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Graduation Requirements
for the Bachelor's Degree

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Unit Requirements | Residence Requirement
Grade Point Average Requirements
Distribution Requirements | Graduation Requirement Check


A. Total Unit Requirements
The minimum number of semester units necessary for a bachelor’s degree, including courses for the major, general education, all university requirements and free electives, exclusive of remedial courses (i.e., courses numbered 0-99), is as follows:

  1. For the Bachelor of Arts degree 120
  2. For the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree 132
  3. For the Bachelor of Science degree 120-135
  4. For the Bachelor of Music degree 132





B. Upper-Division Requirement
A minimum of 40 semester units of upper-division course work is required for any CSUF bachelor’s degree. Courses offering upper-division credit are those numbered at the 300- and 400-levels.

All units from upper-division courses are applicable to the upper-division units requirement, including units from courses in the major, the minor and general education.

C. Special Unit Totals
The maximum number of special semester units accepted for a bachelor's degree is as follows:

  1. Transferable units from community or junior colleges 70
  2. Transferable units from a four-year university or college, or from a combination of two- and four-year institutions for degrees requiring 120 units 90
  3. From credit by examination 30
  4. From extension and correspondence courses 24
  5. From credit/no credit courses 36
  6. From internship course 6
  7. From independent study courses 9
  8. From tutorial courses 3

A minimum of thirty (30) semester units must be earned in courses taken at California State University, Fullerton. Twenty-four (24) of these units must be earned in upper-division courses. At least twelve (12) upper-division semester units in the major must be taken at this institution. Courses taken in extension (except for summer session and intersession courses offered as part of the special sessions program) and units earned through credit by examination may not be used to fulfill these requirements.

Three grade point averages, each 2.0 or higher, are required for graduation:

  1. An average based on all units attempted, including those attempted at other institutions.
  2. An average based on all units attempted at CSUF.
  3. An average based on all units attempted in the major.

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A. General Education
A minimum of 51 semester units are needed to complete CSUF's general education requirements. See the "General Education" section of this catalog.

B. Major
The unit requirement in a major varies substantially from major to major. Refer to the Department listings for the specific requirements of any particular major.

C. Upper-Division Baccalaureate Writing Requirement
The university requires that every person completing a bachelor’s degree under 1980-81 and later catalog requirements, demonstrate writing ability acceptable for graduation. The upper-division writing requirement has two parts; students must satisfy each:

Upper-division course requirement: Each major requires that students pass a specially designated upper-division course or courses of at least three semester units.

Examination requirement: The university faculty requires that each student pass the
University Examination in Writing Proficiency (EWP), which has been designed to measure writing ability.

Courses. The University Board on Writing Proficiency must certify the course or courses that each major department designates to fulfill the requirement. Departments and programs may specify either a single course of at least three units that involves intensive instruction in writing, or two or more courses (a total of at least six units) in which students are required to write one or more lengthy papers, or several shorter ones, which involve the organization and expression of complex ideas. In these courses students will be given careful and timely evaluations of their writing and suggestions for improvement. An assessment of writing competence will be included in determining the final course grade.

Students must pass these courses with a grade of C (2.0) or better. A list of courses designated for each major will appear in the class schedule each semester.

Examination. After completing 60 units toward the baccalaureate, students must take the Examination in Writing Proficiency (EWP). To avoid delaying graduation, students should not postpone taking the exam later than the junior year. The EWP consists of a 90-minute essay. The EWP is evaluated by faculty selected throughout the university who are trained specifically for this responsibility. A limited number of undergraduate students who have failed the EWP two or more times may apply for a specially designated non-credit writing course, English 199, Intensive Writing Review. Passing this course is equivalent to passing the examination. This course will not count toward graduation requirements, nor will it satisfy the upper-division writing course requirement described above. Information about registration for the EWP and testing dates is published in the Class Schedule each semester.

Petitions. In certain cases, students may petition the University Board on Writing Proficiency for exemption from or modification of the requirement.

