choose a research mentor and topic by the end of the first quarter and form a Master’s Thesis Committee by the end of the third quarter of academic residence. The Master’s Thesis Committee consists of at least three faculty members from UCLA. Master’s Thesis committee members must hold one of the following academic ranks: A) Professor (any rank, regular series); B) Professor Emeritus; C) Professor-in-Residence (any rank); D) Acting Professor (any rank). Two of the three committee members must hold an appointment within the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology.

M.S. Program Time-to-Degree

Students typically complete courses in three or four quarters. The thesis research must be completed by the end of the second year. Students are expected to receive their degree within two years (six quarters) from admission into the program and must be registered continuously or on an approved leave of absence during this period. Students who do not register or take an official leave of absence lose their student status.

Petition for Exception to Two-year Time Limit to Degree Completion

Exceptions to a two-year time limit to degree completion may be granted if the student and his or her Master’s Thesis Chair can show that circumstances beyond the student’s control prevented the student from complying with the policy.

Requests for exceptions must be submitted to the Graduate Student Affairs Officer before the quarter in which the requirement applies. Requests for extending time limits must include all of the following:

1. An explanation for the delay.

2. An explanation of how the factors that caused the delay have been resolved, or what steps are being taken to prevent further delays.

3. A schedule for completion of the degree, including the anticipated quarter of graduation. Master’s students writing a thesis requesting time limit extensions should address the following as appropriate:

  • Is the literature review complete?
  • Is data collection complete?
  • Number of chapters written
  • Number of chapters read by Master’s Thesis Chair
  • Tentative thesis filing date

4. A supporting statement from the Master’s Thesis Chair verifying progress-to-date.

Termination of Graduate Study and Appeal of Termination

University Policy

A student who fails to meet the above requirements may be recommended for termination of graduate study. A graduate student may be disqualified from continuing in the graduate program for a variety of reasons. The most common is failure to maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average (3.00) required by the Academic Senate to remain in good standing (some programs require a higher grade point average). Other examples include failure of examinations, lack of timely progress toward the degree, and poor performance in core courses. Probationary students (those with cumulative grade point averages below 3.00) are subject to immediate dismissal upon the recommendation of their department. University guidelines governing the termination of graduate students, including the appeal procedure, are outlined in Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA.

Departmental Program Policy

A recommendation for termination is reviewed by the department’s Vice-Chair of Graduate Education and the Graduate Student Affairs Officer.

In addition to the standard reasons noted above, a Master’s student may be recommended for termination for

1.      Failure to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 in all courses and those in the 200 series.

2.      Failure to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 in any two consecutive terms.

3.      Failure of the oral preliminary examination (presentation of the thesis abstract).

4.      Failure to complete the thesis to the satisfaction of the committee members.

5.      Failure to maintain satisfactory progress toward the degree within the two-year time limit for completing all degree requirements.