Graduate Admissions and Graduate StudiesGRADUATE ADMISSIONS ANDGRADUATE STUDIESThere are more than 3,000 students enrolled in one of San FranciscoState University's master's, credential, second baccalaureate, certificate,and joint doctoral programs. Our students, many of whom are workingfull or part-time, are fully engaged in scholarly endeavors, includingbasic and applied research, creative projects, and community service.General information about graduate study and how to begin andcomplete a post-baccalaureate program can be found in the followingpages of the Bulletin at Graduate Education (, Graduate Studies website (,or by contacting the Division of Graduate Studies. A handbook forgraduate students, the GradGuide, is available on the Graduate Studieswebsite nts/studentgradguide.pdf).For information about a specific program, the student should viewthe academic department website or contact the program graduatecoordinator to obtain program-specific admission and degreerequirements. Graduate coordinator contact information and departmentinformation can be accessed from the Graduate Studies website.Faculty Teaching in Graduate ProgramsFaculty members teaching in graduate programs hold doctoral or otherterminal degrees in their field. These tenured and tenure-track facultymembers serve as advisors on theses, dissertations, creative works,field projects, and graduate comprehensive examinations committeesbased on the faculty member’s expertise and area of research orscholarly work. In some cases, non-tenure track faculty members withexceptional backgrounds in specific areas of study may be assigned toteach graduate-level courses. You can review faculty backgrounds inour Bulletin faculty directory or by visiting each department's aduate-program/).CSU Graduate AdmissionGeneral Eligibility RequirementsMinimum requirements for admission to graduate study at the CaliforniaState University are in accordance with Title 5, Division 5, Chapter 1,Subchapter 3, of the California Code of Regulations. The University hasthe right to require higher standards than the minimum requirementspublished in Title 5.To meet the minimum eligibility standards for graduate study at SanFrancisco State, an applicant must:1. hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution,or shall have completed equivalent academic preparation asdetermined by the appropriate campus authority;2. be in good academic standing at the last college or universityattended;3. have a 3.0 GPA or better in their earned undergraduate degree or thelast 60-semester (90-quarter) units completed, or have earned a postbaccalaureate degree; and4. meet the professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards forgraduate study, including qualifying examinations, as appropriatecampus authorities may prescribe. In unusual circumstances, acampus may make exceptions to these criteria.San Francisco State University Bulletin 2022-2023Graduate Admission ProcessesApplication for admission to a graduate degree, credential or certificateprogram requires the student to apply to the University through theCalifornia State University (CSU) common application, Cal State Apply( and upload program-specificsupporting materials. Retroactive admission and/or award of degreeor certificate is prohibited for students who complete coursework ina program to which they have not been officially admitted. Applicantsseeking prerequisites for entry to a graduate degree program shouldcontact the Division of Graduate Studies. The Cal State Apply ( online application system does not allowapplicants to apply to more than one San Francisco State graduateprogram per application term. If you are not selected for admissionto your preferred program, contact Graduate Studies for an alternateprogram.Applicants to a second baccalaureate degree program must use thegraduate admission application through Cal State Apply ( Second baccalaureate admission isrestricted to select degree programs by the CSU Chancellor’s office.Applicants seeking admission to other second bachelor’s degreeprograms must obtain written support for admission from the AcademicDepartment Chair of the intended program of study. Contact the Divisionof Graduate Studies for procedures and forms to be considered foradmission.University Right to Select StudentsThe University reserves the right to select its students and denyadmission to the University or any of its programs. The University, in itssole discretion, determines admissions based on an applicant’s suitabilityfor graduate study, evidenced by application materials submittedand the department’s mission, goals, resources, and areas of facultyscholarship. Admission to graduate programs is selective and morepeople apply than can be accepted. Meeting minimum University ordepartment requirements for admission does not ensure acceptanceinto a graduate program. The University graduate admissions processis conducted in compliance with its Nondiscrimination Policy (seethe Regulations and Procedures scrimination-policy/) section of this Bulletin for thecomplete policy).Importance of Filing Complete, Accurate, and AuthenticApplication DocumentsThe University and its programs have the right to verify all informationand documents submitted in and with the application. Applicants mustsupply complete and accurate information on all application materials foradmission, residency questionnaire or residency reclassification request,and financial aid forms. Failure to file complete, accurate, and authenticapplication documents may result in denial of admission, cancellationof academic credit, suspension, or expulsion (Section 41301, Article1.1, Title 5, California Code of Regulations).Official Transcript RequirementAll applications are reviewed based on unofficial transcripts uploadedto the Cal State Apply n. Applicants offered admission must provide the Divisionof Graduate Studies with one official transcript from each college oruniversity attended, including community college and study abroadcoursework. Separate transcripts from each college or university arerequired even though one transcript may show coursework takenat another institution. Transcripts for coursework completed at San1

