Jun 24, 2024  
2013-2014 University Catalog 
2013-2014 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Studies

 Administration of Graduate Programs

The Associate Provost is responsible for leadership and coordination of graduate programs. The Graduate Council advises the Associate Provost in all matters of the university’s graduate and post-baccalaureate programs. It also addresses issues that affect programs and students and serves as an advisory body to the administration in setting policies.

Each college program coordinator or director is responsible for establishing clear implementation procedures for individual programs and for administering those consistently and fairly in a manner that agrees with the Graduate Council and university policies. Autonomy within programs and colleges is preserved while overall policies and standards of excellence are maintained at a consistent level throughout the university. In addition, the larger programs have graduate committees that set specific program policies and standards, review student selection and academic progress, develop curriculum, and provide general guidance concerning program matters.

College graduate program directors/coordinators and department program coordinators regularly provide academic advising, oversee academic standards, and assist students. They are responsible for monitoring program quality. They approve student programs and petitions, schedule courses, coordinate faculty assignments, and review curriculum.

For more information contact the Office of Graduate Studies, Building 98-T7-18, Graduate Studies Analyst, (909) 869-3331.

Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Admissions

Application Procedures

All graduate and postbaccalaureate applicants (e.g., master’s degree applicants, those seeking credentials, and those interested in taking graduate level courses for personal or professional growth) must file a complete graduate/postbaccalaureate application for admission. Applicants seeking a second bachelor’s degree should submit the undergraduate application for admission. Applicants who complete undergraduate degree requirements at Cal Poly Pomona and graduate the preceding term are also required to complete and submit an application and the $55 nonrefundable application fee. Since applicants for postbaccalaureate programs may be limited to the choice of a single campus on each application, redirection to alternative campuses or later changes of campus choice will be minimal. To be assured of initial consideration by more than one campus, it will be necessary for an applicant to submit separate applications (including fees) to each campus. Multiple applications may be submitted via www.csumentor.edu.

Postbaccalaureate Standing

For admission to postbaccalaureate standing, a student must:

  1. hold an acceptable baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association or have completed equivalent academic preparation as determined by an appropriate campus authority;
  2. have attained a grade point average of at least 2.5 (4.0 A) in the last 90 quarter units (60 semester units) attempted; and
  3. have been in good standing at the last college attended.

If an applicant meets the minimum requirements for graduate and post-baccalaureate studies, he/she will be considered for admission in one of the following categories:

Second Bachelor’s Degree

Students who have earned a baccalaureate from an accredited institution may earn a second bachelor’s degree. A grade point average of 2.50 on the last 60 semester/90 quarter units is required for admission. Students seeking a second bachelor’s degree are exempt from the EPT/ELM.

Graduate Unclassified

To enroll in graduate courses for professional or personal growth, an individual must be admitted as an unclassified graduate student. By meeting the minimum requirements, the applicant is eligible for admission as an unclassified graduate student. Some departments may restrict enrollment of unclassified students due to heavy enrollment pressure. Admission in this status does not constitute admission to or assurance of consideration for admission to any graduate degree or credential program.

Graduate Conditional Classified (Master’s or Credential)

A person may be admitted to a graduate degree or credential program in this category if, in the opinion of appropriate campus authority, he/she can remedy deficiencies by additional preparation.

Graduate Classified (Master’s or Credential)

To pursue a graduate degree or credential program, a student will be required to fulfill all of the professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards, including qualifying examinations, prescribed by the campus.

Master’s Degree

Conditional Status Admission

Students eligible for admission to a California State University campus in the undeclared, non-certificate/credential graduate status above, but who have deficiencies in prerequisite preparation that, in the opinion of the appropriate campus authority, can be remedied by specified additional preparation, including qualifying examinations, may be admitted to an authorized graduate degree curriculum with conditional master’s degree standing. A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (B) must be maintained in upper-division and graduate courses. Students in this status must complete deficiencies and file a graduate academic petition to obtain unconditional status. Graduation Writing Test requirements may/may not be satisfied.

Unconditional Status Admission

Students eligible for admission to a California State University campus in the undeclared or conditional master’s degree standing may be admitted to an authorized master’s degree curriculum of the campus as unconditional master’s students if they satisfactorily meet the professional, personal, scholastic, or other standards for admission to the master’s degree curriculum, including qualifying examinations required by appropriate campus authority. Only those applicants who show promise of success and fitness will be admitted to the master’s degree curricula. Graduation Writing Test requirements may or may not be satisfied.

