Please select from the links below for frequently asked questions in each of these areas:

Prospective Applicants

-- Application Process
-- Residency
-- Test Scores (GRE and TOEFL)

New Students


Current Students

-- Academic Standing
-- Changing Your Major
-- Candidacy
-- Graduation
-- 7 Year Limit

Prospective Applicants -- Application Process


Q. What do I need to do to apply to your school?
A. Please visit your intended department's webpage to receive department application procedures. You can find a link to each department by visiting our Graduate Programs page. University level information about procedures and deadlines can be found on our Prospective Students page. All applicants are required to apply online at Cal State Apply.

Q. How are international applicants evaluated for admissions?
A. Same as a domestic applicants. First, please always check your "To Do List" at My SJSU for any missing admission requirements. If something is missing and you feel this is in error, please contact the Data Specialist in Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations.

Once your admissions file is completed by the Data Specialist, it is sent to the evaluator for review. Evaluators check for university accreditation, U.S. bachelors four year degree equivalency, TOEFL minimum (if required), and grade point average minimum of 2.50. If your admissions application meets these standards, it is referred to the Department's Graduate Advisor for their final decision. Please do research any additional graduate department admissions criteria in advance as well.

Q. Can I get into a graduate program with a three-year Bachelor's degrees from India?
A. Unfortunately, no.

However, here are some general guidelines: If you continue your education in India, you might consider continuing your education in the same or related field from an accredited university and earn a "Masters" degree in India. The 2 year Masters degree plus the 3 years bachelor's in India is equivalent to the four years bachelor's degree in the U.S. We will also accept an additional year of coursework culminating in the Postgraduate Diploma from an accredited university that is in the same or closed related field as your 3 year bachelor's degree. Note: Years of study must culminate in that degree's equivalency to the 4 years of comprehensive study in the U.S. Within the Indian educational system, we consider this culmination to be either the Masters degree or the Post Graduate Diploma from an accredited university, therefore, you cannot simply take more courses without a resultant PG diploma or Masters degree. If you earn the Masters degree or postgraduate diploma in India we will need the provisional and final degree certificate upon graduation.

If you remain in the United States, it is recommended that students with a three-year degree apply for undergraduate admissions at a four year regionally accredited college or university as an upper division (junior or senior level) transfer student and complete a bachelor's degree. Depending on how many transfer units are awarded, it should take about two years of full-time study to earn a U.S. bachelor's degree. If you decide to do this, please make an appointment with an Undergraduate Admissions Counselor at the college you plan to attend who works closely with international transfer students. To meet with an admissions counselor at San José State, go to sjsu.edu/soar to view the pre-admission counseling hours or call 408-924-2564.    

Q. Can you tell me if I my international degree will be accepted before I apply for graduate admissions?
A. Evaluators need to have all the required and official documentation in order to research and fully process an evaluation; therefore, the GAPE office evaluates completed applications only. The GAPE office does not perform pre-evaluations for graduate admissions.

Q. Can I apply for two different graduate programs at the same time?
A. You may contact more than one department and discuss your admissibility with them, but you may not apply to two different graduate programs at the same time.

Q. Can I apply before having completed my bachelor's degree?
A. Yes, domestic students who are completing their bachelor's degree in the Spring or Summer may apply for admission into graduate school for the following Fall (Fall graduates can apply for Spring admission). If you receive admission you will need to turn in your final transcript that shows your degree posted by the deadline posted in your MySJSU To-Do List.

Q. When can someone transfer from another college or university?
A. Transfer students are bound by the same deadlines as first-time graduate students. You will have to fill out the Cal State Apply application and submit all required documents.

Q. I already applied to your school previously, so do I need to resubmit my transcripts?
A. Transcripts are retained for 1-2 years. If you apply the following year, you should check your most current MySJSU "To Do List"  to confirm any outstanding items needed after you apply.

Q. If I am currently attending an undergraduate program at SJSU, do I still need to request a transcript for my graduate school application to SJSU?
A. If you are currently an undergraduate student at SJSU, you do not have to submit SJSU transcripts with your Graduate School application.

