May 18, 2024  
2007-2008 Graduate Catalog 
2007-2008 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

The Graduate School

Click on any of the following links for information:

Steven Graham, M.A., Associate Director, Recruitment and Operations
Dennis Sayers, Ed.D., Director, Interdisciplinary Studies program

Office: Mary Stuart Rogers Educational Services Gateway Building 160
Phone: (209) 667-3129

The Graduate School is committed to the development of scholarly leaders through outstanding graduate and postbaccalaureate programs that require students to demonstrate critical thinking and analysis, the ability to integrate theory and practice, and creativity in scholarly endeavors. Students emerge equipped to face real-life challenges and contribute to the body of knowledge in their fields of study.

The Graduate School develops, plans, assesses, improves, and administers the policies and procedures established by the Graduate Council, the chief governance body for graduate and postbaccalaureate programs.

Student Learning Goals

To ensure the quality of the advanced programs and student learning experiences, the Graduate Council established six student learning goals for graduate/postbaccalaureate students. Students will be expected to demonstrate:

  1. Advanced knowledge, skills, and values appropriate to their discipline.
  2. Ability to be creative, analytical, and critical thinkers.
  3. Ability to work as individual researchers/scholars as well as in collaboration with others in contributing to the scholarship of their disciplines, as appropriate.
  4. Relevant knowledge of the global perspectives appropriate to their discipline.
  5. Knowledge of new and various methods and technologies as appropriate to their discipline.
  6. Advanced oral and written communication skills, complemented as appropriate to the discipline, by the ability to access and analyze information from a myriad of primary, print, and technological sources.

The Graduate Council continually assesses the achievement of these goals using surveys, program reviews, and analyses of student academic performance.

The Graduate Experience

One in five students at California State University, Stanislaus is enrolled in graduate or postbaccalaureate study. This is a significant portion of the student body and the group is extremely diverse in purpose, background, ethnicity, tradition, and age. This diversity provides a valuable context for quality research and learning. The University has become known for its responsiveness to individual students, its collaborative spirit, and the accessibility of its outstanding teacher-scholar faculty. Graduate students emerge with the knowledge, dispositions, and confidence to provide scholarly leadership.

Graduate Programs

The University offers the Master of Arts and Master of Science degree and certificate programs below. Specific program requirements are in the catalog sections of the individual departments. Many graduate and postbaccalaureate credential programs can be completed in their entirety through enrollment in late afternoon and evening coursework.


Business Administration (MBA) Randall B. Brown
Business Administration (MSBA) Andrew Wagner
Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) Ashour Badal
Criminal Justice (MA) Peter Nelligan
Ecology and Sustainability (MS) Ann Kohlhaas
    Ecological Conservation  
    Ecological Economics  
Education (MA)  
  Curriculum & Instruction (C&I) Ramón Vega de Jesús
    Elementary Education Armin Schulz
    Multilingual Education Juan Flores
    Reading Susan Neufeld
    Secondary Education Armin Schulz
  Educational Technology Dawn Poole
  School Administration Chet Jensen
  School Counseling Connie Kane
  Special Education Karen Sniezek
  Physical Education Shawna Young
English (MA)  
  Literature Arnold Schmidt
  Rhetoric and the Teaching of Writing Mark Thompson
  Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Stephen B. Stryker
Genetic Counseling (MS) — Fall 2008 Janey Youngblom
History (MA)  
  International Relations Bret Carroll
  Secondary School Teachers Bret Carroll
Interdisciplinary Studies (MA/MS) Dennis Sayers
  Child Development  
Marine Sciences (MS) Pamela Roe
Psychology (MA) William F. Potter
  Behavior Analysis (MS) William F. Potter
  Counseling (MS) Kurt Baker
Public Administration (MPA) April Hejka-Ekins
Social Work (MSW) Margaret Tynan

Certificate Programs

Child Development Rita Asher
Community College Leadership John Borba
Cross-Cultural, Language & Academic Development (CLAD) Juan Flores
Gerontology Paul O’Brien
Middle/Junior High School Studies Armin Schulz
Printmaking Gordon Senior
Reading Specialist Susan Neufeld

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)


Steve Stryker


Master’s Degree Program Requirements

Required Units

The number of units required for a master’s degree varies, depending on the field and the degree sought. The Master of Arts degree must include a minimum of 30 units; the Master of Science, a minimum of 36 units. Only graduate courses (5000 series) and approved upper-division courses are acceptable to meet the unit requirement. Non-5000 courses and unapproved upper-division courses are counted in calculating the student’s study load but cannot be counted toward the unit or grade point average requirements for the master’s degree.


A graduate education is a rigorous intellectual endeavor, designed to prepare scholars to evaluate and contribute to their field and its body of knowledge. This is best accomplished in a continuing environment of mentoring, collaboration, and exchange of ideas.

Consequently the master’s degree program includes the following:

  1. At least 21 units of the graduate program coursework must be taken in residency at CSU Stanislaus.
  2. No more than 9 units toward the degree may be earned prior to program admission. This includes all transfer work and all work in progress at the time of admission. Exceptions must have prior written approval from the College Dean.
  3. No credit by examination units may be used to fulfill degree requirements. Credit by examination may be used to fulfill prerequisites but may not apply toward the degree.
  4. Open University, extension, and correspondence credits may not be used to meet graduate program requirements without prior authorization by the College Dean. Requests for approval must have the recommendation of the program director before they will be reviewed by the College Dean. The recommendation of the program director does not guarantee approval by the College Dean.


  1. At least half of the units must be in courses designed primarily for master’s degrees — numbered in the 5000 series. Most programs require more than 15 units of 5000 series coursework.
  2. Evidence of satisfaction of the Graduate Writing Proficiency Requirement.
  3. A grade point average of 3.0 or better in all courses taken to satisfy the requirements of the degree.
  4. No grade lower than a C- in a course taken to satisfy the requirements of the degree program. Most programs require no grade lower than a B on courses used to satisfy program requirements.
  5. Appropriate coursework from a field other than the major may be required at the discretion of the major department.
  6. A thesis, a project, or comprehensive examination must be completed and approved by the student’s department and the College Dean.


  1. No course used to meet the requirements of the degree was taken more than seven years prior to the award of the degree. Some programs require that the program be completed in less than seven years. Check with the program for specific details. (For more information see Limitations to the Validation of Expired Courses or Units).


It is the student’s responsibility to satisfy requirements and complete the specific courses included in the program. Drafting a program completion plan, setting personal academic goals, and maintaining regular communication with a major adviser are recommended. Once a degree program has been approved by the student’s graduate committee, it may be changed only on the written request of the student and the written approval of the major adviser and the College Dean. Substitution for discontinued courses will be authorized by the major adviser and approved by the College Dean. Forms for requesting a change to program are available in the Graduate School office and on the Web site at

Graduate Writing Proficiency Requirement

All graduate students must demonstrate competency in writing skills in English to meet the requirement for a master’s degree. A candidate for an advanced degree can satisfy the CSU writing requirement by (a) satisfactory completion of the course designated by the department as assessing writing proficiency in standard English or (b) satisfactory completion of an alternative plan adopted by the department and approved by the Graduate Council. Candidates should consult the appropriate department for specific details.

Foreign Language Requirement

While skill in a foreign language is not a general University requirement for admission to, or completion of, the master’s degree program, certain programs may require that students demonstrate reading mastery of one foreign language, usually equivalent to two years of collegiate study. Candidates should consult the appropriate department for specific details.

Scholarship & Expectations of Students

Students admitted to postbaccalaureate and graduate programs are expected to make systematic and successful progress towards the completion of their programs. The following policies are designed to assist the student in that endeavor.

Graduate Probation and Disqualification

Advanced credential and master’s candidates should check carefully with the department about probation, disqualification, and appeals of disqualification; each department has the authority to develop policy and procedures in addition to the University standards.

The following policies govern postbaccalaureate and graduate students:


  1. A student who is enrolled in a graduate degree program in conditionally classified or classified standing will be placed on academic probation if the student fails to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (grade of B) in all units applicable to the degree program.
  2. A student who is enrolled in a credential program in postbaccalaureate classified or postbaccalaureate unclassified standing will be placed on academic probation if the student fails to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 in all units applicable to the credential.
  3. A student who is in postbaccalaureate unclassified standing and is taking courses for personal or professional development will be placed on academic probation if the student fails to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 in all postbaccalaureate units at the University.
  4. A student who withdraws from all or a substantial portion of a program in two successive terms or in any three terms may be placed on probation by the department.
  5. The department may place a student on probation for repeated failure to progress toward the degree objective.
  6. Failure to comply, after due notice, with an academic requirement may result in the department placing the student on probation.
  7. A student placed on probation will be notified in writing and will be provided with the conditions to be met for removal from probation, as well as the circumstances which will lead to disqualification.


