Back to University Catalog 2004-2005

Graduate Studies

The mission of graduate programs at California State University, Dominguez Hills is to promote advanced study, scholarly activity, and research.  Through traditional and nontraditional ways of learning, students earn advanced certificates, credentials, master's degrees, and life enrichment.  One in three students enrolled at this campus has already earned a bachelor's degree and is engaged in additional study at an advanced level.  Graduate students thus make up a distinctive and highly valued segment of the university community, and graduate programs support the dedication of California State University, Dominguez Hills in educating a student population of unprecedented diversity for leadership roles in the twenty-first century.

Since the university expects graduate students to be firmly on
the path to genuine mastery of a discipline, to be intellectually and professionally independent, and to be capable of making meaningful contributions to their fields, graduate programs are designed for a level of academic accomplishment substantially beyond that required for the baccalaureate. The university is committed to the development of high quality graduate curricula to meet student and community needs.  Both the graduate research competition and the prizes awarded annually for the outstanding project and the outstanding thesis provide incentives for graduate work judged superior.

Graduate programs enable students to contribute to the advancement of their professions, to progress in their chosen careers, and
to assume positions of leadership.  The various advanced courses of study offered include programs with areas of specialization that allow graduates to enter the work force at a professional level, in administrative positions and in positions that directly serve various communities and populations.  Available master's degrees qualify graduates to enter not only doctoral programs but also programs
for such professions as medicine and law.

All graduate programs are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) located at 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA, 94501. Some individual programs are accredited by their discipline's accrediting association (see Accreditation and Approvals in the "The University - CSU Dominguez Hills" section of this catalog).

The university's admission, advising, and graduation services support graduate and postbaccalaureate students and those who work with them.  Most classes are scheduled at convenient hours for working students, with many programs offering day and evening classes.  Some graduate programs are offered at sites off campus and through distance learning.  Financial assistance for graduate research is available through the Graduate Studies Office.  Information on financial aid for postbaccalaureate and graduate students may be obtained from the Financial Aid Office.


Application Procedures

CSU Dominguez Hills welcomes applications from students, without regard to age, marital status, religion, sexual preference, sex, disability, race, color, or national origin who provide evidence of suitable preparation for work at the graduate and postbaccalaureate level.  Students are advised to contact the appropriate graduate program offices as soon as graduate work is contemplated.

All applicants for any type of postbaccalaureate or graduate standing (e.g., master’s degree applicants, those seeking credentials, and those interested in taking courses for personal or professional growth) must file a complete graduate application within the appropriate filing period.  Applicants seeking a second bachelor's degree should submit the undergraduate application for admission. A complete application for postbaccalaureate or graduate standing includes all the forms and fees described in the application booklet. Students receiving their bachelor's degree from Dominguez Hills must submit a graduate application.  Applications may be obtained from the Information Center.  An electronic version of the CSU graduate application is available on the World Wide Web at

Most departments require an additional application for students seeking the master's degree or a credential.  Department application forms should be requested directly from the academic unit offering the particular program.  Applicants should consult the program sections of this catalog for specific program requirements and deadlines.

Students accepted for postbaccalaureate or graduate study must enroll in the University in the semester for which application was made.  Failure to enroll will result in cancellation of admission.  Transcripts will be retained for one year.  Enrollment in a subsequent semester will require a new application and fee.


Application Filing Periods


    Terms                       First Accepted               


Fall Semester                       October 1               

Spring Semester                  August 1

Summer Semester              January 2

Filing Period Duration: Each campus accepts applications until capacities are reached.  If applying after the initial filing period, contact the University Outreach and Information Services Center
for current information.

Each graduate program has its own application deadline.  Some programs accept students only in the fall semester.  Students need to check with individual programs for deadline dates and admissions policies.


Graduate or
Postbaccalaureate Transcript Requirements

Two official copies of transcripts are required from each institution attended at which the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units of upper division course work were earned, excluding extension units.  Two copies from the institution awarding the baccalaureate degree must be included.

All transcripts must be received directly from the issuing institutions.  All transcripts become the property of the University and will not be released or copied. Processing of applications cannot be guaranteed unless all required documents are received during the designated application period.  Persons who have transcripts sent but who do not enroll are advised that transcripts are retained for one year, after which they are destroyed.

Any student who earned a bachelor’s degree at CSU Dominguez Hills and subsequently applies for graduate or postbaccalaureate status at this institution is not required to  request and pay for transcripts from this University.  When  the application for graduate or postbaccalaureate status is received, the Office of Admissions and Records will provide two copies for the student’s file, one for evaluation and one for the graduate department.

Additional copies of transcripts for other uses than previously described will have to be requested and paid for by the student according to established procedure. 


Test Requirements

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Aptitude Test (verbal, quantitative and analytical) as well as GRE Advanced Tests in subject areas and/or combined scores are required for some programs.  Applicants for admission to programs in Business Administration must take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT).  Applicants to the graduate programs in the School of Education who do not possess the required GPA for admission may qualify by achieving a score of 40 or more on the Miller Analogies Test.  Some programs may require a higher score.  The Counseling and School Psychology programs require the GRE.  Students applying to the intern program must pass the California Basic Educational Skills Tests (CBEST).  Students applying to Basic Credential programs must pass the CBEST prior to admission. 

Examination schedules and applications are available from the Testing Office.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to request formally that all required test scores be mailed directly to CSU Dominguez Hills, Office of Admissions and Records.


Test of English as a Foreign Language
(TOEFL) Requirement

All graduate and postbaccalaureate applicants, regardless of citizenship, 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 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) unless the individual program requires a higher score. Applicants taking the Computer-Based Test of English as a Foreign Language must present a score of 213 or above unless the program requires a higher score.