San Francisco State University Bulletin 2022-2023Graduate Admissions and Graduate StudiesFrancisco State are not required. Official transcripts must be submittedin envelopes sealed by the issuing college or university. Copies oftranscripts or opened official transcripts will not be accepted. Officialtranscripts sent electronically from authorized agencies, such as ScriptSafe, eScript, and etranscripts, must be sent to [email protected] that have been submitted for admission or evaluationbecome the property of the University and are not returned or copied fordistribution outside of the University.Domestic and International ApplicationsEntrance Examination/Standardized Test ScoresApplications for summer for select programs are accepted beginningFebruary 1 of the same year.The University does not require applicants to complete an entranceexamination as a condition for graduate admission; however, manydepartments or programs do require that graduate degree applicantssubmit results of the general or area tests of the Graduate RecordExamination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test(GMAT) prior to admission. Check the department website for testrequirements. Applicants are responsible for having the requiredexamination results forwarded directly to the University or department.San Francisco State’s GRE institution code is 4684. Our GMAT institutioncodes are F87HP99 for the M.B.A., and F87HP10 for the Master ofScience in Accountancy programs.Pre-admission Writing AssessmentThe University requires that all applicants meet a pre-admission (LevelI) writing standard prior to entering a graduate program. Departmentsor programs stipulate the pre-admission writing standards appropriateto their discipline. Departments may require a specific score range onthe analytical writing section of the GRE or GMAT or faculty will assessgraduate-level writing with a department/program administered writingexam or essay. Students who do not meet Level I writing standards, butmeet other admissions requirements, may be admitted with specificconditions stipulated by the department. Conditions for meeting Level Iwriting standards should be met no later than the second consecutivesemester after admission.Program Application MaterialsLetters of recommendation, statements of purpose, writing samples,and résumé materials required by the department or program must besubmitted as part of your Cal State Apply ( online application. Check the department/program website forrequirements.All application materials submitted to the University, academicdepartment, or graduate program become the property of the Universityand will not be returned. In selected cases in which an applicant hassubmitted a portfolio of original work for review by a program admissioncommittee, the original works may be returned if the applicant makes thenecessary arrangements with the department and provides a stamped,self-addressed envelope or package for return mailing.Application Filing PeriodsThe Cal State Apply ( onlineapplication filing periods open on the dates listed below. All applicationsmust be submitted by the academic department deadline. Applicantsshould consult the Graduate Studies website ( or contact the department/program directly for additionalinformation.2Applications for fall are accepted beginning October 1 of the previousyear.Applications for spring are accepted beginning August 1 of the previousyear. Not all programs accept spring applications. Consult the GraduateStudies website ( for informationon spring admissions.Applicants from Institutions without RegionalAccreditationAn applicant who is a graduate of an institution without regionalaccreditation, or from an institution whose degree is not consideredequivalent to a baccalaureate degree from this University in termsof quality and/or content (e.g., specialized, professional, or certaininternational institutions), may not be admitted directly to graduate orcredential status at San Francisco State. Applicants from non-accreditedinstitutions should contact the Senior Associate Director of GraduateAdmissions to determine alternative preparation for graduate study.Additional coursework at the undergraduate level may be required.Information about regionally accredited universities can be foundat the Council for Higher Education website ( ( International students should review the InternationalStudent Admission Requirements section below.San Francisco State Graduate and PostBaccalaureate Application ProceduresStudents applying for admission to a graduate degree, credential, orcertificate program must apply to the University via the online CALSTATE APPLY ( Applicants seekingprerequisites for entry to a graduate degree program should contactthe Division of Graduate Studies. SF State accepts applications foradmission for the fall and spring semesters only.Applicants to post-baccalaureate study must file an application and beaccepted to each program to be eligible to earn a degree, certificate, orcredential. Retroactive admission and award of degree or certificate isprohibited for students who complete coursework in a program to whichthey have not been admitted.The following processes must be followed to be considered for admissionto a graduate degree, credential, second baccalaureate, or certificateprogram at SF State, including degree programs offered through SpecialSessions in the College of Extended Learning.Application ProceduresApply online via Cal State Apply (,upload unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutionsattended and additional program-specific required documents, and paythe required application fee.Applicants who receive official admission notification must send officialtranscripts from each college or university attended to the Division ofGraduate Studies to secure their admission. Applicants with multipletranscripts should remember that it may take the college or universityissuing the transcripts several weeks to send the documents. To ensuremore rapid processing, applicants should gather official University-sealed