Limitations on Admissions

The admission of postbaccalaureate students lacking degree or credential objectives may be limited or suspended because of limitations in facilities or staff. Master’s degree or credential programs may be limited in enrollment whenever the lack of facilities and/or staff warrants.

Re-Enrollment of Continuing Postbaccalaureate Students

Graduate students who complete a degree objective must complete a new graduate application and pay the admissions fee if they wish to continue taking courses work at this university.

Reapplication After Failure to Enroll

Applicants who fail to register for the quarter for which they have been accepted will have their admission eligibility canceled. A new application must then be filed, and admission requirements existing for the term of the new application must be met.

All transcripts on file for students who apply but do not attend are kept for two years if the student so requests. These transcripts may be used for admission during that period. However , transcripts of any additional work completed since the original transcripts were filed must be requested by the applicant from the college(s) attended as part of the new application procedure.

Former Students

Former students returning to the university after an absence of more than two consecutive quarters in a calendar year must file a complete application for admission and pay the application fee. Former students absent for five or more years should request official transcripts from all institutions to be sent to the Admissions Office.

Admission From Non-Accredited Schools

Applicants  who  are  graduates  of  nonaccredited  schools  but  show evidence of unusual promise and superior background may petition the department concerned for conditional graduate student status and if the petition is granted may proceed in the graduate program.

Foreign Applicants

Applicants  from  foreign  countries  should  contact  the  Office  of Admissions at  least one  year  in advance of  the quarter  in which  they seek admission so that they can supply all required materials.

Tests and Examinations

English Language Proficiency

All graduate and postbaccalaureate applications whose native language is not English and who hold a a bachelor’s degree from a college of university where the principal language of instruction was not English must demonstrate competence in English. Applicants must request official results of the Test of English as a Foreign language (TOEFL) to be mailed directly to the Admissions Office prior to admission. The TOEFL score requirement varies by department. A minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based)/213 (computer-based), or 79-80 on Internet-Based TOEFL is required for all programs, except for MBA and Urban and Regional Planning that require a score of 580 (paper-based)/237 (computer-based), or 92-93 on Internet-Based TOEFL, and English that requires a score of 585 (paper-based)/238 (computer-based), or 93-94 on Internet-Based TOEFL. The essay portion is mandatory in certain programs.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an acceptable measure of English language proficiency. The Master’s in Chemistry requires a minimum score of 6.5 on IELTS. All other applicants should contact their Graduate Coordinators in their intended major regarding IELTS minimum scores as requirements may vary by department. 

Foreign nationals who are not graduates of Cal Poly Pomona will be accepted as graduate students only if they hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in the United States or Canada or have comparable academic credentials from a foreign country. The admission of international students to graduate status may be limited or suspended because of facility or staff limitations.

GRE and GMAT Test Requirements

Some departments require new graduate students enrolling at this university with a degree objective to take the General and/or Subject Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) before admission.

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is required for those who seek the Master of Business Administration degree or the degree of Master of Science in Business  administration. Some departments also require the Subject Test of the Graduate Record Examination in their subject matter areas. Other departments require a locally developed qualification examination. See the respective departmental sections of this catalog for details.

Required Admission Tests

Program GRE

M.S. in Agriculture


Master of Architecture


M.S. in Biological Science


Master of Business Administration


M.S. in Business Administration


M.S. in Chemistry


M.S. in Computer Science


M.S. in Economics


M.A. in Education


M.S. in Electrical Engineering


M.S. in Engineering


M.S. in Engineering Management


M.S. in Geology


M.S. in Hospitality Management

X6   X

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering


M.S. in Civil Engineering


M.A. in English


           M.A. in History

           Master of Interior Architecture      

Master of Landscape Architecture


M.S. in Mathematics


M.S. in Kinesiology


M.S. in Psychology


Master of Public Administration


M.S. in Regenerative Studies


Master of Urban and Regional Planning


Doctorate in Educational Leadership 


  1  GRE required only for Nutrition and Food Science Option.

  2 GRE general test score 1600 or higher .

  3 Under 3.0 undergraduate GPA in upper division courses in math, science and
    engineering; or undergraduate degree from a non-ABET accredited curriculum

  4 Under 3.3 undergraduate GPA.

  5 Under 3.0 undergraduate GPA or degree awarded from a non-accredited
     university or college (inlcudes foreign institutions) or if the applicant has
     not attended an  accredited institution within the past seven years.

