Graduation requirements are determined by the Bulletin year assigned to the student. Once assigned a Bulletin year, a student has Bulletin rights that can be maintained even though there may be changes in University graduation requirements.
If a student maintains continuous attendance in regular sessions at campuses of the California community colleges or the California State University or a combination of the two, the student may elect to meet the graduation requirements for San Francisco State University in effect: (1) at the time the student began his/her studies, (2) at the time the student entered SF State, or (3) at the time the student graduates from SF State. In other words, if a student maintains continuous attendance according to this policy, he/she has a choice of Bulletins.
Continuous attendance for purposes of Bulletin requirements is defined as matriculated attendance in at least one semester or two quarters each calendar year.
Students who change the major after being admitted to SF State or who declare a major after being admitted with an undeclared major, must meet the major requirements in effect at the time the major is changed or declared. Bulletin rights do not apply to course requirements concerning specific prerequisites; consult the department for applicability of course prerequisites.
An undergraduate student who has completed all of the requirements for graduation and has a total of 120 semester units is eligible to graduate with a baccalaureate degree. Students who exceed the minimum number of units required to graduate will be asked to file an approved degree completion plan each year until they graduate.
For award of the baccalaureate degree, all students are required to complete a minimum of 30 units in residence at SF State. Of the 30-unit residence requirement, 24 units must be upper-division courses and twelve units, upper-division or lower-division, must be in the major. Nine of these residence units must be earned in Segment III of the GE Program. Units earned for courses awarding extension credit or credit by examination or evaluation do not carry residence credit.
For award of the baccalaureate degree, all students are required to complete a minimum of 40 upper-division units (courses numbered 300-699 at SF State). Twenty-four of these upper-division units must be completed at SF State, and nine of these upper-division units must be completed in General Education Segment III.
Students who complete 60 or more semester units in one discipline (e.g., chemistry) or, if transfer work, in the same subject area (e.g., biochemistry) must complete a minimum of 60 semester units outside that discipline in order to earn a B.A. or B.S. degree.
The University accepts a maximum of 70 semester units for work completed at a community college.
The University accepts a maximum of 24 semester units of extension credit and correspondence courses towards award of a baccalaureate degree. Courses taken through Open University that earn extension units are included in this limitation, as are courses taken through military programs, such as MCI or Dantes. The University does not offer correspondence courses, but accepts correspondence credits transferred from another accredited institution as part of the 24-unit maximum for extension and correspondence work. Credit earned through SF State's Winter Session and Special Session is not included in the 24-unit limitation.
Matriculated students may obtain credit by examination for specific courses as determined by each department and approved by the course instructor and department chair. Interested students should inquire with each department about its credit by examination policy.
The examination is comprehensive and searching. A grade and appropriate grade points are recorded on the student's permanent record. Students must be regularly enrolled during the semester they earn credit by examination. Units earned via credit by examination are counted as part of the total units registered for a given semester and appropriate fees must be paid. Credit by examination may not be counted towards the residence requirement of the University. A student who registers as an auditor may not earn credit by examination in that course.
Matriculated students may also earn academic credit through the Credit by Evaluation for Experiential Learning (CEEL) Program. This program is an alternative method for students to earn academic credit for college-level learning experiences that occurred prior to their matriculation and for which no academic credit has been awarded. Typical experiences include research projects, significant work or life experiences, volunteer activities, and structured internships. Only undergraduate credit may be earned with a maximum limit of 30 units, six of which can be earned for residence credit. Units are usually applied towards general education or elective areas, but in certain instances, units may be used to fulfill major or minor requirements. An important requirement for earning CEEL credit is to create a learning portfolio that documents and describes the college-level learning that was achieved through these experiences. The portfolio is thoroughly evaluated by a faculty member from an academic area for which the credit is being sought. For further information, contact the Advising Center at (415) 338-2948.
No more than 30% of the units earned at SF State and applied towards completion of the baccalaureate degree may be taken for credit (CR) grades. Students should consult with their major departments for further restrictions on the use of CR grades.
