Academic Catalog 2021-2022

Graduate Degree & Postbaccalaureate Studies

This is an archived copy of the 2021-2022 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Graduate Studies

The mission of graduate programs at California State University, Dominguez Hills is to promote advanced study, scholarly activity, and research. Through traditional and nontraditional ways of learning, students earn master's degrees, advanced certificates, credentials, and life enrichment. Graduate students make up a distinctive and highly valued segment of the university community, and graduate programs support the dedication of California State University, Dominguez Hills in educating a student population of unprecedented diversity for leadership roles in the twenty-first century.

Since the university expects graduate students to be firmly on the path to genuine mastery of a discipline, to be intellectually and professionally independent, and to be capable of making meaningful contributions to their fields, graduate programs are designed for a level of academic accomplishment substantially beyond that required for the baccalaureate. The university is committed to the development of high quality graduate curricula to meet student and community needs. Both the graduate research competition and the prizes awarded annually for the outstanding project and the outstanding thesis provide incentives for graduate work judged superior.

Graduate programs enable students to contribute to the advancement of their professions, to progress in their chosen careers, and to assume positions of leadership. The various advanced courses of study offered include programs with areas of specialization that allow graduates to enter the work force at a professional level, in administrative positions and in positions that directly serve various communities and populations. Available master's degrees qualify graduates to enter not only doctoral programs but also programs for such professions as medicine and law.

All graduate programs are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) located at 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA, 94501. Some individual programs are accredited by their discipline's accrediting association (see Accreditation and Approvals in the "The University - CSU Dominguez Hills" section of this catalog).

The university's admission, advising, and graduation services support graduate and post-baccalaureate students and those who work with them. Most classes are scheduled at convenient hours for working students, with many programs offering day and evening classes. Some graduate programs are offered at sites off campus and through distance learning. Financial assistance for graduate research is available through the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. Information on financial aid for post-baccalaureate and graduate students may be obtained from the Financial Aid Office.

Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Application Procedures

CSU Dominguez Hills welcomes applications from students, without regard to age, marital status, religion, sexual preference, gender identity, sex, disability, race, color, or national origin who provide evidence of suitable preparation for work at the graduate and post baccalaureate level. Students are advised to contact the appropriate graduate program offices as soon as graduate work is contemplated.

All graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants (e.g., doctorate, joint Ph.D. applicants, master’s degree applicants, those seeking educational credentials or certificates, and where permitted, holders of baccalaureate degrees interested in taking courses for personal or professional growth) must file a complete graduate application as described in the graduate and post-baccalaureate admission materials at Applicants seeking a second bachelor’s degree should submit the undergraduate application for admission unless specifically requested to do otherwise. Applicants who completed undergraduate degree requirements and graduated the preceding term are also required to complete and submit an application and the $70 nonrefundable application fee. Since applicants for post-baccalaureate programs may be limited to the choice of a single campus on each application, re-routing to alternate campuses or later changes of campus choice are not guaranteed. To be assured of initial consideration by more than one campus, it is necessary to submit separate applications (including fees) to each. All applications must be submitted online at An acknowledgement will be sent to the applicant when the online application is submitted.

Applicants must submit the admission file within the campus deadlines. Contact the Office of Graduate Studies and Research for current deadlines. Late applicants will be charged a Late Application Processing fee.

Students receiving their bachelor's degree from Dominguez Hills must submit a graduate application.

Most departments require an additional application for students seeking a master's degree, post-baccalaureate, certificate/degree or a credential. Department application forms should be requested directly from the academic unit offering the particular program. Applicants should consult the program sections of this catalog for specific program requirements and deadlines.

Students accepted for post-baccalaureate or graduate study must enroll in the University in the semester for which application was made. Failure to enroll will result in cancellation of admission. Transcripts will be retained for one year. Enrollment in a subsequent semester will require a new application and fee.

Application Filing Periods

(Not all campuses/programs are open for admission to every term.)

Terms Applications First Accepted Initial Filing Period
Fall Semester October 1 October 1-November 30
Spring Semester August 1 August 1-31
Summer Semester1 February 1 February 1-28

Note: Some campuses do not admit students to summer term.

Filing Period Duration: Each non-impacted campus accepts applications until capacities are reached. If applying after the initial filing period, contact the academic department of interest for current information.

Each graduate program has its own application deadline. Some graduate programs accept students only in the fall or spring semester. Individual programs must be consulted for deadline dates and admissions policies.

Graduate or Post-Baccalaureate Transcript Requirements

One official copy of your transcripts is required from each institution attended at which the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units of upper division course work were earned, excluding extension units. One copy from the institution awarding the baccalaureate degree must be included.

All transcripts must be received directly from the issuing institutions. All transcripts become the property of the University and will not be returned or copied. Processing of applications cannot be guaranteed unless all required documents are received during the designated application period. Persons who have transcripts sent but who do not enroll are advised that transcripts are retained for one year, after which they are destroyed.

Any student who earned a bachelor's degree at CSU Dominguez Hills and subsequently applies for graduate or post-baccalaureate status at this institution is not required to request and pay for transcripts from CSUDH.

Test Requirements

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Aptitude Test (verbal, quantitative and analytical) as well as GRE Advanced Tests in subject areas and/or combined scores are required for some programs. Applicants for admission to programs in Business Administration must take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). . Students applying to Basic Credential programs must pass the CBEST prior to admission.