  6 Either accepted; GMAT is highly recommended.

  7 GRE general test score 1000 or higher is recommended.

  8 Applicants with a GPA between 2.5 and 3.0 must submit GRE results at the time
    of application.

  9 Send scores directly to the Department of Landscape Architecture Graduate
     Program by February 15.

10 Satisfactory performance on the GRE aptitude test with an expected score in
     the 50th percentile or better on the verbal and quantitative components.

Graduation Writing Test (GWT) Requirement

All students subject to degree requirements listed in the 1977-78 and subsequent general catalogs must demonstrate competency in writing skills as a requirement for graduation. Based on action taken by the Academic Senate in 1978, writing competence at Cal Poly Pomona is assessed by means of a written test. All persons who receive undergraduate, graduate, or external degrees from Cal Poly Pomona must pass the Graduation Writing Test (GWT). Credential candidates may waive the GWT, but will need to pass it to be admitted to the master’s program. Contact the Test Center for further information.

Graduate students are eligible to take the GWT upon entrance to the university and are required to take the GWT by the quarter following the completion of 8 units. If the GWT is not taken by this time, a hold will be placed on a student’s registration. While a student’s records are on hold, registration may not be allowed nor will transcripts be released. 

Important information about specific exemptions from the test is contained in the GWT Study Guide and Information Bulletin, which is available to all students.

Policies related to GWT requirements are subject to modifications subsequent to the publication of this catalog. Students are advised to check for up-to-date information on these requirements at the Test Center (CLA Building, Room P2-4).

Students who have satisfied the GWT requirement in undergraduate status at Cal Poly Pomona will not be required to take the test again when they change to graduate student status.

Students who did not pass the GWT in undergraduate status and had the test waived (either for continuous enrollment or by special consideration) in order to receive their bachelor’s degree will be required to take AND pass the GWT before Advancement to Candidacy and a graduate degree may be awarded. The GWT cannot be waived for a second time. The waiver in undergraduate status applies only for the baccalaureate degree.

Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Scholastic Requirements

Standards of Graduate Study

Graduate study deals with more complex ideas and demands more sophisticated techniques, searching analysis, creative thinking, and time than undergraduate study. The research required is extensive in both primary and secondary sources and a high quality of writing is expected.

Careful and prompt attention to required procedures should be followed in pursuing a master’s degree program to prevent unnecessary confusion and delay. Although advisory services are provided to assist students, students alone are responsible for following the procedures and completing the steps required in a program. Failure of an advisor to remind a student of a requirement or deadline date is not acceptable as a basis for waiver of the requirement. Requirements for advanced degrees, both procedural and substantive, may be waived only upon a written request of the student and/or committee concerned and approved by the Graduate Coordinator, and by the academic college dean, if required by college policy. Petition forms are available in department offices and in the Office of Academic Programs. 

Students who wish to enroll in postgraduate courses before their transcripts or test scores have been transmitted to the department concerned may receive unofficial advisement by making an appointment with a graduate advisor at the appropriate department or school office. If the students bring their own copies of transcripts with them to the conference, the advisor can make specific suggestions, but the advisor can make no formal decisions on the basis of hand-carried transcripts.

Requirements for Master’s Degrees

Graduate programs are based upon adequate preparation at the undergraduate level. Students who plan to become candidates for a master’s degree must hold a bachelor’s degree substantially equivalent to that of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in the discipline in which they intend to do their advanced work, or they must be prepared to undertake additional work to make up any  deficiency.

Students seeking a master’s degree at this university will submit an acceptable thesis, or project, or successfully pass a comprehensive examination after advancement to candidacy. See “Advancement To Candidacy” section in this catalog.

