Degree Progress

The Request to Change Master's Programs Form is initiated by the student when changing to a new Master's program (or a concentration/specialization), or to change from a doctoral program to a Master's program. Applicants must meet with both the new and old graduate advisors (if applicable) to obtain permission.

After the student has met with the new and old advisors (if applicable) then the completed form is submitted to Graduate Affairs for processing.

Please check your WebPortal for updates to your student records.

Request to Change Master's Programs

If a student is admitted to a graduate program on a conditional basis, the student must meet the conditions by the deadline stated on the departmental recommendation s/he receives when s/he is admitted to SDSU.
After the student has completed the conditions, s/he must contact the Graduate Advisor and request that a Change of Status is sent to the Graduate Affairs to become classified.
When a student is admitted conditionally, it is imperative that the student meet those conditions by the indicated deadlines.
Please check your WebPortal for updates to your student records.

Master's thesis committees are expected to include a thesis chair, second member from within the graduate program, and a third member from outside the home department. Additional members can be included with permission of the thesis chair and  graduate advisor. All committee members should be tenure-track or tenured SDSU faculty. Exceptions (for committee member who are not SDSU faculty) can be petitioned. When you are ready to officially appoint a committee, visit Graduate Affairs in Student Services East 1410 to pick up the forms.

General Instructions and guidelines for committee composition

Students are only able to obtain and officially file an Appointment of Thesis Committee/Project Form, listing the names of people who will serve on the thesis committee, after they have been Advanced to Candidacy. This is a restricted form and may be mailed upon request or picked up by students in the Graduate Division. This form must be approved by the Graduate Division before students will be allowed to enroll in Thesis 799A.

 Formatting guidelines can be found on the Dissertation & Thesis Review website.

Students who wish to enroll in Thesis 799A must first have an approved Thesis Committee Form on file with Graduate Affairs. Once this form is processed and approved, students may request a schedule number and an add code from Graduate Affairs in order to enroll in Thesis 799A.

Students requiring additional time to finish their theses must enroll in 799B Thesis Extension, either through main campus or through the College of Extended Studies. Please refer to Part Four of the Graduate Bulletin for more information on thesis and thesis extension courses.

Petition for Lecturers, Adjuncts, and Outside Experts Without SDSU Affiliation to Serve on Thesis Committees

Embargo Policy

If the student is completing a Final Comprehensive Departmental Exam rather than a thesis, notification to Graduate Affairs that the student has passed the exam is required. Some departments require notification of the thesis defense.
The department must notify Graduate Affairs of the thesis defense or final/comprehensive departmental exam by submitting the Report for Final Exam or Thesis Defense form by the appropriate deadline (See current class schedule or Graduate Bulletin for exact date).
If Graduate Affairs receives a Notification of Final Examination Completion for a student who is not classified, does not have an Official Program on file, and is not Advanced to Candidacy, it will be returned to the Graduate Advisor.
Officially, a student may not sit for an exam without first being Advanced to Candidacy.
Matriculated students can submit an application for graduation through their WebPortal account. Non-matriculated students will need to contact the Graduate Affairs for a paper application.
A letter verifying completion of degree requirements may be requested ONLY if the following applies:
The student has missed the application for graduation with an advanced degree deadline, yet has completed all degree requirements. If the student has completed a thesis, the Montezuma Publishing division of Aztec Shops must have provided notification to Graduate Affairs that the thesis was turned in and payment was made for binding before a letter of verification may be written. If the student has completed a final/comprehensive departmental examination, the student's department must provide notification to Graduate Affairs.
Note: This is a standard letter and no special exceptions of the wording may be requested. Letters will only be issued to third parties (employers, institutions, etc.)