Examination schedules and applications are available from the Testing Office. It is the responsibility of the applicant to request that test scores be mailed directly to CSU Dominguez Hills, Office of Admissions.

Graduate-Post-Baccalaureate English Language Requirement

All graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose native language is not English and whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English must demonstrate competence in English. Those who do not possess a bachelor’s degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Some programs require a higher score. Several CSU campuses may use alternative methods for assessing fluency in English including Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and the International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP).

Applicants taking the Internet-based (iBT) TOEFL must present a score of 80 or above.

International (Foreign) Student Admission Requirements

The CSU must assess the academic preparation of foreign students. For this purpose, “foreign students” include those who hold U.S. temporary visas as students, exchange visitors, or in other non-immigrant classifications. The CSU uses separate requirements and application filing dates in the admission of “foreign students”. Verification of English proficiency (see the section on the English Language Requirement for undergraduate applicants), financial resources, and academic performance are each important considerations for admission. Academic records from foreign institutions must be on file at least eight weeks before the first term and, if not in English, must be accompanied by certified English translations.

International visa applicants are required to comply with the following requirements and instructions:

  • Applicants must file the application for admission accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee. An application is for a specific term and is not transferable to any other term. Because the evaluation of international credentials may take considerable time, separate filing deadlines are in effect for applications from foreign visa students.
  • Applicants must submit an affidavit of financial support. The form is available from the Office of Admissions.
  • All official documents submitted become the property of the University and will not be returned or forwarded. The acceptability of any international work will be determined by the University. For more information visit the International Students website:

Note: International students may not enroll in online, part-time, or certificate programs.

Insurance Requirement

Effective August 1, 1995, as a condition of receiving an I-20 or IAP-66 form, all F-1 and J-1 visa applicants must agree to obtain and maintain health insurance as a condition of registration and continued enrollment in the California State University. Such insurance must be in amounts as specified by the United States Information Agency (USIA) and NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

Graduates of Nonaccredited Institutions

Although graduates of nonaccredited institutions are not eligible for post-baccalaureate standing, they may apply for admission as undergraduate students. Admission to one of the post-baccalaureate categories may subsequently be granted if the student:

  1. meets minimum admission requirements to the graduate degree program;
  2. obtains written approval of the graduate program coordinator for provisional admission as an undergraduate;
  3. completes a minimum of 4 upper division courses (12 semester units) specified in advance by the graduate program with a grade point average of at least 3.0 (these courses may not count as unit credit toward the master's degree); and
  4. obtains written recommendation of the specific graduate program coordinator and school dean for conditionally classified standing.

Upon completion of items 1-4, the student must petition for conditionally classified status in a graduate degree program.

Special Admission Action

An applicant who does not qualify for admission under the regular admission criteria may be admitted to a program by special action if, upon the basis of acceptable evidence, the applicant is judged by the specific program coordinator and school dean to possess sufficient academic and professional potential pertinent to the educational objectives to merit such action.

Cancellation of Admission

Admission to the University is for a specific semester. Students who do not register for that semester will have their admission cancelled. When seeking admission at a future date, students must file a new application form, follow the complete application procedure, pay the application fee, and meet the current admission requirements. Transcripts on file will be retained for one year.


The University reserves the right to select its students and deny admission to the University or any of its programs at the University, based on an applicant's suitability and the best interests of the University.

Readmission of Former Students

  1. Undergraduate students who graduate from CSU Dominguez Hills and wish to continue as graduate students must file a new graduate application for admission. The application fee is required.
  2. Registration appointments will not be released to scholastically disqualified students following their most recent semester of attendance at CSU Dominguez Hills.
  3. Previously admitted graduate students who have been absent for one semester or more, must apply for readmission to the University and their program, unless approved for and participating in the Planned Graduate Student Leave program as described in the "Graduate Enrollment Policies" section of this catalog.
  4. Students who attend another college or university during an absence from CSU Dominguez Hills must file an application for admission as a returning student and must have official transcripts of work attempted sent to the Office of Admissions. A nonrefundable application fee is required. Students who use the Intrasystem Visitor Program do not have to file a new application.
  5. Returning students who have not maintained continuing student status or been approved for Planned Graduate Student Leave will lose their catalog rights and be subject to all requirements and regulations in the catalog year they are readmitted.

Former Students in Good Standing

A student who left the University in good standing may be readmitted provided any academic work attempted elsewhere does not change his/her scholastic status. Transcripts of any work attempted in the interim are required.

Former Students on Probation

A student on probation at the close of the last semester of enrollment may be readmitted on probation provided he/she is otherwise eligible. The student must have official transcripts of any college work attempted during his/her absence sent to the University.

Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Admission Requirements

Following completion of application procedures and subsequent review of the student's eligibility by the Office of Admissions and Records and the appropriate academic unit, the Office of Admissions and Records will notify the student of the decision concerning admission. Academic advisement prior to admission is tentative and cannot be construed as granting official admission to a program or establishing requirements for the degree.

Graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants may apply for a degree objective, a credential or certificate objective, or where approved, may have no program objective. Depending on the objective, the CSU will consider an application for admission as follows:

General Requirements

The minimum requirements for admission to graduate and post baccalaureate studies at a California State University campus are in accordance with university regulations as well as Title 5, Chapter 1, Subchapter 3 of the California Code of Regulations.