General Requirements

The requirements for graduation depend upon the master’s degree program undertaken and upon the major field. The following requirements apply to all master’s degrees offered by the university:

  1. The program for the one-year master’s degree must consist of not fewer than 45 units in courses numbered 300 (400 for Engineering and Business Administration) and above, with a minimum of 24 units of 500 and 600-level courses completed at the university consistent with departmental requirements. Master’s rograms requiring a total of more than 48 units will require more than 24 units of 500-600 level courses.
  2. A total limit of 13 transfer and/or extension and/or units petitioned for graduate credit may be included on a master’s contract.
  3. For lower division course work (100-200 level at this university), no graduate credit will be given.
  4. All 600-699 courses are open only to graduate students classified as unconditional.
  5. At least 32 units of upper-division and graduate-level offerings must be completed in residence at this university.
  6. Two-year master’s degrees have higher unit requirements than specified above. See detailed information in the appropriate sections of this catalog.
  7. A minimum of 3.0 (B) average must be earned in all graduate work taken at this university while in postbaccalaureate standing and in degree programs. No course with a grade lower than “C” (2.0) may apply toward the fulfillment of degree requirements. Once a graduate study contract has been established, courses may only be moved to or from the contract by means of a properly approved graduate petition. Contract courses with a grade of “F” must be repeated with a passing grade.
  8. A course may not be used for credit toward both a baccalaureate and a master’s degree.
  9. A thesis, a project, or a comprehensive examination is required in all programs.
  10. A favorable vote of the department, school, or center faculty is required before the degree may be conferred.
  11. A graduate student who expects to receive a degree at the end of any quarter must submit an application online through BroncoDirect prior to the deadline listed in the academic calendar. The student must be enrolled in the university the quarter he/she graduates. Degree requirements are outlined in departmental sections of this catalog. Students seeking a master’s degree will be held responsible for meeting requirements applicable to the program of their choice and for fulfilling general master’s degree requirements.
  12. The Graduation Writing Test requirement must be fulfilled before Advancement to Candidacy.
  13. A Report of Culminating Experience must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office during the quarter of graduation. This report certifies that a graduate student has  successfully completed all components of the Culminating Experience for the designated degree as specified in the Catalog.

Foreign Language

A reading knowledge of a foreign language may be required by some departments. Students should consult their advisor or the section of this catalog in which requirements for the degree field are given.

Determination of Graduation Requirements

Graduate students may decide to meet the degree requirements listed in the Cal Poly Pomona university catalog (1) at the time they take their first course as a conditional or unconditional student in that degree program; (2) at the time they graduate.

Graduate students who are not in attendance for more than two consecutive quarters, do not have an approved leave of absence form on file, and have more than 9 units left to take are considered to have broken enrollment status and must apply for readmission to return and continue their studies. Returning students must meet with a Graduate Program Coordinator and file a new Master’s contract with their department.   Returning students may elect to meet the degree requirements listed in the Cal Poly Pomona university catalog (1) at the time they take their first course after returning; or (2) at the time they graduate.

Returning Cal Poly Pomona graduate students who have satisfied the GWT requirement, and have no more than 9 quarter units left to take, must meet with a Graduate Program Coordinator and file:

       1.      a graduate academic petition to be allowed to complete requirements on the curriculum being followed when last enrolled;
2.      a plan to validate any outdated coursework;
3.      a new Master’s contract.

If these three items are approved, the student shall meet the degree requirements listed in the Cal Poly Pomona university catalog at the time when last enrolled.

Whenever a student changes graduate objectives, while this action is not considered a break in enrollment status, the student may elect to meet the degree requirements listed in the Cal Poly Pomona university catalog (1) at the time the objective was changed; or (2) at the time of graduation.

Degree Program of Study (Contract)

At the time students are admitted to a master’s degree curriculum, they should arrange with the advisor to prepare an official program. If they are admitted as unconditional graduate students, they should accomplish this step as soon as possible. A program must be prepared and submitted for approval no later than the end of the second quarter of attendance.

Students who do not file graduate contracts prior to the completion of their third quarter may have a hold placed on their registration. Students are reminded that completion of the graduate contract is required for advancement to candidacy which is a prerequisite for many 600-level courses related to the culminating experience, such as thesis/project research and writing. Additionally, it is not possible for the Evaluations Office to complete the graduation check or approve the graduation application if a graduate contract is not on file with the Registrar’s Office.

When the program has been approved by the Graduate Studies analyst, a copy is sent to the graduate coordinator who has approved it. Students can obtain a copy of the approved contract from the graduate coordinator . A copy is retained by the Graduate Studies analyst. The original is sent to the Registrar’s Office and is used as the official record of the student’s progress toward the degree.

