Bachelor's Degree Requirements
There are nine basic graduation requirements which all students
must meet in order to earn the bachelors degree from California
State University, Chico. These provide the framework within which
you develop your academic program. The more you understand your
progress toward meeting these requirements and relate them to the
many programs available to you, the better your chance of creating
an exciting educational experience and avoiding errors which may
delay graduation. You are responsible for meeting all requirements,
though assistance is available from faculty advisers assigned through
your major department, through the Office of Advising and Orientation,
and from evaluators in the Student Records and Registration office.
Plan your degree program carefully and review it frequently with
your academic adviser. The basic graduation requirements are as
1. Total Units
Bachelor of Arts Degree 120-124 units
Bachelor of Science Degree 120-128 units
Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering
Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree 132 units
2. Upper-Division Units
You must pass a minimum of 40 units of upper-division course work
(CSU, Chico courses numbered 100-299). Of these 40, a minimum of
12 units must be in the major for a BA degree or 18 in the major
for a BS or BFA degree. Enrollment in upper-division courses is
normally restricted to students with junior, senior, or graduate
standing. See the section on the Course Numbering System for additional
3. Residence Units
You must complete a minimum of 30 units in residence at California
State University, Chico. At least 24 of the 30 units must be in
upper- division coursework (numbered 100 or above), and 12 of the
30 must be in the major. At least nine of the 48 units required
for General Education must also be taken in residence at Chico.
CSU, Chico summer/special session classes, including Open University
course work, generate residence credit. General extension courses
do not. No more than 24 units of Open University and 24 units of
extension credit will count towards the bachelors degree.
4. General Education
You are required to take 48 units of a prescribed General Education
program. The 48 units are counted as part of the total unit requirement.
See General Education Requirements for details. At least
9 of the 48 units required for General Education must also be taken
in residence at Chico.
5. Cultural Diversity
You must complete a minimum of two courses that focus primarily
on cultural diversity. At least one course must be in Ethnic Studies
and at least one in Non-Western Studies.
You must complete at least one course concerned primarily with
the aspirations and history of ethnic subcultures within the United
States. See General Education Requirements for a complete
listing of applicable courses. Some courses used to satisfy this
requirement may also be counted toward the 48-unit General Education
requirement. Courses from other institutions which meet the intent
of this requirement will be accepted.
You must complete at least one course concerned primarily with
cultures and societies outside Western heritage. See General
Education Requirements for a complete listing of applicable
courses. Some courses used to satisfy this requirement may also
be counted toward the 48-unit General Education requirement. Courses
from other institutions which meet the intent of this requirement
will be accepted.
6. American Institutions Requirement
You must demonstrate competence in your understanding of the Constitution
of the United States, of U.S. history, including the study of U.S.
institutions and ideals, and of the principles of California state
and local government. Competence may be demonstrated either by passing
examinations or completing appropriate course work in the Departments
of History and Political Science. If you are a transfer student,
you may have completed these requirements at the school you previously
attended; if so, your transfer credit summary will certify completion.
Direct your questions regarding transfer credit for this requirement
to the Evaluations section of Academic Advising Programs.
The U.S. history portion of the requirement may be fulfilled
by the course HIST 050, United States History (or an equivalent
transfer course), or by a challenge exam. The latter is administered
by the Department of History once each semester during the first
three weeks of classes. Details may be obtained from that department.
A passing grade not only meets part of the requirements, but also
carries 3 units of credit toward graduation.
The Constitution and Ideals (including California state and
local government) portion of the requirement may be fulfilled
by POLS 055, American Government: National, State, and Local (or
an equivalent transfer course), or by a challenge exam. The latter
is administered by the Department of Political Science during the
week immediately preceding the beginning of classes each fall and
spring semester. Details may be obtained from that department. A
passing grade not only meets part of the requirement, but also carries
3 units of lower-division credit. If you have completed the requirement
in the Constitution of the United States, but not the requirement
in California state and local government, you should take either
POLS 202, State Government, or POLS 203, Local Government. A special
California state and local government exam is also administered
by the department for students who wish to demonstrate competence
with or without earning credit. See the Political Science Department
You may not count HIST 050 or POLS 055 or their equivalent as
part of the 48-unit General Education requirement, unless an exception
has been formally granted for your specific major or unless certified
by your transfer institution.
7. Mathematics and Writing Requirements
You must demonstrate competence in your use of writing and mathematics.
