USF student in class


Admission and Enrollment

1. Do you require the GRE?

The GRE is only required for doctoral applicants. None of our credential or master’s degree programs require the GRE. However, please read #8, below, to see if your intended program of study has any additional testing requirements.

2. How early should I apply?

Apply by the deadline or before. Programs review applications after the priority deadlines. We will continue to accept applications on a space available basis after the deadline.

3. Can I submit a paper application?

No, all applications must be submitted online.

4. I applied to USF before but never finished the process. What do I do?

We will require a new application and fee, letters of recommendation, and personal statement. If you are applying for a doctoral program and your GRE or MAT scores are more than five years old, we will require new test scores. Depending on when you applied, we may still have your transcripts. Contact the Dean’s Office at 415-422-6525 and we will gladly check.

5. I previously attended USF. Do I still have to request transcripts?

If you earned a bachelor’s or other degree from USF, we will likely have access to your transcripts. However, we may need transcripts from any outside institution(s) you attended. Please contact the Dean’s Office at 415-422-6525 to verify if your transcripts are on file.

6. What is the application fee? Is it refundable? Can it be waived?

The application fee is $55. It is non-refundable and cannot be waived.

7. What tests are required for admission?

Teaching credential applicants

  • Multiple Subjects and Special Education credential applicants must pass the Multiple Subjects California Subject Exam for Teachers (CSET) and California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). An alternative to passing the CBEST is to pass the CSET: Writing Skills Exam. Passing test scores must be submitted as part of the application process.
  • Single Subject credential applicants must pass the California Subject Exam for Teachers (CSET) in their subject area, as well as the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). Passing test scores must be submitted as part of the application process.
  • Teaching credential applicants living outside California at the time of their application should contact the department for testing requirements.

School Counseling/PPS Credential applicants

  • School Counseling applicants must submit passing scores from the CBEST.

Doctoral applicants

  • Doctoral applicants must submit GRE or MAT scores obtained in the last 5 years. This is a mandatory requirement and cannot be waived for any student.

International applicants

  • International applicants (whether applying for a master’s or doctoral degree) are required to submit TOEFL scores unless they have earned a degree from an accredited U.S. college or university. Minimum TOEFL scores for master’s degree applicants are 570 (Paper Test) or 88 (Internet-Based Test). Minimum TOEFL scores for doctoral applications are 600 (Paper Test) or 100 (Internet-Based Test).

* Note: USF’s school code for GRE and TOEFL is 4850. No departmental code is required. Please allow ample time to have your scores sent to USF.

8. How important are my test scores and grades? What are you looking for?

In our admission process we carefully consider everything you submit. Grades and test scores are important, but we also learn about you through your letters of recommendation and personal statement. Please view these documents as opportunities to share your academic and professional goals, to discuss your reasons for selecting our program, and to highlight work/volunteer/personal experiences that will help you succeed as a graduate student.

9. I see there is a minimum GPA required for admission. What if my GPA is lower?

Typically, we look for master’s degree candidates with a GPA of 2.75 or higher and doctoral candidates with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. If your GPA falls below these numbers, talk to us before you apply.

10. Once I apply, when will I find out if I am admitted?

Programs review applications after the priority deadlines. We will continue to accept applications on a space available basis.  In most cases an application will be reviewed and a letter will be sent within four to six weeks of the application being complete. A complete application means that ALL required materials are on file with the School of Education, including all letters of recommendation, transcripts, and test scores. You may call the School of Education Dean’s Office at 415-422-6525 if you have specific questions about this process.

11. If I am admitted, how do I let you know that I plan to enroll?

Admitted students must submit a $250 tuition deposit to hold a place in our programs. The deposit is non-refundable and will be applied toward your first semester’s tuition.

12. If I am admitted, when do I register for classes? When do I pay tuition?

All new students participate in a mandatory orientation program prior to their first semester of enrollment. Academic advising and course registration occur during orientation. Additional information about new student orientation will be sent to you after you are admitted. In the first semester, tuition is due upon your registration for classes. Thereafter, you will follow general payment deadlines set by the university.

13. Can I defer my admission to a different semester?

Yes. Most admission decisions can be deferred for one semester or a full year. Programs that only admit once per year will only allow you to defer to the following year.

14. Can I transfer credits to USF from another MA or doctoral program?

Transfer credit is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Courses must not have been used to earn a previous degree. Transfer credit is limited to 6 semester units for master’s students and 12 semester units for doctoral students. In the School of Education, General Education core requirements may not be satisfied by transfer credits. Please contact the Dean’s Office at 415-422-6525 if you have specific questions about transfer credits.

15. Can I keep my full-time job while attending school?

All School of Education courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening, and/or on alternating weekends. Most students find they can maintain a full time job while earning their credential, master’s or doctoral degree. However, if your program requires you to spend time in a classroom (i.e. student teaching) or to complete a fieldwork or traineeship experience, such commitments will interfere with a normal workday. Please consult your intended program of study for more information.

16. How long will it take to earn my degree?

On average, master’s and credential programs can be completed in 2 years; doctoral programs, in 3 to 5 years.

17. How many courses do I need to take each semester?

This varies by program, but most students take between 2 and 4 courses (6 to 12 credits) per semester. To be considered a full time student for financial aid purposes, master’s and doctoral students must enroll in at least 6 credits per semester. Credential-only students must enroll in at least 12 credits per semester.

18. How can I pay for my education? Is financial aid available?

Most students apply for, and receive, some type of financial aid. You may find more information on institutional, state, and federal resources in the SOE Financial Aid section. Also, contact the USF One Stop Enrollment and Financial Services Office online and at 415-422-2020.

19. Can I apply and take the test(s) required for admission after I enroll at USF?

No. All application requirements must be met before your file is reviewed and an admission decision is made. If you cannot submit test scores as part of your application packet, your file will not be reviewed until the test scores are received.

20. Do you offer online courses?

Yes. The School of Education offers two online programs: Online Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Master of Arts in Digital Technologies for Teaching and Learning.