Student Success and Graduation
CSULB’s core academic purpose is to graduate students with highly valued degrees. Graduation rates for CSULB students have increased dramatically in recent years and the length of time it takes students to complete degrees has decreased. The availability of needed courses and support by academic advisors and learning communities greatly improved graduation rates. These improvements were key to CSULB’s recognition as one of “America’s Best Colleges and Universities” (U.S. News and World Report) and as a “Best Value College” and “Best in the West” (The Princeton Review).
Frequently Asked Questions
Successful students know the answers to these frequently asked questions. Please read them carefully. Knowing these answers can help you avoid pitfalls during your first semesters on campus. For further information, contact your major advisor or the University Center for Undergraduate Advising at (562) 985-4837.
- What courses do I need to take to graduate? Use your Academic Requirements Report to determine your degree requirements, including specific course requirements. The Degree Planner online tool in MyCSULB can be used to map your path to graduation. Each time you enter the Degree Planner, it determines what degree requirements you have met and what is still remaining. The Planner then provides a recommended plan promoting timely graduation. If you have questions about your recommended plan, contact your major advisor, college advising center, or the University Center for Undergraduate Advising if you are undeclared.
- How can I tell what requirements I still need to meet before I graduate? Use MyCSULB to check your Academic Requirements Report. Icons next to each requirement reflect the status of that requirement. If you have an Incomplete (I) or Report in Progress (RP) grade, make sure you complete the requirements so that you receive a final grade before the end of your graduation term. Also, check your To Do list for any outstanding transcripts needed from other institutions. If you have questions, contact your major advisor, college advising center, or the University Center for Undergraduate Advising.
- Can my General Education (GE) courses be used for both GE and for my major (“double counted”)? For students matriculating in Fall 2018 or thereafter, there is no limit to the number of units that can be double-counted towards the major. Under the 2012 GE pattern, up to 13 units may double count for the major and GE (35 GE units must be taken outside your major department). Students following other GE patterns should review their Academic Requirements Report with their major advisor or see an advisor in the University Center for Undergraduate Advising if they have questions (Student Sucess Center, Room 140, 562-985-4837).
- How many units will transfer from a California Community College to CSULB? Only 70 units of transferable coursework will apply to your bachelor’s degree. All additional transferable coursework will receive subject credit only.
- Do I have to take any General Education courses? If you have received full GE Certification, you are only required to complete an additional (9) nine units of upper-division GE courses (3 units in categories B, C and D for those matriculating in 2018 and thereafter). You may also need to fulfill the ‘U.S. History’ and ‘Constitution and American Ideals’ requirements. If you have not been certified as having met the transfer pattern, you must satisfy CSULB’s GE requirements.
- What does General Education (GE) Certification mean? There are three GE certification processes. Two may be completed at the California Community College (CCC). They are either (1) the California State University (CSU) Transfer Pattern or (2) the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). The third certification process may be completed at another CSU. In all cases, GE certification means that you have completed your lower-division GE at a CCC or at another CSU.
- Does having an AA degree from a California Community College mean I am GE Certified? The minimum requirements for general AA degrees do not include the lower-division GE pattern required by CSULB. The completion of both an AA degree along with the specified CSU GE or IGETC pattern provide the appropriate GE courses for possible GE certification. In addition, the Associate Degrees for Transfer (AA-T, AS-T) do include GE Certification as part of the degree program. After transfer, CSULB also requires an additional 9 units of upper-division GE courses. (The 9 upper division units must consist of 3 units each in categories B, C and D for those matriculating 2018 and thereafter).
- What is partial General Education (GE) Certification? Partial Certification means that transfer students have completed subject and unit requirements in one or more GE categories, but not all.
CSULB offers 85 baccalaureate majors (see CSULB Colleges and Departments for a list of degree programs and admission requirements). Baccalaureate degrees are constructed of three interrelated areas: (1) the breadth component, called the 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
- Completion of a minimum of 120 units for the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science. Completion of the minimum number of units which could range from 120 to 132 required by the major program for the 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.
- 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.
- 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 or Open University cannot be counted toward fulfillment of the residence requirement.
- Completion of the General Education program, described below, including at least 9 units in upper-division courses completed at CSULB.
- 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 Degree Planner provides 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 and review their Academic Requirements Report.
- Satisfactory fulfillment of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR), which requires a Writing Intensive Course (see: GWAR Information and Requirements.)
- The grade point average standards of Section 40402 of Title 5 of the California Administrative Code requires undergraduate students, at graduation, to have completed the following with a grade point average of at least 2.0:
- All units applicable toward a degree, including those accepted by transfer from another institution,
- All units in the major, and
- All units attempted at the campus granting the degree.
