A student, except a classified graduate student, not in a period of continuous attendance at the time of filing for a degree and/or credential must meet the Bulletin requirements in effect at the time of filing. Continuous attendance for purposes of Bulletin requirements is defined as matriculated attendance in at least one semester or two quarters each calendar year.



Newly Admitted

Students who have never enrolled at San Francisco State University in a fall or spring semester and who have been admitted to the university for a specific semester, or students who have previously attended San Francisco State University and are returning to begin a new degree objective (e.g., a new graduate student who received a B.A. from SFSU) are considered newly admitted.


Students who were previously enrolled in this university in a regular semester and who have not been absent from the university for more than one complete semester, excluding summer semester, and who have not attended another college or university during their absence from San Francisco State University are considered continuing students.

Per immigration regulations, foreign students are required to be continuously enrolled every semester. Undergraduates must carry a minimum of twelve units and graduate students must carry a minimum of eight units.

In order to be considered in attendance for any semester, the student must be reported as enrolled in at least one class on the 20th day of instruction.


Students who have been absent from San Francisco State University for two full semesters (excluding Summer and Winter Sessions), or who have attended another college or university during their absence, must have applied and been readmitted to the university by the undergraduate or graduate Admissions Office.


The class level of students is determined according to units completed (earned units) as follows:

Class Level Units Completed
Lower Division:
Freshmen 0-29
Sophomore 30-59
Upper Division:
Junior 60-89
Senior 90 or more
Holding a baccalaureate or master's degree from an accredited university or college.


This university and the State of California are very supportive of individuals completing course work for degrees, credentials, and certificates offered by the university, as well as for professional growth, and for personal enrichment within reasonable limits. With the limitation of physical and personnel resources available, the university reserves the right to limit, or terminate, the enrollment of any individual it feels has been fairly served by educational opportunities at this institution or elsewhere, and where the enrollment needs of other individuals must be given higher priority in the context of the resources available.


The assistant vice president of enrollment planning and management reviews the records of students who have earned sufficient units of credit to graduate, but have not applied for graduation. When the student has met all requirements for graduation, the assistant vice president, after conference with the student, may take the necessary action to have the student graduated. In those cases where the requirements for graduation can be completed in one additional semester, the assistant vice president, after conference with the student, the appropriate department chair, and either the dean of Undergraduate Studies or the dean of the Graduate Division, may notify the student that he has only one additional semester in which to complete the graduation requirements. If graduation requirements are not completed in the time designated, future registration in the university may not be permitted or may be subject to conditions mutually agreed upon by the student and the assistant vice president of enrollment planning and management.


Registration for all students is by telephone, using a Touch Tone Registration system, or over the web, at Registration appointments and fee payment instructions are sent to all eligible students prior to the first available registration date. Registration fees must be paid prior to registering for classes. Please refer to the Class Schedule for specific dates and details.

Adding Courses after Priority Registration. If the student has paid sufficient fees and has instructor approval, he/she may add courses via Touch Tone or the web with instructor assigned permit numbers during the first two weeks of the semester.

Dropping Courses after Priority Registration. The student must use the Touch Tone system or the web to drop individual classes until the 20th day of instruction. After that point, he/she may withdraw from a course or courses only for serious and compelling reasons. Petitions for withdrawal are available at the One Stop Student Services Center and must be signed by the instructor and department chair. (College dean approval is required if withdrawal is in the last three weeks of the semester.)

Enrollment Verification. A student may verify his/her enrollment via the Touch Tone Registration system or via the web at A registration program verification will be mailed prior to the first day of classes, and a second notice to check enrollment will be sent at the end of the second week of the semester.


