Student Checklist


New Student Orientation Slides

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New Graduate Student Orientation Questions

Question: How can I reach the Office of Financial Aid?

Financial Aid Contact:


Phone:  (415) 338-7000

Hours:  Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

Question: How can I learn more about scholarships and how to apply for grants to pay for graduate school?

Phone: (415) 338-7000


Question: Are there any other options besides FAFSA, work study, and loans?

There are some scholarships available, more information can be found here:, and for some GA/GTA positions

Question: When is the last day to pay tuition without incurring a fee?

Fee deadlines can be found here:

Please note that you may qualify to enroll in a payment plan:

Those using financial aid awards to pay tuition fees will have a “FA fee deferment”, this will be noted in your Student Center Holds & Alerts section.  “FA fee deferment” means that you are not responsible to pay by the tuition deadline since you have pending aid.

Question: Is it too late to apply for financial aid?

It's never too late to apply for financial aid; however, grants and scholarships do have deadlines:

International Students Financial Assistance:

Question: Is the state grant part of the FAFSA application or is it a separate application process?

The FAFSA is all you need to complete for State Grants

Question: How much financial aid can I qualify for to pay for my program?

Financial Aid options vary by student -- please visit to learn more

Question: Have decisions been made for scholarship recipients?

The deadlines and award notices for scholarships vary -- you will want to connect with the scholarship provider. Visit for scholarship options

Question: Can graduate students apply for a Federal Pell Grant?

Pell Grant does not apply for Graduate studies

Question: Where can I see the results of my FAFSA application?

You should see your awards or the next steps that you need to take in your Student Center.

If you do not see anything in your Student Center, go back to and confirm the school code is correct: 001154

Question: When can we expect to see federal loans reflected in the Student Center?

Loan offers would be posted 3-5 business days after the FAFSA has been received unless there are steps in your To Do list that you still need to complete for your Financial Aid file to be complete.

Question: Are enrollment deposit fees applied towards the first semester fees?

Enrollment deposit applies only to students enrolled in the business programs.  Enrollment confirmation deposit will apply to tuition and fees for the semester in which it is paid.

Question: There are student fees for services that we will not be able to access due to campus closure. Why are we still being charged for recreation and several other fees like this?

Student fees are set by the Student Fee Advisory Committee. You may reach out to the committee to request more information regarding the breakdown of these fees here:

Question: I am not eligible to receive financial aid through FAFSA, will my classes be dropped since I do not have a deferment?

For this Spring 2021 semester no students will be dropped for non-payment but you will not be able to register for any additional classes until the balance is paid

Question: Can the Rec & Wellness fee be waived?

Rec & Wellness fee will be reduced 25% for Spring 2021.  This fee is normally $169 and will be reduced to $144.  The Gator Pass fee which is $180 will not be charged for Spring 2021 ($0.00). These are temporary fee reductions due to the pandemic.

Question:  I accepted loans that exceed to amount needed to pay for my courses. How is loan disbursement processed? Can I pay back the rest?

  • The accepted award will be split evenly into two. The first half will disburse in Fall and the second half will disburse in the Spring term. The disbursement will cover all outstanding fees, then the difference will be sent to you via check or Direct Deposit.
  • You can return the difference to the Bursar’s Office by filling out a FA Return Form or a Parent Plus Return form and submit it to the Bursar’s Office along with certified funds (cashier’s check, money order or cash [in person only]) by mail or in person.
    • Mailing address: SF State Bursar's Office
      1600 Holloway Avenue, ADM 155
      San Francisco, CA 94132-4033
  • Please visit the Bursar’s Office website for information regarding in person availability.
  • Bursar’s Office FAQ:

Question: Can you clarify the refund date and process, if one drops from full time to part time status?

Refund Guidelines:

Question: Are the fees the same since classes are online?

Yes, tuition is the same for online and in-person instruction.  You can find the tuition fees listed at

You may also find a more detailed breakdown of the tuition fee at:

Question:  If we are considered for federal work study, how will that work with distance-learning/living off-campus?

Some campus employers are offering remote Student Assistant federal work-study positions. Any positions currently accepting applications will be posted on Handshake.