- Formal approval by the faculty of the university.
Restrictions on Units That May Be Counted Toward the Minimum Required for the Baccalaureate
Activity courses provide practice in such areas as music, dance, physical education and Student Recreation and Leadership (SRL). 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, theatre arts, or kinesiology and no more than four units of activity course credit in SRL, up to a total of no more than 20 units in all areas.
No more than 70 units of courses from a Community College may be counted toward the minimum unit requirement for the baccalaureate degree. (For more detail, see the section on Transfer Credit in the Academic Information and Regulations 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. Students looking to transfer units to a graduate program should consult with their Graduate Advisor as no more than 30% of the units required for a graduate degree may be from transfer/non-matriculated units.
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. Permission of the College is required for courses with pre-requisites. Open University enrollment does NOT constitute admission to CSULB. For more information call the College of Professional and International Education (CPIE) at (562) 985-5561.
Self Support Courses
There is no limit on CPIE Self Support course credit, including Winter, May and Summer Session, applicable to the degree if taken while in matriculated status in the degree program.
The Significance of General Education
The components of an undergraduate education include the major, in which the student acquires depth of knowledge, electives that allow a student to explore personal or career related interests, and General Education (GE). General Education allows students to develop competency in academic skills that are essential to all academic majors. In addition, General Education offers students broad knowledge beyond the focus of the major, as well as exposure to the rich diversity of the human experience.
The General Education program at CSULB sequentially introduces students to the mastery of academic skills that will provide graduates with an understanding of self, the physical world, the development and functioning of human society, and its cultural and artistic endeavors, as well as an understanding of the methodologies, value systems, and thought processes employed in human inquiries. The program involves three stages: Foundation, Explorations, and Upper-Division Courses. Students who begin their college careers at CSULB will complete all three stages, while transfer students who enter the university with a Full General Education Certification (including the US Constitution and CA State and Local Government requirements) will be expected to complete only the upper division requirements.
General Education Breadth requirements are specified pursuant to Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Sections 40402.1, 40403, 40405, 40405.1, 40405.2, 40405.4, and 40508, and Sections 1 and 2 of Chapter III of the Standing Orders of the Board of Trustees of the California State University, and Executive Order 1100. CSU General Education Breadth requirements have been designated to complement the major program and electives completed by each baccalaureate candidate to assure that graduates have made noteworthy progress toward becoming truly educated persons. These requirements are designed to provide the knowledge, skills, experiences, and perspectives that will enable CSU students to expand their capacities to take part in a wide range of human interests and activities; to confront personal, moral, and social problems that are an inevitable part of human life; and to cultivate both the requisite skills and enthusiasm for lifelong learning.
General Education Requirements for students with catalog rights of Fall 2018 or later (48-49 units*)
The General Education curriculum is organized as three sequential phases. The first is the Foundation, a group of courses designed to provide fundamental learning skills. The second is Explorations, courses distributed across the curriculum that are intended to provide an opportunity to explore the various way of acquiring and examining knowledge while continuing to develop learning skills. The third phase includes upper-division courses, spread equally between Categories B, C, and D. (*Students majoring in departments within the College of Engineering are required to take 42- 45 units of GE).
All students must complete the distribution pattern described below.
(Fall 2012-Spring 2018)
GE Requirement as of Fall 2018
(Fall 2019 or Later)
English Language, Communication, and Critical Thinking
Taken with B1a or B1b
Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning
Upper Division in Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning
Arts and Humanities
Arts: Arts, Cinema, Dance, Music, Theater
Humanities: Literature, Philosophy, LOTE
Explorations in the C1 Arts or C2 Humanities
Upper Division in Arts or Humanities
US History (includes CA history)
Constitution and American Ideals
Social Sciences and Citizenship
Upper Division in Social Sciences
E (LD* or UD*)
Lifelong Learning and Self Development
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development
E (LD* only)
*LD = Lower Division (100 and 200 level courses); UD = Upper Division (300 and 400 level courses)
Students under earlier G.E. plans or who need help with the above chart should contact their College Advising Center or the University Center for Undergraduate Advising, http://www.csulb.edu/undergraduate-advising/university-center-undergraduate-advising-ucua
General Education Policies
Only courses on the General Education Master Course List at the time the student takes the course shall count for General Education.
For students entering Fall 2018 or later, there is no limit on the number of courses that fulfill (double count for) both major and GE requirements.
Students who entered in Fall 2012-Spring 2018 must take a minimum of thirty-five (35) General Education units outside the student’s major. Courses in the major department include all courses housed in the department offering the major, regardless of prefix. (For example, courses in French and Italian are in the same department.)
