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Office of Graduate Studies Academic Affairs

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How to Apply (Application Information & Procedures)

Welcome Applicant!

These instructions are for domestic U.S. applicants (US Citizens, Resident Aliens or H visa) only. For International students, visit Applicants with Foreign Documents.

International students (F or J Visas) must apply through International Admissions. Do not fill out the general graduate studies application as it will be invalid.

This information is only for applicants interested in Doctorate Degrees, Master's Degrees, Teaching Credentials or Post-Baccalaureate Study. Those seeking a Bachelor’s degree or a Second Bachelor’s degree should contact Undergraduate Admissions.

Application Instructions & Fees

About Applying to Sacramento State

Sacramento State operates under a completion deadline process. Your file must be complete by the application deadline date. Your Cal State Apply application must be submitted with all required documents and all Letters of Recommendation requested, if applicable, as well as all officials transcripts (for more information, see the Transcripts and Academic Records section).

Applications are term specific, which means that Sacramento State will not defer or roll forward your application or admission from term to term. If you do not attend Sacramento State in the term designated on your application, then you must reapply to be considered for admissions to Sacramento State. Applicants may apply to only one program per admission cycle.

Applying to graduate school at Sacramento State entails a simultaneous two-part process, and all steps must be completed by the application deadline. The first step is applying to the University through Cal State Apply. The second step is submitting your official transcripts (see Transcripts and Academic Records section). Both steps must be completed by the application deadline date. The Cal State Apply application is paired with your transcripts to verify that you are eligible to apply for your intended program.

Deadlines to submit applications are set by each department and are subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date list of deadlines, please visit the Application Deadlines page.

Submit Online Application, Fees, & Documentation

The application process has been streamlined such that applicants upload all of their program’s supplemental materials and request letters of recommendation at the time of Cal State Apply application submission. Below are the steps that all applicants who do not have foreign documents must follow:

  1. Everyone must fill out the Cal State Apply application. Complete at least one week before the deadline to allow time for all steps of the application process to be complete before the deadline Please note the following:
    • Spring applicants may start submitting online applications starting August 1st
    • Fall applicants may start submitting online applications starting October 1st
  2. All post-baccalaureate/graduate applicants must pay the $70 (in U.S. funds), non-refundable, application fee.
    • Said fee is required for each application filed and is required at the time the application is submitted.
  3. All applicants must have the most current transcripts on file with The Office of Graduate Studies from every Univeristy they've attended including community colleges.
    • If you attended Sac State as an Undergrad and have not taken any coursework elsewhere since, we do not need a copy of your transcripts (since they're already on file from your time as an Undergrad).
    • Transcripts must be in by the deadline date. E-transcripts are preferred.
    • If you have questions about transcripts, please contact us via telephone or email.

Department Supplemental Applications

If the program you are applying to requires additional documents, you will be prompted to upload them through Cal State Apply during the application process.

Please note: A University Application is always required and incomplete applications will be denied.

Transcripts and Academic Records

Applicants are required to submit one (1) OFFICIAL transcript from ALL colleges and universities attended, in university sealed envelopes or through the university’s e-transcript service, directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by the application deadline. Applications will not be processed until all transcripts have been received.
Transcripts are considered unofficial if the transcripts are electronically sent directly from the applicant's personal email address OR if a physical transcript arrives via mail that is not in an Official University sealed envelope.

Submission of Transcripts

  • Please do not have the university send transcripts through their e-transcript service BEFORE you apply. If your application is not yet in our system, your transcripts may not be matched to your application resulting in delays.
  • Electronic transcripts must be sent directly to The Office of Graduate Studies via an official University e-transcript service.
  • Transcripts already on file with CSU, Sacramento need not be resubmitted unless there is additional coursework to be reported. If you completed your Undergrad coursework at Sac State, we do not need your transcripts again.
  • The average processing time for transcripts is 1-2 weeks after they are received. This time may be longer during peak times, so please allow adequate time for processing. Also, allow additional processing time if the name on the transcript does not match the name on your application.

