Sally Casanova Pre-doctoral Scholars Program

The Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars Program provides funding to enable current CSU students to explore whether graduate school is right for them and to prepare those who are certain they want to pursue a PhD program in their chosen field of study.

Sally Casanova Scholar recipients receive a $3,000 stipend plus a funded summer research experience for Scholars who are not enrolled in a PhD program by fall 2023.

  • Scholars may apply the $3,000 stipend to a number of educational and professional expenses. For example, students may visit U.S. doctoral-granting institutions and/or to attend professional meetings appropriate to the student's development. Similarly, students may use the stipend for other related activities, such as student membership in professional organizations, subscriptions to academic journals, graduate school applications and test fees, or GRE test preparation.
  • Scholars complete a summer research experience at a University of California campus or other U.S. major research university, fully funded by the Pre-Doctoral Program, so that the scholar can participate in doctoral-level research prior to applying to a Ph.D. program.

Who Can Apply

  • Applicants to the California Pre-Doctoral Program must be upper-division or master's degree students who are enrolled at CSULB as of Spring 2022 and who will also be enrolled at a CSU campus in at least one unit during the Fall 2022 semester.
  • Applicants are required to have a faculty mentor who will be available during the academic year to help them implement a plan that will prepare them for admission to a doctoral program. The plan should be tailored to the specific needs and career objectives of the student.
  • The successful applicant must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or a DACA recipient.

Important Dates & Deadlines

Early December 2021: Application period opens (exact date to be announced by Chancellor's Office)

January 27, 2022: Deadline to submit application essays to the Graduate Writing Specialist ( for feedback (required). Students who do not submit essays for feedback by Jan. 27th cannot move onto next steps in the application process. 

January 27, 2022: Deadline to submit completed budget form to Sally Casanova Coordinator ( for feedback (required). Students who do not submit budget forms for feedback by Jan. 27th cannot move onto next steps in the application process. 

February 7, 2022: Applicants receive essay feedback from the Graduate Writing Specialist. Applicants receive budget feedback from the Sally Casanova Coordinator.

February 15, 2022: Completed draft application and all application materials must be submitted to the CSULB Campus Coordinator ( for internal CSULB deadline (required); note – all application materials must be submitted with the exception of the letter of recommendation. If approved, applicants will receive access to submit final application to the Chancellor's Office.

February 18, 2022: Applications due via the Chancellor's Office online site at 5pm; letter of recommendation due. Please note that the letter of recommendation must come from a tenured/tenure-track faculty member at CSULB (i.e., faculty with the title of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor)

Mid-March, 2022: Applicants are informed of the status of their application (accepted for review or declined)

March/April 2022: Applications are reviewed and scored

May 2022: Eligibility of potential scholars are verified

June 2022: Applicants who are selected as Sally Casanova Scholars and Honorable Mentions are identified