Advancement To Candidacy (ATC)

The ATC lists the specific requirements you must complete before your degree can be awarded. Once the ATC is approved, you are advanced to candidacy.

Steps to Completion:

  1. Submit your ATC after completing at least eighteen semester units, but no later than the semester before graduating.
  2. Fill out your ATC online - no handwritten materials accepted.
  3. Have your ATC approved by your adviser and the graduate coordinator of your program, and submit it to the GradStop according to deadlines.


Click on the drop-down to download/view the ATC Forms:




PLEASE NOTE: in order save your personal information on the following PDF forms, you will need to:

  1. have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. Click here for Free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  2. save the PDF form to your computer desktop prior to entering your personal information.

The documents linked on this page may have accessibility issues. If you encounter problems with accessing or filling out the document, please contact: Graduate Technology


Make sure your ATC includes:

  • A minimum of 30 semester units, or more if required by your program.
  • A 3.0 GPA is required for course work listed on the ATC and in all post-baccalaureate work taken at SFSU.
  • No lower division course work (100-299).
  • No prerequisite course work.
  • Only courses with grades of C or better.
  • A minimum of one-half of the units at the 700-899 level.
  • No more than 12 semester units of work taken before you obtained classified status.
  • The ATC may not have more than 30% of the work with CR grades.
  • A maximum of 6 semester units of credit in special study courses (899) or experimental courses (674, 677, 874, 877), 699 not permitted.
  • All Incomplete (I) grades must be rectified (changed to a letter grade) prior to submission of ATC.
  • ATC forms requiring 3 or more changes/substitutions will require a new form.
  • A maximum of 4 student teaching units.
  • A maximum of 6 semester units of any combination of extension work, credit by examination, and/or transfer work, in a 30-unit program.
  • The ATC must specify how the student has met the two-level written English proficiency requirement.
  • The ATC must specify a final demonstration of competence such as a thesis, a field research project, a comprehensive examination, or an approved culminating experience.
  • Complete your Graduate Program within a seven year limit as specified by The California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Education.

ATC Expiration Dates below:

First Req. on Grad Admission 5-Year Completion Date ATC Expiration Date
Summer 2008 Summer 2013 June 2015
Fall 2008 Fall 2013 August 2015
Spring 2009 Spring 2014 January 2016
Summer 2009 Summer 2014 June 2016
Fall 2009 Fall 2014 August 2016
Spring 2010 Spring 2015 January 2017
Summer 2010 Summer 2015 June 2017
Fall 2010 Fall 2015 August 2017
Spring 2011 Spring 2016 January 2018
Summer 2011 Summer 2016 June 2018
Fall 2011 Fall 2016 August 2018
Spring 2012 Spring 2017 January 2019
Summer 2012 Summer 2017 June 2019
Fall 2012 Fall 2017 August 2019
Spring 2013 Spring 2018 January 2020
Summer 2013 Summer 2018 June 2020
Fall 2013 Fall 2018 August 2020
Spring 2014 Spring 2019 January 2021
Summer 2014 Summer 2019 June 2021
Fall 2014 Fall 2019 August 2021
Spring 2015 Spring 2020 January 2022
Summer 2015 Summer 2020 June 2022
Fall 2015 Fall 2020 August 2022
Spring 2016 Spring 2021 January 2023
Summer 2016 Summer 2021 June 2023
Fall 2016 Fall 2021 August 2023

Units in Residence/Transfer Work

  • Maximum of 6 semester units of transfer work allowed in a 30-unit program.
  • Work taken in Winter Session may be counted as residence credit.
  • Credit by examination or extension work is not considered resident study.
  • SFSU will not accept transfer work when the institution offering the course work does not accept it for its own advanced degree program.
  • No transfer work over 7 years old may be used on the ATC.