Cal State Apply

Research Your Intended Graduate Program

The first step in preparing a successful application to graduate school is to research your intended graduate program. Our Explore Programs pages are designed to get you started. Graduate Studies recommends you research admission criteria, the academic department or graduate program mission, faculty profiles including research interests, area of specialization and scholarship, and degree requirements prior to beginning your application. Conducting this research before you prepare application materials will ensure that you are able to present yourself as a good match for the program and faculty.

Prepare Application Materials

Prepare application materials in advance before starting the online Cal State Apply application. Application materials vary by program, and may require you to upload:

  • CV/Resume
  • Personal Statement
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Writing Samples
  • Essay
  • Portfolio
  • Test Score Reports
  • Program Application Forms
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • License
  • Publications
  • Credential or Certifications

Your intended graduate program website will provide detailed instructions for each of the application materials required for review.


In addition to any documents required by your program, you are also required to upload legible unofficial copies of transcripts from each college or university attended. Including study abroad coursework, or community college coursework, even if this coursework appears as transfer credit on your degree transcript. Full academic disclosure is required.

Graduate Studies will not accept any of the following submissions:

  • Illegible scanned documents
  • Photographs of transcripts
  • Damaged/incomplete copies
  • Screenshots/screen captures of documents

Please take note of the following when uploading unofficial transcripts:

  • Scan transcripts and ensure that your document is readable and saved as a PDF
  • Include transcript Key/Legend
  • Ensure that the institution name and all other identifying marks are visible and clearly legible

An incomplete academic history will significantly delay review of your application. The Division of Graduate Studies may request official transcripts from you at any point during the application review process. If selected for admission, you will be required to submit official transcripts to the Division of Graduate Studies in order to secure your offer of admission.

Complete the online application for graduate admission and upload your unofficial transcripts and application documents to the Program Materials section of CAL STATE APPLY.


Create your account AND Complete your profile.

TIP: Students who will study on a F1/J1 visa must select Non-Resident for U.S. Citizenship Status under your Extended Profile.
Please note: You will only see a list of programs that aligns with your academic degree objective.

Select the Programs to Which You Want to Apply

Narrow your program options using the provided filters.
Campus: Select "San Francisco State University"
Location: Select "Main Campus"
Delivery Format: Select "Face-to-Face"
Face-to-Face: instructions takes place in a traditional classroom.
Start Term: Select "Fall or Spring"

The Online Application is comprised of four sections

Review our TIPS for completing each of these sections.

  • Please provide us with some basic information.
  • Fields noted as Optional may be skipped.

  • We recommend that you select "I Am Not Adding Any College Transcripts" in the transcript entry field. Please upload copies of your unofficial transcript to the Program Materials section of this application instead.
  • Only use transcript entry to designate current enrollment in a course/semester.
  • We recommend that you select "I don't have a GPA to add" in the GPA entry field. The Division of Graduate Studies will calculate your GPA entry field. The Division of Graduate Studies will calculate your GPA as part of our review.

  • You may opt out of all supporting materials, unless your intended program instructs you to use these fields. Select "I Am Not Adding Any Experiences" or "I Am Not Adding Any Achievements" in this section of the application.
  • In the Statement of Purpose section, indicate "Uploaded to Program Materials Section"

  • Prepare these documents for upload in advance of your application submission.
  • You may need to resize any scanned PDFs so that you do not exceed the MB limit for each document.
  • Use the Evaluations tab to manage submission of letters of recommendation. Letter writer email addresses should be from professional or academic organizations (ex., or, not personal email addresses.

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Need an assistance? Please call Cal State Apply Student Support   (857) 304-2087 or email to: