Graduate Admissions of Students with Three-Year Bachelor's Degrees, Principles and Procedures

Reference Number: S04-229
Senate Approval Date: Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Presidential Approval Date: 
Wednesday, June 30, 2004


[Endorsed by the Council of Academic Deans 09/08/03]


1.Students graduating from international educational institutions with thirteen years of pre-collegiate work, 'A-level' passes, and three-year bachelor's degrees are directly admissible to SFSU graduate programs if they meet all other university requirements.


2.As a general principle, students with twelve years of pre-collegiate education and three-year bachelor's degrees are admissible to graduate programs at SFSU only if they complete one additional year of acceptable coursework.


3.'Special Action' exceptions [under Section 41001 of Title 5] will be considered 'if on the basis of acceptable evidence the applicant is judged by appropriate campus authority to possess sufficient academic, professional and other potential pertinent to the applicant's educational objectives to merit such action.' Special Action exceptions require submission of additional information. Examples of additional information needed to support the request for Special Action admission are:


a)Test score results (GRE general and/or specialty tests; GMAT; departmental placement examinations)


b)Completion of one year of college-level work at a regionally accredited U.S. university in a field related to the field of application


c)Department faculty evaluation of a portfolio of the student's work in the field (e.g., published articles, research, creative work, relevant awards, professional licensure)


d)Department faculty evaluation of coursework taken at the international university (review of syllabi, reading lists, prerequisite preparation, recommendations) and of English communication skills


e)Commitment of individual faculty members who will act as advisors to the student.


4.All admissions requests under either #2 or #3 above must bear the signature of the relevant college dean and be approved in writing by a Special Graduate Admissions Committee composed of the deans of undergraduate and graduate studies and a representative from Graduate Council. The relevant program or department will be offered the opportunity to send a faculty representative to serve as consultant to the committee.


5.When additional coursework is required before admission to graduate study, specific courses must be approved by the above Committee, in consultation with appropriate program/college officials. Typically coursework should be of a year's duration and total 24-30 units, with none of these units countable for a graduate degree. A typical pattern of coursework might include both courses in the student's disciplinary area and GE/communication courses, with specific determinations of percentages in each area made on a case-by-case or cohort-by-cohort basis.


6.Formalized one-year 'bridge' programs for cohorts of disciplinary majors from a particular international institution/country may be developed as templates for graduate admission preparation. Such bridge programs must be approved in writing by the Special Graduate Admissions Committee. Academic certificate programs may be developed for bridge programs [with approval by the Academic Senate] to ensure that students meet all prerequisite requirements for a particular SFSU graduate degree program.


7.Admission to San Francisco State University to complete graduate admission preparation or with a 'Special Action' exemption does not confer 'baccalaureate possession' rights or privileges acceptable either for the seeking of an American teaching credential or for transfer to graduate programs at other U.S. higher education institutions. Moreover, students so admitted will not be eligible to earn a baccalaureate degree at the University. However, a pre-approved 'graduate admission guarantee' upon successful completion of the graduate admission preparation may be granted in order to ensure a seamless transition from undergraduate to graduate study.


8.Any decision made under the above provisions is to be communicated in writing to the student[s] seeking admission, with the inclusion of all items in #7 above.


9.The Division of Graduate Studies will, upon request from a department or college, forward the complete academic records and application materials of students for review for special graduate admission, if the students meet all other Title 5 requirements but have been denied admission because of bachelor's degrees deemed to be unacceptable.




*** Approved by the Academic Senate on April 27, 2004 ***