About the Advancement to Candidacy form:
- The ATC form acts as a contract between you, your department, and the university. It lists the specific requirements you must complete before your degree can be awarded.
- The ATC form must be approved by Graduate Studies before enrolling in and beginning research for the culminating experience course.
- You can submit the ATC form after completing at least eighteen semester units.
- Forms are submitted the semester prior to enrollment in the Culminating Experience Course and are due every November and April 1st.
- ATC form needs to be filled out in coordination with your program adviser and submitted for final review, approval and signing through the DocuSign ATC Submission Portal.
Instructions on submission:
- Find your program specific ATC form (listed below).
- Fill out the form accordingly and save the document as a PDF.
- Navigate to the ATC Submission Portal, here you will be instructed to upload your ATC PDF.
Important: Please only use the link above to start the ATC form routing process. Once you start the routing process for the ATC submission, make sure to complete the form in ONE session. We advise students first complete and save their ATC as a PDF before navigating to the ATC submission portal.
Below you can find further instructions on the ATC Submission Portal
- Enter the information prompted in the required fields:
- Your name and SFSU email address
- The name and SFSU email address of your Graduate Program Advisor
- The name and SFSU email address of your Department Chair/Graduate Program Coordinator (Find your Graduate Program Coordinator at: https://grad.sfsu.edu/content/graduate-coordinators)
- (Optional) You can send a completed copy of the form to an additional party of your choosing.
- Click "Begin Signing"
- Fill out the top portion of the form and attach the Advancement to Candidacy Form.
- Click the paperclip icon to begin uploading:
- Once all documents are attached, you can scroll down to review the uploaded documents.
- Click “FINISH” at the top of the page to send the form for Review.
Upon completion, all parties will receive the finalized copy of the form.
Students should review the finalized version in case the form was not approved or comments were added by advisers.
Watch a video on how to submit the ATC (Advancement Candidacy) online now! https://youtu.be/ujpg4RNUEyo
For important details on what may be included on your ATC form visit the Graduate Studies Bulletin.
ATC Coursework Substitutions
Occasionally, programs are unable to offer a course listed in the Bulletin as acceptable for the degree. When this occurs necessary paperwork must be submitted to amend the ATC form.
If an elective course is not offered or you have enrolled in a different elective after submission of the ATC, an ATC Substitution Form is required.
However, if a required core course is not offered, a Petition for Waiver of Graduate Program Regulations must be approved prior to enrolling in substituting course and submitted with the ATC form.
Seven Year Limit
Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations requires that a master’s degree shall be completed in no more than seven years. Coursework expires and cannot be used to meet degree requirements after seven years. You can find when your coursework expires here in the Bulletin using our timeline to Degree Completion Table.
Download/view the ATC Forms: