Graduate and Post-baccalaureate Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

If you already hold a baccalaureate and your objective is a master’s degree, credential, certificate, or other post-baccalaureate study, you must apply through CSUMentor using the graduate application online at Students with an objective of further undergraduate study apply at the same site using the undergraduate application (see "Admission to Second Bachelor’s Degree Programs"). Depending on the objective, the CSU will consider an application for admission as follows:

  • General Requirements–The minimum requirements for admission to graduate and post-baccalaureate studies at a California State University campus are in accordance with University regulations as well as Title 5, Chapter 1, Subchapter 3 of the California Code of Regulations. Specifically, a student shall at the time of enrollment: (1) have completed a four-year college course of study and hold an acceptable baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association, or shall have completed equivalent academic preparation as determined by the Graduate School; (2) be in good academic standing at the last college or university attended; (3) have attained the grade point average required for the academic objective. Generally, post-baccalaureate students must have a 2.5 (on a scale where A=4.0) in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted. However, applicants to a master’s degree program must have a 3.0 in the last 30 semester units attempted and a 2.75 in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted. A student must also (4) satisfactorily meet the professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards for graduate study, including qualifying examinations, as appropriate campus authorities may prescribe. In unusual circumstances, exceptions may be made to these criteria.

Admission Classifications of Post-baccalaureate Students

If you meet the minimum requirements for graduate and post-baccalaureate studies as indicated above, you may be considered for admission in one of the following categories:

Master’s Degree Student

You are a master’s degree student if you are admitted to at least conditionally classified status in a specific degree program. See "Admission to Master’s Degree Programs" below as well as individual academic program descriptions for complete information.

It is possible to pursue both a master’s degree program and a credential or certificate program concurrently. If you are interested in pursuing dual objectives, you should contact the Graduate School to declare this intent.

Post-Baccalaureate Classified (Teaching Credential Candidate or Certificate Student)

You are a credential candidate if you are admitted to obtain a basic teaching credential or a specialized credential. See the "Education" chapter in this catalog or visit for specific information on the various credential programs and requirements. You may also apply to complete a post-baccalaureate certificate program as either an independent objective or in conjunction with a master’s degree program.

To enroll in either a credential or certificate program, you will be required to satisfy additional professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards, including qualifying examinations, as prescribed by the University.

Post-baccalaureate Unclassified

To enroll in graduate courses for professional or personal growth, you must be admitted as a post-baccalaureate unclassified student. By meeting the general requirements, you are eligible for admission as a post-baccalaureate unclassified student. Some departments may restrict enrollment of unclassified students because of heavy enrollment pressure. Admission in this status does not constitute admission to, or assurance of consideration for admission to, any graduate degree or credential program. If your goal is to qualify for a master’s degree program, you should talk with the appropriate graduate coordinator as early as possible to plan your course of study.

Admission Notification

The Graduate School officially notifies master’s degree, certificate, and unclassified applicants of the admission decision. Credential applicants are notified of their admission to a particular credential program by the department responsible for the program.

Admission to any of the above categories is limited to the specific semester for which you have applied and been accepted. If you do not enroll in courses during the semester for which you are admitted, you will not be automatically readmitted for a subsequent semester but must reapply during the designated application period. The fee may be waived if you have requested and been approved for a deferred admission (see "Deferred Admission").

If you do not hold a baccalaureate at the start of the semester for which you have been admitted, your post-baccalaureate admission will be canceled and your class level will be changed back to senior. You must then reapply for post-baccalaureate admission if you wish to enroll after you receive the bachelor’s degree.

Application Procedures

All graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants (e.g., master’s degree applicants, those seeking credentials, and those interested in taking graduate-level courses for personal or professional growth) must file a complete graduate application as described in the graduate and post-baccalaureate admission materials at Credential applicants must also file a separate application for admission to their specific credential objective and should consult the "Education" chapter of this catalog or visit for additional information. Applicants seeking a second bachelor’s degree should submit the undergraduate application for admission. Applicants who completed undergraduate degree requirements and graduated the preceding term are also required to complete and submit an application and the $55 nonrefundable application fee.

