Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Admission Requirements
Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Admission Requirements Page Navigation
If you already hold a baccalaureate and your objective is a master's degree, credential, postbaccalaureate certificate, or other postbaccalaureate study, you must apply through CSUMentor using the graduate application online at CSU Mentor. Depending on the objective, the CSU, Chico will consider an application for admission as follows:
- General Requirements — The minimum requirements for admission to graduate and post baccalaureate studies at a California State University 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) in the last 60 semester (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.
- At CSU, Chico applicants to a master's degree program must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 in the last 30 semester (45 quarter) units attempted and at least 2.75 in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted.
- 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 post-baccalaureate students).
(These and other CSU admission requirements are subject to change as policies are revised and laws are amended. The CSU Chancellor's Office website and the CSU admissions portal CSU Mentor are good sources of the most up-to-date information.)
The Office of Graduate Studies officially notifies master's degree, certificate, and unclassified applicants of the admission decision. Credential applicants are notified of their admission to a particular credential program by the School of Education.
Admission to any of the above categories is limited to the specific semester for which you have applied and been accepted. If you do not enroll in courses during the semester for which you are admitted, you will not be automatically readmitted for a subsequent semester but must reapply during the designated application period.
If you do not hold a baccalaureate at the start of the semester for which you have been admitted, your postbaccalaureate admission will be canceled and your class level will be changed to senior. You must then reapply for postbaccalaureate admission if you wish to enroll after you receive the bachelor's degree.
All graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants (e.g., Ed.D., joint Ph.D. 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) must file a complete graduate application as described in the graduate and post-baccalaureate admission materials at CSU Mentor. Applicants seeking a second bachelor’s degree should submit the undergraduate application for admission unless specifically requested to do otherwise. Applicants who completed undergraduate degree requirements and graduated the preceding term are also required to complete and submit an application and the $55 nonrefundable application fee. Since applicants for post-baccalaureate programs may be limited to the choice of a single campus on each application, re-routing to alternate campuses or later changes of campus choice are not guaranteed. To be assured of initial consideration by more than one campus, it is necessary to submit separate applications (including fees) to each. Applications submitted by way of CSU Mentor are expected unless submission of an electronic application is impossible. An electronic version of the CSU graduate application is available on the World Wide Web at CSU Mentor.
Credential applicants must also file a separate application for admission to their specific credential objective and should visit the School of Education website for additional information.
Apply by the deadline given in the Academic Calendar and at the application website. You must also request that each postsecondary institution which you have previously attended send one official copy of your transcript directly to the Office of Graduate Studies to arrive by the application deadline. (NOTE: If you have attended CSU, Chico in the past, either as a graduate or an undergraduate student, you do not need to obtain additional copies of transcripts you have already had sent to the institution. Neither will you need to provide a transcript of your Chico record.) If applying to a master's degree program, you may also be required to successfully complete a nationally standardized qualifying examination (e.g., Graduate Record Examination, Graduate Management Admissions Test, Miller Analogies Test), fulfill other admission criteria specified by the department, or submit additional supplemental application materials. Refer to the Academic Programs section in this catalog or visit Graduate Programs and Coordinators for information on specific departmental requirements. Test scores and all supplemental materials must also be submitted by the application deadline.
The $55 non-refundable application fee in the form of a check, money order, or credit card payment to the California State University is required of all applicants, with the following exceptions:
- postbaccalaureate students currently enrolled at Chico who are changing their objectives;
- those who were previously enrolled as postbaccalaureate students, have broken enrollment at Chico only one semester, and have not attended any other schools in the interim;
- students filing as auditors; and,
- students with an authorized application fee waiver.
Completed files for master's program applicants are forwarded to the department for review. The department may recommend that you be admitted to one of the following categories:
Graduate Conditionally Classified
You may be admitted to a graduate degree program in conditionally classified status if your graduate department determines that you can remedy deficiencies by additional preparation.
To be admitted as a conditionally classified master's degree student, you must meet the general requirements for admission to graduate and postbaccalaureate studies as specified in "Admission Requirements" above, as well as any specific requirements outlined by your major department for this category.
While enrolled as a conditionally classified student, you will be required to complete 12 qualifying, letter-graded units of 400/500/600-level work with at least a 3.0 GPA and satisfy any departmentally specified criteria for admission to classified standing. You must also maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in each of the following three categories: all coursework taken at any accredited institution subsequent to admission to conditionally classified status; all coursework taken at CSU, Chico subsequent to admission to conditionally classified status; and all courses applied towards the degree requirements. Failure to meet these requirements may result in the termination of your enrollment in the master's degree program.
