Bulletin--UG Requirements-2

Undergraduate Graduation Requirements (Continued)


Why is U.S. History and Government a requirement for the baccalaureate degree?

Intelligent citizenship demands an understanding of the nation's history and government. The California State University system has specified that students must develop an informed understanding of the historical development of American institutions and ideals, the Constitution of the United States, the operation of representative democratic government under that Constitution, and the processes of California state and local government.

What is the U.S. History and Government Requirement?

It is one requirement with two halves but three parts. The most confusing part of this requirement is that it is described as one requirement which sounds like it has two halves—a U.S. history course and a U.S. government course. Although it is usually satisfied by taking two three-unit courses, the government half of the requirement actually includes two parts—U.S. government and California state and local government. Public colleges and universities in California almost always cover both parts in one course. Not surprisingly, however, schools outside of California do not include California state and local government features in their general government course. Students may have to take a third course to satisfy all of the U.S. history and government requirement, even if that means they have to take more than the minimum possible six units. The best choice in this situation is to take a special course which meets only the California state and local government requirement. An alternative is to take a course which covers both U.S. and the California state and local government requirements.

Who must complete the six-unit U.S. History and Government requirement?

Students who are under the 1985-86 Bulletin, or later Bulletins, must complete this six-unit requirement. It can be fulfilled at SFSU by taking a three-unit course in U.S. history and a three-unit course in U.S. government.

Are there any exceptions to the six-unit U.S. History and Government requirement?

Students who are admitted under the 1984-85 Bulletin, or earlier Bulletins, may complete a three-unit U.S. History and Government Requirement course. Students should consult their Bulletin to determine the acceptable courses that satisfy the three-unit requirement. Students with waiver or equivalency requests should direct their questions to:

What courses satisfy the-six unit U.S. History and Government requirement?

The following courses fulfill the six-unit U.S. History and Government requirement as well as the California state and local government component, as indicated.

U.S. History Requirement Courses (3 units)
AIS 460		Power and Politics in American Indian History 
AAS 200		History of Asian Americans 
BLS 304		Black People and the American Experience 
ECON 400	Economic and Social History of the United States 
HIST 120	History of the United States to 1865 
HIST 121	History of the United States since 1865 
HIST 130	Survey of United States History for Foreign Students 
HIST 418	Society and Politics in American History 
LARA 376	History of LaRaza in the United States 
SS 200		Development of American Institutions, Values, and Ideals 
WOMS 150	Women in American History and Society 
U.S. Government Requirement Courses (3 units)
In addition to fulfilling the U.S. Government requirement, the courses listed below also satisfy the California State and Local Government requirement.

AIS 205		American Indians and U.S. Laws 
AAS 205		Asian Americans and American Ideals and Institutions 
BLS 376		Government, the Constitution, and Black Citizen 
LARA 276	LaRaza, Government, Ideals, and Constitution 
PLSI 200	American Politics 
SS 201		Governance in Urban-Industrial America 
WOMS 160	Women, Politics, and Citizenship 
California State and Local Government Requirement (3 units, if required)
Students who have met all of the requirement (either by units completed at another institution or by examination) except for the California state and local government component may meet that part of the requirement by examination or by completing one of the following three-unit courses:

HIST 450	History of California 
PLSI 473	California Government and Politics
Can the six-unit U.S. History and Government requirement be met by examination?

YES. This requirement may be met by achieving a passing score on three examinations. These exams may be taken only once. For information about these examinations and the challenge procedures, contact the Testing Center, ADM 152. Units of academic credit are not awarded for successful completion of this requirement by examination.

Can courses completed in fulfillment of this requirement also be used for my major?

Students majoring in any department which offers courses satisfying the U.S. History and Government requirement should consult with their major advisers regarding appropriate means of integrating this requirement with their major.

Can courses completed in satisfying this requirement be used for General Education credit?

NO. Units taken to meet this requirement at SFSU cannot be used to fulfill the university's General Education requirements. Engineering majors should consult the Engineering GE adviser for GE Program exceptions.


What is the Library Requirement?

The Library Requirement is designed to assure that all undergraduate students can utilize basic library resources and methods as preparation for future course work.

How can the Library Requirement be met?

The Library Requirement can be met by completing Library Resources: A Self-Paced Workbook or comparable library instruction or experience.

Who must complete the Library Requirement?

Undergraduate students entering SFSU should complete the Library Requirement during their first semester of attendance, and must complete it before graduation.


Minimum Units Required for Graduation
For award of the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), students are required to complete a minimum of 124 semester units. For award of the Bachelor of Science (B.S.), students must complete a minimum of 124–132 semester units depending on the specific requirements of the individual B.S. degrees.

Residence Units Requirement
Thirty (30) units must be earned in residence at SFSU. Twenty-four (24) of these units must be upper division courses and twelve (12) of these units (upper division or lower division) must be in the major. Units earned in courses awarding extension credit (e.g., Open University) or through credit by examination or evaluation do not carry residence credit. Questions about the university residence requirement for undergraduate students should be directed to the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services, ADM 154.

Upper Division Units Requirement
For award of the baccalaureate degree, all students are required to complete a minimum of 40 upper division units (courses numbered 300-699 at SFSU). Twenty-four (24) of these units must be completed at SFSU, nine (9) of which must be completed in General Education, Segment III.

Maximum Units in One Subject Field
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 64 semester units outside that discipline in order to earn a B.A. or B.S. degree at SFSU.

Maximum Credit for Community College Work
The university will accept a maximum of 70 semester units for work completed at a community college.

