Candidacy Form

Attach to your Proposal an Approved Request for Candidacy form with all courses (exactly 30 units) defining your graduate program.


Candidacy serves a dual purpose: 1) It functions as notification to the TRFT department and to Graduate Studies that you are going to advance to candidacy (i.e., you do this in our department by successfully proposing, defending, and passing your thesis proposal); 2) It states that you are going to graduate eventually (i.e., you graduate with an M.A. after you complete your thesis).

Pre-Candidacy Requirements

Most graduate students apply for candidacy after their first year as a graduate student. Before a student can apply for candidacy the following requirements must already be met. Please be sure that you have met the following pre-requisites or your candidacy application will be denied.

  • Have any planned transfer units already approved (See Transfer Credit).
  • Completed a minimum of 9 graded units (100 or 200 level courses).
  • Have completed the Competency in Written English. (In our department this is done by successfully completing TA 200.)
  • Be in graduate "classified" standing. Students who are still in "conditionally classified" standing must submit a Change of Classification form signed by your graduate advisor. This form can be submitted at the same time as your candidacy form if you have already successfully completed your Thesis/Exam Proposal (TA 260). If you are currently enrolled in TA 260 then you should submit the Request for Candidacy without the Change of Classification form; the Graduate Coordinator with retroactively file the form following acceptance of your Thesis Proposal.
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of a "B" in all courses taken as a graduate student. Lower division courses are not included in this calculation.

Advancement To Candidacy

Your advancement to candidacy serves as a contract between the Graduate Office, your graduate department, and you that by successfully completing the courses listed on the Candidacy Petition you will receive a master's degree from San Jose State. This will also be when you state whether you plan on completing a Thesis (Plan A) or Project/Exams (Plan B). When filling out the Request for Candidacy form the following requirements must be met:

  • At least half the units listed for your graduate program must be from 200-level courses and a minimum of 60% must be letter graded courses.
  • Only 20% of the courses listed may be from transfer credit work (courses from other departments at SJSU taken as a graduate student are not considered transfer work). Transfer credit work listed must be already approved. See Transfer Credit for more information.
  • Courses which may not be used on the Request for Candidacy are basic skills courses (below 100 level), student teaching, 300 level residence and 400 level extended studies courses taken at SJSU.
  • Only a maximum of three (3) semester units of credit for TA 298 or four (4) units for TA 299 may be listed.
  • All courses listed must be less than seven years old.

Deadlines & Notification

The deadline to submit your candidacy will depend on when you plan on graduating. The Graduate Office needs at least a couple of months to properly evaluate your candidacy petition and notify you. Please see current candidacy deadlines to see when you should submit this petition.

After receiving your candidacy approval, any future course changes from the original candidacy program must be approved by your graduate advisor and the Graduate Studies office. You will need to complete a Course Substitution form and have your graduate advisor sign it and submit it to the Graduate Studies office prior to your expected date of graduation. Please note that completed/graded courses cannot be removed from an approved Request for Candidacy. So keep in mind the following You must complete the Candidacy form with information regarding the classes you have already taken AND with a prediction for how many units of TA 298/299 (i.e., the actual exam/thesis writing “course”) and other courses you will take.

You must make sure that everything adds up to exactly 30 units including TA 298/299 units. No more, no less.