  1. Transfer students and candidates for a second baccalaureate may be certified as meeting the requirement after they have submitted to the Board acceptable evidence of having completed the equivalent to CSUF’s upper-division requirement.
  2. Students may petition for substitution of an alternative to the EWP when exceptional circumstances (e.g., a clinically identified learning disability), make the examination inappropriate. Petitions must include documentation of the special circumstances and propose specific alternative means of demonstrating writing proficiency.

D. Second Language Requirement
Cal State Fullerton has postponed for two years the second language requirement that was scheduled to take effect in fall 2006 in order to further study the impact of this requirement on enrollment. Students who enter CSUF as first-time freshmen in fall 2008, or who enter a community college in fall 2008 with intent to transfer to CSUF, will be required to show proficiency in a second language as a condition of graduation in most majors with a bachelor’s degree, with exceptions for high-unit majors. Proficiency is normally demonstrated by achievement of an intermediate level of competency in a language other than English or American Sign Language. Students can satisfy the Second Language Graduation Requirement in a variety of ways. Students may satisfy the requirement before enrolling at CSUF or after enrolling at CSUF.

  1. Satisfying the Requirement Prior to Entry to the University: The second language graduation requirement may be met by any one of the following options prior to admission:

    a. Completion of study of a language other than English such that the total instruction in language other than English is the equivalent of three years of high school study in the same language, calculating two semesters of high school instruction as the equivalent of one semester of college instruction. Thus, two semesters of high school plus two semesters of college instruction in the same language satisfies the requirement, as does four semesters of high school plus one semester of college instruc- tion in the same language.
    b. Being awarded a diploma from a high school in which the language of instruction was not English.
    c. Intermediate proficiency as certified by a recognized authority (e.g., Alliance Français, Goethe Institut, Instituto Cervantes, Japan Foundation).
    d. Advanced Placement Foreign Language Examination score of 3 or better.
    e. Completion of three semesters of a second language, in the same language at a community college or university.
    f. Completion of a CAN 8-level second language course at a community college or university.

    Students will be required to submit official high school or college transcripts or other admissions documents to verify the completion of this requirement.

  2. Satisfying the Second Language Requirement after CSUF Enrollment: If proficiency has not been demonstrated through one of the above options, students must meet the CSUF second language proficiency graduation requirement by completing one of the following options:

    a. Passing an intermediate-level proficiency test as described in the ACTFL/ILR (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages/ Interagency Languages Roundtable) guidelines in any two of four skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
    b. Completing further study of a language other than English such that the total instruction in language other than English is the equivalent of three years of high school study in the same language, calculating two semesters of high school instruction as the equivalent of one semester of college instruction.
    c. Successful completion of a study abroad program of one semester or more in duration in a country in which the language of instruction was not English.

E. Minors
A minor is a means by which students can enrich their academic preparation through concentrated study of a discipline related to, or different from, their declared major. Although students can pursue multiple majors, many decide that declaring a major and a minor is a more desirable choice. A minor provides a structured selection of courses to augment or complement the student’s major by broadening a student’s academic experience or serving as preparation for a specific career. A minor can extend the student’s knowledge in two related areas (e.g., English and speech communication, anthropology and foreign languages, sociology and women’s studies) or in two disparate ones (e.g., business administration and computer science, economics and foreign languages, mathematics and psychology). A minor can also enable students to systematically explore fields of knowledge about which they are curious or enthusiastic. Students may wish to consult with an adviser in their major department for recommendations of suitable minor fields of study.

A minor is not required for the baccalaureate; however, students may elect to complete one or more minors from those available and have that noted on their records. In completing the requirements for a minor, a minimum of twelve (12) units, of which at least six (6) must be upper-division,must be distinct and different from the units used to complete the requirements of the major. Any units above this minimum requirement that can be used to satisfy both the requirements for the minor and for the major may be double counted. General education courses, however, may be used to meet minor requirements.