International Students (Foreign Visa Students)

The CSU must assess the academic preparation of foreign students.  For this purpose, "foreign students" include those who hold U.S. 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 Requirements for undergraduate applicants), financial resources, and academic performance are all important considerations for admission.  Academic records from foreign institutions must be on file at least eight weeks before registration for the first term and, if not in English, must be accompanied by certified English translations.

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.

Foreign visa applicants are required to comply with the following requirements and instructions:

1.   Applicants must file the application for admission accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee.  An application is for a specific term and is not  transferable to any other term.  Because the evaluation of foreign credentials may take considerable time, separate filing deadlines are in effect for applications from foreign visa students.  

2.   Applicants must submit a financial responsibility statement.  The form is available from the Office of Admissions and Records.

3.   Applicants whose academic credentials are from a country other than the United States are required to submit a certified English translation along with the academic records.  Academic records include: year-by-year records for each college or university attended indicating number of lecture and laboratory hours a week for each course; grades received for each subject; and, official documents indicating the awarding of degrees with the title and date conferred.  If photo copies are submitted rather than original documents, they must bear the seal of the issuing institution and the actual (not photographed) signature of the college or university registrar.  Admission of students who have not attended U.S. institutions is based upon demonstration of preparation equivalent to that which is required of California residents.  The Office of Admissions and Records has the final authority for assessing  the transferability of credit. All official documents submitted become the property of the University and the acceptability of any foreign work will be determined by the University.


Graduates of Nonaccredited Institutions

Although graduates of nonaccredited institutions are not eligible for postbaccalaureate standing, they may apply for admission as undergraduate students.  Admission to one of the postbaccalaureate categories may subsequently be granted if the student:

1.   meets minimum admission requirements to the graduate degree program;

2.   obtains written approval of the graduate program coordinator for provisional admission as an undergraduate;

3.   completes a minimum of 4 upper division courses (12 semester units) specified in advance by the graduate program with a grade point average of at least 3.0 (these courses may not count as unit credit toward the master’s degree); and

4.   obtains written recommendation of the specific graduate program coordinator and school dean for conditionally classified standing.

Upon completion of items 1-4, the student must petition for conditionally classified status in a graduate degree program.

Special Admission Action

An applicant who does not qualify for admission under the regular admission criteria may be admitted to a program by special action if, upon the basis of acceptable evidence, the applicant is judged  by the specific program coordinator and school dean to possess sufficient academic and professional potential pertinent to the  educational objectives to merit such action.

Cancellation of Admission

Admission to the University is for a specific semester.  Students who do not register for that semester will have their admission cancelled.  When seeking admission at a future date, students must  file a new application form, follow the complete application procedure, pay the application fee, and meet the current admission requirements.  Transcripts on file will be retained for one year.


The University reserves the right to select its students and deny admission to the University or any of its programs as the University, in its sole discretion, determines appropriate based on an applicant's suitability and the best interests of the University.

Readmission of Former Students

1.   Undergraduate students who graduate from CSU Dominguez Hills and wish to continue as graduate students must file a new application for admission. An application fee is required.  Late applicants will be charged an additional late application processing fee.

2.   A registration access mailer will not be released to scholastically disqualified students following their most recent semester of attendance at CSU Dominguez Hills.

3.   Students who attend another college or university during an absence from CSU Dominguez Hills must file an application for admission as a returning student and must have official transcripts of work attempted sent to the Office of Admissions and Records. A nonrefundable application fee is required.  Students who use the Intrasystem Visitor Program do not have to file a new application.


Returning Students

Students who have been absent for one semester or more must apply for readmission, unless approved for and participating in the Planned Graduate Student Leave program, as described in the “Graduate Enrollment Policies” section of this catalog.

Students who attend another institution during any absence from CSU Dominguez Hills must file an application for admission as a returning student and are subject to the non refundable application fee.

Returning students who have not maintained continuing student status or been approved for the Planned Graduate Student Leave Program will lose their catalog rights and will be subject to all requirements and regulations in the catalog of the year they are readmitted.

Former Students in Good Standing

A student who left the University in good standing may be readmitted provided any academic work attempted elsewhere does not change his/her scholastic status.  Transcripts of any work attempted in the interim are required.

Graduate Admissions

Following completion of application procedures and subsequent review of the student’s eligibility by the Office of Admissions and Records and the appropriate academic unit, the Office of Admissions and Records will notify the student of the decision concerning admission.  Academic advisement prior to admission is tentative and cannot be construed as granting official admission to a program or establishing requirements for the degree.

Graduate  Standing:  Classified

Students applying for master’s degree programs may be admitted in classified status if they meet all program admission requirements.

Classified standing as a graduate student is granted by the academic unit to which the student is applying.  Classified standing is normally granted when all prerequisites have been satisfactorily completed for admission to a master’s degree  program.  Students must have classified standing to qualify for Advancement to Candidacy.

Graduate Standing:  Conditionally Classified

To qualify for admission with a graduate degree objective, students must  meet the admission requirements for postbaccalaureate standing as well as any additional requirements of the particular program.  Students who apply to a graduate degree program but who do not satisfy all program requirements may be admitted to conditionally classified status.  Program coordinators will outline all conditions for attainment of classified status.


Postbaccalaureate Admissions

Students may apply for a credential, a certificate program, or as an unclassified postbaccalaureate student with no degree objective.  Graduate standing is for students accepted into a master’s degree program.  All other students, those in credential or certificate programs or admitted unclassified must meet minimum requirements. 

Postbaccalaureate Standing:  Unclassified

Students who meet the following minimum criteria may be admitted with Unclassified Post Baccalaureate status.  To be considered for admission, candidates must:

1.   hold an acceptable bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or have equivalent preparation as determined by the campus.

2.   have a grade point average of at least 2.75 in their last 60 semester units.  Lower division courses taken after obtaining  the bachelor’s degree and extension courses other than CSU Dominguez Hills upper division resident extension courses or  the equivalent on other campuses will be excluded from the calculation.

3.   be in good standing at the last college attended.

4.   demonstrate writing ability consistent with graduate level standards.

5.   have educational goals appropriate for Unclassified Standing and do not wish to seek a master's degree or a credential.

6.   submit a well written, typed, 150-200 word statement describing the candidate's academic qualifications and educational goals, and explaining why pursuing post baccalaureate work is consistent with these goals.

7.   satisfactorily meet the professional, personal, scholastic,
and other standards for postbaccalaureate study.

Admission with unclassified postbaccalaureate standing does
not constitute admission to graduate degree or credential programs or allow students to enroll in graduate (500-level) courses.  Unclassified postbaccalaureate students must get special permission from the Graduate Program Coordinator to enroll in a 500-level course.

An unclassified postbaccalaureate student may apply a maximum of nine units toward a specific graduate degree program.  Any such units completed prior to admission into a specific graduate program must be approved by the graduate program coordinator via written petition.

Postbaccalaureate  Standing:  Classified

Students who qualify for admission to a credential or certificate program are admitted as classified postbaccalaureate students.  Admission in this category does not constitute admission to or assurance of consideration for admission to any graduate degree program.


Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Advisement

Classified postbaccalaureate students in credential or certificate programs and second bachelor’s degree students should be advised by the program coordinator or department chair.

New unclassified (undeclared) postbaccalaureate students should call the Graduate Studies Office regarding advisement.  To assist in their initial advisement and course selection, newly admitted students should bring a personal copy of their college transcripts.  Unclassified postbaccalaureate students wanting to enroll in graduate level courses must have the approval of the graduate program coordinator of their chosen course.


Credit for Transfer Graduate Work

In order to have courses considered for receipt of credit toward
a degree for postbaccalaureate work taken at other colleges or universities, students must have official transcripts forwarded to the Office of Admissions and Records.   The University will consider credit for work taken at another college or university only when it appears on an official transcript from that institution.  A maximum of nine semester units of approved credit may be transferred from an accredited college or university for a 30-unit program.  Programs with a unit requirement that exceeds 30 units may allow more than 9 units, but may not exceed 30% of the total units for the degree. Rounding up is not permitted. All approval of previous course work is at the discretion of the Program Coordinator, depending upon its currency and its applicability to the degree objectives

The work must have been completed as a graduate student (not including student teaching), and must be relevant to the degree program as
a whole.

Extension courses may apply (and will be included as part of the maximum of nine units allowable) if the transcript clearly indicates that the course would have applied toward a graduate degree at the sponsoring institution.  Extension courses at the graduate level (500 level series if from CSU Dominguez Hills) may apply.

The formal request for transfer of graduate credit must be completed and approved by the graduate advisor and submitted to the Office of Admissions and Records  for final review.

Transferred courses are subject to the regulation that courses for the master’s degree must be completed within the five- or seven-year period at the term of graduation, as stipulated by the graduate program.  Outdated transfer course work from other colleges or universities is not eligible for validation.

A classified postbaccalaureate student may apply a maximum of nine units toward a specific graduate degree program.  Any such units completed prior to admission into a specific graduate program must be approved by the graduate program coordinator via written petition.

Second Master's Degree

Students may wish to pursue a second master’s degree.  Approval for admission to graduate standing in the second degree program may be given only after the first degree has been awarded.  A new application for admission and fee must be submitted.  Units used for the first degree may not be applied to the second. 


Second Option or
Concentration Within a Degree Program

Some degree programs offer options which differ significantly in academic course work and prepare students for singularly different careers.  Students wishing to complete a second concentration or option in the same degree program at CSU Dominguez Hills must submit a new application with the required fee.

Students must meet all requirements for the new option or concentration.  Students may not work on two options at the same time.  All university policies governing master’s degrees apply in the same manner to the second option or concentration.  No units completed prior to acceptance in the second option or concentration can be used to meet the 21 unit requirement. 


Health Screening

The CSU has the following requirements for certain groups of students:

o    All new and readmitted former students born after January 1, 1957 are required to present proof of measles and rubella immunizations prior to enrollment.  These are not admission requirements, but shall be required of students as conditions of enrollment of CSU or be required for certain groups of enrolled students who have increased exposure to these diseases. Proof of immunization must be taken to the Student Health Center in person.  Mailed forms cannot be accepted.  Students who are unable to provide proof prior
to enrollment may be enrolled with the condition that they provide proof of full immunization against  measles and rubella no later than the beginning of the second year of enrollment.  Students who have not complied by this time will be not be allowed to enroll.  The Student Health Center can provide measles/rubella immunizations without cost to those students unable to obtain acceptable proof of immunizations.

o    All new students who are eighteen years of age or younger are required to present proof of immunization against Hepatitis B prior to their first enrollment. Each incoming freshman who will be residing in on-campus housing will be required to return a form indicating that they have received information about meningococcal disease and the availability of the vaccine to prevent one from contracting the disease and whether or not he or she has chosen to receive the vaccination.  These are not admission requirements, but shall be required of students as conditions of enrollment in CSU.  Proof of immunization must be taken to the Student Health Center in person.  Mailed forms cannot be accepted.  Students who are unable to present proof prior to their first enrollment may be enrolled on the condition that they provide proof of full immunization against Hepatitis B no later than the beginning of the second year of enrollment.  Students who have not complied by this time will not be allowed to enroll.  The Student Health Center can provide the series of three Hepatitis B immunizations without cost to those students unable to obtain acceptable proof of immunization.