A cross-categorized course may be counted (at the student’s option) in any one of the approved categories A-E, but not in more than one. Where appropriate exams exist, Foundation and Explorations requirements may be met by external examinations, such as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams.
Students are expected to complete the upper-division requirement at CSULB. An exception will be made for students who transfer from another CSU campus who have completed some of the upper-division GE requirement at that campus. To be accepted toward the upper-division requirement at CSULB, the transfer course must be approved for upper-division general education credit at the campus offering the course. Other courses may be used, on an individual basis, to meet the requirement if they are approved for General Education at the campus offering the course and if the purpose of the course meets the criteria for a CSULB upper-division GE course.
Students who transfer from baccalaureate institutions other than the CSU after completing upper-division General Education courses may petition to have one or more such courses accepted toward the upper-division GE requirement. Such petitions will be evaluated on the basis of the criteria above.
GE Requirements for Returning and Transfer Students
Students who have not maintained continuous attendance status shall be subject to the General Education requirements in effect at the time of their reentry to the university, with the following exceptions.
Previous CSULB students who were under earlier General Education requirements and who before breaking continuous attendance needed no more than three additional courses to complete the entire General Education requirement shall be allowed to complete the General Education requirement in effect at the time of the previous attendance. However, all students must complete at least 9 units of upper-division General Education courses. Previous CSULB students who were under the earlier General Education requirements and who before breaking continuous attendance completed one or more upper-division GE courses shall be required to complete additional upper-division courses as needed to complete the total of 9 upper-division units.
Transfer students who enter CSULB with full GE certification from a California Community College (including US Constitution requirement of CA and Local Government) need not complete any other GE courses except the upper-division General Education courses, which cannot be met through transfer from a community college. Transfer students who enter CSULB without full GE certification or subject-area (partial) certification from a California Community College must either complete the CSULB GE requirements, or complete and obtain a GE certification from a California Community College which will be honored as meeting CSULB’s lower-division GE requirements.
Choosing a major is one of the most important, and sometimes most difficult, academic decisions students will make during their college careers. There may be many possible choices of major that would provide preparation for a given career. The CSULB College and Departments page showcases degree choices available and where to find information in 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 academic and student services professionals to assist them in making this important decision.
Declaration of a Major
CSULB students must meet precise major specific criteria in order to declare a major. While freshmen are admitted directly into some majors, many majors require that students begin as pre-majors and then declare the major if and when they complete the major specific criteria. All students must have a declared major by the time they reach 60 earned units (PS 06-04). This applies to students who are Undeclared or are currently in a pre-major status.
Except for “Highly Impacted” majors, native CSULB students can declare a major if they meet the major specific minimum cumulative GPA and required lower division preparation. Students should use the Degree Planner to ensure they are following a timely path to graduation. There are limitations on the ability to add a second major or to add/change degree objectives based on the following policies- Academic Progress Rules for Undergraduate Programs (http://www.csulb.edu/divisions/aa/grad_undergrad/senate/policy/academic/alphabetical/ProgressRules.html) and Timely Graduation for Undergraduate Students (http://www.csulb.edu/student-records/timely-graduation). Students must declare all degree objectives before reaching 90 units.
Steps for Pre-majors to Declare the Major
Students who are in a pre-major must meet major-specific criteria in order to declare the major; therefore, the student should review the criteria in Major Specific Declaration Requirements for CSULB Students carefully. Students can check progress towards satisfying the pre-major requirements by reviewing the Academic Requirements Report available in ‘Academics Section’ of the Student Center in MyCSULB. Students should use the Degree Planner to ensure they are following a timely path to graduation. Be aware that “Highly Impacted” majors are very competitive and have additional requirements. If all major specific criteria are satisfied, the major advisor will electronically submit the request to the Office of Enrollment Services. Please note that CSULB’s Academic Progress Rules for Undergraduate Programs policy may affect a student’s ability to continue in his/her degree objective.
Change of Major or Other Objective
Students wishing to change a degree objective must meet the major-specific criteria for the new major as defined in Major Specific Declaration Requirements for CSULB Students. The following CSULB policies may affect the student’s ability to change majors: Academic Progress Rules for Undergraduate Programs and Timely Graduation for Undergraduate Students. Students should use the Degree Planner to ensure they are following a timely path to graduation.
Before the student satisfies the specified criteria, the student should meet with the department academic advisor to discuss the possibility of changing his/her major. If the major advisor supports the request, the advisor will electronically submit the request to Enrollment Services. Be aware that additional information may be requested to ensure compliance with the policies mentioned above prior to processing of the request.