A student who wishes to audit a course instead of enrolling for credit must apply to and be admitted by the university. Enrollment as an auditor is subject to permission of the instructor provided that enrollment in a course as an auditor shall be permitted only after students otherwise eligible to enroll on a credit basis have had an opportunity to do so. Auditors are subject to the same fee structure as credit students and regular class attendance is expected. Once enrolled as an auditor, a student may not change to credit status unless such a change is requested no later than the last day to add classes. A student who is enrolled for credit may not change to audit after the second week of instruction.

Any student admitted to a class as an auditor will not be permitted to obtain credit by examination for that class. A student registered as an auditor may be required to participate in any or all classroom activities at the discretion of the instructor.


The normal academic load for undergraduates is fifteen units per semester. For graduates, the normal load is from nine to twelve units per semester. Two hours of preparation for each hour of regular class work should be expected. For international students, immigration regulations require a minimum academic load of twelve units for undergraduates and eight units for graduates.

Verification for enrollment is calculated as follows:

Fall and Spring Semesters

Full Time 12 or more units
Half Time 6-11 units
Less than Half Time 1-5 units
Full Time 8 or more units
Half Time 4-7
Less than Half Time 1-3

NOTE: For purposes of financial aid for graduate students, each upper division and graduate level course (courses numbered 300 and above) is worth 1.5 units. Each lower division course (courses numbered 100-299) is worth 1 unit.

Summer Semester

Full Time 8+ units
Half Time 4-7 units
Less than Half Time 1-3 units
Full Time 8+ units
Half Time 4-7
Less than Half Time 1-3

NOTE: For purposes of financial aid for graduate students, each upper division and graduate level course (courses numbered 300 and above) is worth 1.5 units. Each lower division course (courses numbered 100-299) is worth 1 unit.

In planning programs, students should observe Veterans Administration regulations concerning minimum academic loads. For certification under the Veterans Readjustment Benefits Act of 1966 (Public Law 89-358), undergraduates must register for twelve or more semester units of credit to receive maximum benefits. Graduate students must register and complete eight or more upper division or graduate-level semester units of credit each term to receive maximum benefits. Additional information may be obtained from the Registrar's Office.

All students requesting and accepting financial aid through San Francisco State University must register for and complete twelve or more semester units as an undergraduate and eight or more semester units as a graduate. Some financial aid programs allow a reduced unit requirement. Additional information may be obtained from Financial Aid.

Students who wish to enroll in extension work with this university and/or to enroll in courses at other institutions at the same time as they are registered for courses at this university, should plan the combined program with their major adviser. Under no circumstances is the total unit load for all course registrations in all institutions being attended to exceed the maximum unit load restrictions for this institution without written approval in advance from either the dean of Undergraduate Studies or the dean of the Graduate Division. Failure to obtain such approval in advance will subject the student to possible loss of units taken here and/or a restriction of units for transfer from the other institutions.


Students are expected to attend classes regularly because classroom work is one of the necessary and important means of learning and of attaining the educational objectives of the institution.

Students should not miss classes except for valid reasons, such as illness, accidents, or participation in officially approved university activities. When a student is absent from classes, it is his/her responsibility to inform his/her instructors of the reason for the absence and to arrange to make up missed assignments and class work insofar as this is possible.

The instructor may consider regular attendance when assigning grades. In that case, the requirement for regular attendance must be stated in writing as part of the course requirements and distributed to students at the beginning of the semester.


Continuing students who have been officially admitted to, and who are actively pursuing, a degree and/or credential program may qualify to absent themselves from enrollment in the institution for periods up to two academic years and still maintain the option of continuing student status. As a consequence of a leave of absence, it is expected that a student will improve his/her ability to complete the degree program. A petition for the leave must clearly demonstrate that during the absence from the university the student will be doing something significantly relevant to his/her program. Requests for health, financial, or other personal reasons, or matriculation at another institution are not recognized for the purpose of granting a leave of absence. In the latter instances, students would need to reapply for admission when they are ready to resume their studies in the university. Undergraduate students should contact the One Stop Student Services Center for more information.

