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The policies listed below are either specific to graduate students or include elements that apply to graduate students as well as undergrads.

Title 5: California Code of Regulations

The California Administrative Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 40510, specifies the minimum requirements for a master’s degree.  Please note that certain master’s programs may involve additional units and requirements above and beyond the state-mandated minimum.  

California Administrative Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 40510 (PDF)

Academic Probation, Disqualification and Progress

Graduate students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 for all work completed to remain in good standing with the University.

Academic Standing, Disqualification and Progress policy

Thesis Course Enrollment Policy

The candidate must complete a thesis, project, or comprehensive exam as required by the department. Culminating projects that are published by the library require review by the Graduate Studies Office, as well as final approval by the student’s faculty committee.

A public defense of the thesis is required and may be required for a project. For students completing a thesis or project for their culminating experience, the student has four semesters to complete the thesis/project, including the first semester of enrollment for thesis units.

The RP (Report in Progress) grade will remain until the student submits the culminating project. Projects taking more than four semesters to complete will require an approval for extension by the Graduate Studies Office or may require reapplication to the program and re-enrollment in the units.

Continuous Enrollment Policy

Updated March 2023

Graduate students maintain Continuing Student Status in accordance with the Continuing Student Status Policy under the SSU Academic Regulations. Students who enroll in the Culminating Experience course as the final step toward completing their degree are expected to follow the Graduate Studies Degree Completion Guidelines (PDF).

 If the student will not complete the culminating experience by the end of the semester they enrolled in the culminating experience course, they will receive a grade of RP (report in progress).

The student will retain Continuing Student Status for one semester after the semester in which they enrolled in their final course and may use this “grace period” to complete the culminating experience and graduate in that semester.  Programs may have additional enrollment requirements (e.g., to meet licensing/accreditation or summer-only requirements). Please check with your program coordinator.

Should the student require additional time beyond the one semester grace period to complete the culminating experience, to avoid being disenrolled from the university, the student must use one of the following mechanisms:

  • Enroll part time in coursework in the program (e.g. special topics)
  • Enroll in project continuation through extended education - note this course will not count towards the degree, but will maintain continuing student status
  • Take a leave of absence by submitting the Leave of Absence form by the deadline for the semester in question. This petition process would not extend the seven-year limitation on coursework applied to the degree. 

The student will have up to two additional semesters (four semesters total) to complete the course associated with the culminating experience.  The student must be enrolled in an appropriate graduate program course or in Project Continuation in order to graduate more than two semesters after taking the culminating experience course.

If, under extraordinary circumstances, after four semesters (this includes the semester in which the course was taken) the culminating experience is not complete, the student must re-enroll (with the approval of the program’s graduate coordinator) in the culminating experience course for at least one semester to re-establish matriculation and continuing student status.

Students who allow their enrollment to lapse for two semesters without taking a leave of absence will be considered to have withdrawn from the University and from their degree program. Should such students decide to return, they will be required to apply for readmission.

Theses/Projects, Public Nature

Human Subjects in Research

If a project or thesis, either directly or indirectly, involves humans in research, the student must seek approval from the Committee on the Rights of Human Subjects prior to initiating any activity with the subjects. There is human subject involvement when human
beings are asked to participate:

  • physically in an activity or to donate their tissue, organs, fluids, and other bodily material;
  • when information is sought from them directly (as through interview, questionnaire) or indirectly (as through observation);
  • when information concerning specific, individually identifiable human beings is asked for from third parties – whether through access to files, data banks, or other means – or through direct inquiry of third parties concerning the individuals in question.

Research proposals for which the question of human subject involvement is itself uncertain or ambiguous must be submitted for review. The Human Subjects application and detailed information on the review process can be downloaded from the ORSP website.

Your application must be reviewed before you begin your research, and a copy of the approved protocol cover sheet should be included as an Appendix of the thesis/project. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs is located in Salazar Hall 1040, 664-2124.

Human Subjects in Research policy