California Pre-Doctoral Scholarship

Applicants are strongly encouraged to work directly with Associate Dean of Inclusive Student Success, Amy Leisenring, via email ( Visit the California Pre-Doctoral Program webpage for detailed information about the application process.

Chancellor's Office Online Submission Deadline: Friday, February 16, 2024.

The California Pre-Doctoral Program (a.k.a. Sally Casanova) awards funds to approximately 70 juniors, seniors, and graduate students in the CSU. These funds are designed to enable students to explore and prepare to succeed in doctoral programs in their chosen field of study. Scholarships are based on a competitive review of student applications and awarded to current upper-division or graduate students who, in the judgment of the review panel, demonstrate academic excellence while having experienced economic or educational disadvantage, and who are committed to a career in teaching or research at the university level.

Students who are chosen for this prestigious award are designated California Pre-Doctoral Scholars as a tribute to Dr. Sally Casanova, for whom the scholarship is named.

Program Description

If you are selected as a California Pre-Doctoral Program Scholar, you will receive an award of $5,000 for:

  • Visits to doctoral-granting institutions in the continental United States
  • Attending or presenting research at professional conferences
  • Journal subscriptions in your field or membership fees to professional organizations
  • Graduate school application fees, GRE or other graduate exam preparation course or registration fees

Each Pre-Doctoral Scholar is eligible to apply for:

A fully-funded summer research experience with a faculty member of their choosing in their discipline at an accredited Ph.D.-granting university in the continental United States as outlined below.

Summer Research Experience

In the Fall semester, the California Pre-Doctoral Program Director invites Pre-Doctoral Scholars to apply for a Summer Research Experience to take place in the summer following the Pre-Doctoral year. Applications for the Summer Research Experience are due in early Spring.

Applications will identify faculty with whom the scholar wants to work at accredited Ph.D.-granting institutions in the continental United States, and articulate what the Scholar hopes to gain from the research experience.

Once approved for a Summer Research Experience, the scholar submits the cost of travel to the approved campus and, if the campus is out of the area, the cost of housing for the term of the Summer Research Experience. In addition to funding for approved housing and travel expenses, the Scholar will receive a food allowance and a living stipend.

The application for the Summer Research Experience must be approved and signed by the Faculty Sponsor.

SJSU Campus Coordinator

Dr. Amy Leisenring
Associate Dean of Inclusive Student Success
College of Graduate Studies
San José State University, Admin 174
San José, CA 95192-0279

General inquiries should be directed to the College of Graduate Studies at When contacting us, please include the words "Pre-Doctoral Program" in the subject of your email.

For More Information

Eligibility Requirements
Application Process and Form

Previous Recipients