? SFSU Graduate Studies - Residency FAQs

Division of Graduate Studies

Image: Photos of SF State students taken from all the graduation events and activities and scenes from around the campus.

FAQs - Information on Residency

These are ten things you need to know (CSU residency mandates)

As a non-resident student, how do I qualify for California Resident Status?

As per the California Education Code section 68071: A student who has been entirely self-supporting and actually present in California for more than one year immediately preceding the residence determination date, with the intention of acquiring a residence therein, shall be entitled to resident classification until he or she has resided in the state the minimum time necessary to become a resident.


To be eligible for resident status a student who can demonstrate both a physical presence in the state for 12 months combined with timely evidence of intent to remain in California indefinitely may establish California residence for tuition purposes.


Evidence demonstrating intent may vary from case to case but will include, and is not limited to:

            • California driver’s license or I.D. card.
            • California voter registration.
            • California automobile registration (if owning a vehicle)
            • California state income tax obligations on total income for the current year (to be filed the following tax period).
            • Absence of residential ties to any other state.
            • Ownership of residential property or continuous occupancy or renting of an apartment on a lease basis where your personal belongings are kept.
            • Active account(s) in a California bank.
            • Immigration status with legal capacity to establish California residency.
            • Maintaining a permanent military address and home of record in California.
            • Military leave and earning statements showing California as legal residence for the prior year.
            • Financial independence from parents for the current year and the three years prior to the current year
Why should I apply for California residency reclassification?

If you plan to make California your permanent home then you may want to apply for resident reclassification. A nonresident pays tuition and university fees; a California resident pays fees, but no tuition to San Francisco State University.


Please Note: By making California your permanent home you have decided to sever all ties with your previous state of residence.


Applicants 19 years of age or older are eligible for resident status only if they have established and maintained permanent residence in California at least one year prior to the following Residency Determination deadlines:

     Spring Semester - January 25
     Summer Semester - June 1
     Fall Semester - September 20


Example: In order to be eligible for resident status for the Fall 2011 semester, a student would need to establish and document intent and maintain permanent residence since at least September 20, 2010.


When should I submit a reclassification request?

Reclassification requests must be submitted at least 60 to 90 days prior to the first day of instruction for the term in which you will be eligible to apply for California resident status. Requests submitted any later may be considered at the discretion of the Residency Coordinator and may require 10 business days or more to process. A form for reclassification received prior to 90 days before the term begins may be returned to the applicant or held without action until the 90 days come into effect.


A Reclassification Request form can only be used for upcoming terms. There is no retroactive request for a term that has already ended.


How do I get my resident status reclassified?

If you wish to have your resident status reclassified, please submit the Residence Reclassification Request form, and any appropriate supporting documents to the Division of Graduate Studies.


Note: Non-resident students will be responsible for non-resident tuition until the Division of Graduate Studies approves reclassification. Please consult the Bulletin (pp. 605-606) to learn more about the determination of resident status.

* University requirements for establishing residency are independent from those of other types of residency, such as for tax purposes, or other state or institutional residency. A resident for tuition purposes is someone who meets the requirements set forth in the Uniform Student Residence Requirements. (See California Education Code sections 68000-68090, 68120-68134, and 89705-89707.5, and in title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, Subchapter 5, Article 4, sections 41900-41916)



Because neither campus nor Chancellor’s Office staff may give advice on the application of these laws, applicants are strongly urged to review the materials for themselves and perhaps consult with a legal advisor.

SF State Home