Sally Casanova Pre-doctoral Scholars Program

The Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Program is designed to increase diversity among university faculty by supporting the doctoral aspirations of CSU students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages. The program is open to current CSU graduate students and upper-division (junior and senior) undergrad students who are committed to pursuing a doctoral degree and are interested in becoming university faculty in the future.

Sally Casanova scholars receive a $5,000 stipend that allows them to explore and prepare to succeed in PhD/doctoral programs in their chosen field of study. They also have the opportunity to apply for a fully-funded summer research experience if they are not already enrolled in a PhD program by the fall after their scholarship year.

  • Scholars may apply the $5,000 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. Students may also use the stipend to cover student membership in professional organizations, subscriptions to academic journals, graduate school applications and test fees, or GRE test preparation.
  • Scholars who have not yet entered a PhD program in the summer after their award year are eligible to apply for a fully-funded summer research experience at a University of California campus or other U.S. major research university. This experience allows the scholar to participate in doctoral-level research prior to applying to a PhD program.

Who Can Apply

  • Applicants to the California Pre-Doctoral Program must be currently-enrolled upper-division (junior or senior) or master's degree students who will also be enrolled at a CSU campus in at least one unit during the following fall 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.
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or DACA recipients.

Important Dates & Deadlines

Note: Below are the dates for last year's application cycle. The upcoming 2024 submission dates will be updated as soon as the Chancellor's Office posts the upcoming application deadline (likely in December, 2023). 

Early December 2022: Application period opens (exact date to be announced by Chancellor's Office)

January 27, 2023: Deadline to submit both (1) draft application essays and (2) draft budgets to the Sally Casanova Campus Coordinator ( for feedback (required). Students who do not submit essay and budget drafts for feedback by Jan. 27th cannot move on to the next steps in the application process. 

February 8, 2023: Applicants receive essay and budget feedback from the Campus Coordinator.

February 15, 2023: 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 17, 2023: 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, 2023: Applicants are informed of the status of their application (accepted for review or declined)

March/April 2023: Applications are reviewed and scored

May 2023: Eligibility of potential scholars are verified

June 2023: Applicants who are selected as Sally Casanova Scholars and Honorable Mentions are identified