Q. Where should I mail letters of recommendation?
A. Some departments may require students to file materials such as test results, letters of recommendation or an entirely separate departmental application. These materials should be sent directly to the departments unless otherwise noticed. Some departments may also have an earlier priority deadline. Students are strongly advised to contact their department to research these additional requirements.

Q.Where should I send my transcripts?

A. FOR APPLICANTS WITH FOREIGN DEGREES: SJSU requires that all applicants with foreign coursework provide a WES (World Education Services) evaluation. To keep costs at a minimum, SJSU accepts the document-by-document evaluation (Basic or ICAP). SJSU prefers and requests the document-by-document evaluation, however if SJSU receives a course-by-course evaluation, we will accept this format as well. Mark sheets/transcripts must be sent directly to WES for evaluation. SJSU must receive the academic record and the evaluation directly from WES. A complete WES evaluation is preferred. DO NOT send foreign transcripts to SJSU as they will not be considered for your application.   

Note: Through SJSU's relationship with accessWES, SJSU will receive a copy of the original documents from WES when applicants select the document-by-document OR course-by-course evaluation service. 

View detailed, illustrated instructions on how to send documents through WES. 

SJSU will not accept evaluations from institutions other than WES. Please visit WES for more information.    

If you are currently in an undergraduate program outside the U.S., you will be required to send your transcripts for semesters 1-7 to WES by the document deadline for your program. The completed WES evaluation with the eighth semester and degree confirmation will be required at a later date, should you be admitted into SJSU.

FOR APPLICANTS WITH U.S. TRANSCRIPTS: Please include your assigned nine-digit SJSU ID on the requested transcripts.  All transcripts must be sealed and unopened to be accepted as official documents. COPIES OF TRANSCRIPTS OR OPENED TRANSCRIPTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Once submitted to SJSU, documents become the property of the university and cannot be released.

Send transcripts to:
San José State University, Graduate Admissions
One Washington Square
San José, CA 95192-0017

Q. What is the difference between the Basic and ICAP WES evaluation? 
A. If you are only applying to SJSU's graduate school, you will want to select the Basic document-by-document evaluation because it is the least expensive option. The ICAP service offered by WES is for applicants applying to multiple schools that require WES evaluations. You can decide which service from WES you prefer. For more information on ICAP, visit: http://www.wes.org/educators/icap.asp

Q. How will SJSU determine my GPA when I use WES?

A. International Evaluators use WES to validate the authenticity of degrees and transcripts submitted by applicants. International Evaluators extract an equivalent GPA from the university transcripts and do not primarily use the GPA calculations provided by WES. Applications will be referred or denied in accordance with CSU eligibility standards currently in practice. 

Q. How can I check my application status?
A. You will receive a User ID and Password email about two weeks after submitting your application online. With those two items you may log-in at My SJSU and check the status of your application. Please allow us some time to adequately process your application and list any outstanding items we may need.

Q. Something is missing from my admissions application but I know I sent it. Who do I contact?
A. The Data Specialist in Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations assigned to your major.

Q. Why was my admissions application withdrawn?
A. Your admissions application was not completed at Graduate Admissions by the document deadline. Please check your "To Do List" at My SJSU for any outstanding items.
You are always welcome to reapply for the next available semester and complete your admissions file at that time. If you feel this is in error, you may contact the Data Specialist in Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations for your major to further inquire.

Q. How can I contact or meet my program advisor?
A. To meet with a program advisor, please contact your intended department. A list can be found on our web-site under Graduate Programs.