Specifically, a student shall at the time of enrollment:

  1. have completed a four-year college course of study and hold an acceptable baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association, or shall have completed equivalent academic preparation as determined by appropriate campus authorities;
  2. be in good academic standing at the last college or university attended;
  3. have earned a grade point average of at least 2.5 on the last degree completed by the candidate or have attained a grade point average of at least 2.5 (A=4.0) in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted; and
  4. satisfactorily meet the professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards for graduate study, including qualifying examinations, as appropriate campus authorities may prescribe. In unusual circumstances, a campus may make exceptions to these criteria.

Students who meet the minimum requirements for graduate and post-baccalaureate studies may be considered for admission in one of the four following categories:

  • Graduate Classified – To pursue a graduate degree, applicants are required to fulfill all of the professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards, including qualifying examinations, prescribed by the campus; or
  • Graduate Conditionally Classified – Applicants may be admitted to a graduate degree program in this category if, in the opinion of appropriate campus authority, deficiencies may be remedied by additional preparation; or
  • Post-Baccalaureate Classified, e.g. admission to an education credential program – Persons wishing to enroll in a credential or certificate program, will be required to satisfy additional professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards, including qualifying examinations, prescribed by the campus; or
  • Post-Baccalaureate Unclassified – To enroll in undergraduate courses as preparation for advanced degree programs or to enroll in graduate courses for professional or personal growth, applicants must be admitted as post-baccalaureate unclassified students. By meeting the general requirements, applicants are eligible for admission as post-baccalaureate unclassified students. Admission in this status does not constitute admission to, or assurance of consideration for admission to, any graduate degree or credential program. (Most CSU campuses do not offer admission to unclassified post-baccalaureate students). These and other CSU admission requirements are subject to change as policies are revised and laws are amended. The CSU website admissions portal are good sources of the most up-to-date information.

Post-Baccalaureate Admissions

Students may apply for credential or certificate programs. Graduate standing is for students accepted into a master's degree program. All other students, those in credential or certificate programs must meet minimum requirements.

Post-baccalaureate Classified, e.g. admission to an education credential program – Persons wishing to enroll in a credential or certificate program, will be required to satisfy additional professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards, including qualifying examinations, prescribed by the campus.

Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Advisement

Classified post-baccalaureate students in credential or certificate programs and second bachelor's degree students should be advised by the program coordinator or department chair.

Unclassified post-baccalaureate students wanting to enroll in graduate level courses must have the approval of the graduate program coordinator of their chosen course.

Credit for Transfer Graduate Work

In order to have courses considered for receipt of credit toward a degree for post-baccalaureate work taken at other colleges or universities, students must have official transcripts forwarded to the Office of Admissions. The University will consider credit for work taken at another college or university only when it appears on an official transcript from that institution. A maximum of nine semester units of approved credit may be transferred from an accredited college or university for a 30-unit program. Programs with a unit requirement that exceeds 30 units may allow more than 9 units, but may not exceed 30% of the total units for the degree. Rounding up is not permitted. All approval of previous course work is at the discretion of the Program Coordinator, depending upon its currency and its applicability to the degree objectives.

The work must have been completed as a graduate student (not including student teaching), and must be relevant to the degree program as a whole.

Extension courses may apply (and will be included as part of the maximum of nine units allowable) if the transcript clearly indicates that the course would have applied toward a graduate degree at the sponsoring institution. Extension courses at the graduate level (500 level series if from CSU Dominguez Hills) may apply.

The formal request for transfer of graduate credit must be completed and approved by the graduate advisor and submitted to the Registrar's Office for final review.

Transferred courses are subject to the regulation that courses for the master's degree must be completed within the five- or seven-year period at the term of graduation, as stipulated by the graduate program. Outdated transfer course work from other colleges or universities is not eligible for validation.

Second Master's Degree

Students may wish to pursue a second master's degree. If they are still enrolled in the first program, they may complete the Request for Post-Baccalaureate/Graduate Change of Objective form in the Graduate Studies Office. The form will be forwarded to the program coordinator for approval. Students must be careful to monitor their time in the first program in relation to the second as the 5-7 year time limit will apply to both programs beginning at the time of acceptance into each individual program. A student enrolled in two master's programs must graduate from both during the same term. If the student chooses to graduate from one before the other they must reapply to the University and be accepted back into the second program. Units used for the first degree may not be applied to the second.

Second Option or Concentration Within a Degree Program

Some degree programs offer options which differ significantly in academic course work and prepare students for singularly different careers. Students wishing to complete a second concentration or option in the same degree program at CSU Dominguez Hills may do so by completing the Request for Post-Baccalaureate/Graduate Change of Objective form following the procedure stated under the second master's degree above. Students must meet all requirements for the new option or concentration. All university policies governing master's degrees apply in the same manner to the second option or concentration.

All university policies governing master's degrees apply in the same manner to the second option or concentration. No units completed prior to acceptance in the second option or concentration can be used to meet the 21 unit requirement.

Health Screening

Entering CSU students are required to present proof of the following immunizations to the CSU campus they will be attending before the beginning of their first term of enrollment.

All new and readmitted students must provide proof of full immunization against measles and rubella prior to enrollment. These are not admission requirements, but shall be required of students as conditions of enrollment of CSU or be required for certain groups of enrolled students who have increased exposure to these diseases. Proof of immunization must be taken to the Student Health Center in person. Mailed forms cannot be accepted. Students who are unable to provide proof prior to enrollment may be enrolled with the condition that they provide proof of full immunization against measles and rubella no later than the beginning of the second year of enrollment. Students who have not complied by this time will have a hold placed on their records. The Student Health Center can provide measles/rubella immunizations without cost to those students unable to obtain acceptable proof of immunizations.

