Admissions and Course Transfer Related Questions
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When can I apply?
Admissions are usually for Fall. The deadlines may be different for domestic and international
students. For details, see the Graduate Affairs website
I got admitted to SDSU last semester, but could not start attending because of a personal
problem. Do I have to reapply from scratch?
Your record remains in the Graduate School for one year. If you want to reactivate
your file, you have to pay the application fee again. Your file will be re-examined
and you will be notified of the outcome officially.
I attended SDSU last semester, but cannot attend school for a prolonged period due
to personal problems. How long can I stay out of the system without having to reapply?
You can be out of the system for one semester after being a regular student for at
least a semester. If you have to stay out for another semester, you must contact the
Admission office and fill out a special request form. Usually a break is easily granted.
If you stay out for more than two semesters in succession, you have to reapply. Of
course, your old courses may still be applicable towards your degree if they are not
more than six years old.
I am already a Master's student at SDSU in another department. Do I have to apply
No! Go to Graduate School and fill out a special form. Your record at SDSU will be
routed through proper channels and you will be considered for admission like any other
What GRE scores are acceptable?
The minimum varies from year to year. We expect higher GRE if GPA is near the minimum,
and vice versa. The minimum required combined GRE score, based on the new GRE scale,
will likely be around 305 and 3.5 for analytical writing.
What is the minimum TOEFL score I need?
Applicants whose major education has been in a language other than English must score
550 or higher (using the paper version) or 80 or higher (using the Internet version)
on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or 6.5 or better on the International
English Language Testing System (IELTS).
What is the minimum required GPA?
For students from US universities a GPA of 2.85 is required. For students from universities
outside the US, a 3.0 is the minimum. Exceptional students who have done very well
in the GRE but have fell a little below these requirements may be considered for conditional
I have exceptional Quantitative and Analytical scores in GRE, but the verbal part
is deficient. Is there any chance I may be admitted?
If your scores are very good in Quantitative and Analytical parts, you may be admitted
with the condition that you get a better score in the Verbal part. If after trying
repeatedly you fail to do so, while getting good grades in your coursework, you may
be asked to take a remedial Technical Writing class RWS 503. You must get a B or better
grade in that class.
Can I transfer courses taken in another university?
Yes, you can transfer a maximum of nine units from another accredited university if
the courses satisfy SDSU's requirements.
Four quarter system course units typically count as 2 units. Since you can transfer
max of nine units, you can transfer 4 or 5 such courses from quarter systems. If you
want to transfer 10 units, you have to ask Grad Affairs (by completing the Petition for Academic Adjustment form ) to allow you to transfer the extra 1 unit since you have exceeded the allowable
SDSU students can register for UCSD classes through the UCSD Exchange Agreement program
by dually registering at both schools. This exchange program allows SDSU students
to take UCSD classes without paying additional fee to UCSD. Students who don't go
through this exchange agreement program will have to pay UCSD fees. Students cannot
take more than one course per semester through the UCSD Exchange Agreement program.
Course that a student wants to take through the UCSD Exchange Agreement program have
to be listed on POS.
Can I start taking courses even if I am not enrolled as a regular student? If so how
can I apply those units towards my Masters?
Yes. You can take classes through what is called Open University and apply one semester
worth of such classes towards your Masters. It does not matter how many classes you
take, but it cannot span more than a semester. For more info on Open University classes contact Open University Program, Extended Studies, Gateway Center, SDSU.
I have taken a similar course at another institution. How do I transfer the credits?
What is the maximum number of units I can transfer?
Transfer of units is not easy. You have to formally apply to the CCEE Graduate Adviser
with all the evidence (transcript, description of the course, etc.) and submit a Petition for Adjustment of Academic Requirements for Master's Degree. Upon receiving this petition, the Graduate Adviser sends his/her
recommendation to the Graduate School where the final decisions are made. You can
only transfer a maximum of nine units.
Class/Test Related Questions
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I have finished all coursework and am working on my thesis. Do I need to register
You should register for CIV E/ ENV E 799A or 799B (if you have already taken CIV E/
ENV E 799A) if you are going to submit the thesis in a particular semester. If you
are not enrolled in either, the Graduate Division will not accept your thesis.