The evaluation of credits transferred to the University is based in part upon the academic objective indicated on the application for admission. Therefore, students should be aware that under some circumstances transfer courses accepted for one purpose may not be acceptable for other purposes.
Declaring a Second Major
Students may be allowed to complete the requirements for two baccalaureate programs concurrently in accordance with the Timely Graduation Policy. Students wishing to add a second major must meet the major-specific criteria for the new major as defined in Major Specific Declaration Requirements for CSULB Students. While students are encouraged to pursue their academic interests, all degree objectives (e.g., majors, minors, certificates) must be completed within 120% of the units allowed for the primary degree as stipulated in CSULB’s Timely Graduation for Undergraduate Students policy. Students must declare all degree objectives before reaching 90 units. Also note that CSULB’s Academic Progress Rules for Undergraduate Programs policy stipulates that if any one of a student’s three GPAs is below 2.5, the student must have the approval of his/her primary major advisor to add any additional degree objectives. Please note that students whose major GPA is near or below a 2.0 are unlikely to be allowed to pursue additional degree objectives until they have improved their major GPA. Before the student satisfies the specified criteria, the student should meet with the department academic advisor to discuss the possibility of adding the additional major. If the major advisor supports the request, the advisor will electronically submit the request to Enrollment Services. Be aware that additional information may be requested to insure compliance with the policies mentioned above prior to processing the request. 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.
Minors and Certificates
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. A minor must be pursued concurrently with a Bachelor’s degree. A minor consists of a minimum of fifteen units, as specified by the department or program, at least six of which must be upper division. The minimum overall GPA in courses toward the minor is 2.0. A minimum of six units of coursework towards the minor must be taken at CSULB. Minors are awarded only as part of a baccalaureate degree. Students may not finish a minor after they have graduated. 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. 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. Note that the award of a minor will be reflected on your transcript, not on your diploma. Students must declare all degree objectives before reaching 90 units.
Most 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 require at least 12 units of coursework, of which at least 9 units must be upper-division. Courses taken to fulfill the requirements for the baccalaureate degree 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 coursework used to meet baccalaureate certificate requirements. A grade point average of at least 2.0 must be maintained in the certificate program’s coursework. Note that the award of a certificate will be reflected on your transcript, not on your diploma; a separate certificate document will be issued. Students must declare all degree objectives before reaching 90 units.
While students are encouraged to pursue their academic interests, all degree objectives (e.g., majors, minors, certificates) must be completed within 120% of the units allowed for the primary degree as stipulated in CSULB’s Timely Graduation for Undergraduate Students policy. Also note that CSULB’s Academic Progress Rules for Undergraduate Programs policy stipulates that if any one of a student’s three GPAs is below 2.5, the student must have the approval of his/her primary major advisor to add any additional degree objectives. Please note that students whose major GPA is near or below a 2.0 are unlikely to be allowed to pursue additional degree objectives until they have improved their major GPA. If the program advisor for the minor or certificate supports the request for an additional degree objective, the advisor will electronically submit the request to Enrollment Services. Be aware that additional information may be requested to ensure compliance with the policies mentioned above prior to the processing of the request.
Additional Baccalaureate Degrees
CSULB accepts applicants for a second B.A./B.S. in science, math, engineering, foreign languages, and nursing. Students applying for and accepted to a second baccalaureate degree program who have received their first baccalaureate degree or equivalent from an institution outside of the U.S. will be required to complete any deficiencies in the General Education pattern and will be evaluated for General Education on the same basis as undergraduates.
A graduated student who wishes to pursue an additional baccalaureate degree may be allowed to do so by completing a minimum of 30 units after the award of the most recent degree, of which 24 units must be from CSULB while in matriculated status in the degree program or earned as a senior and approved for post-baccalaureate credit. Any courses to be applied to the additional degree must be specified and taken in addition to those needed to satisfy the requirements of the first degree. In addition, the degree must contain a minimum of 24 upper-division units and a minimum of 12 units must be in the major. (See the Catalog section on admissions for restrictions on the admission of candidates for a second baccalaureate degree.)
Enrollment of Seniors in Graduate Courses
Undergraduates may enroll in graduate courses only under the conditions specified below:
Graduate Credit Earned as a Senior
Graduate credit usually may not be earned in advance of the baccalaureate degree. Seniors may, however, be granted approval to earn a maximum of 12 units of course work in the 400 and 500 levels designated as acceptable for graduate credit and taken at this university towards their prospective graduate programs (based upon faculty recommendation, academic performance [in general a grade‑point average of 3.0 (B) in the major], and promise of academic achievement in post‑graduate study). Approval is subject to the following conditions: (a) the course work must be in addition to that required for the undergraduate major; and (b) the undergraduate student must have an approval from the departmental graduate advisor and the department chair prior to enrollment (PS-92-08). In addition, any graduate units must be specifically reserved for inclusion in a future graduate degree.
