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 undergrad (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 plan and prepare for admission to a doctoral program. The preparation and planning should be tailored to the specific needs and career objectives of the student.
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or DACA recipients (i.e., international/foreign exchange students are not eligible).

Important Dates & Deadlines

Early December 2023: Application period opens (the application is open now: Click here).

January 31, 2024: Deadline to submit both (1) draft application essays and (2) draft budgets to the Sally Casanova Campus Coordinator ( for feedback. Submitting for feedback is optional but strongly encouraged. 

February 8, 2024: Applicants who submitted essay and budget drafts by the Jan. 31st deadline will receive feedback from the Campus Coordinator on or before this date. 

February 16, 2024: Complete applications must be submitted to the Chancellor's Office by 5pm at the latest. No late applications will be accepted. Please note that the application will not be considered complete unless the letter of recommendation is also submitted by the deadline. Also 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).

June 2024 (Tentative): Applicants who are selected as Sally Casanova Scholars and Honorable Mentions will be announced.