2021-2022 Academic Catalog


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Application Process

Individuals may apply online at www.calu.edu and pay the non-refundable application fee.

Submit official transcripts of the degree required for admission to the School of Graduate Studies and Research, California University of Pennsylvania, 250 University Ave., California, PA 15419. The degree must have been awarded from a regionally accredited college or university. It is not necessary to send a transcript of coursework completed at Cal U.

Admission Decisions

Admission requirements to the graduate school vary by program. Prospective students should refer to the requirements listed for each graduate program on the University website. Applicants who do not meet the minimum cumulative GPA for regular admission may be considered for conditional admission and are encouraged to apply.

In addition to GPA, some programs require additional documentation, such as letters of recommendation, references, specified entrance exams (Praxis/PAPA, GRE, MAT) and/or other supporting material. See program requirements.

When Graduate Admissions has received all of the required application materials, the materials are reviewed for the admission decision. 

An admission decision is valid for one academic year (two semesters and one summer term, i.e., the semester/term the student applied for and the following two semesters/terms). An admitted student has one year to register for courses from the date listed on the Admissions decision notification. If a student does not register for classes during that time, the acceptance is no longer valid and the applicant must reapply for admission, repay the application fee and resubmit all materials.

Residency is determined at the time of admission. A Pennsylvania resident is defined as one who is a bona fide resident of and domiciled within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a reasonable period, typically not less than one year, immediately preceding the student's registration for a term. Individuals who have been adjudged not to be a resident of Pennsylvania and would like to appeal the decision must petition after admission to the Residency Appeals Committee through the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. A student who is dissatisfied with the University’s determination of their classification may challenge it by filing a written petition with the University officer or committee designated by the University president to consider challenges within 30 days after issuance of the determination. The petition shall contain a statement of reasons in support of the student’s claim of Pennsylvania domicile and supporting documentation the student may wish to submit. Untimely petitions may not be considered.

Admission Policy

Several types of admission to the graduate school are available. Please consult the Admission to the Graduate School policy on the University Policies webpage for more details.

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, and students are advised to apply for admission to the School of Graduate Studies and Research as early as possible. Most programs have rolling deadlines and applications may be submitted at any time. However, the programs listed below have strict application deadlines that must be met in order to be considered for admission. To meet the deadlines listed below, all required application materials must be received on or before the stated dates.

Master's Programs

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

  • Spring Admission: Sep. 15
  • Summer or Fall Admission: Feb. 15

Communication Disorders

  • Feb. 15

Counselor Education

  • Spring Admission: Sept. 15
  • Summer or Fall Admission: Feb. 15

Criminal Justice Studies: Forensic Linguistics

  • Third Monday of February

School Counseling

  • Spring Admission: Sep. 15
  • Summer or Fall Admission: Feb. 15

School Psychology

  • Feb. 28

Doctorate Programs

Criminal Justice (D.C.J.)

  • Feb. 15

Education and Administrative Leadership (Ed.D.)

  • Jun. 1

Health Science and Exercise Leadership (D.H.Sc.)

  • Jul. 15

Admission for Other Programs

In addition to degree programs, the University offers certification programs, certificates and options for non-degree and visiting students.

Certification Programs

Certification programs prepare individuals to apply for a certification or licensure from a third party, which normally imposes experiences and requirements beyond university credits. These additional program requirements develop appropriate competencies in specific areas of specialization.


A certificate is not a certification but rather a formal, credit-based credential that indicates completion of a program of study that does not culminate in a degree or qualify the individual for certification.


Although most graduate students at Cal U are enrolled in degree programs, there are opportunities to take some graduate classes as a non-degree student for personal or professional growth without pursuing a graduate degree.

Admitted non-degree students may take only 6 credits before they are required to apply as a degree-seeking student. Completion of these courses does not automatically lead to admission to a degree or certification program. Applicants interested in further exploration must reapply (fee waived).

Visiting Students

Graduate students from other universities (sometimes known as "visiting students") may take courses at Cal U. Visiting students are responsible for knowing and adhering to the transfer policies of their home institutions.

International Students

Cal U welcomes applications from students from countries other than the United States. All international applicants studying on campus must follow the procedures and guidelines available at: https://www.calu.edu/international-students/.

Graduate Assistantships

All applicants who are interested may contact the School of Graduate Studies and Research regarding graduate assistantships and the Financial Aid Office regarding financial options. Admission into the University does not imply receipt of a graduate assistantship.