GUIDELINES FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
Where can I find the Academic roadmap for my degree?
Roadmaps for all degrees and options are available online and can be found on the College or Department website.
If I am a freshman, when do I need to declare my major (and option-if applicable)?
All freshman students must declare their major (and option-if applicable) and be accepted into a degree program before completing 30 units.
If I am a transfer student, when do I need to declare my major (and option-if applicable)?
All transfer students will declare their major (and option-if applicable) on their application to Cal State LA.
What happens after I declare my major (and option-if applicable)?
- All students, within 1 semester of being accepted into a degree program, shall have their degree completion program on file in GET.
- After reaching 60 semester units and before completing 80 semester units, all students are required to meet with an academic advisor to review their progress toward graduation based on an audit of their degree plan.
All students will have mandatory advisement when they are within 2 semesters or within 24 units of graduation, whichever comes first.
How often should I see an academic advisor, and what should I bring?
Make an appointment with an advisor from your major department at least once per semester. Write down your questions and bring that list with you. If you are a transfer student whose previous coursework has not yet been evaluated, bring unofficial copies of all your transcripts.
What determines my undergraduate class level?
Class levels are based on the number of units completed.
Class Level Semester Units Completed
What is the difference between Lower and Upper Division classes?
Lower Division courses are numbered from 1000 – 2999 (freshmen and sophomore level). Upper Division courses are numbered as 3000 – 3999 (junior and senior level) that do not earn graduate credit and 4000 – 4999 (junior and senior level) that may earn graduate credit for graduate students.
Are General Education (GE) requirements the same for all majors?
No. Certain majors require specific GE courses. Contact your College Advisement Center for specific GE requirements for your major.
What are the Basic Subjects in the General Education Program?
The basic subjects involve the four essential skills: Oral Communication (A1), Written Communication (A2), Critical Thinking and Composition (A3), and College Math (B4). All classes in Content Area A and B4 must be passed with a “C-" or better.
Can I have AP, CLEP, and IB scores count as university units?
Yes. A complete list of AP, CLEP, IB exams for which the University grants credit can be found in the Admissions section of the University Catalog http://ecatalog.calstatela.edu/content.php?catoid=11&navoid=770#AP_Exams
What determines developmental (EO 665) status and what if I do not finish my developmental courses within my first year at Cal State LA?
If you are not exempt from the English Placement Test (EPT) and/or the Entry Level Math (ELM) exam, your score(s) are used to determine the appropriate level of reading and writing and/or mathematics skills so that you can be placed in the appropriate baccalaureate-level course(s). If you place into developmental courses, you must pass them all within your first year at Cal State LA. If not, an enrollment hold will be placed on your account and you will need to contact either the University Testing Center (Library PW, room 2098 - (323) 343-3160) or Smart Start (Library North, room 1034 - (323) 343-3184) for more information.
What classes should I take my first semester at Cal State LA?
If you are a freshman, complete your Basic Subjects (Content Area A and B4) requirements within your first 30 units. These courses are listed on the GE Lower Division Courses sheet found in the Schedule of Classes. You must take your Introduction to Higher Education (IHE) course no later than your second semester. If you are a transfer student, you may make an appointment with your College Advisement Center for major and GE questions or the University Academic Advisement Center to determine what University requirements or GE courses you may have left to complete.
How do I add/drop courses?
You can add courses up until the add deadline (check the final add deadline date in the Schedule of Classes). Once the semester begins you will need to get a permit from your instructor to “add” the class on GET. You may drop your courses up until the drop deadline through GET. To drop after the drop deadline, you must fill out a Drop Request Form. Pick up a drop form from your major department, the UAAC, or ADM 409 (Records Office). Obtain the appropriate signatures needed and submit the form to the Records Office, ADM 409.
What happens if I just stop going to class?
If you simply stop going to class without officially dropping, you will receive the grade of “WU” which is calculated as an “F” in your GPA.
Drops between the seventh day of instruction until the end of the eleventh week of the semester are permitted only for serious and compelling reasons. You must obtain the signatures of the course instructor and the department/division chair or school director on a drop request form, which shall state the reasons for the withdrawal. Undergraduate students shall not be allowed to withdraw from more than a total of 18 semester units attempted at Cal State LA except as specified below.
When circumstances clearly beyond the student’s control such serious illness, accidents, job transfer, or military deployment are documented and used as a basis for the approval of withdrawal from all classes during this drop period, the units dropped under these circumstances shall not count against the 18 semester-unit maximum. Such exceptions to this policy may be granted only with the additional approval by the appropriate college dean.
