Feb 29, 2024  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
2019-2020 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master’s Students

Advancement to Candidacy

Matriculated graduate students must advance to candidacy a minimum of one semester prior to graduating. Advancement to candidacy requires that the student be in good standing. That is, a minimum of a 3.0 GPA is required in upper-division and graduate courses taken while in graduate status, and in the degree program as indicated by all courses on the candidacy form. The student must be classified with all admissions’ provisions and program conditions cleared. Also required is a minimum of 9 units of letter-graded coursework as a graduate student in 100- or 200-level courses that are acceptable to the department in which the degree is sought. Exceptions to this rule can be made for two-semester master’s programs. University policy also stipulates the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement be fulfilled before advancement to candidacy. However, for special cases, the candidacy form, formally entitled the Petition for Advancement to Graduate Candidacy (available at www.sjsu.edu/gape/forms), may be filed during the semester in which a GWAR-satisfying course is taken. Advancement to candidacy will be formally denied during the semester, but the form will be kept on file by the GAPE office and approved when a passing grade is posted at the end of the semester.

Final Examinations

It is university policy to require final examinations or defenses in master’s degree programs in all departments. Departmental requirements for these examinations vary; they may be oral, written, or a combination of both. Students following Plans A and C are usually examined primarily over areas of their theses or projects. Plan B students are generally required to demonstrate their competence by writing in a broad field of concentration, by taking comprehensive examinations, or by completing a broad course project.

In all cases, it is the candidate’s responsibility to register through the departmental coordinator of graduate studies to take all required final examinations. The candidate’s advisor and/or the departmental graduate coordinator will be able to supply general information concerning the nature of the examinations and recommended preparation for them.

The master’s degree cannot be considered for conferral to the candidate until the major department certifies to the program evaluator at GAPE via the Verification of Culminating Experience memo that final examinations have been completed satisfactorily.

Master’s Degree Program

As indicated above, the Petition for Advancement to Graduate Candidacy (“candidacy form”) is submitted to GAPE when the student is qualified to advance to candidacy. This form lists all courses and culminating experiences that must be fulfilled for degree award. The proposed program must meet the following requirements:

  • statement of the total number of units in the degree program.
  • at least half of the units included on the form must be in 200-level courses.
  • at least 60% of all units included must be in letter-graded course work.
  • at least 70% of the units included must in be residence at SJSU. Therefore, a maximum of 9 units may be transferred into a 30-unit program from all sources.

The course work included may be entirely within the major department, or it may include a combination of courses drawn from other fields acceptable to the major advisor, so long as it is within the parameters set by the department in the program descriptions on department websites. If deficiencies in the student’s record are identified, including in prerequisites for required courses, additional course work can be assigned by the major advisor. This course work would not appear on the candidacy form and would not be counted in the total number of units required for the degree.

Coursework that may not be applied to the graduate degree includes basic skills’ courses such as lower-division work, courses used to earn any prior degree (except other master’s degrees at SJSU), courses taken at unaccredited institutions, directed (student) teaching, or 300-level residence or 400-level Professional Education courses taken at SJSU, or courses taken over seven years previous to current degree conferral. Graduate credit by examination is not permitted.

There is no restriction in the number of units of project or thesis research (usually 298 courses) attempted but not included on the candidacy form. However, students completing a thesis must include at least one 299 unit on the form, and the total number must be commensurate with program requirements. Students may not receive credit for project units unless the project course is successfully completed; instead either an RP or NC grade should be assigned in the semester of enrollment; extensions beyond the semester are prohibited without enrollment in that class in a subsequent semester.

Students may not receive credit for 299 units unless a thesis is submitted and accepted by the College of Graduate Studies. If thesis units are credited on the student record without thesis approval, the units must be retroactively withdrawn. The process of withdrawal is initiated by the student by submitting the Graduate Petition for Course/Semester Withdrawal, available at www.sjsu.edu/gape/forms.

The original copy of the completed, signed Petition for Advancement to Graduate Candidacy should be submitted to GAPE in the Student Services Center by the deadlines posted at www.sjsu.edu/gape/current_students/deadlines/. The student will be informed by the approval or denial of the petition through the student’s MySJSU account under “Other Indicators”.

