The following policies affect graduate students.
The following are policies from the Department of Recreation, Parks, & Tourism
Graduate School Policies
The following are policies from the San Francisco State University Graduate School. This list is provided for your convenience and may not be the official current SFSU policy. If there are any discrepancies between what is listed here and what is on the graduate school website, then policy graduate school website is the official policy. All students should refer to the SFSU Graduate School website for the most recent policies.
Graduate students are required to have a minimum grade of B- in all classes shown on their Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) form. If a student receives a grade of less than B-, they would need to retake the class and get a grade of B- or better. In addition, a graduate student must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all work completed before they can begin the culminating experience, the degree is awarded. Failing to maintain a minimum GPA may lead the Graduate Division to rescind admission.
All graduate students must meet with their advisor at the beginning of each semester in which they are taking classes. This helps students stay on schedule to graduation. All specialization classes must be approved by a student’s graduate advisor.
Graduate students wishing to enroll in Research Methods (i.e., RPT 810) must first have completed Foundations (i.e., RPTA 200 or RPT 700). Research methods must be taken simultaneous with the theory class (i.e, RPT 730 or RECR 611) or equivalent.
Students may only count up to 3 units of RPT 899 classes towards their required selective elective courses. RPT 899 cannot be the only graduate (700 or 800) level course in a student's selective electives. Students need to submit a petition to their independent study advisor to take an independent study outlining what they wish to do for the independent study.
The exact content of a RPT 899 is up for negotiation between the advising faculty member and the student. One form that this can take is a series of independent readings. The general standard for independent readings is reading and oultlining or providing summaries for 15 peer-reviewed journal articles for each unit of the independent study (i.e., 3 unit RPT 899 = 45 articles). Moreover, a final project is generall required.
Here is an example of an indepdendent study by a graduate student.
Only three units of RPT 890 can be counted towards student's selected elective courses. Students wishing to complete an RPT 890 Internship need to have an SFSU RPT faculty agree to serve as their advisor. Similar to an independent study, the student must submit a petition to the advisor. The final petition must be signed by the student, advisor, and organizational supervisor.
Internship Petition Contents
- The name and description of the organization the student will be interning at
- The time period of the internship (at least 15 hours/week for 15 weeks)
- The skills, knowledge, competencies, or other learning objectives of the internship
- How the internship complements the student's chosen specialization
- How the learning objectives will be met (what functions, projects, and/or other activities the students will complete at their internship)
- The logistics (time, place, etc.) for the following meetings:
- An initial meeting between the student, advisor, and organizational supervisor
- Three monthly meetings between the student and advisor
- Final presentation
- The intended topics and format requirements for three monthly reflections
- A description of the content of the final presentation. This presentation will be a public presentation whose audience will likely include undergraduate students, faculty, organization members/employees, and members of the public. The presentation should be focused on a major project that the student completed during their internship.
- Signatures from the student, advisor, and agency supervisor
All graduate students who plan to complete a thesis to satisfy culminating experience requirements must take an advisor approved upper division statistics class (e.g., PSY 351, ANTHRO 652) or demonstrate competency in these areas, prior to enrollment approval for RPT 898. Students enrolled in 895 Professional Project do not need a statistics class beyond RPT 810, unless required by their committee.
The university policy states that, after completing coursework, students have a grace period of 1 semester to not enroll in classes. This grace period also includes the adjacent winter and/or summer break. After the grace period, students must be enrolled in at least one class or they will need to reapply to the university.
Graduate students in Recreation, Parks, & Tourism will sign up for one 3-unit RPT course (e.g., RPT899) in order to maintain continuous enrollment. This course cannot be put on a student’s Advancement To Candidacy (ATC) form. Although students may not take a HSS 499 class through the College of Extended Learning (CEL), a CEL class does not maintain student privileges (e.g., access to the library) that are often essential to the culminating experience process.
Students must submit a full proposal or final product (thesis or ARP) to their full committee by November 15 (Fall) or April 15 (Spring) for the committee to review the document that semester. Committees require at least two-weeks to review the proposal or final product before the defense meeting.
If a student chooses to create a journal manuscript as the final product for an Applied Research Project (ARP), the manuscript must be written based on author guidelines as specified by an appropriate journal relevant to the student's career interests. Moreover, that manuscript must be approved by the Culminating Experience Committee (CEC) and submitted to the journal before the student has officially completed their ARP.
The authors on the manuscript of the original submission will be listed in the following order: Student, CEC Chair, CEC member 1, CEC member 2 (order of the other two members is based on level of contribution).