 Special Petitions

Generally, this petition is used to request an exception of specific requirements stated in the Graduate Bulletin. These may include substitution of core (required) courses, extension of an incomplete, excess units taken through Extended Studies' Open University, using prior year's Graduate Bulletin requirements and transfer courses from another university replacing core (required) courses. The petition must be signed and supported by the graduate advisor. A letter of support may accompany the petition if extensive explanation is required, but the letter is not necessary for most requests.
If the student is submitting their Official Program of Study at the same time, the petition must be included. After the petition is submitted to Graduate Affairs, the Assistant Graduate Dean will make the final decision. Both the student and Graduate Advisor will receive notification of the Dean's decision.
At times, it is necessary for the Dean to take these petitions to the Graduate Council for final review prior to determination.
Expected processing time: 2 weeks
Please check your WebPortal for updates to your student records.
If approved, a student is allowed to repeat a course in which a WU has been assigned. The original WU grade will remain on the permanent record, but only the second grade will be used in computation of the grade point average. A course in which a WU has been earned may be repeated only once. Repeated courses may not be taken for credit/no credit.
If a student feels that serious and compelling circumstances clearly beyond his/her control prevented fulfillment of academic obligations, s/he may request to retroactively add or withdraw from a course(s) after the semester has ended by submitting a Graduate Petition for Retroactive Course Changes to Graduate Affairs. This form is available at the Registrar's office or Graduate Affairs.
The Graduate Petition for Retroactive Course Changes requires the approval and signatures of the instructors of the courses involved, and the approval and signature of the graduate. The form should be submitted to Graduate Affairs when all signatures are secured. Supporting documentation must accompany the Petition for Retroactive Course Changes.
If approved, the Registrar's office requires the student to pay a processing fee to the Cashier's Office.
Note: Students should be aware that the University policy permits approval of this Petition only if the petitioner can demonstrate that serious and compelling circumstances clearly beyond the student's control prevented fulfillment of academic obligations. Supporting documentation is required.
Courses can only be validated if an Official Program of Study is on file with Graduate Affairs, and only those courses listed on the Official Program are eligible for validation.
Any course completed more than seven years prior to the date on which all requirements for the degree are completed cannot be used to satisfy unit requirements of the Official Program of Study.
With the approval of the Graduate Advisor and the Graduate Assistant Dean, an expired course may be repeated, a more recently completed course substituted, or additional coursework of equal unit value assigned.
Specifically required courses must either be repeated or validated by examination. In some instances, the Graduate Advisor and the Graduate Council may authorize students in Thesis, to validate expired courses by passing a comprehensive examination in the subject field of the degree. The student must obtain a Validation of Recency Form from Graduate Affairs or the department, and consult with the Graduate Advisor to determine how the course(s) will be validated.
Validations expire one year from the date of validation. A course may be validated only once. If it requires a second validation, the student must petition the Graduate Affairs Assistant Dean using the Petition for the Adjustment of Academic Requirements.

All requirements for advanced certificates and master's degrees coursework entailing 30 units must be completed within six consecutive calendar years after initial registration. All requirements for master's and joint master's degrees entailing more than 36 units must be completed within seven consecutive calendar years after initial registration.

A student in the sixth (or seventh) academic year of graduate study may appeal to the Graduate Assistant Dean for a one-year time limit extension, with approval from the Graduate Advisor. If approved, all degree requirements must be completed the following academic year and a second extension will not be considered.

Appeal for Time Limit Extension Form

Graduate students who are not able to maintain a post-baccalaureate cumulative GPA of 2.85 or higher are academically disqualified from the university. Academically disqualified students are not allowed to take classes at SDSU or participate in graduate programs for one semester. After that time, they may apply for readmission. If there are serious and compelling extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control, the student may petition for immediate reinstatement. The petition is completed in conjunction with the graduate advisor. It must include a reasonable plan to immediately raise the post-baccalaureate cumulative GPA, and to complete all degree requirements in a reasonable time frame.

Immediate Reinstatement After Disqualification Form

Students who have been academically disqualified for more than 1 semester and want to continue with their program must complete the Petition for Readmission and Reinstatement After Disqualification. Before submitting this form, the student should first reapply to the university during the application filing period. Once the application has been completed and submitted, the student must submit this petition to the Graduate Admissions Office for review. The application will not be released electronically to the program for review unless the Readmission petition is approved.

This petition must be completed in conjunction with the graduate advisor. The student and advisor must agree on coursework and grade plan that will avoid another disqualification. The minimum Program of Study GPA, "300+1" GPA, and all other degree requirements should be attainable in a reasonable time frame.

Petition for Readmission After Disqualification, or on Probation Form

After the University Schedule Adjustment deadline, students are expected to complete all courses in which they are enrolled. However, for fully documented, serious and compelling reasons, the student may request a Late Schedule Adjustment by obtaining appropriate authorizations. This form is available at the Registrar's office or Graduate Affairs; it is not available online.