Graduate Policies - Required Enrollment for Culminating Graduate Students - 1290R  

Program Course Work

The candidacy form, once approved, is an official contract between the student and university. It can be changed only with the permission of the graduate advisor via written petition to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, and even then the petition is likely to be denied. Course substitutions can be made by submission to GAPE of the Request for Course Substitution in Master’s Degree Program, available at www.sjsu.edu/gape/forms. A course may not be dropped from the graduate degree program, as indicated by its appearance on an approved candidacy form, once it has been completed.

If a student obtains permission to change programs and the second program has different requirements than the first one, then a new candidacy form must be filed; graded courses on the first form can be eliminated on the second form if not part of the new curriculum.


Graduation Requirements

After being admitted to candidacy for the master’s degree, the student is then required to

  • Maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (“B”) in completing requirements in the graduate degree program. The program is defined as completed courses included in the original graduate degree program plus all additions or substitutions.
  • Complete all courses in the graduate degree program with grades between “A” and “C,” or “CR.” Grades of “C-” or lower, including “NC,” “U,” “IC” and “WU,” are considered to be unsatisfactory. Should courses in the graduate degree program be completed with unsatisfactory grades, these grades must remain in the program and will continue to be computed in the grade point average of the program whether they are repeated or not.
  • Complete all requirements for the degree as listed in the degree template in the university catalog. Substitutions for core and other required courses in the template must be justified by graduate advisor petitioning of the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.
  • Complete an acceptable thesis, project or comprehensive examination. The thesis (Plan A) or creative project (Plan C) requires that one copy be submitted to the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. In Plan B, completed projects are submitted to the student’s major department and a final comprehensive oral and/or written examination over the field of concentration for the degree must usually be successfully completed. Failure on initial attempts at these exams results in administrative-academic probation. Failure of the final attempt results in administrative-academic disqualification from the degree program. The program evaluator at GAPE is notified of passage of the exam by means of graduate advisor completion of the Verification of Culminating Experience memo.
  • Complete all work on the graduate degree program within seven years preceding award of the degree. If courses become outdated, the candidate should consult the section titled Graduate Degree - Time Limits  on Courses in Graduate Degree Programs concerning steps to be followed.
  • Apply for award of the master’s degree by posted deadline dates through your MySJSU account two weeks after achieving advancement to candidacy.
  • Note that failure to clear incomplete (“I”), report-in-progress (“RP”), or report-delayed (“RD”) grades will prevent graduation. An “I” obtained in a graded class results in an automatic grade change to an “IC” grade, which calculates to an “F” grade on the transcript, even after separation or graduation. In an ungraded (“CR/NC”) course, the “I” reverts to a no credit (“NC”) grade and is, therefore, also unsatisfactory for graduation if in a course on the candidacy form.
  • Be in good academic standing (cumulative 3.0 minimum GPA in Graduate Division) at San José State University to receive a degree from this university.

Applying for the Master’s Degree

The Petition for Advancement to Graduate Candidacy Form must be approved by the GAPE office before applying for graduation. Students should apply for graduation at least one semester before the date of anticipated graduation. However, it is highly advised that students apply at least one year before their future graduation date.

Advancement to candidacy is permitted only when all conditions of admission, if applicable, are met, nine letter-graded units, all with grades of C or better and a GPA of 3.0 or better have been achieved, and the graduate GWAR has been completed. For detailed information about these requirements, please visit sjsu.edu/gape/current_students/completing_masters/ and the catalog section Graduate Degree - Advancement to Candidacy.

IMPORTANT: Eligible students can apply for graduation through self-service within their MySJSU account approximately two weeks after students have been approved for advancement to candidacy by the GAPE office. Students will be sent a MySJSU message including instructions and prompting them to apply for graduation. Only students that apply for graduation will be considered for graduation review.

Please note the following:

  • All courses and requirements must be completed by the date of graduation.
  • Any Incomplete (I), Report Delayed (RD), or Report Pending (RP) grades must be cleared before the degree can be awarded.
  • Once the degree has been posted, no grade changes can be made to the record.
  • If a student is unable to complete the course work stipulated on the candidacy form or if the date of graduation is delayed, a Graduation Date Change Request for Award of Master’s Degree must be requested through sjsu.edu/gape/forms/ (see Online Graduation Date Change Request)
  • Required forms must be submitted by the deadlines posted on the GAPE website at sjsu.edu/gape/current_ students/deadlines/
  • Students are urged not to delay; failure to submit forms by the deadlines posted could delay graduation.

