Master's Degree Program FAQs


We've assembled some of our most frequently asked questions (FAQs). Odds are the answer you need is here. If you you don't see the answer you need, please contact us.


What is the Graduate Program Orientation?

Upon admission to the program, candidates will receive detailed information about the online program orientation.  The University also hosts an “All University Graduate Orientation” which is typically held on the Saturday before the semester begins.  The University orientation is optional while the program orientation is mandatory.


Why do candidates meet with an adviser prior to classes beginning?

Candidates meet with an adviser to develop a study plan and receive information about the program.  The study plan guides candidates through the program.

Can a candidate receive a grade of C and still remain in the program? 

Candidates must maintain a 3.0 to remain in the program.  As long as earning a grade of C in a course does not drop the GPA below 3.0 candidates may still remain in the program.

Where should candidates go to get help with writing on campus?

Candidates in need of writing assistance can make an appointment with the graduate learning specialists in the University Learning Center. For an appointment with a graduate learning specialist, please email They can assist with graduate-level academic skills, studying, writing, and making presentations.

Where should candidates go to find out about financial aid and scholarship opportunities?

The CSUF Financial Aid Office assists candidates with loans, grants and scholarships to help fund their education. Call (657) 278-3125 or email Check the financial aid website for the latest fee information. Be sure to apply for financial aid early. If eligible, complete the online FAFASA application after January 1st (for the following fall semester). The earlier candidates apply, the more likely the funds will be available during the first week of the semester. Candidates should not wait until acceptance into the university to apply for aid. Learn more about our scholarships.

Is it possible for a candidate to change his/her adviser?

Candidates may meet with any faculty member that teaches in the program.  He or she can assist with the study plan or questions.

What is the difference between EDEL 594, 597 and 598?

The majority of candidates take EDEL 594.  If candidates have a special interest area and have a faculty member who is interested and willing to work with them on the topic, they can take EDEL 597 or 598.  Candidates must consult with an adviser before signing up for EDEL 597 or 598.  Candidates may only take these courses with special permission. Please note:  Faculty members do not get unit credit for teaching 597 or 598 classes so many faculty members are unable to take on this work load.

EDEL 594    Research Seminar

Description: Prerequisite: consent of instructor. The preparation, evaluation, development, and presentation of curriculum research proposals culminating in a graduate project. Individuals and groups will participate in critiquing proposals, curriculum projects, and research results. Units: (3)

EDEL 597    Project

Description: Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Individual research on an empirical project, with conferences with the instructor, culminating in a project. Units: (1-3)

EDEL 598    Thesis

Description: Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Individual research with conferences with the instructor, culminating in a thesis. Units: (1-3)

When should candidates file for a Grad Check?

It is essential that candidates complete a Grad Check no later than the week prior to the final semester because it could alter the graduation date. Specific information regarding Grad Checks, along with the necessary forms, can be found at the CSUF Admissions’ Graduation Process page or by calling the Admissions and Records office at 657-278-2300.

What should candidates do to prepare to take EDEL 594 (final project)?

The expertise and interests that candidates will develop throughout the program will shape the final project.  Candidates are encouraged to discuss their ideas with instructors, as well as continually deepen their knowledge of related theories, research, and practical application of the literature. The formal preparation for the project will begin one year before taking EDEL 594.  The three activities below support the preparation for this course.  Attendance at each is required, and it is the candidate’s responsibility to confirm when the orientations will be held.

Project Orientation:  All candidates must attend the Project Orientation two semesters prior to taking EDEL 594.  The purpose is to provide an overview of the project, discuss the range of possible topics and formats, and present the Project Proposal guidelines.  One orientation is held each semester, typically during the second half of the term. The orientations are typically held online. Be sure to check course syllabi for details.
Project Proposal Due:  All candidates are required to submit a project proposal the semester prior to taking EDEL 594.  The proposal is due within the first month of the semester and will be reviewed by faculty from the graduate program.  Feedback will be provided at the Project Workshop.

Project Workshop:  All candidates must attend the workshop one semester prior to taking EDEL 594.  During the workshop candidates will receive feedback on the Project Proposal from faculty who teach in the graduate program.  Additional information about the project will be provided to support candidates’ preparation for the first class session. The Project Workshop is typically held online. Be sure to check course syllabi for details.

Sample Timeline Based on Taking EDEL 594 in Fall. 

  1. Project Orientation – Fall – two semesters prior to taking EDEL 594 (November)
  2. Project Proposal Due – Spring- one semester prior to taking EDEL 594 (February)
  3. Project Workshop – Spring – one semester prior to taking EDEL 594 (March or April)
  4. EDEL 594 – Fall – two semesters after the project orientation (class begins)

Note: The information about the EDEL 594 Final Project does not apply to candidates who are enrolled in the Educational Technology Concentration. These candidates will be given information about how to prepare for EDEL594 during the first semester of the program.