California Pre-Doctoral Program 

The California State University (CSU) announces its California Pre‐Doctoral Program for the 2018‐19 academic year is now OPEN.

Click here for the application

In 2018-19, the California Pre‐Doctoral Program will award funds to approximately 70 juniors, seniors, and graduate students in the CSU. These funds are designed to enable these students to explore and prepare to succeed in doctoral programs in their chosen field of study. Awards are based on competitive review of student applications and given to current upper‐division or graduate students who, in the judgment of the review panel, demonstrate academic excellence while having experienced economic or educational disadvantage, and who are committed to a career in teaching and research at the university level. All students are encouraged to apply.

For Undergraduate and Graduate Students in the California State University

The California Pre‐Doctoral Program is designed to increase the diversity of the pool from which the California State University draws its faculty. It does so by supporting the doctoral aspirations of CSU students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages. A special emphasis is placed on increasing the number of CSU students who enter doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) programs at one of the University of California campuses.

Each of the applicants selected will be designated a Sally Casanova Pre‐Doctoral Scholar and will work closely with a CSU faculty sponsor to develop an overall plan that leads to enrollment in a doctoral program. The plan should be tailored to the specific goals and career objectives of the student.

The Program also provides:

  1. Travel Funds for the student to visit U.S. doctoral‐granting institutions and/or to attend professional meetings appropriate to the student's development.
  2. Development Funds for other related activities, such as student membership in professional organizations, subscriptions to academic journals, graduate school applications and test fees, GRE preparation, and the cost of minor research materials, for example.
  3. A Summer Research Experience opportunity at a University of California campus or other U.S. major research university, fully funded by the Pre‐Doctoral Program, so that the scholar can participate in doctoral‐level research prior to enrolling in a Ph.D. program.

Participation Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Applicants to the California Pre‐Doctoral Program must be upper‐division or master's degree students who are enrolled at a CSU institution as of Spring 2018 and who will also be enrolled at a CSU campus for at least one semester (or two (2) quarter terms) of the academic year 2018‐2019.

All CSU students may apply. Current or previous Pre‐Doctoral Scholars are not eligible to re‐apply. Each applicant must have a faculty sponsor from the student’s home campus who will be available for the duration of the plan specified in the application. The program is designed for students interested in obtaining research doctorates. Students interested in obtaining professional masters or doctoral degrees (law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, or an MBA degree, for example) are not eligible.

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.

Steps to Apply:

Prior to submitting your online application, you must submit your application to the Graduate Diversity office, Riverfront Center 203, by 5:00 p.m. Friday, February 09, 2018. 

  • 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. You will have to upload the following documents:
  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.
  4. Faculty mentor letter of recommendation. You only need one letter of recommendation from your faculty mentor. Please make sure you obtain a copy of your faculty letter before turning you application in to the Graduate Diversity office and before uploading it into the online application portal.
  • 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).
  • The campus application deadline is February 09, 2018. Submit a paper copy of the application to the Graduate Diversity office on or before that date. Once your application has been reviewed by the Diversity Awards Committee you may upload your application to the Chancellor's website by February 23, 2018. 


  • Please submit one (1) hardcopy to the Graduate Diversity committee for review.
  • 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.

Campus Coordinator Contact Information 

Campus Coordinator: Carlotta Moore – Graduate Diversity Program Coordinator 
Program Address: California State University, Sacramento 
The Graduate Diversity Program
6000 J Street, River Front Center #203
Sacramento, CA 95819-6114
(916) 278-3834


All applications should be submitted to the Graduate Diversity Program by February 09, 2018.
For more information on the Pre-Doctoral Program, please visit the Chancellor’s Office website 

For More Information call:
Graduate Diversity
(916) 278-3834

Sponsored by:
The Office of Graduate Diversity