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University Regulations Governing the Master's Degree


The following regulations apply to all graduate degree programs. Specific academic and curricular requirements of individual degree programs are given in the departmental listings of this catalog.
In addition to whatever additional requirements a particular degree program has, all candidates for a master's degree must complete the requirements listed below:

1. Maintain a cumulative, graduate, grade-point average of 3.0 calculated on all upper-division and graduate-level coursework attempted by the candidate at CSULB after completion of a baccalaureate degree. Exceptions to the 3.0 cumulative, graduate, grade-point average may be made only on the recommendation of both the departmental faculty offering the degree and the college dean or designee and approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies or designee.

2. Maintain at least a 3.0 average in all the courses listed on the program of study.

3. Obtain a minimum grade of C for a course to count in a program of study. Academic unit(s) granting the degree(s) may require higher minimum grades for specifically indicated courses. A student may retake a course once in order to achieve a minimum grade. A grade for a course taken the second time may satisfy a minimum grade requirement but shall not replace the grade previously earned in the course on the student's transcript.

4. Make progress towards timely completion of the degree as determined by any milestones that the academic unit granting the degree may have established in writing and communicated to its students. Students failing to make satisfactory progress may be placed on administrative academic probation. Department Chairs or Associate Deans must notify students in writing or via email that they have been placed on administrative academic probation.

5. Complete all required courses on the program of study, which must contain a minimum of 30 units in upper-division and graduate courses. Some degree programs require additional units. Student teaching may not be included in any master's degree program.

6. Complete at least seventy percent (70%) of the required units in the degree program at CSULB in matriculated status or as approved graduate credit earned as a senior. At the option of the department offering a master's degree, a graduate student may use credit taken at CSULB in non-matriculated status or approved transfer credit toward up to thirty percent (30%) of the units of the program of study. Units applied towards a previous undergraduate degree cannot be transferred for credit towards a master's degree. The academic unit granting the degree may waive units and course requirements provided the minimum thirty-unit requirement is met in accordance with Title V.

7. Complete at least seventy percent (70%) of the minimum units required for the program of study in courses at the 500 and 600 levels, including double-numbered courses (400/500). At least fifty percent (50%) of the units required for the degree shall be in courses organized primarily for graduate students.

8. Complete a thesis or project subject to all requisite approvals or pass a final, comprehensive examination. Some programs require both a final comprehensive examination and either a thesis or project. Others allow students a choice between a thesis option and a non-thesis, comprehensive examination option. Failure of either the comprehensive examination or thesis/project requirement is failure of both options. In other words, a student failing the comprehensive examination may not proceed to the thesis or project option or vice versa. Once a student has completed a semester of enrollment toward fulfillment of either the comprehensive examination or thesis option, the student may not change from one option to the other without the approval of the graduate advisor, the department chair, and the appropriate dean or designee.

9. Complete all requirements of the degree program within seven (7) years of the date the student initiated the program (i.e., the date [semester] when the student first completed a course appearing on the student's program of study). The Dean of Graduate Studies or designee may grant an exception to this requirement if warranted by individual circumstances and if the student re-validates the outdated work by re-taking the course, passing a comprehensive examination in the relevant course or subject field work, or fulfilling such other demonstrations of competence as may be prescribed by the department in its approved policy on revalidation.

10. Maintain continuous enrollment every spring and fall semester by registering in a course or in GS 700 or having received an approved educational leave. Registration in GS 700 is restricted to graduate students who have completed all course work, have been advanced to candidacy, and have departmental approval. Registration in a course or in GS 700 also is required in winter or summer session if that is when a student plans to graduate. Registration in GS 700 is CR/NC only.

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