All new students who will be 18 years of age or younger at the start of their first term at a CSU campus must provide proof of full immunization against Hepatitis B before enrolling. Full immunization against Hepatitis B consists of three timed doses of vaccine over a minimum 4 to 6 months period. If you need further details or have special circumstances, please consult the Student Health Center at (310) 243-3629. Each incoming freshman who will be residing in on-campus housing will be required to return a form indicating that they have received information about meningococcal disease and the availability of the vaccine to prevent contracting the disease and indicating whether or not the student has chosen to receive the vaccination. These are not admission requirements, but are required of students as conditions of enrollment in CSU. Proof of immunization must be taken to the Student Health Center in person. Mailed forms cannot be accepted. Students who are unable to present proof prior to their first enrollment may be enrolled on the condition that they provide proof of full immunization against Hepatitis B no later than the beginning of the second year of enrollment. Students who have not complied by this time will have a hold placed on their records. The Student Health Center can provide the series of three Hepatitis B immunizations without cost to those students unable to obtain acceptable proof of immunization.

Students who have questions about the immunization requirements, or who need to discuss an exemption from the requirements based on medical considerations or religious or personal beliefs, should contact the Student Health Center at (310) 243-3629.

Second Baccalaureate Degree

Students seeking a second or additional baccalaureate degree must satisfy all requirements for the degree. However, as post baccalaureate students, they are also subject to additional requirements.

To be eligible for admission as a Second Baccalaureate degree candidate, students must:

  • hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution; 
  • be in good academic standing at the last college or university attended; and
  • have a minimum grade point average of 2.50 in their last 60 semester units (or 90 quarter units).

Due to increased enrollment demands, some CSU campuses do not admit second or additional baccalaureate degree applicants.

Degree Requirements

  • Students may elect a regular major or a single field major.
  • No minor is required.
  • Students must satisfy all requirements for the degree.
  • Students must meet all statutory requirements.
  • Students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement.
  • Students are not eligible for honors.
  • Courses taken as part of a second baccalaureate degree cannot apply to graduate work except as allowed for in the "Enrollment in Graduate Courses by Seniors" policy explained elsewhere in this catalog.

In addition, students must:

  • complete requirements in a discipline other than that which a previous degree was earned; units from the first degree may not be counted; specific courses may be waived and other courses substituted;
  • receive program approval; requirements must be agreed upon in writing by the department chairperson and kept on file in the department office before 14 units are completed;
  • complete a minimum of 30 units in residence, including 24 units in upper division courses, which include 12 units in the major;
  • maintain at least a 2.50 grade point average in all courses taken for the degree to remain in good academic standing.

Change of Student Objective Graduate or Post-Baccalaureate Status

A student who has been admitted into any of the previously cited post-baccalaureate categories and  wants to change programs must reapply for admission to CSUDH.

The student must file a Request for Post-Baccalaureate/Graduate Change of Objective form with the Office of Graduate Studies and Research if they wish to change concentration within their program. If a student is currently in a graduate program and wishes to add a certificate or a credential, they should file a change of objective form with the Office of Graduate Studies and Research.

Graduate Academic Standards

Grade Point Average

The grade point average at CSU Dominguez Hills is computed on a 4-point scale. A specified number of grade points is associated with each grade listed in the "Grades and Grade Points" section. "CR/NC" grades have no grade point value and are not calculated in the grade point average.

The total grade points are calculated by multiplying the number of grade points associated with the grade assigned by the number of units for each class. The grade point average is computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of units attempted.

Master's Degree Students. To remain in good academic standing, a "B" (3.0) average is required in the courses used to fulfill the master's degree program. See "Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Academic Probation and Disqualification" for specific grade point averages required for ongoing enrollment.

For graduation, the grade point average of 3.0 (or higher if determined by the program) is calculated on all courses used to fulfill the master’s degree program. No course with a grade lower than a "C" will be applied to the degree program. No student on academic probation may be granted a master's degree.

Second Bachelor's Degree Students

See University Regulations section.

Classified Post-Baccalaureate Students

A grade point average of 2.5 is required for coursework taken by students in classified post-baccalaureate status. See "Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Academic Probation and Disqualification (p. )" for specific requirements.


The grade point average required in prerequisite courses varies according to the particular program. See specific program requirements in the program sections of this catalog.

Scholastic Probation and Disqualification

Administrative-Academic Probation

A graduate student may be placed on administrative-academic probation by action of appropriate campus officials for any of the following reasons:

  1. withdrawal from all or a substantial portion of a program of study in two successive terms or in any three terms.
  2. repeated failure to progress toward the stated degree objective or other program objective (when such failure appears to be due to circumstances within the control of the student).
  3. failure to comply, after due notice, with an academic requirement or regulation, which is routine for all students or for a defined group of students (example: failure to take placement tests, failure to complete a required practicum, failure to satisfy GWAR).

When such action is taken, the student shall be notified in writing and shall be provided with the conditions for removal from probation and the circumstances that would lead to disqualification, should probation not be removed.

Administrative-Academic Disqualification

A student who has been placed on administrative-academic probation may be disqualified from further attendance if:

  1. the conditions for removal of administrative-academic probation are not met within the period specified.
  2. the student becomes subject to academic probation while on administrative-academic probation.
  3. the student becomes subject to administrative-academic probation for the same or similar reason for which he/she has been placed on administrative-academic probation previously, although not currently in such status.