Visit to get started. Or for additional support or technical assistance.

Question: Can I apply for financial aid to cover summer courses?

Yes! You can still qualify for aid over the Summer. There are annual limits to the Unsubsidized loans that may not allow us to offer more over the Summer

Question: How many units do I need to enroll in to apply for FAFSA over the summer?

You must be enrolled in at least 4 units to qualify for loans during the Summer (or any semester)

Question: How do I contact the Bursar’s Office?

General Info:

*Recommended* Service ticket (1-2 business day response time):

Phone: (415) 338-1281 Monday - Friday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (Closed 12-1pm)



Question: How do we obtain the SFSU ID card and how long does it take?

You must request one to be made by following the instructions provided by the One Card Office website

Please note that your ID may take 2 or more weeks to arrive. It will be delivered via paper mail.

Question: How will student ID/transportation cards be handled during COVID?

The OneCard/Gator Pass will continue to have transit benefits.

One Cards/Gator Pass afford students a 50% discount on all BART rides to and from Daly City BART Station, as well as unlimited rides on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Muni, with the exception of cable cars.

Feel free to contact the OneCard Office with any questions at

Question: I enrolled in classes but I am not sure if I signed up for the correct classes, do I just contact the department?

Contact your department to confirm you are enrolled in the correct courses. You may also visit our daily zoom session for some registration assistance. Daily Zoom sessions:

Question: How do I log in for my course lecture?

Your course instructor will either email you with the information, or make their iLearn page live for you to access the links to your course zoom sessions. iLearn:

iLearn is the equivalent to Blackboard/Canvas and you will be able to access your class information through the links provided by your instructors.

Question: What is an asynchronous class?

Asynchronous classes mean classes that do not meet at a specific date/time as one group. Online classes might be offered synchronously where you have to log into zoom at the same date/time as your classmates, or asynchronously, where you can log in at your leisure to complete requirements.

Question: I'd like to change my email preferences so that I'm receiving your emails at my school address.  Where can I do that?

You may change your email in your MySFSU Student Center.

Question: When is the final date to drop classes?

Add/Drop deadlines can be found here:

Question: Are finals going to be offered online as well?

Every department and faculty member are adjusting to remote learning a little differently. Once the semester begins your professor will provide you with the course syllabus, which will outline how your course will proceed this fall. Please note you will not be asked to come to campus to complete your finals.

Question: I'm interested in auditing a language class (Spanish 101). What is the process for enrolling in a course as an auditor?

Please contact the professor directly to make this request.  You can find more information on auditing courses by clicking here.

Question: What changes has the coronavirus caused in my program?

Every department is adjusting to remote learning a little differently. Please connect with the Graduate Coordinator of your program for the best answer to this question.

Graduate Coordinator Directory:

Question: There are no available dates to sign up for the CSET multiple subjects test. Are there any updates regarding when we have to submit proof of registration/test results?

Please speak with the appropriate department chair in the Graduate College of Education for extensions to fulfilling this admissions requirement. 

Visit the Center for Science and Mathematics Education website for helpful information regarding the CSET exam OR completing an approved subject matter competency program

Question: Do you have any advice on how to survive graduate school?

Find/choose your advisor early on and begin developing a relationship with them. Stay in communication with them and ask lots of questions.

Also stay in close contact with the Division of Graduate Studies. We host workshops and different academic and social events, we will always be available to you to answer a variety of questions, as well as direct you towards different campus resources.

Also, make sure to review Bulletin requirements and Steps to Graduation. This will give you a better idea of what you will need to complete in order to graduate in a desired time.

Question: During virtual learning, what part of campus is open?

Buildings are not open for student use at this time. You may access campus resources remotely, and we encourage you to visit office websites to learn more about their specific virtual options.

Question: Operating Zoom for peer/group interactions

Zoom guidelines:

Question: How will exams be conducted for students taking up their classes from their home country?

Every professor is adjusting to remote learning differently. Once the semester begins your professors will provide you with the course syllabus, which will outline how your course will proceed this fall and how they will facilitate exams.

Please connect with your professor once the semester begins with any additional questions.

Question: How can I receive an ADA accommodation for extra time for exams in my classes during COVID and non-COVID times?