I performed badly in a couple of courses. What is the minimum GPA I need to graduate?
You need to have a minimum overall GPA of 2.85 (that includes all courses taken at
SDSU since you joined the program) and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the POS courses.
Can I retake a course to improve my grade?
A student cannot repeat a course that have been taken as part of the official master's
degree program unless when the minimum grade requirement is not satisfied. Before
you retake the course, you need to Petition for Adjustment of Academic Requirements to include the 3 units (to exceed 30 units).
What happens to my GPA if I retake a class and do better the second time?
Your POS GPA will reflect only the later grade whereas your overall GPA will carry
the earlier and the later grades.
What grades do I need for courses in my POS?
You must complete any course listed on your official POS with a grade of C or better.
Note that no course can be deleted from an official program of study after the course
has been completed.
What GPA do I need to maintain as a graduate student?
You need to maintain grade point averages of at least 3.0 (B) in all courses listed
on the official degree program. Also, a grade point average of at least 2.85 must
be maintained in all courses on the graduate record. No transfer or extension credit
may be used to improve the grade point average of units completed whether computed
to determine the average on the official degree program or the overall average.
CIV E/ENV E 799A (Thesis) Related Questions
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When should I register for CIV E/ ENV E 799A?
You should register for CIV E/ ENV E 799A during the semester you expect to submit
your thesis, defend it and graduate.
Are there any conditions I must satisfy before I can register for CIV E/ ENV E 799A?
Yes, you must already be classified, filed your POS, have been advanced to candidacy,
and have an approved thesis committee form.
What do I do if I register for CIV E/ ENV E 799A but end up for some reason not defending
my thesis during that semester?
If this happens you should register for CIV E/ ENV E 799B, in the subsequent semester.
This course is an extension of CIV E/ ENV E 799A and does not carry units of credit.
If you are not enrolled in either of these courses, the graduate division will not
accept your thesis.
Can I register for both CIV E/ ENV E797 or 798 and 799A during the same semester?
Thesis Committee Form Related Questions
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When is the best time to complete the thesis committee form?
You should complete your thesis committee form with your thesis advisor and submit
it to the Graduate Division only after you have been advanced to candidacy.
Can I register for CIV E/ ENV E 799A at the same time as completing my thesis committee
No, your thesis committee form must have already been filed with the graduate division
and have already been approved before you will be allowed to register for CIV E/ ENV
I understand that the committee form must be signed by two CCEE thesis committee members
(hence two CCEE faculty) and one external member, usually from another engineering
department, but what if I have two CCEE advisors, do they qualify as the two CCEE
No. If you have two CCEE thesis advisers (i.e. one is the advisor and the other the
co-advisor), then you will need a third CCEE committee member, in addition to the
external committee member.
Program of Study (POS) Related Questions
Any requests for changes that are outside of the Graduate Bulletin requirements or
are required (core) classes must be made on a Petition for Adjustment of Academic Requirements.
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What is the POS form?
This is a form that you complete which lists the courses that you intend to be taking
in order to graduate. It is in fact your course plan for graduation.
Can I make changes to the POS?
Yes. But any change made to the Official POS after it is approved must be made on
either a Request for Change of Official Program if the request is within the Graduate
Bulletin requirements or a Petition for Adjustment of Academic Requirements if the request is outside of the Graduate Bulletin requirements.
How long is my POS valid?
A course completed prior to seven years from the date on which the official master's
degree program is approved cannot be accepted.
Who should I consult before completing my POS?
You need to discuss your POS with your thesis or research advisor before meeting with
the Graduate Adviser to file the form electronically. Your adviser will be the best
person to help you select the courses most helpful for your thesis or project.
What if I need to change my "approved" POS later on; what do I do?
If a student wants to make changes to the Official POS after it has been approved
and the courses have not yet been completed, the student may do so by submitting a
Petition for Adjustment of Academic Requirements form, with consent from his/her thesis adviser.