Students who have questions about the immunization requirements, or who need to discuss an exemption from the requirements based on medical considerations or religious or personal beliefs, should contact the Student Health Center at (310) 243-3629.


Second Baccalaureate Degree

Students seeking a second or additional baccalaureate degree must satisfy all requirements for the degree.  However, as post baccalaureate students, they are also subject to additional requirements.

To be eligible for admission as a Second Baccalaureate degree candidate, students must:

1.   hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution;

2.   have a minimumb grade point average of 2.50 in their last 60 semester units (or 90 quarter units).

   Degree Requirements:

   Students may elect a regular major or a single field major.

   No minor is required.

   Students must satisfy all requirements for the degree, including any General Education requirements not previously met.

   Students must meet all statutory requirements.

   Students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement.

   Students are not eligible for honors.

   Courses taken as part of a second baccalaureate degree cannot apply to graduate work except as allowed for in the "Enrollment in Graduate Courses by Seniors" policy explained elsewhere in this catalog.

In addition, students must:

   complete requirements in a discipline other than that which a previous degree was earned; units from the first degree may not be counted; specific courses may be waived and other courses substituted;

   receive program approval; requirements must be agreed upon in writing by the department chairperson and kept on file in the department office before 14 units are completed;

   complete a minimum of 30 units in residence, including 24 units in upper division courses, which include 12 units in the major;

   maintain at least a 2.50 grade point average in all courses taken for the degree to remain in good academic standing.



Change of Student Objective
Graduate or Postbaccalaureate Status

A student who has been admitted into any of the previously cited postbaccalaureate categories and who wants to change programs must be formally admitted into the new program. The student should file a Request for Postbaccalaureate/Graduate Change of Objective form with the Graduate Studies Office. 

Former Students on Probation

A student on probation at the close of the last semester of enrollment may be readmitted on probation provided he/she is otherwise eligible.  The student must have official transcripts of any college work attempted during his/her absence sent to the University.

Graduate Academic Standards

Grade Point Average

The grade point average at CSU Dominguez Hills is computed on a 4-point scale.  A specified number of grade points is associated with each grade listed in the “Grades and Grade Points” section.  “CR/NC” grades have no grade point value and are not calculated in the grade point average.

The total grade points are calculated by multiplying the number of grade points associated with the grade assigned by the number of units for each class.  The grade point average is computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of units attempted.

Master’s Degree Students.  To remain in good academic standing, a “B” (3.0) average is required in the master’s degree program and for all courses (related and unrelated; lower division, upper division, and graduate) taken as a postbaccalaureate student.  See “Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Academic Probation and Disqualification” for specific grade point averages required for ongoing enrollment. 

For graduation, the grade point average of 3.0 is calculated on all courses taken beginning with admission to the program.  In addition, students must also have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in all courses used to fulfill degree requirements.  No student may be granted a master's degree who is on academic probation. 

Second Bachelor’s Degree Students.  See University Regulations section.

Undeclared Postbaccalaureate and Classified Postbaccalaureate Students.  A grade point average of 2.5 is required for course work taken by students in undeclared postbaccalaureate and classified postbaccalaureate status.  See “Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Academic Probation and Disqualification” for specific requirements.


The grade point average required in prerequisite courses varies according to the particular program.  See specific program requirements in the program sections of this catalog.


Insurance Requirement

Effective August 1, 1995, as a condition of receiving an I-20 or IAP form, all F-1 and J-1 visa applicants must agree to obtain and maintain health insurance as a condition of registration and continued enrollment in the California State University.  Such insurance must be in amounts as specified by the United States Information Agency (USIA) and NAFSA:  Association of International Educators.  Further information may be obtained from the International Student Services office, WH B-375, (310) 243-4215.


Scholastic Probation and Disqualification


Administrative-Academic Probation

A graduate student may be placed on administrative-academic probation by action of appropriate campus officials for any of the following reasons:

1.   withdrawal from all or a substantial portion of a program of studies in two successive terms or in any three terms.

2.   repeated failure to progress toward the stated degree objective or other program objective (when such failure appears to be due to circumstances within the control of the student).

3.   failure to comply, after due notice, with an academic requirement or regulation, which is routine for all students or for a defined group of students (example: failure to take placement tests, failure to complete a required practicum, failure to satisfy GWAR).

When such action is taken, the student shall be notified in writing and shall be provided with the conditions for removal from probation and the circumstances that would lead to disqualification, should probation not be removed.


Administrative-Academic Disqualification

A student who has been placed on administrative-academic probation may be disqualified from further attendance if:

1.   the conditions for removal of administrative-academic probation are not met within the period specified.

2.   the student becomes subject to academic probation while on administrative-academic probation.

3.   the student becomes subject to administrative-academic probation for the same or similar reason for which he/she has been placed on administrative-academic probation previously, although not currently in such status.

When such action is taken, the student shall receive written notification including an explanation of the basis for the action.


Academic Probation and Disqualification

Academic probation and disqualification regulations differentiate between students enrolled in a graduate program and those enrolled in unclassified and classified postbaccalaureate status.

1.  Conditionally classified and classified graduate students and graduate credential students are placed on scholastic probation if they fail to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all postbaccalaureate units attempted. If they do not bring their grade point average up to 3.0 in the following semester in residence, they are subject to disqualification from the program in which they are enrolled.

