Choosing a major is one of the most important, and sometimes most difficult, academic decision students will make during their college careers. There may be many possible choices of major that would provide preparation for a given career. The section on Degrees, Options, Minors, and Certificates earlier in this Catalog shows the many choices available and where to find information on each. Many departments have additional information posted on their web pages, accessible from the university's home page. Students are encouraged to interview faculty in possible majors and to seek the help of student services professionals to assist them in making this important decision.
A choice of major is not a final decision. There is no limit to the number of times a student may change majors.
To help ensure timely completion of graduation requirements, students who have a total of 60 units completed must have declared a major before they may register for the next term. Upper-division transfer students are required to declare their intended major on their application for admission. (PS 06-04)
Undergraduate students declaring a major for the first time or changing from one degree program or degree option program to another must submit an approved Change of Major/Declaration form to the Office of Enrollment Services. Some departments may submit these forms electronically.
Students who are candidates for a certificate or credential program must also file a Request to Graduate. (Please see Graduation section of the Catalog.)
The evaluation of credits transferred to the University is based in part upon the objective indicated on the application for admission. Students should be aware, therefore, that under some circumstances transfer courses accepted for one purpose may not be acceptable for other purposes. Graduation checks needing to be redone may carry a special fee.
Students may complete the requirements for two baccalaureate programs concurrently. One diploma will be issued reflecting both majors. A course, or courses, may be used to satisfy the individual requirements of both majors, without limit, as long as the required pattern of course work is completed for each major.
A minor is a structured selection of courses by which a student can enrich his or her academic preparation through concentrated study of a discipline that is different from, but may be related to, the student’s declared major. A minor is a means to augment or complement the major by broadening the student’s academic experience or serving as preparation for a specific career. Usually a minor is not required for the baccalaureate; however, students may elect to complete a minor and have that fact noted on their records. Students should consult with an advisor in their major department for recommendations on suitable minor fields of study.
A minor consists of a minimum of 18 units, as specified by the department or program, at least nine of which must be upper-division. The minor may be in a single subject or interdisciplinary. Students may not declare or receive a minor in the same subject as the major, and the major and minor may not have the same title. The description of each minor shall have a statement listing all majors, if any, that may not be combined with that particular minor. The minimum overall GPA in courses toward the minor is 2.0. A minimum of six units of course work toward the minor must be taken at CSULB.
Students should refer to the requirements of the department and college of their major, to see whether a minor is required for that major. Even if a minor is not required, students may elect to complete one or more minors from those available and have that so noted on their transcripts. Unlike certificates, minors are awarded only as part of a baccalaureate degree. Students may not finish a minor after they have graduated, except in conjunction with a second baccalaureate degree.
California State University, Long Beach offers 40 baccalaureate-level programs leading to the award of a Certificate. Certificate programs differ from baccalaureate majors and minors in their emphasis on practical and applied uses of knowledge in a specific area of human enterprise. Certificates may only be earned concurrently with or following the award of the baccalaureate degree. Certificate programs must require at least 18 units of course work, of which at least 15 units must be at the upper-division level. Many certificates require 24 to 27 units. Courses taken to fulfill the requirements for the baccalaureate may also be applied to certificate requirements. A maximum of two 500-level courses, taken by eligible students in their senior year, may be applied to a baccalaureate certificate program. Extension and/or transfer credit may comprise no more than one-fourth of the course work used to meet baccalaureate certificate requirements. A grade-point average of at least 2.0 must be maintained in the certificate program's course work.
Students wishing to pursue a baccalaureate certificate program should consult the relevant department as early as possible to receive early advisement on the program. Students wishing to receive a certificate must so indicate on the Request to Graduate form filed with the Office of Enrollment Services.