Baccalaureate Degree Information
Student Success and Graduation
CSULB’s core academic purpose is to graduate students with highly valued degrees. Graduation rates for CSULB students have increased dramatically in recent years and the length of time it takes students to complete degrees has decreased. The key improvements that the campus made to improve graduation rates were to ensure the availability of needed classes and to provide much richer support for entering freshmen in the form of advising and learning communities. These improvements were key reasons why CSULB was named one of “America’s Best Colleges and Universities” by U.S. News and World Report and "No. 3 best value public college in the nation" by America's Best Value Colleges.
Frequently Asked Questions
Students ask many of the following questions. Successful students know the answers to these frequently asked questions. Please read them carefully. Knowing these answers can help you avoid pitfalls during your first semesters on campus. For further information, see this section of the Catalog or contact the Academic Advising Center at (562) 985-4837.
1. How can I tell what requirements I still need to meet before I graduate? Use MyCSULB to check your Degree Progress Report. The requirements you still need to meet are marked in bold in the headings. The top part of the report shows university requirements (e.g., total units, total upper-division units, total CSULB units) and General Education requirements. Then the report lists requirements for your major and for your minor (if any). You can bring a printout of the Degree Progress Report to your major advisor or the Academic Advising Center for assistance.
2. Can my General Education (GE) Courses be used for GE and for my major (“double counted”)? A course that is not offered by the department of your major may be counted both toward GE and toward the requirements for your major. Courses in your major department may not be used to satisfy GE requirements except for some specific categories. (Exceptions are listed with the GE requirements in the Schedule of Classes along with a list of the approved GE courses.) Remember, you can only earn unit credit once for a course.
3. How many units will transfer from a California Community College to CSULB? All bachelor’s level courses transfer, but only 70 units of transferable course work will apply to your bachelor’s degree. Additional transferable course work will receive subject credit only.
4. I transferred from a California Community College. Do I have to take any General Education courses? If you have received General Education certification, you are required to complete an additional nine (9) units of upper-division GE courses. If you have not been certified as having met the transfer pattern, you must meet the CSULB General Education requirements.
5. What does General Education (GE) Certification mean? There are three GE certification processes. Two may be completed at the California Community College (CCC). They are either (1) the California State University (CSU) Transfer Pattern or (2) the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). The third certification process may be completed at another CSU. In all cases, GE certification means that you have completed your lower-division GE at a CCC or at another CSU. GE certification must be clearly indicated on your official CCC or CSU transcript.
6. Does having an A.A. degree from a California Community College mean I am GE Certified? Usually not. The minimum requirements for most A.A. degrees do not include the lower-division GE pattern required by CSULB. CSULB also requires an additional nine (9) units of upper-division GE courses.
7. What is partial General Education (GE) Certification? Partial Certification means that transfer students have completed subject and unit requirements in some GE categories, but not others.
CSULB offers 71 Baccalaureate degrees (see a list of degree programs and admission requirements at the beginning of this Catalog). Baccalaureate degree programs are constructed of three interrelated areas: (1) the breadth component, called the General Education Program, which provides the basis for the baccalaureate degree with courses that offer training in general skills, methodologies, and habits of thought; (2) the depth component, or major, which establishes an understanding of the breadth of a body of knowledge, competence in the fundamental skills and methodologies of the discipline, and understanding and skill at an appropriate depth in one or more facets of the discipline; and (3) the elective component that provides the possibility for personal exploration, enhancement, and development to complement the rest of the degree program (and might include a minor and/or a certificate program).
Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree
1. Completion of a minimum of 120 units for the Bachelor of Arts. Completion of the minimum number of units which could range from 120 to 140 required by the major program for the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts, or Bachelor of Music degrees. See the description of the requirements for each major for the specific number of units required. There are restrictions (below) on how many units in certain categories may be counted toward the minimum unit requirement.
2. Completion of at least 40 upper-division units (courses numbered 300-499). No course taken at any community college may count toward fulfillment of these 40 units.
3. Completion of at least 30 units in residence at CSULB of which at least 24 must be upper-division and at least 12 must be in the major. Units earned in Extended Education cannot be counted toward fulfillment of the residence requirement.
4. Completion of the General Education program, described below, including at least 9 units in upper-division courses completed at CSULB.
