How to Apply for Admission
Applicants should use the online application at www.ggu.edu/apply. All required documents should be sent to: Golden Gate University, 536 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105. Electronic Documents are preferred and should be sent to email@example.com. For help with questions about the application process, applicants may phone their enrollment advisor.
Application deadlines can be found below and are due by 11:59 pm PT. Late applications will not be permitted. Applications received by the Early Admission Deadline will have their application fee waived.
Fall 2023: Academic Period Begins 09/03/2023
Early Admission Deadline
Final Admission Deadline
Final Acceptance Deadline
Official Transcript / Test Score Deadline
Spring 2024: Academic Period Begins 01/14/2024
Early Admission Deadline
Final Admission Deadline
Final Acceptance Deadline
Official Transcript / Test Score Deadline
Summer 2024: Academic Period Begins 05/12/2024
Early Admission Deadline
Final Admission Deadline
Final Acceptance Deadline
Official Transcript / Test Score Deadline
When to Apply
- Admission decisions are typically made within three business days after all required documents have been received. Application files that require an academic department review typically take five or more business days. All documents submitted become the property of the university and will not be returned or released to the student or other parties.
- The application fee is nonrefundable.
- Applicants may apply for admission up to one calendar year prior to their intended enrollment start terms. Students may begin their enrollment in the Fall, Spring, or Summer term.
- Admission to academic programs and eligibility to enroll is valid only when verified and confirmed in writing in the letter of acceptance sent by the Office of Enrollment Services.
Enrollment Eligibility Restrictions
- GGU is not authorized to offer online instruction to students residing in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, Rhode Island, or Wisconsin. Consequently, applicants residing in these states are not eligible to be admitted.
Minor Applicants (under 18 years of age)
GGU requires minor applicants (those under the age of 18) to submit written and signed consent of their parent or legal guardian in order to be admitted to the university and to enroll in courses. If it is learned that this requirement was not fulfilled, the student’s admission may be rescinded at any time. GGU does not assume parental responsibilities for these students and does not supervise or care for the personal needs of its students, including any special needs, of those who are under the age of 18. Applicants must be at least 15 years old at time of the application submission if they intend on applying to a campus (face-to-face) based program and must be at least age 13 or older to use Outlier.org platform.
- Applicants will need to create a profile and apply online via our online application portal found here. Here, students will be assigned a personal Enrollment Advisor who will help guide them as the student submits all the components and required documents for their application. Students’ Enrollment Advisors will also guide them through the onboarding process and be available to answer any questions.
- Application fees are: $65 for graduate degree programs; $40 for graduate certificate programs; $40 for undergraduate degree and certificate programs; $25 for open enrollment status. Application fees are waived for all undergraduate degree, graduate degree, and certificate programs if the application is completed by the Early Admissions deadline for the intended start date.
- International applicants planning to study in the U.S. using an F or J visa are not eligible to apply for open enrollment status or certificate programs.
- Admission to the university is based on the assessment of applicants’ educational and professional credentials and a determination of their ability to benefit from the particular academic programs for which they have applied.
- The Office of Enrollment Services, in consultation with the faculty, reviews all documents, including official academic credentials from other institutions, scores on any required tests, personal statements, professional resumes, letters of recommendation, personal interviews, and any other relevant information.
- Applicants may be admitted based on the submission of unofficial transcripts. See Subject to Documentation status for more information.
- Applications are reviewed individually and under certain circumstances, may be conditionally admitted. See Conditional Admission for more information.
- Applicants are subject to additional policies based on the academic levels to which they have applied. See Undergraduate Admission Policies or Graduate Admission Policies for more information.
- Domestic applicants to undergraduate and graduate programs may enroll in courses under Open Enrollment Status while their admission decisions are pending. They must comply with all Open Enrollment Status rules until their admission decisions have been made. Students who are subsequently denied admission will be dis-enrolled from their courses and from the institution.
- Applicants who have been denied admission may not register for classes at any level or status and must wait a minimum of one year before reapplying. It is strongly recommended that applicants who are denied admission strive to improve their academic profile by completing additional courses at another regionally accredited institution or approved program.
- Students’ academic program requirements are associated with their admission start terms per their admission applications.
Full Admission (with Official Transcripts)
If the application meets standard admissions requirements and the University has received all official transcripts, from all institutions entered on their online application, the student will receive an offer of full admission in approximately three business days after the University has received the completed application. The student will receive an official email from their Enrollment Advisor and be able to view and accept/decline the admission decision via their online Application Portal.
Subject to Documentation (with Unofficial Transcripts and/or Test Scores)
If the application fully meets the standard admissions requirements, the student may be admitted with “subject to documentation” status if the University has received and accepted the unofficial transcripts for all institutions attended, as entered on their online application, and/or the student’s official test scores (if required). Unofficial transcripts may be considered acceptable only if the document is in a pdf format and ALL of the following items are legible on the transcript document:
- Name of the institution
- Student name
- Cumulative Grade Point Average (preferred)
- Course numbers
- Course names
- Credit hours earned
- Grades earned
- Degree conferred with date (if applicable)
No other documents will be accepted.
All documents must be submitted via the online application portal.
If a student was admitted with subject to documentation using unofficial documents, the University MUST receive the student’s official transcripts from all institutions attended, as entered on their online application, along with any other missing official documents by the Official Transcript/Test Score deadline as shown on the Academic Calendar.
Applicants may be admitted with “subject to documentation” status under the following circumstances:
- They have submitted only unofficial transcripts, or they have not submitted official transcripts from their bachelor’s degree-granting institutions.
