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California State University, Long Beach

Changing Your Degree Objectives

CSULB students must meet precise major specific criteria in order to ‘declare a major.' While freshmen are admitted directly into some majors, many majors require that students begin as pre-majors and then declare the major if and when they complete the major specific criteria. All students must have a declared major by the time they reach 60 earned units. This applies equally to students who are:

  • Undeclared
  • Were admitted into a ‘pre-major’ and are requesting to declare the major
  • Requesting to change major
  • Requesting to add a second major

Except for “Highly Impacted” majors and second baccalaureate degrees, native CSULB students can ‘declare a major’ if they meet the major specific minimum cumulative GPA and required lower division preparation. There are limitations on the ability to add a second major or to add/change degree objectives based on the following policies:

If you are a pre-major, undeclared or are considering changing your major, review the information on Major Specific Declaration Requirements for CSULB Students carefully.  Advising resources are also available to you to assist you in finding a major and navigating the transition.  See the University Center for Undergraduate Advising or one of the other Academic Advising Programs in order to discuss your options.

Steps for Pre-majors to Declare the Major

Students who are in a pre-major must meet major-specific criteria in order to declare the major; therefore, you should review the criteria in Major Specific Declaration Requirements for CSULB Students carefully. You can check your progress towards satisfying the pre-major requirements by reviewing your Academic Requirements Report available in ‘Academics Section’ of the Student Center in MyCSULB. Be aware that if you are considering a “Highly Impacted” major, additional requirements will apply and admission to the major is competitive. Once you have satisfied the specified criteria, meet with the department academic advisor to begin the process of declaring your major. If the major advisor supports your request, the advisor will electronically submit your request to the Office of Enrollment Services. Please note that CSULB’s Academic Progress Rules for Undergraduate Programs policy may affect your ability to continue in your degree objective.

Changing Your Major

If you are considering a change of major, be aware that you must meet the major-specific criteria for the new major as defined in Major Specific Declaration Requirements for CSULB Students. You can check how your academic course work applies to the proposed new major’s admission requirements or degree requirements by creating a ‘What-if Report’ available in ‘Academics Section’ of the Student Center in MyCSULB. If you want to see your progress towards meeting the admission requirements, select the ‘pre-major’ code under the Area of Study drop down, such as “Pre-Economics.”If you want to see all of the degree requirements for the major, select the actual major in the Area of Study drop down such as “Economics.”

You should also be aware that two additional policies may affect your ability to change majors.  You should review Academic Progress Rules for Undergraduate Programs below, as well as the Timely Graduation for Undergraduate Students

Once you have satisfied the specified criteria, meet with the department academic advisor to discuss the possibility of changing your major. If the major advisor supports your request, the advisor will electronically submit your request to Enrollment Services. Be aware that additional information may be requested to insure compliance with the policies mentioned above prior to the processing of the request.

Note: Due to the special admission requirements for Second Baccalaureate students, students are not allowed to change their degree objective nor are they eligible to declare additional bachelor-level majors or minors.

Declaring a Second Major

If you are considering adding a second major, be aware that you must meet the major-specific criteria for the new major as defined in Major Specific Declaration Requirements for CSULB Students. You can check how your academic course work applies to the proposed new major’s admission requirements or degree requirements by creating a ‘What-if Report’ available in ‘Academics Section’ of the Student Center in MyCSULB. If you want to see your progress towards meeting the admission requirements, select the ‘pre-major’ code under the Area of Study drop down, such as “Pre-Economics.” If you want to see all of the degree requirements for the major, select the actual major in the Area of Study drop down such as “Economics.” 

You should also be aware that two additional policies may affect your ability to change majors. You should review Academic Progress Rules for Undergraduate Programs which stipulates that if any one of a student’s four GPAs is below 2.5, the student must have the support of his/her primary major advisor prior to declaring an additional major. Please note that students whose major GPAs are near or below a 2.0 are unlikely to be allowed to pursues additional degree objectives until they have improved their major GPA. You should also review the Timely Graduation for Undergraduate Students policy which stipulates that you may complete two major programs simultaneously but all programs must be able to be completed within 120% of the units allowed in the higher unit major.

Once you have satisfied the specified criteria, meet with the department academic advisor to discuss the possibility of changing your major. If the major advisor supports your request, the advisor will electronically submit your request to Enrollment Services. Be aware that additional information may be requested to insure compliance with the policies mentioned above prior to the processing of the request.

Declaring a Minor or Certificate

Students are encouraged to pursue their academic interests; however, all degree objectives (e.g., majors, minors, certificates) must be completed within 120% of the units allowed for the primary degree as stipulated in CSULB's Timely Graduation for Undergraduate Students policy. Also note that CSULB's Academic Progress Rules for Undergraduate Programs policy stipulates that if any one of a student's four GPAs is below 2.5, the student must have the approval of his/her primary major 'advisor' to add any additional degree objectives. Please note that students whose major GPAs are near or below a 2.0 are unlikely to be allowed to pursues additional degree objectives until they have improved their major GPA. If the program advisor for the minor or certificate supports your request for an additional degree objective, the advisor will electronically submit your request to Enrollment Services. Be aware that additional information may be requested to insure compliance with the policies mentioned above prior to the processing of the request.

Minor

A minor is specified at the department level and requires at least 18 units, 9 of which must be upper-division. A minor also requires a 2.00 GPA and 6 units in residence. A minor must be pursued concurrently with a Bachelor's degree. Note that the award of a minor will be reflected on your transcript, not on your diploma.

Certificate

Certificate programs normally require 24 to 27 units and emphasize the application of your knowledge in the subject area. Courses taken to fulfill the Bachelor's degree may also be applied to certificate requirements. Undergraduate certificates must be pursued concurrently with a Baccalaureate Degree. Note that the award of a certificate will be reflected on your transcript, not on your diploma; and a separate certificate document will be issued.

Academic Progress Rules for Undergraduate Programs

The purpose of the Academic Progress Rules for Undergraduate Programs policy is to identify at-risk students who are not making sufficient progress in their undergraduate academic programs for the purposes of intervention. A student so identified will be required to meet with an academic advisor to develop a plan that will lead to successful completion of the student's existing program.

If it is determined that successful completion of the existing academic program is not achievable, then the student will be dismissed from that program and guided to a more appropriate program. The goals of the policy are to ensure that students are pursuing degree objectives that they can successfully complete and making progress in their current degree objectives.

To ensure that students with weaker GPAs do not become overextended but, instead, concentrate on improving their GPAs for successful completion of the primary program, the policy also requires that students with any GPA below a 2.5 receive the approval of their primary major advisor to add any new objective to their degree plan (minor, second major, certificate, etc.). Please note that students whose major GPAs are near or below a 2.0 are unlikely to be allowed to pursues additional degree objectives until they have improved their major GPA.

Students may be denied a request to declare an academic program if the student's academic record already demonstrates lack of success based on that program's approved Academic Progress Rules or their GPAs. These students should be referred to the college's professional advisors or, in their absence, to the University Center for Undergraduate Advising.