Bachelor's Degree Requirements

There are nine basic graduation requirements which all students must meet in order to earn the bachelor's degree from California State University, Chico. These provide the framework within which you develop your academic program. The more you understand your progress towards 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 advisors assigned through your major department, and Academic Advising Programs.

Plan your degree program carefully and review it frequently with your academic advisor. The basic graduation requirements are as follows:

1. Total Units

Bachelor of Arts Degree
120-124 units
Bachelor of Science Degree
120-128 units
Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering
132 units
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 300-499). 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

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 course work (numbered 300 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 bachelor's 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. Diversity

You must complete a minimum of two courses that focus primarily on cultural diversity. At least one course must be in U.S. Diversity and at least one in Global Cultures.

US Diversity

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 towards the 48-unit General Education requirement. Courses from other institutions which meet the intent of this requirement will be accepted.

Global Cultures

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 towards the 48-unit General Education requirement. Courses from other institutions which meet the intent of this requirement will be accepted.

6. U.S. History, Constitution, and American Ideals

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 130, 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 towards graduation.

The Constitution and Ideals (including California state and local government) portion of the requirement may be fulfilled by POLS 155, 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 402, State Government, or POLS 403, 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 for details.

You may not count HIST 130 or POLS 155 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 University's writing requirement, you must pass two courses with a grade of C- or better: ENGL 130, 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 030 (Writing Workshop) concurrently with ENGL 130: Freshman English. English 030 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 130 you are eligible to take the writing proficiency (WP) course in your major.

To satisfy the University's 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 University's academic policies will be considered only by petitioning the department office in the case of major requirements, or the Office of Academic Evaluations for University requirements. The latter petitions may require departmental, college, and administrative approval and will be considered only during the student's last semester before graduation. Direct your questions to Academic Advising Programs.

How to Apply for Your Bachelor's Degree

Congratulations on arriving at this point in your academic career! Please note the following important information as you prepare for graduation.

Steps to Take to Graduate:

  1. Obtain a Graduation Application online at http://em.csuchico.edu/aap/Undergrad/forms/. If you have any questions please contact Academic Evaluations at (530) 898-5957
  2. Meet with your faculty advisor to prepare your official major clearance form.
  3. Meet with your faculty advisor to prepare your official minor clearance form, if appropriate.
  4. Submit your completed graduation materials to Student Records and Registration. Be sure to include:
    • a. Graduation application showing intended date of graduation and intended major(s) and minor(s)
    • b. Major clearance form, completed and signed by your department
    • c. Minor clearance form, if appropriate, signed by your department
    • d. Application filing fee
  5. Take care of any debts you owe to the University.
  6. Participate in the spring commencement ceremony.

The University Will:

  • Prepare your official graduation evaluation, "grad check", and send it to you via e-mail (note filing deadlines below).
  • Order and mail your diploma, or e-mail a non-qualifying letter if you did not meet all degree requirements.

Major and Minor Clearance Forms:

Prepare three copies of your clearance forms. Submit a major clearance form for each major and minor you intend to complete. Meet with your faculty advisor to carefully complete a major clearance form. List all courses required in your major and use the exact course numbers that appear on your official academic records. If you are pursuing a minor, you must follow the same process and submit an approved minor clearance form. You and your advisor must sign the clearance form(s). Submit the original with your graduation application packet. Your major department will retain a copy, and the remaining copy is for you.

Making Changes to your Major and Minor Clearance Forms:

Once you have applied for graduation by submitting the graduation application and clearance form(s), any changes that need to be made to your clearance form(s) must be approved by your Department Advisor. This approval must subsequently be sent to Academic Evaluations via e-mail or through campus mail.

Your Grad Check Document:

Your grad check is an official document our office provides to you to verify all remaining degree requirements. The grad check outlines the following:

  • Total Units which include:
  • -
    • Upper division units
    • -
    • Residence units
  • General Education
  • General graduation requirements
  • Major and minor (if applicable) requirements
  • Grade point deficiencies

Graduation application materials may be mailed to:

Academic Evaluations
CSU, Chico
Chico, CA 95929-0725

Filing Deadlines:

To graduate at the end of: Your Deadline Is: Spring Semester May 15 of previous year Summer term August 15 of previous year Fall Semester December 15 of previous year

If a deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, applications will be accepted the following Monday.

Filing Fees:

Graduation fee
$28
Late fee (must be received prior to graduation date)
$10
Refiling fee
$8
Diploma replacement fee
$12

Note: Fee amounts are subject to change.