Fifteen units is considered an average semester course load for full-time undergraduate students. During priority registration, students may register for a maximum of sixteen units of enrolled and wait-listed courses. During the open registration period, students may add an additional three units of enrolled and wait-listed courses up to a maximum of nineteen units. After instruction begins, students may add units above the nineteen-unit maximum if they have received prior written approval of the college dean for their major. Students who want to take a unit overload must submit a signed Petition to Exceed the Maximum Unit Policy for Undergraduate Students to the Office of Undergraduate Studies, ADM 447, before the end of the fourth week of instruction. They should also have obtained assigned permit number(s) from course instructors.
Undergraduate students who want to enroll in more than nineteen units in one semester must:
Undeclared, liberal studies, and special majors must receive the approval of the dean of Undergraduate Studies. All other majors must receive the approval of their adviser and the dean of the college in which they are a major.
Requests to take 20 or more units will not be permitted until a signed petition from the relevant dean has been submitted to and recorded by the Office of Undergraduate Studies, ADM 447.
Students who wish to enroll in 25 or more units in one semester must receive the written approval of their adviser, their college dean, and the dean of Undergraduate Studies. Courses taken in auditor status, or at another university or through SF State's College of Extended Learning must be included on the Petition to Exceed the Maximum Unit Policy for Undergraduate Students.
Nursing majors who participate in the Advanced Placement Option for Registered Nurses are required to file a Petition to Exceed the Maximum Unit Policy for Undergraduate Students if their total unit load for any given semester exceeds nineteen units, including all units earned through the advanced placement credit by examination option for that semester.
Undergraduate students may enroll in a maximum of seven units in a five-week summer session, eleven units in an eight-week summer session, and fourteen units in any combination of summer semester sessions (R1, R2, and R3).
Registration will not permit students to enroll in more than the above unit maximums without prior approval of the relevant dean.
Summer semester petition procedures:
The Registrar’s Office will not accept course permit numbers to add courses until a petition has been approved by the appropriate college dean, and the dean of Undergraduate Studies if over 25 units, and entered into the University's academic records system.
For award of the baccalaureate degree, all undergraduate students must maintain at least a 2.0 grade-point average (GPA) in all college course work, in all SF State course work, and in all major course work. The grade-point average is calculated by dividing the total grade points earned by the total units attempted. CR and NC grades are not included in the calculation of the grade point average. Students who do not meet the minimum 2.0 GPA requirement for SF State course work will be subject to mandatory probationary advising.
Academic Renewal may be used for the purpose of disregarding some undergraduate course work from graduation requirements. According to Title 5 (Section 40402), "When, in the opinion of the appropriate campus authority, work completed during a previous enrollment at the campus or at another institution of higher education is substandard and not reflective of the student’s present scholastic ability and level of performance, all work completed during one or two semesters, as the appropriate campus authority shall decide, may be disregarded in the computation of grade point averages and other requirements for graduation." The conditions for approval noted below must be met for academic renewal to be invoked. These conditions are:
If approved for Academic Renewal, the student's permanent academic record shall be annotated so that it is readily evident to all users of the record that no work taken during the disregarded term(s), even if satisfactory, may apply toward baccalaureate requirements. However, all work must remain legible on the record ensuring a true and complete academic history (Executive Order 213).
Repeated course work. Another special provision of Academic Renewal allows the student to repeat a course and to have the previous attempt excluded in the calculation of the grade point average. Requests should be directed to the Student Services Center. The following conditions apply:
A well-planned course of study as well as a clear understanding of requirements will help the student avoid graduation problems and delays. While each student is responsible for meeting all degree requirements and graduation deadlines, assistance is available from faculty advisers assigned through the major department, from staff in the Advising Center, and from a graduation counselor in Undergraduate Admissions.
Degree Dates: Three official graduation dates are scheduled each yearóone in the fall, one in the spring, and one in the summer. To qualify for graduation, the student must complete all requirements for the bachelor's degree by the official graduation date listed in the University Calendar published in this Bulletin.
The graduation application and filing fee entitle students to an official graduation evaluation of progress toward meeting baccalaureate degree requirements. If students qualify for graduation by the designated graduation date, they may participate in the annual commencement ceremony.
One Degree with Multiple Majors and/or Minors: Double majors leading to the same baccalaureate degree (B.A. or B.S.) do not constitute separate baccalaureate degrees and only one degree and one diploma will be awarded. Only one application fee of $40 is required for one degree, regardless of the number of majors and minors.
Graduating with Multiple Degrees. A student may be awarded more than one baccalaureate degree (B.A., B.S., B.M.) at the same time provided that requirements of both degree programs have been completed. Students who complete two different baccalaureate degrees may apply for both degrees in a single degree period by submitting separate applications simultaneously. A fee of $40 is required for each application submitted. Students who complete concurrently the requirements for two or more baccalaureate degrees will be acknowledged on separate diplomas for each degree earned.
Note: Students may not pursue a baccalaureate and masters degree concurrently.
Graduation Ceremony: The formal commencement ceremony occurs once a year, usually at the end of May. Only those students who graduated the previous summer (August graduation date), those who graduated the previous fall (January graduation date), those who have applied for graduation in current spring (May graduation date), or who have applied by the spring application deadline for graduation in current summer (August graduation date) are eligible to participate in the ceremony. Cap and gown rental is available in the Bookstore at an additional cost.
Participation in commencement does not mean that the student has officially graduated and is qualified for the bachelor's degree. If, in the final semester, students do not complete a course or earn a satisfactory grade, they still need to complete all courses and requirements required for the degree. Students will need to reapply for graduation, pay the $40 application for graduation fee and obtain faculty advisor and department chairís signatures in the semester of actual completion of the outstanding requirement(s)
It is the general policy of this University to consider courses taken prior to the award of the baccalaureate degree as undergraduate courses. However, a student may request on the Application for Award of Baccalaureate Degree that up to twelve semester units of upper division and/or graduate level work, taken in the final semester before the award of the baccalaureate degree be granted provisional post-baccalaureate status, providing these units are in excess of those required for the baccalaureate degree.
Even if granted provisional post-baccalaureate status, the decision to accept courses for a graduate degree taken while in undergraduate status, rests with the post-baccalaureate programís department chair, dean and administrative approval.
It is preferred that such courses taken at this time be upper division courses, leaving graduate course work to be taken after the baccalaureate degree has been officially completed. Seniors may enroll in graduate courses only with special permission of the instructor.
If such a request is filed, the total unit load taken, in all institutions and for all purposes, by the student during that final semester must not exceed the maximum unit load in effect for graduate level students as outlined in the section Maximum Unit Load. Any exceptions must have the approval of the dean of the Division of Graduate Studies in advance of registration for the final term. If the baccalaureate degree is not completed at the end of the term in question, all the work taken is subject to being counted as undergraduate work and the provisional post-baccalaureate status for specified courses voided.
Candidates for degrees must file an application for graduation in accordance with the University calendar. The Application for Graduate Degree, which is available at the Division of Graduate Studies, is only provided to students with an approved Graduate Approved Program (GAP) on file. The student must pay the graduation fee, complete the application form, and submit it to the Division of Graduate Studies.
Applications will not be approved for a specified term unless all requirements have been met as of the final day of the semester. If a candidate does not complete the requirements as planned in a particular semester, he/she must reapply for graduation to be considered in a subsequent semester and pay the $40 application for graduation fee.
If the student is required to be enrolled the semester of graduation, this requirement must be noted on the GAP. Students should consult with their department to determine whether or not enrollment in an additional course is required once the student has enrolled in the Culminating Experience course. Students who have not registered for the class at the time they apply for graduation will be required to enroll in the following semester and graduation will be delayed or, students can request of the department chair and dean for retro-active registration. Payment of all registration fees will be required.
Graduating with Multiple Graduate Degrees. A student may be awarded more than one masters or doctoral degree (MA, MS, MBA, E ED) at the same time provided that requirements of both degree programs have been completed. Students who complete two different graduate degrees may apply for both degrees in a single degree period by submitting separate applications simultaneously. A fee of $40 is required for each application submitted. Students who complete concurrently the requirements for two or more graduate degrees will be acknowledged on separated diplomas for each degree earned.
Note: Students may not pursue a baccalaureate and masters degree concurrently.
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