If the manuscript is rejected by the journal or the authors are asked to revise and resubmit, then the student has the first choice to revise/resubmit the manuscript. However, the student will have already completed their academic CE requirement so they may choose to not revise and resubmit. In the case of a revise and resubmit, or a rejection leading to submission to another publication, the student has first option to lead the revision, the CEC Chair has the second option, and then committee members have the final option. The author order in these three cases are:
- Student leads revision: Student, CEC Chair, CEC member 1, CEC member 2
- Chair leads revision: CEC Chair, Student, CEC member 1, CEC member 2
- Member leads revision: CEC member 1, Student, CEC Chair, CEC member 2
Any member of the CEC committee can choose to not be involved in the resubmission process and have their name removed as an author. In this case, they would be mentioned in the Acknowledgments section of the manuscript.
If a manuscript is ultimately rejected and no further action occurs among any of the parties involved, this paper is owned by the department of RPT and cannot be submitted elsewhere without written request and permission from the CEC Chair.
Graduate School Policies
- The form must be submitted to Graduate Studies after completion of 18 units toward the degree and no later than the semester prior to enrollment for the final 6 units of graduate work.
- Must be approved by the graduate major advisor and the graduate coordinator/chair of the student’s department or program.
- The form is submitted to the dean of Graduate Studies for evaluation and approval. On approval of the ATC, the student is advanced to candidacy or classified status. Students who have submitted their ATC forms can check on their status by accessing the SF State Gateway link from the SF State main page or Graduate Studies website.
- Forms are available at the Graduate Studies website and are specific to each degree program. Forms must be completed online and downloaded for signature and submission. Hand written forms will not be accepted.
- The ATC is used by graduate evaluators to verify completion of all requirements for the degree. Any change in the ATC requires that the student submit to the Graduate Studies office a Petition for ATC Course Substitution, including all required signatures.
- The ATC must include at least 50% of the units from exclusively graduate level courses (700-899 level). Most programs require more units to be taken at this level. Many degree programs require that all units be graduate level.
- Another 20% of the units on the ATC may be from either exclusively graduate or paired courses (students must always register for the graduate designated section of the paired course).
- A final 30% of the units on the ATC may be from graduate courses, upper division undergraduate courses, paired courses (students should register in the graduate section of the paired course). Graduate students enrolled in undergraduate courses must complete additional coursework as specified by the instructor. No lower division course work (100-299) is allowed on the ATC. (A maximum of 6 units of upper level undergraduate work can be taken as electives)
- A maximum of 6 semester units, which may include any combination of Open University (CEL) work, credit by examination, and/or transfer work, may be used in meeting the requirement of a 30-unit program and proportionally more for programs that exceed 30 units (e.g., a maximum of 12 semester units may be used in meeting the requirement of a 60-unit program).
- Students enrolled in an SF State officially sponsored graduate international exchange program may use a maximum of 12 units on their ATC in a 30 unit degree (or proportionally more for higher unit programs) if accepted by the department/program and the dean of Graduate Studies. Exchange work must be at the graduate level. Students using 12 units of exchange work on their ATC may not, in addition, use transfer work, Open University (CEL), credit by examination, or more than 6 units of 899 work on their ATC.
- The ATC may not include more than 6 semester units of credit in independent study 899 courses (699 not permitted) related to the degree objective. Students in independent study courses (899) must have on file in the department a contract for work to be completed, the grading method, manner of assessment and a timetable for completion.
- The ATC, including any accepted transfer units, may not have more than 30% (e.g., 9 units on a 30-unit program) of the work with CR grades.
- No more than 6 semester units of credit in experimental courses (874, 877) are allowed. Undergraduate equivalents of these courses are not permitted on the ATC.
- A maximum of 4 student teaching units, graduate numbered and applicable to the discipline of the major, may be allowed.
- Prerequisite course work may not be used to meet degree requirements.
- A 3.0 GPA is required for course work listed on the ATC and must be maintained in all post-baccalaureate work taken at SF State.
- An ATC will not be approved if the transcript reflects an incomplete grade. Students should resubmit the ATC after a grade is earned for the incomplete. IC grades are not permitted on the ATC.
- The ATC may include only courses with grades of C or better (grades of C- and lower may not be included). Some programs require grades of B or better on the ATC (The RPT Department requires a grade of B- or better for all classes on the ATC).
- Grades earned by international students in required English proficiency courses may not be used on the ATC and are not computed in the grade point average for the master’s degree, but will be computed for evaluation of the SF State GPA.
- Graduate students in CR/NC courses must earn a B- or better to be granted a CR grade.
- At least 24 of 30 units must be taken in residence on this campus or proportionally more for programs that exceed 30 units. (This program has a waiver of this requirement. Half (15) of the 30 units in the program need to be taken from SF State. Twelve more of the units are normally taken from the other collaborating programs at Chico and Sacramento State as part of the core. Therefore, 3 additional units can be transferred in from another university outside of the core.)