      Students who have been disqualified from a master’s degree program may be admitted to another degree program only on the recommendation of the department concerned and with the approval of the appropriate school dean.

2.   Unclassified and classified postbaccalaureate students are placed on scholastic probation if their grade point average falls below 2.5.  If they do not bring the grade point average up to 2.5 in
the following semester in residence, they are disqualified from pursuing work at the University.

      Students disqualified for scholarship deficiency may not enroll in any regular session of the campus without permission from the appropriate school dean and may be denied admission to other educational programs operated or sponsored by the campus.

3.   Students attempting a second baccalaureate degree are subject
to the same probation and disqualification standards as seniors.


Reinstatement of Formerly Disqualified Students

The readmission of a previously disqualified student is by special action only.

o    Students must submit a Petition for Reinstatement, available in the Office of Graduate Studies.

o    The University  will not consider a student for reinstatement until the student has not attended for one semester. 

o    Requests for reinstatement must include a letter which explains in detail how the causes of low achievement have been corrected and what plans are in place to insure future academic success. 

o    In every instance, readmission is  based in part upon evidence that the causes of previous low achievement have been removed, with due evaluation of the impact of any medical condition on previous unsatisfactory academic performance.  The evidence includes transcripts of work completed subsequent to disqualification and other objective evidence, including medical testimony.

o    Disqualified postbaccalaureate and graduate students may complete courses through CSUDH Open University or at other academic institutions; all such classes must be applicable for degree credit.

o    Grades earned at other institutions will not reduce the CSUDH grade-point deficiency or change the CSUDH grade-point average; grades earned elsewhere are only indicators of academic ability.

o    Furthermore, subsequent removal of grade-point average deficiencies by enrolling through CSUDH Open University or at another institution does not guarantee readmission to a CSUDH graduate or postbaccalaureate program.1

o    No CSUDH Open University units may be counted towards University residency requirements.

After demonstrating academic ability at CSUDH Open University and/or other institutions, the student may file a request for reinstatement. Formerly disqualified postbaccalaureate and graduate students who are interested in being reinstated should contact the Office of Graduate Studies (310-243-3693) for information regarding the process to request reinstatement.

 Postbaccalaureate and graduate students are restricted to a maximum of one reinstatement after disqualification.

Decisions regarding reinstatement of postbaccalaureate and graduate students will be made by the Office of Graduate Studies and the program offering the degree program.


Requirements for
the Master's Degree

To be granted the master’s degree, a student must have been classified, advanced to candidacy, and completed an approved program of study in an approved field.  Requirements which apply to all programs follow.  For specific requirements of particular programs, see the program descriptions in the departmental section of this catalog.


University Writing Requirement

Students working toward a master’s degree are required to demonstrate writing ability commensurate with above average performance at the baccalaureate degree level.  If they do not satisfy Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) by the completion of 9 units, they will receive an advising hold on their registration and must be in contact with a University Advisement Center (UAC) advisor to map out a strategy, including a signed contract (which can be sent through the mail), to meet the requirement before their hold will be lifted.  Only UAC (310-243-3538) can lift this hold.  This requirement must be met before students can begin their final projects (thesis or comprehensive exams).  The GWAR may be met through one of the following options:

1.   A score of eight (8) on the Graduation Writing Examination (GWE).  Students who fail to score an “8” have the option of taking the exam a second time.

2.   A grade of “B” or better, or its equivalent, in ENG 350.

3.   For graduate students required to take the Graduate Records Examination (GRE), a score of 4.0 or higher on the Analytical Writing section of tests administered after October 1, 2002.

4.   For graduate students in English, satisfactory performance on the Graduate Exercise administered by the Graduate Committee.

5.   For graduate students in the MBA program, a score of 4.0
or higher on the Analytical Writing Analysis of the GMAT.

6.   An upper division or graduate level course (with grade of "B" or better) or examination (like our GWE) that is certified as meeting the requirement by the GWAR Coordinator.  Students who have graduated from another CSU (not including CSUDH) in 1984 or later have automatically met this requirement and should receive such confirmation in their admissions letter.  If their letter does not confirm their satisfying GWAR, they should immediately contact the Testing Office at (310) 243-3909.

Departments and programs may, at their discretion, establish additional writing requirements for their graduate students.  Some programs require the satisfaction of GWAR as a condition of admission.  For further information, students should consult their program adviser or the Graduate Studies Office.


Approved Program of Study

General requirements for the master’s degree program of study include:

1.   A minimum of 30 approved semester units, or more, as required by the particular program.

2.   A minimum of 21 semester units in residence after admission to the program offering the degree.  Transfer and CSUDH extension course work are not considered to be in residence.

3.   Maintaining continuous enrollment until graduation.

4.   Upper division and graduate level courses only.  The inclusion of 300-level course work is generally discouraged and cannot be used unless specifically approved as part of a program by the University Curriculum Committee.

5.   Not less than 70% of the total units in graduate (500 level) courses.

6.   Not more than nine semester units of 500 level courses taken prior to admission to conditionally classified or classified status.

7.   Not more than six units for a thesis or project.

8.   A maximum of six units of independent study.

9.   No courses taken to satisfy prerequisite requirements included in the minimum of 30 units.

10.    A minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) in all courses attempted to satisfy requirements for the degree.

11.    All courses completed within five years of the date of award of the degree or satisfactorily validated.  (Some programs have a seven-year limit.  Check with the particular program.)

12.    All courses taken after the baccalaureate degree (or post baccalaureate credit granted) and not credited toward another degree.

