Message 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 available to you and hope that you find your time here to be enjoyable, enlightening, and rewarding.

As the twentieth century draws to a close, there are differing views about 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 equally.

You can measure the investment in your education by the 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, and give the treasure which cannot be taken from you.

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.

Academic Major

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 declaring this choice at the time of admission or consulting with faculty advisers and then submitting a Change of Major form to the department office of the intended major.

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

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.

The following rules apply to all undergraduate majors:

Minor Degree Programs

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

The following policies apply to completion of an approved minor:

General Education

In addition to the major area of study, the university requires that students fulfill 48-units of General Education requirements (GE). GE is designed to complement the major area of study and to introduce the richness and diversity of the arts and sciences.

The GE program is designed to improve students' basic skills in writing, speaking, and reasoning (Segment I); to provide breadth of knowledge in the arts and sciences (Segment II); and to allow students to relate and apply knowledge from various disciplines to the study of significant topics (Segment III). GE at SFSU satisfies the General Education Breadth Requirements of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations .

Segment I: Basic Subjects

The Basic Subjects curriculum develops a disciplined use of language for effective written and oral communication and builds critical thinking skills. Quantitative reasoning helps the student develop greater competence and confidence to reason and make judgments about mathematically-based information.

Segment II: Arts and Sciences Core

The Arts and Sciences Core helps students develop an understanding of the contributions to and influences on our world of the physical and biological sciences, social sciences, humanities, and creative arts. Through study of the arts and sciences, students are introduced to theories and methods of inquiry and assessment particular to these disciplines and to how this knowledge is applicable to an understanding and appreciation of others and oneself. Students are exposed to multiple ways of acquiring knowledge and encouraged to participate actively in creative endeavors.

Through the physical and biological sciences curriculum, students develop an understanding of the connections between scientific developments and contemporary issues that affect our lives. Students develop skills in applying the scientific method through a laboratory or field component.

The behavioral and social sciences curriculum develops skills for analyzing human behavior and for evaluating facts and principles relevant to making social policy. It is designed to foster civic and global responsibility and an appreciation for diverse values and cultural traditions.

In the humanities and arts curriculum, students are urged to explore fundamental questions regarding human values, aesthetics, and expression. It is dedicated to stimulating reflective thinking, imagination, and creativity; to increasing civic and global responsibility; to cultivating moral action; and to building the communication skills needed to express the best of what it means to be human.

Within Segment II, students gain information that will be useful to their lifelong personal development (LLD--Lifelong Development), to their development as active and constructive participants in a diverse society (AERM--American and Ethnic Racial Minorities), and to their awareness of appropriate application of the scientific method (L/F--Laboratory or Field component).

Segment III: Relationships of Knowledge

Through the completion of a cluster of courses, Seg-ment III, Relationships of Knowledge, provides a focused and coherent theme of study that challenges students to integrate and apply skills and knowledge. Each cluster addresses the diversity of human experience, values, and contributions (CESD--Cultural, Ethnic, and Social Diversity).

Summary of General Education Requirements

Segment I: Basic Subjects Units
Written Communications 3
Oral Communications 3
Critical Thinking 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3
  Total units in Segment I 12
Segment II: Arts and Sciences Core
Physical and Biological Sciences 9
Behavioral and Social Sciences 9
Humanities and Creative Arts (including AERM, LLD, and L/F components) 9
  Total units in Segment II 27
Segment III: Relationships of Knowledge
Upper Division Residence Units in a Cluster (including CESD) 9
  Total units in Segment III 9
  Total Units in General Education 48

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.

Pre-credential programs are offered for students interested in pursuing teaching credentials after completing the baccalaureate degree. Students may complete preparatory course work as an undergraduate student and are encouraged to seek advising from the Liberal Studies office and/or consult the College of Education, office of Student Services, for further information.

Pre-professional programs are available for students who are interested in pursuing professional school studies after the baccalaureate degree.

For information and referral, consult the Advising Center (ADM 212).

Second Baccalaureate Degree

A student who already holds a bachelor's degree may apply for admission to work toward a second baccalaureate degree. If approved, the student will be admitted to the undergraduate program, typically at the senior level.

Students who have earned a bachelor's degree from a campus in the CSU system will be held to the residence requirement at SFSU (30 minimum/24 upper division) and the requirements of the new major. An Advanced Standing Evaluation (ASE) and/or Degree Audit Report (DARS) will indicate that requirements in General Education, Written English, and U.S. History and Government have been met.

Students who earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution outside of the CSU system will be held to all graduation requirements of the SFSU bachelor's degree. Work completed in fulfillment of the earlier degree will be evaluated as transfer credit. An Advanced Standing Evaluation (ASE) and/or Degree Audit Report (DARS) will indicate requirements to be met (i.e., General Education, JEPET, Library Requirement, U.S. History and Government).

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.

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