Master’s Advising FAQ
The following is a list of commonly asked questions and answers about the Geography Master’s program at SDSU and completing the degree:
Professor Fernando Bosco
Department of Geography
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-4493.
Program of Study and Course Requirements
If you filed for concurrent graduate credit while in your last semester as an undergraduate then the course would be footnoted in your undergraduate record and it will also be carried over into your graduate record. The course would be listed twice on the transcript; once under your undergraduate record and once under your graduate record.
If you did not file for concurrent graduate credit then you would need to make up the 3 units associated with the POS requirements in order to achieve the 30-unit total. The Graduate Advisor (Biggs) determines whether to 1) waive to content and have you take another course towards your POS requirements or 2) recommend that you retake it based on the grade earned or if you need to take it as a graduate student and be required to perform at the graduate level, since some courses require additional tasks/homework/papers for graduate students.
If you need to change the courses in your POS, you need to submit:
- A revised version of the departmental POS form in the MA/MS handbook, which includes lines for signatures of both your Thesis Advisor and the Graduate Advisor (Biggs). The revised form needs to show clearly what course(s) you are dropping by drawing a thin black line through the course listed in the original form, and a list of the new courses that are to replace those courses.
- The Petition for Adjustment of Degree Requirements form, which is signed by the Graduate Advisor and submitted to Graduate Division for approval.
Student are eligible to take courses through Open University as long as they are not matriculated into the University and have those courses count towards their POS requirements or possible pre-reqs should the student be admitted at a later point. Any course that is taken through Open University appears on the SDSU transcript so, if the student does poorly while taking Open University courses the SDSU cumulative GPA will be impacted. Students are limited to a maximum of 9 Open University or other university units for a 30 unit POS; this total includes a combined total of courses coming from another institution and Open University. Should the student include an Open University course on the POS, the 7-year deadline by when they must complete their degree requirements begins with the Open University course that is on their POS and not when they were admitted to the MA/MS program.
Open University courses count towards the GPA requirements, program requirements, unit requirements, and time to graduate as they basically are SDSU courses but are being paid through the College of Extended Studies should the student have missed admission deadlines, are trying to bring their GPA up prior to being considered for admission, or have pre-reqs and are not wanting to wait until the next admission cycle.
Advancing to Candidacy and Thesis Proposal Defense
Defending your thesis and graduation: Deadlines
Note that for spring and summer graduation, the deadline for application to graduate can be as early as January.
Defending the thesis: Forms and procedures
- If your committee requested revisions to the thesis document, you must complete those revisions to the satisfaction of your advisor and/or thesis committee, depending on what was agreed upon at the defense.
- Once your revisions are complete and the final format of your thesis PDF document is approved by your advisor, have your main thesis advisor sign the Completion of Thesis in an Approved Format form.
- Fill out the “Report of Final Examination or Thesis Defense” form but do not have it signed by your thesis advisor. Bring the signed “Completion of Thesis in an Approved Format” form and the unsigned “Report of Final Examination or Thesis Defense” form to the Master’s Advisor (Dr. Biggs) for signature.
- Submit the “Completion of Thesis in an Approved Format” form to the Graduate Program Coordinator in the Geography Department.
- Submit the “Report of Final Examination or Thesis Defense” form to the Graduate Division.
- Submit a hardcopy of your signature page to Montezuma Publishing.
- Email a PDF of your thesis to Montezuma Publishing (firstname.lastname@example.org). See Montezuma Publishing for details Leave geography site.
Graduation delay and Leave of Absence
You will have to enroll in at least one unit of 799B during the summer, and reapply to graduate in summer. To do so, go back into your WebPortal account and “transfer” your application for Spring to Summer (August) and repay the $55 fee.
If you don’t finish and graduate in the spring semester of your second year, you must register in 799B the semester you plan to graduate and reapply to graduate (see previous question). Students who have completed all of the coursework on their POS and only have to complete their thesis are eligible to enroll in 799B through the College of Extended Studies, and so do not need to file for leave of absence and do not have to enroll in 799B continuously, only in the semester they plan to graduate. Students would only need to apply for the leave of absence if they planned on enrolling for 799B through main campus. As long as you plan on registering through Extended Studies, you do not need to file for a leave of absence.
The Graduate Student Handbook Leave geography site PDF file, page 9, has information regarding leave of absences policies.
A leave of absence occurs when a student needs to take a semester off of their graduate program and has not completed all of the courses on their Program of Study. Students may request no more than four semesters of leave of absence during their time at SDSU. If a student needs more than four leaves or if they do not file for a leave of absence, they will either have to remain continuously enrolled e.g. in 799B, or reapply for admission to the program. See the previous FAQ and the Graduate Handbook for details on how to apply. Note that starting in Spring 2019, application for leave of absence is done online through their webportal account.