Q. What is the minimum GPA required for admission into your University?
A. Our minimum requirement for admission into the San Jose State University is 2.5 in the last institution where you earned a degree.  In special circumstances, we will consider the GPA within the last 60 semester or 90 quarter units (roughly 2 years). However, many departments have higher GPA requirements for their programs. If we compute the grade point average for admission to graduate school, we use the last 60 semester or 90 quarter units. All colleges and universities attended are considered in the calculations beginning with the most recent and going backwards semester by semester. We calculate all courses in a semester if the 60th semester unit or 90th quarter unit falls in a semester (example: we might calculate 65 units instead of 60 to complete the semester). Additional criteria will allow admission offices to evaluate eligibility by confirming that the student either holds a graduate degree or has a 2.5 minimum GPA in an acceptable earned baccalaureate degree.

Q. How can I raise my GPA to qualify for admission to your graduate program?
A. You might consider raising your GPA by attending another institution not bound by our admission requirements. You might also consider attending Open University to raise your GPA.

Q. I'm a returning graduate student to San Jose State University; do I need to re-apply?
A. Former students in good standing who plan to return after an absence of more than one semester must submit a new admission application. Students absent from the university for a period of seven or more years must resubmit all documents required for admission.

Q. Can I defer admission?
A. No. Enrollment in the semester that a student is admitted to is required for an applicant to be considered a matriculated student. Applicants may not defer admission to a later semester and will have to re-apply to the University.


Prospective Applicants--Residency

Q.What is the minimum period of stay in California to be considered a resident?
A. The minimum period of stay in California to be considered a resident is one year prior to the determine dates for each semester. The determine dates are:

Fall - Sept 20th
Spring - January 25th

Q. Can I change my residency status after admission?
A. The initial residency form is processed by Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations upon acceptance. After the first semester if the student wishes to reclassify thier residency, they can obtain a form from the Registrar and turn it in to the Registrar's Office in the Student Services Center located at the 10 th Street parking garage.


Prospective Applicants--Test Scores (GRE and TOEFL)


Q. What is San Jose State University's GRE or TOEFL school code?
A. Our ETS institution code for both GRE and TOEFL is 4687.

Q. Do I have to take the GRE?
A. The GRE test is a department specific requirement. Please check our test requirements page to see if your intended department requires this test.

Q. What if I don't have my GRE score by the application deadline?
A. Please contact your intended department regarding their deadline dates for submitting your GRE scores.

Q. If my GRE score is below the minimum required, do I still have the chance to be admitted?
A. Your intended department will be able to tell you about the program requirements, prerequisites, and any tests that are required for admittance. They can also answer your question regarding the possibility of admittance if the GRE score is below the requirement. Please visit the department homepage to get a good understanding of what is required to apply to their program.

Q. Did the English Proficiency scores recently change? 
A. Effective for the Fall 2016 application term, the university IELTS and Pearson Test of English (PTE) minimum scores have been lowered. All prior terms are held to the prior requirements.  


New Students

Q. How do I get a parking permit?
A. Parking permits can be purchased online from Parking Services. Visitors and students can obtain daily passes as well.

Q. How do I register for classes?
A. Registration for classes is done online through My SJSU. The system also allows access to course listings and class schedules.

Q. Where can I access more information about my first steps as a new student?
A. Our newly admitted domestic and international students can gain detailed information from our Admitted Students page.


Current Students--Academic Standing


Q. Where can I get a permission code?
A. Permission Codes, or Class Permission Numbers, are required to add a course that indicates Department Consent or Instructor Consent. These codes can be obtained from the appropriate department office or instructor. A permission code is needed after open registration has ended.

Q. How many CR/NCR courses can I take?
A. Of the units completed for your master's program, 60 percent must be letter-graded coursework. The other 40 percent may be credit/no-credit courses.

Q. Can I take undergraduate classes as a graduate student?
A. Yes, graduate students may take undergraduate classes. However, lower division (freshman and sophomore) courses numbered 1-99 can not be used for credit in graduate and credential programs. For additional assistance and inquires about registration in undergraduate classes, please visit the Registrar.

Q. What is considered a passing grade for graduate students?
A. You must complete all courses in your graduate program with grades of A, B, C or CR. Grades of C-, D, F, U, or NC in any course are considered to be unsatisfactory. Any unsatisfactory grades will remain on the program and will continue to be computed in your grade point average. You must petition through your academic advisor to add another course to the graduate degree program with unit value equivalent to that of the course in which the unsatisfactory grade was received. All students must be in clear academic standing (cumulative 3.0 GPA in graduate division) at SJSU to receive a Master's degree from this university.

