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Graduate Studies at CSUSM

We are pleased that you are considering CSUSM for graduate school. CSUSM offers 22 Master's degrees and a Joint Doctoral Program with UCSD. Most programs allow you to customize your program of study to focus on your particular area of interest. 

The Office of Graduate Studies and Research staff serve as the liaison for your graduate administrative needs and resources, and answers general inquiries. 

The Graduate Coordinator (or Program Director) are faculty members serving as your direct contact for the specific program. They are among your first important campus connections. For program specific inquiries and their admission requirements, contact the Graduate Coordinator. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What types of graduate programs are available at CSUSM?
     A list of programs offered is available on the Programs and Advisors page.
  • Where do I get help with choosing a graduate program?

    While the Graduate Studies office does not offer academic advising for choosing your graduate program or class schedule, we offer general information sessions regarding graduate school resources and can help identify programs that relate to your academic and career goals. Please see our calendar for upcoming presentations and/or workshops.

    Here is a helpful article on How to Choose a Graduate School.  

  • Where can I find infromation on a graduate program?

    Contact the department for information about the program in which you are interested, or review the information on the Department's website. You can find contact information including links to the websites for each program on the Programs and Advisors page.

    Apply on Cal State Apply

  • How does the admissions process work at CSUSM?

    The application process is composed of two parts; University Admissions and Program/Departmental Admissions.  When you apply on Cal State Apply, the application will be sent to both the University Admissions office and to the Program you applied for. You must meet both Admissions requirements.

    Please follow departmental instructions on how to submit supplementary materials and information and department specific material, a statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation.

    Deadlines for programs do vary. Spring applications are only accepted by a few departments. Check the Programs and Advisors page for more information.

    Apply on Cal State Apply

  • What is the application fee?

    The application fee for graduate applications is $70 and is paid through Cal State Apply.


  • What is the application deadline?
    Graduate Application Dates
    Admissions Term Application Open Deadline to Apply Programs
    Spring August 1 October 31 Select programs only. 
    Summer August 1 May  30  Select programs only. 
    Fall October 1 Varies Please check your program's website

    Deadlines vary by program and can be found on the program website. To view a list of programs offered at CSUSM visit the Programs and Advisors page. You are strongly advised to submit your online application and all required supporting materials well in advance of the official deadline.

  • Can I start a program in the spring semester?
    Yes, please see individual program websites for more information about start dates.
  • Can I apply to more than one program?
    You can only apply for one program per term.
  • Is the GRE or TOEFL Required?

    Testing requirements are determined by the program. Please see individual program websites for information on deadlines.

    GRE School Code for CSUSM: 4155

  • Where do I send my transcripts?

    You will be required to submit (1) official transcript AND (1) unofficial transcript from each college or university attended in order to be considered for admission. No official transcripts from CSUSM will be required.

    To Submit Your Official Transcripts:

    Order them from all institutions that you have attended and have one copy sent directly to CSUSM at Alternatively, hard copies may be sent to: 

    Office of Admissions & Student Outreach
    California State University San Marcos 
    333 South Twin Oaks Valley Road 
    San Marcos, CA 92096-0001 
    ATTN: Graduate Admissions

    Unofficial Transcripts are submitted on Cal State Apply during the application process. 

  • If I attended CSUSM as an undergrad do I need to send my transcripts?
    No, if you graduated from CSUSM the university and the department has access to your transcripts.
  • I already earned a B.A./B.S., can I take courses w/o matriculating a masters program?
    You can absolutely take courses at CSUSM without matriculating into a masters program.  Extended Learning offers post-baccalaureate students (a.k.a. students who have already earned a bachelors degree) the opportunity to enroll through Open University.  Open University is a CSU system-wide program that allows anyone, on a space-available-basis, to take undergraduate and graduate classes without being formally admitted to California State University San Marcos. The program is available fall, spring, and summer semesters.
  • I am currently a CSUSM undergraduate student. Can I earn concurrent units?

    Yes, you can! In order to do so, you must be: 

    • Enrolled in your last semester of your undergraduate program; 
    • Admitted to a CSUSM graduate program in the following academic term;
    • Contact the program's graduate coordinator and submit a concurrent enrollment form (to earn credit for your master's level class). 

Graduate Programs Interest Form