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Baccalaureate and Graduate Degree Information

Graduate Degree Information

CSULB graduates at Commencement

**The text below differs from the CSULB 2009-2010 print catalog. The correct information is provided here.**

Post-Baccalaureate Studies

Students with a baccalaureate degree who wish to continue their education for personal enrichment or to meet professional needs may do so at CSULB either as a post-baccalaureate student or as a graduate student. A post-baccalaureate student is one who has not declared a master’s degree or a credential as an objective but who is nevertheless attending class and participating in academic work at the University beyond the baccalaureate degree. Post-baccalaureate students may only enroll through the College of Continuing and Professional Education. A graduate student is one who has requested and received formal admission to a specific field of study that will lead to a graduate degree in one of the many disciplines available at CSULB.

Candidates for public school service credentials at the University are advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements for these programs. Descriptions of credential programs appear in the Credential Programs section of this Catalog and in the separate departmental sections of this catalog.

Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Admission Requirements

Graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants may apply for a degree objective, a credential or certificate objective. Students who meet both the minimum requirements established by the CSU system and the specific professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards, including qualifying examinations, prescribed by the academic program will be admitted as Classified Post-Baccalaureate or Credential candidates. Applicants may be admitted as Conditionally Classified if, in the opinion of appropriate campus authorities, deficiencies may be remedied by additional preparation. In unusual circumstances, a campus may make exceptions to these criteria.

To meet the minimum requirements for admission to graduate and postbaccalaureate studies at CSULB, a student shall at the time of enrollment: (1) have completed a four-year college course of study and hold an acceptable baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association, or have completed equivalent academic preparation as determined by appropriate campus authorities; (2) be in good academic standing at the last college or university attended; and (3) have attained an acceptable grade-point average in any of the following ways: (a) hold an advanced degree; (b) hold a baccalaureate degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 (A = 4.0); (c) hold a baccalaureate degree with a GPA of at least 2.5 in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted (excluding lower-division and extension course work taken after the degree).

Students in the process of completing a baccalaureate degree may be admitted on a provisional basis, subject to proof of degree completion by the established deadline, if their cumulative GPA is at least 2.7 or if the GPA in their last 60 semester or 90 quarter units are calculated at 2.5 or higher.

For information on the specific requirements for admission to a given program, see the Catalog section for that program.

These and other CSU admissions requirements are subject to change as policies are revised and laws are amended. The CSU website, and the CSU admissions portal are good sources of the most up-to-date information.

Graduate Standing - Conditionally Classified

To qualify for admission in conditionally classified graduate standing, a student must:

  • 1. Hold an acceptable baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association or have completed equivalent academic preparation in a foreign university as determined by an appropriate campus authority;
  • 2. Have attained a grade-point average of at least 2.5 (A = 4.0) in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted;
  • 3. Have been in good standing at the last college attended; and
  • 4. Be accepted into a graduate degree curriculum on a conditional basis, subject to the requirement that any deficiencies must be remedied by additional preparation.

Graduate Standing - Classified

A student who meets the minimum requirements for admission as a graduate student, as specified in the preceding paragraph, may be admitted as a fully classified graduate student pursuing an authorized degree curriculum if the appropriate program authorities determine that he or she satisfactorily meets the professional, personal, scholastic, or other standards for admission to the graduate degree curriculum, including qualifying examinations that the appropriate program authorities may prescribe. Only those applicants who show promise of success and fitness will be admitted to graduate degree curricula, and only those who continue to demonstrate a satisfactory level of scholastic competence and fitness shall be eligible to proceed in such curricula.

Post-Baccalaureate Standing - Classified

In this status a student is eligible to enroll in a credential or certificate program, provided that such additional professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards, including qualifying examinations, as may be prescribed for the particular credential or certificate program by the appropriate campus authority, are satisfied.

Admission to the University

In order to be admitted to CSULB as either a post-baccalaureate classified student or as a graduate student, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  1. Have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college;
  2. Have been in good standing at the last institution attended;
  3. Have at least a 2.5 grade-point average in the last 60 semester (or 90 quarter) units attempted, independent of when the baccalaureate was granted. The entire term in which the 60 semester (or 90 quarter) units began will be used in this calculation. Lower-division courses or courses taken in extension (except in adjunct enrollment at CSULB in the upper-division level), after obtaining the bachelor’s degree, will be excluded from the calculation.

Students wishing to enroll in the University must follow the instructions supplied by the Office of Enrollment Services in the Admissions section of this Catalog.

  • NOTE: Graduating undergraduate CSULB students do not automatically continue as graduate students. They must apply under the same conditions as non-CSULB students. Once applications are received, they will be evaluated at appropriate offices. To be admitted to the University, a student must also be admitted to a specific program. The University does not admit post-baccalaureate students who do not have a degree, certificate, or credential objective. Provisional admission is granted to applicants anticipating their baccalaureate degree prior to registration but subsequent to filing the application. Proof of the baccalaureate is mandatory (final transcript must be on file) prior to the student's second semester of attendance. If it is not, provisionally admitted students will be prohibited from future enrollment until such proof is on file.

The student must request all institutions of higher learning attended (except for CSULB) to send an official copy of transcripts directly to the Office of Enrollment Services and to the department advisor of graduate studies. Graduates of California State University, Long Beach must follow these same procedures when making application to a graduate degree program.

All graduate and postbaccalaureate applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English must demonstrate competence in English. Those who possess a bachelor’s degree from a postsecondary institution where English is not the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), 213 on the computer-based version of the TOEFL or 80 on the Internet-based (iBT). Some programs may require a higher score.

Admission to a Department as a Graduate Student

In order to pursue a credential or master's degree, students must be accepted by the department or college offering the degree program. In some instances (see specific department listing) this process may require making a separate application to the department or college. Following review the department or college will determine whether or not a student meets its requirements for admission to its degree program. Departments or colleges that receive more applications from qualified students than the number of graduate spaces they have available will admit students in priority order based on the strength of candidates' qualifications.

On the other hand, if space is available, a student who is admissible to the University but who does not meet program requirements for admission may nevertheless be accepted as a conditionally classified graduate student by the department or college offering the program, subject to the proviso that all remaining admission requirements of the program must then be fulfilled after enrollment. Only the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies or his/her designee is authorized to grant conditional admission to a student who does not meet University requirements, and such action will be taken only in rare and compelling circumstances.

Special Action

In rare and compelling circumstances, an applicant who doesn't qualify for admission under the previous provisions may be admitted by special action if on recommendation of the appropriate faculty of the department/college concerned and in the judgment of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies or his/her designee there exists acceptable evidence that the applicant possesses sufficient academic, professional, and other potential pertinent to her/his educational objectives to merit such action, as shown through aptitude scores, recent academic performance, and experiential background.