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California State University, Long Beach

Doctorate Degree Requirements and The Graduation Filing Process

CSULB offers two independent doctoral degrees and two joint degrees at the doctoral level:

Ed.D in Educational Leadership

The Education Leadership doctoral program is designed to prepare current and future P-16 educational leaders to develop and nurture organizations that are designed to serve the diverse populations of southern California. The program is 60 units in length and is designed to be completed in 3 calendar years (including summers) with 48 units completed in residence. Graduates of this program will be prepared to serve as leaders in urban education with expertise to function in a global technological society. This degree is granted by CSULB. Students must file a request to graduate as described in the next section.

Ph.D in Engineering and Industrial Applied Mathematics – Joint Program with Claremont Graduate University

Currently, CSULB has one Ph.D. program available in Engineering and Industrial Applied Mathematics, which is offered jointly by the CSULB College of Engineering and the Claremont Graduate University (CGU). Students receive advisement and program supervision for the engineering portion of the program from CSULB and for the mathematics portion from CGU. Students must file an intent to receive a degree with CGU.

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is designed to prepare the student for entry-level doctoral practice as a physical therapist. Graduates are employed in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers and private physical therapy clinics. This degree is granted by CSULB. Students must file a request to graduate as described in the next section.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) – Joint program with CSU Fullerton and Cal State Los Angeles

The DNP is a practice-oriented doctorate, such as the Doctor of Pharmacy, Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Optometry, or Doctor of Physical Therapy, in contrast to the research-oriented Ph.D. The Doctor of Nursing Practice Program is offered through a Consortium of the Schools of Nursing at California State University, Fullerton, Long Beach and Los Angeles. You may find additional information about this program on the website of CSU Fullerton. This degree is granted by CSU Fullerton. Students must file the request to graduate with CSUF.

What are the requirements for the award of a doctoral degree?

Refer to the University Catalog for a complete list of requirements. In addition to the specific program requirements, you must satisfy the following general requirements in order to be awarded a Doctoral degree from CSULB (students in joint programs should check with both institutions):

  • Complete Coursework Completion of the specific course and unit requirements. No course with a grade lower than a "C" may be applied toward the fulfillment of a degree requirement.

  • Maintain Minimum Overall GPA of 3.00 You must maintain at least a B average in all courses completed during your graduate career at CSULB.

  • Maintain Minimum Major GPA of 3.00 You must maintain at least a B average in all courses completed to fulfill your major requirements.

  • Earn a Minimum of 30 Upper-Division and Graduate Units

  • Earn a Minimum of 24 Units in Residence You must earn a minimum of 24 units at CSULB.

  • Complete Your Thesis, Final Comprehensive Exam and/or Project You may change from a thesis to a comprehensive exam, or vice versa, if the change is approved by your department. See your Graduate Advisor for instructions and to submit a Change of Program form.

  • Satisfy Requirements within 7 Years All degree requirements must be completed within 7 years of the semester in which you attempted the first course for your program.

  • Advance to Candidacy At least one semester prior to graduation, you must advance to candidacy, which is when you receive approval of your program of study from your Graduate Advisor. You must be enrolled when advanced to candidacy.

  • Be Enrolled in Your Graduation Semester You must be enrolled at CSULB during your graduation semester. If you have completed all coursework, you may enroll in the Graduate Studies 700 course through College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) if authorized by your department.

  • Receive Formal Faculty Approval This does not require any action on the part of the student. Your department will notify you if your degree program is not approved.

Contact your Graduate Advisor for more information regarding the above requirements.

How do I file for graduation?

Follow these 3 steps to file for graduation:

  1. Complete a Request to Graduate form.

  2. Meet the following requirements before submitting your completed Request to Graduate form:

    Required for Graduation Contact for Information
    Pass the WPE. Office of Testing and Evaluation Services, Brotman Hall (BH) 216, (562) 985-4006
    Maintain good academic standing. Student Academic Records
    Have no financial obligation to CSULB. Student Account Services, BH 170A, (562) 985-8280
  3. Pay your Diploma and Commencement fees. Current fees are listed in the University catalog.

When do I file for graduation?

Graduation Semester Request to Graduate Filing Dates
Fall Preceding March 1
Winter Preceding March 1
Spring Preceding October 15
Summer Preceding October 15

What if I miss a deadline for graduation?

If you miss the deadline dates listed above, you must file a Request to Graduate form, along with a $10 missed deadline fee. Please contact Enrollment Services (BH-101) for more information regarding deadlines.

What happens after I file my Request to Graduate?

  1. A degree audit is performed by Enrollment Services, which verifies your eligibility to graduate and determines your outstanding requirements.  Every effort is made to complete your degree audit before you register for your final semester, provided that you submit your Request to Graduate form before the appropriate deadline. However, delays can occur, so we recommend that you keep in contact with your department advisor to review your progress.

  2. The final review of your record begins about 3 weeks after your final semester. All documents that affect your degree, such as transcripts for transfer work, substitutions, grade changes, petitions, waivers, etc., must be on file on the last day of your declared graduation semester.

    Your official transcript with final grades for coursework completed at another school must be on file in Enrollment Services as follows:

    Graduation Semester Transcript Deadline
    Spring July 1 following your graduation date
    Summer October 1 following your graduation date
    Fall February 1 following your graduation date
    Winter February 1 following your graduation date

    If you have outstanding requirements, you may attend your commencement ceremony. However, attending the ceremony does not constitute graduation. Visit the commencement web site for more information.

    If all necessary documents are not on file by the above deadline, you will not graduate, and you will need to establish a new graduation semester. This requires a Request to Change Graduation Date form and may also require a fee.

  3. Within 3 months after the final review, you will be notified of one of the following:

    • You have successfully completed all requirements, and your diploma has been ordered.

    • You will not be able to graduate because you have not met one or more of the requirements. Your graduation will be in an inactive status until you declare another semester within the graduation filing deadline for that new semester and again pay the appropriate fees.

  4. If your degree has been cleared, we will send you an email when your diploma is ready. Due to the possibility of loss or damage, diplomas are not mailed without your written consent to Enrollment Services.

  5. Degrees are posted to your transcript once Enrollment Services verifies that all of your requirements have been met. A transcript is considered official verification of your degree. Copies are available for a fee and may be ordered through Student Academic Records.

What happens if my degree is denied?

You will receive an email explaining the requirements that you have not met and what you need to do to fulfill them. For example,

  • You have not met all degree requirements.

  • You do not have all necessary documents on file in Enrollment Services by the appropriate deadline.

  • You have not completed any Incomplete (I), Report in Progress (RP), or Report Delayed (RD) grades. You need to complete any I grade prior to the granting of your degree or at the time of your graduation it will be calculated as an F, which may lead to the cancellation of your graduation. I, RP, and RD grades may also result in the cancellation of your graduation.

  • Your GPA is below 3.00 in your major and/or overall coursework.

  • You were not enrolled during your graduation semester or failed to be enrolled in the fall and spring semesters without being granted an Educational Leave.

  • You will need to follow the instructions to reinstate your program, which requires department approval, and to reapply to the University if you have outstanding requirements to complete.

Your graduation will remain in an inactive status until you declare another semester within the graduation filing deadline for that new semester and again pay the appropriate fees.