California Pre-Doctoral Program 

For Undergraduate and Graduate Students in the California State University

The California Pre-Doctoral Program is designed to increase the pool of potential faculty by supporting the doctoral aspirations of California State University students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages. A special emphasis will be placed on increasing the number of CSU students who enter graduate programs at one of the University of California institutions.

Each of the applicants selected will be designated a Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar and will work closely with a California State University faculty sponsor to develop an overall plan which ultimately leads to enrollment in a doctoral program. The plan is to be tailored to the specific goals and career objectives of the student.

The Program also provides:

  1. Travel Funds for the student and faculty sponsor to visit U.S. Ph.D. granting institutions as well as to attend professional meetings appropriate to the student's development. 
  2. Summer Internship Opportunity to apply for a fully funded Summer Internship for the student to participate in doctoral-level research at a University of California campus or other U.S. research institution. 
  3. Development Funds for other related activities, such as student membership in professional organizations, subscriptions to academic journals, graduate school applications, test fees, and minor research materials cost.

General Eligibility and Selection Criteria

The students selected as Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars must be upper division or master's degree students who are enrolled at Sacramento State as of the spring semester the applications are submitted and will be enrolled at Sacramento State for at least one term of the following academic year.

Applicants will be selected on the basis of three major criteria: potential for success in completing a doctoral program, probable effectiveness of the student/faculty plan, and level of economic and educational disadvantage.

All applicants must be either U.S. citizens or permanent residents at the time of application. Current or previous California Pre-Doctoral Scholars are not eligible to apply. Each applicant must have a faculty sponsor who will be available for the duration of the plan specified in the application. The program is designed for students interested in obtaining doctoral degrees. Students interested in entering professional schools to obtain professional degrees in law, medicine, dentistry or related fields are not eligible.

Interested students should immediately contact the Graduate Diversity Program at 6000 J Street , River Front Center Room 203, Sacramento , CA 95819-6114 . For additional information call (916) 278-3834 or e-mail

*New Application Process

Although the Pre-Doc application is now subitted online directly to the Chancellor's Office, students on our campus still have the privilege of having their applications reviewed prior to submitting the online version.  Submitting your application for review by the Diversity Awards Committee (DAC) first does not guarantee that you will be selected as a Sally Casanova Scholar but does ensure that each student submitting an application is submitting the strongest application possible.

The deadline to submit your application for DAC review is Thursday, February 4, 2016.  Prior to submitting your online application, you must contact your campus coordinator to obtain approval of your application.  Applications may be submitted via hard copy directly to the Graduate Diversity office at River Front Center, Room 203 or via email to  Applications will be reviewed during the weeks of February 8 - February 19.  All suggestions for edits and revisions will be emailed to the students by Monday, February 22nd so that students can then upload their applications to the Pre-Doc site by Friday, February 26th.

Online Application Instructions

The Pre-Doctoral online application is a simple procedure that enable you to apply for the 2016 - 2017 award cycle. This application runs on IE 9+, Chrome, Firefox 3+, and Safari for Macintosh.


Remember - Prior to submitting your online application, you must contact your campus coordinator to obtain approval of your application.

In order to complete the Pre-Doctoral application you will need to have an account within the application system. Follow the link ( to the login page and create a user name and password following the instructions under the "Login for Other Users" section.

The new online system will allow you to upload documents that will be attached to your application. Once you have logged in you will see the "Essay Requirement" and the "Student Budget Template" in the right navigation of the application. Download those documents and follow the instructions. Your application will not be complete until these requirements are met. The following documents you will have to upload are:

  1. Copy of transcripts. Please scan and PDF them as one document and upload.
  2. Three separate essay questions. Please place your name and question on the document. Please save your final versions as PDF's and upload each to the proper question.
  3. You will need the "Student Budget template" filled out and uploaded. Make sure that your total amount adds up to $3,000.

You will also need one letter of recommendation from your faculty mentor. The system will email your faculty mentor using the email you provide. Note: make sure to get an email address that your faculty mentor checks regularly. The online application will notify your faculty mentor of the recommendation request. You will also be able to add a reminder date for the faculty mentor during the process.

Proposal Title field. For the Proposal Title field, please enter your full name and the acronym of your campus (first name, middle initial, last name and campus acronym, i.e., Katy J. Rasputin, CSULB).

CAMPUS APPLICATION DEADLINE:             February 10, 2017

A paper copy of the application can be downloaded here to provide to the Graduate Diversity office and to assist in filing out the online application.

Note:  The award year begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year.  This period does not include the optional Summer Research Experience that takes place during the summer following the award.

*This is a one-time award.  Current or former Pre-Doctoral Scholars are not eligible to reapply.


All applications should be submited to the Graduate Diversity Program by the campus deadline.
For more information on the Pre-Doctoral Program, please visit the Chancellor’s Office website