Graduate Student FAQs

READ! Read about being a graduate student. Particularly, read Part Three and Four of the Graduate Bulletin. These pages inform you about fees, admissions, residency, regulations and the requirements for doctoral and masters degrees. Refer to the Graduate Bulletin often. Communicating with your program adviser or director will be important to your success as well.

Campus Assistance, Response, Engagement, and Support

Counseling & Psychological Services

There are many different types of concerns or reasons you may have interest in reaching out to C&PS. Whether those concerns are about yourself, or another person, we encourage you to contact us to talk about possible next steps. Below are some of the common concerns and reasons people reach out to C&PS including:

It is very common for college students to experience high levels of distress and, if you are part of that group, we hope you know that you are not alone. Whether you are feeling overwhelmed, simply want to focus on wellness, or anywhere in between, please explore our collection of self-help strategies and skills and resources.

Available resources can be found on the back of your SDSUcard!
More information about the available resources:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. Call (800)-273-8255 or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
  • San Diego Access and Crisis Line: The San Diego Access and Crisis Line (ACL) has been serving the people of San Diego County since 1997. It receives thousands of calls per month related to suicide prevention, crisis intervention, community resources, mental health referrals, and alcohol and drug support services. Confidential and free of charge, the line is immediately answered 7 days a week, 24 hours a day by Master's-level and Licensed Clinicians. The counselors average 16 years of clinical experience in a variety of backgrounds, including emotionally disturbed youth, geriatric social services, nursing, in-home domestic violence intervention, case management, and drug and alcohol abuse. Language interpreter services enable the ACL to assist in 150 languages within seconds. Call (888) 724-7240.
  • Crisis Text Line: Crisis Text Line is a national resource that provides free, 24/7, high-quality text-based mental health support and crisis intervention by empowering a community of trained volunteers to support people in their moments of need. Text HOME to 741741 to reach a Crisis Counselor https://www.crisistextline.org/text-us/
  • For Emergencies: Call 911
  • For Non-Emergencies or when you are not sure: Call (619) 594-1991

All students are issued an SDSUid that is used to log into various systems (e.g., my.SDSU, Canvas, Gmail, etc.). This ID will end with @sdsu.edu

Students also have a 9-digit numeric ID that is printed on their SDSUcard. If you do not have this number, or have misplaced it, contact the Registrar's Office (619-594-6871). You will also need to pick up your ID card as well. Please see the Card Office website for more information.

Students admitted with classified standing have met all university and department requirements for admission. Classified students are fully eligible to proceed with courses for their graduate program of study, and should not be required to take any prerequisites or meet any additional requirements beyond those listed in the Graduate Bulletin for all students.

Students admitted conditionally have not met all university or department requirements for admission. Conditionally admitted students are typically required to take prerequisite courses or maintain a minimum GPA during their first several semesters of attendance. The specific conditions, and the allotted time period for completing them, are set by the student's department. If you have been admitted conditionally, please contact your program's graduate advisor for specific information regarding your conditions.

Adequate completion of a student's conditions is determined by the department. If you believe that you have satisfied your conditions, or would like to request more time to meet them, submit the Change of Status form online. Once this form has been approved by the graduate advisor, it will be submitted to Graduate Studies for final evaluation.

Please visit our Graduate Student Forms page for information on how to access forms.

Please refer to the my.SDSU Student Registration Guide for step-by-step guidance on how to add classes to your shopping cart and register.

Please contact the Office of the Registrar if you need assistance.

Registration requirements may vary for graduate students. You can learn more about unit requirements at this page.
The Program of Study (POS) is a contract between the student, the department, and the university. The POS consists of the complete list of courses a student will take in order to satisfy the requirements for the degree. It includes both required coursework and electives. The POS can only be submitted by students with classified graduate standing. The graduate advisor and student consult about the POS. Once an agreement is reached, the advisor submits the POS to Graduate Studies electronically for review. If the POS meets all university requirements, it is given final approval by Graduate Studies, and becomes binding.

In most graduate programs, the maximum transfer credit allowed on a Program of Study ((POS), is 9 units. This includes coursework taken through SDSU Global Campus. (Refer to the University Policies section of the Graduate Bulletin for specific exceptions.) All transfer credit must have been taken at an appropriately accredited university, and approved by the graduate advisor and Graduate Studies.

A student who has been advanced to candidacy has been officially recognized by the university as a candidate for the degree. In order to be advanced to candidacy a student must complete a minimum number of POS units, have a minimum Program of Study (POS) GPA of 3.00, and complete any departmental requirements. Students are typically nominated for advancement by their department, and reviewed for advancement by Graduate Studies at the time the request is submitted. If approved for advancement to candidacy, the student becomes eligible to file the Appointment of Thesis/Project Committee form in preparation for enrollment in thesis (Plan A), or to sit for the comprehensive examination (Plan B). For a list of advancement requirements, and for exceptions to the rules listed above, please refer to the Graduate Bulletin.

It is never too early to start thinking about the thesis. Preparing a dissertation or thesis (from the proposal development stage to the final manuscript) requires advance planning.

As you progress through the Program of Study, a topic of interest will develop. Seek out the advice and counsel of faculty members within your academic department and determine their willingness to chair your thesis committee. Two additional members (one within your department, one from outside your department) must also be secured in order to complete the thesis committee.

If the research involves human or animal subjects, prior approval must be obtained from the appropriate university office, i.e., the Institutional Review Board or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

Once a student has been advanced to candidacy, the Appointment of Thesis/Project Committee paperwork may be filed, and the final step in the culminating experience (writing and publication of the thesis) can officially begin.

Diplomas are ordered once degrees have been awarded. You can read more about the process on our Graduation Information page.

Please visit our Graduate Student Employment page.