After the seventh week, withdrawals shall not be permitted except in cases when circumstances are clearly beyond the student’s control and the student is not eligible for an incomplete. Withdrawals of this nature shall normally require withdrawal from all courses. For those courses in which sufficient work has been completed to permit an evaluation to be made, a course grade and credit may be assigned at the discretion of the faculty. The student must obtain the signatures of the instructor, the department/division chair or school director, and college dean. The student’s record will note the withdrawal from the course with a “W.” Such withdrawals will not count against the maximum 18 semester units.
When and how do I declare a Major?
You must declare a major before completing 30 semester units. To declare a Major/Minor/Option, schedule an advisement appointment with the faculty or professional staff advisor of the new major department/college. If all pre requisites and department requirements are met, the faculty or professional staff advisor will submit your request to change your student record to the Registrar’s Office through the Advisor Request System (ARS).
Can I change my major to Undeclared?
No. Once you have declared a major, you may change to a different major but cannot change your major back to undeclared.
How do I declare a Dual Major?
Students may earn more than one baccalaureate degree, (e.g., two B.A. degrees, or both a B.A. and a B.S. degree). Students may also earn a baccalaureate degree and a graduate degree, (e.g., B.S. and M.S. degrees) through select integrated degree programs. In such programs, degrees are awarded when the requirements for both the bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are met. Both degrees are awarded at the same time.
Students who wish to have multiple majors and/or degrees listed on their diploma and transcript must:
- Fulfill department/division/school requirements in the multiple majors and/or degrees;
- Request endorsement by the multiple departments, divisions, and/or schools; and
- Be approved and recommended for graduation by the faculty of each major department, division or school granting the majors and/or degree(s)
Students must schedule an advisement appointment with the faculty or professional staff advisor of the new major department/college. The faculty or professional staff advisor will submit your request to change your student record to the Registrar’s Office through the Advisor Request System (ARS).
What is a minor?
Although not required for a baccalaureate, minors are available in many fields that will help strengthen students’ preparation in areas related to their major field or to career choices. A minor may not be taken in the same subject as the major. A minor consists of a formal aggregate of courses totaling 12 or more semester units. At least 9 semester units must be upper division and taken in residence at Cal State LA. A minimum C (2.0) grade point average is required in all the courses taken to complete the minor program. The minor filed will be noted on the student’s transcript if the individual program has been approved by the offering department/division/school and is completed at the same time as or prior to the work for the degree itself. Interested students should consult an advisor in the department/division/school offering the minor of their choice.
What is the Diversity Requirement and how do I satisfy this requirement?
It is the intent of the Diversity Requirement to promote understanding of diversity and encourage tolerance and acceptance of others. All students will be required to complete two courses (six units) certified as diversity courses (designated with (d), at least one focusing on issues of race and ethnicity and their intersectionality with other social categories that structure inequality in society (designated with (re). These course can be completed either at the lower division or upper division level from among courses satisfying GE requirements.
What is the Writing Intensive Requirement and how do I satisfy this requirement?
All students must complete one writing intensive course. Writing intensive courses are designated as (wi). This (wi) course must be taken in their major.
What is the Civic Learning/Community Engagement Requirement and how do I satisfy this requirement?
This requirement gives students opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills, and values that will prepare them for active participation in civic life to make a difference in their communities.
These courses are designated as (cl) after the course listing.
First time freshmen are required to complete two courses (6 semester units) containing a Civic Learning or Community Engagement component (designated as (cl)). One (cl) course will be completed in their Introduction to Higher Education (IHE) course. The second (cl) course MUST be completed at the upper division GE level.
Transfer students are required to complete one course (3 semester units) containing a Civic Learning or Community Engagement component (designated as (cl)) at the upper division GE level.
What are the Upper Division Courses?
Students are required to complete 9 units (3 courses) of Upper Division General Education which are distributed across three areas (Natural Sciences and Quantitative Reasoning, Arts and Humanities, and Social Sciences) as part of the General Education program. One of these courses must include a Civic Learning/Community Engagement component (cl).
*Temporary change FOR TRANSFER STUDENTS admitted Fall 2016 and beoynd: The three GE Upper Division courses may be taken from ANY of the three breadth areas.
What is Early Start?
Early Start is a summer program is designed for admitted CSU freshmen who need to improve their skills in English and Mathematics before the beginning of the fall term. Please click on the following link for more information:
What does Impacted Program mean at Cal State LA?
Program impaction means that the number of applications from fully eligible students to a designated major far exceeds the number of spaces available in that major. However, students can still be admitted to the major if they meet the supplementary admission criteria.