A graduate academic petition is to be filed in the Office of Graduate Studies for deviations from the contract or catalog curriculum requirements. In order to be accepted, such a petition must be submitted by the student and reviewed and approved by the appropriate graduate coordinator, department Chair, and College Dean. The Associate Provost will consider each petition on an individual basis and will grant such approvals for deviation only with the approval of the appropriate graduate coordinator.

The program must meet the following specifications:

  1. It must comply with the general requirements outlined above and with departmental requirements listed in this catalog.
  2. The complete program may be chosen from within the offerings of the major department or it may include offerings drawn from other fields acceptable to the major advisor or committee. In developing the program, the student and advisor will seek to plan a meaningful pattern of courses focused upon the objectives of the major and the student. If the student has deficiencies or lacks prerequisites to enroll in certain courses necessary to a program, he/she will be expected to complete them in addition to the minimum requirements of the approved master’s degree program. Advisors will permit the use of already completed courses in a master’s degree program only if they clearly fit into the requirements of the student’s curriculum.
  3. No course in teaching methods or directed teaching may be included in a master’s degree program.
  4. No more than 9 quarter units of credit for thesis or project may be included.
  5. The master’s degree program must be approved by the student’s departmental advisor and/or graduate coordinator, department chair, and college dean, and verified by the Graduate Studies analyst. The approved program is an official agreement between the institution and the student.
  6. Graduate students may not file for “Credit by Examination.”
  7. Work experience is not acceptable as fulfillment of any requirement.

Degree Progress Report

The Degree Progress Report is a tool that provides information about the completion status of degree requirements at Cal Poly Pomona. It indicates which requirements have been satisfied and which ones still must be completed. Graduation checks for all Master’s students (excluding College of Education and Integrative Studies) will be done automatically through the Degree Progress Report once the program of study (contract) is submitted to the Evaluator. The Degree Progress Report is available to students and academic advisors through BroncoDirect.

Advancement to Candidacy

Some type of culminating experience is required for each master’s degree. Acceptable culminating experiences include thesis, project or  comprehensive examination. Individual departments permit the experience in one or more forms.

It is only upon the removal of all conditions, having an approved contract on file, being in good academic standing (at least 3.0 GPA), completing all preparatory courses, and receiving a pass/waive on the GWT that the graduate student will be advanced to candidacy for his/her culminating experience for the master’s degree.

Thesis or Project

If a thesis or project is included in the degree program, the candidate may register for 695 (project) or 696 (thesis) only with approval of the major professor. Before registration for thesis, the candidate shall confer with the thesis advisor and have selected a thesis committee and a tentative subject. Each candidate registering for thesis or project is required to register each succeeding regular quarter until the work is complete in order to receive university services. However, total registration shall not exceed the number of units of thesis or project in the approved degree program. The candidate who has enrolled for the maximum number of units of thesis or project prior to completing the work should register for 699 (Master’s Degree Continuation) to avoid break in residence. During any break in residence, either non-enrollment or leave of absence, a candidate may not use university facilities or receive faculty assistance. When a candidate has failed to maintain resident status through non-enrollment or leave of absence after commencing a thesis or project, readmission to the program will require departmental approval. Since passing the final oral exam is a part of the completion of thesis in several disciplines, the graduate candidate must be enrolled the quarter the oral exam is taken.

A thesis or project in the official master’s degree program will carry not fewer than 2 nor more than 9 units of credit depending upon departmental policy. When the thesis has been completed, the committee has signed the approval page, and there has been library clearance of the thesis, the credit for course 696 will be submitted by the professor to be recorded on the official transcript. Deadline dates for submission of the thesis to the Graduate Office can be found in the academic calendar and verified with the Graduate Coordinator. Projects (695) must be completed on the same time schedule but may have separate departmental rules for approval and submission.

The candidate must submit the approved original copy and one additional copy of the thesis, or the approved original copy of the project, to be deposited in the library. Arrangements for binding are made through the Graduate Studies Analyst. Further information is contained in the thesis/project guidelines available from the Graduate Studies Office and website.

Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive examination may be required in lieu of a thesis or project as a culminating experience for the master’s degree. When a comprehensive examination is an element in a candidate’s approved degree program, it must be completed satisfactorily before the candidate will be certified to receive a master’s degree.