- Their U.S. bachelor’s degrees are in-progress and have not yet been conferred.
Students who are admitted with this status are subject to the following:
- They may enroll in courses for only their first term under this status.
- They must submit their official transcripts to the University no later that the Official Transcript/Test Score deadline.
- They are ineligible for Federal Financial Aid in accordance with federal regulations.
Official Documents Not Received
If a student’s official transcripts, official test scores, and/or other official application documents are not received by the deadline:
- A student will be removed from their course and receive a “W”.
- A student may be administratively withdrawn and be reinstated for the next available term if the University receives the student’s official transcript.
- A student may owe a tuition balance from being withdrawn and must have their tuition bill paid in full before being eligible for reinstatement.
Applicants’ admission decisions may specify conditions and requirements as determined by the school or academic department, which may include: additional admission requirements, and/or admission conditions, and/or achieving additional academic progress standards. Applicants whose academic preparation does not meet the university admission criteria, but who have potential for academic achievement, may be conditionally admitted with the approval of the academic department. See the Academic Standing requirements for Conditionally Admitted Students for more information. See also course enrollment limitations for Conditionally Admitted Students .
Cancellation of Application/Admission
An application may remain in pending status for up to one calendar year from the date on which it was received by the Office of Enrollment Services. If the applicant’s file is not completed within that year, the application will expire and the documents associated with that application will be destroyed. Admission is valid for the term for which the applicant was admitted, and the three subsequent terms. If applicant does not enroll during that time period, the offer of admission is canceled and the documents associated with that application will be destroyed. Re-applying after that time will require a new application, application fee and the submission of all transcripts and other required credentials.
English Conditional Admission
International applicants who have not satisfied English Language Proficiency Admission Requirement may be conditionally admitted under English Conditional Admission if they have satisfied the academic requirements. Students admitted under English Conditional Admission are required to satisfy English Language Proficiency Admission Requirement prior starting their program or complete courses with GGU’s English Language Schools partners.
Accepting Admission Offer and Registration for Courses
When a student’s admission decision has been made, the student will receive an official Admissions decision email which includes next steps for accepting their offer. Students can also view the admissions decision via the online application portal found here. A student’s Enrollment Advisor will guide them through the next steps to accept their offer of admission and pay their non-refundable enrollment deposit (if applicable). Once a student accepts their offer, they will have until The first day of instruction for the term for which they were admitted to register. If a new student fails to register by this deadline, the student’s admission will be rescinded and the application will be withdrawn.
Students will have fourteen (14) calendar days to accept their offer of admission by accepting or declining via the student portal. If a student fails to accept their offer of admission within the fourteen (14) calendar-day-time frame according to the Acceptance Date on the official Admission letter, the student’s admission will be rescinded and the application will be withdrawn.
Students who apply late will forfeit the full (14) calendar day acceptance policy and will be required to accept their offer no later than the last official Deposit Deadline as set on the Academic Calendar, which may be less than (14) calendar days. Students should refer to their official Admissions letter for their exact acceptance deadline. If a student does not accept their offer of admission, or they do not register by the first day of instruction for the term for which they were admitted, they may choose to reapply for a future term. Deferrals are not automatic and not typically permitted; however a student may apply for a deferral exception.
Deferral Exception Appeal
In extenuating circumstances, students may choose to apply for a Deferral Exception. Students who choose not to accept their offer of admission must apply for a Deferral Exception no later than their Acceptance Deadline as specified by the Admissions letter or will be withdrawn. Students who have accepted their offer of admission, but have not registered, must apply for a Deferral Exception no later than the first day of instruction for the term for which they were admitted, or will be withdrawn.
Deferral Exception Requests are only eligible for the next immediate term. Students who would like to wait to start in future terms will need to reapply for admission and should contact their Enrollment Advisor for additional information regarding documents required for admission. Deferral requests submitted after the first day of instruction for the term for which the students were admitted will not be reviewed. Any student who has already been withdrawn due to missing their acceptance deadline, failing to register, or by voluntarily submitting a Withdrawal request will not be eligible to defer and must reapply for admission to enroll in courses.
If a student’s Deferral Exception application is denied, the student’s offer of admission will be withdrawn and they must wait one (1) additional term before reapplying.
If a student’s Deferral Exception is approved, the student’s start date will be updated to the next immediate term and the student will be sent a new admissions letter indicating the approval and updated start date.
If a student has not accepted their offer of admission, and is approved for a deferral exception, the student will have fourteen (14) calendar days to accept their offer from the date of the deferral approval as per their deferral approval letter. If a student does not accept their offer of admission within the fourteen (14) calendar-day time-frame, the student’s application will be withdrawn and the student must sit out (1) one additional term before reapplying.
If a student has already accepted their offer of admission, and has been approved for a deferral exception, the student’s start date will be updated and a new admissions letter will be sent with the updated term and approval. If a student chooses to withdraw before the “last day to drop course without tuition charge” or is administratively withdrawn for any reason, the student must sit out one (1) additional term before reapplying to the program.
Offer of Admission Expiration
Offers of Admission are valid for one term only unless a Deferral Exception has been granted. To officially accept the offer of admission, a student must log into the student portal and accept their offer of admission. Email messages will not be accepted. If a student has not accepted an offer of admission within the fourteen-day (14) time-frame/deadline on their official Admissions Letter, he/she must reapply to the University and program after sitting out one additional term. Students should contact the Enrollment Office to verify what documents must be submitted for consideration.