When such action is taken, the student shall receive written notification including an explanation of the basis for the action.

Academic Probation and Disqualification

Academic probation and disqualification regulations differentiate between students enrolled in a graduate program and those enrolled in classified post-baccalaureate status.

  1. Conditionally classified and classified graduate students and graduate credential students are placed on scholastic probation if they fail to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all post-baccalaureate units attempted. If they do not bring their grade point average up to 3.0 in the following semester in residence, they are subject to disqualification from the program in which they are enrolled.
  2. Students who have been disqualified from a master's degree program may be admitted to another degree program only on the recommendation of the department concerned and with the approval of the appropriate school dean.
  3. Classified post-baccalaureate students are placed on scholastic probation if their grade point average falls below 2.5. If they do not bring the grade point average up to 2.5 in the following semester in residence, they are disqualified from pursuing work at the University.
  4. Students disqualified for academic deficiency may not enroll in any regular session of the campus without permission from the appropriate school dean and may be denied admission to other educational programs operated or sponsored by the campus.
  5. Students attempting a second baccalaureate degree are subject to the same probation and disqualification standards as undergraduate seniors.

Reinstatement of Academically Disqualified Students

The reinstatement of an academically disqualified post-baccalaureate or graduate student is by special action only. Students must submit a Petition for Reinstatement, available in the Office of Graduate Studies and Research, located in WH 445. Students cannot apply for readmission through an online or other paper university application.

Students will only be considered for reinstatement after a minimum of one semester non-attendance following academic disqualification. Approval of reinstatement is partially based on evidence that the causes of previous low achievement have been removed or resolved. At minimum, petitions for reinstatement must include a Statement of Low Achievement which explains, in detail, how the causes of low achievement have been corrected and what plans are in place to insure future academic success. Students may choose to provide supplemental evidence which could include, but not be limited to, transcripts of coursework completed after disqualification, medical testimony and/or other objective evidence.

To prove their academic ability, academically disqualified post-baccalaureate and graduate students may complete courses through CSUDH Open University or at other accredited academic institutions. All coursework completed must be applicable for degree credit if reinstated students will receive content credit for coursework completed. Grades earned elsewhere will not reduce the CSUDH grade-point deficiency or change the CSUDH grade-point average. These grades serve only as indicators of academic ability. Units earned will not be counted towards university residency requirements. Successful completion of coursework does not guarantee reinstatement to the university or graduate/post-baccalaureate program.

Petitions for Reinstatement and supplemental attachments must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. Submission deadlines are as follows:

Petitions for Reinstatement Submission Deadlines

Reinstatement Term Submission Deadlines
Fall Semester May 31st
Spring Semester December 15th
Summer Semester Not Accepted

The petition will be reviewed by the Reinstatement Review Committee which is made up of the current program coordinator and select program faculty. The committee reserves the right to request additional information from the student regarding their reinstatement. Students will be notified of the committee decision in writing by the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. Students must allow 4 – 6 weeks for this process. Decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

If the Petition for Reinstatement is approved the student will have to agree to the terms and/or conditions identified by the program. Post-baccalaureate and graduate students are restricted to a maximum of one reinstatement after academic disqualification.

Graduate Enrollment Policies

Residency Requirement

Of the minimum 30 semester units of approved course work required for the master's degree, not less than 21 units must be completed in residence at this institution. A student is considered to be in residence when he or she has been admitted to the university and to the master's program and is registered in regular or special sessions courses at this university. Approved units earned in summer sessions may be substituted for regular semester unit requirements on a unit for unit basis. Extension course work may not be used to fulfill the minimum residence requirement.

Full-Time Status

Graduate students are considered to be full-time students during any semester in which they are enrolled in at least eight units of graduate program courses.

Continuous Attendance Requirement

A student with a graduate degree objective must maintain continuous attendance, defined as attendance in regular or special session each fall and spring semester of the college year. Students who have completed the maximum number of units required for the degree but are completing their culminating activity may enroll in regular university courses or in a specifically designated 600-level course. Students must have program permission to enroll in the 600-level course. If they chose to enroll in regular university courses, students must continue to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 in all courses taken until the degree is granted.

Graduate students who fail to maintain continuous attendance interrupt their residency and must reapply to the university; they are subject to any new requirements of the university or program. Students who break continuous attendance are not guaranteed readmission to the program, and if readmitted, lose their residency credit (courses they may apply to the degree), and their catalog rights. Loss of residency units means there is no guarantee that more than 9 units of previous course work may apply to the degree requirements upon readmission to the program.

Students who break continuous enrollment may petition to the College Dean for reinstatement of residency units. Serious and compelling reasons for breaking enrollment must be demonstrated. If the petition is denied by the Dean, the student may request a hearing from the Graduate Council.

Planned Graduate Student Leave

It is a university requirement that graduate students maintain continuous attendance throughout the course of their study for the master's degree. Any graduate student in good academic standing may request a Planned Graduate Student Leave. Reasons for seeking a leave are likely to be varied, but all applicants should intend to return to formal study within a specified time period.

To apply for a Planned Graduate Student Leaves, the student must be a conditionally classified or classified graduate student with a grade point average of 3.0 or better. Application for the leave must be filed with the appropriate graduate coordinator before the first day of classes for the semester during which the leave is to begin, and should be accompanied by appropriate documentation.

