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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ for Applicants

Q: Do you accept applications for the spring semester?

A: The School of Art does not accept graduate applications for the spring semester. All applications for the following fall semester are due January 15th.

Q: Is there a fee to apply to the School of Art?

A: No, but there is a fee to apply to CSULB ($55), and applicants must apply to both the School of Art and to CSULB. The fee is payable through the university/CSU Apply. Both applications must be completed before January 15.

Q: Is it possible to arrange a tour of the facilities?

A: Yes! For graduate tours, contact the Assistants to the Graduate Advisor at COTA-Art@csulb.edu or 562-985-1576.

Q: I am thinking about pursuing graduate education in Museum and Curatorial Studies. What are my options?

A: Museum and Curatorial Studies courses are most often taken in pursuit of the following options:

  1. Certificate in Museum and Curatorial Studies only (18 units);
  2. MA in Art, Concentration in Art History (with a chosen specialization) plus the Certificate in Museum and Curatorial Studies (36 units from the MA + an additional 9 units = 45 units);
  3. Museum and Curatorial Studies as a Track within the MA in Art, Concentration in Art History degree (36 units); or
  4. Elective options within any masters program in the School of Art.
  5. Students wishing to pursue the MFA in Studio Art with a Certificate in Museum and Curatorial Studies should contact the Graduate Advisor.

Q: Are there teaching opportunities for graduate students in the School of Art?

A: Teaching opportunities are competitive and are usually only given to students after their first year. Within the Art History program, there are opportunities to become part of a teaching team of graduate students, or to gain employment as a grader for a large Art History course. Teaching opportunities generally take two forms for Studio Artists: Teaching Internships and Teaching Associateships. A Teaching Intern is a graduate student who is working closely with a full-time, tenured or tenure track faculty member to learn about teaching a course or courses within the School of Art. Some students who complete the Teaching Internship are invited to become Teaching Associates, and to teach a class of their own within the program where they completed their Teaching Internship.

Q: Are there additional employment opportunities for students at CSULB?

A: The School of Art hires graduate students to work as graders for larger Art History courses, as Teaching Associates in some programs, as assistants in departmental offices, or as other types of assistants to the faculty. Generally these positions are for students who have successfully completed at least a semester of work within their graduate program. Additional competitive funding is available for advanced work with faculty through the Office of Research on campus.

Q: What financial assistance is available for students pursuing a graduate degree at CSULB?

A: Financial Aid information is available through the office of Financial Aid on campus. The School of Art makes recommendations for eligible students for the HOGAR Scholarship, and for the highly competitive Graduate Fellowship. In addition, out of state students may be eligible for a competitive Out of State Fee Waiver that allows non-California residents to pay in-state tuition. Additional financial assistance may be available.

Q: Are there studios available for MFA Students?

A: Studio spaces are given to most MFA students, though these are subject to availability and are not guaranteed. To arrange a tour of our facilities and current studios, contact the Assistants to the Graduate Advisor at COTA-Art@csulb.edu or come to our Graduate Open Studios at the start of each fall semester.

Q: I want to apply for the MA in Studio Art, is there anything extra that I need to do?

A: The MFA in Studio Art is the primary focus of our Studio Art graduate programs. However, if a student wishes to apply to the MA in Studio Art, they should state their reasons in their statement of purpose and contact the Graduate Advisor for more information.

Q: Is it possible to take a course in the School of Art if I am not currently a degree-seeking student?

A: Yes, though particular courses may not be accessible due to enrollment or prerequisite issues, and the faculty member must grant permission to students not currently enrolled in a degree program. Contact the Office of Continuing and Professional Education for more information.

FAQ for Current Students

Q: Are there teaching opportunities for graduate students in the School of Art?

A: Teaching opportunities are competitive and are usually only given to students after their first year. Within the Art History program, there are opportunities to become part of a teaching team of graduate students, or to gain employment as a grader for a large Art History course. Teaching opportunities generally take two forms for Studio Artists: Teaching Internships and Teaching Associateships. A Teaching Intern is a graduate student who is working closely with a full-time, tenured or tenure track faculty member to learn about teaching a course or courses within the School of Art. Some students who complete the Teaching Internship are invited to become Teaching Associates, and to teach a class of their own within the program where they completed their Teaching Internship.

Q: Are there additional employment opportunities?

A: The School of Art hires graduate students to work as graders for larger Art History courses, as Teaching Associates in some programs, as assistants in departmental offices, or as other types of assistants to the faculty. Generally these positions are for students who have successfully completed at least a semester of work within their graduate program. Additional funding is available for work with faculty through the Office of Research on campus.

