Frequently Asked Questions- Current Students
- How do I get an ID card?
- What is the WPE and when do I have to take it?
- What happens if I get a “C” as a graduate student?
- What happens if I get a “D” or “F” in a class as a graduate student?
- Can I withdraw from a graduate class?
- What is a seminar class?
- What is a comprehensive exam? What does it mean to “defend a seminar paper”?
- How can I get more involved in the economics department?
- What if I am interested in doing research with a faculty member?
- What is an “Advancement to Candidacy”?
- When do I apply for graduation?
- How can I stay connected with the department?
How do I get an ID card?
Information on the ID card is available HERE. The ID card is needed for accessing library materials and can also serve as a debit card for vendors on campus.
What is the WPE and when do I have to take it?
The Writing Proficiency Exam is the most common way for a student to satisfy the Graduation Writing Assignment Requirement (GWAR). If you attended CSULB or another CSU as an undergraduate, you likely have already satisfied this requirement. This requirement can also be satisfied by a score of 4 or better on the writing portion of the GRE or GMAT. If you have not satisfied the GWAR, you must attempt the WPE in your first semester as a graduate student.
What happens if I get a “C” as a graduate student?
A grade below “B” in Advanced Microeconomics (ECON 510), Advanced Macroeconomics (ECON 511), or seminar classes will not satisfy the requirements for the degree. You will have to re-take the class and this will delay your pregression in the program. If you receive a “C” in another course, you do not have to re-take the class. Graduate students must also maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better.
What happens if I get a “D” or “F” in a class as a graduate student?
A grade below a “C” in any class will not satisfy the requirments for the degree. You will have to re-take the class and this will delay your progression in the program. Additionally, graduate students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better. Failure to do so will result in being placed on academic probation. A student is automatically disqualified from CSULB after two semesters on academic probation. Please also note that there is no “repeat/delete” option for graduate students. Even after you re-take the class, the original grade is still a part of your GPA.
Can I withdraw from a graduate class?
Department policy states that you may withdraw from a class during the add/drop period, which is typically during the first two weeks of class (check the official university calendar for the exact dates). After this time, you will need the signature of the instructor and Chair, which will not be issued, unless there are extreme circumstances (this typically will involve you withdrawing from all of your courses).
What is a seminar class?
The goal of the seminar class is for the student to demonstrate their ability to apply economic theory. Currently the department offers seminars in transportation, international trade & development, and environment & natural resources. In these classes, students are expected to read and discuss peer-reviewed literature in the field and conduct an original research project. The seminars culminate in the submission of a research paper and an oral defense of the research called the comprehensive exam.
What is a comprehensive exam? What does it mean to “defend a seminar paper”?
The comprehensive examination is a university requirement of all graduate students to demonstrate mastery of their discipline. In economics, students satisfy this requirement through a presentation and defense of one of their seminar papers. This defense is assessed by a committee of three economics faculty members.
How can I get more involved in the economics department?
The department has many opportunities for involvements including our graduate student organization, Student Association of Graduates in Economics (S.A.G.E.). In addition, the department hosts a Research Seminar Series. Other opportunities are regularly posted through BeachBoard, so please ensure that you keep your email address current in MyCSULB.
What if I am interested in doing research with a faculty member?
Student should approach a faculty member in a field of interest. Often faculty members are willing to collaborate with students on a research project. Though these positions are typically upaid, it gives the student an opportunity to be exposed to original research. The summer after your first year is an ideal time to engage in a research project with a faculty member.
What is an “Advancement to Candidacy”?
The Advancement to Candidacy is a form that lists your intended academic program (including specific electives and seminars). This must be approved by the Dean before you can apply to graduate. Advancements will be automatically generated for all first year students in May of their first year of study. In order to be advanced to candidacy a student must have a 3.0 GPA and have satisfied the GWAR. If these criteria are not met, the student cannot be advanced to candidacy, which can often postpone graduation. Please contact the graduate advisor with any questions about this.
When do I apply for graduation?
You must apply for graduation at least one semester before you intend to graduate. If you plan to graduate in May, you must apply by October. To graduate in December, you must apply by March (exact dates vary by year, but are available HERE). You may only apply to graduate AFTER you have been advanced to candidacy. Otherwise your paperwork will be denied. Please also note that graduation and advancement are two different steps: if you are advanced, but never apply to graduate, you will not graduate.