Students accepted into a joint UC/SFSU doctoral degree in special education or urban education or students accepted into the joint UCSF/SFSU doctoral degree in physical therapy science should work very closely with their advisers at both campus sites to ensure that all policies and procedures required by both universities are being followed. Procedures may be different from those required for students in master's degree programs. See department/program information in this Bulletin or contact the department office for specific admission requirements and program information.
The comprehensive plan of study for the master's degree that must be completed prior to award of the degree must be documented on the Graduate Approved Program (GAP) form. See detailed section on the GAP below. To award the master's degree, SFSU requires that all graduate students must:
Each graduate student must demonstrate the ability to write English correctly and effectively. To assure that each graduate student has the required proficiency in written English, two distinct assessments are made by the major department. Requirements for each program area can be obtained from the major department. If a writing deficiency exists, the student shall be expected to complete prescribed courses in English at a level acceptable to the major department.
The plan of study that must be completed prior to award of the degree is documented on the Graduate Approved Program (GAP) form. The GAP should be submitted to the Division of Graduate Studies after completing at least nine semester units and no later than the semester of enrollment for the final six units of graduate work. The GAP must be approved by the graduate major adviser and the graduate coordinator of the student's college, and then submitted to the dean of the Division of Graduate Studies for evaluation and approval. Once the GAP is accepted and approved, the student is advanced to candidacy. Any change in the GAP requires the filing of a Petition for GAP Substitution or Exception form, including all required signatures, with the Division of Graduate Studies.
A GAP will be valid as long as the student maintains continuous enrollment status with the university as defined in the Bulletin. Any time a student is required to reapply for admission to the university, he/she must also be reconsidered for admission by the major department. If readmitted, a new GAP must be completed that meets current curricular requirements. For students admitted conditionally classified, submission of a signed and approved GAP will signify that all prerequisite requirements have been met. The following minimum standards apply to all master's degree Graduate Approved Programs.
Requests for substitutions of required courses must be approved prior to submission of the GAP. The Petition for Substitution or Exception form is available in the Division of Graduate Studies Office. If a student wishes to change his/her approved GAP by adding or removing a course, he/she must file an adviser and college approved Petition for Substitution or Exception form with the Division of Graduate Studies. Reasons for waivers or substitutions to the program must be included on the form. Students who do not complete all required course work, the written English requirement, and the culminating experience within the seven-year time limit as required by Title 5 should refer to the section on Time Limit to Complete Requirements for Graduate Degrees.
In accordance with Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, the culminating experience must be met by the satisfactory completion of a thesis, special project, comprehensive examination, or a combination of more than one of these. An oral defense of the work is normally required. Students must file a Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement which has been approved by program faculty. This form must be submitted subsequent to or simultaneous with the GAP form. Students are not permitted to enroll in a culminating experience course until both of these forms have been approved by the Division of Graduate Studies. The types of culminating experiences are listed below.
This culminating experience is a written and/or oral examination that is prepared and administered by the major department so students can demonstrate their ability to integrate the content knowledge, independent thinking, and critical analysis, and, as may be appropriate, accuracy of documentation. The results of the examination (pass or fail) are reported to the Division of Graduate Studies on a Report of Completion of Culminating Experience Requirement form by the deadline date indicated in the university calendar.
A candidate who fails a comprehensive examination will be provided an opportunity to take it at least one more time. The conditions for repeating an examination (e.g., number of times, elapse of time required) are stated in the departmental description of the graduate program.
There are several types of special projects as follows:
Course 892, Supervised Field Internship: A supervised field internship involves the placement of the student in a work experience situation. The student is expected to establish written goals to be addressed. A written report addressing the significance, objectives, methodology, and a conclusion is required. An oral defense of the report may be required by the department.
Course 893, Written Creative Work: This culminating experience is a short story, novel, series of poems, and/or play in which students demonstrate a unique style of writing. An annotation page must be completed and filed as a part of the final work. This culminating experience requirement is restricted to graduate students in the creative writing program. Students completing a written creative work should review and follow the Guidelines for the Preparation and Submission of Theses and Written Creative Works.
Course 894, Creative Work Project: This culminating experience is a musical composition, a series or group of paintings, a performance, a film, or other creative arts endeavor. It must be described in a written document that summarizes the project's significance, objectives, creative methodology, and a conclusion. An oral defense of the project may be required. This culminating experience is designed for students in the fine and applied arts. The Report of Completion of Culminating Experience Requirement form must be filed in the Division of Graduate Studies by the deadline date as stated in the university calendar.
Course 895, Field Study or Applied Research Project: This culminating experience is a field study or research project. It must incorporate the application of knowledge and techniques acquired in the student's program of study. The field study or research project must be described in a written document which includes the project's significance, objectives, methodology, and a conclusion. An oral defense of the project may be required. The Report of Completion of Culminating Experience Requirement form must be filed in the Division of Graduate Studies by the deadline date as stated in the university calendar.
