California Pre-Doctoral Program

(Sally Casanova Scholars)


The California Pre-Doctoral Program is designed to increase the diversity of the pool of potential faculty by supporting the doctoral aspirations of CSU students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages. Winners will be designated as Sally Casanova Scholars, as a tribute to Dr. Sally Casanova, for whom the award is named. Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars will work closely with a CSU faculty sponsor to develop an overall plan which prepares the student for enrollment in a doctoral program. The plan should be tailored to the specific goals and career objectives of the student.

The program provides travel funds to visit doctoral-granting institutions, options for a summer research internship, and funds for other doctoral program related activities. Interested students must attend one of the Information Sessions and submit a draft application to the CSUF Campus Coordinator by January 27, 2023. Please see more details below.

Program Benefits

- Travel Funds for the student to visit U.S. doctoral-granting institutions and/or to attend a professional meeting appropriate to the student's development.
- Funds for other related activities, such as student membership in professional organizations and subscriptions to journals, graduate school application and test fees, GRE preparation, and the cost of minor research materials.
- A Summer Research opportunity at a University of California campus or other major research university, fully funded by the Pre-Doctoral Program, so that the Scholar can participate in doctoral-level research.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

- Eligibility is limited to junior, senior and graduate students who are enrolled in a degree-seeking program at any one of the CSU campuses at the time of application. At the time of award, applicants must be matriculated into a degree program and be enrolled in one semester or two quarters during the award year.
- Awards are based on competitive review of student applications and given to current upper-division or graduate students who, in the judgment of the review panel, demonstrate academic excellence while experiencing economic or educational disadvantage, as well as committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level.
- Each applicant must have a faculty sponsor who will be available for the duration of the plan specified in the application.

Not eligible:
- International students
- Current or previous California Pre-Doctoral Scholars
- Students interested in obtaining professional degrees (law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, or an MBA degree) are not eligible.

Application Requirements

- Personal and Educational Information
- Three Essays (300-600 words each)
- Faculty Mentor Letter of Recommendation
- Student Budget PlanPDF File
- Transcripts

Information Sessions

Prospective students must first attend an information session with the CSUF Campus Coordinator, Eloisa Amador-Romero, before moving forward with the application process. 

The following information sessions are scheduled for the fall 2022 semester, register online now:

Application Process and Deadlines

There are several steps to submit an application for the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Program:

1. Attend an Information Session with the CSUF Campus Coordinator, Eloisa Amador-Romero.

2. Submit a draft application (PDF) to Eloisa Amador-Romero at, by January 27, 2023.

3. Be approved by the CSUF Campus Coordinator after receiving application feedback and provided with the electronic application information.

4. Submit the final application electronically with the CSU Chancellor’s Office by February 17, 2023, 11:59pm.

The application period will open in early December 2022 (final date determined by the CSU Chancellor’s Office). Applicants will submit the draft of this application to Eloisa Amador-Romero ( by January 27, 2023.

Students are not eligible to submit an electronic application with the CSU Chancellor’s Office until first approved by the Campus Coordinator.

Additional Information

For more information about the program, please visit the California Pre-Doctoral Program’s Website or view the brochurePDF File . For any additional questions, please reach out to the Campus Coordinator, Eloisa Amador-Romero, at