Completing the MARA Candidacy Approval Form


Completing The MARA Candidacy Approval Form

Note: The SJSU Petition for Advancement to Graduate Candidacy form has changed. Please be sure you are using the most current form, available from this location.

Quick Links:

  1. Student Information
  2. Degree Information
  3. Proposed Graduate Degree Program
  4. Required Signatures
  5. How to Submit Your Candidacy Form
  6. Tracking your Candidacy and Making Changes to your Approved Plan

This page contains instructions for MARA candidacy applicants. Instructions for MLIS candidacy applicants can be found on the page, Completing the MLIS Candidacy Approval FormNote: Your form will not be approved for candidacy if your CUM GPA is below 3.0You must have 9 units of graded classes on your transcript before you may file a Candidacy form.

Candidacy Approval Form. The requirements for completing this form are fairly strict. Following the instructions below will help you successfully complete the form and avoid the delays and problems associated with needing to resubmit it. You can view a sample completed form.

You will need the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC free to download). Be sure to:

  • Save the candidacy form onto your computer -do not try to fill it in online- Adobe Reader will give you an error message if you try to use it to sign an online PDF
  • Be sure to use Adobe Reader DC

You can also download the Adobe Creative Cloud Software (including Adobe Acrobat) that is free to students, but with restrictions and limitations based on semester enrollment.

  1. OPEN the Candidacy Approval Form [PDF].
  2. Do a FILE/SAVE AS to your computer, renaming the file as follows: [YOURLASTNAME_YOURFIRSTNAME_STUDENTIDNUMBER].pdf.
  3. Open this file from your computer and, using Adobe Reader, TYPE directly into the form you see displayed on your computer screen.
  4. SAVE to your computer desktop.
  5. Upload the completed form to Canvas -see Steps to Submit the Candidacy Approval Form (below)

1. Student Information

Disregard the statement at the top of the form: “This completed form should be emailed to the appropriate GAPE evaluator, submitted to Window G in the Student Services Center, or sent through interoffice mail to extended zip 0017,” as you will be submitting the form to iSchool who will then gather necessary signatures and forward the form to GAPE directly on your behalf.

  1. Last Name/First Name, etc. — Click in the area marked “Last Name” and type in your last name. Complete the rest of this section by moving to each field and clicking in the area where you wish to type.
  2. Student ID: Enter your MySJSU ID
  3. Current Address, City, State and Zip: Enter your most up to date information in these fields.
  4. Daytime Phone/ Email Address: Include your most recent telephone number and email address.


2. Degree Information

  1. Degree Sought, e.g., MBA; Type in “MARA”.
  2. Leave the Major and Concentration fields blank.
  3. Means of satisfying GWAR Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement: type in “MARA 200.” For University: type “SJSU” and then enter the semester and year you completed that course.
  4. Plan — Select the “B)” (Non-Thesis) button.


3. Proposed Graduate Degree Program

Section 3.A Courses

When listing your courses, follow the format in the example below. List all of the iSchool courses that you have taken or that you plan on taking. Be sure to list semester units, grades received, and the semester it was or will be completed. List the courses in order taken, not numerically. For future classes, leave the Grade blank, but fill in the Semester Completed and Semester Units.

You must complete a total of 42 units for the MARA degree (3 of these units will be Culminating Experience units listed in section B). Do not list MARA 289 here. List it in Section B below. Do not list more than the required number of units needed for the program! If you have taken more than the required number of units, do not list more than the 42 units required. Be sure to list the required Core Classes. Visit this page for MARA required classes, based on admission date. Note: Through Spring 2021 MARA 286 was taught as MARA 284 Information Assurance, and through Fall 2020 MARA 287 was taught as MARA 284 Information Governance.