Master’s Thesis Requirements

Time is critical during the semester of submission of a master’s thesis. Students must allow enough time for preparation of the draft, consideration by graduate committee members by the deadline dates set in departments, word processing, acquisition of permissions to publish, and the inevitable corrections. Students must leave time for the final reading and signing by the committee members. In most departments, a minimum of two months is needed for the entire process, and some departments require a longer period. Students should confer with each committee member in advance regarding the time each requires for review and whether each will be in town and available when the review and signatures are due.

All instructions for thesis and dissertation formatting and submission to Graduate Studies are located in the SJSU Master’s Thesis Guidelines at https://www.sjsu.edu/gape/current_students/completing_masters/#7.

These instructions provide general guidance for authors of master’s theses at SJSU. Examples of front pages are provided in the guidelines. Students should read the guidelines carefully and consult their advisors concerning the format of the thesis, the professional style guide to use, and journal articles to emulate, if applicable. The major department sometimes provides students with more complete formatting instructions. In rare cases, Graduate Studies will provide assistance.

SJSU participates in the University Microfilm International (UMI) Dissertation Information Service. Students completing theses and dissertations are required to email their committee-approved manuscript and accompanying documents to Graduate Studies according to the instructions provided in the SJSU Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines at https://www.sjsu.edu/gape/current_students/completing_masters/#7.

Checking the Manuscript

The College of Graduate Studies does not serve as an editor. The author and graduate committee members should carefully proofread the thesis before it is submitted. A careful review should be used by the student as a guide to correcting similar errors in the entire manuscript. The review conducted by College of Graduate Studies should also be regarded as an indicator of problems to be addressed globally throughout the manuscript. Making only the changes specifically indicated, rather than applying the criticisms to the remainder of the document, would not only result in a flawed document but would also be beneath graduate school standards. College of Graduate Studies will reject a thesis with excessive errors.

Students can prevent rejection of the thesis by ensuring that the final manuscript is free of the following frequent errors: pages for which no numbers are assigned, failure to apply reference style consistently or to cite references when needed, careless spacing or centering, inappropriate margins, incorrect footnotes or bibliography entries, redundancy, awkward or unclear sentences, grammatical errors, punctuation errors, spelling errors, word-usage errors and inconsistencies in or lack of adherence to style-manual formatting rules.

Neither SJSU nor any of its separate offices or departments is responsible for matters concerning a student’s relationships or agreements with any outside agency or individual consulted for manuscript preparation. Neither the university nor any of its offices will take part in disagreements between students and typists, editors or copy shops with regard to thesis preparation services, expected costs or billed costs. A student conducting thesis research off site, for example at a local company, must be free to include all of it in the thesis. SJSU’s legal relationship is only with the student and his or her compliance with the rules set forth in this and related documents and does not include any obligations to the company in question unless expressly agreed upon in a separate legal document.

Plans A, B and C

SJSU offers three plans for candidates for master’s degrees.

Plan A - Thesis Plan

This plan requires approval by the candidate’s advisor and other members of the thesis committee of a thesis topic and its satisfactory production in written form. Plan A requires registration in departmental 299, Master’s Thesis, for at least one unit. Departmental 298 units or other department-specific thesis research or methodology courses are often also taken during the data-gathering stages of the thesis research. While the total number of 298 and 299 units, as well as units in any other project or thesis-research or preparatory course, is restricted for degree credit (and therefore inclusion on the candidacy form) by departmental rules and university policy, the total number of these units taken is not restricted.

Plan B - Degree-Without-Thesis Plan

Plan B is characterized by substitution of the thesis and departmental 299 units with another set of courses and either a project or comprehensive exam. The plan is expected to provide substantial practical experiences by means of the tools and techniques of advanced study in the field. The purpose of Plan B is most often to provide breadth, rather than specialization, and so is tailored by the selection of courses and the nature of the final, comprehensive exam. The exam may be oral, written, or both and constitutes the culminating experience in the plan. Many departments historically have assigned students to Plan B for projects, whether they are also accompanied by a comprehensive exam or not. The projects are usually conducted as part of a departmental 298 or otherwise numbered 200-level project course for a maximum of six units, as stipulated by the department, and the write-up for the project is required as part of the culminating experience. Departmental 299 units are not permitted for graduate credit under this plan.