To satisfy the universitys writing requirement, you must
pass two courses with a grade of C- or better ENGL 001, and
a writing proficiency course in your major. Unless exempt, you must
take the English Placement Test (EPT) before your first semester
here. Your EPT score is used to determine whether or not you must
enroll in English 001A (Writing Workshop) concurrently with ENGL
001: Freshman English. English 001A is a remedial course which must
be completed within your first year. If you do not fulfill the remedial
writing requirement in your first year, you are subject to Administrative-Academic
Disqualification. Upon satisfactory completion of ENGL 001 you are
eligible to take the writing proficiency (WP) course in your major.
To satisfy the universitys mathematics requirement, you
must pass a GE mathematics course with a grade C- or better. Unless
exempt, you must take the Entry Level Mathematics Test (ELM) before
your first semester. Your ELM score is used to determine whether
or not you need to enroll in one or more remedial mathematics classes.
If you do, you will need to complete the remedial mathematics requirement
in your first year before you can enroll in a GE mathematics course.
If you do not fulfill the remedial mathematics requirement in your
first year, you are subject to Administrative-Academic Disqualification.
8. An Approved Major
You must complete an approved major program. Major program requirements
are described fully in The University Catalog.
9. Grade Point Average
You must attain at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average,
which includes both transfer and CSU, Chico work, at least a 2.0
in courses required for the major, and at least 2.0 in all work
taken at CSU, Chico. Some majors may have additional grade point
average requirements; they are described in each major program description.
EXCEPTIONS AND WAIVERS OF ACADEMIC POLICY
Exceptions to the universitys academic policies will be
considered only by petitioning the department office in the case
of major requirements, or the Office of Student Records and Registration
for university requirements. The latter petitions may require departmental,
college, and administrative approval and will be considered only
during the students last semester before graduation. Direct
your questions to the Office of Student Records and Registration
or Academic Advising Programs.
HOW TO APPLY FOR YOUR BACHELORS DEGREE
A well-planned course of study, as well as a clear understanding
of requirements, will help you avoid problems in your final semester
and graduation delays. While you are responsible for meeting all
degree requirements, as well as administrative deadlines for graduation,
assistance is available from faculty advisers assigned through your
major department, and from academic advising staff in MLIB 180 (Evaluations)
and MLIB 190 (Advising).
OVERVIEW OF THE STEPS TO GRADUATION
1. Obtain graduation application in the
Office of Student Records and Registration lobby (MLIB 180), or
download the form.
2. Prepare major clearance form with faculty
3. Submit graduation application, major
clearance form, and application fee to Office of Student Records
4. Evaluators, located in MLIB 180, send
you your official grad check.
5. Pay any debts you owe the university.
6. Participate in the spring commencement
7. The Evaluations staff will send your
diploma or a non-qualifying letter.
COMMENCEMENT CEREMONIES/GRADUATION CLEARANCE
Graduation ceremonies: Formal commencement ceremonies occur
once a year in May. Candidates for spring graduation may participate,
as well as the previous summer and fall graduates. If you need information
regarding special permission to participate in ceremonies, check
with Evaluations, MLIB 180, 530-898-5957.
Participation in commencement does not mean that you have officially
graduated and qualified for the bachelors degree. If, in your
final semester, you dont complete a course or earn a grade
as anticipated or if you are approved for special participation
in ceremonies, you will still need to complete all course and credit
requirements required for your degree. Additionally, you will need
to refile for graduation for the semester of actual completion.
In April, the Alumni Relations and Commencement Office mails information
regarding commencement ceremonies to potential spring graduates,
as well as to graduates of the previous summer and fall terms.
Official graduation clearance: There are three graduation
cycles and official graduation dates, one to coincide with the end
of each term summer, fall, and spring. In order to qualify
for graduation, you must complete all requirements for the bachelors
degree by the official graduation date: August 31 for summer, December
31 for fall, and May 31 for spring. For information on honors
at graduation, see University
Honors Program in The University Catalog.
Graduation Clearance Documents:
When you meet all graduation requirements, you will qualify for
a bachelors degree: Bachelor of Arts/BA, Bachelor of Science/BS,
or Bachelor of Fine Arts/BFA. Final clearance of a semesters
graduates is processed after faculty have submitted grades to the
Office of Student Records and Registration. Diplomas to those who
qualify are mailed four to six weeks after the official graduation
date. If you finish all requirements well in advance of this date,
and you need a statement certifying degree completion for purposes
of employment, the Evaluations staff, located in MLIB 180, will
provide you with this statement for a small fee. Candidates who
do not meet all graduation requirements receive a non-qualifying
letter which explains deficiencies that still remain for the degree.
The name of your degree, major, option, and date of graduation
are included on your diploma. If you are applying to graduate with
two majors, one of which leads to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the
other to a Bachelor of Science (BS), only one of the two degrees
will be awarded. Only that degree, the major(s) leading to it, and
honors will be listed on your diploma and posted under Degrees
Awarded on your permanent record. The other major will also
be posted on your academic record, but as a second major.