- Summer Semester units are counted as residence credit. See CEL website for unit limits by session.
The ATC must specify how the student has met the Level One and Level Two written English proficiency requirement in accordance with the regulations of the department (Level One is completed with submission of a GRE writing score of 4.0 or higher at application to the Department. Alternatively, the Graduate Faculty may waive the 4.0 requirement if they believe the applicant would like be successful in the program; however, if an admitted student scores below 4.0, then the candidate must take a graduate level writing class (e.g., HSS 700, COUN 714.01, SCI 614, LCA 514) their first semester and earn a B- or better. This class may not be included on the candidate's ATC. The culminating experience meets Level Two requirements.
An ATC remains valid only if the student maintains continuous enrollment status with the University, as defined in the Bulletin. Prior to enrolling in the Culminating Experience, a student who is not enrolled for two consecutive semesters must reapply for admission to the University and to the major department. If readmitted, the student must complete a new ATC that meets current university and program curricular requirements. Students who do not complete all required course work, the written English requirement, and the Culminating Experience within the seven-year time limit should refer to the section: Progress Toward Degree. See the RPT Department policy for more details.
Students must file a Proposal for Culminating Experience that has been approved by program faculty. This form must be submitted subsequent to or simultaneous with the ATC. Students are not permitted to enroll in a Culminating Experience course until both of these forms have been approved by Graduate Studies.
A Report of Completion of the Culminating Experience and/or Receipt for Thesis or Written Creative Work must be submitted or amended by the deadline date in order for the student to graduate in the semester of submission. See calendar for graduate students for current deadlines.
If the type of Culminating Experience course changes after approval of the ATC and Culminating Experience Proposal, both a revised CE proposal form and an ATC Substitution form must be submitted to the Graduate Studies office.
This Culminating Experience is a field study or research project that incorporates the application of knowledge and techniques acquired in the student’s program of study. The field study or research project must be described in a written document which includes the project’s significance, objectives, methodology, and a conclusion. Students may complete the project in the format of an appropriate journal or disciplinary publication. An oral defense of the project may be required (The RPT requires an oral defense for all ARPs). A Report of Completion form must be filed in Graduate Studies by the deadline date stated in the University calendar. (See the description of the ARP on the RPT Graduate program for more information.)
A thesis is the written product of an original study. It demonstrates clarity of purpose, critical and independent thinking, and accurate and thorough documentation. Normally an oral defense of the thesis is required (The RPT requires an oral defense for all theses). Students completing a thesis should review and follow the guidelines found on the Graduate Studies web site. Thesis formatting must be reviewed by Graduate Studies well in advance so any adjustments in formatting can be made before the deadline. The thesis is a published product and will be maintained on file in the library and UMI. Students must file a thesis receipt form in Graduate Studies by the deadline date stated in the University calendar.
Regardless of the type of Culminating Experience being completed, a committee must be established to evaluate whether the student has satisfactorily completed the final requirement for the degree.
- The committee must consist of at least two members and no more than three (All RPT culminating experience committees require 3 members).
- The chair and the second member of the committee should hold tenured/tenure-track faculty appointments in the major department. (RPT requires that all 2 members must be Faculty from the Department and one member may be from the cooperating organization or university with at least a master's degree for an ARP CEC.)
- In circumstances where special expertise is available in another department, the graduate dean may authorize a designated tenured/tenure-track faculty member from a related department to serve as first or second reader.
- With special permission from the Dean of Graduate Studies, some long-term lecturers, FERPs, selected faculty emeriti, or research collaborators with terminal degrees in their field or with special expertise may be approved as the second reviewer provided their current curriculum vitae is on file in Graduate Studies. Due to the temporary nature of these special appointments, both the student and the lecturer must understand the risk to the timely completion of the Culminating Experience. An agreement form, establishing when a retired or FERP faculty member is available to work with the student, may be obtained on the Graduate Studies website.
- Lecturers or experts in the field from off-campus universities, industry or research facilities may serve as a third member of a student’s committee if they have extensive expertise in the area under study. A current curriculum vitae must be on file in Graduate Studies.
- If a member of the Culminating Experience leaves or is unavailable during the agreed upon semesters of completion of the Culminating Experience, the student will need to reconstitute the committee. New faculty members often have different expectations and may require a student to revise and resubmit the Culminating Experience Proposal.
- Students should be aware that few faculty members are available to provide guidance with the Culminating Experience during Winter Break or during the summer months.
- To officially change the composition of a Culminating Experience committee, a student must submit a Petition for Committee Revision form to Graduate Studies.
