HECSA: How to Apply and Timeframe

Our admissions process follows three phases, which include a review of applicant materials, selected applicant interviews, and recommendation for admission.

Phase 1: Cal State Apply Application (NO LATER THAN January 5th, 2024)

  1. Submit a graduate application to Cal Poly through Cal State Apply by the deadline. Please visit the Cal State Apply Help Center for more information. You will be required to upload the following to the Program Materials section of your Cal State Apply application*:
    • Documents
    • Recommendations
      • Name and email of 3 individuals to submit a letter of recommendation
  2. All graduate applicants must send an official transcript to the Cal Poly Admissions Office directly from the degree-granting institution, by the program application deadline. You are encouraged to also send unofficial transcripts from ALL baccalaureate institutions where you have been enrolled. Instructions for submitting your official transcripts can be found here.

Before submitting your Cal State Apply Application, ensure that you have successfully completed the following:

  • Cumulative higher education grade point average (GPA) 2.50 Applicants for whom the program is a fit with a GPA lower than 3.0 may be considered for admission and should highlight in the application:
    • Any extenuating circumstances that led to a lower GPA.
    • Work/volunteer experiences relevant to student affairs/counseling.
  • GRE is not required, except for applicants whose GPA is below 2.50
  • We encourage ALL applicants to apply for financial aid in order to be eligible for any School of Education scholarship opportunities.

Phase 2: HECSA Applicant Interview (Typically held during the month of February)

Some applicants will be contacted to arrange an on-campus group interview. Those unable to attend the on-campus interview may be able to interview by internet video teleconference. All interviews are conducted by HECSA faculty. During the interview, applicants may pose additional questions.

Phase 3: HECSA Applicants are notified of their status (NO LATER than April 1st)

After interviews are concluded, HECSA faculty will make recommendations to the Cal Poly Office of Admissions for acceptance to the program. Following notification that an applicant has been recommended for acceptance to the graduate program, a notification of intent is emailed to each accepted applicant. Accepted applicants must accept the offer of admission by May 1st. After applicants have accepted their offers, the HECSA program conveys fieldwork, assistantship, and scholarship opportunities on campus, as well as logistics for orientation and registration. The official offer of admission to the graduate program and the University will come from the Cal Poly Office of Admissions.

Questions? Please contact our program coordinator, Dr. Sonia Ramrakhiani:


(805) 756-1574

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School of Education
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407