To be eligible for an educational leave of absence, a graduate student must: (a) be a U.S. citizen or resident alien (foreign students ineligible); (b) have been officially admitted to a master's and/or credential program offered by the university; (c) have a Graduate Approved Program (GAP) on file in the Graduate Division Office or Credential Approved Program (CAP) on file in the Credentials Office in the College of Education; (d) be in good academic standing; and (e) have completed acceptable course work (at least nine units) toward the identified objective prior to the effective date of the leave. Such a planned academic leave does not change the beginning or ending dates of the seven-year completion of degree requirements for master's degree candidates. For further information contact the Graduate Division Office.


Students who find it necessary to cancel their registration or to withdraw from all classes after enrolling for any academic term are required to follow San Francisco State University's official withdrawal procedures. Failure to follow formal withdrawal procedures may result in an obligation to pay fees as well as the assignment of failing grades in all courses and the need to apply for readmission before being permitted to enroll in another academic semester. Students who withdraw during the first four weeks of instruction are not considered enrolled for the current semester. Students who do not enroll for two concurrent semesters must apply for readmission to the university. Information on canceling registration and withdrawal procedures is available from the registrar, One Stop Student Services Center, 415-338-2350.

Students who receive financial aid funds must consult with the Office of Student Financial Aid prior to withdrawing from the university regarding any required return or repayment of grant or loan assistance received for that academic term. If a recipient of financial assistance under federal Title IV financial aid programs withdraws from the institution during an academic term or payment period, the amount of grant or loan assistance received is subject to return and repayment provisions governed by federal law.

First Four Weeks of Semester. Students may add or drop courses through Touch Tone or over the web. Courses will not show on permanent record, future class lists, or grade report.

Fifth Week through Twelfth Week of Semester. From the beginning of the fifth week through the twelfth week of instruction, withdrawal from a course or courses is permissible for serious and compelling reasons by consulting the faculty member who teaches the course. The withdrawal form is delivered by the student to the instructor for a decision. The form must be accompanied by a copy of the student's unofficial SFSU transcript. The instructor has the prerogative to:

Last Three Weeks of Semester. During the last three weeks of the semester, withdrawals are not permitted except in cases of verified accident or serious illness where circumstances are beyond the control of the student and where the assignment of an incomplete grade is not practical. Instructor's, department chair's, and college dean's signatures are required for withdrawal from individual courses during this period.

Fifth Week through Last Day of Instruction. From the beginning of the fifth week through the last day of the semester, an instructor may initiate the withdrawal of a student for compelling reasons, normally that the student stopped attending the course. The instructor submits the withdrawal form, with the department chair's signature, to the Registrar's Office.

Appeal. The student may appeal the instructor's or department chair's denial of a withdrawal through the Board of Appeals and Review (BOAR). Withdrawals approved by BOAR or related administrative action shall be assigned a grade of "W."

Withdrawal From the University

A student may withdraw completely from the university for serious and compelling reasons or in verified cases of accident or serious illness. All requests for withdrawal or retroactive withdrawal from the university must be submitted and justified in writing to the registrar.


Official transcripts of courses taken at the university are issued only with the written permission of the student concerned. Partial transcripts are not issued. A fee of $4.00 for a single transcript must be received before the request can be processed. Additional transcripts prepared at the same time up to ten (10) transcripts are $2.00 each. Additional transcripts prepared at the same time which exceed the first ten (10) transcripts cost $1.00 each.

Transcripts show all San Francisco State University work completed as of the date of application for the transcript. Work in progress accompanies the transcript only if specifically requested by the student on the application for transcript form. Requests for transcripts to show end of current semester's work are held until all grades are recorded.

Transcript requests are processed in accordance with the date of filing.

Transcripts from other institutions, which have been presented for admission or evaluation, become a part of the student's permanent academic file and are not returned or copied for distribution. Students desiring transcripts covering work attempted elsewhere should request them from the appropriate institutions.