Plan C - Special Plans Including Creative Projects

This plan is reserved for exceptional cases for which needs will be served best through a special arrangement of courses and/or special creative assignments. The assignments might include original paintings, dramatic presentations, motion picture productions, works of sculpture, electronic media or videotapes. In these cases, the candidate is required to submit a written report on the creative project in the form of a supplementary guide or handbook that puts the work into historical, cultural and/or professional context. This written report is to be cataloged in the university’s institutional repository in the University Library in the same manner as regular theses discussed under Plan A. Departmental advisors will provide further information on special requirements of the plan. Plan C requires registration in a minimum of one unit of departmental 299. Note that creative projects can also be conducted under the Plan B umbrella without the submission of a thesis or taking departmental 299 units.

Thesis/Creative Project Unit Conditions

Registration for departmental 299 thesis courses occurs only after advancement to candidacy for the master’s degree. By that point, the thesis committee should be fully established in accordance with the SJSU University policy. Before collection of data from human subjects, prior approval must be granted by the Institutional Review Board; see the section on Human Subjects Data Collection. Similarly, prior approval for research on or employing animals must be granted by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee; see the section on Animal Research Guidelines.

A student is allowed a maximum of nine semester units of thesis research and writing courses (departmental 299 and usually 298 but other thesis courses apply) for graduate credit in Plan A and Plan C, although more of these units can be attempted. There is no minimum requirement except that all thesis students must have at least one 299 unit. The student may register for any or all of the required thesis units in one semester, but the sequence should follow departmental guidelines and regulations. All 299 units will receive a grade of “RP” until a final grade (“CR” or “NC”) is awarded when the thesis is approved by Graduate Studies. “RP” units cannot be changed to “CR” until that time. Extensions of the two-year period for completing thesis work under the “RP” designation should be made before the period expires by means of the form available at www.sjsu.edu/gape/forms. Upon satisfactory completion of the thesis, a “CR” is submitted by the thesis chair via the Change-of-Grade form to the Registrar to clear the “RP.” A separate form must be submitted for each occurrence of “RP” (each semester the grade is displayed) on the record.

Copyright Permission

If a student copies a figure, table or a significant section of someone else’s work and it is believed that the use of these copyrighted materials is beyond that permitted by “fair use,” the student will be required to obtain separate written permission letters from the publishers or authors of the works cited. It must be indicated in the text or figure caption within the thesis that the material is “copied with permission.” The student should plan well so that permission letters will be received in time. If letters of permission are not submitted with the final copies of the thesis, College of Graduate Studies will not approve the thesis, and UMI will not microfilm the work.

The permission letters should be included with the initial submission of the thesis as well as when the thesis is submitted for publication. For questions about the process, including whether permission is required for a particular insertion, contact the thesis coordinator at College of Graduate Studies.

College of Graduate Studies

ADM 146

Human Subjects Data Collection

If a thesis includes data gathered from human subjects, whether experiments, surveys, or interviews, the students must obtain approval from the SJSU Human Subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB). Information concerning the use of human participants is available online at or from the www.sjsu.edu/research/irb or from the IRB coordinator at 408-924-2479. Approval must be obtained from SJSU prior to data collection regardless of whether the research is done in conjunction with another institution that has given its approval. Approval must also be obtained even if the work is ultimately determined to be “exempt.” Federal law prohibits retroactive approval of human subjects research. Any human subject work conducted before IRB permission cannot be included in a thesis. The thesis will not be approved if it fails to comply with IRB policy.

Once the research is approved, thesis submission must include a copy of the permission letter, whether as a document separate from the thesis or as an appendix to the thesis. Failure to submit the appropriate documentation can result in a delay or denial of thesis approval by College of Graduate Studies.

Animal Research Requirements

If the thesis includes research activities involving vertebrate animals or select invertebrate species, the care and use of animals or their tissues must be approved by the SJSU Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Information concerning IACUC requirements and procedures is available from the IACUC Coordinator and online at http://www.sjsu.edu/research/iacuc/index.html. Animal research approval from SJSU must be obtained prior to data collection even if the work is done in conjunction with another institution from which approval has been granted. SJSU prohibits retroactive approval of animal research that is considered ongoing or completed. The official letter of protocol review, obtained with IACUC approval, must be submitted along with the thesis whether as an appendix or as a separate document. Failure to submit the necessary documentation can result in a delay or denial of the thesis by College of Graduate Studies.