Graduate Admissions and Graduate Studiestranscripts from each institution previously attended, place them togetherin the same large envelope, and submit them by mail or in-person to:Graduate AdmissionsSan Francisco State University1600 Holloway Avenue (ADM 250)San Francisco, CA 94132–4013eTranscripts will be accepted from participating universities and shouldbe sent to [email protected] to a graduate degree, credential, second baccalaureate,or certificate program should apply early in the application period sothat the Division of Graduate Studies can verify minimum Universityadmission requirements and then forward this review to the department/programs by the department deadlines ( to either of the two joint doctoral programs should checkthe Graduate Studies website for links to the department for specificapplication deadlines and requirements.Departments will stipulate how you must meet the pre-admission(Level I) writing assessment. Check the department website program/) for expectations.Review the Pre-admission Writing Assessment section of this Bulletin forinformation.International Applicant Admission RequirementsThe California State University Order.aspx) is committed to being an inclusive and welcoming institutionof higher education that is enhanced by the students, faculty, staff, andalumni from our global community. San Francisco State has additionalapplication requirements for international F-1 or J-1 visa holders orapplicants who have earned degrees outside of the United States.International applicants applying to a graduate program may have earlierapplication deadlines than those listed for domestic students. Applicantsholding or requiring F-1 or J-1 visas must also submit the FinancialAffidavit Form and evidence of financial resources for study in the U.S.for the issuance of a San Francisco State I-20 Certificate of Eligibility.International students should access the Graduate Studies l-application-submission/)for information on admission criteria, English language requirements, andI-20 issuance.All international applicants requiring an F-1/J-1 visa must be formallyadmitted and enrolled in conditionally classified or classified status asmatriculated students in a degree program offered through the University.International applicants will be given full consideration for admissionbased on the San Francisco State’s commitment to internationalizing thestudent body.Academic EligibilityApplicants educated outside of the United States must have earneda degree or diploma that San Francisco State considers to be theequivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a regionally accreditedinstitution. An official determination of eligibility will be made duringthe application process. Applicants graduating from internationalinstitutions with three-year degrees preceded by thirteen years of precollegiate work and “A-level” passes are admissible to San FranciscoState graduate programs if they meet all other University and programrequirements. Applicants who hold a Bologna degree comprised of 180San Francisco State University Bulletin 2022-2023ECTS may be eligible for admission following a comprehensive evaluationof documents.International applicants with twelve years of pre-collegiate education, athree-year bachelor’s degree followed by a post-graduate diploma, or anhonors bachelor’s may be admissible to graduate programs at SF State.Required Educational DocumentsAll applications are reviewed based on unofficial academic documentsuploaded to the Cal State Apply ( application. Applicants educated outside of the U.S. who havebeen offered admission must submit official or university-attested andsealed copies of all original academic documents in the original languageof issue. Copies must be certified by the appropriate issuing universityofficial. Required documents include the complete official academicrecord showing all courses or subjects; dates of enrollment and grades/marks received; and official degree(s), diploma(s), or certificate(s)awarded. Official word-for-word English translations must be submitted inaddition to the original language documents.English Language Proficiency Requirement (TOEFL/IELTS/PTE)All graduate, credential, second baccalaureate, and certificate applicants,regardless of citizenship, whose native language is not English andwhose preparatory education was principally in a language other thanEnglish must demonstrate competence in English. According to Title5 of the California Code of Regulations (Section 41040), to be admittedto a campus as a post-baccalaureate or graduate student, applicantswhose native language is not English must receive a minimum score of550 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)or 80 on the internet-based (iBT) test. Students who have taken theInternational English Language Testing System (IELTS) as an alternativemust obtain a 6.5 overall band score. Students taking the Pearson Test ofEnglish (PTE) must post a minimum score of 55. Accountancy, BusinessAdministration, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages(TESOL) graduate programs have higher TOEFL score requirements.Applicants who have earned degrees outside of the U.S., even if theyhave completed coursework in English, should contact Graduate Studiesto determine if they are required to take TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. TOEFLscore reports should be sent to San Francisco State Division of GraduateStudies, Institution Code: 4683.Applicants who do not meet San Francisco State TOEFL, IELTS, or PTEstandards are encouraged to apply to the American Language Instituteat SF State to prepare for full admission to SF State graduate programs.Contact the American Language Institute ( forinformation.Admission DecisionsThe University reserves the right to select its students and denyadmission to the University or any of its programs. Review the UniversityRight to Select Students section of this Bulletin.Notice of Admission or DenialAfter review of all application materials, department or programadmission committees notify the San Francisco State GraduateAdmissions office of their admission recommendations. Applicants arethen formally notified of their admission status on receipt of the officialSan Francisco State Graduate Admission Notification Letter issued bythe Dean of the Division of Graduate Studies. Letters of admission fromthe department or program received prior to the official San Francisco StateAdmission Notification Letter are not valid. Applicants who are denied by3

San Francisco State University Bulletin 2022-2023either the University or the academic department or program will receivenotification of denial from the Division of Graduate Studies.Admission Contingent on Award of DegreeIf a student is admitted to the University before the final award of thebaccalaureate or post-baccalaureate degree, an official transcript withdegree award notation must be submitted before the end of the fourthweek of the first semester of enrollment. Students who are admitted toa graduate program contingent on award of the undergraduate degreemust maintain a 3.0 GPA or better in all work completed before thedegree is earned or admission status may be rescinded. Any studentwho does not submit documentation of completion of an undergraduatedegree by the end of the fourth week is subject to one or more of thefollowing actions: cancellation of admission and registration, automaticreclassification to undergraduate status, loss of all units taken for postbaccalaureate credit, and disciplinary action if appropriate.Expiration of Admission OfferAdmission will be canceled if an applicant is accepted by SF State for agiven semester and does not enroll in that semester. Applicants who lettheir admission offer expire must file a new CAL STATE APPLY ( application, pay a new application fee, andmeet the requirements for admission in effect for the new term to whichthey are applying. Readmission to a future semester is not guaranteed.An offer of admission may also be withdrawn by the graduate programif the applicant has not indicated their intent to enroll by the programdeadline or has failed to meet a condition of admission set by theprogram.Admission CategoriesGraduate Conditionally ClassifiedMost students are admitted to the University in conditionally classifiedstanding. Admission conditions are determined by the program and mustbe met within the specified time frame set by the program. Programsadmit students in this category to evaluate progress toward degreecompletion. This admission category does not impact Financial Aideligibility. Students admitted in this category will be moved to classifiedstatus after submission and approval of the Advancement to CandidacyForm (ATC).Graduate ClassifiedMost students advance to this status after submitting an approvedAdvancement to Candidacy Form (ATC).Post-baccalaureate ClassifiedStudents admitted to a credential or second baccalaureate programwill be admitted as post-baccalaureate classified. Admission in thisstatus does not constitute admission to, or assurance of considerationfor admission to, any graduate degree program. Contact the Credentialand Graduate Services Center for further information on credentialprograms. Students seeking admission for administrative or specialeducation credentials should contact the departments directly. Secondbaccalaureate students should consult with the Department Advisorto ensure prerequisite or a second bachelor’s degree coursework iscompleted according to the submitted plan.Post-baccalaureate UnclassifiedStudents who have earned an undergraduate degree and are admittedto a graduate or undergraduate certificate program are admitted to thiscategory. Certificate students should contact the department offering thecertificate program for information about the application process. Not allcertificate programs are Financial Aid eligible.4Graduate Admissions and Graduate StudiesTransfer Credit from Other InstitutionsGraduate courses taken at another university are not automaticallytransferable to a San Francisco State graduate program. At the discretionof the department faculty, with support of the Dean of Graduate Studies,a maximum of 6 semester units, including any combination of transferunits or coursework through the College of Extended Learning, may beused to meet the requirements of a 30 unit program, or proportionallymore for a program requiring 45 or more units. Students requestingtransfer of units should confer with the department chair or graduatecoordinator and the Division of Graduate Studies after notification ofadmission.Departments/programs have the authority to determine which transfercourses will be accepted for use on the Advancement to Candidacy(ATC) form. (Review the Advancement to Candidacy section ofGraduate Academic Policies and Procedures in this Bulletin for moreinformation). Courses accepted for transfer credit by the departmentmust meet the following minimum University requirements, but higherrequirements may be stipulated by the department: The course content clearly meets the program’s curricularrequirements stipulated in the SF State Bulletin. The course was taken at a regionally