            Reach out to Disability Programs and Resource Center, DPRC:


Question: What are the advantages/disadvantages of going part-time or full-time in programs with that option?

Part-time tuition fees are less than full-time, and part-time study may benefit students with other important obligations (examples: family care, work, health, etc.).

Question: If students have conflicting work schedules with classes, will we be able to view recorded lectures? Will students be required to be on a zoom call every week?

Every class will be taught a bit differently.  It is advised that you check in with your course instructor if you are unable to log into the scheduled zoom sessions for potential alternative options.

Question: How do I know what books I will need to obtain for my courses?

You can look up your books on the sfsu bookstore. When the instructor has posted course material, here is where you will find those listed. Simply plug in your course information to find the required material.

Another great resource at SF State is our J. Paul Leonard Library: For those not in SF, the SFSU library is currently mailing books to your home if you would like to check any out.

The Book Loan Program is offered through Project Connect

Question: Where can we find information about next semester as it relates to virtual or in-person course offering?

Visit for the most up to date information. 

Question: How do I navigate iLearn?  Tips for success in taking asynchronous classes.

Please visit to read a comprehensive guide to using iLearn, created by the Academic Technology office.

Academic Technology is available for support via email, chat, and phones.

Email -

Phone - (415) 405-5555

Chat - Inside iLearn click Help Block

Question: Can you provide tips for iLearn and success in taking asynchronous classes?

These guidelines will serve as a reference of operational practices and procedures for iLearn, the official campus Learning Management System (LMS) at San Francisco State University (SF State).  The guidelines are a reference to inform users about procedures employed by Academic Technology, which administrates and supports iLearn, and informed by broader University processes and requirements.

iLearn Guidelines Document coming soon.

Question: Is the book store open?

The bookstore is not open at this time. However they have a fully comprehensive online store.

SFSU Bookstore Online:

Question: How do we join Student Government?

Contact your Graduate Student Representative: Brittnay Nguyen:

Question: Are there any LGBTQ+ grad groups on campus?

Check out our Queer & Trans Resource Center at

Question: What will SFSU do to create student community engagement and academic collaboration during COVID19?

Gator Connect:

Gator Connect is a new, easy-to-use platform for networking and professional mentorship — designed exclusively for San Francisco State University students, alumni, staff, faculty and friends.

Multiple student organizations and university departments will also be hosting digital/virtual social events throughout the semester.

Example: The Depot (The Depot is San Francisco State University's premier live entertainment venue. Located on the lower conference level in Cesar Chavez Student Center) -- Live interactive virtual music events

Question: Is there online access to the library?

Yes, visit to access virtual resources. These include:

·         24/7 Chat Assistance

·         Research assistance

·         E-Textbooks

·         Laptop rental requests

·         Assistance in getting lower cost internet service to your home

Question: Library resources and research- contact person for our specialty?

You may find the SFSU librarian directory here:

Please search for the librarian that aligns with your college. (Example: You are in the graduate biology program—you would contact the Health & Life Sciences Librarian Faith Rusk)

Question:  How to access resources offered by the university, libraries, tutors, etc.?

Most university resources have shifted online, and can be accessed remotely via their websites.

·         Library:

·         Tutoring Services: The Tutoring and Academic Support Center (TASC) is a new university-wide center that supports the academic success of all San Francisco State students.


Phone: 415-405-5516

Location: Tutoring is currently being offered online via Zoom
Hours: Monday to Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Friday 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

·         Career Services & Leadership Development (CSLD):

Check out their COVID-19 Career Resources page and Zoom workshops

·         Basic Needs:

Resources include, but are not limited to safety, food, housing and access to mental health services. Gator groceries student food bank, and Cal Fresh application assistance for state funded grocery assistance.

Question: How can I access resources to improve academic writing, address mental health and overall wellness, increase virtual access (i.e. hotspots, rentable tech, etc.), develop professionally Strategies to balance w/FT work?

