Admission to a graduate program at SF State is a two-part process:
• Submit an on-line admission application on Cal State Apply.
• Submit official transcripts, mark sheets and degree certificates, TOEFL/IELTS scores, and SEVIS documents (including bank statements) to the Division of Graduate Studies
Step two: Apply to Department or Program
• Submit official transcripts, mark sheets and degree certificates, statement of purpose, GRE/GMAT scores (if applicable) directly to the department
• For graduate program deadlines and departmental admission requirements, visit the Graduate Program Deadline page.
All international applicants, resident aliens and U.S. citizens whose secondary education and undergraduate degrees were taught in any language other than English must submit a TOEFL or IELTS exam score that meets the Division of Graduate Studies minimum requirements.
You do not have to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score if you earned a Bachelor's degree from any of the following countries: Australia, Botswana, Canada, Commonwealth Caribbean, Gambia, Ghana, Lesotho, Liberia, Kenya, Malawi, Pacific Trust Territories, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States
TOEFL score requirement:
- Internet based test: 80
- Paper based test: 550
IELTS score requirement:
- Overall band of 6.5
PTE Academic Score Requirement:
- Overall score of 65
*Please note that some departments may require higher TOEFL scores and some departments do not accept the IELTS exam*
To register and locate a testing center for the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE exam, you need to go refer to the following websites:
If you have earned a U.S. Bachelor's or Master's degree, you do not have to submit a TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic score. Students who demonstrate exceptional English language ability may petition the Division of Graduate Studies to waive this requirement. To be considered, a petition must have support from your prospective department/major and must demonstrate English language proficiency. Supporting documentation of your English language ability must be submitted with the petition. Not all petitions are approved.
No. The Division of Graduate Studies does not offer conditional admission for students who do not meet the minimum English language proficiency requirement. If you do not meet the English language proficiency requirement, we encourage you to enroll in English language courses at the SF State American Language Institute website prior to submission of a graduate admission application.
We do not consider "original" copies to be official copies. Please send photocopies of your original academic documents to your former university and ask that they stamp the documents with a university seal attesting to its authenticity. Ask that they seal the document in a university envelope and stamp the envelope. These attested documents must arrive in our office in a sealed (unopened) envelope.
After students have received confirmation that their graduate degree has been awarded, students may request a final transcript showing the degree conferred from the Registrar's Office (415) 338-2079 or online with the Official Transcript Request form.
The Division of Graduate Studies can evaluate your graduate admission application using photocopies (unofficial) of your original transcripts and degree certificate, but you will be required to submit official transcripts by the fourth week of your first semester or you will not be allowed to register for future terms. To be considered official, your academic documents must be university issued or universities attested and arrive in our office in a signed and sealed envelope.
Refer to the University admission Criteria by Country page.
SF State will not return any documents submitted by a student. For this reason, do not submit your only copy of original academic documents. If you have only one copy of your academic documents please follow the steps listed in question eight.
You must submit official transcripts, degree certificates, TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic score report by the fourth week of your first semester or you will not be allowed to register for future terms.
For information on tuition and fee payment schedules please visit the Fiscal Affairs website.
No. Only students who intend to study at SF State with an F1 visa need to submit evidence of financial resources and our SEVIS information form found in the Financial Affidavit.
Show your current F-1 student adviser a copy of your formal SF State admission letter and ask them to transfer your SEVIS record to SF State. Once your SEVIS record has been transferred to SF State, advisers in the Office of International Programs will prepare a transfer I-20 for you.
No. SF State does not allow newly admitted students to defer their admission to a future term. You must enroll for the term you were admitted or reapply for a future semester. The Division of Graduate Studies will keep all admission documents previously submitted for up to one year if you wish to reapply to a future semester.
Some departments may offer scholarships/fellowships. Please check with your prospective department to find out about these opportunities. Visit the Financial Assistance page to identify possible scholarship opportunities.
You do not need to make an appointment to speak to an International Admissions advisor.