Students must reapply to a program under the following circumstances:
To reapply, students can login and start the online application using their previous login credentials. A student should contact the Enrollment Office if they have questions regarding the application.
Change of Program
Degree-seeking students wishing to change their credential objectives in terms of degree, major, or minor/concentration must complete a Change of Degree Program Request form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar. Students will be re-evaluated by their academic advisor under the degree requirements in effect at the time the form is received.
Students who are on academic probation may request a change of program. If the dean of the school of the requested program approves the change, the student must still achieve the minimally acceptable grade point average by the end of the probationary period. See Academic Standing standards for more information.
Changing from Certificate-Seeking to Degree-Seeking Status
Certificate seeking-students who wish to pursue degree programs should submit the appropriate admission application and all required supporting documents and fees. Students seeking admission to degree programs will be required to fulfill the admission requirements for their desired programs that are in effect at the time of application. In addition to prior school records and test scores, performance in certificate program coursework completed at GGU is used as a criterion for admission to degree programs.
Changing from Open Enrollment Status to Degree or Certificate-Seeking Status
Open Enrollment status permits students with limited enrollment opportunities at GGU, but does not constitute admission to the university. Students who wish to pursue degree or certificate programs should submit the appropriate admission application and all required supporting documents and fees. Students seeking admission to degree and certificate programs will be required to fulfill the admission requirements for their desired programs that are in effect at the time of application. In addition to prior school records and test scores, performance in coursework completed at GGU is used as a criterion for admission to degree programs.
Maximum Number of Degree Programs
Students may be admitted to a maximum of seven GGU degree programs, as indicated below:
||Maximum Number of Degree Programs
|Doctoral/Juris Doctor Degree
A student may be admitted to an additional degree program at the same degree level in excess of the maximums listed above (if offered) only upon approval of the dean of the school that offers the desired program. Students must provide adequate justification for how the additional degrees will assist them in their career goals in order for their requests to be approved. Students may not be admitted to additional degree programs at the same degree level that are significantly similar to programs which they have already completed. Students may seek admission to additional degree programs during their final terms of their in-progress degree programs.
Undergraduate Admission Policies
This section pertains to admission to associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, and undergraduate certificate programs.
Undergraduate Admission Criteria
To be considered for full admission for any undergraduate program:
Applicants seeking to transfer with 12 or more semester units must:
- Have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 (C) or better*. The GPA includes all grades received, including those for classes that have been repeated.
- Satisfy the English Language Proficiency Admission Requirement.
- Submit official† transcripts of all accredited‡ college coursework.
- Submit an application.
Applicants seeking to transfer with fewer than 12 semester units will be considered for admission in certain cases. Such applicants must:
- Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 (B) for all academic high school work. Note: any college coursework completed is considered when making an admission decision.
- Satisfy the English Language Proficiency Admission Requirement.
- Submit official† transcripts of all accredited‡ college coursework.
- Provide results from the General Education Development (GED) examination or the California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE) for those who have not completed high (secondary) school.
- Submit an application.
Domestic students seeking to transfer with fewer than 12 semester units must submit:
- A resume/CV showing three or more years of professional experience or military service. (Note: not required for Degrees+|Outlier program applicants.)
- A statement of purpose stating why Golden Gate University is the right institution to meet the applicant’s personal and professional goals; in some cases, participate in an interview (by telephone, video conference, or in person) with the dean. (Note: required for all Degrees+|Outlier program applicants.)
*An applicant whose GPA is slightly below 2.0 may still be conditionally admitted but must submit a resume/CV and personal statement demonstrating how they can be successful in an advanced university degree program to be considered.
†Applicants may be admitted with “subject to documentation” status based on the submission of unofficial transcripts. See Subject to Documentation status for more information.
‡Coursework completed in the U.S. must be from “regionally” accredited institutions to be eligible for transfer.
Undergraduate Advanced Placement Credit
High school graduates may earn up to 30 units (one academic year) of credit for advanced placement college-level courses completed in high school and validated by grades of three, four, or five on the Advanced Placement Examinations of the College Board. Also, advanced placement is offered to students who earn scores of five, six, or seven on the International Baccalaureate IB Higher-Level examination.
Choice of Major
Bachelor’s degree program applicants must choose a degree (i.e., Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science) and a major at the time of application. See the list of available Academic Programs for more information. Applicants may not be admitted as “undecided” and may not choose to double major. However, students may pursue one or more minors. See Declaring Minors for more information.
Students may declare up to two minors for their bachelor’s degree programs. Students seeking to declare more than two minors will be required to appeal to the dean for approval.
Students will not be permitted to declare minors at the point of application but may do so following admission or prior to degree conferral. Students should make their minor declarations through their assigned academic advisor.
Students’ diplomas will list the minors that they had successfully completed at the time their degrees were conferred. Students may not declare additional minors after their degrees have been conferred.
Bachelor’s degree-seeking students may declare the minors shown below. Note: students may not declare minors that are the same as their majors.
Automatic Admission to Bachelor’s Degree Programs for Associate of Arts Program Students
Current GGU Associate of Arts program students who are nearing the completion of their programs may be automatically admitted into their choice of Bachelor’s programs by submitting the Associate of Arts/Bachelor’s Degree Program Request form. Alumni of the Associate of Arts program may submit this form after their degrees have been conferred, but must do so within one calendar year following the conferral of their Associate of Arts degrees to be eligible for automatic admission. Alumni who fail to submit the form in a timely manner will be required to apply for admission to a Bachelor’s program through the regular admission process.
