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The Graduate School
Lisa Bernardo, Dean of Admissions/Registrar
Office: Mary Stuart Rogers Educational Services Gateway Building 120
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.
Graduate 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 in master’s and doctoral degree programs.
- Students will demonstrate advanced knowledge, skills, and values appropriate to the discipline.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to be creative, analytical, and critical thinkers within the scope of the discipline.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to contribute to the scholarship of their disciplines.
- Students will demonstrate relevant knowledge of diverse perspectives and broader contexts as appropriate to the discipline.
- Students will demonstrate knowledge of new and various methods and applications as appropriate to the discipline.
- Students will be required to demonstrate advanced communication skills, complemented, as appropriate to the discipline, by the ability to access and analyze information from myriad 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 nine 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.
The University offers the master’s degree, doctoral 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.
Graduate Fees and Financial Aid
Note: The following information concerns fees and financial aid specific to graduate students. For additional related information applicable to all students, please see the Fees and Financial Aid section of this catalog.
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Nonresident Students (U.S. and Foreign) pay an additional $396.00 per unit.
The Graduate Business Professional Fee of $270 per semester unit is paid on a per-unit basis in addition to basic tuition and campus fees for the following graduate business programs:
- Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)
The term “tuition and fees” refers to all mandatory fees charged to register for classes. These include the Tuition fee* (TF), fees for Associated Students, Athletics, Health Facility, Health Services, Instructionally Related Activities, Student Recreation Complex, University Student Center, plus any required course fees and optional Student Involvement & Representation fee.
*Fee rates for the 2020-2021 academic year are based on fee rates proposed in the Governor’s Budget. The Governor’s budget proposal must be approved by the legislature; consequently, it is possible fees ultimately required for the 2020-2021 academic year may be more than the rates listed above. If rates are increased in the 2020 fiscal year budget, students will be billed the difference.
The CSU makes every effort to keep student costs to a minimum. Tuition and fees listed in published schedules or student accounts may need to be increased when public funding is inadequate. Therefore, CSU must reserve the right, even after initial payments are made, to increase or modify any listed tuition or fees. All listed fees, other than mandatory systemwide tuition are subject to change without notice, until the date when instruction for a particular semester or quarter has begun. All CSU listed fees should be regarded as estimates that are subject to change upon approval by the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor, or the Presidents, as appropriate. Changes in mandatory systemwide tuition will be made in accordance with the requirements of the Working Families Student Fee Transparency and Accountability Act (Sections 66028 - 66028.6 of the Education Code).
|Associated Students, Inc.
|Instructionally related activities
|Student Involvement (SIRF)
|Student Recreation Complex
|University Student Center
|Parking, (optional) auto
|Student ID/Warrior card
|ID card replacement, first time
*See the Schedule of Classes for the most up-to-date information, including summer fees, course fees, deadlines, etc.
Financial Aid, Fellowships, and Scholarships
Noelia Gonzalez, M.A., Assistant Vice President, Enrollment Management
Office: Mary Stuart Rogers Educational Services Gateway Building, 151
Phone: (209) 667-3337
The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office administers federal, state and institutional financial aid programs and University scholarship funds available to help students meet their educational expenses.
New students should review the Financial Aid information contained in the CSU Admission Application booklet or online. All applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream application, which may be obtained online at www.fafsa.gov or the California Dream Act application at www.dream.csac.ca.gov. Upon receipt of the Student Aid Report, the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office may request additional information. Application deadlines are observed, and students are encouraged to complete their applications as soon as possible, since funds are limited. Students interested in more information regarding financial aid, scholarship programs, or application procedures should inquire directly to the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office. The standard applicable to Financial Aid recipients for Satisfactory Academic Progress is found on the Financial Aid website under “Academic Requirements.” Students can access their financial aid status online at www.csustan.edu.
The following are financial aid opportunities available specifically to graduate students. For additional opportunities available to both undergraduate and graduate students, please see the Fees and Financial Aid section of this catalog.
Teaching Associates and Graduate Assistants - Some teaching associateships and graduate assistantships are available to graduate students who are enrolled in master’s degree programs. Generally, students must demonstrate an outstanding record of scholarly achievement, subject matter competence in their major fields, and the special qualities necessary to the duty assigned. Contact the program director for information.
