Research and Graduate Studies

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find all the policies and procedures affecting graduate students?

The current “University Catalog” pages 53 to 58 have extensive information that is extremely useful to new and continuing students.

What is considered full time status for a graduate student?

Enrollment in 8 units of coursework constitutes full time enrollment.

How many units can I transfer in from another university?

With the approval of your graduate coordinator and the Office of Graduate Studies you may transfer up to 9 units of graduate level coursework. The classes must have been taken at an accredited university and a grade of B or better is required. The course may not have been used to fulfill requirements for another degree.

May graduate students repeat a class?

Yes, with permission from the graduate coordinator and the Associate Vice President of Graduate Studies a student may repeat up to 6 units in which a B- or below or a grade of “WU” was achieved. See current catalog for more information.

Is the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam a mandatory requirement?

Yes, the test is required of graduate students entering CSUN to attain classified status (unless they have passed it previously as an undergraduate). Graduate students must satisfy the Writing Proficiency requirement before completing 12 units on their formal program. Go to or go to Cash Services located in Bayramian Hall on the first floor, fill out the registration card and pay a $20.00 fee.

When do I need to apply to graduate?

Graduate students are required to apply for graduation in the semester prior to meeting all the requirements for the degree. Application for Master's Degree and Diploma (.pdf)

How can I graduate with honors?

Graduate students who obtain a 3.885 or higher on their formal master’s program will graduate “With Distinction”. This will appear on the official transcripts and the diploma.

When will I receive my diploma?

Approximately 5 to 7 weeks after the semester has officially ended your diploma will be mailed to the address listed on the Portal.

Where do I get information regarding “hooding”?

Please check with your major department.

Where can I find information about commencement?

Information may be found on the Student Development web site.

Do I need to have a preliminary formatting appointment for my thesis?

Yes, preliminary formatting is completed via the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation system (ETD).