Graduate Program FAQ

Click below for more answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the History Department graduate program. The questions below are divided by topic and cover the following areas related to the graduate program: Admissions, Financial Aid, Tuition, & Scholarships,  Program Information,  Current Students, and Graduation Information. 

Admissions: How do I apply?

All application information and supplemental materials must be submitted through Cal State Apply. Official transcripts from all schools listed in your application must be submitted to the CSUF Office of Admissions.

Admissions: Are GRE Scores required to apply?

No, GRE Scores are not required to apply to the program.

Admissions: Can non-history majors apply?

Yes, we welcome applications from all disciplines. If you received your bachelor’s degree in a subject other than History, we highly encourage you to submit a writing sample in addition to your Statement of Purpose. Non-history majors may be conditionally admitted and asked to complete one or more specified courses prior to beginning graduate-level work.

Admissions: How do I check my application status?

Your application status can be found in your Student Homepage, under “Admissions.” For instructions on how to find your Student Homepage, please see the "How Do I Access the Student Homepage guide here. Opens in new window

Admissions: How do I submit letters of recommendation?

Letters of Recommendation must be requested and submitted through Cal State Apply. In your application, select the “Recommendations” tab and follow instructions to request letters from your recommenders. Letters submitted directly to the department will not be accepted. Instructions and information on this process can be found at this link.Opens in new window

While we strongly prefer letters of recommendation written by college or university faculty who are familiar with your academic work, if you have been out of school for several years, we will accept letters of recommendation written by employers or others who are familiar with your work performance and/or academic potential.

Admissions: How do I write my statement of purpose?

You should submit a Statement of Purpose through your Cal State Apply application under "Documents" Please discuss the following carefully and thoughtfully, in 600-1,000 words or about 2-4 pages:

1. What are your goals in pursuing an M.A. degree at CSUF?

Do you want to enhance existing social studies teaching credentials or work toward teaching at the community college level? 

Are you more interested in Public and Oral history where you would work in a museum or archival setting, or is this more of a personal goal that you hope to accomplish?

2. What are your areas of interest geographically (U.S., European, Asian, World), chronologically (ancient, medieval, modern), and/or topically (women's history, military history, etc.)?

How did you become interested in the field? You may want to mention books that have been especially influential in shaping your interests.

3. Alert us of any anomalies in your record. For example, if your GPA is below a 3.0 you should explain why the graduate advisor should still consider your application.

Alternately, let us know if you have any academic awards or honors. 

Admissions: Is a writing sample required?

While a writing sample is not required, applicants are encouraged to submit writing samples if they are returning students or received a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than History.

Admissions: Is there a GPA requirement?

Students must meet the CSU requirements for admission to a master’s degree program. In addition, applicants must have a grade-point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in the last 60 semester units and a 3.0 grade-point average (GPA) in upper-division history courses. Only those who have at least a 3.5 GPA in upper-division history courses may request an exemption. Students with deficiencies will be considered for admission only after they have completed courses approved by the coordinator.

Admissions: When is the deadline to accept my admission offer?

Fall admission offers must be accepted by May 1st.

Spring admission offers must be accepted by December 15th. 

Applicants who received their university acceptance after the dates listed above have 14 days from the date of their university acceptance letter to accept admission.

Admissions: How can I check my CSUF student account for any holds? 

You can check for holds on your account that may be preventing your application from being processed by accessing your Student Homepage and selecting the "Tasks" tile. If there is a hold on your account, it will appear here with specific information on the hold, who to contact to resolve the hold, and what document is missing from your application. 

CSUF's Guide to Checking for Holds on your Account Opens in new window

Admissions: When is the deadline to apply?

Fall Admission: application period begins October 1st and ends March 1st.

Spring Admission: application period begins August 1st and ends November 1st.* 

*International Students: spring admission deadline is October 1st. 

Admissions: Where do I submit my transcripts?

Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions. Transcripts submitted to the History department will not be accepted toward your application. For more information on how to submit your transcripts, please visit the Office of Admissions website or call (657) 278-3100.*

*Current CSUF students or alumni are not required to request official transcripts from CSUF.

Financial Aid & Tuition: Are scholarships available during the program? 

Yes, check the History Scholarships pageOpens in new window form the Department of History for the latest information on deadlines and availability. All scholarship applications are submitted through your Student Portal under “Scholarships.”

Information on graduate program Financial Aid can be found through the Office of Financial Aid's website. 

Financial Aid & Tuition: Is financial aid available to graduate students? 

Yes, all financial aid information for graduate students is available through the Office of Financial Aid. Please visit the link below for more information from the Office of Financial specifically for graduate students. 

Visit the Office of Financial Aid Website: Graduate Financial AidOpens in new window

Financial Aid & Tuition: How much does the program cost? 

Tuition costs and more information on the cost of attendance can be found be found through the Office of Financial Aid. Follow this link for more information from their website: 

CSUF Cost of AttendanceOpens in new window

Program Information: How long does it take to complete the program? 

Generally, students complete the program in 2.5 years. Coursework expires after five years and must be repeated or petitioned for exemption to qualify toward your degree. 

Program Information: What concentrations are available? 

The History MA offers concentrations in Public History and Chicano/Chicana Studies. Each of these concentrations have additional course requirements. 

Program Information: What exit options are available? 

Students may opt to defend a thesis, complete a project, or take comprehensive exams to complete their program. 

Current Students: How do I apply for a Leave of Absence? 

Leaves of Absence are facilitated by the Office of Graduate Studies, the required form can be found on their website under “Student Forms”. 

Apply for a Leave of Absense Opens in new window

Current Students: How do I complete my Professional Development Requirement? 

The professional development requirement can be met through the following: 

  • Participate in approved career events through the CSUF Career Center, one’s employer or a third party
  • Join or view at least one Department of History career webinar for historians
  • Career preparation or continuing education in the student’s existing career path (approved by an adviser)
  • Attend a professional conference

Please see these resources for completing your professional development requirements: 

Current Students: How do I make an advising appointment? 

Please view our Advising Page for the most recent information on advisors and appointment booking processes. 

Graduation: How do I apply for graduation? 

You may apply for graduation during the semester in which you will have completed all 30 units of coursework and completed your exit option. If you do not meet these requirements in the semester in which you apply, you must re-apply. Graduation applications are facilated by the Office of Graduate Studies. Please see the following links for more important information on gradauation from Grad Studies: 


If you have applied for graduation and will not be graduating for the semester you applied, you will need to submit a Graduation Date Change form with the Office of Graduate Studies at this link. A $10 non-refundable fee will be charged to your student account by Student Business Services (SBS) every time you change your graduation date.

Graduation: When is the deadline to submit my completion forms to the department?

You must submit all completion forms for your exit option to the Graduate Program Coordinator by no later than the “End of Semester” date on the current academic calendar. 

View the current Academic CalendarOpens in new window

Graduation: When is my commencement ceremony? 

Commencement ceremonies are scheduled by the university. The commencement schedule is avialable on the CSUF Commencement website listed below. 

Visit the CSUF Commencement websiteOpens in new window


Any questions not answered here, should be directed to the Graduate Program Coordinator, Lydia Wada, at or (657) 278-4464