Graduate Student Fee Waivers - A number of graduate student fee waivers are available for those who are serving as Teaching Associates, Graduate Assistants, or Graduate Scholars. These waivers are competitive, and students must meet specific requirements. Contact the program director for information.
Graduate Research Awards - A limited number of research awards are available through the Graduate School and individual departments. Funds are used to support the student’s research, scholarship, or creative activity. Contact the Graduate School or individual departments to inquire about the application process and the availability of funds.
California Graduate Equity Fellowship - This program seeks to increase the diversity of students completing graduate degree programs at California State University, Stanislaus. It provides fellowships to economically disadvantaged or to those from underrepresented groups. Financial need will be considered. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 2, for Fall Semester consideration. Contact the Program Director for further information.
Endowed Fellowships - Several privately endowed fellowships exist for students studying in specific content areas. Contact the specific graduate program director for information.
California Pre-Doctoral Scholarship Program - Designed to increase the pool of potential faculty for California campuses, this scholarship program provides funds for students to travel to professional meetings and/or complete their doctoral education. Scholars are also eligible to participate in CSU or UC summer research programs. Contact the Program Director for more information.
Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive/Forgivable Loan Program - This program offers loans and faculty sponsorship to full-time students pursuing doctoral degrees who are interested in a teaching career at a CSU campus. Students may pursue their studies at any accredited U. S. university. Twenty percent of the loan is forgiven for each year of full-time postdoctoral teaching at a CSU campus. Awards are made in the spring of each year. Contact the Program Director for more information.
A limited number of graduate scholarships are also available. Applicants seeking scholarships should see their graduate program coordinator.
State University Grant
These State-funded awards cover a portion of the fees paid by eligible undergraduate and graduate students who are California residents. Students receiving a fee waiver or fee sponsorship are not eligible to receive this grant.
Federal Direct Loans
Loans are made available to students through the Department of Education. An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need; in effect, anyone may qualify regardless of income level. The student will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed, and has the option of making interest payments quarterly or “capitalizing” the interest - adding it to the principal so that the loan is actually growing during in-school and deferment periods. All loan applicants must enroll as at least half-time students. Loan amounts may be limited based on dependency status, class level, and total cost of education. Further information and application materials are available at the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.
Graduate Admission and Registration
Both admission to the Graduate School and admission to a specific graduate program are required to pursue a graduate degree or postbaccalaureate credential at Stanislaus State. Students are responsible to ensure that the requirements of both admission processes are completed by the published deadlines. Deadlines for application are published by the Graduate School. To avoid delays, students are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
Applying to the Graduate School
All graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants (i.e., doctorate, master’s, credentials) must file a complete graduate application as described in the graduate and post-baccalaureate admission materials at Cal State Apply. Applicants seeking a second bachelor’s degree should submit the undergraduate application for admission unless specifically requested to do otherwise. Applicants who completed undergraduate degree requirements in the preceding term are also required to complete and submit an application and the $70 nonrefundable application fee.To be assured of initial consideration by more than one campus, it is necessary to indicate interested campuses on the CalState Apply application. All CSU applications must be submitted online at Cal State Apply. An acknowledgement will be sent to the applicant when the online application has been submitted.
The $70 nonrefundable application fee must be paid by credit card. The application and fee may not be transferred or used to apply for another term.
Students must supply complete and accurate information on the application for admission, residence questionnaire, and financial aid forms. They must also submit authentic and official transcripts of all previous academic work attempted. Failure to file complete, accurate, and authentic application documents may result in denial of admission, cancellation of academic credit, suspension, or expulsion (Section 41301 of Title 5, California Code of Regulations).
- Completion of a four-year college course of study and a baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association, or completion of equivalent academic preparation as determined by appropriate campus authorities;
- Good academic standing at the last college or university attended;
- A grade point average of at least 2.5 (A = 4.0) in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted; and
- Fulfillment of the professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards for graduate study, including qualifying examinations, as appropriate campus authorities may prescribe.
These minimum requirements for admission to graduate and postbaccalaureate programs at a California State University campus are in accordance with University regulations as well as Title 5, Chapter 1, Subchapter 3 of the California Code of Regulations. In unusual circumstances, a campus may make exceptions to these criteria.
