The “Petition of Advancement to Candidacy” form serves as a guideline for progress toward and completion of the degree. Please complete this step early in your program.


  • Petition of Advancement to Candidacy” form
  • If transfer work is listed on the petition: Course description and graduate degree program description demonstrating that the course could have been used toward the graduate degree at the other institution; the course numbering and grading systems; information clarifying whether the institution used the semester or quarter system; and one official transcript of transfer work (on file in the Office of Admissions and Recruitment at Fresno State).


The student must have:

  • attained Classified Standing;
  • completed at least 9 units at Fresno State toward the proposed program;
  • achieved a minimum program grade point average of 3.0 in courses listed on the advancement petition;
  • fulfilled the Graduate Writing Requirement;
  • passed the GRE Subject Test (if required);
  • passed the Department Qualifying Examination (if required);
  • completed the foreign language requirement (if required).


  • The sixth week of the semester prior to the term in which a student registers for the culminating experience, and/or applies for the graduate degree to be granted. 


Students should:

  • schedule an appointment to meet with their graduate adviser and complete the “Petition of Advancement to Candidacy.”
  • obtain the signature of the graduate program adviser and/or coordinator/director; and if required, that of the department chair, and college/school dean.
  • submit the advancement petition to the Division of Research and Graduate Studies office for final approval.

Advising Tips

  • Courses used to fulfill General Education curriculum, undergraduate writing “W” courses, 300-series (professional-level) courses, and lower division courses may not be listed on the advancement petition.
  • A maximum of 6 independent study units (one-fifth of the total program units) may be applied to a 30-unit program and listed on the advancement petition.
  • A minimum of 70% of a student’s program must consist of 200-series (graduate-level) courses.
  • A maximum of 6 units of CR-graded coursework (one-fifth of the total program units) may be applied to a 30-unit program and listed on the advancement petition.
  • A maximum of 9 transfer units (including California State University, Fresno Extension and/or Open University) may apply toward a 30-unit program.

Other Departmental Recommendations

Your graduate coordinator will need to indicate the method for fulfillment of the following items on the “Petition of Advancement to Candidacy.”

  • Foreign Language Requirement (as required) — Determined within the program
  • Department Qualifying Exam (as required) — Date established by the program.
  • Graduate Writing Requirement (required)

    All students must satisfy the writing requirement as defined by the student’s program and approved by the University Graduate Committee, before being allowed to advance to candidacy. For questions regarding current policy, see the“Graduate Writing Requirement.”

Program Adjustment Request

Once a student has been officially advanced to candidacy, the “Petition of Advancement to Candidacy” may be changed only on the written request of the student and his or her department via a “Program Adjustment Request for a Graduate Degree” (PAR), available online and in the Division of Research and Graduate Studies office.