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Baccalaureate and Graduate Degree Information

Graduate Degree Information

CSULB graduates at Commencement

University Regulations Governing the Master's Degree

General

The following regulations apply to all graduate degree programs. Specific academic and curricular requirements of individual degree programs are given in the departmental listings of this catalog.

All regulations involving a calculation of grade-point average subsequent to admission to the University as a graduate student shall be based on the following common practices and standards.

“Cumulative Graduate Grade-Point Average” shall be calculated on all upper-division and graduate-level coursework attempted by a student at this University after completion of a baccalaureate degree.

Grade-point average standards calculated on the basis of a smaller range, grouping, or set of upper-division and graduate-level courses, for example, “courses in the major” or “courses taken since admission to the degree program,” presuppose that the student has met the minimum standard for any larger range, group, or set, including the Overall Graduate Grade-Point Average.

  • 1. A student pursuing the master’s degree must maintain a Cumulative Graduate Grade-Point Average of 3.0 (B). Exceptions to the 3.0 (B) Cumulative Graduate Grade-Point Average may be made only on the recommendation of the departmental faculty offering the degree, the college dean or designee, and approval by the Academic Appeals Committee.
  • 2. At least a 3.0 (B) average must be maintained in the degree program.
  • 3. No course with a grade lower than “C” may be applied toward the fulfillment of degree requirements.
  • 4. Graduate students cannot repeat and delete courses either for credit or to improve their grade-point average, but may repeat and average courses and grades for courses required for the degree.
  • 5. The individual course of studies (student program) for the master’s degree must contain a minimum of 30 units in upper-division and graduate courses.
    • Some degree programs require additional units. Please consult individual degree program requirements.
      A minimum of sixty percent of the units required for the degree shall be in the 500- and 600-level series and these shall be completed at this University, consistent with departmental requirements. Student teaching cannot be included in any master’s degree program.
  • 6. A thesis, project, or final comprehensive examination must be completed. A minimum of four and a maximum of six semester units shall be allowed for a thesis or project. Failure of the comprehensive examination or thesis requirement is failure of both options. Thus, a student failing the comprehensive examination may not proceed to the thesis/project option or vice versa. Once a student has completed a semester of enrollment towards fulfillment of either the comprehensive examination or thesis/project option, the student may not change from one option to the other without the approval of the faculty concerned, the department chair, and the appropriate dean or designee.
  • 7. No fewer than 24 semester units shall be completed in residence at the University. The Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies or his/her designee may authorize department/college approved substitution of credit earned by alternate means for a part of the residence requirement. Units, including continuing education or extension units, accepted by transfer for application toward the minimum units required for a master’s degree cannot be used to fulfill the minimum unit requirements in the 500/600 series. This 500/600 unit requirement must be completed in the major discipline and in residence at this University.
  • 8. All requirements of the degree program must be completed within seven years of the date the student program was initiated, i.e., the date (semester) when the earliest course appearing on the student program was completed. An extension of time beyond the limit may be granted by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies or his/her designee if warranted by individual circumstances and if the outdated work is validated by comprehensive examination in the relevant course or subject field work, or such other demonstration of competence as may be prescribed by the department and/or college.
  • 9. A graduate student who expects to receive a degree at the end of any semester or summer session must be enrolled during that semester or session and must complete the Request to Graduate Form well in advance. The appropriate request for Spring or Summer candidates must be filed by the preceding October 1; for Fall candidates, by the preceding March 1 at the Office of Enrollment Services. The names of candidates who file within these deadlines will appear in the Commencement Program published each Spring.
  • Note: Graduate Studies 700 may only be used to fulfill the enrollment requirement if the applicant has completed all degree program courses prior to the semester of graduation. An incomplete grade not otherwise resolved prior to graduation will automatically revert to the letter grade indicated on the "Requirements for Assigning an Incomplete Grade" form. A course with an unresolved grade of RP (Report in Progress) will remain on the transcript but will be removed from the student's program of study. Incomplete grades cannot be resolved after graduation.
  • 10. Proficiency of a student in all parts of a curriculum is determined by the faculty of the University. A favorable vote of the faculty is required for a student to receive the degree.

The Program

A student must consult with the graduate advisor of the department or college to prepare a tentative degree program. After completing prerequisites and other requirements, the student must formulate an official student program and apply for advancement to candidacy.

The department will assign the student a faculty advisor who must be consulted about preparing a degree program. The advisor should have an official evaluation of the student’s previous work from the Office of Enrollment Services, although transcripts provided by the student may be used to develop a tentative student program and discuss degree requirements. When the Office of Enrollment Services' evaluation and the results of tests are available, the faculty advisor can assist the student in drawing up a student program. This student program must be approved by the student’s faculty advisor, the departmental graduate advisor, and college dean or director of graduate studies or, for Interdisciplinary Studies, the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies or his/her designee. The student program must list the following:

  1. Courses required for removal of undergraduate deficiencies;
  2. All courses taken prior to advancement to candidacy which are to apply toward the 30-unit minimum;
  3. Required courses;
  4. Elective courses.

The official student program, when approved, serves as the basis for the Office of Enrollment Services' graduation check which is required before the degree can be granted. Students who have not been advanced to candidacy are subject to all changes as published in the Catalog, Policy Statements, and certifications.

Graduate student programs may be revised as the student advances toward the degree. Such revisions must be recommended by the faculty advisor and approved by the departmental graduate advisor and the college dean or director of graduate studies or, for Interdisciplinary Studies, the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies or his/her designee.