Priority Application Filing Periods
||Applications First Accepted
||Student Notification Begins
On-time applicants may expect to receive an acknowledgment from the campuses to which they have applied within two to four weeks of filing the application. The notice may also include a request that applicants submit additional records necessary to evaluate academic qualifications. Applicants may be assured of admission if the evaluation of relevant qualifications indicates that applicants meet CSU admission requirements, and in the case of admission impaction, supplemental criteria for admission to an impacted program. Unless specific written approval/confirmation is received, an offer of admission is not transferable to another term or to another campus.
Submit transcripts and test scores
Students must request an official transcript from each college and university at which they registered. These should be sent directly to the Graduate School. Transcripts presented by students cannot be accepted unless in a sealed institutional envelope.
Applicants who are in attendance at a school or college when transcripts are requested must file a transcript which includes verification of the subjects in which they are currently enrolled. After applicants have completed these subjects, they must notify the school or college to forward one official supplementary transcript showing the final grades for that term. No determination of admission eligibility will be made until all transcripts are received. Official transcripts must include a complete record of all previous college work attempted whether or not the applicant desires credit. A separate official transcript is required from each college attended even though one transcript may show work completed at another college. All records submitted become the property of the University. Records submitted by students who do not enroll are retained for only one year.
Receive Notice of Admission
Once evaluators have completed their evaluation, they will notify the departments that administer the students’ programs. The department will make an admission decision and forward it to the Graduate School. Upon admission, students will be mailed an admission packet with registration, tuition fees, health screening requirement and financial aid information.
The campus has established procedures for consideration of qualified applicants who would be faced with extreme hardship if not admitted. Petitioners should write the Director of Enrollment Services regarding specific policies governing hardship admission.
The University reserves the right to select its students and deny admission to the University or any of its programs as the University, in its sole discretion, determines appropriate based on an applicant’s suitability and the best interests of the University.
Admission to a Graduate/Postbaccalaureate Program
In addition to Graduate School admission, program admission is required to pursue a graduate degree or postbaccalaureate credential at Stanislaus State. Many programs employ a referral system, and students must be admitted to the program before they will be admitted to the Graduate School. In this case, students should apply concurrently to the program and the Graduate School.
Programs admissions are competitive and many have specific application deadlines. Some programs have one admission date per year. For these reasons and to ensure full consideration, students are encouraged to apply to the program as early as possible.
All master’s and doctoral degree and credential program applicants may also be required to provide additional transcripts and test scores to their graduate program department or the Credentials Office. If you have further questions regarding the items you need to submit, please contact the Graduate Program Director/Coordinators.
Some programs require that students earn a specific score on a qualifying examination to be considered for graduate program admission. Examples of qualifying examinations include the GMAT, GRE, MAT, CBEST, and CSET. Contact the specific graduate program office for information on qualifying examination requirements. Students intending to make application to a graduate program at Stanislaus State should request that their scores be sent to the Graduate School. Qualifying examinations must be taken within five years of program admission to be valid. Information regarding registration, fees, and schedules is available from the University Testing Office or the Graduate School.
California State University, Stanislaus uses four classifications to identify student admission status. Once students have satisfied the requirements for admission to the Graduate School and/or program, one of the following classifications will be assigned.
Graduate Standing: Classified
Candidate satisfies all professional, personal, and scholastic requirements including qualifying exams for admission to a degree program. Admission interviews, experience, and measures of potential for success may also be used to inform competitive admission decisions.
Graduate Standing: Conditionally Classified
Candidate is judged by appropriate campus authority to have deficiencies which can be remedied with additional preparation. Programs which are at capacity do not have access to this classification.
Postbaccalaureate Standing: Classified
Candidate satisfies all professional, personal, and scholastic requirement including examinations for admission to an initial or advanced credential program. Admission interviews, experience, and measures of potential for success may also be used to inform competitive admission decisions.
Postbaccalaureate Standing: Unclassified
Student seeks to enroll in courses for professional or personal growth. This classification is assigned to qualified students who are seeking individual courses for personal or professional growth, attempting to raise a GPA or applying to a second bachelor’s degree.
