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  • Policy Number: SP.09.008
  • Version: Original
  • Drafted By: Student Academic Policies and Procedures
  • Approved By: Richard R. Rush
  • Approval Date:
  • Effective Date:
  • Supersedes:


This policy modifies the current language in the CSUCI catalog to establish a timeline for the advancement to candidacy application. It also grants approval authority of advancement to candidacy to the director of the master’s program or designee(s). The policy complies with California Administrative Code Title 5, § 40510:

To be eligible for the Master's degree, the candidate shall have completed the following minimum requirements:

  • Advancement to Candidacy. For advancement to candidacy for the Master's degree, the applicant shall meet the requirements of Section 41011, and such particular requirements as the Chancellor and the campus may prescribe







This policy applies to all CSUCI graduate students in master’s degree programs with a thesis, project, or comprehensive examination.


Thesis: The written product of a systematic study of a significant problem. It identifies the problem, states the major assumptions, explains the significance of the undertaking, sets forth the sources for and methods of gathering information, analyzes the data, and offers a conclusion or recommendation. The finished product evidences originality, critical and independent thinking, appropriate organization and format, and thorough documentation. Normally, an oral defense of the thesis is required.

Project: A significant undertaking appropriate to the fine and applied arts or to professional fields. It evidences originality and independent thinking, appropriate form and organization, and a rationale. It is described and summarized in a written abstract that includes the project's significance, objectives, methodology and a conclusion or recommendation. An oral defense of the project may be required.

Comprehensive Examination: An assessment of the student's ability to integrate the knowledge of the area, show critical and independent thinking, and demonstrate mastery of the subject matter. The results of the examination evidences independent thinking, appropriate organization, critical analysis and accuracy of documentation. A record of the examination questions and responses shall be maintained in accordance with the records retention policy of The California State University.

Policy Text

Advancement to candidacy recognizes that the student has demonstrated the ability to operate at and sustain a level of scholarly competence that is satisfactory for successful completion of the degree requirements. In programs that require a thesis, it permits the student to enroll in courses that provide thesis supervision. The student must be enrolled during the semester in which they apply for advancement to candidacy. Advancement to candidacy must occur at least one semester prior to the anticipated completion of the program. Approval is granted by the program director or designee(s).



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