General Education Requirements

Courses in the following areas require a grade of C- or higher to earn GE credit:

  • A.1 Oral Communication
  • A.2 Written Communication
  • A.3 Critical Thinking
  • B.4 Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning

All other GE courses require a grade of D or higher to earn GE credit.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the New Ethnic Studies GE Course Requirement

What is the new Ethnic Studies (ES) requirement?

Ethnic Studies offers students the opportunity to study the historical development and social significance of race and ethnicity in the United States and to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for success in an increasingly diverse environment. The ES requirement, which is mandated by law and the CSU system, requires all students in the Fall 2021 catalog year and later to take 3 units of Ethnic Studies within General Education.

How are approved ES courses identified?

Courses that are fully approved to meet the ES requirement are designated as “Area F” courses within the GE program and will show up in the TDA.

Which departments offer Area F courses at CSUF?

Currently at CSUF, courses meeting Area F are from the departments of African American Studies (AFAM), Asian American Studies (ASAM) and Chicana and Chicano Studies (CHIC).

Who needs to complete the new ES requirement?

For now, only students in the Fall 2021 catalog year or later will need to complete Area F courses.

What happened to the American Government requirement?

As a consequence of adding Area F, the American Government requirement has been relocated from the GE program into a University Graduation requirement. The requirement that students complete one 3-unit course in American Government has not changed.

Understanding Your Catalog Year

What is my catalog year and why is it important?

The CSU and CSUF occasionally modify graduation requirements. If you have been in continuous attendance, you may choose to meet the CSUF campus graduation requirements in the CSUF catalog that was in effect in any of the three following instances:

  1. At the time you began continuous attendance at CSUF, OR if you are an upper-division transfer student, at the time you began continuous attendance at the California Community College,
  2. At the time you transferred to the CSU campus, or
  3. At the time you graduate from the CSU campus. Your right to choose one of these three options is called “catalog rights.” By maintaining continuous attendance and selecting option (1) or (2), you can be assured that your CSU campus graduation requirements will not change.

May I choose a Catalog Year other than what I was assigned when I first enrolled here?

Yes, as long as it aligns with one of the three circumstances listed above. Often, it is in your best interest to commit to the catalog year, that is, the General Education, major and minor requirements, that were in effect when you first enrolled at CSUF or when you first began uninterrupted enrollment at a community college on your pathway to junior transfer to CSUF. This is because that is the catalog that holds the requirements that you anticipated at the time that you prepared to apply for admission.

Your catalog year’s requirements come as a package. For example, you may not elect to fulfill the major requirements of one year’s catalog, and the General Education requirements of a different year.

READ MORE ABOUT CATALOG RIGHTS

 

GE Requirements by Catalog Year


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CATALOG YEARS
SUMMER 2018 & Earlier

51-52 Units Total

Area A - Core Competencies (9 units)
  • A.1 Oral Communication
  • A.2 Written Communication
  • A.3 Critical Thinking
Area B - Scientific Inquiry & Quantitative Reasoning (12-13 units)
  • B.1 Physical Science
  • B.2 Life Science
  • B.3 Laboratory Science
  • B.4 Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning
  • B.5 Implications & Exploraions in Mathematics and Natural Sciences ++
Area C - Arts & Humanities (12 units)
  • C.1 Introduction to the Arts
  • C.2 Introduction to the Humanities
  • C.3 Explorations in the Arts or Humanities++
  • C.4 Origins of World Civilizations
Area D - Social Sciences (15 units)
  • D.1 Introduction to the Social Sciences
  • D.2 World Ciivilizations & Cultures
  • D.3 American History, Institutions & Values
  • D.4 American Government
  • D.5 Explorations in Social Sciences ++
Area E - Lifelong Learning & Self Development (3 units ++)
 
Area Z - Cultural Diversity
  • One GE Course in C.3, D.5, or E must double-count as a Z course

++9 uppder-division units required from any combination of B, C, D or E

 

