The following frequently asked questions address our current graduate student population. For information about admissions and steps for newly admitted students, please visit our Graduate Admissions website.
Current Student Topics
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 transcript and program which will continue to be computed in your grade point averages at SJSU. If the course with the unsatisfactory grade is a core course, you must retake the course to earn a better grade. If the course with the unsatisfactory grade was an elective course, you must petition through your academic advisor to add another course to the graduate degree program with the unit value equivalent to that of the course in which the unsatisfactory grade was received. All students must have a graduate career cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above to receive a graduate 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.
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 of coursework within the degree program, 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.