Feb 28, 2024  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
2019-2020 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Admissions

We appreciate your interest in pursuing a graduate career at San José State University. In this section you will find out more about SJSU, the programs we offer, our application process and requirements, and important deadlines and forms related to applying for graduate admission. Some additional external links that might be of interest to prospective students are also listed, including information about housing and other available services.

Graduate Programs (Doctoral, Master’s, Credential, and Advanced Certificates)

All graduate applicants (new and returning, including disqualified students who have an approved Program of Study agreement with their graduate department) must submit a complete graduate application by applying through the CSU Cal State Apply system at calstate.edu/apply. A $55 nonrefundable fee is required to submit the university application. Applicants for graduate programs are limited to the choice of a single program on each application.

Those wishing to take SJSU classes in any capacity other than through our extension programs (e.g., Open University) must apply for admission to the university and, for most programs, to the department offering the degree in which he or she is interested. After formal admission, the applicant must enroll in classes in the first term of admission to retain active matriculation status.

Former students who have previously attended SJSU and have had a break of two or more consecutive semesters in their enrollment (not counting summer/ winter session) must apply for readmission to regain their matriculation status. A former student of SJSU, whether returning after an official leave of absence or continuing immediately after receiving a baccalaureate or master’s degree, must also apply for admission. Reapplication by a previously matriculated student also results in loss of catalog rights. Therefore, returning students are subject, at departmental discretion, to current department policies and requirements.

Prospective Students

Students intending to pursue graduate work at San José State University may obtain pertinent information from a variety of sources. Careful reading of several publications will save time and prevent many difficulties that often arise due to lack of information. Publications recommended are:

  • SJSU Acadaemic Catalog - The listing of regular session courses offered at SJSU and policies and regulations by which the academic programs are governed,
  • Office of Graduate Admissions & Program Evaluations (GAPE) at sjsu.edu/graduateadmissions,
  • College of Graduate Studies at sjsu.edu/cgs, and
  • various departmental publications available from department offices and advisors.

The prospective student is encouraged to consult an academic advisor for detailed information about his or her specific program of interest. Persons assigned responsibility for advising students in specific graduate programs are listed in various sections of the SJSU catalog. In addition, the Graduate Admissions website {http://www.sjsu.edu/graduateadmissions} provides detailed information about university admission procedures and requirements.

CSU Application Procedures and Policies for Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate

All graduate applicants and post-baccalaureate (e.g., doctoral applicants, master’s degree applicants, those seeking educational credentials or certificates, and where permitted, holders of baccalaureate degrees interested in taking courses for personal or professional growth through regular or special session but not through Open University, students who have stopped out for more than one semester, students who have been disqualified) must file a complete graduate application as described in the graduate admission materials at www.calstate.edu/apply.

Applicants who completed undergraduate degree requirements in the preceding term are also required to complete and submit an application and the $55 nonrefundable application fee. To be assured of initial consideration by more than one campus, it is necessary to submit separate applications (including fees) to each. All CSU applications must be submitted online at www.calstate.edu/apply. An acknowledgement will be sent to the applicant when the online application has been submitted.


Graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants may apply for a degree objective, a credential or an advanced certificate objective. Depending on the objective, the CSU will consider an application for graduate admission as follows:

  • General Requirements - The minimum requirements for admission to graduate and post baccalaureate studies at a CSU campus are in accordance with university regulations as well as Title 5, Chapter 1, Subchapter 3 of the California Code of Regulations.
  • Specifically, 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 shall have completed equivalent academic preparation as determined by appropriate campus authorities; (2) be in good academic standing at the last college or university attended; (3) have earned a grade point average of at least 2.5 on the last degree completed by the candidate or have attained a grade point average of at least 2.5 (A=4.0 grading scale) in the last 60 semester (or 90 quarter) units attempted; and (4) satisfactorily meet the professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards for graduate study, including qualifying examinations, as appropriate campus authorities may prescribe. In unusual circumstances, a campus may make exceptions to these criteria through a formal request for special action.

Students who meet the minimum requirements for graduate and post-baccalaureate studies may be considered for admission in one of the four following categories:

  • Graduate Classified - To pursue a graduate degree, applicants are required to fulfill all of the professional, personal, scholastic and other standards, including qualifying examinations, prescribed by the campus; or
  • Graduate Conditionally Classified - Applicants may be admitted to a graduate degree program in this category if, in the opinion of appropriate campus authority, deficiencies may be remedied by additional preparation; or
  • Post-Baccalaureate Classified, e.g. admission to an education credential program - Persons wishing to enroll in a credential or certificate program will be required to satisfy additional professional, personal, scholastic and other standards, including qualifying examinations, prescribed by the campus; or
  • Post-Baccalaureate Unclassified - To enroll in undergraduate courses as preparation for advanced degree programs or to enroll in graduate courses for professional or personal growth, applicants must be admitted as post-baccalaureate unclassified students. By meeting the general requirements, applicants are eligible for admission as post-baccalaureate unclassified students. Admission in this status does not constitute admission to, or assurance of consideration for admission to, any graduate degree or credential program. (Most CSU campuses do not offer admission to unclassified postbaccalaureate students.)

