Academic Advising Programs

Academic Advising Programs provides the following: Advising, Articulation, Evaluations, National Student Exchange, New Student Orientation and Getting Connected. The purpose of these programs is to help you develop and achieve your educational goals and use the diverse resources available at our university. The focus is on you! Our staff will help facilitate your understanding of the opportunities here, as well as the policies and procedures related to your academic progress. If we don’t have the answer, we will help you find someone who does. We welcome all of your questions, so make a plan to stop in on a regular basis.


Advisors and Academic Evaluators are available to answer your questions regarding academic matters. We can help you understand how to meet General Education and other graduation requirements, choose courses of interest and value to you, select majors and minors as well as other educational offerings (certificates, exchange programs, and internships), and resolve problems related to policies and procedures. We also assist transfer students in understanding their transfer credit evaluations and degree audits. Among our resources is a reference library of college catalogs and course equivalency agreements between Chico, community colleges and other California public institutions.

Advising staff help you explore how General Education, your major, any minor(s) and elective credit complement each other and lead to development of your overall educational program.

Academic Evaluators explain how your transfer credit and courses at Chico meet degree requirements for your program–what requirements you have completed and what requirements remain.

If you have a question regarding course selection, General Education, your overall educational program, or your academic status, stop by Meriam Library 190 and ask at the advising front desk. During the academic year, the Advising and Orientation office is open between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you need to review your Transfer Credit Evaluation or Degree Audit, sign up for an appointment with an Academic Evaluator in the lobby outside Student Records and Registration, MLIB 180.

Advising in your major is provided by the academic department of your major field of study. Students who have declared a major are assigned academic advisors through their major departments and should consult with them soon after you arrive on campus. Faculty advisors will work with you to determine your status towardss meeting major requirements. Our advisors and Academic Evaluators complement the work of faculty advisors. We encourage you to develop close advising relationships with your advisors and other faculty in your major department.

Whether you plan to meet with an Academic Advising Program staff member or your faculty advisor, it is important to plan for your meeting. If possible, request your Degree Audit at least seven to ten days in advance from Academic Evaluations at 530-898-5957 before your appointment and review it carefully. Make a list of your questions and concerns to maximize the time you spend with your advisor.

Undeclared Student Advising

Advising and Orientation (MLIB 190) is the home office for undergraduate students who are still exploring their major options and course of study. We provide special advising help for undeclared students who are unsure about their educational direction, as well as those who just want to explore options. We encourage students who are in the process of deciding on a major to seek assistance from Advising and Orientation when needed.

If you are an undeclared student, we invite you to meet with a staff advisor regularly to plan each semester’s academic program and to explore the ways in which your interests can lead to the choice of a major and even a career. You will also discover ways in which you can create an educational experience that is uniquely yours by combining a major with a minor, certificate program, or even "selected electives."

The Advising and Orientation Office maintains a list of program coordinators and will direct you to appropriate program advisors who share your interests. Prospective student visitors are welcome to call on academic departments in which they are interested to discuss academic programs and resources.

Other Advising Centers

There are other centralized advising centers on campus to assist you:

Business Administration–For students considering a business major, or who are declared pre-business or business administration majors, visit the Undergraduate Business Advising Center, GLNN 323.

Liberal Studies–For students considering a multiple subjects teaching credential (K–8) or a liberal arts degree, visit the Liberal Studies Advising Office, HOLT 101.

Education and Credential Programs–The School of Education offers teaching, specialist, and service credential programs. The Education Services Center, HOLT 101, provides information regarding credential programs and connects students with appropriate subject matter program advisors or professional education coordinators.

New Student Orientation

To welcome new students to Chico–the University and our wonderful community–we provide a variety of orientation opportunities:

Summer Orientation

One- and two-day summer orientation sessions highlight academic scheduling and registration activities for new freshmen and transfer students. These sessions provide comprehensive advising assistance to new students. Information on Summer Orientation is mailed to applicants in April or you can visit our Web site at

Summer Orientation program components include: small group discussions regarding how to meet graduation requirements and choose and register for classes; information on student life; advising in your major; requesting classes; campus and residence hall tours; advising for deciding students; and information on special programs. There is also a full schedule of orientation activities for parents.

When deciding to attend Summer Orientation, consider the following comments from new students and their parents:

"My orientation leader offered information and asked if we had questions, then promptly answered them. It made me feel welcome and at ease." –student.

"I received very good information when selecting my classes. It prepared me for the upcoming semester. I especially enjoyed being able to meet someone from my major department." –student.

"The time was worthwhile. I feel relieved. Personal attention was given and was very helpful." –parent.

"The Small Group Overview was excellent as well as the Insiders’ Panel with student advisors. They give the real picture." –parent.