The comprehensive examination is administered by a departmental graduate faculty committee under the leadership of the graduate coordinator or major professor. A candidate for the master’s degree at this university shall be permitted to take the comprehensive examination no more than two times. Failure to complete the examination satisfactorily the second time will result in termination of the candidate’s master’s degree program and of further registration in the department in which the candidate is enrolled.

In some departments credit is given for successful completion of parts of the comprehensive examination. There may then be different criteria than stated here for full compliance. Candidates will be fully informed of any departmental variations in requirements.

Time Limit

The graduate degree program of not fewer than 45 units shall be completed within 7 years from the time the first course (including transfer courses) which applies to the degree requirements is started. This time limit, at the option of the university, may be extended for students who pass a comprehensive examination in the entire subject field or who validate the outdated coursework by examination. The plan for validation of outdated coursework must be negotiated in consultation with the graduate coordinator and approved by the College Dean and the Associate Provost. Documentation of the approved plan must be placed in the student’s permanent file.


Candidates must be enrolled in the university during the quarter in which they graduate.

An application for graduation must be submitted online through BroncoDirect prior to the deadline specified on the academic calendar. The graduation fee is paid through BroncoDirect or at the Cashier’s Office. This fee includes the diploma cost. Participation in the annual commencement exercises is not mandatory but is strongly recommended. Commencement ceremonies are held once a year, in June. Diplomas may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office. Verification that the master’s degree has been awarded may be secured through an official transcript, ordered from the Registrar’s Office.

Participation in Graduation Ceremonies

Graduate students who have not completed all of the graduation requirements, including the GWT, may not participate in the commencement ceremonies.

Research Compliance and Regulatory Affairs

Research involving either human subjects or vertebrate animals must be administered in a manner consistent with requirements of the University Policies and Procedures and applicable federal regulations. The Office of Research within the Division of Academic Affairs is charged with ensuring compliance and ethical review. The Compliance Associate can be reached at extension 4215 for more information pertaining to the requirements for training and completion of protocol applications to conduct such research.

Protection of Human Subjects Policy

University Policies and Procedures for the Protection of Human Subjects in research have been developed to comply with the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects and are specified in the University’s Federal-wide Assurance filed with the US Office of Human Research Protections. The University Committee having oversight of the use of human subjects in research is the Institutional Review Board (IRB), which has the responsibility to determine risk with regard to human subject research and to approve or not approve such research conducted at the University or under the sponsorship of the University or the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation. This approval must be obtained prior to the initiation of the research. Information and copies of the Policies and Procedures for the Protection of Human Subjects are available in the Research Office and at http://www.csupomona.edu/~research/irb/index.shtml.

Concern for Animal Welfare

The University is committed to the proper care and use of vertebrate animals used in research and instruction on campus. The University Committee having oversight is the Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC), which has the responsibility to evaluate proposed uses of vertebrate animals and to approve or not approve such uses at the University or under the sponsorship of the University or the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation. Cal Poly Pomona has been accredited by the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International, and retains an Assurance Statement with the Public Health Service of the National Institutes of Health. Any instances of improper treatment of vertebrate animals in teaching or research should be reported to the Office of Research. Information about policies and procedures concerning uses of vertebrate animals is available in the Research Office and at http://www.csupomona.edu/~research/acuc/index.shtml.

Academic Policies

Maximum Unit Load

The normal maximum load for graduate students is 16 units (Architecture allows 18 units). Exceptions may be made by the advisor. A student must petition for permission to carry over 16 units in one quarter. Maximum program limits will be waived only upon presentation of evidence of the student’s ability to complete successfully such a group of courses. Graduate and postbaccalaureate students are considered as full-time for most purposes, such as veteran’s benefits, when they are enrolled for 8 units.

Graduate Enrollment Priorities

Departments with high graduate enrollments may assign priorities to students wishing to enroll in graduate-level courses. Applicants for a master’s degree who are in the last quarter of residence have first priority; other unconditional graduate degree or credential students have second priority; conditional and undeclared graduate have third priority. Undeclared postbaccalaureate students are admitted on a space available basis.

