When can I apply to the Master of Arts in Education General Option
You can apply now for the Fall or Spring Semester Start.

Can I apply to the School of Ed without applying to the university?
Candidates must apply both to the School of Education as well as California State University San Marcos.

Do I need to take the GRE and the CBEST?
Our General Option MA program does not require you to take the GRE or CBEST. 

What is required for Admission into the School of Education Master of Arts in Education General Option?
There are four parts of the admission process:
School of Education Master of Arts in Education Application
CSUSM Graduate Studies Application
Interview & Orientation
Advising Session

What is required for the School of Education Master of Arts in Education General Option Application?
There are five parts of the application:
  1. Complete Application Form
  2. Unofficial Transcripts to confirm bachelors and credential
    (Official Transcripts are required for the University Application)
  3. Proof of K-12 Credential
  4. Two Letters of Recommendation: Letters should address how candidate is qualified for the MA Program and be written in the past year.
  5. Statement of Purpose

What is the application receipt process?
Within approximately 10 business days of receipt, tCEHHS Student Services will send you an email confirmation that your application has been received.  All program requirement documents should be sent directly to CEHHS Student Services.
Subsequently, you will also receive an emailed Program Evaluation sheet indicating what materials have been received and what is still missing.
Approximately two weeks after the deadline, you will receive email notification of a Program Interview Set-up date/time.

Why is it that I cannot apply via CSU Mentor? 
If you are having difficulty with CSU Mentor, you may contact the Office of the Registrar:

When are the interviews?
Once candidates make it through the paper screening an interview and orientation will be scheduled.

What is priority admission?
Applicants who apply by the priority deadline will be given priority for admissions and be interviewed prior to the end of the semester. 

What is involved in the interview?
The interview will include a writing assignment, a group interview and an orientation.

What is involved in the writing assignment?
The writing assignment provides candidates the opportunity to share their writing skills as well as identify their strengths and areas of need in terms of six (6) disposition categories: social justice, collaboration, critical thinking, professional ethics, reflective teaching and learning and life-long learning. There is a Professional Disposition Rubric provided on the School of Education website that describes each category.

Who can I contact if I am an international student?
The person to contact in regards to international applications is Colleen Manthey, She assists International Students in meeting the requirements for the University.  Her email is .

Do I need a K-12 credential to be considered for the MA Program?
Currently the School of Education MA Program requires a K-12 credential because the focus of our program is on K-12 education. To request special consideration candidates must explain in the Statement of Purpose how our K-12 MA Program will help the candidate meet his/her education and professional goals.

It is also important to note that students who do not possess a California Teachers of English Learners (CTEL), Cross-cultural Language & Academic Development (CLAD) Authorization, or an SB2042 credential, must complete the English Learner Compliance Requirement (CTEL - California Teacher of English Learners) in the MA Program.

The English Learner Compliance Requirement consist of completing an electronic portfolio and taking 4 courses:
EDUC 602
EDUC 606 or EDUC 646
EDUC 614A & EDUC 614B or EDUC 641
EDUC 647 or EDUC 612 or EDUC 613
If you do not have a credential and do not plan to teach K-12, you may submit an English Learner Compliance Requirement Waiver Form prior to enrollment in the first semester of the program.

If I graduated from CSUSM, do I still need to send in official transcripts?
Yes; prior transcripts are not kept on file for an indefinite amount of time.

Can I transfer in graduate courses from another program?
Yes, you can have previous graduate level coursework (600 level courses at CSU) reviewed for transfer consideration. To have your coursework considered submit the Course Transfer/Waiver Form, a course description, syllabus and an official transcript.

Can a Professional Development Course I took through CSUSM Extended Learning be considered for the MA Program?
No, professional development courses offered through Extended Learning (those numbered 1000 or above) do not meet the graduate level requirement. Here’s the link to the Extended Learning course numbering and credit definition page:

Can I have my credential courses count towards my MA?
If a candidate completed the SB2042 Credential at CSUSM in the last 5 years, he/she can request to have up to 9 units of coursework approved for transfer (ED 511, 521 & 555). At this time the School of Education does not accept other credential program courses towards our MA in Education General Option.

How much will the program cost?
The CSUSM Financial Aid Office provides some basic information about the Cost of Attendance on their website:

How do I request Financial Aid? 
You may access:
Financial Aid is located in Cougar Central, Craven Hall, Room 3900.
There hours are Monday – Thursday 8 am to 5pm and Friday 8 am to noon.
You can reach the receptionist at (760) 750-4850 or