Steps to Apply for Admission to a Graduate Program

The graduate admission application to San Francisco State University is a two-part process. Part One is the university application submitted to the Division of Graduate Studies. Part Two is the academic department application submitted to the Graduate Coordinator for your intended degree program. You must submit Part One and Part Two of your graduate admission application simultaneously by deadline to be considered for admission. Applicants may only apply to a single graduate program per application term.

Part One:

  1. Apply online through Cal State Apply for a Graduate Program. The Office of Graduate Admissions no longer accepts paper applications to graduate programs.
  2. Pay the 55.00 USD application fee. We recommend that you pay online by credit card at the moment you submit your application. If you selected the option to pay the application fee by check or money order, make the check payable to “San Francisco State University”
  3. Send all required documents noted on your online SF Gateway Portal “To Do List” to the Division of Graduate Studies:

             Graduate Admissions
             San Francisco State University
             1600 Holloway Ave., ADM 250
             San Francisco, CA 94132


Official Transcripts:

Submit official transcripts from every college or university ever attended, including study abroad coursework, community college coursework even if transfer credit appears on your degree transcript to the address listed above. Make sure your financial obligations are settled at previously attended institutions so they will release your transcripts. (Please note: If you previously attended SF State University, you do not need to submit a SF State transcript.



We accept electronic transcripts from regionally accredited U.S. colleges and universities sent through third-party delivery services such as eSCRIP-SAFE, Docufide, and Parchment. We also accept electronic transcripts sent directly to us from your university. All electronic transcripts must be sent directly to:

Part Two:

  1. Apply directly to your program or major. Review your intended program of study/department's website for specific graduate admission requirements. You can look up your program of interest at the Program Deadlines Page.
  2. Send all department specific graduate admission application materials such as letters of recommendation, statements of purpose, scores (if a GRE score is required by your department, please request ETS - send an official score to SF State using school code: 4684. Our GMAT - school codes are: F87HP99 for the MBA, and F87HP10 for the MSA program), and writing samples directly to the Graduate Coordinator for your major/program of study.

Graduate Admission Application Timeline

Once you submit all required admission documents (transcripts, etc.) to the Division of Graduate Studies, we determine if you meet the minimum university requirements for admission. 


If minimum university admission requirements are met, we will forward our review to the Graduate Program. Graduate Program admission committees select the best qualified applicants. This process may take considerable time. The Graduate Program will review all application materials submitted directly to the Graduate Coordinator of your intended program and the department or program admission committees will notify the SF State Graduate Admissions office of their admission recommendations.


Applicants are then formally notified of their admission status by the Division of Graduate Studies. Letters of admission from the department or program received prior to the official SF State Admission Notification Letter are not valid.





General Timeline: Based on average turnaround time and the completing application by deadline.

  • Application period opens. Start of Spring applications is August 1. Start of Fall applications is October 1.
  • Applicants submit their online application and supporting documents by deadline.
  • Once an applicant completes their application, Graduate Admissions evaluates eligibility.  This can take on average two weeks.
  • For eligible applicants, Graduate Admissions sends our evaluation to the academic department for a final admissions determination. This can take between four to six weeks.
  • Academic departments notify Graduate Admissions of admission recommendations. Graduate Admissions will send a formal notice. This can two to five days.
  • Applicant will receive formal admission decision by mail and online. The letter should reach the applicant within three to five days.
  • Admitted students must go online to accept the admissions offer.
  • Newly admitted students will be able to register for classes during the enrollment period.