APPROVED GE COURSES FOR CATALOG YEARS SUMMER 2018 & EARLIER

CATALOG YEARS
Fall 2018-SUMMER 2019

48-49 Units Total

Area A - Core Competencies (9 units)
  • A.1 Oral Communication
  • A.2 Written Communication
  • A.3 Critical Thinking
Area B - Scientific Inquiry & Quantitative Reasoning (12-13 units)
  • B.1 Physical Science
  • B.2 Life Science
  • B.3 Laboratory Science
  • B.4 Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning
  • B.5 Implications & Explorations in Natural Sciences & Math/Quantitative
    Reasoning++
Area C - Arts & Humanities (12 units)
  • C.1 Introduction to the Arts
  • C.2 Introduction to the Humanities
  • C.3 Oriigins of World Civilizations
  • C.4 Explorations in the Arts & Humanties ++
Area D - Social Sciences (12 units)
  • D.1 Introduction to the Social Sciences
  • D.2 American History, Institutions & Values
  • D.3 American Government
  • D.4 Explorations in Social Sciences ++
Area E - Lifelong Learning & Self Development (3 units)
 
Overlay Z - Cultural Diversity
  • One GE Course in B, C, D or E must double-count as a Z course


++ upper-division categories; 3 units required in each

 

APPROVED GE COURSES FOR CATALOG YEARS FALL 2018-SUMMER 2019

CATALOG YEARS
Fall 2019-SUMMER 2021

48-49 Units Total

Area A - Core Competencies (9 units)
  • A.1 Oral Communication
  • A.2 Written Communication
  • A.3 Critical Thinking
Area B - Scientific Inquiry & Quantitative Reasoning (12-13 units)
  • B.1 Physical Science
  • B.2 Life Science
  • B.3 Laboratory Science
  • B.4 Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning
  • B.5 Implications & Explorations in Natural Sciences & Math/Quantitative
    Reasoning++
Area C - Arts & Humanities (12 units)

3 units from C.1; 3 units from C.2; 3 units from C.3; and 3 units from either C.1 or C.2

  • C.1 Introduction to the Arts
  • C.2 Introduction to the Humanities
  • C.3 Explorations in the Arts & Humanties ++
Area D - Social Sciences (12 units)
  • D.1 Introduction to the Social Sciences
  • D.2 American History, Institutions & Values
  • D.3 American Government
  • D.4 Explorations in Social Sciences ++
Area E - Lifelong Learning & Self Development (3 units)
 
Overlay Z - Cultural Diversity
  • One GE Course in B, C, D or E must double-count as a Z course

++ upper-division categories; 3 units required in each

 

APPROVED GE COURSES FOR CATALOG YEARS FALL 2019-SUMMER 2021

CATALOG YEARS
Fall 2021 & Beyond

48-49 Units Total

Area A - Core Competencies (9 units)
  • A.1 Oral Communication
  • A.2 Written Communication
  • A.3 Critical Thinking
Area B - Scientific Inquiry & Quantitative Reasoning (12-13 units)
  • B.1 Physical Science
  • B.2 Life Science
  • B.3 Laboratory Science
  • B.4 Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning
  • B.5 Implications & Explorations in Natural Sciences & Math/Quantitative
    Reasoning++
Area C - Arts & Humanities (12 units)

3 units from C.1; 3 units from C.2; 3 units from C.3; and 3 units from either C.1 or C.2**

  • C.1 Introduction to the Arts
  • C.2 Introduction to the Humanities
  • C.3 Explorations in the Arts & Humanities ++

** Designated high-unit majors may waive this requirement. See an advisor for more info.

Area D - Social Sciences (9 units)

Courses must be completed from 2 different disciplines

  • D.1 Introduction to the Social Sciences
  • D.2 American History, Institutions & Values
  • D.3 Explorations in Social Sciences ++
Area E - Lifelong Learning & Self Development (3 units)
 
Area F - Ethnic Studies (3 units)
 
Overlay Z - Cultural Diversity
  • One GE Course in B, C, D or E must double-count as a Z course
Graduation Requirement

An American Government course is required for students in this catalog year


++ upper-division categories; 3 units required in each

 

APPROVED GE COURSES FOR CATALOG YEARS FALL 2021 & BEYOND