Skip to Local Navigation
Skip to Content
California State University, Long Beach
Science Education banner

Graduate Program Application Process

University Requirements for Admission into CSULB

You can get a university application via the Office of Enrollment Services at (562) 985-5471, or you can apply online at Cal State Apply. If you apply to the university this way, remember that you are applying for an M.S. in Science Education (SCEDMS)--it's NOT the same degree here as an M.S. in Education.

Applicants must meet the following requirements in order to be admitted to CSULB as a graduate student:

  • a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college.
  • good standing at the last institution attended.
  • at least a 2.5 grade point average in the last 60 upper division semester units attempted, independent of when and where the baccalaureate was granted. The entire semester or quarter in which the 60 units began will be used in this calculation. See official documentation for details about what units are excluded from these calculations.

The University also requires all students to demonstrate competency in writing skills. Students with a bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. university or university from an English speaking nation do not need to do anything else. See the University Catalog for more information.

You must request official copies of transcripts from each college and university you previously attended. Transcripts should be sent directly to the Office of Enrollment Services. The only exception to this rule is for transcripts for work completed at Cal State Long Beach.

Prospective International Applicants: Please visit Center for International Education or email: for questions regarding visas, and admissions to the university and deadlines.

Levels of Admission

The university has different levels of admission. To be classified as a graduate student requires a separate application and approval by the Science Education department. There's two classifications of graduate students--conditionally classified and classified--and the department Graduate Studies Committee will determine your classification. The University Catalog further describes graduate student classifications.

Science Education Department Admission Requirements

In addition to the University requirements for admission as a graduate student, the department requires:

  • A California Multiple Subject credential, Single Subject Science Teaching credential, or other instructional experience deemed equivalent by the Graduate Studies Committee. In the case of informal science educators, this must be evidenced by letters from employers provided on institutional letterhead;
  • A GPA of at least 3.0 for the last 60 units of study completed.

Students missing any admission criteria may only be admitted after receiving the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee.

Departmental Application

As a prospective graduate student you must formally apply for admission to CSULB (described previously). You have to do this even if you are a CSULB graduate. You must also apply directly to the Science Education department. Here is what you must submit to the department:

  • A complete departmental application form, including personal statement. The application form is available in the Science Education department office and you can download an graduate program application (PDF) or graduate program application (word version);
  • Two confidential recommendation letters, sent under separate cover. At least one of the letters must be from an administrator or supervisor at a school where you are (or were) employed.

With campus temporarily under hibernation restrictions, applications should be emailed to

You must also receive a positive recommendation following an interview with graduate faculty.

Review by the Graduate Studies Committee

The Graduate Studies Committee will review all completed applications and recommend either accepting you as a Classified or Conditionally Classified graduate student, or denying admission. If you are accepted you should contact the Departmental Graduate Advisor before your first semester for advisement and orientation.

Departmental Admission as a Classified Graduate Student

The Science Education department will recommend you for admission as a Classified graduate student if you have met all prerequisites and also been accepted by the Graduate Studies Committee.

Departmental Admission as a Conditionally Classified Graduate Student

If you fail to meet the criteria for Classified admission to the department you may be considered by the Graduate Studies Committee for admission as a Conditionally Classified graduate student. The Graduate Studies Committee will determine what deficiencies each applicant has and specify what you must do to make up those deficiencies. You must make up all such deficiencies before attaining Classified status.


We will begin reviewing candidates and making acceptance decisions after May 1. We will accept applications until May 31st, assuming there's space. There is a non-refundable fee for admission to the university. Remember, also, that the departmental application is separate from the university application. You must be accepted by both the university and the Science Education department before being eligible as a Classified Graduate Student.

Program of Study, Thesis & Thesis Committee

The Program of Study includes successful completion of:

  • Science Education Core Courses: SCED 550, 551, 552, 553 (SCED 553 required for informal option only), 560.
  • Science courses: SCED 500, 501, 502, (elementary option takes all three courses, the informal option takes two of the three courses) or 9 units graduate science coursework in a discipline (chosen in consultation with advisor).
  • 3 units of elective coursework chosen in consultation with advisor.
  • Thesis/project: SCED 697/698.

A Thesis Committee consisting of three members will oversee your progress toward completing a thesis or project. At least two of the committee members must be full time faculty from the Science Education Department. The third member must be approved by your advisor and the Graduate Studies Committee. Each member of your Thesis Committee must ultimately deem the work satisfactory before you can be awarded the M.S. degree.

The thesis or project process includes completing the written work, and presenting it publicly.

Advancement to Candidacy

In addition to the general University requirements stated under Post-Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees in the Catalog, you must be a Classified Graduate Student in the Science Education Department, demonstrated writing competency via the WPE (or equivalent), and selected a thesis advisor before receiving Candidate status. The process begins with candidates filling out a form. For your convenience, you may download a MS Word file with a blank form for students in the elementary option, secondary option, or informal option. Upon evidence of satisfactory academic progress, including a minimum GPA of 3.00, the Thesis Committee will recommend you for advancement to candidacy by forwarding its recommendation to the Department Graduate Advisor. Upon approval by the Associate Dean, you will be advanced to candidacy.

Please note: This brochure is not an official document! Always follow the current CSULB University Catalog if you find any discrepancies.