Conferral of Associate of Arts Degrees for Bachelor’s Program Students
Current Bachelor’s program students who have completed the Associate of Arts program requirements may submit the Associate of Arts/Bachelor’s Degree Program Request form in order to have their Associate of Arts degrees conferred. Students must also apply for graduation via GGU4YOU from the Associate of Arts program after the program has been added to their records.
Earning a Second Bachelor’s Degree
Applicants who have previously earned a bachelor’s degree at Golden Gate University or other regionally accredited institution in the United States are not encouraged to pursue a second bachelor’s degree. A second bachelor’s degree has little educational or professional value. Except in the rare case of a student who is looking to earn a second degree in a discipline with a distinct difference from their first degree, a second bachelor’s degree would require duplication of course work previously taken. It is highly recommended that students who have completed a bachelor’s degree explore educational opportunities at the graduate level. Applications for a second bachelor’s degree may be denied admission by the dean, regardless of prior academic qualifications.
Applicants to certain GGU “Pathway” programs may take designated courses and have them applied to both their Bachelor’s and Master’s degree or graduate certificate programs. These courses will be included in the unit totals and GPAs for both applicants’ Bachelor’s and graduate degree programs.
Through the Path2CPA option, graduates of either the Accounting, BS or Accounting Minor program may reapply up to 12 units of designated graduate-level coursework toward the Master of Science in Accounting Data & Analytics (MSADA) program or the Master of Science in Taxation program. See the Accounting, BS or Accounting Minor program descriptions for course-related information.
Students who elect to pursue the Public Administration Minor have the option of taking graduate-level courses from the Executive Public Administration (EMPA) program and applying them to both the minor requirements and the EMPA. The Public Administration Minor provides a solid foundation in essential management concepts, techniques, communication, and organizational behavior, while the Executive Public Administration (EMPA) provides a thorough understanding of the advanced processes, issues, and practices associated with the management of high-performing public service and nonprofit organizations at the municipal, regional, state, federal and international levels of governance. The EMPA will introduce students to the relevant set of real-world knowledge and skills required to function effectively in a managerial or executive role within such organizational settings. Students will learn to organize, motivate, and lead individuals in diverse public and private business enterprises. Those who complete both the minor and the EMPA program will be in a unique position to understand and navigate the complex interactions between the public and private sectors, including policy-making, ethics, and the increasing privatization of the public sector.
Applicants to some graduate Psychology degree or certificate programs who have previously earned Bachelor’s degrees from GGU with majors or minors (formerly concentrations) in Psychology may receive internal graduate-level transfer credit for certain courses. See the program descriptions for the list of specific courses that are eligible for this incentive: Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology or Counseling Skills Graduate Certificate .
American Honors Program
The School of Undergraduate Studies offers academically ambitious international students (F-1 Visa) the opportunity to enroll in the associate degree program below as American Honors students. These students will take honors-level sections of the courses required for this program that will prepare them to transfer to four-year degree programs within the U.S. The American Honors Program will provide students with services to ensure their social, academic, and transfer success.
The following programs are available to American Honors Program students:
Associate of Arts
Graduate Admission Policies
This section pertains to admission to master’s degree programs.
Three-Year Degree Graduate Admission Policy
Graduates of three-year baccalaureate programs may be considered for admission after consideration of the applicant’s educational and work experience.
Graduate Admission Criteria
For admission to degree and certificate programs the applicant must:
- Have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited US institution or the equivalent from a recognized non-US institution. Applicants with degrees from US institutions that are not regionally accredited may be considered for admission on an exception basis. Admission and/or transfer of credit from unaccredited institutions is not guaranteed.
- Have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or better*. The GPA includes all grades received, including those for classes that have been repeated.
- Demonstrate academic and professional capability to study at the graduate level.
- Possess quantitative, writing, and computing skills needed to succeed in a competitive and dynamic environment.
*Applicants whose academic preparation does not meet the university admission criteria, but who have potential for academic achievement, may be conditionally admitted with the approval of the academic department. Conditionally admitted students must achieve a 3.00 cumulative GPA within their first nine units of their academic programs. Failure to do so will result in academic disqualification. See Graduate Student Academic Standing Standards for more information. Note: International students, who require F-1 or J-1 Visas to study in the United States, may not be conditionally admitted due to U.S. Immigration regulations.
Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program applicants will be evaluated based on their cumulative undergraduate grade point averages and may include applicants’ Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT*) scores, if provided. MBA applicants must fulfill the MBA degree proficiency requirements, including writing proficiency, and are expected to understand the degree requirements outlined in this catalog under Graduate Programs.
The GMAT is a basic aptitude test and does not require knowledge of business subject content. It is not required as part of the application. However, a good GMAT score can increase an applicant’s chances for admission. The GMAT is offered in a computer-adaptive format at various locations in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the world. Test appointments can be made with the Graduate Management Admission Council by calling 1-800-717-GMAT or through the GMAT Web page at www.mba.com.
*Graduate Record Exam (GRE) may be accepted in lieu of the GMAT.
Admission Application Documents
To be considered for admission to a graduate program, the applicant must provide the following:
- Admission Application Form and Fee.
- Official Academic Transcripts: Graduate applicants must submit transcripts from the degree-granting undergraduate institution. The transcript must clearly state that a bachelor’s degree or an industry standard equivalent has been conferred. However, to maximize transfer credit, we recommend submitting transcripts from all institutions attended. Note: Applicants for the Master of Science in Accounting or Master of Science in Business Analytics must provide official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. Official transcripts must be sent to the Office of Enrollment Services directly from the sending schools, colleges or universities issuing the documents. Note: applicants may be admitted with “subject to documentation” status based on the submission of unofficial transcripts and/or if their bachelor’s degrees are in-progress. See Subject to Documentation status for more information.
