Jun 23, 2024  
2022-2023 University Catalog 
2022-2023 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Admissions


Student Responsibility

Each student has a responsibility to understand and apply the information within the University Catalog to ensure timely degree completion and compliance with all university policies. Students should direct specific questions to their graduate advisor or visit the Graduate Studies website for more information.   

Application Procedures

Applicants for post-baccalaureate, certificate, credential, master’s or doctoral programs must submit an application by the program deadline on calstate.edu/apply. Each application requires a $70 nonrefundable application fee. Programs may require additional materials for admission. In some cases, application or testing requirements may be different from what is listed in the catalog. Please visit the program website to find the current admissions requirements and contact the graduate adviser for more information.

Application Deadlines

The application period for admission opens on October 1 for fall admission and August 1 for spring admission. Deadlines vary for individual programs based upon program cycles and capacities. Check the website of the specific program of interest for current deadline information.


Official transcripts from all colleges or universities previously attended must be submitted to CSUF. Transcripts that include transfer credit from a different institution is not sufficient evidence of coursework taken elsewhere. Transcripts should be sent directly to the university Admissions Office in a sealed envelope or electronically (preferable) by the college or university. Current CSUF students or alumni do not need to request official transcripts from CSUF. Once the university receives a student’s documents, they become official records of CSUF and cannot be returned or reissued. International transcripts must be accompanied by certified English translations. 


Some programs may require a standardized test, like the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Test requirements vary by program, please check the program requirements to determine if test scores are needed.

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 submit proof of English proficiency. Information about English proficiency requirements can be found on the International Admissions website. The requirements may vary depending on the student’s program of interest.

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 CSUF 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 with an official admission decision. Written email notice from the Admissions Office is the only valid proof of admission. Academic advising prior to admission is tentative and should not be construed as granting official admission to a program or establishing requirements for the degree.

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. 

Master’s students should: 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 to the program of study.

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, post-secondary or community contexts, 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.

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 Classification 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 below:

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 adviser to develop a Study Plan.

Classified standing is granted when: 1) all prerequisites 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).

Graduate Conditionally Classified - Applicants may be admitted to a graduate degree program in this category if, in the opinion of appropriate campus authority, the applicant needs addition coursework or academic prepration.

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 needs additional coursework or academic preparation 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 additional coursework and adadmic preparation 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  - Credential or certificate program students will be required to satisfy additional professional, personal, scholastic and other standards, including qualifying examinations, prescribed by the campus.

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 websites.

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. 

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.