An official transcript of your permanent record, available from
the Student Records and Registration Office, is the most complete
document of your academic history. It indicates all degrees, majors,
options, minors, certificates, and honors completed at CSU, Chico.
Once graduation data your degree and completed major(s)
have been certified and posted to the permanent record, this
record prior to the date of graduation and your diploma
cannot be altered by grade changes, retroactive withdrawals, academic
renewal, or other actions. Grades of Incomplete (I)
that may be needed for a postgraduate program cannot be changed.
Therefore, it is very important that you take steps to make
up all incompletes before your bachelors degree is awarded.
I grades that are not made up within one year revert
to F and may adversely affect your grade point average
and your anticipated graduation. (I grades earned in
courses taken in your final semester, if not required for graduation,
will remain on your record and will not revert.)
APPLYING FOR GRADUATION
Your application for graduation and filing fee entitle you to
a graduation check (grad check), and, if you are qualified,
participation in annual commencement ceremonies and a diploma. Your
grad check will indicate your status towards meeting bachelors
Graduation applications are available in the Office of Student
Records and Registration lobby, MLIB 180. Complete the application,
clearance forms (see below), and initializer card, and self-address
the envelope provided to the address where you want your grad check
sent. Submit all papers to the Office of Student Records and Registration,
MLIB 180, according to the filing deadlines indicated below, together
with the graduation filing fee, payable to CSU, Chico (the
fee structure is listed below and fees paid are non-refundable).
You may apply for graduation and a grad check by mail, if necessary.
To do so, send your application card, fee, and clearance forms to
Evaluations, CSU, Chico, Chico, CA 95929-0720.
If you need to request a change in the intended date of graduation,
notify Evaluations, located in MLIB 180, fill out new forms, and
pay the refiling fee. Students who are unable to meet graduation
requirements by the intended graduation date must submit another
application card and a small fee to cover the cost of the new diploma.
If you previously applied for a graduation date a year or more ago
and did not meet requirements, you must also submit a new major
clearance form (see Clearance Forms below), an application
card by the appropriate deadlines, and pay the refiling fee.
You will not be cleared to graduate if you owe money to the university.
To avoid graduation delays, check every department where you might
owe money for equipment, books, fines, or other fees.
If you are filing to graduate at
the end of
You will hear by
*of the previous year.
If you file by the deadline you will receive a graduation check
before your final semester begins. If any of these deadlines falls
on a Saturday or Sunday, applications submitted the following Monday
will be accepted.
Diploma replacement fee
All fees are subject to change.
Clearance Forms: Complete a Clearance Form, available
from your major or minor department, for each major and/or minor
you plan to finish. In consultation with your faculty adviser, list
all courses which comprise your major(s) and/or minor(s). Carefully
follow all directions, completing both sides of the form where necessary.
List only those courses required for the major(s) and minor(s) you
plan to complete, using the exact course numbers which appear on
your academic records. If you do not have copies of your records,
you may obtain unofficial copies from the Office of Students Records
and Registration for a copying fee. Be sure that you and the chair
of the department sponsoring your major or minor (or official designee)
approve your form by signing all copies. Unapproved and/or improperly
completed forms will be returned to you, which will delay preparation
of your grad check. Complete the clearance forms in triplicate:
the original is to be submitted with your graduation application
card to the Student Records and Registration Office; the second
copy is for the department sponsoring your major or minor; the third
copy is for your personal file. Any changes to requirements listed
on your clearance forms (including substitutions and waivers) must
be approved and submitted by the chair/major adviser of the sponsoring
department to Evaluations, MLIB 180, by the end of the intended
semester of graduation.
If you are refiling for graduation after more than a year has
passed, you need to submit a new major clearance form or request
that the department of your major approve the former one as a current
statement of graduation requirements.
Graduating with Honors in General Education/Honors in the Major:
If you are graduating with honors in General Education or honors
in your major, check with the Honors Program Adviser for the appropriate
Graduating with Multiple Majors and Minors:
Clearance forms must be submitted for each major and minor which
you are declaring for graduation. If you are applying to graduate
with two majors, one of which leads to the BS degree and the other
to a BA, the academic evaluations staff automatically processes
your papers for the BS degree. If you want to be processed for the
BA instead, carefully note that fact on your graduation application
card or call Academic Evaluations at 530-898-5957. See Graduation
Clearance Documents above for information on what majors
and degrees are indicated on your diploma and permanent record.
Double Counting: With the exception of the Special
Major, double counting courses between major and minor is allowed
without restriction or special approval as to number of units, courses,
or sponsoring department(s) as long as the sponsoring department
deems the course a requirement or an elective for the program and
it is listed in the University Catalog which contains the
program version being used by the student to graduate or
is officially substituted into the program by the signatory adviser.
Approval of all double counting is transmitted via the courses being
listed on the graduation clearance form(s) or by a written memorandum
to the Academic Evaluations office from the signatory adviser. This
double counting is allowed in all major/major, major/minor,
option/option, minor/minor combinations. A student may not graduate
with both a major and a minor of the same name but may receive a
major and a minor from the same department.
Competion of a minor may be a requirement for some major programs;
check with your major adviser. Usually, a minor is not a graduation
requirement; however, completing one may be a useful addition to
your academic program. The number and type of units required for
a minor are specified in The University Catalog and in the
academic planning guides available in the Advising Office, or by
writing to the Admissions Office or the department sponsoring the
minor. Minors range from 18 to 30 semester units; at least 6 units
must be in upper-division courses (those numbered 100 or above).
All courses comprising a minor must be taken for a letter grade,
except for those courses graded CR/NC only. A cumulative GPA of
2.0 or better is required in all courses applicable to a minor.
General Education courses required for a minor may count for both
General Education and the minor. There is no residence requirement
for completion of a minor. An academic department may approve completion
of all minor requirements based on equivalent course work transferred
from other accredited institutions.
DECLARING AND CHANGING ACADEMIC PROGRAMS
Forms for declaring, changing, or adding an undergraduate major,
major option, or minor prior to the time you apply for graduation
are available in the Office of Advising and Orientation (Meriam
REQUIREMENTS FOR A SECOND BACHELORS DEGREE
Graduation requirements for a second bachelors degree are
the same as those for the first:
a) 30 units in residence at Chico subsequent
to the first degree (even if it was earned at Chico), 24 of which
must be upper-division, and 12 of which must be in the major of
the second degree;
b) All courses required for the major,
including the Writing Proficiency (WP) course; and
c) A 2.0 GPA for all Chico, cumulative,
and major course work comprising the second bachelors degree.
Additionally, if you earned your first degree at an institution
outside the California State University system, you may be required
to meet all or part of the two-course U.S. History, Constitution,
and American Ideals requirement. Course work used to meet requirements
for the first degree may be applied to the second major with departmental
Students whose first degree was earned at a specialized postsecondary
school or an institution outside the United States may also have
to complete General Education courses that shall, at a minimum,
include: English composition/language arts; two courses from mathematics,
life, and/or physical science; two courses from humanities and fine
arts; and two courses from behavioral and social sciences. Ethnic
and Non-Western Studies requirements shall be waived if, as part
of the first degree, the student satisfied the minimum humanities
and behavioral and social sciences areas.
If you have questions, or need to know your status toward the
second bachelors degree, consult Evaluations, MLIB 180, during
your first semester of enrollment.
ELECTION OF GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS AND YOUR CATALOG RIGHTS
As long as you maintain continuous attendance at CSU, Chico,
or a combination of CSU campuses and California Community Colleges
(CCC), your catalog rights are protected according to the
You may elect to meet the graduation requirements in effect 1)
at the time you began your college program at any one of the California
State University campuses or California community colleges, 2) when
you entered the CSU campus from which you intend to graduate, or
3) at the time you graduate from a campus of the California State
Continuous attendance is defined as regular attendance....one
regular semester or two regular quarters per each calendar year.
Once you have established your catalog rights, your
absence related to an approved educational leave or for attendance
at another accredited institution of higher learning shall not be
considered an interruption, providing the absence does not exceed
If you are following an earlier version of a program in which
your department has discontinued or modified required courses, the
department may authorize appropriate substitutions.
If while enrolled you declare or change your major, major option,
or minor, you should normally expect to follow the requirements
1) in effect at the time of the declaration or change; or 2) in
effect when you file for graduation. For details see your adviser.
Whether you choose option 1) or 2) concerning your major, major
option, or minor requirements, you may continue to follow the university,
General Education, and Mathematics and Writing Requirements listed
in The University Catalog for which you claim catalog
rights as defined above.
Direct your questions regarding election of graduation requirements
to the Evaluations staff in the Office of Student Records and Registration,
COURSES IN EXCESS OF BACHELORS DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
Courses taken in the final undergraduate semester in excess of
all degree requirements may apply toward a credential or toward
a masters degree. Only the Department of Education, Department
of Professional Studies in Education, or the Office of Graduate
and International Programs can determine the suitability and application
of any excess courses toward specific postbaccalaureate objectives.
If you wish to apply excess undergraduate units toward a masters
degree, you must request permission in the Office of Graduate and
International Programs before the end of your terminal undergraduate
semester. This is a local policy, and employers and other schools
and agencies are not obligated to accept undergraduate units as