- Test Scores:
- Statement of Purpose (Optional for many programs): Required for applicants to the Master of Science in Business Analytics , Master of Science in Human Resource Management , Master of Science in Information Technology Management , and Master of Science in Taxation (daytime cohort only) programs. A statement of purpose and resume are required for Master of Business Administration (MBA) program applicants with undergraduate GPAs below 3.0. In cases where the academic history of an applicant does not meet the minimum admission requirements, it is required that a written personal evaluation be submitted with the application materials. The statement should give a realistic appraisal of any academic work completed since graduation from high school. Note any inconsistencies in the academic record and the reasons for them. In addition, include a plan to affirm a commitment to academic success while attending Golden Gate University. Applicants are encouraged to be as forthright and open as possible, and should feel free to discuss unusual circumstances or situations of adversity that may have influenced their current values. Applicants’ statements will be evaluated on both the quality of the writing and the thoughtfulness of the content.
- Certification of Finances: If you are an international student who will be attending on an F-1 Student visa or J-1 scholar visa, you must also provide a Certification of Finances form. Refer International Student Admission Policies for more information.
Please note: All application materials become the property of the university and cannot be returned.
Declaring Graduate Program Concentrations
Students may declare up to two concentrations in a given degree program. Students seeking to declare more than two concentrations will be required to appeal to the dean for approval. Students’ diplomas will list the concentrations that they had successfully completed at the time their degrees were conferred. Students may not declare additional concentrations after their degrees have been conferred.
Additional Master’s Degrees
Applicants to master’s programs who have earned master’s degrees from other regionally accredited institutions may transfer-in up to 12 units of prior coursework to GGU and have it apply toward their GGU master’s degree programs, with the approval of their program directors or deans. However, the requirements for the GGU program, including academic residency, must still be satisfied. Applicants to master’s programs who have earned master’s degrees from GGU may have up to 12 units of coursework waived from each additional program, with the approval of their deans. However, the requirements for subsequent programs, including academic residency, must still be satisfied. See Graduate Transfer Credit for more information. See Graduate Academic Residency Requirement for more information.
Program-Specific Admission Requirements
The following programs have additional admission requirements:
English Language Proficiency Admission Requirement
All international student applicants (undergraduate and graduate) must provide evidence of English language proficiency in the classroom by securely submitting their test scores from any of the following:
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
- PTE (Pearson Test of English Academic)
- Duolingo English Test
- iTEP (International Test of English Proficiency)
||Graduate Minimum Score
||Undergraduate Minimum Score
|TOEFL Internet-based (iBT)*
|Person Test of English (PTE)
*Home editions are also accepted.
Applicants may satisfy this English Language Proficiency requirement by one of the following:
- Accumulated five years of documented employment experience(s) in the U.S. or a country, territory, or commonwealth where English is an official language.
- Completed ENGL 50 or ENGL 60 (or equivalent) at an accredited college/university where a medium of instruction is English with grades of “B+” or better in both.
- For undergraduate applicants, attended a secondary school where a medium of instruction is English or a country, territory, or commonwealth where English is an official language.
- Completed undergraduate, or graduate credits, certificate, or degree from an accredited college/university where a medium of instruction is English or a country, territory, or commonwealth where English is an official language.
- Waived by the dean or Provost.
GGU reserves the right to request additional English proficiency exams/testing from any applicant based on the entirety of the application review; or, if the applicant’s proficiency in English should prove inadequate after admission to a program.
English is an Official Language
The following is a list of countries, territories, or commonwealths where English is an official language: American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Dominica, Gambia, Ghana, Grand Cayman Islands, Grenada, Guam, Guyana, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, Namibia. New Zealand, Nigeria, Palau, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Graduate students who satisfy the English Language Proficiency Admission Requirements are also expected to possess proficiency in writing to ensure they are successful in their course of study. Students may meet this requirement by satisfying one of the screening criteria listed under the Graduate Writing Proficiency Requirement .
English Language Schools
Golden Gate University have partnered with several English Language Schools in San Francisco Bay Area as options to satisfy English Language Proficiency Admission Requirement. English Conditional Admit students are required to complete the required course(s) at English Schools below before they can start their program in Golden Gate University.
Intercultural Institute of California - San Francisco, CA
EC English - San Francisco, CA
English Language Institute - San Francisco
Language Pacifica - Palo Alto, CA
Silicon Valley Intensive English Program (SVIEP) - Redwood City, CA
International Student Admission Policies
Golden Gate University enrolls international students from all over the world. However, students who need F-1 Student or J-1 Scholar visas to study in the U.S. can be admitted to undergraduate and graduate degree programs only. International applicants are not eligible to apply for certificate programs or open enrollment status and are strongly encouraged to carefully read the following.
The applicant must submit an original or certified transcript and certified English translation from each school previously attended. Examination scores and mark sheets may be submitted in lieu of a transcript for institutions that do not maintain transcripts. Acceptance of documents is the sole discretion of the admissions personnel.
International applicants are strongly advised to submit all supporting materials by the dates below based on their desired first terms of enrollment to provide sufficient time to complete the admission and visa approval processes:
||Recommended Submission Deadline
first week of June
first week of November of prior year
first week of March
Applicants may apply for admission up to one calendar year prior to the intended first term of enrollment.
