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Academic Information and Regulations

Academic Information

CSULB students working with campus computers

Student Unit Load

Recommended Student Load

The faculty recognizes that it is frequently necessary for students to hold part-time jobs while attending the University. It advises that students enrolling under these conditions use good judgment in planning their programs. Students whose outside employment could be expected to interfere with the normal unit load should reduce their academic program accordingly.

The official unit limit per semesteris 18 units. If it is necessary for students to exceed the 18-unit limit, students must complete an Extra Unit Petition form available on the Enrollment Services website.

Students are expected to spend, on the average, two hours of preparation and study for each hour of class time. Thus, a three-unit lecture or discussion course normally demands a commitment of nine hours per week averaged over the semester, with the class meeting for three hours a week. This may be considered sufficient time to enable a student to do satisfactory work. Students who desire to achieve “A” or “B” grades may wish to spend proportionately more time in their studies.

A student’s employment and college time combined should not exceed 60 hours weekly. Students who make no allowances for their employment and outside obligations in planning their college programs will bear full responsibility for the resulting level of scholarship.

Minimum Unit Requirements for Students in Special Classifications

Veterans

Veterans should inquire at the Veteran’s Affairs Office (BH 226) about unit load requirements for state and federal benefits.

Graduate Students

For information about graduate student load, see regulations governing Master’s Degrees in this Catalog.

International Students

Undergraduate international students on non-immigrant visas must carry and complete a minimum of 12 units per semester unless a reduced load is authorized by the student’s advisor and the Center for International Education. Reduced unit loads may be granted for substantial academic reasons or compelling personal reasons beyond the control of the student. Failure to secure such authorization results in violation of student status under Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and State Department regulations, warranting discontinuance of enrollment.

Students with Disabilities

It is recommended that students with disabilities attempt to modify their schedules, as necessary, to lessen the impact of a disability. Students with disabilities may request to enroll in a unit load which is commensurate with their ability. Reduced unit load is defined as less than 12 units for undergraduates and less than 9 units for graduates. Such requests must be made to Disabled Student Services prior to each semester affected. If approved, the student will be entitled to all benefits, services, and activities governed by the University which are accorded to full-time students. Eligibility for benefits, services, and activities outside the University's control will be governed by each separate external agency based upon actual unit load.

Student Load Regulations

I. Maximum Student Load during the Fall and Spring Semesters.

An undergraduate student carrying 12 or more units during the fall or spring semester is classified as a full-time student. A graduate or post-baccalaureate student carrying 9 or more units during the fall or spring semester is also classified as a full-time student. An undergraduate student carrying fewer than 12 units or a graduate or post-baccalaureate student carrying fewer than 9 units is classified as a part-time student. These definitions derive from federal financial aid regulations and have no bearing on the definitions used by the State of California to determine a student’s liability for the State University Fee.

The maximum number of units a student may take during the fall or spring semester is normally 18 for undergraduate, graduate, or post-baccalaureate students.

Exceptions to this limit will be made only on the basis of proven academic ability, the feasibility of a student’s proposed schedule, and the evidence that it is necessary to enroll for an overload in order to complete the student’s chosen academic program in a timely manner. Permission must be obtained prior to registration from the associate dean of the college of the student's major department or, if an undeclared major, from the Academic Advising Center.

II. Maximum Student Load during the Summer Term.

The maximum number of units a student may take during the summer term is one unit per week, plus one additional unit. Thus, the maximum number of units is normally 7 for one 6-week session, 10 for two overlapping sessions, and 13 for an entire summer.

Exceptions to this limit will be made only on the basis of proven academic ability, the feasibility of a student’s proposed schedule, and the evidence that the extra units will enable the student to graduate in that or the immediate subsequent term. Permission must be obtained prior to registration from the associate dean of the college of the student's major department or, if an undeclared major, from the Academic Advising Center.

III. Maximum Student Load during the Winter Session.

The maximum number of units a student may take during the winter session is one unit per week, plus one additional unit. Thus, the maximum number of units is normally 4.

Exceptions to this limit will be made only on the basis of proven academic ability, the feasibility of a student’s proposed schedule, and the evidence that the extra units will enable the student to graduate in that or the immediately subsequent term. Permission must be obtained prior to registration from the associate dean of the college of the student's major department or, if an undeclared major, from the Academic Advising Center.

Course Listings

Courses are listed in this Catalog by department, the departments and programs being arranged alphabetically. Each listing gives the course number, title, semester units in parentheses, semester or session offered, and the course description, which includes prerequisites and other restrictions.