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 (grades of C- and lower may not be included).
  • 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).
  • 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.

7 year-time-limit chart below:

First Requirements on ATC Starting: ATC will expire by:
Summer 2005 June 2012
Fall 2005 August 2012
Spring 2006 January 2013
Summer 2006 June 2013
Fall 2006 August 2013
Spring 2007 January 2014
Summer 2007 June 2014
Fall 2007 August 2014
Spring 2008 January 2015
Summer 2008 June 2015
Fall 2008 August 2015
Spring 2009 January 2016
Summer 2009 June 2016
Fall 2009 August 2016
Spring 2010 January 2017
Summer 2010 June 2017
Fall 2010 August 2017
Spring 2011 January 2018
Summer 2011 June 2018
Fall 2011 August 2018
Spring 2012 January 2019
Summer 2012 June 2019
Fall 2012 August 2019
Spring 2013 January 2020
Summer 2013 June 2020
Fall 2013 August 2020
Spring 2014 January 2021
Summer 2014 June 2021
Fall 2014 August 2021
Spring 2015 January 2022


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.