International Student Admission Application Documents
- Graduates of U.S. colleges or universities who are applying for admission to graduate degree programs, must have a bachelor’s or higher-level degree from a regionally accredited college or university. International applicants who graduated from accredited colleges or universities outside the United States must have degrees that are equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree.
- Undergraduate applicants must submit their official high school transcripts and satisfy the English Language Proficiency Admission Requirement. Applicants must be 18 years old or older to apply.
- Official transcripts must be sent directly from the institution to the Office of International Enrollment and Admissions. If sent by mail, the official transcript must originate from the school (for undergraduate applicants), university registrar, or controller of examinations in an envelope sealed by the institution. Official digital transcripts must be sent through the institution’s official platform. Transcripts sent through email attachment will be deemed unofficial.
- Unofficial transcripts may be used for admissions decision. See Subject to Documentation status for more information.
- GGU reserves the right to request transcript evaluation through approved credential evaluation services, attestation from the Department/Ministry of Education or higher education commission/authority in the country where transcript was issued, or any additional documents depending on the requirements for each country.
- Options for credential evaluations are as follows:
- International applicants who are enrolled in their last semester of high school or bachelor’s program may apply and be admitted with Subject to Documentation status but must have a verification letter attesting that they have one semester remaining sent directly from the university registrar or controller of examinations to GGU International Admissions office.
- GGU reserves the right to request for submission of original documents and/or official transcripts/documents or verification during a specified time period upon enrollment of the student on campus. Non-compliance will result in the cancellation of the student’s I-20 and/or admissions.
- A statement of purpose and resume are required for Master of Business Administration (MBA) program applicants with undergraduate GPAs below 3.0. (Neither the GMAT nor GRE is required.)
- English test scores, such as TOEFL, IELTS, iTEP, and PTE, are required for all undergraduate and graduate applicants who come from countries where English is not an official language. English language requirements may be waived for applicants who are residents of countries where English is an official language or can submit proof of fulfillment per GGU’s English Language Proficiency Admission Requirement.
- A Certification of Finances form must be submitted by all applicants intending to study while on an F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor visa. The information requested on this form is required by the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Contact the Office of International Admissions and Enrollment Services if you need assistance completing the form.
- GGU has a zero-fraud tolerance practice. Submission of fraudulent documents are grounds for denial of admission and termination of their F-1/J-1 visa.
- GGU supports the final review by U.S. Embassy/Consulate of documentation provided by the student during their visa interview and respects U.S. consular officers’ right to reject an F-1 visa application or request for additional documentation or verification.
International Student Enrollment
Some international students will be required to complete more than the minimum number of academic units required for their programs when additional preparatory coursework was deemed necessary.
- The university is authorized by U.S. federal law to enroll non-immigrant students. The university will not issue an I-20/Form 2019 until the applicant has been fully admitted into a degree program and has been deemed financially capable through the university’s Certification of Finances approval process. (F-1/J-1 students are required to pay a $250 tuition deposit as noted below.)
- Students with F-1 student or J-1 scholar visa must maintain full time enrollment.
- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires international students with F-1 student visas to remain enrolled full time for consecutive terms of sufficient duration and units, typically consisting of a minimum nine graduate-level units or twelve undergraduate-level units per academic period.
- International students are assessed the $275 international student fee per academic period.
Tuition Deposit for Student/Scholar Visa Holders
All international students including students who are transferring from other schools in the U.S. and who require Form I-20/Form 2019 from Golden Gate University to obtain the F-1 student or J-1 exchange visa will be assessed a nonrefundable tuition deposit of $250. This tuition deposit is applied toward tuition in the first enrollment term. Payment is non-refundable and non-transferable if the student fails to complete the enrollment process. Students seeking to defer their enrollment must submit written requests to the Admissions Office.
Certificate Program Admission Policies
Certificate program applicants should apply online at: www.ggu.edu/apply
- Undergraduate certificate program applicants must submit official transcripts documenting that they have been awarded the equivalent of high school diplomas from approved institutions. Students who have earned 12 semester units or 18 quarter units or more from regionally accredited U.S. institutions must submit complete official transcripts detailing this coursework.
- Graduate certificate program applicants must certify that they have been awarded undergraduate degrees from regionally accredited U.S. institutions or the equivalent from recognized non-U.S. institutions. Applicants with degrees from U.S. institutions that are not regionally accredited may be considered for admission on an exception basis. Some certificate programs may require students to submit unofficial transcripts from prior institutions to demonstrate that they satisfy proficiency, foundation, or prerequisite course requirements.
- Certificate students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Official test score reports or other proof of fulfillment of GGU’s English Language Proficiency Admission Requirement are required for all applicants whose native language is not English.
- Many certificate program courses have prerequisite course requirements that must also be satisfied. Prerequisites may be satisfied through transfer of equivalent coursework from external institutions or by successful completion of the courses at GGU. It is not guaranteed that every course required for a given certificate program will be offered every term.
- Admitted certificate program students are required to meet the academic standing requirements applicable to their academic levels, undergraduate or graduate. See the applicable Academic Standing policies for more information.
- All courses required for graduate certificate programs must be completed at Golden Gate University. No transfer credit is granted for graduate certificate programs. Students may transfer a limited number of units toward undergraduate certificate programs. See Undergraduate Transfer Credit Policies for more information.
- Courses completed at GGU toward certificate programs may also be used toward the completion of degree programs at the university.