13.    Satisfactory completion of Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement.

14.    Advancement to Candidacy.

15.    Filing of the application for the award of the master’s degree.

16.    A capstone activity, which may be a thesis, a project, a comprehensive examination, or any combination of these.

The approved program of study is valid as long as the student maintains continuous enrollment in regular semesters at the University.  Students who do not maintain continuous attendance must reapply to the University and program and meet any changed or additional requirements approved in the interim.


Election of Curriculum (Catalog Rights)

A student maintaining continuous attendance in regular or special sessions and continuing in the same program may elect to meet the degree requirements in effect either at the time of entering the program or at the time of completion of degree requirements, except that substitution for discontinued courses may be approved by the graduate program adviser. 


Credit By Examination

No graduate student may receive credit by examination in a course used to satisfy the requirements for the master's degree.


Advisers and Program Faculty

University policy provides that each student’s program for the master’s degree shall be under the guidance of an adviser and the program faculty.  All master’s degree programs have a Graduate Coordinator designated to give overall supervision for the graduate program.  In many instances, the Graduate Coordinator also serves as the student’s adviser.  The program faculty are responsible for all major recommendations to the Dean of Graduate Studies regarding the student’s achievement of classified standing, advancement to candidacy, and completion of the master’s degree.

It is the responsibility of the student to arrange appointments for advisement and other information in the office of the academic unit offering the degree program.  At a minimum, students should obtain advisement at the following critical times in their academic program: (1) prior to or during the first semester; (2) at the time of achieving Classified Standing; (3) at the time of Advancement to Candidacy.

It is the student’s responsibility to follow the procedures as outlined in this catalog to ensure timely progress toward the degree and to ensure compliance in all policies and regulations pertaining to the granting of the master’s degree.


Advancement to Candidacy

Advancement to candidacy recognizes that the student has demonstrated the ability to sustain a level of scholarly competency commensurate with successful completion of degree requirements.  Upon advancement to candidacy, the student is cleared for the final stages of the graduate program which, in addition to any remaining course work, will include the thesis, project, or comprehensive examination.

Following are the requirements for Advancement to Candidacy:

o    A minimum of 15 resident units

o    Classified Standing

o    An Approved Program of Study

o    Successful completion of the GWAR

o    A cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all courses taken as a postbaccalaureate student

o    No grade lower than a "C" in the degree program

Advancement to candidacy must be certified by the department on the Advisement and Advancement to Candidacy form to the Office of Admissions and Records  prior to the final semester, prior to the semester of the comprehensive exams, and prior to enrolling in thesis or project.


Completion of
Requirements and Award of the Degree

The degree is awarded upon the satisfactory completion of all state and university requirements, the specific requirements for the particular program, the recommendation of the appropriate graduate adviser and program coordinator (advancement to candidacy), and the approval of the faculty and the Dean of Graduate Studies.


Graduate Thesis 

If a thesis or project is required, the student must follow all procedures and adhere to all deadline dates specified in the  Thesis and Project Guide , available in the university bookstore.

Graduate students may enroll in the thesis course for a maximum of six units.  No further enrollments are allowed.  The credit allowed for the thesis varies and students should see graduate program descriptions for specific information.


Time Limit for Completion

All requirements for the master’s degree, including all course work on the student’s approved program of study must be completed within five years (some programs permit seven years).  This time limit commences with the semester of the earliest course used on the student’s program of study.


Outdated Course Work

Outdated course work (course work older than the student’s approved time limit) must be repeated or validated.  Validation of all course work that exceeds seven years must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies or his or her designee.  The number of courses validated shall not exceed 25% of the units required for the master's degree (e.g. 8 units for a 30 unit program).  Only course work that exceeds the seven-year limit by no more than one academic year (two semesters) is eligible for validation.  Outdated transfer course work from other colleges or universities is not eligible for validation.  Copies of the Petition for Validation of Outdated Course Work may be obtained from the Graduate Studies Office.


Application for Graduation

Upon completion of the CSU Dominguez Hills graduation requirements, award of the graduate degree must be approved by the program, the school dean, and the faculty of the University.

Master’s degree candidates should file for graduation in accordance with the following schedule:

Graduation           Application Filing                                Advisement

Term:                     Period:                                   Form Deadline:

Spring                    October 15-December 15 January 15

Summer                February 15-March 15        April 15

Fall                         March 15-May 15                 June 15

Please note that if the above dates should fall on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be at the close of business on the previous working day.

A copy of the student's program for the master's degree must be sent by the department to the Office of Admissions and Records (Graduation Unit) so that a master's degree check may be prepared.  Failure to do so will result in a delay in receiving a degree check.

If all degree requirements are not completed during the term of the application, a Change of Graduation Date form must be filed giving the new term of degree completion together with the appropriate fee.

Commencement Exercises

Commencement is held annually at the end of the spring semester.  Students who have completed degree requirements the previous summer and fall term are eligible to participate in the ceremony along with those who plan to complete their work in the spring and subsequent summer.  Degree candidates wishing to participate in the spring Commencement Exercises must file the appropriate forms with the Office of Ceremonies and Events no later than March 31 for the Commencement Exercises held in May.  If the deadline date should fall on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be at the close of business on the previous working day.  Information bulletins about commencement activities are mailed to the home address of those eligible to participate early in the spring, and are available on campus at the college offices bookstore, Admissions and Records and on the campus website.

Starting with the 2006 Commencement, only students graduating as of Summer 2005, Fall 2005 and candidates for graduation for Spring 2006 will be allowed to participate in the 2006 Commencement.

During Commencement Exercises each candidate receives a certificate of participation but the actual diploma is sent later, after verification of completed requirements.