For electronic transcripts submission systems that allow you to enter an e-mail address, please use the following e-mail address: gradtranscripts@csus.edu

It is the responsibility of the applicant to enter the correct e-mail address and to confirm that the Office of Graduate Studies has received their transcript(s).

Physical transcripts for those institutions that do not send official transcripts electronically can be addressed to:

Office of Graduate Studies
California State University, Sacramento
Riverfront Center, Room 215, MS 6112
6000 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95819


Please note: Applicants who attended foreign institutions are required to submit transcripts one month prior to application deadline, in order to allow time for foreign credential evaluation. Please see Applicants with Foreign Documents section for details.

Argosy University Transcripts

On March 8, 2019, all Argosy campuses closed. Students seeking transcripts should use this link in order to request your Argosy University transcript.

Admission Requirements

The minimum requirements to be considered for admission to Graduate Studies are:

  1. An acceptable four year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution (listed below) to be conferred prior to beginning graduate course work. (If degree was obtained outside of the United States, degree conferring institution must be recognized by the home country’s ministry of education)
    • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools or The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA), https://www.hlcommission.org/
    • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools or The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) http://www.msche.org/
    • New England Association of Colleges and Schools or The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges http://cihe.neasc.org/
    • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACOC) http://www.sacscoc.org/
    • Western Association of Schools and Colleges http://www.wascsenior.org/
    • Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges or The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) http://www.nwccu.org/
  2. A minimum GPA that meets the requirements of the program to which you are applying. Please visit the Graduate Programs page for department-specific GPA requirements.

Graduate/Post-Baccalaureate applicants may not apply for, or otherwise attempt to obtain, a duplicate graduate degree. A duplciate degree is another degree that includes the same or similar curricula, whether or not the name of the degree(s)/program(s) are an exact match. Please see the Sacramento State's duplicate degrees policy.

Graduate/Post-Baccalaureate applicants may apply for a degree or credential program by meeting the minimum requirements for admission in accordance with University regulations as well as Title 5, Section 3 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR), which states that a student shall have completed a four year college course of study and hold an acceptable baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, or shall have completed equivalent academic preparation as determined by appropriate campus authorities.

Admission Appeals

Graduate students whose applications have been denied or withdrawn have the right to appeal as outlined in Section 89030.7 of the California Education Code.

Admission Denial Appeal Processs:

Applicants to graduate programs who have been denied admission should first contact their academic program or department directly if they wish to inquire as to the basis for the original decision or to request reconsideration.

Graduate admission denial appeals will be considered only in terms of fair implementation of university and program admission policies. The graduate program is solely responsible for evaluating the admissibility of applicants to its program. If you wish to inquire as to the basis for this original decision, please contact the Graduate Coordinator of the program to which you applied. The Office of Graduate Studies defers to the specific department/program to which an applicant is applying to make the ultimate admissions decision.

The Office of Graduate Studies has the right to deny an appeal solely on the basis that the appeal was incomplete at the time of submission or not submitted within the specified timeframe for appeals.

To submit an appeal, carefully read and follow the steps below. Only complete appeals will be considered. Appeals must be written and submitted by the applicant.

Appeals must be submitted within 15 days. All appeals must be received within 15 business days of date of the "deny" notification/communication from Sacramento State Office of Graduate Studies. Applicants who were denied admission may only submit one appeal per admission term.

Gather required documentation: To have an appeal processed, you must submit the Admission Appeal Request Form, Letter of Appeal and Supporting Documentation.

A complete submission includes:

Admission Appeal Request Form (Download PDF, complete form, and email to gradappeals@csus.edu)

    • Letter of appeal detailing your extenuating circumstance (e.g., hospitalization, military service, family crisis)

Supporting documentation that substantiates your appeal and contains verifiable evidence supporting the justification for the appeal. Depending on why your admission was denied, documentation can include:

  • Unofficial or official college transcripts from all institutions where the student registered for courses at any time.
  • List of all coursework in progress or planned.
  • Prior experience, knowledge, skills that support admission into the program

Submit your appeal with supporting documentation to the Office of Graduate Admission Appeal: gradappeals@csus.edu

Allow time for processing: Appeals will be reviewed on an individual basis. You can expect to learn the final decision by way of a formal letter sent to your email address in a timely manner.

