Apr 21, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 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 the college or university where the bachelor’s degree was earned must be submitted to CSUF. Official transcripts from the last institution attended is also required. 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 education was not at a majority English-language country, must submit proof of English proficiency before an admissions decision can be made. 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 second 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 or second diploma; 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. However, this means second concentration students are not eligible to participate in commencement. Self-support programs do not have a second concentration option at this 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

Applicants 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 qualify for admission with a graduate degree objective, applicants must meet the university admission requirements and meet any additional program admission requirements. Applicants admitted in classified standing do not need to take any additional coursework or academic preparation to begin graduate study.  

Graduate Conditionally Classified – To qualify for admission with a graduate degree objective, students must meet the university admission requirements and any additional program admission requirements. Applicants admitted in conditionally classified standing require additional academic preparation to begin graduate study and are assigned additional prerequisite conditions by the program. The time frame for meeting the conditional requirements should not exceed two semesters. 

Post-Baccalaureate Classified – To qualify for admission for a credential or post-baccalaureate certificate, applicants must meet the university admission requirements and any additional credential or certificate requirements. 

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 and the CSU admission portal are good sources for the most up-to-date information.