In those areas in which graduate credit is for a credential only, approval must be obtained from the appropriate department in the College of Education. Requests submitted after completion of course(s) will not be approved.
Senior Enrollment in Graduate Courses for Undergraduate Credit
Under special conditions, seniors who have a 3.0 grade‑point average or better in their major and who have adequate undergraduate preparation in the subject may enroll in up to 12 units in the 500‑599 series to fulfill the elective requirements of the bachelor’s degree. The course work may not be applied to the units of 500‑600 level course work required by the department or college for the master’s degree. The student must have approval from the instructor and department chair before registration in the class(es) is permitted (PS 92-09).
Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)
In order to obtain a degree or certificate from CSULB, all students must demonstrate upper-division competence in academic writing in English. All students must attempt to fulfill the GWAR before filing a request to graduate.
Continuing students are required to attempt the writing placement test when they have earned between 30 and 50 units. Transfer students are urged to attempt the GPE prior to their enrollment at CSULB but are required to take the GPE in their first semester of enrollment.
Based on their score on the placement test, students who have been admitted or readmitted to CSULB in Fall 2016 or in a subsequent semester fulfill the GWAR by one of the following pathways:
- Students receiving scores of 11 or higher on the placement test will be required to complete a Writing Intensive course with a grade of “C” or better.
- Students receiving scores of 8, 9, or 10 on the placement test will be required to complete a GWAR portfolio course, including the submission of a portfolio that earns a passing score, and subsequently complete a Writing Intensive course with a grade of “C” or better.
- Students receiving scores of 7 or lower on the placement test will be required to successfully complete English 301A with a grade of “C” or better; to then complete a GWAR portfolio course with a grade of “C” or better, including the submission of a portfolio that earns a passing score; and subsequently complete a Writing Intensive course with a grade of “C” or better.
Undergraduate students with scores lower than 11 on the placement test will be required to begin the pathway to successfully complete the GWAR within two semesters of taking the test. These students must enroll in an appropriate pathway course each semester until they are deemed ready to take the Writing Intensive course. Registration may be prevented for students not complying with timely completion of the GWAR requirement by placing a GWAR hold. Students will be permitted to appeal to complete requirements concurrently if required for timely graduation. Appeals will be reviewed by the Associate Vice President, Undergraduate Studies.
Students Admitted Prior to Fall 2016
Based on their score on the placement test, students enrolled at CSULB prior to Fall 2016 fulfill the GWAR by one of the following pathways:
- Students receiving scores of 11 or higher on the placement test have satisfied the GWAR and may proceed with completion of other degree requirements.
- Students receiving scores of 8, 9, or 10 on the placement test will be required to complete a GWAR portfolio course, including the submission of a portfolio that earns a passing score.
- Students receiving scores of 7 or lower on the placement test must complete English 301A with a grade of “C” or better and must complete a GWAR portfolio course with a grade of “C” or better, including submission of a passing portfolio.
Undergraduate students with scores lower than 11 on the placement test will be required to begin the pathway within two semesters of taking the test. These students must enroll in an appropriate pathway course each semester until they have fulfilled the requirement. Registration may be prevented for students not complying with timely completion of the GWAR requirement.
GWAR Advising & Testing
Students who have questions about their next step or who need help selecting an appropriate GWAR portfolio course should contact a GWAR advisor at GWAR-Advisor@csulb.edu with any questions or to schedule an appointment. Information about the GWAR is available at www.csulb.edu/gwar. Students who attempted the WPE once prior to Fall 2010 may attempt the placement test a second time or may enroll in an appropriate GWAR course and submit a portfolio for assessment. Students can register for the placement test online at www.csulb.edu/testing. Students must pay a fee each time they take the test to cover the costs of test administration and scoring.
GWAR Registration Holds
If undergraduate students neglect to attempt the placement test by the time they earn 50 units or, if upper-division transfer students did not attempt the placement test in their first semester of residency, CSULB will place a hold on their privilege to register for classes. Students must register for and take the placement test to release this registration hold.
Students with compelling reasons can request deferrals at the Testing Department, LA5-173. If students fail to comply with requirements to enroll in a GWAR course, CSULB will place a hold on their privilege to register for classes. Students must contact a GWAR advisor GWAR-Advisor@csulb.edu to release this registration hold. It is imperative for timely degree completion that students make steady progress on fulfilling the requirements of the GWAR.