Minimum Grade Point Average

If a graduate student has attempted all the courses in an approved master’s degree program with less than a 3.0 (B) average in contract courses, with less than a 3.0 (B) average in graduate work at Cal Poly Pomona, or with less than a 3.0 average in all upper division and graduate work attempted while on graduate standing, the student’s major department may (1) terminate the program, or (2) require the student to take additional courses in an attempt to raise the program grade point average to the minimum 3.0. When the student’s major department recommends that he/she be allowed to do the latter, the additional courses selected must:

  1. Include at least two courses at the 500-699 level and total not fewer than 6 quarter units.
  2. Apply directly to the student’s master’s degree objective, although they need not be drawn from offerings in the student’s major department.
  3. Be new courses (courses previously completed but not originally listed in the master’s degree program may not be used).

If the student fails to earn the minimum 3.0 (B) grade point average on completion of the revised master’s degree program as outlined above, the program may be terminated without award of the master’s degree.

Grades earned at another institution may not be used to offset grade point deficiencies in courses taken at this university.

Disqualification/Reinstatement for Graduate Students

Master’s degree students, conditional or unconditional (8000/6000), and credential students, conditional or unconditional (1000/7000) will be subject to disqualification and may be disqualified from the university if their cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 (B) in upper-division and graduate courses after the second quarter of attendance. Students in this category will receive a registration hold.

Undeclared graduate students, noncertificate/noncredential, who have declared that they will be enrolling in either a master’s degree program or a certificate/credential program, but have not entered such yet (3100), will be subject to disqualification and may be disqualified from the university if their cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 (B) in upper-division and graduate courses after the second quarter of attendance. Maximum of 13 units, 300 level or above, may be taken while in undeclared classification. Graduate students may not use either the campus course repeat policy or academic renewal which apply only to undergraduate students.

Graduate students will be restored to good standing when they are no longer subject to disqualification. Graduate students admitted to a master’s degree curriculum may be considered to be maintaining satisfactory progress provided they are fulfilling the conditions of their respective degree programs in a timely manner as determined by the graduate coordinator of the department concerned.

In special instances, a disqualified graduate student may be permitted to be reinstated into a different graduate program. All cases involving the reinstatement of a disqualified graduate student must have the approval of the graduate committee in the new department and the new college dean.

Master’s degree students and certificate/credential or 3100 students will be automatically disqualified after the second quarter of attendance if they are 9 or more grade points below a 3.0 GPA. Students may petition for an academic reinstatement through their respective graduate coordinators and/or department chairs to the college dean under exceptional circumstances.


The university considers plagiarism a serious academic offense which subjects those engaging in the practice to severe disciplinary measures. Moreover, some forms of plagiarism, the use of purchased term papers and pirated computer software, have been considered so serious that the state and federal governments have enacted laws providing for criminal penalties for use, sale or other distribution of such materials. Students are, therefore, cautioned against this and all other forms of plagiarism.

Transfer Credit

If accepted by the faculty of the discipline involved, graduate credit (up to 13 units) from another accredited institution may be applied toward the master’s degree. The stipulations under “Time Limit” apply to transfer courses.

Extended University course work (up to 13 units) may be used to satisfy prerequisites or degree requirements when such work is acceptable to the department or school offering the master’s degree. See the appropriate sections for special regulations applying to professional master’s degrees (more than 45 units). A limit of 13 transfer, Extended University, and/or units petitioned for graduate credit may be included on a contract. Correspondence courses may not be used to satisfy degree requirements.

Courses Taken by Undeclared Students

Courses taken by a student while in undeclared, postbaccalaureate standing will be accepted in fulfillment of degree requirements only if the department and graduate advisor approve them. Such work taken when the student is not enrolled in a program must average “B” or better with no grades below “C,” if the student wishes consideration for unconditional status for an advanced degree. The student must declare his/her chosen program by the time 13 units, 300 or above, have been completed.

Colleges and departments shall deny enrollment in graduate-level courses to undeclared postbaccalaureate students if such enrollment will prevent degree objective students from meeting requirements or may hamper their progress toward the master’s degree.

Concurrent Enrollment in Postbaccalaureate Programs

A student may not enroll for a bachelor’s and a master’s degree or for two master’s degrees concurrently. This does not apply to enrollment with the goal of obtaining a master’s degree and a credential at the same time. Qualified students may request to enroll in a credential program concurrently with a master’s degree at this university. For eligibility requirements, please refer to the appropriate program section in this catalog.

