California State University, Fullerton

Graduate Admissions

Graduate Admissions

Dorota Huizinga
Cathy Hess
Lynn Winter

McCarthy Hall 103

Each student has a responsibility to understand and apply the information contained within the University Catalog. This includes following all processes and policies contained in this chapter on “Graduate Regulations.” For example, key policies include (but are not limited to) making certain that you are properly admitted to the degree program, meet or complete all academic prerequisites and grading standards, file an official Study Plan in a timely manner, meet the program requirements of the specific degree you are seeking, and apply for graduation according to the dates published in each semester’s Class Schedule. Failure to submit forms on time may result in the delay of your graduation. In order to be eligible to register and eventually to graduate with a degree, a student must maintain continuous enrollment status until the award of the degree (see “Continuous Enrollment”).

All master’s or doctoral students must apply for graduation by completing a Master’s or Doctoral Graduation Check form and submitting that to the university cashier with a graduation processing and diploma fee of $115. If you need to change your projected date of graduation, you must inform the Graduate Studies Office as soon as possible by filing a Change of Graduation Date form and paying a $10 fee to Student Financial Services.

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All applicants for any type of postbaccalaureate or graduate standing (e.g., Ed.D. applicants, master’s degree applicants, those seeking credentials, and those interested in taking courses for personal or professional growth) must file a complete application within the appropriate filing period. Applicants considering admission to more than one CSU campus must submit a separate application (including fee) to each campus.

Second baccalaureate degree candidates should submit the undergraduate application for admission. Applicants who completed undergraduate degree requirements and wish to continue postbaccalaureate or graduate study are required to complete and submit a Graduate and Postbaccalaureate application and the nonrefundable application fee.

Applications may be accessed online at Instructions for completing the application forms are included online. Since some programs require the completion of an additional form as part of the application process, students should inquire concerning this possibility at the office of the academic unit offering the particular program.

For questions on application status, call 657-278-7788.

Application Deadlines
The application period for fall admission opens the previous October 1; applications for spring admission are accepted beginning the previous August 1. In most cases, applications need to be postmarked no later than March 1 for the fall semester and October 1 for the spring semester. However, deadlines may vary for individual programs based upon program cycles and capacities. Check the website of the specific program of interest for current information.

Two official transcripts in sealed envelopes are required from each college or university previously attended. Students should arrange to have official transcripts sent at the same time applications are submitted. Transcripts should be sent directly to the university Admissions and Records Office. One copy of each transcript will then be forwarded to the academic unit offering the degree or credential program, and the other official transcript will be retained in the student’s permanent record file for use by both the Admissions and Records Office and the Graduate Studies Office.

Students who receive their baccalaureate degree at Cal State Fullerton and attend elsewhere subsequent to graduation, or continuing graduate students who change their declared objective subsequent to admission, must obtain whatever additional transcripts are needed to provide two complete sets of transcripts. Cal State Fullerton alumni do not need to request Cal State Fullerton transcripts.

All transcripts must be received directly from the issuing institutions and become official records of the university; such transcripts therefore cannot be returned or reissued. Transcripts that include coursework from other than the issuing institution are not sufficient evidence of coursework taken elsewhere. Foreign language transcripts must be accompanied by certified English translations.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE), or another test, may be required for conditionally classified admission, or subsequently for the granting of classified standing. Test requirements vary from department to department. Students should refer to master’s or doctoral degree requirements outlined in the academic department section of this catalog. Applications and information on test dates for nationally administered tests (e.g., GRE, GMAT) are available in Testing Services, University Hall 229, e-mail

TOEFL Requirement
All graduate and postbaccalaureate applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose native language is not English and whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English, must demonstrate competence in English. Those who do not possess a bachelor’s degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 550 (paper), 213 (computer), or 80 (Internet-based test, iBT) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Certain master’s degree programs require higher TOEFL scores than the university’s minimum; contact the degree program of interest for their requirements.

International Students
See procedures outlined in the international student portion of the “Admissions” section of this catalog.

