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Frequently Asked Questions

Graduate Application FAQs. If you cannot find answers to your questions, please don't hesitate to email us at

What is the difference between the traditional and accelerated program?

  1. The traditional program is offered in regular CSULB semesters (Fall, Spring). Some courses are offered during the Summer as well. Students will take the courses based on the recommended sequence. It is designed for new undergraduates, beginning health care professionals, and international students. 
  2. The accelerated program is offered in 10 week quarters (Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer). Each quarter you take two courses. This is a very structured program designed for the mid-level working professional. You start and end the program with the same cohort. Students who are enroll in the accelerated program have worked full-time in health care for several years.

I don’t have a degree in health care or any work experience. Can I still apply?

Yes, you don’t need a degree in HCA in order to apply for the Masters program. The majority of the students who are enrolled in our program have undergraduate degrees in something other than Health Care.

Is the program completely online?

No. The program is not fully online. Courses are being offered in combination of methods: online, face-to-face, and hybrid. Face-to-face courses in the traditional program are offered on Monday-Thursday. Face-to-face courses in the accelerated program are offered on Saturdays. Note: During the pandemic, all face-to-face courses will be conducted virtually via Zoom. 

It is has been several years since I have been in school. Is that an issue? 

It is not an issue if you have been out of school for several years. We have students of all ages and backgrounds in our programs.

Do I need to complete the pre-requisites before starting the program?

It is strongly recommended that you complete the prerequisites at the time you start the program in the Fall. They may be in progress when applying. You may take them at a community college during the Summer. For international students, the prerequisites courses can be taken or completed during your first semester in the program. We will let you know after your application is reviewed.

Can I take the pre-requisites somewhere else?

Yes, you are not required to take the pre-requisite courses at CSULB. We recommend taking the prerequisite courses at a junior college. Please check to determine the equivalent course.

I took the pre-requisites in my undergrad degree. Do I need to take them again? 

If you took the course over 10 years ago, you will need to retake it or pass the CLEP exam. Applicants may use a passing score on the CLEP exam for financial accounting or microeconomics.

Who do I ask to write a letter of recommendation?

Your letters of recommendation should come from your employer, past employer or someone who knows your academic abilities and your ability to be successful in a graduate program.

How long is the program? 

Both programs start in the fall and take two years to complete. The difference is in the way the program is administered. In the traditional program, students have the option of attending full-time or part-time. Full time is considered nine units (three classes). However, some students choose to take up to 15 units (five classes). The accelerated program has a structured format and students are full-time and take six units every quarter.

I don’t have a 3.0 GPA. Can I still apply? 

The university will not accept a GPA under 2.5 for any graduate program. If your GPA is between 2.5 and 3.0, you may still apply to our program. In addition to your GPA, all application materials are taken into consideration when admitting students. 

Will you look at my transcripts to see if I am eligible to apply?

The Department of Health Care Administration cannot evaluate transcripts.  Transcripts go directly to enrollment services and they evaluate your transcripts. Sending your transcripts to the department will cause a delay in getting your application processed by the university. The department does not review your transcripts until they have received a complete application packet.

Do I need to take the GRE or GMAT? 

You are required to take the GRE or GMAT if you do not have five or more years of U.S. Health Care work experience. If you have five or more years of US work experience in the HCA industry, the GRE or GMAT requirement is waived.

I won’t get my GRE or GMAT score until after the deadline to apply. Is that okay? 

You can apply to the program without your GRE or GMAT scores. However, you have TWO weeks after the application deadline to submit your GRE or GMAT scores. If the university does not receive your scores within TWO weeks, your application will not be reviewed.

What should I include in my personal statement?

Your personal statement should tell us who you are, why you want apply to the program and why you want to study at our university. The personal statement should be one to two pages long with 1.5 line spacing.

Do you admit students conditionally?

Students who are admitted conditionally are usually missing prerequisite requirements. However, it is rare for students to be admitted conditionally for other reasons.  The department is unable to make a decision about your admittance until your application has been reviewed.

How many students do you admit?

We admitted between 20-25 students in each program every fall. 

When does the program start?

The program begins in the fall.  Spring applications are not accepted. The traditional program starts in August and the accelerated program starts in September.

Can I defer until the following year?

The university doesn’t allow students to defer admittance for the following year, except under special circumstances.  If you want to wait until the following year to attend the program, you will have to reapply to the program and university.

What time are classes being offered? I work and can only attend at night.

In the traditional program, classes are offered at 4pm and 7pm.  In the accelerated program, you take two classes each quarter.  One is online and the other is held on Saturday.

Do you offer an internship class?

Yes, students in traditional program are required to take internship in their second year of the program.  There is an orientation the semester before internship.  At that time, you will receive all the information needed for internship.

Do you offer scholarships or GA positions to incoming students?

Once you are in the program, you will be eligible to apply for various scholarships.  Occasionally we hire GA’s.  It differs from year to year.  

Is financial aid available for graduate students?

Please contact financial aid.  Here is the link:

I am an international applicant. I have questions about the visa and TOEFL requirements.

Please contact the Center for Professional and International Education (CPIE).  We can only answer questions related to the Health Care Administration Program.