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Applying and Admissions

picture of pine avenue, long beachAdmission Requirements
Admission Procedures
International Student Admission


Baccalaureate Degree and Upper-Division English Units
Applicants to the MA program in English are expected to have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with 21 units of upper-division English courses. This is usually a matter of course for students whose BA is in English.

Students whose BA is not in English can be admitted to the program as well, but will need to complete prerequisite courses to bring their upper-division English courses to 21 units. These courses will be determined by the Graduate Advisor in consultation with the Graduate Studies Committee and must be completed in one academic year. Courses used to complete prerequisites (aka make-up courses) are not counted as part of the MA program.

Grade Point Average (GPA)
Applicants are expected to have a 3.3 GPA in upper-division English courses. Students who are admitted to the MA program conditionally, with the requirement to complete prerequisite courses, must maintain a 3.3 GPA in those make-up courses. Applicants whose GPA in upper-division English courses is at least 3.0 may be admitted to the MA program if they take the GRE General Test and achieve a minimum score of 158 in Verbal Reasoning and 5.0 in Analytical Writing.


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Application to Pursue Post-Baccalaureate Study
Applicants must submit a graduate application (available online at to the University’s Office of Enrollment Services to pursue post-baccalaureate study. After the Office of Enrollment Services approves the application, the English Department evaluates it and determines whether or not applicants are admitted to the MA program.

Applicants must submit a set of complete and official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended to the Office of Enrollment Services. Applicants do not, however, need to send official transcripts of courses taken at CSULB.

Types of Admission
Applicants who meet the BA, upper-division English course units, and GPA requirements can receive full admission. Applicants who are in the process of completing their BA can receive contingent admission, which means they are admitted contingent on completing their BA and maintaining their GPA (see above). Contingent admission automatically changes to full admission when the paperwork confirming the conferral of the BA is submitted. Applicants whose BA is not in English can receive conditional admission, which means they need to complete prerequisite course work (see above).


Faculty Advisors
All students accepted into the MA program are required to meet with an advisor during their first semester to plan a preliminary course of study. Letter of acceptance will include the name of, and contact information for, the initial advisor. Students can make an appointment through the Graduate Secretary (562-985-4225) or contact their advisors directly.

After the first semester, students are free to choose an advisor other than the one initially assigned; students must choose their particular advisor before advancement to candidacy. The English Department keeps an updated list of faculty available to graduate students as advisors and mentors, and the Graduate Advisor is always available.

Throughout their programs, students are encouraged to seek guidance from advisors on choosing courses and meeting degree requirements. By meeting with their advisor at least once a year, preferably once a semester, students will stay informed about any changes in regulations applying to the MA degree, whether these originate inside or outside the English Department. Students are also welcome to consult with faculty on the intellectual, social, professional, and personal aspects of working on their MA in English.
Research Skills
All MA students are expected to know basic methods of library research, which include using print and online bibliographies to locate books and journal articles. Students should also be familiar with the MLA style of documentation as described in The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (8th edition). Joseph Aubele, our subject librarian in English, can help with questions about research resources and methods; he can be reached at 562-985-5321 or Faculty may also be consulted regarding questions about research methods or documentation rules.

Application filing periods:

For current application filing periods, please check the CSULB Graduate Studies web site at

Deadlines for International Students will differ. International Students should check with the Center for International Education for deadline information.

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International students are admitted to California State University, Long Beach through the CSULB Center for International Education. This Center evaluates foreign transcripts, determines eligibility for post-baccalaureate study, and ultimately admits international students. The international student for whom English is a second language must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 600 (PBT), 250 (CBT), or 100 (iBT) before being admitted to the MA program in English.

If international students break residency any semester they are not enrolled, they must reapply for admission through the Center for International Education. For an explanation of residency requirements and additional information that may apply to international students, the Center for International Education should be contacted directly.

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