Early Start Alumni Admission Program
A last-semester senior who is within 9 units of earning a baccalaureate degree may enroll in an upper-division or graduate level course(s) and apply them to an advanced credential or master’s degree objective by requesting postbaccalaureate credit during the term in which they intended to graduate. The student must submit a Request for Postbaccalaureate Credit form to the Enrollment Services Office. Approval of the department graduate director is required. This action must be taken at the time of registration; retroactive authorization will not be granted. The student must apply to the University and the program for postbaccalaureate work.
Admission of Non-Resident and International Students
The Graduate School seeks to bring students from all parts of the nation and world to the campus. To ensure their success, non-resident and international applicants normally must be eligible for Graduate Standing: Classified status to be admitted to the Graduate School. All other admission classifications for non-residents or international students must be by special action of the program and have approval of the College Dean.
Graduate and Postbaccalaureate TOEFL Requirements
Because English is the language of instruction at the University, students should be prepared to write their theses, examinations, and seminar papers in English. 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 550 total score and 54 part score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Some programs require a higher score. Applicants taking the Computer- Based TOEFL must present a 213 total score and 21 part score or above. Applicants taking the Internet-Based TOEFL must present a 80 total score and minimum part scores of 20 Reading, 19 Listening, 16 Writing. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) will substitute for TOEFL, with a minimum Band score of 6.5. Some programs may require a higher score.
Second Master’s Degrees
Stanislaus State students may pursue a second master’s degree after the award of the first by reapplying to the University for admission into a second degree. If, however, students seek readmission within one semester of graduation, they do not need to reapply to the University; instead, students must contact Enrollment Services and state their intent to apply for admission to a second degree program. In all instances, students must also apply directly to the program. All admissions, prerequisites, and program requirements of the second degree program must be met. At least one culminating experience, depending upon program requirements, must be completed for each of the degrees. Unless a lower percentage is specified by program policies, a maximum of 50% of the units from the first master’s degree may be applied to the second master’s degree program to meet the requirements of the second degree.
Dual Master’s Degree
Stanislaus State students may pursue two master’s degrees simultaneously. All admissions, prerequisites, and program requirements of both degree programs must be met. At least one culminating experience, depending upon program requirements, must be completed for each of the degrees. Unless a lower percentage is specified by program policies, a maximum of 50% of the units from the first master’s degree may be applied to the second master’s degree program to meet the requirements of the second degree.
Second Concentration in a Master’s Degree
Stanislaus State students may pursue a second concentration in the same discipline as their first awarded degree by reapplying to the University for admission into a second concentration. If, however, students seek readmission within one semester of graduation, they do not need reapply to the University; instead, students must contact Enrollment Services and state their intent to apply for admission to a second concentration. In all instances, students must also apply directly to the program. All admissions, prerequisites, and requirements of a second concentration must be met. Students will not be required to repeat core coursework required for all concentrations within the degree program. At least one culminating experience, depending upon program requirements, must be completed for the degree. Unless a lower percentage is specified by program policies, a maximum of 50% of the units from the first concentration (beyond the core coursework required for all concentrations) may be applied to meet the requirements of the second concentration.
Dual Concentration in a Master’s Degree
Stanislaus State students may pursue more than one concentration within the same degree program prior to award of the degree. All admissions, prerequisites, and program requirements of both concentrations must be met. Students will not be required to repeat core coursework required for all concentrations within the degree program. At least one culminating experience, depending upon program requirements, must be completed the degree. Unless a lower percentage is specified by program policies, a maximum of 50% of the units from the first concentration (beyond the core coursework required for all concentrations) may be applied to meet the requirements of the second concentration.
International (Foreign) Student Admission Requirements
The CSU must assess the academic preparation of foreign students. For this purpose, “foreign students” include immigrants and those who hold U.S. temporary visas as students, exchange visitors, or other non-immigrant classifications. The CSU uses separate requirements and application filing dates in the admission of “foreign students”. Verification of English proficiency (see the section on TOEFL requirement for graduate and postbaccalaureate applicants), financial resources, and academic performance are each important considerations for admission. Academic records from foreign institutions must be on file at least eight weeks before registration for the first term and, if not in English, must be accompanied by certified English translations.
