1;95;0c Admission to the Graduate Program

Prof. Ron Marzke


Prof. Maarten Golterman


Prof. Jeff Greensite


Prof. Susan Lea

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 2018 semester will be accepted starting Aug. 1, 2017. Applications for the Fall 2018 semester will be accepted starting on Oct. 1, 2017.


    Applications for Spring 2018 admission must be received by Nov. 1, 2017. Applications for Fall 2018 admission must be received no later than May 1, 2018. 

Minimum Requirements
     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.

Application Process
General information about admissions is available at http://grad.sfsu.edu. Applications are online, via the Cal State Apply website, https://www2.calstate.edu/apply
Please bypass the Transcript Entry and GPA Entries in the Academic History section of the application by clicking "I Am Not Adding Any College Transcripts"  and "I don't have GPA to add".  You may also leave blank the Statement of Purpose.

You must then send an official or unofficial copy of your college transcripts, and (for international applicants) the results of English language exams, to the Division of Graduate Studies.  You may either scan your transcripts and e-mail them to gradstdy@sfsu.edu, or send them by regular mail to:  Division of Graduate Studies, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco CA 94132.  Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.  You will be asked to send official transcripts after admission.

Finally, our department requires several other documents:

  1.  The All-Science Transcript Form
  2.  A one to three page typed Statement of Purpose, which should state your scientific interests and goals
  3.  Two letters of recommendation
Please download, fill out, and scan the All-Science Transcript Form, entering all pertinent science courses that will also appear on your official transcripts.   If you enter all of your units and gradepoints (number of units times 4 for A, 3 for B etc), the form will automatically compute your grade point average.  Foreign applicants, whose institutions may use a different grading system, should simply enter courses taken and grades received.   The All-Science Transcript Form can be obtained here
The completed All-Science Transcript Form and your Statement of Purpose should be sent by e-mail to Jeff Greensite, greensit (at) sfsu.edu.  Your letters of recommendation should be sent by your letter writers to the same e-mail address.

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, and have the scores sent to us by the ETS (see application instructions in Cal State Apply). 

After Admission   
     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 test prior to enrolling in classes.  After the test each student will meet with the graduate coordinator to work out an appropriate program of study.   .

Further Information

     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 Sept. 21, 2017.