The minimum initial leave will be one full term; the maximum will be one calendar year. Under compelling circumstances, a student may request, in writing and in advance, an extension of the leave. The total number of approved Planned Graduate Student Leaves may not exceed two, and the duration of Planned Graduate Student Leaves may not total more than two calendar years.

The Planned Graduate Student Leave is approved at the discretion of the student's graduate coordinator. The graduate coordinator may require periodic reports from the student.

Students who plan to enroll for credit at another institution of higher education during the leave period must obtain prior approval for the transfer of course credit to the program from the graduate coordinator.

Approval of the leave does not constitute an extension of the time period for completing all course work and other requirements for the master's degree.

Approval of the student's leave application constitutes agreement by the university that the student will be temporarily exempted from the continuous attendance requirement as long as the student meets the conditions specified in the approved leave application. Students who do not return to the university at the conclusion of their planned leave will be considered to have withdrawn from the university at the end of their last semester of regular enrollment at CSU Dominguez Hills.

Applications are available from the Graduate Program Coordinator and the Graduate Studies and Research Office and upon completion are submitted to the Registrar in the Office of Admissions and Records.

Students meeting all conditions of the approved leave shall be required to submit an application for readmission on returning from Planned Graduate Student Leave, but shall not be required to pay another application fee.

A student on Planned Graduate Student Leave shall be expected to devote his/her leave period to off-campus activities. The student shall be classified as "on leave" and shall not be considered a regularly enrolled student. Therefore, the student is not entitled to the campus services normally provided to enrolled students, except that the student may confer with his/her academic advisor and others regarding leave activity and plans for re-enrollment.

A student shall be guaranteed reentry and retention of registration priority if all conditions of the approved leave have been met at the conclusion of his/her Planned Graduate Student Leave. Every effort shall be made to facilitate and simplify the return. For purposes of election of graduation requirements, the approved leave shall not constitute an interruption of attendance provided the student registers in the same major. Students who fail to resume studies at the prearranged time shall forfeit the advantages of the Planned Graduate Student Leave Program.

Each student enrolled in the program will have an entry made on his/her permanent record indicating that the student is on leave. The dates of the beginning and conclusion of the leave also will be recorded.

Students must obtain prior approval of the graduate program to enroll for credit at another institution of higher education. Any credit earned will be treated as transfer credit to be evaluated and entered in student records in the customary manner.

Any student on planned leave who does not comply with all provisions of this policy and the conditions of the leave is subject to forfeiture of the advantages of this program.

Enrollment in Graduate Courses by Seniors

Students in their senior year may petition to take two courses that are not used to fulfill requirements for the bachelor's degree. Approval must be obtained from the appropriate graduate program coordinator prior to registration in order to receive graduate credit for courses taken in the senior year. Petitions are available in the Office of Admissions and Records and in the Graduate Studies and Research Office.

Time Limit for Completion

All requirements for the master's degree, including all course work on the student's approved program of study must be completed within five years (some programs permit seven years). This time limit commences with the semester of the earliest course used on the student's program of study.

Outdated Course Work

Students are expected to complete all required coursework and the thesis, project or examination for the master's degree within five years (or seven years if permitted by program). Outdated coursework must be repeated or validated. Copies of the Petition for Validation of outdated Course Work may be obtained from the Graduate Studies Office and must be approved by the program coordinator. Students must submit the petition no earlier than the expected term of graduation.

Validated coursework shall not exceed 25% of the units required for the master's degree (e.g. 8 units for a 30-unit program).

Outdated transfer course work from other colleges or universities is not eligible for validation.

Coursework that exceeds seven years by no more than one academic year may be eligible for validation at the discretion of the the Dean of Graduate Studies; beyond that time limit, coursework cannot be validated.

Requirements for the Master's Degree

To be granted the master's degree, a student must have been classified, advanced to candidacy, and completed an approved program of study in an approved field. Requirements which apply to all programs follow. For specific requirements of particular programs, see the program descriptions in the departmental section of this catalog.

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

California State University Executive Order 665 states that "campuses shall require demonstration of writing proficiency prior to the award of a graduate degree. The level of proficiency shall be no less than the level required for GWAR certification at the baccalaureate level." The requirement must be fulfilled within the first 9 units of coursework. Students who have not met this requirement may not begin their culminating activity (thesis or comprehensive exam).

There are four existing pathways for entering graduate and post-baccalaureate students to immediately satisfy GWAR: GL requirements:

  1. Graduate students who earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in the United States satisfy the GWAR: GL.
  2. Graduate students who earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited non-US institution where English is a primary language of instruction satisfy the GWAR: GL.
  3. Graduate students who earned a 4 or above on the analytical writing component of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) satisfy the GWAR: GL.
  4. Students coming from baccalaureate programs offered in non-English speaking university settings can qualify to enter a graduate program by meeting one of the following options: Students coming from baccalaureate programs offered in non-English speaking university settings can qualify to enter a graduate program by meeting university admissions standards as outlined in the online course schedule and catalog.  

Note: Candidates enrolled to receive Teaching Credentials and not seeking a master's degree are not required to satisfy the GWAR at this time.

Departments and programs may, at their discretion, establish additional writing requirements for their graduate students. Some programs require the satisfaction of GWAR as a condition of admission. For further information, students should consult their program advisor or the Office of Graduate Studies and Research.

(Please see Undergraduate GWAR requirement if you are a second Bachelors student.)

