Graduate Admissions

University Admissions



Applying for admission to the Humanities M.A. program is a two-part process, as applicants must meet University admissions standards before the School of Humanities and Liberal Studies can consider them for admission to the program.

The San Francisco State University Bulletin contains the information you will need to apply for admission.

  • Deadline for fall admission: April 15
  • Deadline for spring admission: November 1

Any questions regarding admission to the University should be directed to the Division of Graduate Studies office, not the School of Humanities and Liberal Studies.

Part 1

This part starts at the Division of Graduate Studies website.

Fill out the online CAL State Apply (calstate.edu/apply) application form and follow the directions about arranging for your transcripts to be sent to the Division of Graduate Studies. Please do not send transcripts to the School of Humanities and Liberal Studies. The Division of Graduate Studies will forward them to us when it has finished processing them.

Applicants should be as precise and clear as possible in the statement of purpose included in the online application. It should be at least 500 words and give specific details about your intellectual interests, academic and other relevant experience and your reasons for applying to our program.

Part 2

This part covers additional materials required by the School of Humanities and Liberal Studies. Applicants should mail an 8 – 10 page writing sample on a humanities-related topic directly to the Graduate Coordinator, School of Humanities and Liberal Studies, HUM 410, SFSU, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132. We also require two signed, sealed letters of recommendation, on letterhead, from former teachers. We prefer that your recommenders send these directly to us. Do not send your writing sample or letters to the Division of Graduate Studies.

The school considers only applicants who have completed both of these steps. We review files as soon as they are complete and recommend admission on a rolling basis. We often recommend conditional admission, which means that applicants must successfully complete additional undergraduate coursework in the school before being admitted to classified status.

Admission to the Humanities M.A. Program

The Division of Graduate Studies does a preliminary evaluation of your application to see if you meet the minimum University standard: 3.0 GPA for your last 60 units of coursework. If you meet the minimum standard, the Division of Graduate Studies sends the application along with your official transcript to the School of Humanities and Liberal Studies to review and to make a recommendation to the Division of Graduate Studies on admission. 

Depending on your level of preparation, successful applicants may be admitted either as classified or conditionally classified graduate students. 

Admission with classified status means that you have satisfied all the University and departmental conditions for admission, and may take any Humanities graduate seminar. 

Admission as a conditionally classified student means that you need an additional three to six units of preparatory coursework, which will be specified on your admissions documents. You may enroll in graduate seminars concurrently with this coursework and you may count it toward the degree, as a partial or complete substitution for your allotted three to six units of electives, but it must be successfully completed during your first year in the program with a grade of B+ or better. Once you have done this, you should complete and file the form for Advancement to Classified Status at the Division of Graduate Studies Office.

Good Standing

Students must maintain a 3.0 (B) average in order to remain in good standing within the program. Any student whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 may be placed on probation or removed from classified graduate status by the department. Students who fail to make progress toward the degree may also be removed from classified status.