Priority in admission is given to residents of California. There is little likelihood of nonresident applicants, including international students, being admitted either to impacted majors or to those majors or programs with limited openings.
Students with coursework from countries other than the United States need to seek an outside determination of course work and degree equivalency to U.S. standards.
The foreign transcripts must be evaluated by one of the approved organizations listed with the Office of International Education. These organizations are private enterprises that have been approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and they charge a fee for their services. Individuals pursuing a foreign transcript evaluation must follow the procedures outlined by the organization providing the evaluation. In all instances, original, official documentation will be required when requesting the evaluation.
When seeking the evaluation be sure to request a Comprehensive/Detailed Report, which must include the following:
- Identification of institution(s) attended, dates of attendance, credential(s) earned, and the United States educational equivalent.
- Individual courses taken with semester units.
- Individual grade equivalents.
- Course levels in terms of lower and upper division, graduate and professional level for each post-secondary course evaluated.
- Overall grade point average.
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
To help facilitate the timely reporting and monitoring of international students in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), has implemented the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS provides tracking, monitoring, and access to current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visas) and exchange visitors (J visas). SEVIS enables the University to transmit electronic information via the Internet to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The ICE requires Stanislaus State to report on a timely basis the occurrence of certain events. International students at Stanislaus State are required to immediately report the following to the Office of International Student Services:
- Change of name
- Change of degree objective
- Change of address, phone number, or e-mail
- Failure to enroll
- Graduation prior to the end date cited on the Form I-20
- Dropping below a full course of study without prior authorization
- Failure to maintain status or complete student’s program
- Beginning and ending dates for optional practical training (OPT) authorization
- Work authorizations
- Any disciplinary action taken by the school against the student as a result of his/her being convicted of a crime.
Questions and concerns may be addressed to the Office of International Student Services at (209) 667-3158.
As a condition of receiving an I-20 or DS2019 form, all F-1 and J-1 visa applicants must agree to obtain and maintain health insurance as a condition of registration and continued enrollment in the California State University. Such insurance must be in amounts as specified by the United States Information Agency (USIA) and the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers (NAFSA): Association of International Educators. The campus president or designee shall determine which insurance policies meet these criteria. Call the Office of International Student Services at (209) 667-3158.
Entering CSU students are required to present proof of the following immunizations to the CSU campus they will be attending before beginning their first term of enrollment.
Entering CSU students are required to present proof of the following immunizations to the CSU campus they will be attending before the beginning of their first term of enrollment.
Measles/Rubella Two (2) doses with first dose on or after 1st birthday; OR positive titer (labratory evidence of immunity to disease).
Hepatitis B (Hep B) All new students who will be 18 years of age or younger at the start of their first term at a CSU campus must provide proof of full immunization against Hepatitis B before enrolling. Full immunization against Hepatitis B consists of three timed doses of vaccine over a minimum 4 to 6 months period.
Varicella (Chickenpox): Two (2) doses with first dose on or after 1st birthday; OR positive titer (laboratory evidence of immunity to disease) prior to enrollment.
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap): One (1) dose after age 7.
Meningococcal conjugate (Serogroups A, C, Y, & W-135): One (1) dose on or after 16 for all students and age 21 or younger.
Tuberculosis Screening/Risk Assessment: All incoming students must complete a Tuberculosis risk questionnaire. Incoming students who are at higher risk* for TB infection, as indicated by answering “yes” to any of the screening questions, should undergo either skin of blood testing for TB infection within one year of CSU entry.
*Higher risk include travel or living in South or Central America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East; prior positive TB test; or exposure to someone with active TB disease.
These are not admission requirements, but are required of students as conditions of enrollment in CSU.
Note: Proof of these requirements must be submitted by mail, fax or drop box to the Student Health Center. Fax: (209) 667-3195. Phone: (209) 667-3396 If you fail to provide this proof during the first semester, a HOLD may be placed on your records, thereby preventing registration for classes the next semester. For more information, see the Required Immunizations webpage.
Students may register, add or drop courses, or withdraw from the University via myStanState portal. This system is the only way to register for classes during the Priority Registration Appointment Period. After the Priority Registration period ends, students may also register in person at the Enrollment Services Office.
