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Graduate FAQ

1. How do I apply to the university for Post-baccalaureate studies?

You should write or stop by the Enrollment Services Offices at CSUSB to obtain an application to the university. In the application package, you will find a supplementary application for Post-baccalaureate studies. Read the instructions and requirements for transcripts, application fees, etc., carefully.

2. Does being admitted to the university mean I am admitted to the Department's Master’s program?

Admission for post-graduate study at the university are completed and forwarded to your program of choice for an admission decision. You should verify with the university admissions office that your application is complete and with the graduate coordinator on your admission to any of the Department's graduate programs.

3. How do I apply to the program?

Call or write to the Coordinator of Graduate Programs and request an application form. The address and telephone number are: Coordinator of Graduate Programs Department of Health Science and Human Ecology, 5500 University Parkway California State University, San Bernardino San Bernardino, CA 92407(909) 537-5339.

4. Does the university or the program require any examinations, such as the Graduate Record Examination?

The department does requires the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for both its MPH and MA Ed degree programs. The university may require an examination or demonstration of English language fluency for international students.

5. I work, when do classes meet?

Graduate programs are designed specifically with the working student in mind. The majority of our classes are health between the hours of 4:00 PM and 9:50 PM on Mondays through Thursdays. A four-unit course would typically meet two nights for two hours each.

6. My undergraduate studies were not in a health science field, does this matter?

Applicants who do not have a health science background may have to take prerequisites for admission. Prerequisites vary by program, and typically include introductory courses in health sciences and an introductory statistics course.

7. What is the normal course load for a Master student?

A full-time course load in graduate studies in the university is considered to be 8-12 hours a quarter. A minimum course load would be two (2) courses a quarter.

8. How long is a term at the university?

The university is on a quarter system. A quarter is ten (10) weeks. The fall quarter begins at the end of September; the winter begins in January, and the spring quarter begins in April. See the university catalog for exact dates.

9. What materials should I be getting to plan my studies and where do I get them?

Two important materials to obtain are the Catalog of the California State University, San Bernardino, and the Course schedule for the quarter you plan to enter. These are available from the University Bookstore. You must meet with the graduate coordinator before registering for courses.

10. I have already taken some of the courses required for the program, do I have to take them again?

Not necessarily, if the courses have been taken within five years, they may be waived. This is determined in consultation with your advisor and is approved by the Graduate Coordinator. You may petition for a waiver from any prerequisite or required course or may challenge certain courses by examination.

11. I want to transfer from another graduate program, what do I do?

If you are currently enrolled in another graduate program at CSUSB or are an unclassified post-baccalaureate student, simply complete a “Request for Change from Unclassified Status.” Transfer students from another university may have up to 13 credit hours earned elsewhere accepted toward a CSUSB degree. Transfer credits must be approved by the graduate coordinator.

12. Do I have to take all my classes on the CSUSB campus?

There is a requirement that 32 hours of credit be taken while resident at the university. This means taking courses on campus. While enrolled, the graduate coordinator must approve any planned courses taken at other schools.

13. Are classes available during the summer?

The university offers a limited number of summer classes during two sessions. What classes are offered changes from year to year. Some classes may be applied toward your degree.

14. What do “unclassified and classified” mean?

Before you are admitted to a graduate program, you are considered an “unclassified” post-baccalaureate student. For example, when you are accepted by the MSHSA program, you may be admitted “conditionally classified” or “classified.” Conditionally classified means that either you have prerequisite courses to be completed or you are being admitted conditional on satisfactory academic performance. Classified means that you have met all prerequisite course requirements and application requirements for the program.

15. What if my undergraduate GPA does not meet the university’s requirements for admission?

You may petition for a waiver from university requirements for post-baccalaureate studies. Contact the Graduate Coordinator from the Health Science Department, to obtain more information about this process. You may also enroll in courses as an Open University student and take courses on campus or through Extended Education to achieve a grade point average in post baccalaureate studies sufficient to gain you admission to the university.

16. What if my undergraduate GPA does not meet the program’s requirements for admission?

You may petition for a wavier from university or program requirements and, after consultation with the Graduate Coordinator and the Dean of Students, may be conditionally admitted.

17. Are there other options for post-baccalaureate study within the program?

Yes, a Master’s of Arts in Special Studies can be obtained through the Graduate Studies Program of the University. The MA permits you to define a very personalized curriculum of study, for example, in health promotion and education. You will take courses within the Department of Health Science and Human Ecology and will have a department advisor. Contact the Dean of Graduate Studies for more information about the special MA program.


1. What are the employment prospects for a graduate of the MSHSA program?

Health Care in the United States is undergoing a substantial changed in the way it is organized, financed, and the way in which care is delivered. The opportunities for well-trained Adaptable administrators increase with every change. Graduate level training in health services administration can be an important factor for internal promotion as well. Over 9.2 million persons in the U.S. re employed in health care and, while the mix of employment changes, the absolute number of openings continues to increase. The Graduate Program in Heath Services Administration is dedicated to preparing the leaders and shapers of tomorrow’s health care system. We will try our utmost to give you the skills and knowledge required to succeed.

2. Does membership in a professional organization help get a job?

Yes. Membership in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) as a Student Chapter member is excellent preparation for a career in management. Other important organizations to consider are the Medical Group Management Association, Healthcare Executives of Southern California, and Women in Healthcare Administration. Consult a program advisor.

3. How personalized is the plan of study for the MSHSA?

There is a core of required courses but a number of electives possible. Every effort is made to tailor a personal plan of study that will meet your needs.

4. How does one find health care management position upon graduation?

Many organizations maintain web sites that list job openings in addition to the newspaper classified ads. Networking with current employees of health care organizations is also an effective way of learning about jobs.

5. How long does it take to complete a Master's degree in Health Services Administration?

The total credit hours required for the degree is between 60 and 68 units including thesis or residency. The actual time to complete depends on how many prerequisites you may need to take and how many classes you take each quarter. The program takes two years if you attend full time.

6. What types of careers are available to Health Services Administration graduates?

Both the undergraduate and graduate programs prepare the student for careers as program managers, project analysts, mid-level supervisory positions, department head and senior level positions in hospitals, medical groups, health maintenance organizations, insurance companies, public health agencies, the State and Federal government, and long term care facilities.

7. Does the HSCI graduate program prepare only hospital administrators?

No, there are three concentrations within the MSHSA program available to you: 1) administration of health services, 2) administration of health promotion/health education programs, and 3) administration of environmental health. The MSHSA also prepares one for work in long term care, managed care, health insurance, government, associations and for advanced (Ph.D.) studies. The MA Ed program prepared school or community health promotion, community nutrition, and environmental health. The MPH programs (beginning 2004-2005) will offer concentrators in community health promotion, community nutrition, and environmental health.

8. Even while my application to the university is being processed, can I get started taking courses?

Yes, through Open University enrollment process. Enrollment through Open University should be considered a one-time event, however. You may apply no more than 12 credit hours of Extended Education courses toward your graduate degree.

9. What does a thesis/internship option mean

These are two options available to graduate students, a thesis or a residency, usually done in the second year. The residency consists of 720 hours under the supervision of a preceptor in a health care organization. The thesis consists of writing a major research paper in a selected topic in healthcare administration. Students with minimal health care experience are encouraged to do a residency. Experienced students may select to write a thesis. A thesis is an individual project undertaken under the guidance of a faculty member. It addresses a specific problem or issue in health care through systematic information about these two options.

MA Ed Graduate FAQs

1. I am interested in pursuing a Master’s Degree in Health Education. Should I enroll in the Master’s of Arts Degree in Education (Health Education Concentration) or a Master in Public Health degree?

The MA Ed (Health Education Concentration is best suited for the teachers and nurses in the public school system, although persons with both the MA Ed and CHES certification may be employed in a public agency setting. The MPH degree (planned for the 2004-2005 school year at CSUSB) is best suited for public agency employment, but is recognized by public school. For further information, contact the department.

MPH Graduate FAQs

1. What is the emphasis of the MPH program?

The emphasis of our MPH program is Public Health. Our students take basic public health courses (such as epidemiology, biostatistics, administration, and environmental health). Our curriculum emphasizes the theories and skills necessary to promote public health with individuals, groups, organizations, and communities through educational programs and prevention initiatives, community organizing, capacity building, and policy development.

2. Is a thesis required?

No. MPH students may fulfill the university’s Graduation Requirement in one of three ways: 1) a Comprehensive Examination plus 8 units of electives during the last semester of coursework, 2) a Graduate Project, or 3) a Master’s Thesis.

3. Can I get academic credit for courses I have already taken or my work experience?

Up to 12 units of previous graduate coursework may be approved for transfer credit as long as they were not counted towards a previous degree. These units must come from a CEPH accredited public health program. However, credit is only available for equivalent courses, as demonstrated by the course syllabus, content, and assignments. Approval of previous units is done on an individual basis by MPH Faculty Advisors.. Course credit is not given for previous work experience. However, you will be able to draw upon your previous experiences in class discussions, papers, and other assignments.

4. Is it possible to start the MPH program in the Spring quarter?

No. Students are admitted to begin the program in the Fall quarter only.

5. How long does it take to complete the MPH program?

It is possible to complete the program in two years, including using Summer for fieldwork, project or thesis. However, most of our students attend on a part-time basis. They usually take 4-8 units per quarter. At that rate, most part-time students will complete the program in three to four years. Our only requirement is that students complete a minimum of 4 units each quarter for the first year. COURSES MUST BE TAKEN IN SEQUENCE to finish in two years.

6. What are the program prerequisites?

There are no set prerequisites. Students should show evidence of upper division course work in statistics, and the social and natural sciences. Some students may be advised to take classes that will broaden their educational background if they are lacking in a specific area. Public health experience is preferred.