California Pre-Doctoral Program

The California Pre-Doctoral Program awards funds to a limited amount of juniors, seniors and graduate students in the CSU system. These funds are designed to enable current students to explore and prepare to succeed in doctoral programs in their chosen field of study. Students who are chosen for this prestigious award are designated Sally Casanova Scholars as a tribute to Dr. Sally Casanova, for who the Pre-Doctoral Scholarship is named.

The California Pre-Doctoral Program is designed to increase the diversity of the pool from which the California State University draws its faculty. It does so by supporting the doctoral aspirations of CSU students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages. A special emphasis is placed on increasing the number of CSU students who enter graduate programs at one of the University of California campuses.

Program Opportunities

Sally Casanova Scholars will have unique opportunities to explore and prepare to succeed in doctoral programs. You will have the benefit of direct one-on-one guidance afforded from faculty members from within the CSU, and the opportunity to work with faculty from doctoral-granting institutions. You will receive funding for activities such as:

  • participation in a summer research experience program at a doctoral-granting institution to receive exposure to the world of research in your chosen field
  • visits to doctoral-granting institutions to explore opportunities for doctoral study
  • travel to a national symposium or professional meeting in your chosen field, other related activities such as membership in professional organizations and journal subscriptions
  • graduate school application and test fees

General Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be upper-division or master's degree students who are enrolled at a CSU institution as of Spring term and who will also be enrolled at a CSU campus for at least one semester of the following academic year. Current or previous Pre-Doctoral Scholars are not eligible to reapply. Each applicant must have a faculty sponsor from the student's home campus who will be available for the duration of the plan specified in the application. The program is designed for students interested in obtaining a research doctorate. Students interested in obtaining a professional degree (law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy), or an MBA degree, for example, are not eligible.

Application Requirements

For more information about the program, application information, deadlines and to submit an online application, visit the CSU California Pre-Doctoral Program.

Pre-Doctoral Program Campus Coordinator

For questions regarding the Pre-Doctoral Program, please contact:

Dr. Michelle Waiters Martinez
Director, McNair Scholars Program
Graduate Studies & Research
Instruction & Innovation Bldg 3108
California State University, Dominguez Hills
1000 E. Victoria Street
Carson, CA  90747
T: (310) 243-2037 | E: