It is important that you understand what constitutes the baccalaureate degree and how the individual parts are combined. The baccalaureate degree includes an academic major, General Education (GE) requirements, other university graduation requirements, and elective course work. Your task is to combine these elements in a creative and thoughtful way. In taking the time to create a meaningful degree program, you will not only graduate in a timely manner, but will begin to learn what it means to take personal responsibility for your learning.

Some tips and strategies for success at SFSU are listed below. Depending on the specific situation, the student may find all or some of these suggestions helpful.


Check out your level of readiness.

Take required entry level tests (ELM/EPT) as soon as possible to ensure that your skills are where they need to be to get the most out of college.

Use GE to learn about yourself and your world.

If you are unsure about what you want your major to be, it is a good idea to spend your first few semesters at SFSU exploring different options. That's part of why General Education (GE) exists to find out about areas you may never have studied or encountered before, or an area you want to know more about.

It's OK to be undeclared.

A large percentage of incoming students have not yet declared their major. Take time to explore the possibilities. Meet with an adviser at the Advising Center and use SFSU services, like the Career Center, to help you find the right major.

It's OK to change your major.

Most students change their major at least once while in college. If you find that the major you have chosen is not right for you, explore other options. You will probably find that there are many more choices at SFSU than you have ever encountered at any previous school.

General Education and major requirements may sometimes overlap.

Most majors include courses which meet both GE and major requirements. This is referred to as ``double counting.'' By choosing courses that double count, you earn the units once, leaving room for electives (especially useful if you are in a high unit major).


Plan your program in consultation with your adviser.

Review your plan frequently and meet with an adviser on a regular basis. Go to your major department and request an adviser or, if you are undeclared, meet with an adviser in the Advising Center.

Get to know your professors and advisers.

They can offer you ideas, insight, and perspective on educational goals, career plans, and graduate programs.

Pay careful attention to course prerequisites.

Be sure to take courses in the proper sequence. At the back of this Bulletin is a description of all courses offered at SFSU. If you need prior experience or exposure to the subject as background to a course, prerequisite requirements are listed which must be taken before you can take that course.

When you have decided on a major, make a tentative plan for your remaining semesters at SFSU.

Many departments will provide you with a planning sheet so you can keep track of your progress.

Discuss effective use of elective credit with your adviser.

You may use these elective units to fulfill prerequisites for graduate school, develop a specific competency (for example, foreign language or computer skills), or to enrich your life and expand your understanding.

Take advantage of as many opportunities as possible while in college.

If you plan your education well, you will find time to participate in internships, student organizations, study abroad, and many other programs and services available here.


Go at your own speed.

Take care of the basic skills first. Most students at SFSU work while attending SFSU and therefore do not graduate in the typical eight semesters. The student should take the number of units that is consistent with his/her specific family, work, and social obligations.

The average major at SFSU consists of 45 units. If a student is getting a B.A. degree, the following is a sample unit breakdown. This example assumes that there is no double counting between the major and GE requirements. The distribution will be slightly different for transfer students.

For example:

	45	units in major
	48	units in GE
	6	units in History/Government
	3-6	units in English outside GE
	19-22	elective units required
	124	minimum total units for B.A. degree
(An average of 15.5 units/semester to complete the degree in eight semesters)

For a B.S. degree, a student will need to complete between 124 and 132 units depending on the major.

For example:

	69	units in major
	48	units in GE
	6	units in History/Government
	3-6	units in English  outside GE
	3-6	elective units required
	132	maximum total units for B.S. degree
(An average of 16.5 units/semester to complete the degree in eight semesters)

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Last modified July 02, 2012 by