5. Completion of the specific course and unit requirements for the academic major, as shown in the alphabetic listing for the major department. If the requirements are changed during students' continuous attendance at CSULB, they have the right to meet either the requirements in effect when they entered the major or the requirements in effect at the time they graduate. All upper-division courses required for a major must be completed within the ten-year period preceding award of the baccalaureate degree. Courses completed prior to this ten-year period can be revalidated by such demonstrations of competence or knowledge of the subject as may be prescribed by the department offering the course.
6. Satisfactory fulfillment of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) (See a description of the requirement at the end of this section.)
7. Achievement of a minimum 2.0 (“C”) grade-point average in each of the following:
a. The entire college record.
b. All units attempted at CSULB.
c. All courses in the major.
d. All upper-division courses in the major completed at CSULB.
8. Formal approval by the faculty of the university.
The on-line Catalog includes Road Maps showing a suggested sequence of courses to enable students to complete all degree requirements in a timely fashion. Since individual circumstances can vary, students should consult their major advisors for assistance in planning appropriate programs.
Freshman 0.0 to 29.9 units
Sophomore 30.0 to 59.9 units
Junior 60.0 to 89.9 units
Senior 90.0 or more units
Postbaccalaureate holding a baccalaureate or equivalent degree
Restrictions on Units That May Be Counted Toward the Minimum Required for the Baccalaureate
Activity courses provide practice in such areas as music, dance, physical education and Sports, Athletics, and Recreation. Except as required by a student's major, students may apply to the degree no more than eight units each of activity course credit in music, dance, or physical education and no more than four units of activity course credit in SAR, up to a total of no more than 20 units in all areas.
No more than 70 units of courses from a Community College may be counted toward the minimum unit requirement for the baccalaureate. (For more detail, see the section on Transfer Credit in the Academic Information section of this Catalog.)
A maximum of 24 semester units of Extension Credit may be accepted toward a baccalaureate degree.
The Open University program allows enrollment in regular university credit courses by those people who are not currently admitted to and/or registered at CSULB. Enrollment is on a “space available” basis, subject to the approval of the instructor and the department chair concerned. No more than 24 units of special session course credit earned through Open University or UCES Special Sessions course offerings at CSULB in non-matriculated status may count toward any undergraduate degree requirement. Students are considered in non-matriculated status in terms prior to the term of official admission to the degree granting program and during terms of disqualification from the degree granting program.
There is no limit on UCES Special Sessions course credit, including Winter session, applicable to the degree if taken while in matriculated status in the degree program.
General Education is an important component of the baccalaureate degree and of students' personal development. It is the part of the university program which encourages students to develop or improve such basic life skills as self-motivation, independence, creativity, critical thinking, an understanding of values, and a general philosophy by which to make decisions throughout life. Possession of these skills makes possible continued personal growth and the further development of students' creative and adaptive capabilities. It is the basis for lifelong learning, and it can increase the student's ability to be self-directing.
At California State University, Long Beach, courses approved for General Education credit provide:
• Information: the raw material for thinking, analysis, reflection, and discourse;
• Basic Skills: the ability to analyze ideas and data, to relate these to other materials, to develop arguments both logical and cogent, to reach conclusions, and to present the results of these processes with clarity and style;
• Methods of inquiry: direction and practice in methodologies of the several disciplines;
• Qualities of Mind: a respect for data and unpleasant facts; tolerance, commitment, a taste for learning; an appreciation of the arts; creativity, perpetual curiosity, and a sensitivity to ethical considerations.
The General Education Learning Objectives are as follows:
Students will be able to communicate their ideas clearly to others, in both oral and written forms.
2. Critical Thinking
Students will demonstrate the abilities of critical thinkers, including abilities to synthesize, draw connections and make reasonable conclusions based on the analysis of large amounts of source material, with a willingness to analyze their own assumptions and biases objectively in this process.
3. Quantitative Reasoning
Students will demonstrate quantitative understanding of data presented in numerical, graphical, or geometric formats and will be able to use quantitative methods to solve real problems.
4. Information Literacy
Students will be critical users of the Internet and print information resources and will demonstrate the abilities to use and to apply what they learn.