Course 898, Thesis: A thesis is the written product of an original study. It demonstrates clarity of purpose, critical and independent thinking, and accurate and thorough documentation. Normally an oral defense of the thesis will be required. Students completing a thesis should review and follow the Guidelines for the Preparation and Submission of Theses and Written Creative Works found on-line through the Division of Graduate Studies web site or at the Rapid Copy Center.
The university recognizes that there are some circumstances that warrant joint/group projects or theses. In such instances, an attachment signed by each student and by the culminating experience committee chair must be appended to the Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement form that identifies the names of other authors and describes the project and responsibilities of each author. The division of responsibilities specified must be reviewed, endorsed, and subsequently evaluated by the students' culminating experience committee members. Groups larger than three will not be accepted.
A committee must be established to evaluate a student's culminating experience. To assure the maximum probability that a committee member will be available until the culminating experience is completed, the committee must consist of at least two permanent faculty members. The chair and the second member must hold tenured/tenure-track faculty appointments in the student's major department. In circumstances where special expertise is available in another department, the graduate dean may authorize a designated tenured/tenure-track faculty member from a related department to serve as second reader. The third member of a committee with expertise in the area of study may be from outside the major department or university. A lecturer or outside member may volunteer his/her services as a third member of a student's committee; however, selection of a lecturer should be done with caution because of the non-permanent character of employment and the related need for protection of the student. With special permission, some permanent lecturers with terminal degrees in their field or with special expertise may serve as the second reviewer provided their curriculum vitae is on file in the Division of Graduate Studies and the lecturer and student understand the risk to the student completing the thesis.
To officially change the composition of his/her committee, a student must submit a Revision of Culminating Experience Committee form to the Division of Graduate Studies.
Any research conducted by a student that involves human and/or animal subjects requires the approval of the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS) and/or the University Animal Care and Use Committee (UACUC). Such approval must be obtained prior to the initiation of any research activity involving these subjects. There are no exceptions. No student whose work uses human or animal subjects is permitted to enroll in the culminating experience course until the research activity has been approved by CPHS and/or UACUC. Students should check with Graduate Studies or the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs web site for specific information (www.sfsu.edu/orsp).
To register for a culminating experience course, a student must have a 3.0 GPA in all post-baccalaureate course work completed. Prior to registering for the appropriate course, a student must have signed approval of his/her culminating experience committee members on the Graduate Approved Program and Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement forms and obtain approval of the Division of Graduate Studies.
A student who does not complete the course by the end of the semester of registration will be issued a grade of RP (Report in Progress) or, if warranted, a NC (No Credit). When the project is completed, a grade change to CR (Credit) will be submitted to the Registrar's Office.
For internships, field studies, or creative work projects, the student is required to file the completed project in the department. All committee members must sign the Report of Completion of Culminating Experience Requirement form and submit it to the Division of Graduate Studies.
Detailed instructions for the preparation and submission of the thesis/written creative work are contained in the publication, Guidelines for Preparation and Submission of Theses/Written Creative Works, which can be purchased at the Rapid Copy Center of the Library or downloaded from the Division of Graduate Studies web site at www.sfsu.edu/~gradstdy/forms/CurrentStudents.html.
Review of Theses/Written Creative Works Format. Theses or written creative works received in the Division of Graduate Studies by the published deadline will be reviewed to determine if the requirements set forth in the guidelines have been met. Should corrections be necessary, it is the student's responsibility to resubmit the corrected copy by the published deadline.
Submission of the Document. The original document with signatures of the faculty committee members must be filed in the Library. Students must pay a fee to cover the costs of preparing the Library copy. A receipt from the Rapid Copy Center is sent to the graduation evaluator to verify that this process has been completed.
Satisfactory Scholarship: Graduate students are expected to develop their full potential as scholars and to maintain a 3.0 grade point average (based on a 4.0) and continuity of effort that indicates high scholastic ability and achievement. All courses completed by a student after award of the baccalaureate degree count in the overall graduate grade point average and are used in determining a student's academic standing.
Only the grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, and CR are acceptable in courses on the Graduate Approved Program (GAP) for the master's degree. Classified students whose performance, progress, or conduct in a graduate program is judged to be unsatisfactory by appropriate university authorities may be required to withdraw from the program in question. No course grade below a C may be listed on the GAP. Graduate students should be aware that the number of courses taken for CR grades listed on the GAP is restricted (see GAP policies).
Students who do not complete required work for a course during the scheduled time period may make a contract with the instructor to complete the work within the next year. The incomplete is shown on the transcript as an I. If work is not completed during that period, the incomplete is charged as an IC. Graduate students planning to pursue a doctoral degree should consider that a pattern of incompletes, even if completed within the time period, may be viewed negatively by an admissions committee.
