Jun 25, 2022  
University Catalog 2022-2023 
University Catalog 2022-2023

Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Studies: General Information


General Information

Additional Information


General Information


Graduate study has been a major part of the academic commitment of Cal State L.A. since its founding. Students who are engaged in graduate and postbaccalaureate study constitute approximately one fifth of the total student body.

Cal State L.A. offers Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees in a variety of majors, with opportunities for specialization through the selection of options or areas of emphasis within degree programs. Also offered are the Master of Biotechnology degree, Master of Business Administration degree, Master of Fine Arts degree in Art, Master of Fine Arts degree in Television, Film and Theatre, Master of Music, Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees with an Interdisciplinary Studies major, Master of Social Work, Doctorate in Education, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Special Education. The complete list of graduate degrees offered appears at the front of this chapter.

Postbaccalaureate students also pursue teaching credentials, certificate programs, and personal enrichment courses. 

Objectives of Graduate Study

Cal State L.A.’s graduate programs are coherent patterns of study designed for a level of academic accomplishment substantially beyond that required for the baccalaureate. Graduate programs enable students to progress in their chosen vocation, to assume positions of leadership, and to contribute to the advancement of their profession. Graduate study helps students to develop greater awareness of themselves in relation to other people and cultures, both present and past, and to gain a better understanding of their particular profession. Completion of a master’s degree program at Cal State L.A. also prepares students for further graduate study appropriate to their abilities and ambitions.

Organization of Graduate Study at Cal State L.A.

Graduate study at Cal State L.A. is organized and administered by each of the six Colleges within the University, with coordination provided by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

This Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Study section of the catalog describes the requirements, regulations, and procedures for engaging in graduate study. General University regulations and procedures that apply to postbaccalaureate or graduate students, including the grading system and the determination of scholastic status, are explained in the Procedures and Regulations chapter earlier in this catalog. Admission requirements and procedures are explained in the Admissions chapter.

Requirements for admission, advancement to classified graduate standing and candidacy, and graduation described in this section apply to all advanced degree programs. Any additional requirements are stated in the descriptions of the individual programs.

Each department/division/school that offers graduate degree programs and/or credential programs has a principal graduate adviser as well as credential advisers (when applicable). These advisers’ names and phone numbers appear each semester in the Schedule of Classes, and students can make appointments to see them in their offices.

Graduate Studies Directory

Phone Ext.
Office of Graduate Studies  Dean: Karin Elliott Brown LIB N A124 3820
College of Arts & Letters Associate Dean: Katherine Weiss MUS 232 4004
College of Business & Economics Associate Dean: Ramon Castillo ST F124 2800
Charter College of Education Associate Dean: Mitchell Fryling KH D2070 4303
College of Engineering, Computer Science, & Technology Associate Dean: Mark Tufenkjian ET A237 4510
College of Ethnic Studies Asso. Dean: Dolores Delgado Bernal KH D1052 6960
Rongxiang Xu College of Health & Human Services Associate Dean: Tony Sinay FA 130 4737
College of Natural & Social Services Associate Dean: Robert Nissen ASC B223 2000


Interdisciplinary Studies Master’s Degrees

The Interdisciplinary Studies Master of Arts or Master of Science degree is a highly restricted interdisciplinary program for students whose professional or academic objectives are unique and cannot be met by existing master’s degree offerings. It consists of an individual program of course offerings from at least two departments/divisions in related disciplines and must provide sharp focus and appropriate coherence.


Teaching Credentials

Teaching, specialist, and services credential programs are available to students who hold an acceptable baccalaureate. Students who seek teaching credentials must fulfill admission criteria and program requirements established by the Charter College of Education in accordance with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Students who are admitted into a teaching credential program are referred to as postbaccalaureate classified students. Description of admission criteria and program requirements appear on the Undergraduate Studies: General Information  page and on the Charter College of Education  page.

Credential Application Processing: Cal State L.A. charges a non-refundable fee to cover part of the expenses of processing admission and credential applications. This fee is assessed in addition to, and separate from, the fee charged by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. For additional information, contact the Charter College of Education, Office for Student Services, King Hall D2078, or call the office at (323) 343-4320.

Visit the Teaching Credential page for a list of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) Approved Teacher Preparation, Teaching, Specialist and Service Credential Programs   .


Credit Certificate Programs

Students who have a baccalaureate may be admitted to a certificate program to receive specialized instruction and training within a particular field. Students who pursue a certificate must fulfill admission criteria and program requirements established by the departments, divisions, and schools that offer the programs. Individual admission and program requirements appear in academic department/division/school listings.

Additional Information

.Use of Social Security Number

Applicants are required to include their correct social security numbers in designated places on applications for admission pursuant to the authority contained in Section 41201, Title 5, California Code of Regulations , and Section 6109 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 6109). The university uses the social security number to identify students and their records including identification for purposes of financial aid eligibility and disbursement and the repayment of financial aid and other debts payable to the institution. Also, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires the university to file information returns that include the student’s social security number and other information such as the amount paid for qualified tuition, related expenses and interest on educational loans. This information is used by the IRS to help determine whether a student, or a person claiming a student as a dependent, may take a credit or deduction to reduce federal income taxes.