Approved Program of Study

General requirements for the master's degree program of study include:

  • A minimum of 30 approved semester units, or more, as required by the particular program.
  • A minimum of 21 semester units in residence after admission to the program offering the degree. Transfer and CSUDH extension course work are not considered to be in residence.
  • Maintaining continuous enrollment until graduation.
  • Upper division and graduate level courses only. The inclusion of 300-level course work is generally discouraged and cannot be used unless specifically approved as part of a program by the University Curriculum Committee.
  • Not less than 70% of the total units in graduate (500 level) courses.
  • Not more than nine semester units of 500 level courses taken prior to admission to conditionally classified or classified status.
  • Not more than six units for a thesis or project.
  • A maximum of six units of independent study.
  • No courses taken to satisfy prerequisite requirements included in the minimum of 30 units.
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) in all courses attempted to satisfy requirements for the degree.
  • All courses completed within five years of the date of award of the degree or satisfactorily validated. (Some programs have a seven-year limit. Check with the particular program.)
  • All courses taken after the baccalaureate degree (or post baccalaureate credit granted) and not credited toward another degree.
  • Satisfactory completion of Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement.
  • Advancement to Candidacy.
  • Filing of the application for the award of the master's degree.
  • A capstone activity, which may be a thesis, a project, a comprehensive examination, or any combination of these.

The approved program of study is valid as long as the student maintains continuous enrollment in regular semesters at the University. Students who do not maintain continuous attendance must reapply to the University and program and meet any changed or additional requirements approved in the interim.

Election of Curriculum (Catalog Rights)

A student maintaining continuous attendance in regular or special sessions and continuing in the same program may elect to meet the degree requirements in effect either at the time of entering the program or at the time of completion of degree requirements, except that substitution for discontinued courses may be approved by the graduate program advisor.

Credit by Examination

No graduate student may receive credit by examination in a course used to satisfy the requirements for the master's degree.

Advisors and Program Faculty

University policy provides that each student's program for the master's degree shall be under the guidance of an advisor and the program faculty. All master's degree programs have a Graduate Coordinator designated to give overall supervision for the graduate program. In many instances, the Graduate Coordinator also serves as the student's advisor. The program faculty are responsible for all major recommendations to the Dean of Graduate Studies regarding the student's achievement of classified standing, Advancement to Candidacy, and completion of the master's degree.

It is the responsibility of the student to arrange appointments for advisement and other information in the office of the academic unit offering the degree program. At a minimum, students should obtain advisement at the following critical times in their academic program:

  1. prior to or during the first semester;
  2. at the time of achieving Classified Standing;
  3. at the time of Advancement to Candidacy.

It is the student's responsibility to follow the procedures as outlined in this catalog to ensure timely progress toward the degree and to ensure compliance in all policies and regulations pertaining to the granting of the master's degree.

Completion of Requirements and Award of the Degree

The degree is awarded upon the satisfactory completion of all state and university requirements, the specific requirements for the particular program, the recommendation of the appropriate graduate advisor and program coordinator (Advancement to Candidacy), and the approval of the faculty and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Advancement to Candidacy

Advancement to Candidacy recognizes that the student has demonstrated the ability to sustain a level of scholarly competency commensurate with successful completion of degree requirements. Upon Advancement to Candidacy, the student is cleared for the final stages of the graduate program which, in addition to any remaining course work, will include the thesis, project, or comprehensive examination.

Following are the requirements for Advancement to Candidacy:

  • A minimum of 15 resident units
  • Classified Standing
  • An Approved Program of Study
  • Successful completion of the GWAR
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all courses taken as a post-baccalaureate student
  • No grade lower than a "C" in the degree program

Advancement to Candidacy must be certified by the department on the Advisement and Advancement to Candidacy form or program specific forms that include this information to the Office of Graduate Studies prior to the final semester, prior to the semester of the comprehensive exams, and prior to enrolling in thesis or project.

Culminating Experience

All master's degree programs require a culminating experience. This experience may be a thesis, project or comprehensive exam. A few professional programs require the portfolio. The portfolio can include elements of the thesis and comprehensive exam and requires extensive graduate-level writing incorporating original thoughts and ideas concerning areas important to the discipline. The thesis, project, comprehensive exam and portfolio should include a oral component The portfolio is program specific and details about this culminating experience are available from the program coordinators.

Preparation and Submission of Theses or Projects

All graduate students who undertake a project or thesis as their culminating experience for a master's degree must use the CSU Dominguez Hills "Thesis and Project Guide," available in the bookstore or online. The information below represents only excerpted highlights from the complete "Thesis and Project Guide."

Required Format

Students must file an Intent to Submit Form to the thesis coordinator or to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research prior to commencing work on a thesis or project.

The thesis or project report must be submitted in its entirety first to the student’s Thesis Committee and then to the thesis coordinator for final approval. Projects will normally be accompanied by a report and they will be archived in the university Learning Management System.

The thesis must include an abstract of no more than 150 words. This abstract will be published in a California State University systemwide electronic document repository.

Specifications for formatting are outlined in detail in the "Thesis and Project Guide" noted above.

A thesis or project should be written in a formal, scholarly manner. A style manual will be used by the student, but the Thesis Committee normally decides upon the specific manual (i.e. Campbell, Turabian, A.P.A. Publication Manual, M.L.A. Style Sheet, etc.). The thesis coordinator will review the thesis or possible inconsistencies within the appropriate style manual rules and make revision suggestions.