The following majors/programs are impacted at Cal State LA:
- Business Administration:
- Marketing Management
- Criminal Justice
- Social work
For specific information regarding the supplemental admissions criteria for each major, please visit the College/Department website:
GRADES and GPA
What is a “WU” grade?
WU (Unauthorized Withdrawal) indicates that an enrolled student did not withdraw from the course and failed to complete course requirements. It is used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities or both were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. It is calculated as an “F” in the grade point average computations.
What is an “I” or “IC” grade?
An “I” on your grade report means you have an interim grade designed for students who are passing, but through extenuating circumstances have not been able to complete part of the work of the course. It is a grade assigned when the student and their professor have agreed that significant elements of the course requirements have not been met. There are conditions for removal of the Incomplete, please check the University Catalog for specific information.
An “IC” on your grade report means that the Incomplete was not removed within the time period allowed and will appear on your permanent academic record as an IC (Incomplete Charged) and will be calculated as an “F” in the grade point average computations.
Can I repeat a course in which I received a grade of “C” or higher?
Unless otherwise indicated in a particular course description in the University Catalog, students may not repeat for credit any course already completed with a grade of C (2.00 grade points) or higher. The maximum number of units for grade replacement is 16 semester units.
What can I do about courses I do not pass?
Students may repeat a course up to two times for purposes of grade replacement if the grade of record is below a “C. ” Grade replacement is the circumstance in which the new grade replaces the former grade in terms of the calculation of GPA. Grade replacement shall occur only when the same or equivalent course is taken a second or third time at Cal State LA. Repeating courses under this policy does not result in the removal of the original record and grade from the transcript.
Complete the class at Cal State LA and fill out a Petition for Academic Renewal by course repetition form and submit it to the Records Office (Administration 409).
Does a grade of D- fulfill the requirement for a lower or upper division General Education (GE) course?
Yes, if you earn a D- for a General Education course (lower or upper division) it will count except for the Content Area A and B4 courses. All of the Content Area A and B4 courses must be passed with a “C” or better. For all Bachelor’s Degrees you must also have an overall minimum “C” (2.0) average in all general education courses.
What is Academic Probation?
Students are placed on academic probation at the end of a semester if either their grade point average at Cal State LA or their cumulative grade point average in all college work attempted falls below a C (2.0). They remain on academic probation until their Cal State LA and cumulative grade point average is 2.0 or higher or until they are disqualified in accordance with the regulations for academic disqualification.
What is Academic Disqualification?
Students already on probation or special probation whose Cal State LA or cumulative grade point average reaches the following levels will be disqualified:
Grade Point Average
Freshmen (0-29 units completed)
Sophomores (30-59 units completed)
Juniors (60-89 units completed)
Seniors (90+ units completed)
Student notices of disqualification will be sent from the Cal State LA Registrar and will also appear on their grade report, and their unofficial transcript in GET. Disqualified students are required to arrange a disqualification interview with their academic advisor to review the reasons for disqualification, to explore the option of requesting special probation (reinstatement) or readmission, and to establish the terms and conditions for recommending special probation (reinstatement) or readmission. Undeclared majors will hold this interview with an advisor in the University Academic Advisement Center.
If I am disqualified, what is Reinstatement or Special Probation?
Continuing students who have been disqualified may petition to remain as matriculated students on special probation. To be eligible for special probation, disqualified students must complete the disqualification interview with their academic advisor and obtain the advisor’s approval. The advisor must specify on the special probation petition the terms and conditions under which the student will be eligible to be returned to and to remain in matriculated status, such as courses to be repeated, courses to be completed, GPA requirements, and any required workshops and/or tutoring.
A student’s initial petition for special probation must be approved by the appropriate department chair, division chair, or school director. Subsequent petitions for special probation must be approved as well by the appropriate college or university dean for that student. Students’ approved special probation petitions must be received in enrollment services by the specified deadline.
All disqualified students who are placed on special probation are required to earn better than a C (2.0) grade point average each semester until their grade point average is increased to a level that is higher than that which would normally cause them to be disqualified according to their class level, at which time they would be switched from special probation to probation.
If I am disqualified, what is Readmission?