Decision by email. Applicants will be notified of the appeal decision via email, using the email address provided on the appeal application. Make sure your email address is correct. Contact your Program’s Graduate Coordinator for admission appeal updates.

All appeal decisions are final.

Late or Missed Application

Application filing periods are posted online at Graduate Program Deadlines. Students with a compelling reason to request permission to submit a late application may request consideration by:

  • Emailing the Program's Graduate Coordinator directly first; Include with your full name and Student ID
  • Include in the email that you are requesting to submit a late application and provide a justification for missing the posted deadline.
  • Contact your Program’s Graduate Coordinator for updates.
  • All appeal decisions are final.

Concurrent and Visitor Enrollment

Concurrent and Visiting Enrollment for students coming to Sacramento State is closed until further notice.

Graduate/Post-Baccalaureate Students from CSUS wishing to attend other CSU campuses as a Concurrent or Visiting Student should:

  1. Contact the Department from whom the course you wish to take is offered. This is to ensure that there will be space in the course for enrollment.
  2. Complete and submit to the office of Graduate Studies Concurrent and Visiting Enrollment Form.

CSU Policies and Procedures for Intrasystem Concurrent or Visitor Enrollment Eligibility Graduate Status

  1. The student has completed at least one term at the home campus as a matriculated student or will be enrolled concurrently in such status.
  2. The student has been admitted to or is enrolled in an authorized graduate program at the home campus.
  3. The student was in good standing at the last college attended.

Enrollment Conditions

  1. Approval of concurrent enrollment is valid only for the term specified and is subject to space availability and registration priority policies at host campus.
  2. Academic advisement is available only at the home campus.
  3. Concurrent enrollment is possible only in overlapping terms.
  4. Evidence of completion of course prerequisites may be required at the host campus (i.e., personal transcripts or grade reports).
  5. Financial aid is available only through the home campus and students eligible for veterans, rehabilitation, social security and other federal, state or county benefits must secure eligibility certification through the home campus.
  6. Health services on host campus will be limited to treatment for emergencies.
  7. Participation in student activities at the host campus is subject to any limitations, which may exist at that campus. Similarly, student union facilities will be available according to policies at each campus.
  8. Parking on the host campus will be available on the basis of a term fee within campus parking availability or on a daily fee basis.
  9. Information concerning host campus identification card policies will be available at the time of registration.

Procedures

  1. Student completes application and submits to the Office of Admission & Records at home campus in advance of the first day of classes at both campuses. Contact host campus for deadlines, if any.
  2. Home campus registrar designee completes Part II and forwards copies to host campus registrar designee if approved, or returns to student, if disapproved.
  3. Host campus registrar completes Part III-A and mails a copy to student with registration instructions.
  4. Concurrently enrolled student pays CSU registration fees on home campus based upon the total number of units for which she/he is or plans to be registered including units on the home as well as host campus(es), e.g. three units at home and three units at host equals part time fees, and six units at home and 3 units at host equals full time fees. Payment is certified on all copies of the application. Home campus non-resident tuition fees, as appropriate, are paid at the same time and entry made with the fee certification.
  5. Student registers at host campus presenting approved copies of the application. Host campus non-resident tuition fees and any user fees are paid and entry is made on the application for concurrent and/or visitor status.
  6. Host campus completes Part III-B on all copies.
  7. Program changes will be accomplished by following standard procedures on both campuses. Official notification will be provided by the host campus to the home campus. If a student withdraws from the home campus and requests refund for the refundable portion of the State University fee, the host campus must be notified.
  8. Permanent academic records will be maintained at the campus where courses are completed. A record of credit earned at a host campus will be available to the student and to the home campus.

Licensure or Credentialing Programs

Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential. Licensure and credentialing requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU and requirements can change at any time.

For example, licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., social security number or tax payer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure or credentialing requirements.

The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs, to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure or credentialing requirements. Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements are available from the department or program.

Please see our Graduate Programs & Deadlines page for contact information.