Q: Where can I find other opportunities for jobs, exhibitions, residencies, etc?

A: We maintain a public Facebook group called “CSULB School of Art Graduate Opportunities” that you can join for ongoing announcements and opportunities. In addition, some programs have their own pages or groups.

Q: How do I get an exhibition in the School of Art galleries?

A: Students apply for gallery exhibitions the semester before the exhibition occurs and must have approval of a faculty sponsor. Priority is given for degree shows (for MFA and BFA students), though there is always the opportunity for a graduate student or a group of graduate students to apply for non-degree shows within a given calendar. Applications are available through the Student Services office in FA4-102.

Q: What courses can I take for credit as a graduate student?

A: Required courses, and those recommended by your faculty are a good place to start. You can, with permission of your faculty committee, count upper division courses taken within or outside of the School of Art toward your degree, as long as 70% of your coursework is at the graduate level. Some 300 and 400-level courses can be taken for graduate credit (up to 30% of the degree), but 100 and 200 level courses will not count toward your MA or MFA. In addition, only 3 units of Teaching Internship can be used toward the degree. Other limits may apply to certain courses. Please refer to the current catalog.

Q: Why can I not register for 300 or 400 level courses online?

A: If graduate sections of the course you would like to register for are not available (check to see if we offer 500 level courses with the same name), then you will need to get permission from the faculty member to enroll. Faculty permission can be forwarded by email to the graduate advisor, or a signed permission slip can be turned in to the student services office. The graduate advisor will unlock a spot for you to register yourself. Permission will override required prerequisites for the course and alert the faculty member that you are a graduate student.

Q: How do I register for Supervision Units (Includes: Art 694 Directed Studio, Art 693 Teaching Internship, Art 695 Field Problems, Art697 Directed Studies, (AH 694 Directed Research, AH 595 Independent Study, AH 596 Special Studies, AH 599Q Special Studies in Museum Studies, AH 596 Special Problems, AH 693 Teaching Internship)?

A: Fill out a contract with your committee chair specifying the topics, issues, concerns, and techniques explored; the nature of the project to be completed; and the basis of evaluation for grading. This helps to clarify expectations for both the faculty member/s and the student, and is required for courses without a formal syllabus. All sections must be filled out. Forms can be found under the “Forms for Students” link at the left.

Q: How do I register for Thesis Units? (Includes Art 698A for Art Education, Art 699 Studio Art for the MFA or 698B for the MA in Studio Art, or AH 698 for Art History)

A: Fill out a contract with your committee chair and attach a copy of your exhibition statement, thesis or project statement. Discuss the appropriate number of units to register for. All sections must be filled out. Forms can be found under the “Information For Current Students” link at the left.

Q: When is the last day to withdraw from a course in the School of Art without receiving a “W” on my transcript?

A: Usually this withdrawal deadline is 2 weeks after the start of classes. Check with Enrollment Services for the current term deadline.

Q: When do I Advance, and what do I need to do to Advance to Candidacy?

A: Students need to advance in the same semester that they will complete 1/3 to 1/2 of their required units for the degree. For more information on Advancement, please see the Advancement Checklist under the “Forms for Students” in the menu to the left.

Q: Where do I find formatting requirements and deadlines for the Thesis and Dissertation office?

A: The Thesis and Dissertation website contains most of the formatting information and deadlines you will need to be aware of: http://web.csulb.edu/library/guide/serv/. Please note that the deadline to submit your signature page and a PDF copy of your faculty-approved thesis is usually 2-3 weeks before the library’s deadline. In addition, we run thesis workshops in the School of Art each fall.

Q: I have already taken all of the required courses and units for my MA degree. I am just working on my thesis or final project. What do I do now?

A: Students who have completed all units for the MA Degree in Art History or Art Education should register for GS700F (zero units) in any fall or spring semester to maintain continuous enrollment. Students can register themselves for the first two semesters, but on the third semester the student must submit a timeline in order for the Graduate Advisor to issue a permit for registration. If the student fails to register for GS700 or any other course, they will break enrollment and may need to reapply. In these cases, the Graduate Advisor and the faculty committee Chair should be consulted to discuss the best options.

Q: I broke enrollment and didn’t register for the current and/or previous semesters and the deadline has passed. Now what do I do?

A: Contact your faculty chair and the Graduate Advisor.

Q: I need to take a Leave of Absence. What do I do?

A: Contact your faculty chair and the Graduate Advisor. Fill out the paperwork and bring it to the Graduate Advisor for approval. Students can only take up to 4 semesters of leave within their degree program, and care needs to be taken to ensure that the 7-year limit for coursework taken to meet degree requirements (5 years for Certificate programs) is kept in mind.