A graduate or postbaccalaureate classified student will be subject to disqualification if, while on probation, the student fails to raise his/her grade point average to 3.0 within the time specified by the department. The disqualification decision for classified graduate students is the responsibility of the appropriate department. The disqualification decision for persons admitted to “Postbaccalaureate Standing: Unclassified” status is the responsibility of the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management.

Administrative Academic Probation and Disqualification

Consistent with guidelines issued by the Chancellor of The California State University, a postbaccalaureate or graduate student may also be placed on probation or disqualified by appropriate campus authorities for repeated withdrawal, failure to progress toward an educational objective, and noncompliance with an academic department’s program requirements.

Appeal of Disqualification Status

A student who believes his/her disqualification was arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory has the right of appeal. The “Postbaccalaureate Standing: Unclassified” student should direct the appeal to the Graduate School. Students admitted to Graduate Standing should direct their appeal to the appropriate department chair. The appeals committee will consist of a faculty member from the department who is selected by the department chair, a faculty member from the department who is selected by the student, and the chair of the appeals committee — a faculty member selected from outside the department by the College Dean.

Professional Ethics

Students admitted to a master’s degree program or credential program are expected to adhere to the standards of conduct detailed in the program’s statement of professional ethics. Students who are admitted to Postbaccalaureate Standing: Unclassified status are expected to adhere to the standards of conduct detailed in the CSU Stanislaus Student Handbook statement of ethics. Failure to follow these guidelines or violations of the standards constitute student misconduct and will be handled in accordance with the student disciplinary guidelines in the CSU Stanislaus Student Handbook.

Intellectual Honesty

Respect for ownership and the expression of ideas is fundamental to advancing civilization, and it is a central feature of academic integrity. The expression of ideas is protected by law and appropriate citation credit is an ethical requirement for all scholarship. Plagiarism and any other representations in which a person knowingly presents the works of another without proper citation is cause for disciplinary action as detailed in the CSU Stanislaus Student Handbook.

Repeating Courses to Improve Performance

A postbaccalaureate student who was admitted to the University as an undergraduate and who is enrolled in an undergraduate degree program will be treated as an undergraduate for purposes of repeating a course. Graduate students, with prior permission of the department, may repeat a course, and the original grade will be included in computing the overall grade point average but will not be included in computing the grade point average for the master’s degree.

Graduate Credit for Undergraduate – 4000-Level Courses

On occasion, to provide a breadth of content in a student’s graduate program, a 4000-level course is used to satisfy a program requirement. When this occurs, performance expectations for graduate students enrolled in undergraduate or dual-listed courses are increased to satisfy the rigors of graduate work. Often, additional reading, writing, and/or oral presentation are employed to meet this standard.

In addition, the standard of quality for written and oral performance in the course is significantly higher than that of an undergraduate. When using a 4000-level course to satisfy graduate program requirements, it is the student’s responsibility to verify with the instructor and program director that the performance expectations have been adjusted to meet graduate standards. The Instructor Verification Form is used for this purpose and is available at the Graduate School. A copy of the form should be placed in the student’s permanent file for later verification when clearing for graduation.

Interruption of Program

A request for a leave of absence is not required by the Graduate School; however, it may be required by the program. Students should consult with the specific graduate program director for individual program policy. If enrollment is interrupted for more than one semester, it will be necessary for students to reapply to the University and program.

Continuous Enrollment

Once all coursework is completed, it is expected that students will maintain continuous enrollment in 7005 Continuing Thesis or Project until all degree requirements have been met. Students must maintain their Graduate Standing: Classified status and be enrolled in graduate coursework in order to apply for graduation. If the program is interrupted, reapplication to the Graduate School and program is necessary.

Seven-Year Limit

Consistent with Title 5, of the California Code of Regulations, CSU Stanislaus policy specifies that no more than seven consecutive years may be used to complete the requirements for a graduate degree. An extension of time beyond the limit may be granted by appropriate campus authority if warranted by individual circumstances and if the outdated work is validated by examination or such other demonstration of competence as may be prescribed.

At CSU Stanislaus, courses expire at the end of the designated academic term. A table is provided to illustrate course expiration dates.

