School Review Process
Admission to a degree program at CSULB is a two-part process that requires application to and acceptance by both the University and the School of Art into a specific degree program. (See the detailed information on CSULB graduate application and admission requirements earlier in this catalog.)
For graduate programs, the School of Art accepts applications for Fall admission only. Application forms and deadlines are available on the web (www.art.csulb.edu).
School of Art application materials must be sent to the School of Art Advising Center, FA4 - 102.
The application for Graduate Admission to the University is available online through CSUMentor (www.csumentor.edu). One complete set of official transcripts must be submitted with the university application. This set of transcripts will be used to determine grade point average eligibility. Failure to submit transcripts in a timely manner will result in a delayed review of the application.
There is a $55.00 fee for the University application process. (Do not send the School of Art this fee.)
Some art programs may conduct applicant interviews, in which case program faculty will contact the applicant directly. Acceptance decisions are normally sent out by the second week of April.
Acceptance to Degree Program in Art
Graduate applications are reviewed within the School of Art by appropriate faculty. The admissions process for all graduate programs is highly competitive, and only those applicants who are recommended by the reviewing faculty may be admitted. Applicants are admitted as either Classified or Conditionally Classified. A Classified Graduate Student has been recommended for admission, and has satisfied all prerequisites. A Conditionally Classified Graduate Student has been recommended for admission, but has outstanding prerequisites to complete.
Acceptance is not complete until the applicant has received both notification of acceptance from the School of Art and official notification from the CSULB Office of Enrollment Services.
All applicants must be accepted by the School of Art in order to be officially accepted by the University. There is no fee for the school’s application process.
International Students must be accepted by the School of Art and pass the TOEFL examination (minimum score of 550) before they can be admitted to the University. International students must apply to CSULB through the Center for International Education at (562) 985-5476.
CSU general requirements include: a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution; a grade point average of at least 2.5 in the last 60 semester units taken; and good standing at the last college attended.
MA and MFA Prerequisites
An applicant may be accepted if, in addition to having satisfied specific prerequisites set by the School of Art for each degree concentration, the applicant has satisfied the minimum university standards found in the Admission section of this catalog.
The School of Art requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 in upper-division (junior and senior level) art prerequisite units.
Special Action: In rare and compelling circumstances, an applicant who does not qualify for admission under the previous provisions may be admitted by special action if on recommendation of the appropriate faculty of the school/ college concerned and in the judgment of the Associate Vice President for Graduate and Undergraduate Programs or his/her designee there exists acceptable evidence that the applicant possesses sufficient academic, professional, and other potential pertinent to her/his educational objectives to merit such action, as shown through aptitude scores, recent academic performance, and experiential background.
An applicant who has deficiencies in prerequisites for a concentration, but who in the judgment of the School of Art can meet these prerequisites with additional preparation specified at time of admission, may be admitted with conditionally classified graduate standing. Students who have deficiencies in prerequisites for a concentration, but who are willing to engage in additional preparation to meet prerequisites, may apply.
NOTE: Courses taken as prerequisites for a graduate degree may not be counted toward the graduate degree program of study.
Art Education Prerequisites
Applicants must complete 36 units of coursework approved by the Art Education faculty and must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in prerequisite courses.
Take 15 units upper-division units approved by the Art Education faculty
Take 9 upper-division units of Art or Education electives
Take 12 units AH
(6 may be lower division, 6 must be upper division)
Art History Prerequisites
Applicants must complete the following prerequisite coursework. Equivalents to listed prerequisites must be approved by the Art History faculty.
MA Art History applicants should have completed prerequisite coursework prior to beginning coursework in the MA program. Applicants must have maintained a 3.0 GPA or better in all prerequisite coursework. Prerequisite coursework with grades lower than a C or grades of “pass” or “credit” will not be considered as having satisfied stated prerequisites.
The core Art History faculty functions as a committee of the whole in reviewing all materials and information in the application file. Applicants who have been recommended for admission by the Art History faculty, and who have met all university entrance requirements and have fulfilled all MA Art History prerequisites, shall be admitted with classified status.
In some instances, applicants who have not met all prerequisites may, upon the recommendation of the Art History faculty, be admitted to the MA program on a conditional basis, but must complete all prerequisites by the end of the second semester in the MA program. Students may complete the foreign language prerequisite by completing the required coursework, or by passing a departmentally administered foreign language exam in French, German, or other pre-approved language. Completion of all prerequisites by the end of the second semester is a requirement for the student to advance to candidacy and continue study in the MA program.
Take 3 units from the following courses:
Take 9 units additional upper-division Art or Art History
Take 9 units upper-division Art or Art History
Take four sequential semesters
Take four sequential semesters (or the equivalent) of college-level French, German, or a language appropriate to the applicant’s intended area of research with a 3.0 grade point average or better in the language courses.
Studio Art Prerequisites
The School of Art prefers, but does not require, that Studio Art applicants have undergraduate degrees in art. Application to our graduate programs is competitive and most applicants to the studio programs will have an undergraduate degree in art, many with a BFA in their chosen media. For Studio Art admissions, all required application materials are mandatory in order for the applicant to be considered, but the part of the application that is given the most weight is the portfolio of work. The School of Art invites all applicants who feel they have strong portfolios to apply. If faculty feel the application is strong, but the applicant needs additional preparatory work, the School of Art may admit the applicant with conditionally classified graduate standing, with specific prerequisites stated on a case-by-case basis at the time of admission.
The School’s Application Requirements
Prior to the fall term for which the applicant seeks admission, applicant must submit the school’s application materials as follows:
Applicants may contact the School of Art Graduate Advisor for additional information about applying. Additionally, faculty contacts for each of the programs can be found on the school website.
School of Art application, statement of purpose, writing sample, portfolio of studio work, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation
School of Art application, statement of purpose, writing sample, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation
School of Art application, statement of purpose, portfolio of studio work, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation
When you formally apply to the University, one official (sealed) set is required; send to Enrollment Services.
Transfer units are allowed on a case-by-case basis. With faculty approval, up to 12 post-baccalaureate units from another university may be accepted into the MA degree program and up to 24 units (for example, from a previous MA degree) into the MFA degree program. In the case of an existing MA degree from CSULB with a concentration in Studio Art, up to 30 units may be accepted into the MFA degree.
MA and MFA Degree Requirements
- A minimum overall GPA of 3.0, with no grade below a “C”.
- Successful fulfillment of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) by passing the Writing Proficiency Examination (WPE), usually completed in the first semester in residence at CSULB and required to be fulfilled prior to Advancement to Candidacy. Students unable to pass the WPE may be able to fulfill the requirement by completing a special GWAR course.
- Successful completion of an Advancement to Candidacy review. Reviews generally occur when a student has completed between one third and one half of the units required for the degree, and require the submission of a complete list of coursework for the degree. Additional advancement requirements:
- Art Education majors satisfy assigned written topics and prepare an oral defense of their research.
- Art History majors present a qualifying paper and satisfy the language requirement in either French or German (or an approved substitution).
- Studio Art majors participate in a group exhibition in the School of Art galleries and present an oral defense of their work.
If all scheduled units for the MA or MFA degree have been completed but the final written component has not been approved and submitted, registration in GS-700 (0 unit, no credit) through CPIE is required in order to maintain enrollment until the semester of graduation. Care should be taken not to exceed the University limit of seven years for all masters’ degrees.
Additional information may be found in the “School of Art Graduate Guidelines,” given to each student accepted into a master’s program.