Minimum requirements for admission to graduate study in the California State University are in accordance with Title 5, Division 5, Chapter 1, Subchapter 3, of the California Code of Regulations. The University has the right to require higher standards than the minimum requirements published in Title 5.
To meet minimum eligibility standards for graduate study at San Francisco State, an applicant must:
- hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, or shall have completed equivalent academic preparation as determined by the appropriate campus authority;
- be in good academic standing at the last college or university attended;
- have a 3.0 GPA in their earned undergraduate degree or in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units completed, or have earned a post-baccalareate degree; and
- Meet additional departmental requirements.
Returning San Francisco State graduate students must reapply for admission to the university and the academic department if:
- You have been absent for two consecutive (spring/fall) semesters as a matriculated student;
- You have attended another college in any interval of absence.
Applications for readmission and all supporting materials must be filed in the Division of Graduate Studies by the academic department's application deadline for the current semester. Exceptions to an academic department application deadline will not be granted beyond the first day of instruction for the semester to which you apply.
To be eligible for readmission, graduate students must:
- Have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all coursework attempted at other colleges during your absence;
- Be in "good" academic standing at San Francisco State;
- Have been making continuous progress toward degree before leaving your San Francisco State program.
Students wishing to re-enter with a GPA lower than 3.0 must improve their GPA by taking courses through CEL Open University before reapplying.
Readmission to a graduate program is not guaranteed. Reapplications are reviewed with all other applicants during that application period.
Prepare application materials in advance before starting the online Cal State Apply application. Application materials vary by program, and may require you to upload:
- Personal Statement
- Letters of Recommendation
- Writing Sample
- Test Score Reports
- Program Application Forms
- Other materials that the program is requesting
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 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 to:
Narrow your program options using the provided filters.
Campus: Select "San Francisco State University"
Location: Select "Main Campus"
Delivery Format: Select "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 scections:
PERSONAL INFORMATION TIPS:
- Please provide us with some basic information.
- Fields noted as Optional may be skipped.
ACADEMIC HISTORY TIPS:
- We recommend that you select "I Am Not Adding Any College Transcripts" in the transcripts entry field. Please upload copies of your unofficial transcript to the Program Materials section of this application.
- 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 from your unofficial transcripts as part of our review.
SUPPORTING MATERIALS TIPS:
- 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"
PROGRAM MATERIALS TIPS:
- 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. @sfsu.edu, @CA.gov or @ibm.com), not personal email address.
Need technical assistance? Please call Cal State Apply Student Support (857) 304-2087 or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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 program admission committees will notify the San Francisco 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 San Francisco State Admission Notification Letter are not valid.
General Timeline: Based on average turnaround time and the completing application 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 the 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 take two to five days.
- Applicants 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 admission offer.
- Newly admitted students will be able to register for classes during the enrollment period.
- How do I obtain an SF State ID#?
- Can I apply to two graduate programs simultaneously?
- If I have been denied admission for a program, may I switch my application to a secondary program?
- When will I know if I am admitted?
- Can I apply to SF State for a second bachelor’s degree?
- Do I have to submit official transcripts from all the institutions I have attended?
- What are reasons for denial of graduate admission?
- Can I defer my enrollment?
- What should I do if I want to enroll at the graduate level but do not want to enroll in a specific master’s program?
- How do I submit my GRE (or GMAT) scores to SF State?
- How can I check my application status?
- If I have a green card, can I submit a domestic application form?
- If I am re-applying to SF State, do I need to resubmit my transcripts?
- Where can I get the schedule for classes?
- May I transfer previously completed graduate level courses into my intended graduate program at SF State?
- What housing options are available to graduate students?
- Why should I establish residency?
- As a non-resident student, how do I qualify for California Resident Status?
- How do I get my resident status reclassified?
- When should I submit a reclassification request?
1. How do I obtain an SF State ID#?
Once you have submitted an application on Cal State Apply, an SF State ID# will be generated for you within a few business days, and you will be notified via email. You can also go to the following webpage to look up your SF State ID# using your social security number and birthdate. SF State ID# Look Up page.
2. Can I apply to two graduate programs simultaneously?
Unfortunately, prospective students can only apply to one graduate program per semester. If you already have an active application on CSU site and you would like to switch your area of study, please contact the Division of Graduate Studies for more information on this procedure.
3. If I have been denied admission for a program, may I switch my application to a secondary program?
This may be possible if the application deadline to the program has not already passed. Please contact the Division of Graduate Studies for more details. Graduate Program Deadlines.
4. When will I know if I am admitted?
Each department has its own time line for reviewing applications and notifying students of their decisions. Some departments will review each file as soon as they receive it and notify the applicant of their decision right away. Other departments hold their decisions and notify all applicants at the same time. It is not uncommon for several months to pass before official admission letters from the Graduate Studies are sent. Check your Admission application status online.