The last three steps in the thesis process are outlined below:

  1. After the thesis has received final departmental (graduate committee) approval, as indicated by committee signatures, the complete document should be emailed along with the completed Thesis Information Packet, available at http://www.sjsu.edu/cgs/current-students/thesis-and-dissertation-information/index.html. Deadline dates for submission may be found at http://www.sjsu.edu/cgs/current-students/thesis-and-dissertation-information/index.html. The deadlines are firm, and exceptions are extremely rare.
  2. The thesis will be read and returned to the student with an assessment by the staff from College of Graduate Studies as accepted without corrections, provisionally accepted with corrections, or not accepted.
  3. If the manuscript has an abundance of errors in formatting, grammar, punctuation or other writing parameters, corrections will have to be made. The advisors on the student’s graduate committee should be consulted about these corrections. It bears repeating that the College of Graduate Studies staff reads and edits only portions of the manuscript, but it is expected that errors of the kinds indicated be corrected throughout the manuscript. If the manuscript is accepted with corrections, the student will be instructed to resubmit it within about a four-week period from the point of notification. If it is rejected, the revised manuscript may not be submitted until the following semester.

Second Master’s Degree (Sequential and Simultaneous)

There are two options for acquiring a second master’s degrees. Graduate students who have completed one master’s degree program at San José State University may, with the approval of the new department, complete requirements for a second master’s degree at this institution.

In the first option, the student interested in a sequential second graduate degree after finishing another master’s degree must apply for admission to the second graduate degree program after the first degree is completed and recorded on the permanent record. All policies and procedures listed in this catalog applicable to satisfactory completion of a master’s degree apply to completion of requirements for a second master’s degree, including that program requirements must be completed within a seven-year period. Graduate Studies at SJSU will not admit an applicant in pursuit of a master’s degree if it is determined that the applicant has a similar degree already. Pursuit of a second master’s degree will receive a lower priority for admission.

The second option is pursuit of two simultaneous master’s degrees. A student in good standing enrolled in one master’s program may pursue a second master’s degree. Matriculated master’s students do not need to formally reapply to the university through Cal State Apply. However, the student must secure approval from and admission into the second master’s degree program. This requires submission of all application materials previously requested of applicants by the department or school to the first degree program, as well as any additional materials required by the second program. Current transcripts, GRE scores, English-language test scores and letters of recommendation might be among those items required by the second department or school. The student is responsible for making those items available to the department regardless of his or her date of matriculation into the first major. Individual department deadlines apply for acceptance in any particular semester. Note: Approval for admission into the second master’s program is given by means of its graduate advisor’s signature on the Master’s Level Double Degree Application; Contact the GAPE office for more information on this process.

The stipulation, however, is that a student pursuing simultaneous master’s degrees cannot apply for graduation or be awarded either degree until both degree programs are complete. Both degrees must effectively be completed at the same time, and diplomas are issued for both degrees. If a student gains admission into a second degree program while still pursuing the first degree and applies for graduation before finishing the second program, he or she will be awarded the first master’s degree and then lose matriculated status. Student status will thus be revoked and pursuit of a second master’s degree prohibited. To satisfy this procedural requirement, a student should simply delay the request for award of the first degree until the second degree program requirements have been fulfilled. Please keep in mind that graduate units expire after seven years.

Alternatively, if a second master’s degree is desired but will not be completed at the same time as the first, the student must file for graduation from the first degree program and formally apply for admission into the second program. That would require a full application, submission of all documentation required by the university and the department of the second master’s program, and acceptance by both entities. Pursuit of a second master’s degree will receive a lower priority for admission.

An approved program for a second degree should be prepared by the student and graduate advisor in the new field. If the new program happens to include course work taken in the first degree, a maximum of 33% of the total units required for the new degree may be courses completed in the previous degree at this institution. Thus, for example, a student might be permitted to apply up to 10 units toward a 30-unit program. Such courses must have been completed by the student with a grade of “A,” “B” or, in special cases, “CR.” The courses must be approved by the graduate advisor, who may limit the number of transferred units. The 33% level is allowed only for transfer of units from master’s degree programs taken at SJSU. Transfer from completed degree programs at other institutions is not allowed.

Please note that both simultaneous degree programs must be completed in the same semester to qualify for the double degree award. Both programs must also be completed within seven years. The student who finds he or she cannot complete both degree programs in the same semester has the option of dropping one of the programs and receiving a single degree. Dropping one of the programs requires informing GAPE in writing.