·         Mental Health:  Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) (, Department of Health Promotion & Wellness (, Additional On and Off campus resources (

·         Wellness:  Fitness (, Mashouf Wellness Center (,Nutrition Clinic (, Department of Health Promotion & Wellness (

·         Virtual Access: Library ( laptop rental and assistance in getting lower cost internet service to your home, Academic Technology  is available for remote services support (, Student Technology Quick guide (

·         Professional Development: Career Services & Leadership Development’s (CSLD) (


Question: What mental health resources will I have access to?

·         Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) provides counseling to SF State matriculated and enrolled students. CAPS services are covered by the student health fee. Telehealth/virtual services are available. Learn more and make an appointment at:


CAPS does not provide counseling services to College of Extended Learning students (CEL), except CEL International Graduate students. Limited counseling services are also available to American Language Institute (ALI) students.

For more information, please visit:


·         The Department of Health Promotion & Wellness will also be announcing their virtual Fall 2020 events soon. Visit to learn more.


Question: How do I access disabled services?

Visit the Disability Programs and Resource Center online at

DPRC works with students and employees with disabilities to ensure all aspects of life on campus including academics, events and employment are accessible.


Phone: (415) 338-2472 (Please leave a voicemail, you will receive a call-back)

Video Phone: (415) 335-7210 (for Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing callers)

Additionally, DPRC is offering multiple virtual engagement opportunities for students during fall semester 2020. Students do not need to be registered with the DPRC to participate in any of these groups or events.

Please visit the DPRC Programs website for the most up-to-date event & registration information about our groups. 


Question:  Does SF State offer healthcare?

The Student Health Center provides most of the basic health services that students will need at SF State. This is covered by the Student Health Fee which is included in your tuition. California State University and Student Health Services recommend that students have additional health insurance.

Visit to learn about the services offered, and make an appointment. Telehealth/virtual appointments are available.

Please contact the Student Health Center directly with additional questions:


Phone: (415) 338-1251


Question:  What does the SF state healthcare policy look like now that everything is virtual due to a pandemic?

International students not currently living in the USA may have the Mandatory Health Insurance Requirement waived at this time.

For international students who are enrolled online during the COVID 19 pandemic and are verifiably out of the country, this provision may be waived.” (Executive Order 1082)

The Office of International Programs (OIP) have created an information page, please visit to learn more.


Question:  Will there be remote work study positions posted on handshake?

Yes. Some campus employers are offering remote Student Assistant positions. Any positions currently accepting applications will be posted on Handshake.

Visit to get started. Or for additional support or technical assistance.


Question:  What networking opportunities will you have?

The Division of Graduate Studies will be hosting a variety of live zoom workshops throughout the year, please look out for announcements of new upcoming events.

·         Gator Connect:

Gator Connect is a new, easy-to-use platform for networking and professional mentorship — designed exclusively for San Francisco State University students, alumni, staff, faculty and friends.

·         Career Services & Leadership Development (CSLD):

Check out their COVID-19 Career Resources page, upcoming virtual events, and Zoom workshops

Question: How can we find research opportunities?

For research opportunities please connect with your academic department -- research opportunities are often shared by professors.

Contact your department, talk to your faculty, and check the Fellowships Office website, selecting "Fellowships" and then select research/internship opportunities on the left nav. Search for "Fellowships Office" in the University's A-Z list

Question: What services are offered for first generation graduate students?

We understand that navigating graduate school as a first-generation student can come with its own unique set of challenges.  Please refer to our list of resources, and feel free to connect with the Division of Graduate Studies at 415-338-2234 or with any questions you may have.


Academic Technology Zoom Info:

Tech Guide:

Technology help guides:

You can learn how to access your email, iLearn, Box and other resources.


Program Coordinators:

ZOOM: To set up your account, go to and select the Sign in link

You can log in using your SFSU ID or SFSU email address and SFSU password

Download the Zoom client by navigating to

Grad Studies Contact:


Phone: (415)-338-2234

Daily Zoom sessions:


One Card: One Cards/Gator Pass afford students a 50% discount on all BART rides to and from Daly City BART Station, as well as unlimited rides on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Muni, with the exception of cable cars.

Feel free to contact the OneCard Office with any questions at

Academic Works Scholarship Site:

Question: How will graduate student GTAs be expected to adapt to teaching online courses?

Course structure and implementation is determined within each department. If you have been offered a GA or GTA position, please connect with the Graduate Coordinator in your department for expectations in an online environment.