- Certificates are awarded at the end of the trimester terms during which students successfully complete all of the coursework and submit Certificate of Completion Request forms to the Registrar’s Office.
Open Enrollment Status (Non-Matriculated)
Prospective students who are seeking to earn degrees or certificates (i.e., academic credentials), who have applied for admission to the university but whose applications have not been processed, may enroll in courses through open enrollment status. In addition, students who desire to enroll in courses for personal enrichment but are not seeking to earn academic credentials may request to do so through open enrollment status. Permission to register for individual courses is based on prior academic performance and preparation in appropriate prerequisites.
- Registration under open enrollment status does not constitute admission to degree or certificate programs offered by Golden Gate University.
- Open enrollment students are required to submit Open Enrollment Applications. Students must have their courses approved prior to registering each term.
- For credential-seeking students, open enrollment registration is limited to a maximum of 2 terms while their admission applications are being processed. However, there are no limitations on the number of terms or units for which non-credential-seeking students can register under open enrollment status.
- Open enrollment graduate-credential-seeking students may attempt and earn a maximum of 9 graduate units, which can also be applied toward completing graduate degree or certificate program requirements.
- Open enrollment undergraduate-credential-seeking students may attempt and earn a maximum of 12 units, which can also be applied toward completing undergraduate degree or certificate program requirements.
- Doctoral level courses may not be taken under open enrollment status.
- Open enrollment is not a permitted status for international students studying in the U.S. on student visas (F-1 or J-1).
- Open enrollment status students are not eligible for financial aid, including federal, state, grant and scholarship programs.
- For credential-seeking students, the student’s academic performance in the open enrollment term(s) may be used as a factor in the admission decision. If the student’s GPA falls below the required minimum during the open enrollment term and the student is later admitted to the university, the student will be placed on academic probation upon admission and will be required to comply with the university’s probation policies.
- Open enrollment students who plan to enroll in graduate level courses must have earned bachelor’s degrees or equivalent. Open enrollment students who plan to enroll in undergraduate courses must have earned high school diplomas or GEDs. No admission test scores are required for either graduate or undergraduate open enrollment students.
- Open enrollment students who are non-native speakers of English must meet the English Language Proficiency Admission Requirement prior to registration.
- Students who seek to enroll in English or Mathematics courses should complete a placement test prior to registration to make sure that they are enrolled in courses that are appropriate for their level of ability. See Academic Requirements for more information.
- Open enrollment students are allowed to make the Credit/No Credit Grade Election and to audit courses.
- Open enrollment students are required to maintain good academic standing to register for courses and to remain enrolled. See the applicable Academic Standing polices for more information.
Open enrollment students who do not meet all of the requirements as noted above are not permitted to register and will be dis-enrolled in the event that ineligibility is determined after the term begins.
Readmission Policies (Applicable to Returning Students)
Golden Gate University requires students to enroll in and complete courses on a regular basis to remain actively enrolled in their academic programs. At a minimum, students must enroll in and complete at least one unit of academic credit every third consecutive academic period (i.e., fall, spring, summer). Students who fail to satisfy this enrollment requirement are deemed to be stopped-out and their academic programs are made inactive and they become ineligible to enroll in courses. Students whose academic programs become inactive under this policy are required to apply for readmission in order to resume their academic studies at GGU. See the Regular Enrollment Requirement for more information.
Applicants for readmission must meet the admission requirements in effect at the time of readmission. See How to Apply for Admission for more information. Since many of the student records covered by the Student Records Retention Plan contain confidential information protected by federal and state law, the Office of the Registrar is required to dispose of them appropriately to protect student privacy. Consequently, students that are reapplying for admission that have been inactive for five or more years will likely be required to resubmit all necessary documents.
Students who were on academic probation at the time they stopped enrolling at the university may be readmitted into the same academic program but will remain on probation and will be subject to the probation-retention plan in effect when they were last enrolled. Such students who are seeking admission into different academic programs may remain on probation if their prior course work is applicable to their new program’s requirements and if the resulting grade point average (GPA) is below the university’s standards. See Academic Standing for more information. All other readmitted students will be subject to the degree requirements in effect at the time of readmission.
Undergraduate Transfer Credit
Transferring to GGU is a convenient process, and many students receive the maximum number of transfer units possible. Advisors at Northern California community colleges and Admissions Office staff at Golden Gate University can be contacted for further transfer information.
Credits earned in academic programs from regionally accredited four-year institutions are usually acceptable, as are college-level academic credits from accredited community colleges; credits, not grades, transfer, and such credits will not count toward a student’s GPA. Credit may be granted only if the subject matter of courses is applicable to programs offered by Golden Gate University. General Education/Liberal Studies transfer credit varies by degree program. Credit for terminal, occupational, technical, and vocational courses may be accepted on a limited case-by-case basis.
Transfer credit from all available sources cannot exceed 90 units for bachelor’s degree programs and 45 units for associate’s degree programs. Students must complete a minimum of 30 units of GGU courses for bachelor’s degree programs and 15 units of GGU courses for associate’s degree programs.
Specific articulation references are available at www.ggu.edu/admissions/undergraduate/transfers/. This site includes information on pre-approved courses and their equivalent Golden Gate course from over 100 colleges and universities located world-wide. If the institution you attended is not in this list, please contact the Admissions Office at GGU.
Associate of Arts (AA) or Science (AS) Block Transfer
Students with a completed Associate of Arts (AA) degree or an Associate of Science (AS) degree from a regionally accredited college or university at the time of admission may be eligible for a block transfer program of 60 units that completes many of the general education and liberal studies core requirements in the GGU bachelor’s degree programs.
Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT)
Golden Gate University participates in the California Community Colleges-Associate Degree for Transfer (CCC-ADT) program. California community college graduates participating in these programs who pursue the Bachelor of Arts or Science at GGU will typically have 63 or fewer units to complete the degree. More information can be found at https://icangotocollege.com/associate-degree-for-transfer.
GGU Aspire Program
Golden Gate University’s Aspire Program is a collaboration with Study.com that empowers students to get a high-quality bachelor’s degree on their own timeline and at a manageable price. In this program, students will take up to 90 units with study.com and transfer those units toward a bachelor’s degree at GGU. To complete the program, the student will take a minimum of 30 units with GGU.
Intersegmental General Education (IGETC) or CSU GE Breadth Block Transfer
Students with a documented certification for IGETC or CSU GE Breadth at the time of admission may be eligible for a block transfer program that completes the general education and liberal studies core requirements. The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) is a transfer preparation process in which all California community and junior colleges participate. GGU honors IGETC guidelines for general education requirements. Information regarding IGETC can be obtained from all California community and junior colleges, and most of those institutions indicate IGETC approved courses in their course catalogs. The policies in effect at the time the student applies for certification at his or her community college campus will determine eligibility. Completion of either IGETC or CSU Breadth requirements must be verified through the certification process to maximize transfer credit. Students without that certification will be eligible for course-by-course evaluation.
Non-Coursework Transfer Credit
Golden Gate University recognizes and grants credit for educational programs offered by alternative and nationally-recognized providers. Such programs include:
- Advanced Placement Examinations of the College Board.
- CLEP Examinations from the College Board.
- DSST Exams from Prometric.
- Military Certifications, Training, and Education evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE).
- Training programs, certifications, and educational programs evaluated and recommended for credit by the American Council on Education’s CREDIT Service (ACE Credit) or the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS).
- Prior Learning Assessment Portfolios completed through LearningCounts.
Undergraduate Transfer Credit Policies
- A student may apply up to 90 semester units of external credit from other colleges and all other recognized sources toward the Bachelor’s degree. In order for a course to transfer, a minimum grade of “C-” must be earned.
- A student may apply the maximum number semester units of external credit from other colleges and all other recognized sources toward certificate programs shown below:
|Undergraduate Certificate Length (in units)
||Maximum Number of Units Accepted in Transfer
- Credits may be transferred from regionally-accredited community colleges, two-year and four-year institutions, ACE- and NCCRS-recommended education and training providers, and national testing services as noted above.
- Transfer credits for cooperative education units earned at other accredited U.S. institutions are subject to the approval of the appropriate school dean.
- The maximum number of transfer credits from any single source may be limited by Enrollment Services.
- Credits earned in certain subjects more than ten years before admission to Golden Gate University may not be accepted, or may be subject to review or additional documentation.
- Courses that are not specifically articulated with GGU courses may transfer as elective credit; additional courses may fulfill the Liberal Studies Core requirement based on content and units earned.
- A student may file a petition regarding disputes.
See Transferability of Credits for information regarding the transferability of credit earned at Golden Gate University.
Graduate Transfer Credit (Except EMPA Program Students)
Graduate degree program students may transfer up to six 300-400 level units to the advanced program from graduate coursework completed at other regionally accredited institutions, or the number of transfer units stipulated in corporate or government contracts or agreements, with the approval of their program directors or deans. Students who have earned master’s degrees at regionally accredited institutions may be eligible to transfer up to 12 graduate-level units to GGU master’s degree programs, with the approval of their program directors or deans. While it is strongly recommended that the final six units be completed at GGU, those units may be transferred with prior faculty approval of the specific coursework if the twelve-unit transfer limit has not yet been met. Students should note that certain 300-400 level course requirements may not be fulfilled by courses taken at other institutions, as determined by the faculty. See Graduate Academic Residency Requirement for more information.
Students who have earned master’s degrees from GGU may have up to 12 units of coursework waived from each additional graduate program, with the approval of their deans. However, this coursework will not be used in calculating students’ program GPAs for those additional programs. See Graduate Student Academic Standing Standards for more information.
Graduate certificate program students must complete all courses required for their certificates at GGU. There is no limit on the number of units that can be applied from a degree program to a certificate program, regardless of whether the degree has been conferred or not. Exceptions to these requirements will be made only on petition to and approval by students’ program directors or deans.
Students who have completed graduate work at another institution may be admitted with up to six units of advanced program (300-400-level) credit when courses submitted for transfer credit meet all of the following criteria:
- The course(s) were earned at the graduate level with a grade of “B” or better and not used toward the completion of a bachelor’s degree. Courses with a grade below “B” including “B-” are not transferred.
- The course(s) are applicable to the GGU degree objective.
- The course(s) were earned at a regionally accredited institution.
- The course(s) are approved by the faculty.
- Cooperative education units earned may be transferred with faculty approval.
- Professional Military Education (PME) or training courses evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) may qualify for transfer credit. In considering the ACE recommendation, the university assesses the level and determines the amount of credit.
- Courses taken by correspondence are not acceptable for advanced program graduate transfer credit.
EMPA Program Students
Students enrolled in the Executive Public Administration (EMPA) program may transfer up to eighteen (18) units of graduate-level coursework completed at GGU or other accredited institutions, subject to the grade requirements above.
See Transferability of Credits for information regarding the transferability of credit earned at Golden Gate University.