Dates and Requests to Graduate
The University awards degrees at the end of each of four terms in a year: January (work completed at the end of Winter session); May or June (end of the Spring semester); August (end of Summer Session); and December (end of the Fall semester.)
Seniors and graduate students who expect to receive degrees or certificates at the end of any semester, winter or summer session must apply to graduate well in advance. Spring or Summer candidates should apply for graduation online by the preceding October 15, and Fall or Winter candidates should apply online by the preceding March 1. While candidates may continue to apply online after these deadlines, an additional fee applies and names are not guaranteed to appear in the Commencement Program. The names of candidates who file within these deadlines will appear in the Commencement Program published each Spring. Publication of names in the program does not constitute graduation from the university. Credential students should apply in the Credential Center, located in the College of Education by March 1 for December completion and by October 1 for Spring and Summer sessions. Requests to graduate submitted later than the deadline will be processed after those submitted on time. The degree will be granted once all requirements have been completed, but the student’s name will not be printed in the Commencement Program.
Completion of Records and Requirements
Prior to receiving a degree, students are responsible for the following:
- Ensuring that the university has received official transcripts of all work completed at other institutions. For classes taken outside CSULB during the final semester or session, the transcripts must be submitted by the announced date, approximately one month after the official publicized graduation date. If transcripts are not received by the announced date, the graduation request may be cancelled.
- Completing all requirements for the degree, including the minimum number of units. Units will not be counted toward the minimum if they are above the acceptable total in certain categories, as listed in the degree requirements, or if they are a repetition of a course for which credit has already been counted. Any substitutions or waivers of course requirements must be submitted by the advisor, prior to the last day of the final semester or session.
- Completing all “In Progress” and “Incomplete” courses. No additional work may be completed after the degree is awarded. No additional plans (minors, majors, or certificates) can be added after a degree is conferred. No grade can be changed after the degree is awarded, except for a change resulting from a grade appeal. Any Incomplete remaining on the record as of the graduation date will be counted as if it were an “F,” with units attempted but no grade points earned, unless the instructor has specified on the Incomplete contract that some other grade be recorded.
Final review of records begins three weeks after final exams in the student’s last term. If all degree requirements are complete, the degree and any honors are added to the transcript. The transcript is the official verification of the degree.
It is the student’s responsibility to submit records of all changes in the record no later than the last day of the final semester or session. Such materials include transcripts from other institutions and amendments, substitutions, waivers, and grade changes.
Honors for Undergraduate Students
- Graduation with Honors
- Latin Honors
The following grade-point average (GPA) criteria are used to identify undergraduate students eligible for the honors specified:
Summa Cum Laude: GPA equal to or greater than 3.950,
Magna Cum Laude: GPA equal to or greater than 3.750 but less than 3.950, and
Cum Laude: GPA equal to or greater than 3.500 but less than 3.750.
Undergraduate students may be considered eligible for honors at graduation provided that a minimum of 45 units are earned at California State University, Long Beach. For the first baccalaureate degree, the GPA shall be determined from units earned at CSULB plus transferred units. For the second baccalaureate degree, the GPA shall be determined only by courses taken after the first degree was awarded that are also required by the second major. Latin Honors will be noted on the diploma and transcript.
Master’s, credential, post-baccalaureate certificate, and doctoral students are not eligible for Latin honors.
- University Honors Program
An undergraduate student must complete 24 credits in Honors (General Honors Plan 1-for incoming first-year students) or 15 credits in Honors (General Honors Plan II-for transfer students and continuing CSULB students) and maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 or better in Honors and in all university courses attempted to graduate from the University Honors Program. Students who successfully complete the academic requirements of the University Honors Program will be awarded a University Honors Program certificate and medallion. They will also receive the designation “General Honors - University Honors Program” on their transcript.
- Honors in the Major
Departments may develop an honors curriculum in the major. The honors curriculum must contain a minimum of nine additional units. Honors in the Major are noted on the transcript.
- Honor Lists
Undergraduate students exhibiting outstanding scholastic achievement are honored by being included on the President’s List or Dean’s List. Such recognition will be noted on the transcript each term.
- President’s List
Students will be placed on the President’s List to honor them for academic achievement each semester in which they complete 12 or more graded course units with a semester GPA equal to or greater than 3.750. Students earning fewer than 12 graded course units per semester will be placed on the President’s List in the spring semester of the academic year in which they accumulate 12 or more graded course units with an academic year GPA equal to or greater than 3.750.
- Dean’s List
Students will be placed on the Dean’s List to honor them for academic achievement each semester in which they complete 12 or more graded course units with a semester GPA equal to or greater than 3.500 but less than 3.750. Students earning fewer than 12 graded course units per semester will be placed on the Dean’s List in the spring semester of the academic year in which they accumulate 12 or more graded course units with an academic year GPA equal to or greater than 3.500 but less than 3.750.
