Jun 23, 2024  
2019-2020 University Catalog 
2019-2020 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Admissions


Student Responsibility

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 students are properly admitted to the degree program, meet or complete all academic prerequisites and grading standards, file an official Study Plan in a Aerial view of campus: Mihaylo, Langsdorf, College Parktimely manner, meet the program requirements of the specific degree they are seeking, and apply for graduation according to the published deadlines. 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 and doctoral students are responsible for applying for graduation online via their Titan Online Student Center and paying a graduation processing and diploma fee within five days of applying for the graduation check online. If students need to change their projected date of graduation, they must inform the Office of Graduate Studies as soon as possible by filing a Change of Graduation Date form and paying a fee to the university cashier.

Application Procedures

All applicants for any type of post-baccalaureate or graduate standing (e.g., Ed.D. applicants, DNP applicants, master’s degree applicants, and those seeking credentials or certificates) must file a complete application within the appropriate filing period. Applicants considering admission to more than one California State University campus must submit a separate application (including fee) to each campus.

Applicants who completed undergraduate degree requirements and wish to continue post-baccalaureate or graduate study are required to complete and submit an application and the nonrefundable application fee.

Applications may be accessed online at calstate.edu/apply. Instructions for completing the application forms are included online. Since some programs require the submission of additional materials as part of the application process, students should inquire concerning this possibility at the department offering the particular program.

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

Application Deadlines

The application period for fall admission opens the previous Oct. 1; applications for spring admission are accepted beginning the previous Aug. 1. In most cases, applications need to be submitted no later than March 1 for the fall semester and Oct. 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.


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 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 one complete set 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 the University Testing Center, Gordon Hall 143, testingcenter@fullerton.edu.

Graduate-Post-Baccalaureate English Language Requirement

All graduate and post-baccalaureate 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) or 80 (Internet-based, iBT) (Computer-based TOEFL scores are not accepted) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum passing score for IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is 6.5. Minimum passing score for PTE (Pearson Test of English Academic) is 58. Some programs require a higher score; please contact the degree program for those requirements. The language test results submitted must not have been earned more than two years prior to the desired enrollment date.

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. Students can only complete one master’s degree at a time. 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 concentration within the same degree program will not be awarded a second degree; instead, only a transcript notation will be added listing the completion of the second concentration. As such, second concentration students do not have to pay the graduation and diploma fee a second time.

Admission Procedures

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 email 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.

Graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants may apply for a degree objective, a credential or certificate objective, or where approved, may have no program objective. Depending on the objective, the CSU will consider an application for admission as follows:

Admission to the Master’s Degree Programs

The minimum requirements for admission to graduate and post-baccalaureate studies at a CSU 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 earned a grade-point average of at least 2.5 on the last degree completed by the candidate or have attained a grade-point average of at least 2.5 (A=4.0) in the last 60 semester (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. 

Admission to the Ed.D. Program

Minimum requirements for admission to the Ed.D. program are: 1) an earned baccalaureate degree and master’s degree from an accredited institution or institutions of higher education; 2) good academic standing at the last institution of higher education attended; 3) a grade-point average minimum of 3.0 in upper-division and graduate study; 4) demonstrated sufficient preparation for, experience in and potential for educational leadership, including: successful experience in leadership in school, postsecondary or community contexts, and/or policy leadership; academic excellence; problem-solving ability; technological proficiency; interest in critically assessing current educational policies and practices; and interest in improving current educational policies and practices. Admission shall be granted on a competitive basis; meeting the minimum requirements qualifies an individual for admission but does not guarantee admission to the program.

Admission to the DNP Program

The minimum requirements for admission to the DNP program are: 1) an earned baccalaureate degree and master’s degree from an accredited institution or institutions, the latter either in (a) nursing or a health-related field (i.e., public health or health administration) and national certification as an APRN (CNM, CNS, CRNA or NP) for preparation as clinicians, leaders or educators (direct care track), or in (b) nursing leadership or administration, nursing education or community health nursing for preparation as nurse educators or nurse leaders (indirect care track); 2) a grade-point average minimum of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in all graduate coursework; 3) in good standing at the last institution of higher education attended; 4) current, unrestricted California RN licensure or eligibility and advanced practice national certification and national furnishing/prescriptive authority, if applicable. For additional admissions requirements, see CSUF’s School of Nursing website.

Admission Categories

Students who meet the minimum requirements for graduate and post-baccalaureate studies may be considered for admission in one of the four following categories: 

Graduate Classified - To pursue a graduate degree, applicants are required to fulfill all of the professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards, including qualifying examinations, prescribed by the campus.

A student’s status is changed to classified standing when an official Study Plan has been approved by the associate vice president for academic programs (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 3) the Study Plan is sent to the Office of Graduate Studies and approved by the associate vice president for academic programs (or designee). The Office of Graduate Studies 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 Office of Graduate Studies. A student is not officially classified until an approved Study Plan is on file in the Office of Graduate Studies.

Graduate Conditionally Classified - Applicants may be admitted to a graduate degree program in this category if, in the opinion of appropriate campus authority, deficiencies may be remedied by additional preparation.

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. 

Post-Baccalaureate Classified (e.g. admission to an education credential program) - Persons wishing to enroll in a credential or certificate program will be required to satisfy additional professional, personal, scholastic and other standards, including qualifying examinations, prescribed by the campus.

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.

Post-Baccalaureate Unclassified - To enroll in undergraduate courses as preparation for advanced degree programs or to enroll in graduate courses for professional or personal growth, applicants must be admitted as post-baccalaureate unclassified students. By meeting the general requirements, applicants are eligible for admission as post-baccalaureate unclassified students. Admission in this status does not constitute admission to, or assurance of consideration for admission to, any graduate degree or credential program. (Most CSU campuses do not offer admission to unclassified post-baccalaureate students). 

Note: These and other CSU admission requirements are subject to change as policies are revised and laws are amended. The CSU website calstate.edu and the CSU admission portal calstate.edu/apply are good sources for the most up-to-date information.

To be granted the master’s or doctoral degree, a student must have been classified, applied for graduation and completed the requirements listed on 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 sections 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.