For the most current and complete instructions for the use of myStanState portal and registration dates and deadlines, refer to the current Schedule of Classes. At the start of each term, students should verify the completeness and accuracy of all of their intended enrollment transactions through myStanState portal.
Students who register late may find themselves at a disadvantage in arranging their programs. Those who register after a term begins must pay a $25 late registration fee. A student who unofficially drops a course, or leaves Stanislaus State without officially dropping courses or withdrawing from the University through the Enrollment Services Office, may receive grades of WU, F, or NC. A student who attends a course without officially adding it through the Enrollment Services Office by the last day to add a course will not receive credit for the course.
Students who do not attend the first class meeting after registering for a course may be dropped from the course by the instructor. However, a student will be held personally responsible for officially dropping unwanted courses through the Enrollment Services Office by the deadline to drop courses. (Refer to the section on “Instructor Withdrawal” in the Academic Policies and Procedures section.)
Registration appointments are determined by units completed within class level in the following order: seniors, classified students in master’s and credential programs, juniors, sophomores, freshman and unclassified postbaccalaureate students.
Postbaccalaureate students enrolled for 4 or more credits of coursework applicable to a graduate program are classified as full-time or part-time according to the unit totals shown below.
||8.0 or more
|Less than 1/2
Note: International classified graduate students enrolled in 8 units are considered full-time and unclassified graduate students enrolled in 12 units are considered full-time students during fall/spring/summer.
Master’s Degree Program Requirements
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:
- At least 21 units of the graduate program coursework must be taken in residency at Stanislaus State.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- At least 50% of the units must be in courses designed primarily for master’s degrees - numbered in the 5000 series. Programs may require that more than 50% of the coursework be required in the 5000-level series.
- Evidence of satisfaction of the Graduate Writing Proficiency Requirement.
- A grade point average of 3.0 or better in all courses taken to satisfy the requirements of the degree.
- 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.
- Appropriate coursework from a field other than the major may be required at the discretion of the major department.
- A thesis, a project, or comprehensive examination must be completed and approved by the student’s department and the College Dean.
- 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 the Seven-Year Limit and Sample Course Expiration Dates).
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. A Change of Degree form is available on online or in Enrollment Services.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The department may place a student on probation for repeated failure to progress toward the degree objective.
- Failure to comply, after due notice, with an academic requirement may result in the department placing the student on probation.
- A student who engages in behavior contrary to the standards of the profession for which he or she is preparing may be placed on probation.
- 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 academic disqualification if, while on probation, the student fails to raise his/her grade point average to 3.0 within two semesters or a time period specified by the department, whichever is shorter. The disqualification decision for classified graduate and postbaccalaureate students is the responsibility of the appropriate department. The disqualification decision for persons admitted to “Postbaccalaureate Standing Unclassified” status is the responsibility of the Director of Enrollment Services.
Administrative Probation and Disqualification
A postbaccalaureate or graduate student may be placed on administrative probation or be administratively disqualified by the appropriate college dean (in the case of classified graduate students or classified postbaccalaureate students) or the provost (in the case of unclassified postbaccalaureate students), upon the recommendation of the department faculty and chair, for repeated withdrawal, failure to progress toward an educational objective, and noncompliance with an academic department’s program requirements.
In addition, a postbaccalaureate or graduate student may be placed on administrative probation or be administratively disqualified by the appropriate college dean (in the case of classified graduate students or classified postbaccalaureate students) or the provost (in the case of unclassified postbaccalaureate students), upon the recommendation of the department faculty and chair, if the student demonstrates behavior so contrary to the standards of the profession for which he or she is preparing as to render him or her unfit for the profession. In such cases, the determination of probation or disqualification will be made based on the severity of the offense, and probation shall take effect immediately or disqualification shall occur immediately upon notice to the student and, in the case of disqualification, may require the student to discontinue enrollment as of the date of the notification.
Appeal of Academic or Administrative Disqualification
A student who believes his or her disqualification was arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory has the right of appeal. The student should direct the appeal to the Graduate School. An appeals committee shall 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 a faculty member from outside the department who is selected by a dean from a college other than the college that houses the department that is involved in the appeal and who shall chair the appeals committee.
