Graduate California Residency

Graduate Students
The laws of California provide that every student in the California State University system must be classified as either a resident or non-resident for tuition purposes. Applicants have the ultimate burden of proving their residence classification. 

*Undergraduate Students: Visit the Office of the Registrar's website for residency information.

Residence Determination Dates
To be eligible for resident tuition, you must have established California residency approximately one year prior to the start of the admission term. The exact dates are below:

Fall Admissions - September 20
Spring Admissions - January 25 
Established California residents should not submit a residency form.

If residency cannot be determined from the initial application (the data or documents that are initially supplied) the applicant may also be asked to follow this procedure. Do not follow this procedure unless instructed in your To Do List on My SJSU after you have applied.

How To Establish Residency
To establish residency, fill out residency questionnaire [pdf] [pdf].

Learn more about establishing residency.


Residency Documents
Documents that we use to prove your intent (provide copies of as many as possible):

  • Voter Registration AND proof of voting in an election in the state of California
  • Valid CA driver's license (may need to also include expired to show residency)
  • Valid CA registered motor vehicle
  • CA state income tax return (can submit copies from parents copies)
  • Copies of your official Federal income tax return transcripts must be attached to your
  • Residency Questionnaire.
  • You will have to have them sent to you directly from the IRS. Do not open the envelope. Use IRS form 4506-T [pdf] which can be found on the IRS website.
  • CA property title or CA property lease agreement
  • Active bank account showing date opened – must be statements sent to you via mail
  • Permanent military address or home of record on military records

First-term Graduate Student Appeal Process

California Residency classification listed on your admission letter determines tuition. If you are classified as Non-Resident at the time of admission (as listed on your admission letter), you will see additional Non-Resident fees due.

To appeal this determination, please email with the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Program admitted into
  • Specific rationale for appeal and residency documentation 

Additional Residency Information

Learn more about California residency, including: