Graduate Admissions

#1 Most Transformative University

Application Deadlines To Begin Your Studies in Fall 2021 (August):

  • For Domestic Students: July 1, 2021.
  • For International Students: July 1, 2021.
  • Note: we offer 'rolling admissions' and evaluate application materials as they are recevied. Applicants are encouraged to submit materials as soon as possible.  

Application Deadlines To Begin Your Studies in Spring 2022 (January):

  • For Domestic Students: December 1, 2021. 
  • For International Students: November 1, 2021.
  • Note: we offer 'rolling admissions' and evaluate application materials as they are recevied. Applicants are encouraged to submit materials as soon as possible.

More information about financial aid and scholarships.

Application Process 

The following information is for application to the Masters of Urban Planning or MA in Geography. (If you are interested in applying separately to one of our Advanced Certificate Programs, please contact the Graduate Advisor.)

Take time to understand the process.

Please review the helpful "Steps to Graduate Admission" [pdf] guide as a starting point.

Complete the CSU application form.

When you are ready to apply, fill out the Cal State Apply on-line application form by the deadlines listed above. The Master of Urban Planning (MUP) program at SJSU is listed within the online application under "Urban Planning." The Master of Arts (MA) in Geography is listed within the online application under Geography. The CSU Application Fee is $70.

Submit three letters of recommendation.

Within Cal State Apply you must submit original and signed Letters of Recommendation that come from either university instructors who taught you or supervisors who managed you in paid or volunteer work. The Master of Urban Planning requires three letters. The Master of Arts in Geography requires two letters. It is highly recommended that at least one letter come from a former university instructor. If this is not possible, ask your letter writers to include an evaluation of your writing and analysis skills. Make sure to follow the detailed instructions. Letters of recommendation can also be sent directly to the department Graduate Advisor although using Cal State Apply is highly recommended.

Submit a well-written statement of purpose.

Within Cal State Apply you will submit a Statement of Purpose (approximately 1.5 single-spaced typed pages) that indicates how a graduate degree will help you to achieve your career objectives and what motivates you to pursue graduate education in urban planning or geography. This statement should indicate which semester you are applying for and your current contact information, including mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address. If you have previously applied to the program and are re-applying, please indicate for which semester you previously applied.

Important:  a well-written, clearly structured, spell-checked, grammar-checked and carefully proofread Statement of Purpose will make a favorable impression on our Admissions Committee members who read them very carefully. As well, please submit your CV/résumé with your statement.

(if needed) Submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

These are required for applicants with a GPA below 3.0. Original scores from the ETS testing office are to be submitted directly to SJSU (the code for SJSU is 4687).

If you have questions about the application process, please contact the appropriate Graduate Advisor. Email Prof. Rick Kos for the Master of Urban Planning program or Prof. Kathrine Richardson for the Master of Arts in Geography.

Certificate Programs

The department offers seven Advanced Graduate Certificates, emphasizing different focus areas such as affordable housing, community development, environmental planning, geographic information science, real estate development, transportation, and urban design. If you are interested in completing one of our certificate programs, please contact the Graduate Advisor.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Opportunities

SJSU graduate and undergraduate students may apply for federal financial aid. For eligibility criteria and guidance on how to apply, see the SJSU Financial Aid and Scholarships Office (FASO).

FASO also provides information about identifying scholarship, both on campus and external to SJSU.