Any research conducted by a student that involves humans and/or animals requires the approval of ORSP: Human and Animal Protections. Such approval must be obtained prior to the initiation of any research activity involving these subjects. There are no exceptions. A student whose work involves humans or animals is not permitted to enroll in the Culminating Experience course until the research activity has been approved by the Human and Animal Protections Committee. Students should check with the Human and Animal Protections web site for specific information (http://research.sfsu.edu/protocol/).
To register for a Culminating Experience course, a student must have a 3.0 GPA in all post-baccalaureate course work completed as well as an approved Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) form and Proposal for Culminating Experience on file in Graduate Studies. Status of the ATC and Culminating Experience Proposal approval can be found by accessing SF State Gateway on the web.
A student who does not complete the course by the end of the semester of registration will be issued a grade of RP (Report in Progress) and should not register for the course again. Students who were admitted to their graduate program prior to fall 2008 must follow rules associated with their Bulletin requirements. Students admitted or readmitted to the University in fall 2008 or later have two semesters to complete the Culminating Experience work once enrolled. Students who do not complete their culminating experience work in that time must enroll in their college CEL Continuing Enrollment course each semester until completion (college abbreviation 449 course, e.g. SCI 499, HSS 499, etc.). When the Culminating Experience project is completed, a grade change to CR (Credit) must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the committee chair. Students should remind the faculty member to submit the grade change to the Registrar’s Office.
Candidates for degrees must file an application for graduation in accordance with the University calendar. Degree candidates must have an approved Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) form on file. ATC status can be checked in SF Gateway. The Application for Award of the Graduate Degree must be completed online.
Students may graduate at the end of any semester – fall, spring, or summer. The Commencement (graduation) ceremony occurs once a year at the end of May. Students who wish to participate in the Commencement ceremony must rent a cap and gown from the SF State Bookstore. Students can link to the Commencement website from the main University web page or on the Graduate Studies website for additional information.
Applications will not be approved for a specified term unless all requirements have been met as of the final day of the semester as shown on the University Calendar. If a candidate does not complete the requirements as planned in a particular semester, he/she must submit a new application for graduation and pay the application fee again to be considered in a subsequent semester.
Graduate students must make continuous satisfactory progress toward their degree by completing a minimum of 6 units each year, not including summer session. Departments or programs have the right to require that students complete more than the 6 units each year. Graduate students who are enrolled, but not taking courses leading to the degree may be disenrolled by the department graduate coordinator or graduate dean.
Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations requires that a master’s degree be completed within a seven-year period. No more than seven years may elapse from the first semester of enrollment after admission and completion of your degree requirements. This is the maximum time allowable. No extensions are granted past seven years. Students working full time should be able to complete a 30 unit program in five years taking two courses each year. Some programs requiring more than 30 units may take proportionally longer to complete, but no extensions will be granted past seven years. Programs may require that students complete all coursework within a shorter time period provided the curriculum, requirements and timelines are clearly stated in the program materials and the sequence of course offerings is adequate for students to meet the required time to completion. Professional programs may require that students maintain continuous enrollment throughout their programs and complete courses in sequence as required for licensure or certification. See department handbooks for requirements.
If course work on the student’s Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) becomes outdated while the student is in good standing and making progress toward degree, the student may submit, with department approval, a petition to substitute another course (one already completed or which will be completed in the future) for the one which is outdated. This substitution is allowed only when the student is eligible for graduation.
Extension of the Seven-year Limit. Students, who for documented, serious and compelling reasons cannot complete their degree in five years or less, may request an extension not to exceed seven years to degree. Students who have enrolled in the culminating experience course must follow the Continuous Enrollment policy in place at the time of the student’s admission. Students requesting an extension must reapply to the university if they have not maintained continuous enrollment. Students who have left the university for more than one semester while completing coursework are not guaranteed readmission to their program.
The student may file a Petition for Waiver of the Time to Degree for a one-time extension to complete the requirements for the degree as stipulated by the department/program. The petition is filed with the dean of Graduate Studies. The outdated course work (excluding transfer credits) must be validated by examination or other demonstration of competency in the relevant course or subject field as determined by the major department and approved by the graduate dean.
With the petition, the department must submit a statement of support to Graduate Studies, attaching proof of competency in the subject matter as stated above, or establishing requirements for additional course work as appropriate. The department must also complete Page 2 of the Petition for Waiver of the Time to Degree, detailing the timeline for completion of course work and for submitting sections of the Culminating Experience. This statement must set a final deadline for completion of the degree not to include summer when faculty may not be present. Students in good standing, who for documented medical reasons must leave prior to completing coursework and before enrolling in the culminating experience, should meet with their faculty advisor and develop a plan for returning to the program if deemed appropriate by the faculty advisor and graduate coordinator.
For Further Information, Contact:
Dr. Jackson Wilson, Graduate Coordinator
Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue San Francisco, CA 94132