Should I apply to a graduate program, and which one is right for me?
The decision to apply to a graduate program is highly personal and is dependent on your interests and career goals. Here are some suggested steps to help you get started with the process:
- Decide what you want to do when you complete the degree. Make sure that the degree you pursue will lead to that goal. The application packets include information about program goals and outcomes.
- Ascertain whether the career trajectory you have planned has specific credential or degree requirements and make sure that the program you choose offers the credential or degree that you will need to work in your chosen profession.
- You may visit Explore Our Programs to learn more about the programs the College offers.
- If you have academic and professional goals that would allow you to select more than one program, get into the specifics of the programs and make a chart of the differences between them. Refer back to your goals for completing the degree when making the decision.
- After thoroughly reviewing the information available online, please contact the Graduate Studies Office or the appropriate Program Coordinator or Advisor if you have questions. You may also decide to attend an Information Session.
Is it possible to combine programs or be in two graduate programs at the same time?
You may pursue more than one program, but not at the same time unless you are in one of the combined advanced credential/graduate programs:
- EdS in School Psychology with PPS Credential (PPS cannot be done separately)
- MS in Counseling, School Counseling with PPS Credential (PPS cannot be done separately)
- MA in Education, Educational Technology and Media Leadership with Teacher Librarian Services Credential (Credential may be done separately by those who have a teaching or services credential; MA may also be done separately)
Please note that CSULB does not offer a combined teaching credential (elementary, secondary or special education) and graduate degree option. If you are interested in earning a teaching credential to teach elementary, middle or high school or in a special education classroom, please contact the Teacher Preparation Advising Center (TPAC).
Do you offer a combined teaching credential/master's program?
Please note that CSULB does not offer a combined teaching credential (elementary, secondary or special education) and graduate degree option. Some of the graduate programs require a teaching credential/teaching experience. If you are interested in earning a teaching credential to teach elementary, middle or high school or in a special education classroom, please contact the Teacher Preparation Advising Center (TPAC).
How does the application and admissions process work?
At the graduate level, two applications are required: (1) one to the University for graduate admission, and (2) one to the specific program to which you are applying. You may apply to only one CSULB graduate program per admission cycle. Please see our Application Process page for complete information on the application process. To view the application deadlines, please see our Deadlines and Application Packets page.
CSULB’s Enrollment Services will review your university application and transcripts and ensure that applicants meet the CSU minimum qualifications to be considered for admission. Program applications are reviewed by faculty admissions committees for admissions consideration. Some programs invite students for an interview, while other programs do not. Please see the application packet for the specific program to which you are applying for specific details. Please note that admission to the University is a separate process, and you cannot be admitted to the University without also being admitted to a program.
What if I have technical issues with the application?
For technical issues with the Cal State Apply application, please refer to the University Application on the Application Process page. For questions or issues with the program application, please contact the Graduate Studies Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 562/985-8476.
Do I have to take the GRE?
The Educational Specialist Degree (EdS) in School Psychology with PPS Credential requires GRE scores. Please see the application packet. The GRE is not required for admission consideration to any other master's programs.
What is the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)?
Graduate students are required to satisfy the GWAR, and graduate students must complete the requirement before advancement to candidacy. Graduate students have several options for satisfying the GWAR. Graduate students who have previously (1) received a degree from an accredited college or university in the United States; or (2) received a degree from an accredited non-US institution located in a country where English is a primary language of communication; or (3) received a score of 4 or higher on the analytical writing portion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) have satisfied the GWAR. For additional information about the GWAR or to contact a GWAR advisor, please visit the GWAR website.
Can I be admitted for the Spring? What about the Summer?
Most programs operate on an annual cycle for admission for Fall admission only. Some programs do admit for both Fall and Spring semesters. Please see the Deadlines and Application Packets page for more information.
What is the acceptance rate for the program to which I am applying?
Admission to all of our programs in competitive. Contact the Graduate Studies Office for additional information.
How long does it take to complete a Master's Degree?
Our graduate programs are designed to be completed within two to three years. The length of study depends on the number of units required for the program, as well as whether you study full or part-time. Some programs require full-time study, while others offer both options. Please refer to the FAQ and Program Requirements pages in the application packets located on the Deadlines and Application Packets page.
How much does it cost to attend CSULB for a graduate degree?
Please visit the Tuition and Fees website to view current costs. The cost of the program will be determined by the number of units taken (6 or less/7 or more per semester) and the number of semesters needed. Please contact the Graduate Studies Office for assistance with estimation. You may also visit the Financing you Education page.
Do programs, departments or the College offer financial aid, scholarships or graduate assistant positions?
Please visit the Financing you Education page for additional information about funding opportunities.
Graduate applicants are eligible to apply and should file a FAFSA application. You may also visit the CSULB Financial Aid website.
The College of Education also has Scholarships.
A limited set of graduate assistantships may be available for special projects and research in specific programs. Additionally, students may also apply for student worker positions available across campus. Please see the Career Development Center in Brotman Hall or the Career Development Center website.
How many classes can/should I take per semester?
Once admitted to a program, each student is assigned a faculty advisor who will guide students’ academic plans. Part-time study involves two or fewer courses per semester (six units or below), while full-time study constitutes three or more courses (nine units or above).
When are classes offered?
Most graduate-level courses in the College of Education are offered once per week in the evenings or on weekends, in order to accommodate working professionals. The standard evening course times set by the University are 4:00- 6:45PM or 7:00- 9:45PM on one night per week. Some courses may be offered starting at 5:00PM or 6:00PM, and some have additional out-of-classroom work. Some programs offer courses on Saturdays. Additionally, there are a few programs that offer some hybrid courses where instruction is both in-person and online.
Do the classes take place on the CSULB campus, or do you offer satellite or online courses?
With the exception of courses/programs designed for specific cohorts, most of the College of Education courses take place on the CSULB campus. Check with the program to which you are applying for specific details. The most common means of instruction is in-person. Currently, some graduate-level courses are offered in a hybrid format, with a combination of in-person and online instruction.
How do I know what classes to take?
Once admitted to a program, each student is assigned a faculty advisor who will guide students’ academic plans. Most programs offer classes once per academic year, and some classes are sequenced or offered in a cohort model. It is important to meet with your faculty advisor regularly to stay on-track with completing requirements.