Second Master’s Degree or Concentration
Application for admission to graduate standing in a second degree program or concentration will be accepted only after the first degree has been awarded. Units used for the first degree or concentration may not be applied to the second. Students who have completed a master’s degree at Cal State Fullerton in one concentration and wish to complete another within the same degree program will not be awarded a second degree.

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Following completion of application procedures and subsequent review of the student’s eligibility by the Admissions Office and appropriate academic unit, the student will be notified by the Admissions Office concerning admission. Written notice from the Admissions Office is the only valid proof of admission. Academic advisement prior to admission is tentative and should not be construed as granting official admission to a program or establishing requirements for the degree.

Students may apply for a degree objective or a credential or certificate objective. General admission requirements are as follows:

The minimum requirements for admission to graduate and postbaccalaureate studies at a California State University campus are in accordance with university regulations, as well as Title 5, Chapter 1, Subchapter 3 of the California Code of Regulations. Specifically, a student shall at the time of enrollment:

(1) have completed a four-year college course of study and hold an acceptable baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association, or shall have completed equivalent academic preparation as determined by appropriate campus authorities;

(2) be in good academic standing at the last college or university attended;

(3) have attained a grade point average of at least 2.5 in an acceptable earned baccalaureate degree or attained a grade point average of at least 2.5 in the last 60 semester units (90 quarter units) attempted; and

(4) satisfactorily meet the professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards for graduate study, including qualifying examinations, as appropriate campus authorities may prescribe. In unusual circumstances, a campus may make exceptions to these criteria.

Three admissions categories are defined in terms of these academic objectives:

Postbaccalaureate Standing: Classified
This category applies to students with a credential or certificate objective. To qualify for admission, applicants must (1) meet the general admissions requirements and (2) satisfy any additional professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards, including qualifying examinations. Refer to specific credential requirements under the “Teaching Credentials” section or individual departmental sections of this catalog.

Graduate Standing: Conditionally Classified
This category applies to students with a graduate degree objective. To qualify for admission in conditionally classified standing, applicants must (1) meet the general admission requirements and (2) meet any additional requirements of the particular program including a favorable recommendation from the academic unit.

An applicant who has deficiencies in departmental prerequisites or in departmental grade-point average requirements may be considered for admission in conditionally classified standing with the approval and recommendation of the academic unit. A student admitted in conditionally classified standing may subsequently be granted classified standing in a graduate degree program if professional, personal, scholastic, or other standards including qualifying examinations are met.

Determination of the student’s prerequisites and assignment of courses, units, and grade points required to remove deficiencies is made by the academic unit. For specific information on prerequisites to classified standing, refer to the graduate degree requirements described in the appropriate academic departmental section of this catalog.

Graduate Standing: Classified
A student’s status is changed to classified standing when an official Study Plan has been approved by the associate vice president, Graduate Programs and Research (or designee). It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the request for classified standing by making an appointment with the departmental graduate program adviser to develop a Study Plan. An eligible student may request classified standing prior to the first registration or during the first semester of registration. However, no more than nine units of postgraduate work taken at this institution prior to classified standing will be applied to a master’s or doctoral degree Study Plan. Any acceptable transfer work is excluded from the nine units permitted.

Classified standing is granted when (1) all prerequisites and/or deficiencies have been satisfactorily completed; (2) the official Study Plan has been developed and signed by the graduate program adviser and committee, and (3) the Study Plan is sent to the Graduate Studies Office and approved by the associate vice president, Graduate Programs and Research (or designee). The Graduate Studies Office will send a copy of the approved Study Plan to the student, the academic unit and university records. The original Study Plan will remain with the Graduate Studies Office. A student is not officially classified until an approved Study Plan is on file in the Graduate Studies Office.

To be granted the master’s or doctoral degree, a student must have been classified, applied for graduation (advanced to candidacy), and completed the approved graduate Study Plan.

Requirements that apply to all programs are described in the following section. For specific requirements of particular programs, see the graduate program descriptions in the departmental section of this catalog.

Each student’s program for a master’s or doctoral degree (including eligibility, classified standing, candidacy, and award of the degree) must be approved by the departmental graduate program adviser, the student’s graduate committee, and the Office of Graduate Studies.

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