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Baccalaureate and Graduate Degree Information

Baccalaureate Degree Information

Overhead view of CSULB Commencement

Baccalaureate Degrees

CSULB offers 71 baccalaureate majors (see a list of degree programs and admission requirements at the beginning of this Catalog). Baccalaureate degrees are constructed of three interrelated areas: (1) the breadth component, called General Education (GE) Program, which is the basis for the baccalaureate degree with courses that offer training in general skills, methodologies, and habits of thought; (2) the depth component, or major, which establishes an understanding of the breadth of a body of knowledge, competence in the fundamental skills and methodologies of the discipline, and understanding and skill at an appropriate depth in one or more facets of the discipline; and (3) the elective component that provides the possibility for personal exploration, enhancement, and development to complement the rest of the degree program (and might include a minor and/or a certificate program).

Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree

1. Completion of a minimum of 120 units for the Bachelor of Arts. Completion of the minimum number of units which could range from 120 to 140 required by the major program for the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts, or Bachelor of Music degrees. See the description of the requirements for each major for the specific number of units required. There are restrictions (below) on how many units in certain categories may be counted toward the minimum unit requirement.

2. Completion of at least 40 upper-division units (courses numbered 300-499). No course taken at any community college may count toward fulfillment of these 40 units.

3. Completion of at least 30 units in residence at CSULB of which at least 24 must be upper-division and at least 12 must be in the major. Units earned in Extended Education cannot be counted toward fulfillment of the residence requirement.

4. Completion of the General Education program, described below, including at least 9 units in upper-division courses completed at CSULB.

5. Completion of the specific course and unit requirements for the academic major, as shown in the alphabetic listing for the major department. If the requirements are changed during students' continuous attendance at CSULB, they have the right to meet either the requirements in effect when they entered the major or the requirements in effect at the time they graduate. All upper-division courses required for a major must be completed within the ten-year period preceding award of the baccalaureate degree. Courses completed prior to this ten-year period can be revalidated by such demonstrations of competence or knowledge of the subject as may be prescribed by the department offering the course.

The on-line Catalog Table of Contents has a link at the top to "Road Maps" that show a suggested sequence of courses to enable students to complete all degree requirements in a timely fashion. Since individual circumstances can vary, students should consult their major advisors for assistance in planning appropriate programs.

6. Satisfactory fulfillment of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) (See a description of the requirement at the end of this section.)

7. Achievement of a minimum 2.0 (“C”) grade-point average in each of the following:

  • a. The entire college record.
  • b. All units attempted at CSULB.
  • c. All courses in the major.
  • d. All upper-division courses in the major completed at CSULB.

8. Formal approval by the faculty of the university.

Student Levels

Freshman 0.0 to 29.9 units
Sophomore 30.0 to 59.9 units
Junior 60.0 to 89.9 units
Senior 90.0 or more units
Postbaccalaureate holding a baccalaureate
or equivalent degree

Restrictions on Units That May Be Counted Toward the Minimum Required for the Baccalaureate

Activity Courses

Activity courses provide practice in such areas as music, dance, physical education and Sports, Athletics, and Recreation. Except as required by a student's major, students may apply to the degree no more than eight units each of activity course credit in music, dance, or physical education and no more than four units of activity course credit in SAR, up to a total of no more than 20 units in all areas.

Transfer Courses

No more than 70 units of courses from a Community College may be counted toward the minimum unit requirement for the baccalaureate. (For more detail, see the section on Transfer Credit in the Academic Information section of this Catalog.)

Courses Taken by Non-Matriculated Students in Any Term

No more than 24 units total taken during any term while in non-matriculated status may be used to fulfill any undergraduate degree requirements. All students who have not been formally admitted to CSULB and who take courses here are non-matriculated students. Courses taken by incoming freshmen during the summer prior to their first fall are considered non-matriculated units. Units taken while in non-matriculated status are also sometimes referred to as extension units, extended education units, or special session credit units. Courses offered through the College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) conferring education unit (CEU) credit carry no degree credit.

Open University

Open University (Adjunct Enrollment) — Through Open University, students who are NOT matriculated in CSULB may take regular university classes during spring or fall semesters for academic credit on a “space available” basis with permission of the department chair and the course instructor. Open University enrollment does NOT constitute admission to CSULB. For more information call the College of Continuing and Professional Education at (562) 985-5561.

Special Session

There is no limit on CCPE Special Sessions course credit, including Winter session, applicable to the degree if taken while in matriculated status in the degree program.