The thesis coordinator may be consulted at any time about matters concerning format.

Required Approval

A thesis must be in final manuscript form and thoroughly edited when submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. The student is required to obtain approval of the content from the faculty committee. The Office of Graduate Studies and Research will review the thesis or project for typing, standard English form, stylistic format, organization and completeness, and will ensure that it meets the scholastic requirement of the University. A thesis grade will be transmitted by the faculty committee chair to the Registrar; however, the requirements for the degree are not fulfilled until the original has been received and approved. The Dean of Graduate Studies and Research is responsible for final approval of all theses.

Procedures for Submission

After the committee-approved thesis or project has been submitted to the thesis coordinator for final approval and suggested revisions have been completed, theses will be uploaded to a California State University systemwide electronic document repository.

Deadlines for Submission

All theses must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies no later than November 1, for fall graduation, April 1 for spring graduation and June 10 for summer graduation. An oral defense of the thesis should be scheduled by the academic department as  part of the culminating activity.

Graduate Thesis

If a thesis or project is required, the student is advised to follow the procedures outlined in the "Thesis and Project Guide," available in the university bookstore and at the Graduate Studies website.

Graduate students may enroll in the thesis course for a maximum of six units. The credit allowed for the thesis course varies and students should read their graduate program description for specific information.

Comprehensive Exams

A comprehensive examination is an assessment of the student's ability to integrate the knowledge of the area, show critical and independent thinking, and demonstrate mastery of the subject matter. The comprehensive examination is equivalent in rigor to the thesis. A record of the examination questions and responses shall be maintained in accordance with the records retention policy of the California State University.

All comprehensive exams must:

  • assess the student's ability to integrate the knowledge of the area;
  • evidence critical and independent thinking;
  • demonstrate the mastery of the subject matter; and
  • demonstrate writing skills commensurate with the granting of the master's degree.

The results of the comprehensive examination evidence:

  • independent thinking;
  • appropriate organization;
  • critical analysis;
  • accuracy of documentation; and
  • advanced writing skills.

Given the above criteria, all comprehensive exams must include an essay portion which comprises not less than 50% of the examination.

In the case where comprehensive exams are divided into separate components, such as by course or topic, each program shall inform students in writing as to how each section will be graded and what the retake policy will be for the exam.

Eligibility to Take the Comprehensive Exam

Students must have met all requirements for Advancement to Candidacy as specified in the CSUDH Catalog:

  • Students must be in good academic standing, defined as a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 for all post-baccalaureate work, whether part of the degree program or not.
  • For 30-36 unit master's degrees, all course work must either be completed or concurrent in the semester the exam is taken. Students completing course work in the summer session are not eligible to take the comprehensive exam in the spring semester.
  • For master's degrees which require more than 36 units, students may take the exam one semester prior to completion of the program provided a substantial amount of course work has been completed. Each program will establish uniform requirements for eligibility to take the exam and shall make these requirements available to students in writing. A copy of the requirements shall be sent to the Office of Graduate Studies.
  • Student's eligibility to take the examination must be verified by the Graduate Coordinator.

Administration of the Exam

All comprehensive exams must be proctored. When proctoring is deemed not feasible, as in the case of some distance learning programs, either a thesis or the project shall be the culminating experience of choice.

Comprehensive exams should be administered at the completion of all course work except as noted above for degree programs which exceed 36 units. (See section on eligibility.)

Students who fail the exam and must retake it, will take the exam at a regularly scheduled session (e.g., the following semester).

Students who retake the exam shall take the exam in the current format, regardless of the format of the original exam.

Comprehensive exams shall not be administered prior to the six weeks preceding the last day of scheduled final exams in the fall or spring semesters.

Length of the Exam

The written portion of the comprehensive exam shall not be less than four hours. Additionally, an oral defense should also be part of the culminating experience.

Scoring of the Exam

Each exam will be scored by no less than two readers. If two readers read the exam and disagree on the pass/fail score or grade, a third reader shall read the exam under the same blind conditions prescribed for the original reading.

Each reading will be blind, and readers' identity will not be revealed to students.

The above is a portion of the complete policy. A complete copy may be obtained from Graduate Studies, WH 445, (310) 243-3693.

Application for Graduation

Upon completion of the CSU Dominguez Hills graduation requirements, award of the graduate degree must be approved by the program, the school dean, and the faculty of the University.

Master's degree candidates should file for graduation in accordance with the following schedule:

Master's Degree Candidates Filing for Graduation Schedule

Graduation Term Regular Deadline Late Deadline
Fall Semester July 1 September 15
Spring Semester October 1 Last day of fall semester
Summer Session February 1 April 15

Please note that if the above dates should fall on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be at the close of business on the previous working day.

If all degree requirements are not completed during the term of the application, a Change of Graduation Date form must be filed giving the new term of degree completion together with the appropriate fee.

Graduate Commencement Exercises

Commencement Ceremonies are held at the end of each spring semester.  Students who have completed their degree requirements in the previous fall semester, and those who will complete their course work in the spring or summer semesters are eligible to participate in the Commencement Ceremony. Students must apply for one of these graduation terms by April 15th to ensure that their name will appear in the Commencement Program.

After a student applies for graduation, a Commencement Participation link will be available in their student portal under “Important Student Links.” Students must register through this link by April 15th to participate in the Spring Commencement Ceremony.

Dates are subject to change and will be updated on the Commencement website at:

Diplomas will be mailed to students after verification of completed academic requirements as been completed.