There are approximately 7,000 students enrolled in post-baccalaureate study in master's programs, credential programs, and certificate program at San Francisco State University. General information about graduate study and how to begin and complete a master's degree are found on the following pages. For detailed information about a specific program, the student should refer to that program's entry in this Bulletin and contact the program's graduate adviser. Answers to general questions may be found in this section or in other parts of this Bulletin (consult Index for appropriate page reference) or by contacting the Graduate Division.
A graduate student must meet the department curriculum requirements as published in the university Bulletin in effect the semester the student is officially classified in the major program or the semester the Graduate Approved Program is filed with and approved by the Graduate Division. Any student who loses continuing enrollment status in the university (absent for more than one semester or attended another college/university and must be readmitted to SFSU) must meet curriculum requirements in effect at the time of reentering classified status or the semester in which a new GAP is filed.
Graduate assistantships are made available to students each semester. Interested students should apply directly to the major department. These assistantships are designed to provide professional experience and financial assistance to qualified graduate students. These positions may involve work with undergraduate students in a classroom or laboratory or provide research assistance to faculty.
To be eligible, a student must as a minimum:
The university through its major departments provides graduate students with part-time employment offering teaching experience related to their advanced study. The appointments usually involve teaching classroom and/or laboratory courses, assessing student performance, and tutoring students. The students assist faculty with field experiences, supervision, and/or research projects.
To be eligible, a student must as a minimum:
Departments or programs offering graduate degrees assign faculty to teach graduate courses and to serve as committee members on theses, creative works, field projects, and/or graduate comprehensive examinations. It is expected that tenured/tenure-track faculty will be given these assignments. In special circumstances, a department/program chair may recommend that a qualified temporary faculty member serve in the graduate program. When such an assignment is made, the department/program chair is expected to submit a written request to the college dean and dean of the Graduate Division. The name of the individual, rationale, and qualifications for appointment must be indicated. The signature of the lecturer must be included to acknowledge the nature of the assignment.
A graduate student must be officially enrolled with the university during any term in which he/she is utilizing university resources which are determined to be more than incidental by the major department and, if appropriate, by other units of the university.
Departments with high graduate enrollments have the authority to assign priorities to students wishing to enroll in graduate level courses. Any use of a priority system must be implemented only for the purpose of allowing majors in the program an opportunity of taking the courses needed to complete their degree programs in a timely manner. From a pool of individuals, the department would normally be expected to grant admission to the class in the following rank order: (1) classified graduate majors of the department/program; (2) graduating seniors who have applied and been admitted to the department's master's degree program contingent upon completion of the baccalaureate degree; (3) classified graduate students from other departments; (4) unclassified graduate students; (5) advanced undergraduate students. It is the student's responsibility to determine that prerequisites have been met. It is expected that graduate-level special major students will be given an enrollment priority comparable to those in category (1).
Graduate students enrolled in upper division courses are expected to complete additional course work and to meet academic standards above the requirements for undergraduate students. It is the responsibility of the faculty member teaching the course to prescribe the additional course work and/or academic standards required of graduate students. Graduate students are to be informed of these requirements within the first two weeks of the semester.
Paired courses are offered at a common meeting time and place, but eligible for either undergraduate or graduate credit, with different requirements. Paired courses are identified in this Bulletin and in the Class Schedule. A paired course taken at the undergraduate level may not be repeated for credit at the graduate level.
Most graduate programs have a Special Study 899 course. This typically is an intensive study of an identified problem or subject which is carefully planned in advance, developed, and completed under the direction of a faculty member.
While each department may establish its own specific criteria, the following are basic guidelines:
A petition for special study form may be obtained from the major department office.
Credit by examination at the graduate level is not a common practice at this university. A graduate student may be exempt from completing a required course because of some special preparation. Such an exemption does not decrease the number of units required for the degree.
A graduate student may request permission to challenge a course by examination. The student must obtain approval from the department chair. Grading options will be the same as that available to the course being challenged. Credit by examination is restricted to regular courses offered by the university. Grades received as a result of the examination will be recorded on the student's permanent record and appropriate grade points assigned.
Fall and Spring Semesters. The full-time load for post-baccalaureate students is nine to twelve units per semester. Students may enroll in up to sixteen units with permission of their designated faculty adviser. Students seeking to take more than sixteen units must submit the Request to Exceed Regular Academic Unit Load form to the major adviser, college graduate coordinator, and dean of the Graduate Division. After appropriate signatures have been obtained, the form is to be forwarded to the Registrar's Office.
Under no circumstances will a post-baccalaureate student be given permission to exceed eighteen units in any semester. Students attempting to do so will be administratively dropped from their excess units.
Summer Semester. Graduate students may enroll in a maximum of six units in a five-week summer session, nine units in the eight-week summer session, and eleven units in any combination of summer semester sessions (R1, R2, and R3).
Only students who have a cumulative 3.0 grade point average in all course work taken while in post-baccalaureate standing at San Francisco State University are eligible to change from one degree program to another. If accepted by the new department, the student must obtain from and file with the Student Services Center an Advancement to Classified Graduate Standing or Credential Standing form. The Student Services Center verifies that the student is a post-baccalaureate student in good standing; attaches a copy of the student's transcript showing course work completed at SFSU; and forwards the application and transcript to the department offering the requested program. The student must submit any required supplementary materials (e.g., test scores, transcripts from other universities and colleges, recommendations) directly to the major department/program. The major department/program makes its decision and returns the signed application form to the Student Services Center. The Student Services Center sends the student a copy of the application indicating the action taken.
Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures