Graduate Programs: For Current Students

Please consult University Bulletin for more up-to-date information.

Classified: One who studies for an advanced degree and meets all engineering graduate admission requirements. Only students in classified status are eligible to earn an M.S. degree.

Conditional: One who meets general admission requirements but must meet certain conditions (usually to remove deficiencies in undergraduate engineering work) before being accepted into the classified status. A conditional graduate student must have his/her status changed to the classified status at least two semesters prior to graduation.

Unclassified: One who wishes to do post-baccalaureate study but not interested in an advanced degree.

Please see the Thesis/Project Page.

Every graduate student must satisfy two levels of English proficiency requirement:

  • Level one (entry level) - this can be satisfied by one of the following:

    • A GRE analytical score of 4.0 at the time of admission.
    • A passing grade in SCI 614, CHS 514, HUM 514, LCA 514, or BUS 714 (formerly BUS 514) from the College of Extended Learning . International students can also take ENG 670 if they wish. Graduate students are required to demonstrate entry-level writing proficiency before the end of their second semester of graduate study.
  • Level two (exit level) - this is satisfied by the completion of an acceptable written thesis/applied research project.

Entry-level English Requirement and Registration Policy:

  • A graduate student must make an attempt to satisfy the entry-level English requirement during his/her first year at SFSU. Once a student satisfies the entry-level English requirement, there are no additional restrictions on registration beyond the usual program and course requirements.
  • A graduate student who does not complete the entry-level English requirement during the first year, must register for an English class from the third semester on until the entry-level requirement is satisfied.
  • A graduate student is not allowed to register for ENGR 895 Applied Research Project, ENGR 897 Research, or ENGR 898 Thesis without first satisfying the entry-level English requirement.

Forms and materials mentioned in this section may be obtained from the Graduate Division, ADM room 250 or click this to download from the eForms Download page . 

For all M.S. degree students:

  • Advancement To Candidacy (ATC)/Graduate Approved Program (GAP): The ATC (formerly GAP) may be submitted any time after 9 units have been completed and must be submitted before the student completes the last 6 units. Students must have met the entry-level English proficiency requirements before filing the ATC. Any change on your ATC must be reported on the Petition for ATC Substitution or Committee Revision form. You must re-file a new ATC if you do not maintain continuous enrollment.
  • Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement : To submit your Culminating Experience form you must have at least 3.0 GPA in all graduate coursework and in all coursework listed on your ATC. You must already have a ATC on file before you can submit the Culminating Experience form. Courses with grades below "C" must not be listed on your ATC and will not be counted toward your graduation requirements.
  • Report of Completion of Specified Graduate Program Requirements (with Abstract attached): Every degree candidate needs to submit this form to the Graduate Division Office after successful oral defense and completion of his/her thesis/applied research project. Degree candidates must also submit a master copy of written thesis (Option A only) with original signatures, and a binding fee receipt to the Graduate Division Office.
  • Application for Award of Master Degree: Students must apply to graduate in their last semester of attendance by the deadline in the University Calendar of the Class Schedule. Students need to reapply if the graduation requirements are not met.

Other forms and materials:

  • To change from a different graduate major/status to engineering classified graduate status: Request for Advancement to Classified Graduate or Credential Standing. A signed ATC (formerly GAP) will also mean that all outstanding requirements have been met.
  • To obtain transfer credits: Request for Graduate Program Transfer Unit Evaluation. This request should be done during your first semester at SFSU.
  • To change course list submitted in the ATC (formerly GAP) or to form a new advising committee for your culminating experience: Petition for ATC Substitution or Committee Revision.
  • To take an overload: Request to Exceed Regular Academic Unit Load (over 16 units). Under no circumstances will a post-baccalaureate student be given permission to exceed 18 units.
  • To take a leave of absence: Application for Planned Educational Leave. See the University Bulletin for eligibility.
  • To use human/animal subjects in research: Protocol Approval Form for Human  or Animal  Subjects.
  • To waive graduate program regulations: Petition for Waiver of Graduate Program Regulation.
  • To prepare and submit thesis: Guidelines for the Preparation and Submission of Theses and Written Creative Works.


It is the graduate student's responsibility to file the proper required documents on time for graduation. The deadlines are posted on the Graduate Division Web Page.

A maximum of 6 units from the College of Extended Learning, or transfer credits from other institutions, or any combination thereof, may be counted toward a graduate degree. Transfer credits courses must have been completed after the student has earned his/her bachelor's degree. The course must not have been used to meet any degree requirements. In addition, the course must not have been taken earlier than 7 years from the date the student plans to graduate.

You need to prepare a flyer and advertise your oral defense/oral presentation a week before the date of the presentation, and post it in Science building as well as in Thornton Hall on official bulletin boards. You should be in contact with your faculty advisor as well as your committee members and find out how much time they need to review your thesis/project. Also, find out if the committee members desire to see initial drafts of your thesis/project as well or, whether the final draft is sufficient for their review. During the semester that you defend your thesis or present your project, you must be registered for 3 units of ENGR898 or ENGR895, even if you have completed the necessary number of units for your degree.

You need to go through the following steps in order to complete your ENGR 895 or ENGR 898:

  1. Complete your report or thesis, following the format specified by the library, and have it approved by your committee members
  2. Prepare a flyer for your final presentation specifying the date, time and location of the presentation
    1. Select a date that is convenient for you and your committee members
    2. Try and reserve either SCI 256 or SCI 165A for your final presentation. The reservation for these rooms can be made with the Engineering Office, i.e. SCI 163. Speak with staff at the Stockroom Counter, i.e. SCI 139, and make sure that the AV is ready to use at the required date and time and is setup such that it matches the needs for your presentation.
    3. Email a copy of your presentation flyer to the graduate program coordinator and post it, at least one week before your presentation, on the board next to Science 128 and a few other locations on various wings of Science building
  3. Complete the upper part of “Report of Completion form", take it with you to your presentation, and give it to your MS thesis advisor
  4. Once you have successfully completed your presentation and you have your final copy of your report you need to:
    1. If you are doing 895, email a copy of the report to School of Engineering by sending it to the graduate coordinator together with a signed copy of your report’s abstract.  The abstract must be signed by your committee's chair.
    2. If you are doing 898, the graduate office must first check your thesis format and then you must submit it to the library with any additional paperwork required.
  5. All these steps must be followed in a timely manner, meeting the School and University deadlines