Graduate Enrollment Policies

Residency Requirement

Of the minimum 30 semester units of approved course work required for the master's degree, not less than 21 units must be completed in residence at this institution.  A student is considered to be in residence when he or she has been admitted to the university and to the master's program and is registered in regular or special sessions courses at this university.  Approved units earned in summer sessions may be substituted for regular semester unit requirements on a unit for unit basis.  Extension course work may not be used to fulfill the minimum residence requirement.


Full-Time Status

Graduate students are considered to be full-time students during any semester in which they are enrolled in at least eight units of graduate program courses.


Continuous Attendance Requirement

A student with a graduate degree objective must maintain continuous attendance, defined as attendance in regular session each fall and spring semester of the college year.  Students who have completed all course work, but who may not have completed the culminating activity are expected to maintain continuous attendance as defined above.

Students who have completed the maximum number of units required for the degree may maintain continuous attendance after completion of their course work requirement by enrolling in regular university courses or in a specifically designated 600-level course  offered through regular sessions for zero (0) units.

Absence due to a Planned Graduate Student Leave shall not be considered an interruption in attendance.  Graduate students who fail to maintain continuous attendance must reapply to the university and be subject to all new requirements of the university and
the graduate program.


Planned Graduate Student Leave

It is a university requirement that graduate students maintain continuous attendance throughout the course of their study for the master’s degree.  Any graduate student in good academic standing may request a Planned Graduate Student Leave.  Reasons for seeking a leave are likely to be varied, but all applicants should intend to return to formal study within a specified time period.

To apply for Planned Graduate Student Leaves, students must be conditionally classified or classified graduate students with a grade point average of 3.0 or better.  Application for the leave must be filed with the appropriate graduate coordinator before the first day of classes for the semester during which the leave is to begin, and should be accompanied by appropriate documentation.

The minimum initial leave will be one full term; the maximum will be one calendar year. Under compelling circumstances, a student may request, in writing and in advance, an extension of the leave.  The total number of approved Planned Graduate Student Leaves may not exceed two, and the duration of Planned Graduate Student Leaves may not total more than two calendar years.

The Planned Graduate Student Leave is approved at the discretion of the student’s graduate coordinator.  The graduate coordinator may require periodic reports from the student.

Students who plan to enroll for credit at another institution of higher education during the leave period must obtain prior approval for the transfer of course credit to the program from the graduate coordinator.

Approval of the leave does not constitute an extension of the time period for completing all course work  and other requirements for the master’s degree.

Approval of the student’s leave application constitutes agreement by the university that the student will be temporarily exempted from the continuous attendance requirement as long as the student meets the conditions specified in the approved leave application.  Students who do not return to the university at the conclusion of their planned leave will be considered to have withdrawn from the university at the end of their last semester of regular enrollment at CSU Dominguez Hills.

Applications are available from the Graduate Program Coordinator and the Graduate Studies Office.

Students meeting all conditions of the approved leave shall be required to submit an application for readmission on returning from Planned Graduate Student Leave, but shall not be required to pay another application fee.

A student on Planned Graduate Student Leave shall be expected to devote his/her leave period to off-campus activities.  The student shall be classified as "on leave" and shall not be considered a regularly enrolled student.  Therefore, the student is not entitled to the campus services normally provided to enrolled students, except that the student may confer with his/her academic advisor and others regarding leave activity and plans for re-enrollment.

A student shall be guaranteed reentry and retention of registration priority if all conditions of the approved leave have been met  at the conclusion of his/her Planned Graduate Student Leave.  Every effort shall be made to facilitate and simplify the return.  For purposes of election of graduation requirements, the approved leave shall not constitute an interruption of attendance provided the student registers in the same major.  Students who fail to resume studies at the prearranged time shall forfeit the advantages of the Planned Graduate Student Leave Program.

Each student enrolled in the program will have an entry made
on his/her permanent record indicating that the student is on leave.  The dates of the beginning and conclusion of the leave also will be recorded.

Students must obtain prior approval of the Office of Admissions and Records to enroll for credit at another institution of higher education.  Any credit earned will be treated as transfer credit to be evaluated and entered in student records in the customary manner.

Any student on planned leave who does not comply with all provisions of this policy and the conditions of the leave is subject
to forfeiture of the advantages of this program.


Enrollment in Graduate Courses by Seniors

Students in their senior year may petition to take two courses
that are not used to fulfill requirements for the bachelor's degree.  Approval must be obtained from the appropriate graduate program coordinator prior to registration in order to receive graduate credit for courses taken in the senior year. Petitions are available in the Office of Admissions and Records and in the Office of Graduate Studies.


Culminating Experience

Preparation and Submission of Theses or Projects

All graduate students who undertake a project or thesis as  a capstone work toward the master’s degree should use the CSU Dominguez Hills “Thesis and Project Guide,” available in the bookstore or library.  The information below represents only excerpted  highlights from this complete thesis guide.

Required Format

1.   Students must file the "Notification of Committee Composition and Eligibility Form" to the Graduate Studies Office, prior to commencing work on a thesis or projetct.

2.  The thesis or project report must be submitted in its entirety first to the Thesis Committee and then to the thesis officer for final approval.  Projects will normally  be accompanied by a report that must be written in thesis format.  An original copy of a project (which might be a film, cassette, compact disk, etc.) must be submitted for housing in the library.  Exceptions for financial hardship may be granted, and the library will accept a copy rather than an original in these occasional cases.

3.   The thesis or project report must contain an abstract of no more than 150 words.  This abstract will be published by University Microfilms in the journal, Master’s Abstracts.