Sample Course Expiration Dates

Course Taken Expires End of Term
Fall 1999 Summer 2006
Winter 2000 Fall 2006
Spring 2000 Winter 2007
Summer 2000 Spring 2007
Fall 2000 Summer 2007
Winter 2001 Fall 2007
Spring 2001 Winter 2008
Summer 2001 Spring 2008
Fall 2001 Summer 2008
Winter 2002 Fall 2008
Spring 2002 Winter 2009
Summer 2002 Spring 2009

Limitations to Validation of Expired Courses or Units

Expired coursework may be validated only upon the recommendation of the graduate program director and approval of the College Dean. Certain restrictions apply:

  • A maximum of one third of all courses used to satisfy program degree requirements are eligible for validation.
  • Only courses completed at CSU Stanislaus are eligible for validation. Courses transferred from other universities are never validated.
  • Courses completed more than ten years prior to the completion of the requirements for the degree are not eligible for validation.

Requirements for Validating Expired Courses or Units

Credits earned at CSU Stanislaus more than seven years before completion of the degree may be used to meet degree requirements only under the following conditions: (a) the student must demonstrate a current proficiency in the subject matter of the course in an examination administered by the original instructor of record or, if unavailable, a qualified substitute appointed by the departmental Graduate Committee or Program Director; (b) validation is available only upon the approval of the department chair and final inclusion of validated coursework in a degree program requires departmental recommendation, including appropriate documentation used to determine currency, and approval of the College Dean. A Validation of Outdated Coursework form is available from the Graduate School Office or on its Web site

Culminating Experience

A culminating experience is required for each master’s degree. Individual departments permit one or more culminating experiences described in this section. Students who have enrolled in thesis or project units will not be permitted to change to another culminating experience after the initial semester of such enrollment.

  1. A thesis is the written product of the systematic study of a significant problem. It clearly identifies the problem, states the major assumptions, explains the significance of the undertaking, sets forth the sources for and methods of gathering information, analyzes the data, and offers a conclusion or recommendation. The finished product must evidence originality, critical and independent thinking, appropriate organization and format, clarity of purpose, and accurate and thorough documentation. Normally, an oral defense of the thesis will be required.
  2. A project is a significant undertaking of a pursuit appropriate to the fine and applied arts or to professional fields. It must evidence originality and independent thinking, appropriate form and organization, and a rationale. It must be described and summarized in a written abstract that includes the project’s significance, objectives, methodology, and a conclusion or recommendation. An oral defense of the project may be required.
  3. A comprehensive examination is an assessment of the student’s ability to integrate the knowledge of the area, show critical and independent thinking, and demonstrate mastery of the subject matter. The results of the examination must evidence independent thinking, appropriate organization, critical analysis, and accuracy of documentation. A record of the examination questions and responses shall be maintained in the department.

Criteria for the Thesis or Project

No academic distinction is made between a thesis, a project, or comprehensive examination. Each is equally acceptable as a means of fulfilling the requirements for the master’s degree. Specific departmental instructions or requirements should be ascertained by the candidate before enrollment in these courses.

Whether a student is preparing a thesis or a project, it should be noted that the quality of the work accomplished is a major consideration in judging acceptability. The finished product must evidence originality, appropriate organization, clarity of purpose, critical analysis, accuracy and completeness of documentation. Critical and independent thinking should characterize every project. Mere description, cataloging, compilation, or other superficial procedures are not adequate.

The quality of the writing, format, and documentation must meet standards approved by the department granting the degree. Format and writing must be consistent with the dictates of a style manual authorized by the department. The student must consult with the department and the Graduate School concerning these matters before beginning work on the thesis or project.

Procedures for Writing the Thesis or Project

All theses and projects must be written using the format requirements listed in the University guidelines. These guidelines are available on reserve in the Library or on the Web site at

  1. Registration for thesis or project requires a prospectus approved by the student’s thesis committee. Instructions for developing and gaining prospectus approval are available from the department.
  2. A student whose thesis or project is planned to extend over more than the term of first enrollment in 5990 or 5960 may receive only a Satisfactory Progress (SP) grade.
  3. Students who have completed all registrations for their graduate coursework, and who have registered for the maximum number of thesis or project semester units required by the program, are required to show ongoing progress and maintain continuous enrollment. Course 7005 Continuing Thesis or Project is provided for this purpose. Enrollment in 7005 is required each term: Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring. Failure to maintain continuous enrollment will result in loss of graduate standing and necessitate reapplication to the Graduate School and program, as well as payment for prior semesters. In addition, students who have not maintained continuous enrollment will not be cleared for graduation.
  4. Before a thesis or project is officially accepted by the Master’s Committee, it must meet all the requirements outlined in the section titled Criteria for the Thesis or Project.
  5. No coauthored theses or projects are allowed. If two or more candidates are collaborating on research or a project, each must develop, write, and submit a separate and distinct thesis or project.
  6. Once the thesis or project is accepted by the student’s committee, one copy is to be submitted to the Library for reader review by the deadline date established by the Graduate School. Once the reviewed copy is returned to the student and any editing changes requested have been made, two (2) copies of the approved thesis or project are to be submitted to the Library no later than the deadline for final submission.