A student in graduate status may not repeat any undergraduate course used to achieve a baccalaureate degree, in which a grade of C or better was earned on the first attempt. Grades of C- or lower are not allowed on the GAP for meeting requirements for a master's degree. If graduate students repeat a course in which a C- or lower grade was earned, they will be charged for all units attempted and all grade points earned, but units completed will be granted only once on the GAP; hence, the grades earned will represent an average of the grades received on the course.
The instructor may consider regular attendance when assigning grades and the requirement must be stated in writing as part of the course requirements.
Students may add or drop courses by Gator Reg up through the fourth week without a W appearing on the transcript. After the fifth week, a withdrawal will show as a W on the transcript. Graduate students planning to pursue a doctoral degree should consider that a pattern of withdrawals may be viewed negatively by an admissions committee.
Good Standing. Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B) or above in any term.
Probation. Will be subject to probation when cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 (B) in any term.
Disqualification. Will be subject to disqualification from the graduate degree and/or advanced credential program and from further enrollment in the university if, during the semester of probation, there is a failure to achieve the minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B).
Good Standing. Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (C+) or above each term.
Probation. Will be subject to probation when cumulative grade point average falls below 2.5 (C+) in a particular term.
Disqualification. Will be subject to disqualification if, during the semester of probation, there is a failure to achieve the minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (C+).
A graduate student may be placed on administrative/academic probation by the Board of Appeals and Review for any of the following reasons:
A graduate student who has been placed on administrative/academic probation may be disqualified from further attendance if:
Disqualified students may, after at least two semesters have elapsed, apply for readmission to the university, provided they have removed the academic deficiencies, or resolved the problems which may have caused the disqualification. The work taken to eliminate an academic deficiency at this institution must be taken through the College of Extended Learning in order to impact the grade point average at this institution. If disqualification resulted from any other reasons than academic performance, approval must be obtained from the unit of the university which recommended the disqualification action. Students disqualified from another institution, including other CSU campuses, may not be admitted to San Francisco State unless it can be demonstrated that the cause of the disqualification has been eliminated (additional course work with good grades, etc.) and the student is otherwise eligible to return to the institution of disqualification. For additional information, see Readmission.
A student may be declassified (dropped) from a graduate degree program for a range of reasons including, but not restricted to, unprofessional conduct; professional judgment of the faculty of the department/program that the student is incapable of completing degree requirements; failure to meet grade requirements to maintain good standing in the program and/or university.
The declassification request may be initiated by the major department or by the student. Requests are submitted to the dean of the Division of Graduate Studies for final action and official notification to the student and the Registrar's Office. A declassified student may request of the dean of the Division of Graduate Studies to be permitted to continue enrollment as an unclassified graduate student, but only if the cumulative post-baccalaureate GPA in all work taken at this university is above the 2.5 level. Such students will not be permitted to enroll in courses in the program from which they were declassified unless explicit approval is obtained from the department chair of the program involved. If the GPA is below 2.5, the student will be subject to being disqualified from further enrollment in the university.
This award is conferred on a few master's and doctoral students who have a distinguished record of academic performance and service in the major field on this campus which sets them apart in some special way from the norm. Selection for the award is based on the criteria determined by the faculty in the respective graduate program areas. Scholarship, service to the department, community activities, research, and publications are examples of student accomplishment which may be taken into consideration. Criteria utilized vary from discipline to discipline consistent with standards of excellence. The selection of the awardees for the year is made each spring. Recipients are recognized at the Graduate Recognition Ceremony in May and are issued an award certificate.
Any questions regarding this award program should be directed to the Division of Graduate Studies.
Candidates for degrees must file an application for graduation in accordance with the university calendar. The Application for Graduation, which is available at the Division of Graduate Studies, requires master's candidates to pay the graduation fee in the Bursar's Office and then file the form in the Division of Graduate Studies.
Applications will not be approved for a specified term unless all requirements have been met as of the deadline date for filing. If a candidate does not complete the requirements as planned in a particular semester, he/she must refile the application for graduation to be considered in a subsequent semester.
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.
A graduate student who has problems arising from evaluation, advancement to candidacy, degree requirements, or general regulations should discuss them first with a graduate major adviser. If a student wishes to review a problem or to appeal a decision, he/she should then consult with the department chair, college graduate coordinator, and the college dean, in that order. Should questions arise beyond this point with respect to where or to whom a specific appeal should be directed, the dean of the Division of Graduate Studies may be consulted for advice. After all of the informal procedures for grievances and appeals have been exhausted, the dean of the Division of Graduate Studies or designee may initiate formal grievance procedures.
A student who feels the grade posted on the transcript is not a fair representation of the work completed may request review by the instructor; however, the request must be made during the semester in attendance immediately following the semester in which the grade was assigned. If the instructor and the student can work out an agreement, a petition for a grade change can be submitted. If agreement is not reached, the student should consult with the department chair or college dean of the program of study for the formal procedures for filing a grade appeal. Copies of college grade appeal policies are also kept in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.