Welcome from the Dean of Undergraduate Studies

Congratulations on your choice of San Francisco State University! You have selected a world class institution and you have earned the right to be here. I encourage you to take advantage of the many opportunities which are available to you and hope that you find the time you spend here to be enjoyable, enlightening, and rewarding.

As the twentieth century draws to a close, it is not so clear what it means to be "educated." To some, it means being trained for an occupation. To us, it implies something more--the transformation of a person which enables and inspires a lifelong search for meaning, knowledge, connection, and truth, however defined. If you will allow it, the journey on which you now embark will enrich your life in many ways and, by your participation in this community of scholars, you will enrich ours in equal measure.

You can measure the investment in your education by a metric of time spent, counting the hours in class and out until you have accumulated the number of units required for graduation. But in doing so you would miss an important point: your education is a gift--to yourself.

Make the most of this treasure, taking advantage of every opportunity to learn and grow. Engage in every class discussion; pay close attention even when you are tired or bored; make time to attend an art exhibit, a performance of theater, music, dance, or poetry; join a student club; listen to a debate; take a moment to discuss an interesting idea with your colleagues; get to know your professors. Each act, each moment invested, will repay you a thousand times over.

We are here to serve you, assist you, teach you, and learn from you. It is an honor and a privilege which we all share. I welcome you to this great university with assurance that its gifts are many and manifest--you need only to look and listen and learn. Commit, benefit, and grow. This will always be your home.

Susan H. Taylor
Dean, Undergraduate Studies


After completing all undergraduate requirements, the student will have earned a baccalaureate degree. SFSU awards four baccalaureate degrees: the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), the Bachelor of Science (B.S.), the Bachelor of Music (B.M.), and the Bachelor of Vocational Education (B.V.E.). Requirements for all four degrees are listed on the following pages. Consult your major department for specific degree requirements.

The undergraduate experience is divided into components which are aimed at educating the whole person--a person who is capable of making a sustained contribution as a participant to the betterment of the community, the state, the nation, and the world.

Choosing a Major/Minor

Completion of an academic major is a graduation requirement. SFSU offers many majors from which to choose. A major is a focused area of study that requires the student to take a specific set of courses, including all required prerequisites. At SFSU there are over 100 undergraduate majors available to students. Choosing a major involves submitting a Change of Major form to the department office of the intended major or declaring this choice at the time of admission.

Some majors are identified as impacted, or high demand, majors. Generally, more students than can be accommodated have selected these areas of study as their majors. Most impacted majors include supplemental admission requirements. When declaring a major, be sure to determine whether or not there are special requirements to enter that major. Such majors require that students meet specific prerequisites before gaining admission.

Students may also elect to study a minor. A minor, like a major, is a focused area of study. However, a minor does not require as many units as does a major. There are 85 minors at SFSU. A minor is not required to earn a bachelor's degree.

Students who are undecided about their major may identify themselves as undeclared. Being undeclared provides the student the opportunity to explore a variety of courses in different areas of interest. Typically, students declare their major during their sophomore or junior year after completing most of their lower division General Education requirements.

General Education

In addition to the major area of study, the university requires that students fulfill 48-units of General Education requirements (GE). This is the breadth component of the baccalaureate degree. It is designed to complement the major area of study and to introduce the student to the richness and diversity of the arts and sciences. Specifically, GE involves enhancing knowledge and skills in the following areas: English language and communications; the physical and biological sciences and mathematics; the behavioral and social sciences; the humanities and creative arts; and the relationships of knowledge between and among these broad domains of knowledge. One of the overarching goals of this study is to integrate, facilitate, and increase students' awareness, understanding, and interaction with a physical, social, economic, and political environment that is changing at an ever accelerating rate.

Other Academic Programs

The university offers a variety of curricular options for students. Certificate programs provide individuals the opportunity to develop specialized skills in areas that may complement their chosen majors and/or minors. These programs focus on a narrow spectrum of knowledge or skills and require fewer units than a major. SFSU's College of Extended Learning also offers a broad array of certificate programs.

Students interested in pursuing a teaching credential after completing the baccalaureate degree may take preparatory course work as an undergraduate student.

Course work is also available to students who are interested in pursuing professional school studies after the baccalaureate degree. For example, preparatory course work can be taken for admission to law school, medical school, and dental school as well as other professional programs. In many cases, special advisers are available to assist students to prepare for professional study.

For information and referral, visit the Advising Center (ADM 212, 338-2101).

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Last modified July 03, 2012 by bulletin@sfsu.edu