Academic Advising Sessions

As an alternative to Summer Orientation, the Advising and Orientation Office offers brief, two-hour orientation and academic planning sessions for new students. Mini advising sessions are offered during July, November, and December. An evening session and a Saturday session are offered in November and December for spring applicants. Call ahead to get comprehensive information on these sessions–they’ll help you get off to a good start (530-898-5712).

"Getting Connected"

The week before classes begin, the University celebrates your presence as a new member of our community. As part of that celebration, the University and the Chico community sponsor a variety of special activities for new students. The theme, "Getting Connected," is our way of suggesting the importance of making good and early connections in our community with:

  • The learning environment at Chico,
  • Faculty and staff,
  • Administrative and student leaders,
  • Programs that can improve and enrich your experience, and
  • The community of Chico.

Activities are explained on the following Web site:

Extended Orientation–UNIV 101

We encourage all new freshmen to enroll in our semester-long course, Introduction to University Life (UNIV 101). This course also fulfills your GE area E requirement. More important, you will participate in a semester-long orientation experience that extends your introduction to higher education begun in your orientation program. Use of technology applications in University study and familiarity with Chico campus and community are featured in this program.

International Students

The week before classes begin, the International Programs office conducts a special four-day orientation program for new international students. Among the topics covered are housing assistance, money matters, academic advising, pre-registration information, testing requirements, and general University as well as Chico community information.

Underrepresented Students

Summer and other orientation programs are designed for EOP and other underrepresented students. See "Educational Opportunity Programs" in this catalog.


California Articulation Number (CAN)

Courses from other California colleges and universities are reviewed and aligned with CSU, Chico’s lower-division curriculum to enable students to transfer these credits for use in their degree programs. CSU, Chico is a participating campus in the California Articulation Number (CAN) System. Qualified CSU, Chico courses carry a CAN designation. Courses at other institutions with the same CAN designations represent automatic articulation and can be used in place of the CSU, Chico course. CAN designations are listed in catalog descriptions of the qualified courses (e.g., MATH 120 is qualified as CAN MATH 18).

ASSIST is the statewide intersegmental program that provides a computerized database for articulation and major preparation for transferring students. ASSIST displays California Community College courses which are articulated and may be used in place of CSU, Chico lower-division courses to meet major requirements. Access to this information is available on the Web: For more information, call 530-898-4280.

Other Advising Services

Declaration of a Major or Minor

In some academic programs, students who are declared majors have a higher registration priority than non-majors. This priority may be a factor in obtaining the schedule of classes you desire. It is best to declare or change your major at the first opportunity. "Declaration and Change of Matriculation" forms for declaring and changing an undergraduate major, option, or minor are available on the CSU, Chico web: You need to obtain the signature of a faculty advisor representing the academic program you are declaring and then return the form to SRO. We also prepare a list of advising coordinators in each of the academic units of the University and can refer you to an advisor for the program in which you are interested. To access this list check out

Major Academic Plans (MAPS)

All first-time freshmen who are eligible to enroll in General Education level mathematics and English courses immediately upon admission may be able to graduate in four years. Those with less preparation may take longer. See the chapter on "Undergraduate Education" for steps to graduate in four years.

You may request a suggested eight semester plan for achieving this goal from your major department advisor, the Advising and Orientation Office, or you may view and print it and other advising information from

Visit the Advising and Orientation Office regarding other ways to facilitate your progress towardss graduation. advisors will assist you to create your plan for graduating within an appropriate time frame.

EPT and ELM Advising

For critical information on EPT and ELM policies, refer to the "Math and Writing Requirements" section of this catalog. The Advising and Orientation Office staff can answer questions about test results and appropriate course placement. If you are concerned about your ability to progress through our mathematics or writing requirements, special help is available.

Academic Probation Advising

If your Chico or cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0, you will be placed on academic probation. In this case, you should immediately meet with your faculty advisor, and/or a staff member in Advising and Orientation (MLIB 190) as soon as you can, but don’t wait beyond the first two weeks of the semester, so that changes can still be made to your academic program. You may be able to take advantage of helpful University policies, such as repeating courses with academic forgiveness. You should also restrict your course load to fourteen units or less each semester until you achieve clear academic standing.

All students who are placed on academic probation are required to see their advisors during the first two weeks of the semester to discuss strategies for a return to clear academic standing.

Disqualified Student Advising

We encourage students who have been academically disqualified to seek special advising from staff in Advising and Orientation. We will review your academic record, explain the appeal process that is necessary for reinstatement to the University, and help you to develop a strategy that will maximize your chances of academic recovery. Academically disqualified students desiring reinstatement must file an appeal for reinstatement through this office by the published deadline. You must also reapply to the University. For information on how to appeal or re-appeal your disqualification, talk to an academic advisor or go to

Emergency and Absence Notifications

If you must be absent from class for a week or two and would like us to notify your instructors, please call Advising and Orientation (898-5712). Messages can also be delivered to you on campus if a personal emergency situation warrants.

