Application for Graduate Study
Our department offers the M.S. degree in Physics, and an M.S. degree in Physics with concentration in Astronomy. Applications for the Spring 2020 semester will be accepted starting on Aug. 1, 2019. Applications for the Fall 2020 semester will be accepted starting on Oct. 1, 2019.
Applications for Spring 2020 admission must be received no later than Nov. 1, 2019. Applications for Fall 2020 admission must be received no later than May 1, 2020.
The minimum requirement for admission to the MS degree program is an undergraduate degree, very preferably in Physics, with a grade point average of 3.0 or above. For foreign students, the equivalent grade point average will be determined by the Graduate Division, from official transcripts. We sometimes accept students with undergraduate degrees in majors other than physics. However, it should be understood that in such cases a student must begin his or her graduate studies by taking some number of undergraduate physics classes, depending on prior coursework, until the level required for graduate physics studies is achieved.
General information about the admission procedure is available at http://grad.sfsu.edu. Applications are online, via the Cal State Apply website, https://www2.calstate.edu/apply. You will be asked to upload your unoffical transcripts, and also to designate two individuals who can write letters of recommendation on your behalf. An e-mail request for a written evaluation will then be sent out automatically to each recommender.
We do not require the Physics Subject GRE. However, the GRE General Exam is required, and you should arrange to take that exam well before the application deadline. You may upload a copy of your GRE test scores as an “unofficial transcript” in the document section of Cal State Apply. Please have the official scores sent to us by the ETS using school code 4684.
It should be noted that the Cal State Apply application includes some intrusive questions regarding sexual orientation. Please regard these questions as optional. You are welcome to provide this information if you wish. You are also free to ignore such questions, and leave them blank.
All students are admitted as conditionally classified.
A conditionally classified student must meet certain conditions (such as specific course equivalencies) as stated in the letter of acceptance to the Graduate Program. Any specific conditional course requirements must be taken on a letter grade basis and may not be used as part of the 30-unit Master's course requirements. Students are advanced to candidacy (and full classified status) upon filing the Advancement to Candidacy (ATC)- usually at the beginning of your final year of study. Other than conditions that must be satisfied prior to filing their ATC, conditionally classified graduate students have the full privileges and opportunities of all graduate students.
All students will take a placement exam prior to enrolling in classes. After the test each student will meet with the graduate coordinator to work out an appropriate program of study.
The Graduate Division website offers some helpful information. Housing: a video is here. See also housing. An outside company which offers graduate student housing advertises here.
Fees and financial Assistance: see funding and fellowships.
Graduate Teaching Assistantships are available to most qualified incoming students who request them. Details are
provided upon admission.
If you have any questions about the graduate admissions process, please contact Prof. Jeff Greensite, Graduate Admissions Coordinator, at greensit (at) sfsu.edu or by telephone at (415) 338-1600. You may also contact the Graduate Division at (415) 338-2234.
Updated June 11, 2019.