Students admitted to a master’s or doctoral 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 Stanislaus State 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 Stanislaus State Student Handbook.
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 Stanislaus State Student Handbook.
Repeating Courses to Improve Performance
A postbaccalaureate student who was admitted to the University 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 or doctoral degree.
Graduate Credit for Undergraduate - Upper-Division Courses
On occasion, to provide a breadth of content in a student’s graduate program, a upper-division 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 upper-division 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 online or at Enrollment Services. A copy of the form should be placed in the student’s permanent file for later verification when clearing for graduation.
Petition/Appeal of University Requirements & Course Substitution (Graduate)
Students may petition university deadlines, request a waiver or substitution of certain university-wide requirements, or request a review of decisions affecting their academic status.
Petition forms and information concerning university regulations may be secured from the Enrollment Services Office and the Graduate School. All such petitions must be requested using the Student Petition for Exception to University-Wide Requirements form and reviewed and signed by the appropriate faculty, dean, and/or director/coordinator as indicated on the back of the petition form. Graduate students should file petitions with Enrollment Services. A $10 petition processing fee is charged.
A request for substitution concerning a program major, concentration, or other requirements should be directed to the appropriate department. Course substitutions typically are 5000-level or upper-division courses. No more than 20% of the total program units may deviate from the approved program. All such requests must be submitted using the Course Substitution for Graduate Degree Program Requirement form prior to enrollment in the course requested for substitution. Graduate students should file this form with Enrollment Services. No processing fee is charged.
Graduate students may request a review of decisions affecting their academic status via the appeal process established by the department in which the graduate program resides. An Appeals Committee on Student Petitions has been established as advisory to the Provost. Petition decisions concerning academic status and certain academic requirements may be referred to the Appeals Committee via the Graduate School.
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.
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 University and program is necessary.
Consistent with Title 5, of the California Code of Regulations, Stanislaus State 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 Stanislaus State, courses expire prior to the designated academic term. A table is provided to illustrate course expiration dates.
Sample Course Expiration Dates
||Expires Prior to Term
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 Stanislaus State 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 Stanislaus State 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 online or at Enrollment Services.
A culminating experience is required for each graduate degree. Individual departments permit one or more culminating experiences described in this section. Students who have enrolled in thesis, project, comprehensive examination, or dissertation units will not be permitted to change to another culminating experience after the initial semester of such enrollment, unless a program or department allows for such a change. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis and will necessitate the approval of the program or department.
- 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/presentation of the thesis will be required.
- 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/presentation of the project may be required.
- 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 except when the program requirements are fulfilled by an examination administered by state or national testing agencies. An oral defense/presentation of the comprehensive examination may be required.
- Doctoral students should obtain information on the culminating experience(s) from the appropriate doctoral program.
Criteria for the Thesis, Project, Comprehensive Examinations, or Dissertation
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. A dissertation is acceptable as a means to fulfill the requirements for the doctoral degree. Prior to enrollment in these courses the candidate should attain specific departmental instructions or requirements.
Whether a student is preparing a thesis, project, comprehensive examination, or dissertation, 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 approach to completing the degree requirements. 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 program or department granting the degree. Format and writing must be consistent with the dictates of a style manual authorized by the program or department. The student must consult with the program or department and the Graduate School concerning these matters before beginning work on the thesis, project, comprehensive examination, or dissertation.
Procedures for Writing the Thesis or Project
All theses and dissertations must be written using the format requirements listed in the University guidelines. If the program or department requires that the project or comprehensive examination is written and library submission is required, it must be written using the format requirements in the University guidelines. The Master’s Thesis/Project and Doctoral Dissertation Preparation Guidelines are available in online and printable format.
- Registration for thesis, project, comprehensive examination, or dissertation may require a prospectus approved by the student’s culminating experience committee. Instructions for developing and gaining prospectus approval are available from the program or department.
- A student whose thesis, project, comprehensive examination, or dissertation is planned to extend over more than the term of first enrollment in 5980, 5990, or 5960 may receive only an RP (Report in Progress) grade. At the time of the defense or presentation, the RP will be changed to CR or a grade, dependent on the program or department policy.