Students who are not eligible for or are denied special probation may petition for readmission. Readmission after disqualification is not automatic. Disqualified students will not be considered for readmission until at least two semesters have elapsed. Students will be eligible for readmission when they have satisfied the terms and conditions established during the disqualification interview as documented in the student’s file by the academic advisor, provided that they meet or exceed the following minimum Cal State LA and cumulative grade point averages for their class level when they apply:
Class Level Grade Point Average
Freshmen (0-29 units completed)…….…..….1.50
Sophomores (30-59 units completed)…....…..1.70
Juniors (60-89 units completed)……….....…..1.85
Seniors (90+ units completed)……………….1.95
Units earned at an accredited higher education institution while under disqualification can be used to raise the cumulative grade point average above the minimum required for admission. However, any deficiency in the Cal State LA grade point average may only be corrected by completing Cal State LA courses through Open University or special sessions offered by the College of Professional and Global Education. Students who have not previously been placed on special probation and whose grade point averages do not meet these minimum criteria may be considered for readmission with special probation with the approval of their college dean.
Students who wish to request readmission must provide evidence to their advisor that they have met the terms and conditions specified in their disqualification interview, including official transcripts of all transfer work attempted since disqualification. Advisors who support the request for readmission must specify on the petition for readmission a plan for attaining good academic standing. Students requesting readmission must obtain approval for readmission from the department, division, or school and the college from which they were disqualified. The University Academic Advisement Center and the Office of Undergraduate Studies will rule on petitions for readmission of disqualified students with undeclared majors.
What does it mean to be "GE Certified"?
GE Certified means that a student has completed the CSU lower division GE requirements in Content areas A through E at the Community College. This will be noted on the official transcript from that school. However, even if you have been fully certified from a community college, you will still be required to satisfy our Upper Division GE and University Requirements.
I thought I was “GE Certified” but Cal State LA doesn’t show that. What do I do now?
If you thought you were “GE Certified” you should check with the Admissions Office located in Student Affairs 101 to find out if they received your official transcripts which show your certification from your community college. If they have received your certification, please allow them time to upload this onto your account.
However, if they did not receive your certification, please contact your community college to ask for new official transcripts which show the “GE Certification”. Send these new transcripts to Cal State LA or turn in the sealed transcripts to Student Affairs 101.
If I completed GE requirements at my community college, will I be done with GEs at Cal State LA?
No. You may have satisfied all lower division GE requirements at another college, but you will need to complete our GE Upper Division Requirement as well as university and other graduation requirements.
How do I transfer in courses that are not automatically articulated via the www.assist.org website?
If you did not get credit, make an appointment with an academic advisor in your major department for assistance. Bring a copy of the course description(s) from the catalog of the year you took the course(s) to your meeting with your academic advisor. A “General Academic Petition for UNDERGRADUATE Requirements” form will need to be filled out for each course you and your advisor feel should have transferred.
The petition should be forwarded to the respective department for review and recommendation by that Department Chair. The department will then forward the petition to the Office of Undergraduate Studies for final approval or dismissal.
What courses do I take my first semester if I am a transfer student?
You can take Lower Division and Upper Division General Education courses you know you have not complered. You can also take required major courses. Check with your major advisor for more information.
How can I check GET to see if I have taken the courses to satisfy any of the University Requirements (Diversity, Writing Intensive, Civic Learning)?
You should check your CSU Academic Advisement Report (CAAR) in GET. Your report is based upon your declared major and option (if applicable).
Log on to the GET system. Click the Self Service link at the top left corner of the screen. Click on Student Center. Click on Academic Requirements. Scroll down through your academic records and you will find the information about the University Requirements.
Can students use courses taken at another college to satisfy GE requirements?
Yes, courses may be taken at the Community College or other colleges and universities to satisfy General Education requirements. If the course is being taken at the Community College, you may check the articulation agreement between that Community College and Cal State LA by using the website www.assist.org to confirm the course you are taking will transfer.
What is a “grad check” and how do I get one?
The “Grad Check” is actually a degree check sent to you by the Graduation Office (after you've applied for graduation) that outlines all your degree requirements (missing or completed).
What if there is a discrepancy between the requirements I thought I completed and my “grad check”?
If you feel the grad check is in error, please see your major advisor for assistance.
How do I apply for graduation?
Once a minimum of 90-semester units is earned, students may apply for graduation. The application for graduation (degree check) is made on a form available from the Cal State LA Graduation Office website, academic department/division/school, or the Records Office in Administration 409. This form is available five days prior to the application filing period. (Filing periods are published in the Graduation information section of the Schedule of Classes.) Take the completed application form for payment to the Cashiers office. Once payment is made, take your application to your major department, division or school for approval and processing.
Students arrange to meet with their faculty advisor who will complete the Bachelor’s Degree Worksheet and approve the candidate's major program. The department, division, or school will forward all documentation to the Graduation Office for processing. The Graduation Office notifies students of the receipt of their graduation application and supporting documents.
When is my degree posted?
Degree dates are posted at the end of the semester in which all requirements for the degree are met.