Maximum Credit for Extension and Correspondence Work
The university will accept a maximum of 24 semester units of extension credit and correspondence courses towards award of a baccalaureate degree (e.g., Open University). Courses taken through military programs, such as MCI or Dantes, are included in this limitation. The university does not offer correspondence courses, but will accept correspondence credits transferred from another accredited institution as part of the 24 units maximum for extension and correspondence work. Credit earned through SFSU's Winter and Summer Sessions is excluded from the 24 semester unit maximum.

Maximum Credit by Examination or Evaluation
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. Credit by examination forms are available in departmental offices.

The examination will be comprehensive and searching. A grade and appropriate grade points will be recorded on the student's permanent record, except for the U.S. History and the U.S. Government requirements, if they are completed by exam. 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 credit towards meeting the university's General Education requirements through the Credit by Evaluation for Experiential Learning (CEEL) Program. This program is designed to meet the needs of students who have university-level prior learning experiences that can be evaluated for credit. Credit is offered only after a comprehensive and searching evaluation by a faculty member in the area for which credit is sought. Credit by evaluation or examination may not be counted towards the residence requirement of the university. For further information, contact the Advising Center, ADM 212.

A maximum of thirty (30) semester units of credit for prior learning, knowledge, or skills-based experience may be earned toward award of the baccalaureate degree including any units for experiential learning which may be accepted as a result of California State University policy from other institutions. The faculty in any academic program may set additional limits on the number of experiential learning units accepted, or required, for majors or minors in that program.

Maximum Units of Credit (CR) Grades
No more than 30% of the units earned at SFSU, 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 30% limitation on credit (CR) grades.

Maximum Units in One Semester
Fifteen units (15) is the average semester course load for full-time undergraduate students. Students may enroll in up to nineteen (19) units in one semester without official approval. Undergraduate students who enroll in 20-24 units in one semester: Undeclared, Liberal Studies, and Special Majors must receive the approval of the dean of Undergraduate Studies (ADM 449). 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: (1) approval from the appropriate dean has been received, and (2) this approval has been properly made to the student's official records by the Undergraduate Studies Office (ADM 449). The registrar's staff will not accept course add forms in excess of 19 units until permission to exceed the maximum unit policy has been recorded on the student's official university records.

Students who wish to enroll in 25 or more units in one semester must receive the written approval of their adviser and the dean of Undergraduate Studies. Course work taken at another university or through SFSU's College of Extended Learning must be included on the Petition to Exceed the Undergraduate Maximum Unit Policy.

Nursing majors who participate in the Advanced Placement Option for Registered Nurses are required to file a Petition to Exceed the Maximum Unit Policy, if their total unit load for any given semester exceeds nineteen (19) units, including all units earned through the advanced placement credit by examination option. Students in this program should consult with their Nursing Department adviser to ensure that they follow the appropriate procedures.

Questions concerning the undergraduate maximum unit policy should be directed to the dean of Undergraduate Studies, ADM 449.

Double Counting Between GE and the Major
A maximum of twelve (12) units used to meet General Education requirements may also be used to fulfill major requirements. Although these courses fulfill both GE and major requirements, they are counted only once in satisfying the minimum 124 units required for the baccalaureate degree (i.e., 12 units, not 24 units).

In GE Segment III, students may only double count two courses required for fulfillment of Segment III requirements with their major, except Liberal Studies majors who may double count all three courses.

NOTE: Cross-counting between General Education Segments, Areas, and Categories is not permitted. Students cannot use the same course to satisfy both the Segment II and Segment III requirements of the General Education Program. For example, BIOL 330 is an approved course in both Segments II and III. Students may use this course to satisfy either Segment II or Segment III requirements, but not both.


For award of the baccalaureate degree, all undergraduate students must maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average in all college course work, in all SFSU 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 NCR grades are not included in the calculation of the grade point average. Remedial course work can only be taken CR/NC.


Removal of one or more semesters of undergraduate course work. Under certain circumstances, the campus may disregard up to two semesters or three quarters of previous undergraduate course work taken at any college from all consideration associated with requirements for the baccalaureate degree. These circumstances are:

Requests should be referred to the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services. Final determination that one or more terms shall be disregarded in determination of eligibility for graduation shall be based upon a careful review of evidence by a committee consisting of at least three members. Such final determination shall be made only when:

When such action is taken, 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.

Repetition of an Individual Undergraduate Course
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. This provision is applicable only if it enables the student to meet the minimum grade point average required for graduation. Requests should be directed to the Records and Registration Office. The following conditions apply:

Successful repetition of a course originally passed carries no additional unit credit toward a degree or credential except for certain courses such as independent study, practicum, or other courses specified in this Bulletin as "may be repeated for credit."


Completion of an approved major is a graduation requirement for award of the baccalaureate. The following rules apply to all undergraduate majors:

Completion of an approved minor is optional. The following policies apply to completion of an approved minor:


A student who already holds a bachelor's degree may file a petition with the Office of Admissions to request permission to work toward a second baccalaureate degree. If approved, the student will be admitted to the undergraduate program typically at the senior level. Whether or not the second baccalaureate degree is ever completed, none of the credits earned may later be considered for post-baccalaureate status at this university. The only possible exception is in the last semester before the award of the degree as provided for under the section "Courses in Excess of Bachelor Degree Requirements."

California law requires students wishing to pursue a second baccalaureate degree to pay additional fees. See section on "Fees, Duplicate Degree Tuition" for additional information.

Bulletin 1994-96 Table of Contents, SFSU Home Page

last modified June 20, 1995

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