You are a classified master's degree student if you have been formally accepted by the department and the Office of Graduate Studies to pursue master's degree study.
In addition to satisfying the general requirements for admission to graduate and postbaccalaureate studies as specified in "Admission Requirements" above, and all professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards, including qualifying examinations prescribed by the department, you must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Satisfactory grade point average as follows:
- An undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 in the last 30 semester units and a 2.75 in the last 60 semester units, or
- A postbaccalaureate grade point average of at least 3.0 in a minimum of 12 departmentally specified units of letter-graded graduate-level coursework, and
- In addition to "a" or "b" above, a grade point average of at least 3.0 in all postbaccalaureate, graduate-level coursework taken within the five years prior to admission to classified status. This coursework includes all graduate-level transfer work and all graduate-level courses completed in excess of baccalaureate requirements which have been approved for postbaccalaureate credit, whether or not they are applied to the master's degree.
- Approval by the department and the Office of Graduate Studies.
You are required to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in each of the following three categories: all coursework taken at any accredited institution subsequent to admission to the master's program; all coursework taken at CSU, Chico subsequent to admission to the program; and all courses applied towards the degree requirements.
While exceptional students may be granted candidacy immediately upon admission, master's degree students are normally advanced to candidacy after demonstrating ability and aptitude for the discipline as a classified master's degree student and meeting specific departmental requirements to become a candidate. Minimally, these will include:
- Classified graduate standing and completion at CSU, Chico of at least 9 units of the proposed program.
- Completion of departmental examinations, such as diagnostic examinations.
- A GPA of at least 3.0 in each of the following three categories: all coursework taken at any accredited institution subsequent to admission to the master's program; all coursework taken at CSU, Chico subsequent to admission to the program; and all courses applied towards the degree requirements.
- Approval by the department and the Office of Graduate Studies.
Your social security number is used to identify you in your association with the University as an applicant. Therefore, you are required to include your social security number in designated places on your admission application pursuant to the authority contained in Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 41201.
Once you have applied, you will be assigned a nine digit Chico State ID number which will be used as the identifier for all of your University Records.
Chico Distance & Online Education offers a variety of courses via the Internet using various Web-based applications. For information on current course offerings, contact the Center for Regional and Continuing Education. Students who are regularly enrolled in Chico Distance & Online Education courses receive resident credit and are held to the same application, transcript, and fee requirements as on-campus students.
The CSU must assess the academic preparation of foreign students. For this purpose, "foreign students" include those who hold U.S. temporary visas as students, exchange visitors, or in other nonimmigrant classifications.
The CSU uses separate requirements and application filing dates in the admission of foreign students. Verification of English proficiency, financial resources, and academic performance are each important considerations for admission. More specific information for prospective students can be found at the International Student Services website. Your application and academic records from foreign institutions must be on file at least six months in advance of the desired admission date. If your records are not in English, they must be accompanied by certified word-for-word English translations.
Other examinations, such as the Graduate Management Admission Test, the Miller Analogies Test, and the Graduate Record Examination, may also be required by a department as a condition of admission.
If you have attended a recognized foreign institution and have received a degree deemed equivalent to the U.S. baccalaureate, you may apply for admission as a graduate student. Prior university-level preparation should be appropriate to your graduate degree objective, and superior undergraduate grades are essential.
Priority in admission is given to residents of California. There is little likelihood of nonresident applicants, including international students, being admitted either to impacted majors or to those majors or programs with limited openings.
Graduate-Postbaccalaureate English 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. Those who do not possess a bachelor’s degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 80 on the internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Some programs require a higher score. Several CSU campuses may use alternative methods for assessing fluency in English including Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and the International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP).
At CSU, Chico a band score of 6.5 is required for the IELTS, and a minimum score of 59 is required for the PTE Academic, and some programs require a higher score.
CSU, Chico minimum English Proficiency Test standards for graduate admission are:
An auditor is a student who enrolls in a course for informational purposes only. An auditor attends class sessions regularly but does not participate in the class, take examinations, or receive credit for the course. To qualify as an auditor, you must apply for admission (without paying the application processing fee required of credit students) and submit such transcripts as are necessary to show that you hold a baccalaureate. In addition, you must obtain permission of the instructor to register as an auditor in any course. Auditors pay the same registration fees as credit students.
If you submit transcripts to the Office of Graduate Studies at Chico and then fail to submit an application, the transcripts will be retained for two years and will then be discarded. If you complete an application file, but do not enroll for the semester for which you have been accepted, your transcripts will also be retained for two years and then discarded.