Changes in Objective

Examples of graduate changes are: (1) changing from one major field to another for the master’s degree; (2) changing from a certificate/credential objective to a master’s degree objective; (3) changing from a master’s degree objective to a certificate/credential objective; (4) changing from no objective to some stated objective listed in this catalog; (5) changing from one credential objective to a different credential objective; (6) changing from certificate objective to credential objective; (7) adding a master’s degree objective to a credential objective and viceversa; and (8) adding dual credential.

The evaluation of credits transferred to the university is based primarily upon the student’s objective. Thus, a change in objective may affect the acceptance of transfer credits. A student who wishes to change his/her master’s degree objective from that indicated on the original application must follow these procedures:

  1. Obtain a Petition to Change/Add Graduate Degree Objective from the Office of Academic Programs or its website, or a department office.
  2. Obtain the signature of the current graduate coordinator and the signature of the graduate coordinator, department chair, and College Dean of the department/college to which the student plans to transfer acknowledging approval of the request.
  3. Submit a new graduate program of study in the new discipline to the Graduate Studies Office.

A student who discontinues working for a master’s degree in one department to undertake master’s work in another department shall replace the first master’s program by one in the new field. Degree credit may be transferred from the original program, but the transfer of credits must be approved by the new department and the Graduate Studies Office.

To request a change in a credential program objective, credential students must follow the following procedure:

  1. Obtain a Petition to Change/Add Credential Objective from the Student Services Center or its website.
  2. Obtain the signature of the new credential program advisor and the current credential coordinator.
  3. Student must complete an oral interview with the new credential program advisor and attach signed oral interview form to petition (BCLAD candidates must show proof of attempting Spanish proficiency exam).
  4. Student is to bring petition with attached oral interview form back to the Student Services Center (5-228).
  5. The signature of the new department chair and college Dean will be obtained on behalf of the student by the education department. When complete, the form will be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office for implementation of the change.

Grading System

(see undergraduate catalog section for complete definitions) 

The university employs the following grading system for graduate courses:

  A Superior work, representing effective representation, unusual competence, and high skill.
  B Very good work, meeting full requirements for performance at the graduate level.
  C Adequate, meets minimum requirements of the course; acceptable for graduate credit, (2.0).
  D Minimally Acceptable Work; not acceptable for graduate contract work.
  F Unacceptable, below minimum requirements of graduate courses. CR/NC—Credit/No-Credit, see undergraduate section of catalog for definition.
  I Incomplete Authorized
  IC Incomplete Charged
  AU Audit (no credit)
  RP Report in Progress
  W Withdrawal
  WU Withdrawal Unauthorized
  RD Report Delayed

At the discretion of the instructor, plus and minus (+/-) grading symbols may also be granted. The grade points associated with each grade are as follows:

  A = 4.0
A– = 3.7
B+ = 3.3
B = 3.0
B– = 2.7
C+ = 2.3

C  = 2.0
C- = 1.73
D+ = 1.0
D = 1.0
D– = 0.7
F = 0

I = 0
IC = 0
RP = 0
W = 0
WU = 0
AU= 0
RD = 0

Every course included on a graduate contract requires a grade of “C” or higher to fulfill the requirements of the contract. A “C–” grade or lower would not be acceptable and the course would have to be repeated.

The “RP” grade is approved for all university courses numbered 690-699. All “RP” symbols must be changed to letter grades within a one-year time-limit. The only exceptions are Project 695 and Thesis 696 which have two-year allowances. In any 600 level course, if not completed within the allotted time, the student must re-enroll to receive credit.

Refer to the undergraduate section of the catalog for detailed definitions of grading and administrative symbols.

Under the provisions of Executive Order 1037, “Assignment of Grades and Grade Appeals,” and Cal Poly Pomona University’s “Statement of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Grievance Procedures,” students may appeal grades that they consider to be unfair. In the appeal process, however, it is a basic presumption that the grades assigned to a student are correct. Thus, the burden of proof rests with the student who is appealing. For specifics of the appeal procedure, students are referred to the Grade Appeal Policy posted in the catalog. 

Repetition of Courses

A graduate or postbaccalaureate student may not file a repeated course form, but may repeat a course if a grade of “C–” or less was assigned. All grades received in repeated courses will be included in the calculation of the CPP, overall, and contract GPA.

Academic Renewal

Academic renewal is not available to graduate students.

Retroactive Withdrawal

Retroactive withdrawal is available to graduate students. Students are referred to the Retroactive Withdrawl Policy posted in this catalog.