Below is a list of currently approved minors:

Afro-Ethnic Studies
American Studies
Asian Studies
Asian American Studies
Business Administration
Chicano Studies
Child and Adolescent Development
Christian Studies
Computer Science
Criminal Justice
European Studies
Health Science
Human Services
Information Systems
International Politics
Jewish Studies
Latin American Studies
Law, Politics and Society
Liberal Studies
Mathematics for Teacher Education
Military Science
Natural Sciences
Political Science
Public Administration
Public Relations
Religious Studies
Speech Communication
Women’s Studies

F. Electives
After fulfilling the requirements in general education, and a specific major (and possibly a minor), each student is free to choose the rest of the courses needed to complete the semester units required for graduation. Different majors vary considerably in both the number of units they require in their own and related fields. They also vary considerably in the amount of latitude or choice they permit in selecting courses to satisfy the major requirement.

The general education requirement encourages freedom of choice within the natural sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, and basic subjects. Students at the university use their electives to broaden their general education, deepen some aspect of their specialties, pursue work in related fields, and satisfy curiosities and enthusiasms for particular subjects or areas of interest.

Advisement on general education and electives is provided by the Academic Advisement Center.

G. Multiple Majors and Second Baccalaureate Degrees
Within the units required for the baccalaureate, it is possible for a student to complete the requirements for more than one major within one degree (for example a B.S.) when the additional major is within the same degree (in this case, another B.S.). At least 24 units, including 12 at the upper-division level, in each bachelor of arts major, or 36 units, including 18 at the upper-division level, in each bachelor of science major, must be applied exclusively to the respective major and may not be used to meet requirements in other majors or in general education. The student shall declare the additional major with the appropriate department not later than the beginning of the student’s final year of study.

The completion of additional majors will be noted at the time of graduation by appropriate entries on the academic record and in the commencement program.

It is possible for a student to complete a major in one degree (for example a B.S.) concurrently with an additional major from a different degree (for example a B.A.). This process is possible as long as the unit restrictions mentioned in the preceding paragraph, as well as minimum residence requirements, are met for both degrees. The completion of the second degree will be noted on the student’s academic record.

Second baccalaureate degrees:

First degree completed elsewhere, second at Fullerton.

Students seeking a bachelor’s degree from Fullerton after having received a baccalaureate from another institution may qualify for graduation with the approval and recommendation of the faculty upon completion of the following:

(1) General education requirements: Students holding a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution will be held to (a) the breadth requirements of Executive Order 595, i.e., 12 units in each of the areas of arts and humanities, social sciences, and math and science, (b) the statutory requirements and (c) the English Writing Proficiency requirements. Students will not be held to specific CSUF categories or courses.

(2) all requirements in the major field of study

(3) residence and scholarship requirements

Two baccalaureates from Fullerton.

With the approval and recommendation of the faculty, a student may qualify for a second baccalaureate under the following circumstances:

(1) a minimum of 30 units have been earned in residence after the first degree has been granted.

(2) a minimum of 24 upper-division units are included among the 30 units mentioned above

(3) a minimum of 12 units must be offered by the department in which the second degree is being sought

Units included in second baccalaureate programs may not apply to graduate degrees or credential programs.

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A candidate for graduation must file an application for a graduation requirements check before the first day of instruction of the semester prior to the semester in which the student expects to graduate. The $115.00 graduation and diploma fee is required when the application is filed. Application forms are available at the Admissions and Records Service Center.

Candidates for the baccalaureate should refer to the semester class schedule for application filing dates. A senior should have completed at least 90 units (including the current work in progress) and a substantial portion of the major requirements before requesting a graduation check. If the candidate does not complete the requirements in the semester indicated, a request for change of graduation date must be submitted to the Office of Admissions and Records. The cost is $10.00.

Faculty Approval and Recommendation
Under provisions of the Academic Senate, the Office of Admissions and Records publishes a list of degree candidates twice a year: in the fall and in the spring (for both spring and summer graduates). After review and approval by the faculty, and upon verification of the completion of requirements, diplomas are issued with the last day of the respective term as the official date of graduation.

Annual commencement exercises are held at the end of the spring semester for those who completed degree requirements mid-year and for those completing degree requirements in the spring semester or summer session. The president of the university, with the authority of the Board of Trustees, confers all degrees, subject to the completion of remaining requirements.

Note: Students completing bachelor degree requirements who wish to continue their studies at the university for postbaccalaureate or graduate degree objectives must apply for admission declaring their new objectives, e.g., educational credential(s) or master’s degree.

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