5. Can I apply to SF State for a second bachelor’s degree?
Students must apply through Graduate Admissions online through CSU site. Admission to Second Baccalaureate degree programs is typically done by exception. No units taken as a Second Bachelor's Student can be utilized as part of a Master's Program.
6. Do I have to submit official transcripts from all the institutions I have attended?
Yes, transcripts are required from all the universities and colleges attended, including schools attended abroad. However, transcripts are not required for coursework completed at SF State.
7. What are reasons for denial of graduate admission?
A student may be denied graduate admission because they do not meet the minimum university requirements for admission or because they were not selected for admission by the academic department. Minimum university requirements include a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, and a minimum 3.0 GPA determined by your overall baccalaureate GPA or your last 60 semester unit/90 quarter unit GPA.
8. Can I defer my enrollment?
No, students may not defer their enrollment. If they do not enroll the semester that they are admitted, and they want to attend a subsequent semester, then they must re-apply. Students re-applying should check with their department to see if there are any specific requirements for re-applying.
9. What should I do if I want to enroll at the graduate level but do not want to enroll in a specific master’s program?
In order to take classes at the graduate level for personal growth or to complete prerequisites without being admitted to a graduate program, students can enroll through the Open University program, which is administered through the College of Extended Learning. Enrolling through Open University is on a space available basis and does not qualify a student for financial aid. For more information visit the College of Extended Learning website.
10. How do I submit my GRE (or GMAT) scores to SF State?
GRE scores can be submitted electronically through ETS. Please note, on the ETS website SF State may appear as CSU San Francisco. SF State’s school code (as assigned by ETS) is 4684.
11. How can I check my application status?
You may call to check your status anytime at (415) 338-2234 or check on-line by going to: www.sfsu.edu/admit. You will need to provide your SF State student ID number and a SF State Password. Your SFSU ID number will have been provided to you by email after you submitted an on-line application. The website gives first time users specific instructions for setting up a SF State Password.
12. If I have a green card, can I submit a domestic application form?
Yes, green card holders can use the domestic application form. Students who have a green card should submit a copy of their Alien Registration Card (or endorsed Form I-94) with their application.
13. If I am re-applying to SF State, do I need to resubmit my transcripts?
Until further notice, applicants who have applied to SF State before MUST submit official transcripts of all institutions attended, excluding SF State. A new application form and processing fee will be required to re-apply.
14. Where can I get the schedule for classes?
Class schedules are no longer available on paper. All class schedules for every semester are now online. SF State has computer labs on campus for access, including the 24 Hour Lab in the Library for your convenience. You can check the online class schedule at: http://www.sfsu.edu/online/clssch.htm
15. May I transfer previously completed graduate level courses into my intended graduate program at SF State?
If you would like to transfer from another university or institution to a graduate program at San Francisco State University, you will still follow the same application process that all other prospective students do. Graduate courses taken at another university are not automatically transferable to a SF State program. At the discretion of the department faculty, with support of the Dean of Graduate Studies, a maximum of 6 semester units may be used in meeting the requirements of a 30 unit program, or proportionally more for a program requiring 45 or more units. Students requesting transfer of units or confer with the department chair or graduate coordinator and the Division of Graduate Studies after notification of admission.
16. What housing options are available to graduate students?
University Park North has a dedicated floor for graduate students and offers one- and two-bedroom apartments which will be shared by up to 4 graduate students in a combination of single and double occupancy bedrooms. These furnished apartments include all utilities, internet, and basic cable. The floor plan for these units can be viewed at the UPN Floorplan page. Prices for the academic year are available on the SF State Housing Fee Schedule page.
On-campus applications are available online at the SF State Housing website.
17. Why should I establish residency?
You should establish residency to take advantage of the lower registration fees that are charged to residents of California. In many cases you will reduce your education costs substantially.
Applicants 19 years of age or older are eligible for resident status only if they have established and maintained permanent residence in California at least one year prior to the following Residency Determination deadlines:
- Spring Semester - January 25
- Summer Semester - June 1
- Fall Semester - September 20
18. As a non-resident student, how do I qualify for California Resident Status?
To be eligible for resident status you must maintain a physical presence in California, show intent to make California your permanent home and/or maintain proper immigration status for one year prior to the Residency Determination deadline.
19. How do I get my resident status reclassified?
If you wish to have your resident status reclassified, please submit the Residence Reclassification Request form and any appropriate supporting documents to the Division of Graduate Studies.
20. When should I submit a reclassification request?
Reclassification requests must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the first day of instruction. Requests submitted any later may be considered at the discretion of the Residency Coordinator.
Please note: Non-resident students will be responsible for non-resident tuition until the Division of Graduate Studies approves reclassification. Please see the Bulletin to learn more about the determination of resident status.