.Full-Time Unit Load For Graduate Students

For full-time enrollment certification by the University graduate students must carry a unit load of 8 units of approved prerequisite, corequisite, or graduate program courses.  Upon recommendation of a student’s major department/division/school and approval by the appropriate college dean, a student enrolled in any of the following department/division/school courses may be certified as full-time with fewer than 8 units: 5960, 5970, 5990, 5995, 6990.  The maximum unit load for students working towards a graduate degree is 16 units per semester.  Authorization to enroll in more than 16 units requires a petition approved by the student’s major department/division chair or school director and the appropriate college dean.


.Credit by Examination

Graduate students who are in good standing and are enrolled in one or more residence courses may request permission to receive credit for courses by examination. Graduate credit by examination is restricted to eligible 4000- and 5000-level courses listed in this catalog. It is without unit limit, but does not count as residence credit. Total credit earned for courses and examinations taken in Special Sessions may not exceed the limit established for Special Session study. See University Requirements for Master’s Degrees.

Prior to taking the examination, students must obtain concurrent approval of the chair of the department/division/school concerned, and the instructor for the course. Forms for approval may be obtained from department/division/school offices. One copy of the approval to take the examination must be filed with Enrollment Services, Admin. 409, before the eighth week of the semester in which the examination is taken.


.Recognition of Academic Excellence

Students who receive Special Recognition in Graduate Studies have demonstrated superior scholastic achievement by maintaining a grade point average of 3.8 or higher in 80% or more of their required program and have received special recommendation by their department or division.


.Foreign Language Proficiency Examinations

Graduate students whose programs require that they pass the Modern Language Reading Examination must obtain permission from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures  and pay an examination fee when they register for the examination. The fee must be paid each semester the examination is attempted. No other registration fees are required when the student registers only for the Modern Language Reading Examination, and students are not entitled to the same privileges and services as students enrolled in regular classes. Modern Language Reading Examination results are posted on students’ academic record and appear on official transcripts. This exam is not given during the summer term.


.International Programs

Graduate students may be eligible for study abroad under The California State University International Programs. Information about cooperating universities abroad, eligibility requirements, and application procedures appear under International Programs in the The University  page of this catalog.



There are over 300 scholarships available to students who are currently attending Cal State L.A. Available scholarships have a wide variety of criteria, and many are for undergraduate, graduate and certificate students enrolled with the University. Scholarships are based on such criteria as academic major, academic achievement, campus and/or community participation, financial need, or a variety of other purposes. Some scholarships will provide funding for student fees; others will support the cost of books, transportation and living expenses. Students who wish to be considered for all institutional scholarships for which they are qualified should consult the information at http://www.calstatela.edu/financialaid/scholarships.


.Computing Facilities

Cal State L.A. provides the latest information technology resources to students, faculty and staff. Students have access to 217 electronic classrooms with networked computers, five student Open Access Labs, three training labs and many other “smart” rooms. Students also have access to a variety of state-of-the-art, campus-provided computers with more than 200 software packages, applications and plug-ins, including the latest web browsers. The campus wide wireless network (802.11a/b/g/n) provides anytime network access to University and Internet resources for laptops, iPads, smart phones and other electronic devices. Access is available inside all classroom buildings and from all outside areas where seating is available.

  • MyCalStateLA Identity is an online self-service offering many features designed to improve service and accessibility to information. This self-service automatically creates new network/e-mail accounts, issues new accounts and passwords online, resets passwords online and reduces the sign-on to GET, GETLA and other campus systems. myCSULA Portal recognizes each user’s myCSULA Identity and opens access to e-mail, WebCT, Moodle, electronic Library resources, systems and targeted announcements based on the user’s University role. myCSULA Community enables faculty, administrators and campus group leaders to create their own communities of interest to share ideas and information.
  • Open Access Labs (OAL) are available to students during daytime, evening and weekend hours. The labs are staffed by qualified student technology assistants who answer questions and provide assistance. The five OALs provide student access to a variety of services including: use of Windows and MAC computers; printing; informal lounge environment with wireless access. In addition, three of the labs also have smart rooms, which have the same equipment as the electronic classrooms, allowing students to practice their presentations. There are also group study rooms in these three labs that allow students to work on collaborative projects within the lab setting. Further information about the Open Access Labs can be obtained by visiting the computer lab website at http://www.calstatela.edu/oal.
  • ITS Training Services offer a wide variety of software application training resources ranging from hands-on workshops, online YouTube and iTunesU video and informational handouts. More information on training is available at http://www.calstatela.edu/its/training.
  • ITS Help Desk provides the campus community with friendly one-on-one technical assistance including support of campus e-mail, wireless Internet access, telecommunications and more. The walk-up ITS Help Desk is available five days a week to assist students, faculty and staff with computer and network related problems: phone support is available after hours. Additional information is available at the ITS Hlp Desk website: http://www.calstatela.edu/its/helpdesk.