4.   Specifications for margins and for quality of paper are outlined in detail in the "Thesis and Project Guide" noted above.

5.   Quality of typing is important.  An experienced typist is strongly advised, although the University does not endorse or recommend typists.  Typographical errors, misspelled words and awkward sentence construction are among the items for which the thesis officer will require retyping.  The officer will also note any margin violations or other violations of format as set out in the thesis guide. In general, the use of word processing programs is acceptable. A letter quality printer is necessary for the final paper. Students should provide a sample of the print and paper to the thesis officer before final submission.

6.   A thesis or project should be written in a formal, scholarly manner.  A style manual will be used by the student, but the Thesis Committee normally decides upon the specific manual (i.e. Campbell, Turabian, A.P.A. Publication Manual, M.L.A. Style Sheet, etc.).  The thesis officer will review the paper for possible violations of style manual rules and make revision suggestions.

7.   The thesis officer may be consulted at any time about matters concerning format.

8.   Theses and projects that are not in compliance with University requirements, the "Thesis and Project Guide," and the approved style manual will be returned and may not be eligible for approval in the semester submitted.

Required Approval

The thesis must be in final manuscript form (thoroughly edited) when submitted to the Graduate Studies Office.   The student is required to obtain approval of the content from the faculty committee.  The approval page must be printed on the same bond paper used for the thesis, and the faculty committee members must sign in black ink.  By their signatures, the faculty committee members are certifying the academic soundness of the work and verifying that it meets the academic standards of the degree sought.   The Graduate Studies Office will approve the thesis or project for typing, standard English form, stylistic format, organization and completeness, and will ensure that it meets the scholastic requirement of the University.  The thesis grade will be transmitted by the faculty committee chair to the Records Office; however, the requirements for the degree are not fulfilled until the original has been received and approved by the Graduate Studies Office and the Library Dean’s Office, and all fees have been paid.  The Graduate Dean has the responsibility for final approval of all theses and projects.


Procedures for Submission

After the committee-approved thesis or project report has been submitted to the thesis officer for final approval and suggested revisions have been completed, the library will require an original copy of the thesis or project report.

Deadlines for Submission

All thesis and projects must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies no later than November 1, for fall graduation,
April 1 for spring graduation and June 10 for summer graduation.  Humanities External Degree (HUX) students must meet earlier deadlines of October 10 and March 10 for submission of their
thesis or project for fall and spring graduation.

Comprehensive Exams

A comprehensive examination is an assessment of the student's ability to integrate the knowledge of the area, show critical and independent thinking, and demonstrate mastery of the subject matter.  The results of the examination evidences independent thinking, appropriate organization, critical analysis and accuracy of documentation.  A record of the examination questions and responses shall be maintained in accordance with the records retention policy of the California State University.

The choice of the culminating experience should be that which is educationally most appropriate to the student, and to the discipline.  Where a project or examination serves as the culminating experience, it should be equivalent in rigor to the thesis.  An oral defense should be part of the culminating experience. 

All comprehensive exams must:

1.  assess the student's ability to integrate the knowledge of the area;

2.  evidence critical and independent thinking;

3.  demonstrate the mastery of the subject matter;

4.  demonstrate writing skills commensurate with the granting of the master's degree.

The results of the comprehensive examination evidence:

5.   independent thinking;

6.   appropriate organization;

7.   critical analysis;

8.   accuracy of documentation;

9.   advanced writing skills.

Given the above criteria, all comprehensive exams must include an essay portion which comprises not less than 50% of the examination.

In the case where comprehensive exams are divided into separate components, such as by course or topic, each program shall inform students in writing as to how each section will be graded and what the retake policy will be for the exam.

Eligibility to Take the Comprehensive Exam

Students must have met all requirements for Advancement to Candidacy as specified in the CSUDH Catalog:

   Students must be in good academic standing, defined as a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 for all post baccalaureate work, whether part of the degree program or not.

   For 30-36 unit master's degrees, all course work must either be completed or concurrent in the semester the exam is taken.  Students completing course work in the summer session are not eligible to take the comprehensive exam in the spring semester.

   For master's degrees which require more than 36 units, students may take the exam one semester prior to completion of the program provided a substantial amount of course work has been completed.  Each program will establish uniform requirements for eligibility to take the exam and shall make these requirements available to students in writing.  A copy of the requirements shall be sent to the Office of the Graduate Dean.

   Student's eligibility to take the examination must be verified by the Program Coordinator.

Administration of the Exam

   All comprehensive exams must be proctored.  When proctoring is deemed not feasible, as in the case of some distance learning programs, either a thesis or the project shall be the culminating experience of choice.

   Comprehensive exams should be administered at the completion of all course work except as noted above for degree programs which exceed 36 units. (See section on eligibility.)

   Students who fail the exam and must retake it, will take the exam at a regularly scheduled session (e.g., the following semester).

   Students who retake the exam shall take the exam in the current format, regardless of the format of the original exam.

   Comprehensive exams shall not be administered prior to the six weeks preceeding the last day of scheduled final exams in the fall or spring semesters.

Length of the Exam

   The written portion of the comprehensive exam shall not be less than four hours.  Additionally, an oral defense should also be part of the culminating experience.

Scoring of the Exam

   Each exam will be scored by no less than two readers.  If two readers read the exam and disagree on the pass/fail score or grade, a third reader shall read the exam under the same blind conditions prescribed for the original reading.

   Each reading will be blind, and readers' identity will not be revealed to students.

The above is a portion of the complete policy.  A complete copy may be obtained from the Graduate Studies Office, WH A-340, (310) 243-3693.