Since applicants for post-baccalaureate programs may be limited to the choice of a single campus on each application, re-routing to alternate campuses or later changes of campus choice are not guaranteed. To be assured of initial consideration by more than one campus, it is necessary to submit separate applications (including fees) to each. Applications submitted by way of are preferable. An electronic version of the CSU graduate application is available on the World Wide Web at Application forms may also be obtained from the Graduate Studies Office or the Admissions Office of any California State University Campus.

You must apply by the deadline given in the Academic Calendar and at the application website. You must also request that each postsecondary institution you have previously attended send three official copies of your transcripts directly to the Graduate School to arrive by the application deadline. (NOTE: If you have attended CSU, Chico in the past, either as a graduate or an undergraduate student, you do not need to obtain additional copies of transcripts you have already had sent to the institution. Neither will you need to provide transcripts of your Chico record.) If applying to a master’s degree program, you should visit to learn of any qualifying examinations or other supplemental application materials required for your program objective. Test scores and all supplemental materials must also be submitted by the application deadline.

The $55 non-refundable application fee in the form of a check, money order, or credit card payment to the California State University is required of all applicants, with the following exceptions: 1) post-baccalaureate students currently enrolled at Chico who are changing their objectives; 2) those who were previously enrolled as post-baccalaureate students, have broken enrollment at Chico only one semester, and have not attended any other schools in the interim; 3) students who have been granted a deferred admission; 4) students filing as auditors; and, 5) students who have applied for, and been granted, an application fee waiver.

Admission to Second Bachelor’s Degree Programs

If you already possess a baccalaureate, you may apply for admission to a program leading to a second bachelor’s degree by completing the undergraduate application through CSUMentor at You will be held to the same admission requirements as undergraduates applying to baccalaureate programs (i.e., a 2.0 cumulative GPA if you are a resident of California or a 2.4 cumulative GPA if you are a non-resident). If you are applying for admission to an impacted area of study, you must follow supplementary admission procedures and meet special criteria (see "Undergraduate Admissions").

Admission to Master’s Degree Programs

In addition to the requirements described previously for all post-baccalaureate students, as an applicant to a master’s degree program you may be required to successfully complete a nationally standardized qualifying examination (e.g., Graduate Record Examination, Graduate Management Admission Test, Miller Analogies Test) and fulfill other admission criteria specified by the department. Refer to individual academic program chapters or visit for information on specific departmental requirements. When tests are required, a record of the test scores must be filed in the Graduate School prior to the application deadline listed in the Academic Calendar.

After the application deadline, completed files are forwarded to the department for review. The department may recommend that you be admitted to one of the following categories:

Graduate Conditionally Classified

You may be admitted to a graduate degree program in conditionally classified status if your graduate department determines that you can remedy deficiencies by additional preparation.

To be admitted as a conditionally classified master’s degree student, you must meet the general requirements for all post-baccalaureate students specified in "Admission Requirements" above as well as any specific requirements outlined by your major department for this category.

While enrolled as a conditionally classified student, you will be required to complete 12 qualifying, letter-graded units of 400/500/600-level work with at least a 3.0 GPA and satisfy any departmentally specified criteria for admission to classified standing. You must also maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in each of the following three categories: all course work taken at any accredited institution subsequent to admission to conditionally classified status; all course work taken at CSU, Chico subsequent to admission to conditionally classified status; and all courses applied towards the degree requirements. Failure to meet these requirements may result in the termination of your enrollment in the master’s degree program.

Graduate Classified

You are a classified master’s degree student if you have been formally accepted by the department and the Graduate School to pursue master’s degree study.

In addition to satisfying the general requirements for all post-baccalaureate students specified in "Admission Requirements" above and all professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards, including qualifying examinations prescribed by the department, you must meet the following minimum requirements:

1. Satisfactory grade point average as follows:

  • a) An undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 in the last 30 semester units and a 2.75 in the last 60 semester units, or
  • b) A post-baccalaureate grade point average of at least 3.0 in a minimum of 12 departmentally specified units of letter-graded graduate-level course work, and
  • c) In addition to "a" or "b" above, a grade point average of at least 3.0 in all post-baccalaureate, graduate-level course work taken within the five years prior to admission to classified status. This course work includes all graduate-level transfer work and all graduate-level courses completed in excess of baccalaureate requirements which have been approved for post-baccalaureate credit, whether or not they are applied to the master’s degree.