(These and other CSU admission requirements are subject to change as policies are revised and laws are amended. The CSU website www.calstate.edu and the CSU admissions portal www.calstate.edu/apply are good sources for the most up-to-date information.)

Requirements for International Students

The CSU must assess the academic preparation of international students. The designation, “international students” includes those who are seeking to hold a student visa, hold U.S. visas as students (F-1), exchange visitors (J-1), or are in other nonimmigrant classifications and have completed their prior education in institutions outside of the U.S.

The CSU uses specific requirements and application submission dates in the admission of international (F-1/J-1 seeking) students. Verification of English proficiency (see the section Admission - International Student - English-Language Proficiency Exam Requirement ), financial resources, and academic performance are all important considerations for admission. World Education Services (WES) are used in lieu of academic records from international institutions. WES evaluations must be on file by the stated deadlines for the admission term. Although WES evaluations are used for the authentication of academic documents, the evaluation of credentials and GPA will be conducted by the evaluation team at the Graduate Admissions & Program Evaluations (GAPE) office (deadlines).

Test Requirements

New graduate students enrolling at SJSU who matriculate with graduate degree objectives may be required to take one or more parts of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Students with graduate objectives in Business (MBA, MSTax, MSAcct, MSTmMgt) are required to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Some departments may require a locally developed qualification examination in their subject matter areas. Test requirements can be viewed online, and on graduate program web pages.

Applications and information about dates of administration for the GRE and GMAT are available in the Testing Office.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

All graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose native language is not English and whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English must demonstrate competence in English. SJSU does not accept English-medium of instruction as a substitute for an English-language proficiency exam such as TOEFL, IELTS, or the Pearson’s Test of English. Letters from applicants or institutions will not be accepted. Note that scores lower than the minimum will not be accepted and waivers will not be given for lower scores. Also note that a few of our graduate programs do require a higher minimum score than what is posted by the university at sjsu.edu/graduateadmissions/admission-requirements/test-requirements/index.html.

English Language Proficiency Examination Minimum Score

TOEFL iBT (Internet-based) 80
TOEFL paper-based 550
Academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 6.5
Academic Pearson Test of English (PTE) 53

Transcript Submission

Transcripts submitted for admission purposes must be official and sent directly from the originating school or college to Graduate Admissions & Program Evaluations (GAPE), San Jose State University, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192-0017. International applicants must request WES evaluations to be sent directly to San Jose State University. Unofficial transcripts submitted via the student are not acceptable for this purpose. Records submitted become the property of the university and will not be released to the student. If a student does not fully complete an application and enroll, the records will be kept on file for about one year and then destroyed.

Graduate applicants must submit to the GAPE office one official transcript or WES evaluation from each accredited institution attended. Failure to report to the university on the admissions application all previous college-level enrollment and to provide transcripts certifying that enrollment are regarded as serious infractions of university policy and may be punishable by permanent separation from the university. Some departments may also require applicants to file additional transcripts with their graduate advisor. Program requirements are located on departmental websites, which can be accessed by clicking on the program name at www.sjsu.edu/graduateadmissions/admission-requirements/degree-program-requirements/index.html.

Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations (GAPE)

GAPE processes the admission for all graduate and teaching credential programs. For most programs, the admissions process is two-step, whereby applicants apply to the university and the department program. Applicants must first pass CSU eligibility and then pass the admission criteria of the department program.

For new students, the GAPE office

  • Receives all university applications, including supplemental materials such as transcripts, residency information, and declaration of finances
  • Reviews documents for completeness
  • Refers applications that meet minimum CSU eligibility requirements to departmental graduate advisors
  • Sends out official letters of acceptance for those applicants accepted by both the university and the academic program.

For continuing students, GAPE evaluators assigned to each degree program review advancement to candidacy and graduation requests for accuracy and alignment with policies and procedures of the university and the academic programs.

Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations

Student Services Center, Window G
Current Graduate Students: www.sjsu.edu/gape
Graduate Admissions: www.sjsu.edu/graduateadmissions/