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PreDoc and CDIP


The California Pre-Doctoral Scholars Program (Pre-Doc) is designed to increase the diversity of the pool from which the California State University draws its faculty. It does so by supporting the doctoral aspirations of CSU students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages. A special emphasis is placed on increasing the number of CSU students who enter graduate programs at one of the University of California campuses. The Pre-Doc program provides travel funds, development funds, and a fully-funded summer research experience.

The goal of the California State University Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP) is to increase the number of faculty with the qualifications, motivation, and skills needed to teach the diverse students of the CSU. The CDIP prepares promising doctoral students for CSU faculty positions by providing financial supportmentorship by CSU faculty and professional development and grant resources. It is the largest program of its kind in the U.S.

Email [email protected] with any questions.


CDIP Session

This session is open to students, alums, and lecturers who are applying to doctoral programs for Fall 2023 admission. Students currently enrolled in doctoral programs across the U.S. can also attend.

Watch the recording of the CDIP information session.

Download the CDIP information session slides.

Pre-Doc Session

This session is open to current Cal State LA students who will be applying to doctoral programs next academic year (2023-2024). Students must be enrolled at Cal State LA during Fall 2023 or Spring 2024 to be eligible for this award.

Watch the recording of the PreDoc information session.

Download the PreDoc information session slides.

Faculty Mentorship in the CSU CDIP and Pre-Doc Programs

This webinar is designed for faculty who would like to serve as mentors in the Pre-Doc and/or CDIP programs. This session will provide an overview of the PreDoc and CDIP programs, the nature of mentorship in these programs, and strategies for supporting students as they prepare their applications.

Watch the recording of the Faculty Mentorship Information Session.

Download the Faculty Mentorship session slides.

Application Process

1. Attend an information session or watch a recording.

Attend a virtual information session or watch the recording. This counts as your initial meeting with the Campus Coordinator.

2. Identify a faculty mentor.

Pre-Doc Applicants: Identify a faculty mentor who will support you as your prepare your doctoral program applications. This faculty mentor should know your area of research, scholarship, or creative activity. They will also help you to identify professional development opportunities that will strengthen your doctoral program applications.

CDIP Applicants: Identify a faculty member at a CSU campus* who will mentor you to help you prepare for applying to a CSU faculty role. They will work with you to develop a Collaborative Plan of Support that details the kinds of professional development activities you will engage in to prepare for a CSU faculty career. Those professional development activities should include activities for teaching, scholarship, and university/community service.
*You will apply to CDIP at the CSU campus of your identified mentor.

3. Work on application materials.

Pre-Doc Application Materials:

  • Personal Information
  • Educational Information
  • Three Essays (see application packet for prompts)
  • Faculty Mentor Letter of Recommendation
  • Student Budget Plan
  • Transcripts

Visit the Chancellor's Office Pre-Doc application website for essay prompts and budget plan samples.

CDIP Application Materials:

  • CV
  • Motivation Statement
  • Collaborative Plan of Support
  • CSU Faculty Position Announcement
  • Two Letters of Recommendation (one must be from Faculty Mentor)

Visit the Chancellor's Office CDIP application website for essay prompts and samples.

4. Submit application to the Office of Graduate Studies for review.

You will submit a draft of your application to the Office of Graduate Studies. You will receive feedback on your application materials to help increase your competitiveness among all applications submitted to the Chancellor's Office.

Pre-Doc Applicants: Submit your three essays and student budget plan to [email protected] by February 3, 2023.

CDIP Applicants: Submit your Motivation Statement and Collaborative Plan of Support to [email protected] by February 10, 2023.

5. Submit application to Chancellor's Office.

After you receive feedback on your draft, you will be given the instructions and link for uploading your application to the Chancellor's Office.

Pre-Doc Deadline for submission to Chancellor's Office: February 17, 2023

CDIP Deadline for submission to Chancellor's Office: March 17, 2023


Who can apply to these programs?

Pre-Doc: Undergraduate juniors and first-year master's students are strongly encouraged to apply. Undergraduate seniors and second-year master's students can apply only if they will be enrolled full-time during Fall 2023.

CDIP: Anyone who is applying to doctoral programs for Fall 2023 admission can also apply to the CDIP. Currently enrolled doctoral students in the U.S. may also apply, as long as they are not in their final year. 25% of the CDIP spots are for current CSU lecturers who are applying to or enrolled in doctoral programs.

Do I have to be a current CSU student to apply?

You must be a current Cal State LA student who will be enrolled during Fall 2023 or Spring 2024 to be eligible for the Pre-Doc because this award will come in the form of Financial Aid during the 2023-2024 academic year.

You do not have to be a current CSU student or alum to apply to the CDIP. You just have to be interested in a CSU faculty career.

Do I need to meet with the Campus Coordinator before I can apply?

No, watching the recording of the information session counts as your initial meeting with the Campus Coordinator.

Can the Office of Graduate Studies match me with a faculty mentor?

No. Applicants should identify a potential faculty mentor and reach out to them directly. Emails to potential faculty mentors should include:

  • A brief introduction of the applicant
  • A brief description of why the applicant wants to work with this particular faculty mentor (research interests, teaching interests, etc.)
  • An invitation for a brief meeting (in-person, by phone, by Zoom) to talk about the CDIP or Pre-Doc program

Can I submit my application directly to the Chancellor's Office?

No. You will receive instructions for submitting the application to the Chancellor's Office after you have gotten feedback from the Office of Graduate Studies.