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California State University, Long Beach

What are the requirements for the award of a Master's degree?

Refer to the University Catalog for a complete list of requirements. In general, you must satisfy the following requirements in order to be awarded a Master's degree from CSULB:

  • Complete Coursework Completion of the specific course and unit requirements for a masters program. No course with a grade lower than a "C" may be applied toward the fulfillment of a degree requirement.

  • Maintain Minimum Overall GPA of 3.00 You must maintain at least a B average in all courses completed during your graduate career at CSULB.

  • Maintain Minimum Major GPA of 3.00 You must maintain at least a B average in all courses completed to fulfill your major requirements.

  • Earn a Minimum of 30 Upper-Division and Graduate Units

  • Earn a Minimum of 21 Units in Residence You must earn a minimum of 21 units at CSULB.

  • Complete Your Thesis, Final Comprehensive Exam and/or Project You may change from a thesis to a comprehensive exam, or vice versa, if the change is approved by your department. See your Graduate Advisor for instructions and to submit a Change of Program form.

  • Satisfy Requirements within 7 Years All degree requirements must be completed within 7 years of the semester in which you attempted the first course for your program.

  • Advance to Candidacy At least one semester prior to graduation, you must advance to candidacy, which is when you receive approval of your program of study from your Graduate Advisor. You must be enrolled when advanced to candidacy.

  • Be Enrolled in Your Graduation Semester You must be enrolled at CSULB during your graduation semester. If you have completed all coursework, you may enroll in the Graduate Studies 700 course through College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) if authorized by your department.

  • Receive Formal Faculty Approval This does not require any action on the part of the student. Your department will notify you if your degree program is not approved.

Contact your Graduate Advisor for more information regarding the above requirements.

How do I file for graduation?

Follow these 3 steps to file for graduation:

  1. Complete a Request to Graduate form.

  2. Meet the following requirements before submitting your completed Request to Graduate form:

    Required for Graduation Contact for Information
    Pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement Proficiency Exam (GPE) Office of Testing and Evaluation Services, Brotman Hall (BH) 216, (562) 985-4006
    Maintain good academic standing. Student Academic Records
    Have no financial obligation to CSULB. Student Account Services, BH 170A, (562) 985-8280
  3. Pay your Diploma and Commencement fees. Current fees are listed in the University catalog.

When do I file for graduation?

Graduation Semester Request to Graduate Filing Dates
Fall Preceding March 1
Winter Preceding March 1
Spring Preceding October 15
Summer Preceding October 15

What if I miss a deadline for graduation?

If you miss the deadline dates listed above, you must file a Request to Graduate form, along with a $10 missed deadline fee. Please contact Enrollment Services (BH-101) for more information regarding deadlines.

What happens after I file my Request to Graduate?

  1. A degree audit is performed by Enrollment Services, which verifies your eligibility to graduate and determines your outstanding requirements, such as courses, transcripts for transfer work, substitutions, grade changes, petitions, etc.

    Every effort is made to complete your degree audit before you register for your final semester, provided that you submit your Request to Graduate form before the appropriate deadline. However, delays can occur, so we recommend that you keep in contact with your department advisor to review your progress.

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    Keep your current address on file with us so that important notices reach you. Go to MyCSULB to maintain your contact information.

  2. The final review of your record begins about 3 weeks after your final semester. All documents that affect your degree, such as substitutions, grade changes, petitions, waivers, etc., must be on file on the last day of your declared graduation semester.

    Your official transcript with final grades for coursework completed at another school must be on file in Enrollment Services as follows:

    Graduation Semester Transcript Deadline
    Spring July 1 following your graduation date
    Summer September 1 following your graduation date
    Fall January 15 following your graduation date
    Winter January 15 following your graduation date

    If you have outstanding requirements, you may attend your commencement ceremony. However, attending the ceremony does not constitute graduation. Visit the commencement web site for more information.

    If all necessary documents are not on file by the above deadline, you will not graduate, and you will need to establish a new graduation semester. This requires a Request to Change Graduation Date form and may also require a fee.

  3. Within 3 months after the final review, you will be notified of one of the following:

    • You have successfully completed all requirements, and your diploma has been ordered.

    • You will not be able to graduate because you have not met one or more of the requirements. Your graduation will be in an inactive status until you declare another semester within the graduation filing deadline for that new semester and again pay the appropriate fees.

  4. If your degree has been cleared, we will send you an email when your diploma is ready. Due to the possibility of loss or damage, diplomas are not mailed without your written consent to Enrollment Services.

  5. Degrees are posted to your transcript once Enrollment Services verifies that all of your requirements have been met. A transcript is considered official verification of your degree. Copies are available for a fee and may be ordered through Student Academic Records.

What happens if my degree is denied?

You will receive an email explaining the requirements that you have not met and what you need to do to fulfill them. For example,

  • You have not met all degree requirements.

  • You do not have all necessary documents on file in Enrollment Services by the appropriate deadline.

  • You have not completed any Incomplete (I), Report in Progress (RP), or Report Delayed (RD) grades. You need to complete any I grade prior to the granting of your degree or at the time of your graduation it will be calculated as an F, which may lead to the cancellation of your graduation. I, RP, and RD grades may also result in the cancellation of your graduation.

  • Your GPA is below 3.00 in your major and/or overall coursework.

  • You were not enrolled during your graduation semester or failed to be enrolled in the fall and spring semesters without being granted an Educational Leave.

  • You will need to follow the instructions to reinstate your program, which requires department approval, and to reapply to the University if you have outstanding requirements to complete.

Your graduation will remain in an inactive status until you declare another semester within the graduation filing deadline for that new semester and again pay the appropriate fees.

How do I change my major and/or degree objective?

To change a Masters program, you must reapply to the program and the University. Go to Graduate Admission for more information.

How do I postpone my graduation semester?

Once you have filed a Request to Graduate form, you may change your graduation date by submitting a Request to Change Graduation Date. Depending on the graduation filing deadline, you may need to pay a fee.

  • If the filing deadline for your new date has not passed, no fee will be charged.

  • If the filing deadline for your new date has passed, a $10 fee will be charged.

Can I complete a certificate along with my Master's degree?

CSULB offers 40 academic programs that offer a certificate. These programs are normally 24-27 units and emphasize the application of knowledge. Courses taken to fulfill the Master's degree can also be applied to your certificate requirements.

The award of a certificate will be noted on your transcript but not on your diploma.

If you wish to pursue a certificate, notify the appropriate department to receive advisement and submit a Request to Graduate form to notify Enrollment Services of your intention.

Can I attend classes after I graduate?

After your Master's degree is awarded, you need to reapply for admission as a graduate or post-baccalaureate student in order to continue taking classes. Refer to Graduate Admissions for more information.

I once attended CSULB then stopped before completing all of my degree requirements. How can I complete my Master's degree now?

You must be reinstated to your program and be readmitted to the University:

  • If you completed all coursework but not your thesis or comprehensive exam, you must be reinstated by your department's Graduate Advisor and apply for readmission to the University. You must be enrolled during the semester you are reinstated as well as during the semester you plan to graduate. If you have completed all course work, have been advanced to candidacy, and have Departmental approval, you may enroll through College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) in Graduate Studies 700.

  • Reinstatement requires a memo from your Graduate Advisor and approval by both the Associate Dean of the College and the Dean of Graduate Studies. This memo should be directed to Enrollment Services. Your department will notify you if you have been reinstated.

  • If you have remaining coursework to complete, you will be able to enroll after re-admission.