Graduate Admissions

Office of Graduate Studies

River Front Center 215
(916) 278-6470
www.csus.edu/gradstudies

California State University, Sacramento is authorized to offer graduate programs culminating in the Doctor of Education, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Music, Master of Public Policy and Administration, Master of Social Work, and Education Specialist in School Psychology degrees. Sacramento State also offers a joint doctoral program in Public History in cooperation with UC Santa Barbara. In keeping with the objectives of the degrees offered, the University has developed a broad framework of requirements.

Degrees Offered

Master of Arts

Master of Arts programs are designed to provide improvement in professional competence in educational service, competence for self-directed study (research) in areas of specialization, broadening of cultural backgrounds, development of personal and social responsibility, and preparation for community leadership.

Master of Science

Objectives of the Master of Science programs are to increase competence in particular professional areas and to develop ability for independent self-directed study in selected fields. Provisions have been made in the various curricula for individual planning in light of each student’s objectives, previous education, and experience.

Master of Business Administration

The Master of Business Administration curriculum is designed to broaden the participants’ knowledge and understanding of business administration, to improve their capacity for effective decision-making, and to facilitate their professional growth and development for positions of greater responsibility. The curriculum is intended for individuals who seek careers as professional managers in business and business-oriented government organizations and as community college instructors of business administration. In addition, the curriculum prepares superior students for entry into doctoral programs in business administration.

Master of Music

The graduate program leading to the Master of Music degree is designed to provide opportunity for a variety of advanced studies in music. The Master of Music may be earned either with an academic or a performance emphasis. The program will effectively prepare students for continuation into doctoral study. Students may focus their studies in one of six areas: choral conducting, instrumental conducting, composition, music education, music history and literature, or performance.

Master of Physical Therapy

The Master of Physical Therapy curriculum is designed to educate competent physical therapy generalist practitioners who demonstrate ethical, responsible, professional behavior, sensitive to cultural and psychosocial differences. Graduates will be able to utilize critical thinking and problem solving, practice life long learning, and provide services that contribute to the optimal health and function of the residents of the communities they serve.

Master of Public Policy and Administration

The Master of Public Policy and Administration curriculum is designed to prepare individuals committed to public service as effective and ethical leaders and advisors, managers and administrators, analysts and advocates. Students develop competence in three areas: management of the organizational context of policy implementation and administration; understanding of the political environment and process of policy making; and the analytic and research tools to plan, design, and evaluate public policy.

Master of Social Work

The curriculum leading to the Master of Social Work degree is designed to enable the student to develop professional competence in working with individuals and groups, participate knowledgeably in the implementation of social welfare policy and administration, understand human growth and development as they affect social and personal functioning, and develop social philosophies, ethics, and values relating to the practice of professional social work.

Master of Arts or Master of Science in Special Major

The special major for either a Master of Arts or a Master of Science degree provides an alternative for those individuals whose special needs and interests cannot adequately be met by any single existing or planned master’s degree program. A suitable interdisciplinary program may be planned for the superior graduate student who meets requirements established for admission to the special major graduate degree program. A student who wishes to undertake such a program should obtain an application to the program from the Office of Graduate Studies.

Ed.S. in School Psychology

The Specialist in Education, School Psychology (Ed.S.) degree can lead to professional degrees in the application of advanced educational theory. Completion of the Ed.S. requires coursework focused on identifying and addressing school-related issues that arise during school psychology practice. The School Psychology program at Sacramento State is approved as a Specialist level program by the National Association of School Psychologists.

Ed.D Educational Leadership

The independent doctoral program in Educational Leadership is offered through the College of Education to help meet the need for leadership in California’s schools and community colleges. The program in educational leadership is geared to working professionals. Three key curricular themes are emphasized and provide the focus for all coursework in the program. These themes are:

  1. Transformational Leadership,
  2. Critical Policy Analysis and Action, and
  3. Informed Decision-Making.

It will lead to a Doctor of Education awarded by the CSU system.

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) is a three-year program dedicated to graduating professional, evidence-informed physical therapists who have the knowledge and skills to provide patient care in any practice environment. The program’s curriculum is designed to provide a foundation in the science and art of physical therapy, one that engages students in clinical reasoning through problem-solving within the context of patient cases, both actual and simulated. In addition, students complete 36 weeks of full-time internships at three locations to learn by doing in their respective practice settings. The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and graduates are eligible to take the national licensure examination.

Ph.D. Public History

The joint doctoral program in Public History offered in cooperation with UC Santa Barbara provides training in public history, particularly in the following professional fields: history of public policy, cultural resource management, business and institutional history, and community and local history. Supporting courses are offered in oral history, archives and records administration, museum management, historical editing, and policy and litigation support.

Admission Requirements

The minimum requirements for admission to Master's and Doctoral graduate degree programs 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.

Master's and Post-Baccalaureate Program Admissions

Master’s and post-baccalaureate applicants may apply for a degree objective, a credential or certificate objective, or where approved, may have no program objective. Depending on the objective, the CSU will consider an application for admission as follows:

  • General Requirements — The minimum requirements for admission to master’s 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.

Doctoral Program Admissions

Doctor of Education applicants may apply for admission, 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. Hold an acceptable master's degree earned at an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association, or have completed equivalent academic preparation as determined by the appropriate campus authority;
  3. Have attained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 in upper division and graduate study combined;
  4. Have completed the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with scores from the three subsections of the General Examination; 
  5.  Be in good standing at the last institution of higher education attended;
  6. Demonstrated sufficient preparation and experience pertinent to educational leadership to benefit from the program; and
  7. Meet any additional requirements established by the Chancellor in consultation with the faculty and any additional requirements prescribed by the appropriate campus authority.

Doctor of Physical Therapy applicants may apply for admission, in accordance with University regulations as well as Title 5, Chapter 1 Subchapter 3 of the California Code of Regulations. At the time of enrollment:

  1. The applicant holds an acceptable baccalaureate degree earned at an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association, or the applicant has completed equivalent academic preparation as determined by the appropriate campus authority;
  2. The applicant has completed all required prerequisite coursework for the campus program(s) to which the applicant has applied with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00;
  3. The applicant must have been in good academic, professional and clinical standing at the last institution and if applicable, in the last entry level physical therapist educational program attended; 
  4. The applicant has met any additional requirements established by the chancellor in consultation with the faculty and any additional requirements prescribed by the appropriate campus authority. Only those students who continue to demonstrate a satisfactory level or scholastic, professional, and clinical competence shall be eligible to continue in Doctor of Physical Therapy programs.

In unusual circumstances, a campus may make exceptions to these criteria.

THESE AND OTHER CSU ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AS POLICIES ARE REVISED AND LAWS ARE AMENDED. THE CSU WEBSITE www.calstate.edu AND THE CSU ADMISSIONS PORTAL www.calstate.edu/apply ARE GOOD SOURCES OF THE MOST UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION.

Applying to Graduate Programs

All graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants (e.g., DPT, Ed.D., Ed.S., 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 www.calstate.edu/apply. 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 www.calstate.edu/apply are expected unless submission of an electronic application is impossible. An electronic version of the CSU graduate application is available at www.calstate.edu/apply.

The application and fee are not required for students desiring to enroll only in Summer Session, Winter Intersession, or Open University through the College of Continuing Education.

Categories of Admission and Classification

Students wishing to pursue a doctoral or master’s degree must be admitted to the specific program under which the student intends to study. At the time of application for admission to the University, the student indicates his or her proposed major and is evaluated against the admission requirements for that program. Students who meet the minimum requirements for graduate and post-baccalaureate studies may be considered for admission in one of the following four categories:

  • Graduate Classified –If the student meets all of the program’s admission requirements and is selected during the competitive admission process, he/she is admitted to graduate standing as a classified graduate student in the designated program and to the University. 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.
  • Graduate Conditionally Classified –Applicants may be admitted to a graduate degree program in this category if, in the opinion of appropriate campus authority, the student is deficient in one or more requirements, which in the judgment of the appropriate campus authority can be met by specific additional preparation. A student must satisfy the conditions of admission and maintain satisfactory academic progress (cumulative and semester GPA of 3.0 or better) in order to be re-classified as a fully classified student.  
  • Post-Baccalaureate Credential, 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.
  • Post-Baccalaureate Unclassified, e.g., admission to a stand-alone certificate program –To enroll in undergraduate courses as preparation for advanced degree programs, a certificate program, or 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).

Admission of students not wishing to pursue a doctoral or master’s degree is limited. Students admitted as an unclassified graduate student may not use more than six units earned in unclassified status to apply toward a subsequent doctoral or master’s program. Therefore, unclassified students shall seek classification during their first semester’s enrollment if they wish to pursue a graduate degree. Unclassified students are allowed no more than two terms of enrollment.

Returning Post-baccalaureate, Master, Doctoral Students

Former Sacramento State students who have been absent for two or more semesters does not maintain catalog rights, must apply for readmission and a non-refundable application fee is charged. Following a mandatory interruption of one or more semesters, students who have left in a negative academic standing may not be eligible to return until they complete additional coursework. Students who have been academically disqualified or dismissed must in conjunction to applying for readmission must also file an appeal for reinstatement.  At the time of readmission, student may be require to satisfy new university and/or program requirements.

Second Bachelor's Degree

Applicants seeking a second bachelor’s degree should submit the undergraduate application for admission unless specifically requested to do otherwise. Admission is limited to a few select programs for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of 2.5 or higher in the last 60 semester units of baccalaureate or graduate level courses at Sacramento State. Students admitted in post-baccalaureate standing (unclassified) must meet residence and other specified requirements.1

Applicants to an impacted program will be considered in the upper division quota category for admission purposes. Coursework completed in this status forms part of the post-baccalaureate grade point average and will affect the student’s eligibility for classified standing. 

Candidates must file for graduation TWO SEMESTERS prior to the date of graduation. Forms are available from the Office of the University Registrar. A second bachelor’s cannot be awarded in the same major or closely related field as the first degree. Only students admitted into the second baccalaureate classification may petition to graduate with a second baccalaureate degree.

1

Refer to Baccalaureate Degree Requirements/Second Bachelor’s Degree.

International Applicants Requiring an International Student Visa and Domestic Applicants with International Documents

Graduation from a college or university recognized by the Ministry of Education, or appropriate governing agency, with a degree requiring at least 16 years of prior education is required for graduate standing. Typically, this is 12 years of primary and secondary education and 4 years of post-secondary education.

For more information please go to Office of Graduate Studies Applicants with Foreign Documents.

Graduate-Post-Baccalaureate English Language Requirement TOEFL/IELTS

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 satisfy the campus' minimum score requirement on the 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).

Refer to Sacramento State/International Students/TOEFL Requirement.

Advising

Classified graduate students should confer with their academic departments for requirements, course selection, and appointment of advisors.

Post-baccalaureate students seeking a teaching credential should contact the College of Education Student Service Center, Eureka Hall, Room 216, (916) 278-6403.