- Departmental Honors
With the approval of the dean of the college, departments may elect to award departmental honors to their graduates based on GPA and/or other criteria determined by the department. The number of honors awarded by a department shall be limited to three students or five percent of graduates, whichever is larger. Departmental honors will not be noted on the transcript.
Timely Graduation for Undergraduate Students
In order to provide access to the university’s undergraduate major and minor programs for as many qualified students as possible, this policy is established to ensure timely graduation of undergraduate students.
Students may earn up to 120% of the number of units required for the degree in their declared primary major. Any additional degree objectives (e.g., majors, minors, certificates) must be able to be completed within the additional units allowed and must be declared prior to earning 90 units. For the purpose of defining unit limits in this policy:
Units transferred from other institutions in excess of 60 units will be excluded from the unit limits.
Units earned by Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and other external exams, military credit, pre-baccalaureate unit credit, as well as unit credit by examination are excluded.
After earning 90 units, students may change degree objectives only if they submit a plan demonstrating that all degree objectives can be completed within the 120% unit limit applicable to the higher unit major.
Students who have not already filed to graduate by the time they have earned 100% of the units required for the degree in their declared primary major must file to graduate and submit a plan to graduate within the unit limits defined in this policy.
Students requesting an exception to the limits in this policy should file a Timely Graduation appeal. The appeal must include a rationale and a Degree Planner Plan to graduate.
If an exception is not approved, students whose plan to graduate exceeds 120% of the number of units required for the degree in their declared primary major may be subject to restrictions on enrollment. If the student has earned any major regardless of whether he or she has declared that major, a degree will be conferred in that major. If the student has not earned a major, enrollment will be restricted to courses required to graduate in the major for which graduation is most likely to occur in a reasonable time.
- Phi Beta Kappa - Founded at the College of William and Mary in 1776, it is the oldest and most prestigious honor society for students of the liberal arts and sciences. A chapter was established at California State University, Long Beach in 1977.
Graduating seniors are elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa on the basis of extraordinary scholarly performance at this University, after study of their records by faculty members who are themselves members of Phi Beta Kappa. No action on the part of the student is necessary to initiate consideration. Inquiries should be directed to the President of the University chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, Dr. Steven Yamarik, Department of Economics.
Two additional societies which may elect students from all academic areas are:
- Mortar Board - Founded in 1918 as an honor society focusing on scholarship, leadership, and service. Mortar Board was the first national honor society founded by and for college senior women, and the membership expanded to include men in 1975. The California State University, Long Beach Cap and Gown Chapter was founded in 1972, and grew out of an honor club established here by seven women in 1963. The Cap and Gown Chapter is one of over 200 Mortar Board Chapters, with a total national membership of over 250,000 dedicated, active scholars. Mortar Board’s focus is on collaboration and balancing positive ideology with practical leadership building experiences. Mortar Board holds that both community service and dedication to academic excellence must remain constant in order to provide a full college career. Membership is extended to service-oriented CSULB seniors who maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.
- Phi Kappa Phi - Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, it is the oldest and largest national honor society which recognizes and encourages superior scholarship in all academic disciplines. Chapter 86 was established at California State University, Long Beach, in 1963.
Admission to Phi Kappa Phi is by invitation only and requires nomination and approval by the chapter and national society. Membership for juniors, seniors, and graduate students is based on integrity of character, one year residence in the University, and outstanding scholarship. Inquiries should be directed to the President of the University chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, Dr. C. J. Walter, c/o College of Business.
Other societies may limit membership to particular academic areas. Among these organizations at California State University, Long Beach are the following:
- Beta Alpha Psi (Accounting) - National scholastic fraternity to give recognition to excellence in the field of accounting.
- Beta Gamma Sigma (Business Administration) - National honorary business society to recognize superior academic performance.
- Chi Epsilon (Civil Engineering) - National honor society open to Civil Engineering majors with a 2.9 GPA.
- Chi Sigma Iota (Counseling) - International honor society open to graduate students with a GPA of 3.5, scholars, and practitioners in the counseling profession.
- Eta Kappa Nu (Electrical Engineering) - National honor society furthering area interests and promoting scholarship. GPA requirement for seniors is 2.8, for juniors 3.0.
- Kappa Delta Pi (National honor society for teachers) - encourages high professional, intellectual, and personal standards. Recognizes outstanding contributions to education.
- Kappa Tau Alpha - National honor society that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication.