2. Approval by the department and the Graduate School.

You are required to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in each of the following three categories: all course work taken at any accredited institution subsequent to admission to the master’s program; all course work taken at CSU, Chico subsequent to admission to the program; and all courses applied towards the degree requirements.


While exceptional students may be granted candidacy immediately upon admission, master’s degree students are normally advanced to candidacy after demonstrating ability and aptitude for the discipline as a classified master’s degree student and meeting specific departmental requirements to become a candidate. Minimally, these will include:

  1. Classified graduate standing and completion at CSU, Chico of at least 9 units of the proposed program.
  2. Completion of departmental examinations, such as diagnostic examinations.
  3. A GPA of at least 3.0 in each of the following three categories: all course work taken at any accredited institution subsequent to admission to the master’s program; all course work taken at CSU, Chico subsequent to admission to the program; and all courses applied towards the degree requirements.
  4. Approval by the department and the Graduate School.

Use of Social Security Number

Your social security number is used to identify you in your association with the University, first as an applicant and later as a student. Therefore, you are required to include your social security number in designated places on your admission application pursuant to the authority contained in Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 41201.

Enrollment in Distance & Online Education Courses

Chico Distance & Online Education offers a variety of courses via the Internet using various Web-based applications. For information on current course offerings, contact the Center for Regional and Continuing Education. Students who are regularly enrolled in Chico Distance & Online Education courses receive resident credit and are held to the same application, transcript, and fee requirements as on-campus students.

International (Foreign) Student Admission Requirements

The CSU must assess the academic preparation of foreign students. For this purpose, "foreign students" include those who hold U.S. temporary visas as students, exchange visitors, or in other nonimmigrant classifications.

The CSU uses separate requirements and application filing dates in the admission of "foreign students." Verification of English proficiency (see the section on TOEFL Requirement for undergraduate applicants), financial resources, and academic performance are each important considerations for admission. Academic records from foreign institutions must be on file at least six months in advance of the desired admission date and, if not in English, must be accompanied by certified English translations

Other examinations, such as the Graduate Management Admission Test, the Miller Analogies Test, and the Graduate Record Examination, may also be required by a department as a condition of admission.

If you have attended a recognized foreign institution and have received a degree deemed equivalent to the U.S. baccalaureate, you may apply for admission as a graduate student. Prior university-level preparation should be appropriate to your graduate degree objective, and superior undergraduate grades are essential.

Priority in admission is given to residents of California. There is little likelihood of nonresident applicants, including international students, being admitted either to impacted majors or to those majors or programs with limited openings.

Graduate-Post-baccalaureate TOEFL Requirement

All graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose native language is not English and whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English must demonstrate competence in English. Those who do not possess a bachelor’s degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 213 on the computer-based test, 80 on the internet-based test, or a minimum total score of 550, with at least 50 in each section, on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Some programs require a higher score. Scores more than two years old are not acceptable. The TOEFL score requirement is subject to change. You are, therefore, encouraged to contact the Graduate School for the most current information.

Admission as an Auditor

An auditor is a student who enrolls in a course for informational purposes only. An auditor attends class sessions regularly but does not participate in the class, take examinations, or receive credit for the course. To qualify as an auditor, you must apply for admission (without paying the application processing fee required of credit students) and submit such transcripts as are necessary to show that you hold a baccalaureate. In addition, you must obtain permission of the instructor to register as an auditor in any course. Auditors pay the same registration fees as credit students.

Deferred Admission

If you are fully admitted for graduate or post-baccalaureate study but find that you are unable to start your program in the semester originally planned, you may request a one-time deferred admission to postpone your enrollment. To qualify for deferred admission, you must have on file in the Graduate School three official copies of transcripts from all postsecondary institutions previously attended so that complete eligibility can be determined, and you must have paid the required fee with your original application. You may defer your original admission for up to two years (four semesters). However, attendance at another college or university or through CSU, Chico Open University or Special Session during this period will nullify the deferment.

If your request for deferred admission is approved, it will be necessary for you to reapply during the filing period for the semester that you wish to reactive your admission. However, no fee will be required.

Transcript Retention

If you submit transcripts to the Graduate School at Chico and then fail to submit an application, the transcripts will be retained for two years and will then be discarded. If you complete an application file, but do not enroll for the semester for which you have been accepted, your transcripts will also be retained for two years and then discarded.