Q. How do I drop a course from a previous semester?
A. You will need to fill out a Retroactive Course Drop form. Retroactive Graduate Petitions also include: Retroactive Add, Drop, or Retroactive Withdrawal. These petitions are available at the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations front counter in the Student Services Center. Registrar Services staff process these forms, if you have any questions please contact the Registrar.

Q. Can I skip a semester?
A. You may take one semester off without reapplying to the University. Summer is not considered a semester (example: If you do not register in the Spring, you would need to register the following Fall to maintain your enrollment).

Q. How can I apply for a leave of absence?
A. Leave of absences are handled by the Registrar's office located in the Student Service Center; forms can be obtained from the Registrar.

Q. How do I drop out from the graduate program?
A. The first thing you should do to sever your ties with the University is contact your graduate advisor and let him or her know that you have chosen to leave their program. If you are currently registered for classes, you will need to submit a withdrawal form. The withdrawal form can be obtained from the Registrar located in the Student Services Center.

Q. I have been disqualified from the University. What do I do now?
A. For more information regarding the reinstatement of disqualified graduate students, please refer to the Registrar's office. Students who wish to be reinstated following disqualification must see their graduate advisor to develop a program of study appropriate to their proposed major for coursework to be taken through San José State University Extended Studies, Winter Session, or Open University. Courses graded CR/NC are not applicable for reinstatement purposes. The program of study must consist of a minimum of six (6) units per semester of coursework and should contain only upper division (100-level) courses directly related to the student's major. A disqualified student is not permitted to enroll in graduate (200-level) courses. Neither extension courses taken from another institution, nor 400-level courses taken from San José State University Extended Studies, nor lower-division courses taken from this or any other institution, are appropriate for reinstatement purposes for a post-baccalaureate or graduate student.


Current Students--Changing Your Major


Q. I am in a graduate program already and would like to switch to another program; how is that possible?
A. Master's or credential students who are active in a graduate program in good academic standing and would like to switch to another program, changing their major and/or degree objective, must submit a Change of Major Application to Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations. This request is evaluated by Graduate Admissions and Programs Evaluations and sent to the graduate advisor for their final decision. All change of majors have to be approved before you can start a new program. The Change of Major final decision will be sent to you in the mail.


Current Students--Candidacy

Q. What is the Candidacy Form?
A. This is your proposed program. The candidacy lists the courses you have already completed or propose to complete in order to graduate.
Please note you must maintain a grade point average of 3.00 in your candidacy courses. You can download the candidacy form from our forms page.

Q. When should I apply for Candidacy?
A. You may apply for candidacy after you have taken nine graded units, have met the Graduate Writing Requirement, and are in Clear Classified standing.
Please contact your graduate advisor for more details about the candidacy submission. The graduate advisor will need to review and sign your candidacy
before submitting it to Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations

Q. What is the Competency in Written English and how do I complete it?
A. All graduate students are required to demonstrate their competency in written English as a requirement for graduation. At San José State University, university policy requires that English competency shall be a requirement of classified graduate students as a condition necessary for advancement to candidacy for the award of the master's degree. Students may satisfy this requirement in one of five ways:

1) Satisfactory completion of a bachelor's degree from SJSU or another CSU campus after 1981, or

2) Satisfactory completion of the SJSU 100W course. In order to take this course, the Writing Skills Test (WST) must be taken and passed. For more information on registering for the WST, visit the SJSU Testing and Evaluation Department, or

3) Completion of a pre-approved SJSU graduate course (pdf), which has been approved by Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations, is at least three units, and in which a major report is required that is at least 30% of the course grade. Most graduate departments have a number of pre-approved courses that students can take that will complete this requirement, or

4) Approval by our office of a professional publication in which the student was the sole author, or

5) Completion of an upper division writing course at another university that is approved by our office and is deemed to be equivalent in content and writing requirement to the SJSU 100W.