Graduation Cycles:

The University has three graduation cycles and official graduation dates that coincide with the end of our three terms: summer, fall, and spring. To qualify for graduation for any given term, you must fully complete all degree requirements by the official graduation date:

Graduation Cycle
Complete All Requirements By:

Summer
August 31
Fall
December 31
Spring
May 31

If you plan to complete coursework in your last term at another college or university, it must be finished in accordance with these dates. To qualify for graduation for any given term, you must fully complete all degree requirements, including applying for your bachelors degree, by the official graduation date

Spring Commencement Ceremony:

Formal graduation ceremonies occur in May. Commencement ceremonies accommodate students graduating in spring, summer or fall as well as those who graduated the preceding fall and summer terms if they did not already participate in a prior ceremony. For information on how to participate in the commencement ceremony, please check the commencement Web site.

Participation in formal commencement is not a guarantee that you have officially graduated. You will graduate only when you follow all steps outlined here and meet all degree requirements.

Changing your Date of Graduation or Not Qualifying for Graduation:

If you do not fully complete all degree requirements, Academic Evaluations will e-mail you a non-qualifying notification explaining why you did not graduate. If you need to change your date of graduation or do not meet degree requirements for the semester in which you applied to graduate, you need to re-file for graduation by submitting new graduation application cards and paying the refiling fee. If you are refiling after more than one year, submit new major and minor (if applicable) clearance forms.

Multiple Majors:

Upon completion of all degree requirements, you will receive one of the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS), or Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). If you complete two or more majors within the same degree (BA, BS, or BFA), then all majors will appear on a single diploma. If you complete two or more majors that lead to different degrees, each degree, with all majors and options leading to that degree are listed on separate diplomas.

Honors in General Education and Honors in the Major:

If you are graduating with honors in general education and/or honors in your major, please check with the Honors Program Advisor for approval procedures.

Debts Owed the University:

You will not graduate if you owe money to the University. Be sure to check with departments to learn if you owe money for equipment, books, fines, or other fees.

Illegible Application Cards and Incorrect Addresses:

The graduation application includes a line that states "Your name will appear on diploma exactly as you indicate below". If your card is illegible, your name will appear as it is listed in our computer system. If you want it to appear differently, you will need to order a replacement diploma, including a $12 fee and a legible diploma order form.

The application card also lists a location to send the diploma 8-10 weeks after the semester has ended. At any point before the diploma is ordered you can change this address in your portal account by changing the diploma address as well as the permanent address.

If we do not receive an accurate diploma address and the diploma is not received, students will have to submit a diploma order form, including a $12 replacement fee and the new address.

Your Diploma:

Diplomas are mailed approximately eight to ten weeks after each official graduation date. Included on your diploma are:

Degree (BA, BS or BFA)
Major and option, if applicable
Date of graduation
Honors, if applicable

If you have multiple majors with the same degree (BA, BS, or BFA), all majors will appear on your diploma. Please note that minors, major patterns, emphasis and certificates earned do not appear on your diploma.

Degree Verification:

An official transcript of your permanent record is the most complete document of your academic history at CSU, Chico. It indicates all degrees, majors and options within the major, minors, certificates, and honors awarded. Your official transcript is available from the Student Records and Registration Office. Once your degree and major (s) have been posted to your official academic record, no changes can be made. Grades may not be changed, retroactive withdrawals or academic renewal will not be allowed, nor will Incomplete grades be changed. If you have an Incomplete grade in a class which is not required for graduation that you plan to complete, you must complete the class by your date of graduation.

Declaring and Changing Academic Programs

Plan Change Forms for declaring, changing, or adding an undergraduate major, major option, or minor prior to the time you apply for graduation are available online at http://em.csuchico.edu/sro/forms.asp. If you have applied for graduation, submit a new major or minor clearance form to Evaluations in Academic Advising Programs in SSC 120.

Requirements for a Second Bachelor's Degree

Graduation requirements for a second bachelor's 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 bachelor's 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 approval.

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 Global Cultures requirements shall be waived if, as part of the first degree, the student satisfied the minimum humanities and behavioral and social sciences areas. The upper division theme requirement is also waived.

If you have questions, or need to know your status towards the second bachelor's degree, consult Evaluations, SSC 120, 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 following regulations:

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 University.

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 two years.

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 advisor.

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 Academic Advising Programs, SSC 120.

Courses in Excess of Bachelor's Degree Requirements

If you take coursework in your final undergraduate semester that is not required for your degree, it may possibly count towards a credential or master's degree. Approval for credential credit must come from either the Department of Education or Department of Professional Studies in Education. If you seek credit towards a master's degree, you must obtain approval from the Office of Graduate and International Programs before the end of your last undergraduate semester. This is a local policy and other agencies or schools are not obliged to accept undergraduate units for postbaccalaureate credit.

Note: This information is subject to change. For the most up to date information, please check the graduation application packet.