Withdrawing from the University

Should you ever find it necessary to withdraw from all your classes during the first twelve weeks of the semester, begin the exit process in the Advising and Orientation Office. Our staff will be able to discuss alternatives with you, as well as explain how to apply for a Planned Educational Leave from the University. For information on the withdrawal process, see "Academic Policies and Regulations: Withdrawing from the University."


We encourage you to sign up for an appointment with your Academic Evaluator in the lobby of Meriam Library (MLIB 180) if you have any questions regarding your transfer credit, your remaining degree requirements (your Degree Audit), or other matters that might affect your graduation status. If you cannot sign up in person, call 530-898-5957 to make an appointment with your Academic Evaluator or to check on the drop-in hours.

Transfer Credit

Academic Evaluators review college course work taken previously and apply it to meet your general degree requirements. When your admissions file is complete and evaluated, you may view your degree audit through your Portal account. The degree audit will inform you and your advisor about requirements that remain for your bachelor’s degree.

Generally, credit for work completed at regionally accredited institutions will be transferred and applied where appropriate towardss degree requirements, other than for courses identified by such institutions as remedial or non-transferable. There are certain limitations. No more than 70 semester units (105 quarter units) in course work at a two-year college may be accepted for unit credit towardss the bachelor’s degree. However, courses in excess of 70 semester units will receive subject credit and will be applied to satisfy content requirements as appropriate. Neither upper-divisioncredit nor credit for professional education courses is allowed for two-year college course work. Additionally, no more than 24 semester units earned in extension (including correspondence) courses will be allowed towards the bachelor’s degree. Baccalaureate-level course credit certified by Defense Activities in Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) falls under this limit.

California Community Colleges are authorized by the California State University Trustees to certify the transferability of courses they teach. Therefore, if you are attending one of the California Community Colleges, you should consult a counselor there for information on the transferability of courses.

Transfer credit is not limited to those courses that precisely parallel the courses offered at Chico. Chico honors the grading and recording practices of other accredited collegiate institutions when transferring credit. Academic Evaluators convert quarter units of credit to semester units by multiplying the quarter unit totals by two-thirds.

Transfer Credit from Overseas Institutions

Credit is granted for study completed at recognized overseas institutions. The awarding of credit varies depending on the educational system of the country. Chico students planning to attend overseas institutions should check with Evaluations regarding the acceptability of credit prior to departure.

Credit by Examination

Advanced Placement Examinations

CSU, Chico grants credit towards its undergraduate degrees for successful completion of examinations of the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board. Students who present scores of 3, 4, or 5 will be granted college credit. The number of units and how they meet specific academic content requirements are specified in the chart on the previous page. Please see the .pdf version of this chapter to view the charts.

Other Credit by Examination

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) CSU, Chico grants credit and/or fulfills requirements for certain CLEP Exams taken July 2001 or later as indicated in the chart below. Please see the .pdf version of this chapter to view the charts. For CLEP Exams taken prior to July 2001, please consult an Academic Evaluator (530-898-5957).

There are some limits to the amount of credit that will be granted for results on external examinations. First, no more than 30 semester units of such credit may count towards degree requirements. Credit for Advanced Placement examinations is not included in this limit. Where credit has already been awarded at the equivalent or at a more advanced level, additional credit by examination shall not be awarded. Where partial overlap exists, credit in the amounts indicated above will be reduced accordingly. Credit by examination is not considered residence credit for purposes of residency requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

Credit for Non-Collegiate Instruction

CSU, Chico grants undergraduate degree credit for successful completion of non-collegiate instruction, either military or civilian, appropriate to the baccalaureate, that has been recommended by the Commission on Educational Credit and Credentials of the American Council on Education. The number of units allowed are those recommended in the Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services and the National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs.

Credit for Prior Learning

CSU, Chico grants up to 30 units of credit for learning, knowledge, or skills-based experience that has been documented and evaluated according to campus policy. Please see the chapter on "Academic Policies and Regulations" subsection on "Academic Credit for Prior Experience" in the catalog for complete information.

National Student Exchange

Approximately fifty-five students participate in domestic exchanges between CSU, Chico and the 174 member institutions of the National Student Exchange (NSE) Consortium in the United States and its territories. If you are interested in this exciting opportunity and want to learn more, schedule an appointment with the NSE advisor in the Office of Advising and Orientation (MLIB 190, 898-5712).