List your Culminating Experience course (MARA 289) in Section B below; do not list it here. List elective courses taken as “LIBR” through Summer 2015; then list them as “INFO” starting with Fall 2015. Up to 9 of the 12 units of electives can be INFO courses. The course grades listed on the candidacy form must result in an overall GPA of at least 3.0 (B). World Languages classes are to go in Section A. Students who carry an “Incomplete” grade will not be permitted to apply for candidacy. iSchool students may have no more than 15 units worth of Credit/No Credit coursework as part of their total 42 units for the MARA degree.

If you have taken LIBR or INFO courses, list them in section A along with the MARA courses, in the order taken.

List only the classes that have a grade of C or higher. Do not list any classes with a grade of C- or below. If a student gets a C or better, it will count towards the degree. If a student gets a C- or lower, that class cannot be used on the Graduate Candidacy application or counted toward the degree. Instead, the student will have to take another class in substitution to get up to 42 units.

Use the titles on your transcript or MySJSU class list. You can also find course titles on the iSchool Course Descriptions list.


Section 3.B Culminating Experience

In this section, list your planned MARA 289 course.

Check the second box: Last completed project or comprehensive exam-preparation course (Plan B). Remember to type in “MARA” on the Course Prefix/Catalog No. line to the left and list the units and semester in the columns on the right, but do not list a grade. MARA 289 can only be taken in Spring or Fall.


Section 3.C Transfer Courses

In this section, list courses taken through other universities. Be sure to list grades received, semester units, and the semester it was or will be completed. Classes taken through iSchool Open Classes are to be listed in section C. (Open Classes courses do not need to be approved of as transfer credit. Just list them on section C). WISE classes are taken as INFO 298 and should be listed in section A on the Candidacy form. Before doing this, please carefully read the information on the Transferring Units page. The total units should not exceed 9 units. Note that iSchool will not approve any substitute for a required iSchool class. Do not supply a “Substituted for” class. Leave those fields blank. Only list the information from the institution where you took the courses.

Total Units — Fill in the number of units from Sections A, B, and C and the Total. You must complete 42 units for the MARA degree.


4. Required Signatures

Student Signature — Use Adobe Acrobat to provide a digital signature on the Student Signature line, or sign it electronically (if you have an electronic signature using another program). Click here for help with how to sign a PDF. Leave all other signatures blank. The iSchool office will review it, obtain the necessary signatures, and submit your form to GAPE.

An example digital signature of fake student “Chelsea Smith”


5. List of steps to submit the Candidacy Approval Form.

  1. Proofread carefully to be sure you have correctly completed all the requested information.
  2. Save to your own computer/desktop; save file as [YOURLASTNAME_YOURFIRSTNAME_STUDENTIDNUMBER].pdf.
  3. Make sure to upload your Candidacy Form to the appropriate Canvas drop box in the iSchool Advising and Administration site before the GAPE deadlines. All MARA students are automatically enrolled in this Canvas site. Log in to your Canvas account and look under Courses > iSchool Advising and Administration. The drop box link is available from the course site home page.

  • iSchool staff will print a hardcopy of your form, review it, obtain signatures, and deliver it to the GAPE office.


6. Tracking your Candidacy and Making Changes to your Approved Plan


GAPE takes at least a couple of months to properly evaluate your candidacy petition. You will know when if your candidacy has been approved in two ways: you will see it under “Other Indicators,” on MySJSU and you will receive a hard copy in the mail. Make sure MySJSU has your correct and current e-mail and mailing addresses. The School of Information has no information as to the status of your candidacy application; please do not contact the iSchool for this information.

1. If you make any changes in actual course titles after your Candidacy form has been approved, you will need to submit a course substitution form to the Advising site on Canvas. Submit course substitution forms as soon as you have made changes to your course plan so that your graduation file is current when GAPE evaluates your Candidacy in the weeks immediately following your final semester. Failure to submit a course substitution form will delay your graduation. Watch your service indicators for messaging from GAPE in the weeks following your final semester.

2. If you change the date you plan to graduate after you have submitted an Application for Award of Master’s Degree form, you must submit a Change of Graduation Date Form and pay the $10.00 fee online.