- Students who have completed all registrations for their graduate coursework, and who have registered for the maximum number of thesis, project, comprehensive examination, or dissertation semester units required by the program, are required to show ongoing progress and maintain continuous enrollment. Course 7005 Continuing Thesis, Project, or Dissertation and 7006 Continuing Comprehensive Examination is provided for this purpose. Enrollment in 7005 or 7006 is required each fall and spring semesters until the culminating assignment is complete or until the maximum time for completion has expired. Enrollment in 7005 or 7006 is also required in the summer terms if the student is graduating in that term. Failure to maintain continuous enrollment will result in loss of graduate standing and may necessitate reapplication to the University and program or department, as well as payment for prior semesters. In addition, students who have not maintained continuous enrollment will not be cleared for graduation.
- Before the Master’s or Doctoral Committee officially accepts a thesis, project, comprehensive examination, or dissertation, it must meet all the requirements outlined in the section titled Criteria for the Thesis or Dissertation, or meet the requirements outlined by the program or department before officially being accepted.
- No coauthored theses, projects, comprehensive examinations, or dissertations are allowed. If two or more candidates are collaborating, each must develop, write, and submit a separate and distinct thesis, project, comprehensive examination, or dissertation.
- Once the student’s committee accepts the thesis, project, comprehensive examination, or dissertation, and if it is required to be submitted to the Library, it must be submitted to the library by the deadline established.
- Students may submit thesis, project, comprehensive examination, or dissertation copies either in print (2 copies to the library) or electronically. See specific guidelines for submission. Students have the option of having additional personal copies printed and bound. Binding expenses are the student’s responsibility. The Enrollment Services Office will not record a grade other than “RP” until the thesis/project/comprehensive examination/dissertation committee chair has given final approval for the thesis, project, comprehensive examination, or dissertation. Contact the University Library or visit the Graduate School Thesis/Project/Dissertation webpage for detailed information on the review, approval, and bindery process.
- Receipt of an approved thesis, project, comprehensive examination, or dissertation is the equivalent to publication, and may be available to the public in the University library, including worldwide interlibrary loan.
- As of Spring 2013, the University Library began to accept graduate thesis, project, comprehensive examination, and dissertation manuscripts in either print or electronic format. Electronic format of the manuscripts will be archived in the University’s Institutional Repository and will be discoverable on the Web according to the author’s copyright preference.
Composition of Thesis or Project Faculty Committee
The following policies are used to determine thesis, project, comprehensive examination, or dissertation committee membership.
- If the program or department has a culminating experience committee, the master’s committee and doctoral committee normally is composed of two to three members from the full-time instructional faculty, tenured or tenure track.
- If the program or department has a culminating experience committee, the minimum number of members is two. A third member may be added as requested by the culminating experience chair or department chair. Individual programs may require a three person committee at their discretion.
- Under certain circumstances, a retired or emeritus faculty member with an academic specialization and/or qualifications that are not held by another program or department member may serve as a volunteer third committee member, but not as the committee chair.
- Normally, the chair of the master’s or doctoral committee and the second member are from the program or department in which the thesis, project, comprehensive examination, or dissertation is written.
- When appropriate, the committee may add to the three-member master’s or doctoral committee one individual who is not a member of the University faculty who will be considered the 3rd or 4th person on the committee, but not as the committee chair. The student’s major program or department and the Director of the graduate program must approve such an individual.
- The approval of master’s and doctoral committee appointments is the responsibility of the program or department in which the student is seeking the degree.
- Some program or department master’s committees consist of faculty who grade comprehensive examinations.
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 Stanislaus State or by Stanislaus State 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 Stanislaus State 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 or Doctoral Degree
A candidate for a doctoral/master’s degree should submit an Application for Graduation accompanied by the application fee in the first two weeks of a term or the first week of a summer session in which the work is to be completed.
A student who applies for graduation, but does not meet all degree requirements for the term requested, will be required to reapply for graduation for the term in which all requirements will be satisfied and pay a reapplication fee in order to be eligible for continued enrollment.
Filing Deadlines are available online.
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
Within the first two weeks of a term in which the work is to be completed, it is recommended that a candidate for a certificate should submit a Certificate Application Form online or in person and submit it to the Enrollment Services Office located in the MSR 120.
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 Stanislaus State 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