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Baccalaureate and Graduate Degree Information

Graduate Degree Information

Steps Walkway

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)

As a requirement for advancement to candidacy, all graduate students must demonstrate upper-division competency in academic writing in English. Students must either submit evidence of having fulfilled this requirement elsewhere or attempt to fulfill it no later than the end of their first semester of matriculation at CSULB. All graduate students must fulfill this GWAR by one of the following:

1. Passing the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE)
2. Passing another approved assessment of writing competence
3. Having fulfilled a GWAR as part of their baccalaureate degree(s) while matriculated at CSULB or at another CSU campus
4. Earning a CSULB-approved passing score on the writing portion of an approved standardized graduate admissions test, such as the Graduate Record Examination or the Graduate Management Aptitude Test

Assessments of writing competence from non-CSU campuses will be evaluated by the GWAR Coordinator as a fulfillment of the GWAR on an articulation basis if possible, or on a case-by case basis if necessary.

Graduate students must satisfy the GWAR before they will be advanced to candidacy. (Advancement to candidacy requires satisfying the GWAR and satisfactorily completing six or more semester units in residence earning a 3.0 GPA or greater.) Graduate students must also visit their graduate faculty advisors in their first semester to determine if additional departmental or program writing requirements apply to their advancement to candidacy.

It is the students' responsibility to ensure that any passing scores they have earned on the essay portions of standardized graduate admissions tests are reported to the Office of Enrollment Services. It is also the students' responsibility to ensure that their specific department or program receives up-to-date GWAR scores and information.



Graduate Research Fellowship


The Graduate Research Fellowship is awarded by CSULB faculty to students who show potential for success in scholarly and creative activity and an interest in advanced study. Ten graduate fellowships in the amount of $9,000 (paid in two installments of $4,500 at the beginning of each semester) are available annually. Seven fellowships, one fellowship per college, are awarded. Three additional fellowships are awarded by the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies in consultation with a CSULB faculty selection committee. Eight of the fellowships are allocated for students who are California residents and demonstrate the required financial need as defined by the Department of Education; the remaining two fellowships are distributed without regard to financial need or California residency status. The purpose of the fellowship program is to support collaborative scholarly and creative activities involving CSULB graduate students and faculty mentors.

Second Master's Degree


A graduate student who is currently enrolled in a master's program at CSULB must complete that master's program before enrolling in courses for another degree. A graduate student who already holds a master's degree from this or any other accredited institution but desires to become a candidate for a second master's degree in a different field is subject to the following regulations:

1. All admission requirements of the University and college or department must be met (all general regulations listed in the Catalog apply to the second master's degree);
2. Enrollment and approval of candidacy for the second degree will be granted only after the first degree has been completed and awarded;
3. All requirements for the new degree must be completed;
4. After awarding of the first master's degree, a minimum of 24 units of graduate residence credit must be earned at this University including the minimum of 500/600-series units mandated by the major department in which the student is earning the second master's degree;
5. No more than six units earned on the first degree may be applied to a second master's degree;
6. Prerequisites for an advanced course must be completed prior to enrollment in the advanced course. An instructor may disenroll a student who does not provide evidence of adequate preparation;
7. All prerequisites must be completed prior to application for candidacy;
8. Two master's degrees cannot be awarded concurrently;
9. The area or discipline in which the second degree is earned shall be designated on the transcript and a second diploma awarded.

Graduate Study in the International Programs


Students planning to participate and receive unit credit toward a master's degree in an International Program should consult with the graduate advisor in the department of their major and college dean or director of graduate studies before entering the degree program.

Graduate students who have not been admitted to candidacy for a master's degree and who participate in the International Programs may, upon their return to California State University, Long Beach, petition to have six units earned as resident credit in the International Programs included on their official student program for the master's degree. In no case may excess grade points earned in the International Programs be used to bring a grade-point deficiency at California State University, Long Beach to the required 3.0 (B) average.

Students admitted to candidacy for a master's degree who plan to participate in the International Program of Studies must obtain permission, prior to beginning their study abroad, to have units earned abroad applied toward satisfaction of their degree requirements. A candidate's petition to apply units earned abroad must be reviewed and recommended by the department offering the degree. The specific courses to be taken on the foreign campus, thesis research which is to be done abroad, or any other requirements such as examinations to be taken upon the student's return must be listed on the official student program. Usually no more than six units of credit may be transferred to apply toward the minimum 30 units for an advanced degree as a result of participation in the International Program of Studies, but a maximum of 12 units may be allowed by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies or his/her designee in consultation with the University Graduate Council in a special case.

A copy of the candidate's graduate student program must be forwarded to the Resident Director for the foreign area, who must certify that any credit earned abroad is appropriate to meet graduate degree requirements.

Pending the faculty's evaluation of the student's work, a Report Delayed (RD) grade will be assigned in all courses in which work was completed abroad and which are offered to satisfy requirements toward an advanced degree.

Change of Objective


Evaluation of credits transferred to the University is based in part upon the objective indicated on the application for admission. Candidates desiring a change in graduate objective to a discipline different from that indicated on the original application must reapply to the University. Reapplication requires the submission to the Office of Enrollment Services of a newly completed Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Admission form and payment of the associated fee. The proposed new graduate department or program will review the application and notify Enrollment Services of its decision. Students who are admitted to a new discipline must then seek approval of their official student program and advancement to candidacy, using the procedures indicated below under "The Program" and "Advancement to Candidacy." Students who are not admitted to a new discipline have the option of continuing to pursue their original objective.

The only exception to the procedures described in the preceding paragraph is for students seeking to change from one degree program to another degree program within the same discipline (for purposes of this regulation, all options offered by the College of Education are considered to be part of a single discipline). In such cases candidates must obtain a Petition to Change Objective from the Office of Enrollment Services, obtain the required department/program signatures, return the completed petition form to Enrollment Services, and then seek approval of their official student program and advancement to candidacy, using the procedures indicated below under "The Program" and "Advancement to Candidacy."

Withdrawal from the Degree Program


If a student wishes to resume graduate study after withdrawal, the student must reapply to the University and to the graduate program. If admitted, the student must be readvanced to candidacy and the department or college may determine that the student's graduate program should be changed.