Admission and Enrollment FAQs

How early should I apply?

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

Can I submit a paper application?

No, all applications must be submitted online.

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. Depending on when you applied, we may still have your transcripts. Contact the School of Education Office of Admission and Outreach at (415) 422-5467 and we will gladly check.

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 School of Education Office of Admission and Outreach at (415) 422-5467 to verify if your transcripts are on file.

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

The application fee is $55. It is non-refundable however we do gladly provide application fee waivers to students for attending admission events like open houses or information sessions. Visit our events page for information on upcoming events.

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.

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.

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 Office of Admission and Outreach at (415) 422-5467 if you have specific questions about this process.

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.

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

Students register for classes online prior to attending orientation. All new students participate in a mandatory orientation program prior to their first semester of enrollment. Additional information about new student orientation and registration will be sent to you after you are admitted. In the first semester, tuition is due shortly after you register for classes. Thereafter, you will follow general payment deadlines set by the university.

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.

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 School of Education Office of Admission and Outreach at (415) 422-5467 if you have specific questions about transfer credits.

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.

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.

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.

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 School of Education Financial Aid section. Also, contact the USF Office of Financial Aid online and at (415) 422-3387.