You should also be aware that each department may establish its own criteria within these policy guidelines and candidates must abide by the department decision.

Q. How do I register for the Writing Skills Test (WST)?
A. The Testing and Evaluation Department administers the Writing Skills Test (WST) required of all undergraduate and graduate students prior to enrollment in 100W courses. Please contact the Testing and Evaluation Department for test dates, registration deadlines, exam fees, exemptions, and other important information.

Q. How do I change my status from conditional classified to classified standing?
A. Change of classification (from conditional to classified standing) will require approval from your Graduate Advisor prior to submitting the Change of Classification in Master's Program form to the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations Office in the Student Services Center.


Current Students --Graduation


Q.How do I apply to graduate?
A. Students wishing to graduate must apply through their MySJSU account by the appropriate deadline posted on our Current Students Page. Students may only apply for graduation once they have advanced to candidacy and received a MySJSU message with instructions on how to apply online.

Q. I have received the message that allows me to apply online for graduation. Where can I find the tutorial for instructions?
A. You can access the tutotorial here.

Q. Can I apply for graduation past the deadline?
A. Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations will not accept graduation applications past the posted deadline. 

Q. What is the verification of culminating experience form?
A. Depending upon the department, the culminating experience requirement may be satisfied in a number of ways. Some departments have courses in which you satisfy the culminating experience requirement. When you pass the course, you have met the requirement. Some departments require completion of a master's thesis or project, while in other departments the requirement is met through a final examination. Usually departments submit this form to our office directly and no student intervention is needed. However, it is a good idea for students to follow up with their advisor to make sure that the Verification of Culminating Experience form has been submitted if this form is utilized by the department to document completion of the culminating experience requirement.

Q. When will my degree be granted or posted on my transcript?
A. You can check your status on My SJSU under "Other Indicators" for a Graduation Awarded status message. Our graduation processing timeline is:
Spring- late June - early July
Fall- Mid January - early February
Summer- Mid September - early October

Q. When is Commencement?
A. Commencement is held only once a year during May.

Q. Can I walk during Commencement if I am not graduating until next year?
A. You can only walk during Commencement if you are graduating that Spring or if you graduated in Fall or Summer of the previous year.

Q. Will my name be in the Commencement book?
A. Your name will be in the Commencement booklet if you have applied for Spring graduation by the deadline or if you graduated the previous Fall or Summer semester.

Q. Where and when will my diploma be sent?
A. Your diploma will be sent to the diploma address we have on record. You may view or change your diploma address on My SJSU up until your graduation date. Please keep your diploma address current since the post office will not forward diplomas to your new address. The schedule for sending diplomas is the same as the schedule for granting your degree.

Q. How do I order another copy of my diploma?
A. To order another diploma copy, submit your request in writing to Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations. Your request must include your name (also the name on the diploma if it has changed), SJSU ID, the date you graduated and the degree that you received. You must pay a $10.00 fee to the bursar's office before submitting your request. If you have questions, contact the Evaluator for your program.

Q. What if I don't graduate when I was supposed to?
A. If you do not complete the graduation requirements in the semester that you originally identified on your graduation application, you may reactivate your graduation for a future date. You will need to complete a Graduation Date Change Request and pay a $10.00 fee. Instructions for the date change request can be found here. You must make this request within the same published deadlines as the Application for Award of Master's Degree.


Current Students --7 Year Limit

Q. Do I have a time limit to complete my Master's degree?
A. Section 40510(b)(2), California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Education, requires that courses for completed master's degree programs be no older than seven years at the time of the awarding of the degree. This means that no more than seven years may elapse between the time the candidate completes the first course in his/her program and the date the candidate actually completes (not registers for) the last item on the program and completes the requirements for the degree. If, after reading the catalog information on the seven-year time limit, you still have questions regarding the time to complete your degree, email/call the Evaluator listed for your program.