The student must provide a type-written statement describing the request, provide supporting documentation and approval from the instructor(s). The student will need to provide 1 petition for each course, unless withdrawing from the entire semester which the student would need to also complete the Withdrawal Card.

All Late Schedule Adjustment Petitions take 7-10 business days for review. Students will be contacted by email of the decision. Any petitions that are submitted with insufficient documentation or incomplete forms will delay processing beyond 10 business days.

Additional Information

The Withdrawal or Dismissal form is used for one of the following reasons:

  • A student is withdrawing from the university
  • A department requests that the student be removed from the program
  • A student wants to change from a Master's degree program or certificate program into a credential program

Withdrawal or Dismissal Form

This form will be used for students admitted into the Master's degree program in Interdisciplinary Studies to create their academic plan and their thesis committee (An official thesis committee packet will still need to be completed and submitted to the Division of Graduate Affairs).

Master's Degree Program in Interdisciplinary Studies Form

The advanced certificate at the graduate level provides a program of coursework leading to a certificate concurrently with, or other than, a master's degree.
Students are required to complete a Request for Permission to Enter an Advanced Certificate Program form and submit it to Graduate Affairs prior to entrance into a certificate program.
Graduate Affairs will determine whether the student meets the minimum eligibility requirements of the program before sending the applicant's file to the department for recommendation.
After a recommendation has been made by the department, the Request for Permission to Enter an Advanced Certificate Program must be returned to Graduate Affairs.
Once a student completes all requirements for the certificate, the graduate advisor must send Graduate Affairs a Notification of Completion of Advanced Certificate Program form for verification of completion of the requirements. A certificate will be ordered, and once received, will be signed by the graduate advisor and the President of SDSU. It is the graduate advisor's responsibility to send or award the certificate to the student.
Departments requiring students to pass a foreign language examination may direct a student to complete one of the following options, or a combination thereof:
  1. A departmental examination administered either by the department or by the appropriate foreign language department
  2. The appropriate part or parts of the MLA-cooperative Foreign language Test
  3. The Graduate School Foreign Language Test (GSFLT)
  4. Or satisfactory completion of certain foreign language courses.
The foreign language requirement must be fulfilled prior to advancement and graduation. The graduate advisor must submit notification of completion of the Foreign Language Requirement to the appropriate evaluator in Graduate Affairs.

The Reissued Graduate Diploma Order form should be mailed to the Cashier's Office for processing. Diploma orders take up to 6-8 weeks and will be mailed to the address provided.

To have your diploma notarized, you will need to order a new diploma to be mailed to Graduate Affairs and make arrangements with a notary.

You will be notified when your documents are ready for notarization. You are responsible for scheduling the notarization and payment with the notary. The Graduate Affairs Office has worked with 2 notaries: Annette Perea and Stacey Wolfson. You may contact Annette Perea, a notary who will provide service at SDSU, at (619) 248-3486 or [email protected]. Stacey Wolfson is a notary that works at USE Credit Union on campus and can be reached at 619-894-0965 or [email protected].

After the documents are notarized, the documents will be mailed to you or anyone you direct. If you are designating a person to pick up the documents on your behalf, please provide a signed release form with a copy of your RedID.

Reissued Graduate Diploma Order Form

Special Petitions for Undergraduates

Undergraduate students wishing to take 500, 600, and 700 level courses to be applied towards a future Master's Degree must file a Request for Permission to Enroll for Concurrent Master's Degree Credit.
Undergraduates may only take these courses in the final semester of their bachelor's degree, and must meet all required competencies in writing and mathematics, be within 12 units of completing requirements for their degree, and have a GPA of 3.0 or above.
The maximum number of units that may be earned as concurrent master's degree credit is determined by the difference between the number of units remaining for the bachelor's degree and 15 units.
Students should secure approval from Undergraduate Evaluations (619-594-6668) and the Graduate Adviser of the department the courses are in. The Request for Permission to Enroll for Concurrent Master's Degree Credit should be returned to Graduate Affairs for final review by the Assistant Dean.
If the student does not receive his/her bachelor's degree at the end of the semester the courses are taken, no concurrent credit will be awarded.
In order to enroll in 600-700 level graduate level courses, an undergraduate senior must have completed a minimum of 90 units, with a GPA of 3.0 or better in their last 60 units. This form must be signed by the instructor and Graduate Affairs before the course is added to an undergraduate's schedule.