accredited (or internationalequivalent) institution of higher education. The course was not used to meet the requirements for anundergraduate or graduate degree awarded (excess units) at SF Stateor another institution. The course was either an upper-division or a graduate-level course atthe institution at which it was taken and must be acceptable to thatinstitution’s advanced degree program. The student may be requiredto provide a letter from the institution’s Registrar’s office stating thecourse is acceptable for use toward an advance degree-grantingprogram and was not used toward another degree. The course(s), if taken through an extension program, must beaccepted as a degree course at that university. Some extensioncourses are not acceptable. Check with the offering institution’sRegistrar’s office and with Graduate Studies for transfer assessment. The course was not taken any earlier than seven years from the datethe student is planning to graduate. Transfer courses become invalidwhen they no longer meet the seven-year condition. Transfer coursesexceeding the seven-year limit cannot be extended through petition. The student earned an acceptable grade (C or better) in the course. Agrade of C will be calculated into the student’s ATC GPA which cannotbe lower than a 3.0. Most departments require a grade of B or betterfor transfer courses. Quarter units will be converted to semester units. Credits earned at recognized foreign universities may be transferableif course content, credit hours, and grades are determined equivalentto SF State coursework. An official academic record and certifiedtranslation must be on file in the Division of Graduate Studies.It is the obligation of the student, the student’s advisor, and the graduatecoordinator to determine that the proposed transfer course meets all ofthe conditions for eligibility for inclusion on the ATC form.A student requesting to have a course taken at another institutionincluded as part of their graduate program should do the following: Obtain the approval of their graduate advisor and graduatecoordinator on the Request for Graduate Program Transfer

Graduate Admissions and Graduate StudiesUnit Evaluation form nts/transfer-unit-evaluation.pdf). If substituting for a required core course, a Waiver of GraduateProgram Regulation nts/waiver-of-graduate-program-regulations.pdf) form and aletter of support from the department will be required in addition tothe Request for Graduate Program Transfer Unit Evaluation form. Submit the official transcript from the transfer institution with theRequest for Graduate Program Transfer Unit Evaluation form to theDivision of Graduate Studies for signature by the Dean or designee. If approved, the course may be included in the ATC. Departments maydeny transfer courses. Transcripts that have been submitted to the Division of GraduateStudies become the property of the University and are not returned orcopied for distribution.Credit by ExaminationCredit by examination is seldom granted unless a student showsa high level of prior competence in the content area of the coursebeing challenged and passes all course requirements through formalexamination. An example of a student granted credit by examinationis a highly skilled nurse who is able to pass the didactic and practicalsections of a nursing course final examination.To earn credit by examination, a student must obtain approval fromthe department chair and graduate coordinator. Grading options willbe the same as that available for the course being challenged. Theexamination is to be comprehensive and includes whatever activity,test or demonstration is deemed appropriate for evaluating the skills,understanding, or knowledge required by the objectives of the course.Students must be regularly enrolled during the semester they earn creditby examination. Units earned via credit by examination are counted aspart of the total units registered for a given semester and appropriatefees must be paid. Grades received as a result of the examination will berecorded on the student’s permanent record and appropriate grade pointsassigned.Credits Taken Prior to Admission to a Graduate Programat San Francisco State Credit through Open University, College of Extended Learning (CEL):No more than 6 units or 20 percent may be used as required unitsfor the degree (proportionally more for larger unit degree programs)taken in CEL through Open University may be counted toward agraduate degree. Credit for Graduate Courses Completed as an Undergraduate: Upto 9 units of upper-division or up to 12 units of graduate work(not to exceed a total of 12 units) completed as an undergraduatemay be counted toward a graduate program ONLY if the work wastaken before the bachelor’s degree was earned and not countedtoward the undergraduate degree. See Graduate Courses Taken as anUndergraduate Student at SF State section below for more detail. Credit from Certificate Programs during Post BaccalaureateClassified Status: When a student enrolls in a certificate programprior to admission to a related master’s program, no more than 12units taken in certificate status may be applied to a certain master’sdegree. Any double counting of units must be approved by thedepartment and the Division of Graduate Studies. Not all programspermit double counting of degree and certificate units. Credit Completed during Second Baccalaureate and UnclassifiedGraduate Status: The Chancellor’s Office has restricted access toSan Francisco State University Bulletin 2022

Graduate Admissions and Graduate Studies San Francisco State University Bulletin 2022-2023 transcripts from each institution previously attended, place them together in the same large envelope, and submit them by mail or in-person to: Graduate Admissions San Francisco State University 1600 Holloway Avenue (ADM 250) San Francisco, CA 94132-4013