Question: I’m interested in being a TA, is that possible in my first semester?

Many departments employ academically eligible graduate students to work as either Graduate Assistants (GAs) or Graduate Teaching Associate (GTAs). Your academic department may have GA or GTA positions available. Please contact your academic department directly to determine position availability. Please note, not all departments offer GA or GTA employment opportunities.

It is possible to work as GTA in your first semester. Most departments, however, hire GTAs who have successfully completed the first semester of study. GAs are often hired in their first semester.


Graduate students seeking a GA or GTA appointment must meet the following minimum academic eligibility requirements:

·         Classified or conditionally classified graduate student

·         Cumulative post-baccalaureate GPA of 3.0 (B) or better

·         Must not be on probation following the preceding semester

·         Enrolled in a minimum of 3 units of course work applicable to the master's degree

·         May not be enrolled in any course associated with work assignment

·         Employment at San Francisco State does not exceed 20 hours per week

·         Must be supervised by a San Francisco State faculty member

May not hold a staff or lecturer position at SF State

Question: What does the application to graduate look like?

The Steps to Graduation can be found here.

Generally, students will need to follow the following guidelines in order to graduate:

1.      Submit an Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) form

2.      Submit a Culminating Experience Proposal.

3.      Review Thesis / Dissertation / Written Creative Work Guidelines (for students completing Thesis/Dissertation/Written Creative Work as your Culminating Experience project)

4.      Apply for Award of Graduate Degree (instructions can be found here)

5.      Submit Thesis/Dissertation/Written Creative Work Receipt form and/or verify that your committee has submitted the Report of Completion of your Culminating Experience Project on your behalf

The Report of Completion form is issued electronically by the Division of Graduate Studies once you have submitted your application for graduation, or upon completion of your specified program requirements and requested by your academic department only. Please contact your Graduate Program Specialist for assistance.


Note: Not every department requires both forms to be completed. Please refer to your ATC form or contact your department for more information.

6.      If you are unable to complete the CE in the semester you enroll please see the Continuous Enrollment Policy

Question: I was an SF State Scholar’s student and transitioned to my graduate program. Do I need to submit an ATC form?

Graduate processes will apply to Scholars program when you transition to the graduate level. This includes the ATC and the PCE.  

Question: Does the ATC apply to students in the pre-health post bacc program?

Certificate students must submit a CAP form instead of the ATC. This will be your graduation application. /files/forms/certificate-approved-program.pdf

Question: I was not a SF Scholar; however, while completing my undergraduate degree at SFSU, I took graduate classes. How do I get those classes that I took to count towards my MA degree? (The classes were not counted towards my BA)

When you submit your ATC form, please submit a Petition for Waiver of Graduate Program Regulations and request Grad Credit for courses taken in the undergrad level. /files/forms/waiver-of-graduate-program-regulations.pdf

Question: What tips do you have to prevent zoom fatigue for those of us working from home on our computer all day followed by online classes at night?

Combatting ZOOM fatigue is important for maintaining your overall wellness. Please refer to the below resources for ideas on how to address ZOOM fatigue.

Additionally, Counseling and Psychological Services at SF State offers an array of additional wellness resources for students. Please visit their Resources and Self-Care webpages for details.


Question: Who can I talk to if I’m considering pursuing a doctorate degree after finishing a master’s degree?

Feel free to contact the Director of the Fellowships Office, Dr. Joy Viveros at, for an appointment to discuss your profile and any relevant fellowships. Of particular interest will be the California Pre-Doctoral Program ( for CSU students who want to pursue a Ph.D. and go on for a faculty/research career. U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and undocumented students are eligible to apply for this fellowship.


Question: Are there any travel or research grants for MA students?

At present, the College of Liberal and Creative Arts offers competitive funding for graduate students to attend virtual conferences; see Once COVID restrictions are lifted, it may be possible to apply for Independent Student Travel Funding; see

Question: How does one get the cool Zoom backgrounds?

Go to your ZOOM bar, select “preferences”, then find the option “backgrounds and filters”.

Question: Any updates on when on-campus courses/housing will be phased back in?

For more information on housing please visit