Time Limits

Section 40510(b)(2), California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Education, requires that courses in completed master’s degree programs be no older than seven years at the time of the degree award. The seven-year period is counted from the end of the semester in which the course was completed. Thus no more than seven years may elapse between the time the first course in a graduate program is completed and the time the last item in the program is completed, the latter indicating fulfillment of all degree requirements. With an outdated course, the candidate has the following options:

  • Repeat the outdated course with a passing grade but without credit. The new grades will be factored into the GPA for graduation, and all grade requirements, such as the 3.0 minimum GPA, will still be in effect.
  • Under some circumstances, another course (one already completed or to be taken) may be used to substitute for an outdated course. Permission for the substitution must be obtained from both the program’s graduate advisor and the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. This practice is highly discouraged, as it violates the rule that completed courses may not be removed from the candidacy form. If the original course is available for enrollment, it is unlikely that permission will be granted.
  • Revalidate the outdated SJSU course by examination. Revalidation of courses is governed by University Policy S17-7 {http://www.sjsu.edu/senate/docs/S17-7.pdf}. A student may revalidate a maximum of 9 units of a 30-unit master’s degree program, or 12 units for a program with more than 30 units. Only courses in which a student has earned a “B” or better may be revalidated. Permission to revalidate from Graduate Studies or from GAPE is not required; examination can proceed and the results communicated to the program evaluator at GAPE by the form entitled Request for Revalidation of Course that Has Exceeded the Seven-Year Time Limit available at www.sjsu.edu/gape/forms. Course work completed at other institutions is not eligible for revalidation, but transfer courses taken at SJSU may be revalidated. However, some kinds of courses cannot be revalidated, including supervisory courses such as project and thesis courses, seminar courses, independent study courses, and internship courses.
  • Departmental course, which satisfy the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR), do not expire and, therefore, need not be revalidated. Other courses that satisfy GWAR are more content-based and do expire; those can be revalidated.

Veterans who are candidates for graduate degrees and who have had their graduate programs interrupted by military service may petition through the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies to extend the time limit imposed by the above regulations by the amount of time spent in military service. Nevertheless, students in this situation should apply for formal leaves of absence through the University Registrar, thereby making it unnecessary to contact Graduate Studies.

Interdisciplinary Studies Program

The Interdisciplinary Studies Major for either a Master of Arts or a Master of Science degree provides an alternative for individuals whose desired study plans do not fit the degree offerings of any single existing degree program on campus. In most cases, a thesis is required for this degree. Applicants or graduate students in other majors who wish to undertake the Interdisciplinary Studies major should consult the College of Graduate Studies website at http://www.sjsu.edu/cgs/current-students/interdisciplinary-studies/index.html to obtain the Guide for Interdisciplinary Studies Majors. The guide contains the Proposal for Interdisciplinary Studies Major, which must be completed to obtain initial approval by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies to be able to enter the program.

For more information on the Interdisciplinary Studies program, contact:

College of Graduate Studies

ADM 146

Leave of Absence

By University Policy S15-3, a formal leave of absence for graduate students for medical, care-giving, military service, personal hardship, or educational reasons may be requested by submission of the fully signed and documented Leave of Absence Petition. For detailed information on the process and restrictions see Leaves of Absence and Withdrawal {http://info.sjsu.edu/static/policies/leaveswithdrawal.html}.

Graduate students are eligible for all leaves of absence except when finished with all degree requirements other than their culminating experience (thesis, project, and/or comprehensive exam plus any other components required of the major). At that point, neither stopping out (voluntary absence for a semester) nor financial leaves are permissible and students must register for 1 unit of University Studies (UNVS) 1290R or a Departmental 1290R (Thesis/Project Supervision) through special session every semester until graduation (See Thesis and Project Work - RP Status - Graduate {http://info.sjsu.edu/static/policies/rpstatus.html}). During this stage of a graduate student’s career, leaves of absence for any reason beyond medical or military shall be precluded except under rare circumstances.

Note: International students may not take a leave of absence and must remain in the United States except for documented medical reasons. International students must be enrolled in a full course of study (9 units) for two semesters annually. Winter and Summer registration are not required. If you have further questions please contact the International Student Advising Office.

Note that the seven-year limit on course expiration (see Graduate Degree - Time Limits {http://info.sjsu.edu/static/policies/gradtimelimit.html}) remains in effect even for students who have taken leaves of absence, so it is important to plan carefully when applying for a leave of absence. Upon a student’s return, the student’s catalog rights shall pertain to his or her most recent admission date.