    Binding expenses are the student’s responsibility. The Enrollment Services Office will not record a grade other than “SP” until the thesis/project committee chair has given final approval for the thesis or project. Contact the Graduate School for detailed information on the review, approval, and bindery process.
  7. Receipt of an approved thesis or project is the equivalent to publication, and the thesis or project will be available to the public in the University library, including worldwide interlibrary loan.
  8. A student may arrange to have the thesis or project published in microfilm form, with an abstract of the thesis published in the quarterly periodical, Masters Abstracts. Further details of the microfilming and copyright procedure may be obtained from the University Librarian.

Composition of Thesis or Project Faculty Committee

The following policies are used to determine thesis and project committee membership.

  1. The master’s committee normally is composed of three members from the full-time instructional faculty, tenured or tenure track.
  2. Under certain circumstances, a retired or emeritus faculty member with an academic specialization and/or qualifications that are not held by another department member may serve as a volunteer third committee member, but not as the committee chair.
  3. Normally, the chair of the master’s committee and the second member are from the department in which the thesis or project is written.
  4. When appropriate, the committee may add to the three-member master’s committee one individual who is not a member of the University faculty. Such an individual must be approved by the other members of the thesis or project committee of the student’s major department and the College Dean.
  5. The approval of master’s committee appointments is the responsibility of the department in which the student is seeking the degree.

Research Ethics and Protocol

All research conducted by faculty, staff, or students, or using University facilities, personnel or students must comply with relevant federal, state, and University policies. Failure to follow these policies will lead to a research misconduct inquiry and may result in student research not being accepted in fulfillment of a degree requirement. Additionally, failure to comply with University requirements means that the researcher is not acting as an employee or student of the University, and he or she will be personally responsible for any legal actions resulting from the research activity.

Under University policy, all research involving live human beings as subjects must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research. This approval must be obtained in writing prior to any data collection (e.g., pilot work, field testing). All research, research training, experimentation, biological testing, teaching, and related activities involving live vertebrate animals conducted at CSU Stanislaus or by CSU Stanislaus students or employees must be reviewed and approved by the Animal Welfare Committee.

All research involving radioactive or other hazardous waste materials must be reviewed and approved by the University Risk Management Officer prior to obtaining the materials. Additional information on policy and procedures for conducting research at CSU Stanislaus may be obtained from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, (209) 667-3493. Catalog Year for Graduation Requirement (Catalog Year) Students who, since gaining Classified Graduate Standing status, have maintained continuous enrollment, may elect to satisfy the degree requirements in effect at the time of gaining Classified Graduate Standing status or at the time of completing their degree requirements.

Catalog Year for Graduation Requirement (Catalog Year)

Students who, since gaining Classified Graduate Standing status, have maintained continuous enrollment, may elect to satisfy the degree requirements in effect at the time of gaining Classified Graduate Standing status or at the time of completing their degree requirements.

Applying to Graduate with a Master’s Degree

A request that the master’s degree be granted must be filed, including verification of payment of the graduation fee, with the Enrollment Services Office within the first two weeks of a semester in which the degree requirements are to be completed. Applications must be filed by March 1 in order for students to be listed in the commencement brochure. Failure to complete requirements for the degree during the term of the application necessitates the filing of a new application for the new intended
term of completion.

Qualifying for Honor Recognition at Graduation

To be eligible to receive the master’s degree with distinction, students must have earned at least a 3.9 grade point average in the program for the master’s degree and be recommended by their department for distinction.

Applying for the Award of a Graduate Certificate

When the requirements for an academic graduate certificate program have been completed, the student must submit a completed Application for Graduate Academic Certificate, including verification of payment of the certificate fee, to the program director of the area offering the certificate program. The program director will approve the award of the certificate  and forward the form to the Graduate School for issuance and posting of the certificate.

Program Evaluation Survey

Graduating students are asked to complete a Graduate Student Program Evaluation Survey. The information in the survey helps the Graduate School and programs monitor the quality of students’ experiences in the CSU Stanislaus graduate programs. It also provides valuable data regarding the effectiveness of the School and programs in helping students to achieve the graduate student learning goals. Results from the survey are completely confidential and are used to assist program assessment and planning.