Orientation Preview New Student Programs and Undergraduate Advising Center

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Class Planning Tips and Course Load

Most students (and parents) are strongly interested in graduating in four years. However, it requires proper planning and good advisement to maintain success while on the "4-Year-Plan".


Full-time Course Load

You will be planning a full-time schedule which translates to four to five classes, or between 12 to 16 units.

The number of units you take will depend on some of the following:


Commuting to SF State or living on campus?

Even when you live in San Franscisco, it is possible that travel time can take more than an hour each way. You need to plan for that as part of your daily schedule.

If you are commuting by car, we recommend an early start on your day - our parking lots can fill up by 9 a.m. And if you are coming from outside of San Francisco, please factor in commute and/or traffic time.

If commuting into the city is difficult for you, then BART is a great alternative to driving. This will relieve the challenges of driving through heavy traffic and finding parking. Plus, you can read or study (even get needed sleep!) on the train. San Francisco State offers free shuttle service that commutes between the Daly City BART station and campus. It is important to know that when you plan to have an early class (such as 8:00 a.m.) you might have to start at 5:00 a.m. in order to make it to class on time.

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Being a full time student and working too?

If possible, we recommend that you do not work during the first semester and only focus on your academics. There is a lot to take in and it is a time of adjustment to your new environment. Having a job can become challenging for you and might affect your academic performance. However, if you will be working, please consider the following:

  1. You are first and foremost a student!
  2. Work no more than 20 hours per week, if possible.
  3. Do not take more than 12 units per semester.
  4. If you qualify for work study (Financial Aid), work on campus.
  5. There are student assistant positions available on campus.
  6. Your faculty will not accept that your job is a good reason for incomplete homework assignments or bad attendance.

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Extracurricular activities – clubs, organizations, fraternities or sororities

We highly recommend that you get involved with the campus life. It would be great to take time and meet new people through various campus organizations, campus government, fraternities or sororities. Also, there are campus events available, such as free screening of new films, theatre and concerts. Hopefully, these extracurricular activities will enhance your over all SF State experience and academic success.

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Required courses based on placement tests (ELM and/or EPT)

If your ELM score is 48 or below and your EPT score 146 and below, then you are required to take course(s) during your freshman year to remediate in either or both of these subjects.

There are further details available in the next few pages.

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Next, we will talk about graduation tips - especially regarding class length and professor's expectations.


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