- Omicron Nu (Family and Consumer Sciences) - National honor society recognizing superior scholarship and promoting leadership and research in the field of Family and Consumer Sciences.
- Phi Alpha (Social Work) - National honor society to improve the goals of social work on campus. GPA requirement 3.0.
- Phi Alpha Theta (History) - National honor society in history, founded to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians.
- Phi Beta Delta (International Education) - National society, founded at CSULB, recognizes students from all disciplines with high GPAs and extensive involvement in international education or international studies.
- Phi Delta Gamma (Scholarship) - National honor society which fosters academic achievement and professional preparation.
- Phi Delta Kappa (Education) - National organization which promotes service, research, and leadership in education. Members include both students and faculty.
- Phi Epsilon Kappa (Physical Education) - National society for recognition in sports and physical education. 3.0 GPA requirement and faculty recommendation.
- Phi Mu Alpha Infonia (Music) - National organization for students in music. Promotes music in America, especially contemporary American music.
- Phi Alpha Alpha (Public Administration) - National society to encourage scholarship among students of public administration.
- Phi Sigma Tau (Philosophy) - National honor society for students with a strong undergraduate concentration in philosophy.
- Pi Kappa Lambda (Music) - National honor society for scholastic achievement in music.
- Pi Lambda Theta (Education) - National organization for undergraduate and graduate students. Purpose is to maintain high standards of scholarship and preparation for teaching.
- Pi Mu Epsilon (Mathematics) - National honor society recognizing distinction in mathematics.
- Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science) - National honor society for political scientists. Open by invitation to upper-division and graduate students with a 3.0 GPA.
- Pi Tau Sigma (Mechanical Engineering) - National honorary fraternity encouraging and recognizing outstanding scholastic achievement of students in the field.
- Psi Chi (Psychology) - National honor society recognizing distinction in Psychology. Sponsors research and other participation in psychology.
- Sigma Alpha Iota (Music) - National organization for women in music. Aims to further the development of music in America through performance, study, and participation in both campus and community projects.
- Sigma Delta Pi - Capitulo Pi Chi - One of the purposes of this society is to honor those who attain excellence in the study of the Spanish language and in the study of the literatures and cultures of the Hispanic World.
- Sigma Theta Tau (Nursing) - International honor society recognizing superior scholastic achievement, leadership, and community service in nursing.
CSULB Alumni Association
The CSULB Alumni Association is the link between the University and its more than 325,000 graduates to garner their support for The Beach.
It sponsors various alumni programs, communication vehicles to inform alumni about their alma mater, and supports the University with departmental grants and student scholarships.
The Association is governed by a volunteer board of directors who serve as alumni ambassadors for the university, promote its mission, and reconnect alumni with the institution. Other volunteers assist with its other programs.
Membership dues for CSULB graduates and credential holders is a one-time $49 fee. For non-graduates, including alumni who took CSULB classes but did not graduate, the fees is $49 for the first year and $25 annually thereafter.
The main benefit for members is to keep informed about their alma mater through its magazine “Beach Connection” and e-communiques. In addition, members have access at all CSU libraries (check with campus library for alumni benefits), discounts at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center events and home 49er athletic games, discount on rental of the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, and access to various group insurance policies (medical, home, auto, life, etc.). Alumni also can access the CSULB Career Development Center at no cost for one year after graduation and an annual fee thereafter.
For more information about the CSULB Alumni Association, check the website at www.csulb.edu/alumni or call 562.985.5252.
Giving at the Beach
Though CSULB is a publicly supported institution, generous contributions to the Beach Fund are critical to keeping the University thriving. Supporting the Beach Fund allows the President and Deans to address the ongoing, immediate needs of the University. Contributions to all areas enhance state support and student fees to provide all students with access to a quality education. Such areas most impacted by your support are:
- Student Success and Access
- Teaching and Discovery
- Creativity and Innovation
- Science and Technology
- Global and Community Engagement
None of these successes can be accomplished with state funding alone. Gifts to the Beach Fund make it possible for our gifted students to earn the lifelong benefits of a quality CSULB education and protect the value of degrees already earned. Please feel free to contact the Office of Annual and Special Giving by phone at (562) 985-5294 or via email at BeachFund@csulb.edu.
MyBeach Senior Class Experience
The MyBeach program, housed within the Alumni Association, provides graduating CSULB seniors with an engaging experience during their last year at the Beach. This is created through event programming, the promotion of Beach Pride, and starting a tradition of giving back to CSULB through the Alumni Association.
The Senior Giving Campaign, housed in the Beach Fund, allows current CSULB student fundraisers to reach out to our soon-to-be-grads to introduce them to a tradition of giving back, starting with the Senior Class Campaign.