5. Personal and Civic Responsibility
Students will demonstrate an understanding of ethics and civic responsibility in local, national, and global society; understand their own connections to the global society; and be able to use this information to make informed decisions.
6. Interpersonal Skills
Students will be able to work with others effectively in diverse settings and will be skilled in perspective taking (putting oneself in the audience's shoes), and in managing conflict constructively.
7. Cultural Awareness
Students will display cultural awareness by demonstrating an appreciation of artistic and cultural productions; an understanding of the world, the people in it, and the structures people create; and they will be able to compare and contrast their own cultural background to other communities.
Students will display a sense of self (in a personal as well as an historical context) and an ability to make successful personal choices, including an initiative to choose an educational path to meet their personal goals.
9. Interdisciplinary Methods of Inquiry
Students will demonstrate an ability to examine issues from the viewpoints of different disciplines, recognizing different ways in which people approach knowledge, different ways of asking questions, and different ways of interpreting evidence.
10. Lifelong Learning
Students will demonstrate the traits of open-mindedness, a willingness to take risk, self-initiative, and curiosity as well as a desire to continue questioning and learning beyond their major discipline.
The General Education Program at CSULB includes both the breadth requirement defined by policy of the Board of Trustees of The California State University campus and the graduation requirements in United States History and in American Institutions (Sections 40405 and 40404, Title 5, California Code of Regulations). Within the program, a minimum of 9 semester units must be upper-division general education courses taken at the campus conferring the degree. Credit toward the remainder of the program may be transferred from another institution. A participating, regionally-accredited institution may certify completion of an approved pattern of lower-division course units that meets all breadth categories.
General Education Requirements
To receive a baccalaureate degree from California State University, Long Beach, students must complete at least 51 semester units of General Education courses distributed as specified below. Only courses specifically approved for General Education and so listed in the Schedule of Classes for the semester in which the student takes the course may be used to fulfill General Education requirements. At least three units of the 51 General Education units must be instruction which focuses on global issues or world societies and cultures (Global Issues Courses). At least three units of the 51 General Education units must be instruction which focuses on instructive examples of human diversity (Human Diversity Courses). At least nine of the 51 General Education units must be upper-division units taken at CSULB and after achieving upper-division standing (completion of 60 semester units). The 51 units of General Education course work include three units of work in U.S. History and three units in U.S. Constitution and American Ideals, required by Section 40404, Title 5, California Code of Regulations. (See Category D. below). Title 5 provides that each student shall demonstrate competence by completing a course in these fields or by passing a comprehensive examination in them. These examinations are provided by the Departments of History and Political Science, respectively.
No course in the student's major department may be used to satisfy GE requirements with these exceptions: all courses in Category A, Category B.1.a for life science majors, Category B.2 for mathematics majors, Category C.1 and C.3 for art and music majors, Category D.1.a for history majors, Category D.1.b for political science majors, all interdisciplinary courses (I), and human diversity courses (H, identified with “?" in the Schedule of Classes) for all majors. A cross-categorized Interdisciplinary Course may be counted (at the student's option) in any one of the approved categories, but not in more than one.
Engineering and Technology students may have special GE requirements.
First Year: Foundation
The first year at CSULB is designed to devote special attention to the development and improvement of fundamental academic skills that are critical to student success in college. Every CSULB student will be expected to demonstrate mastery of key academic skills early in their course of study, ideally within the first year. Among the skills most central to success are communication in English, both written and oral, mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning, and analytical and critical thinking. Students also need a solid foundation in skills for learning, including the ability to read for information, information retrieval skills, the use of the library, and basic computer skills. In addition, all first-year students will receive an introduction to the University. Finally, the University is committed to fostering the development of communities of learners, and it will provide to all incoming students opportunities for the formation of learning communities.
The Foundation curriculum consists of twelve units of general education courses that meet the distribution requirements in Categories A and B2, and one unit of University 100. The following courses make up the Foundation:
• University 100 (1 unit), “The University.” This course is a graduation requirement for students entering as lower-division students. It is coordinated pedagogically with the skills and content of the first-year curriculum. It introduces students to the history of universities (including the history, mission, and character of CSULB) and current issues in higher education. It introduces students to the use of our academic research library and also introduces them to the skills essential for success in an academic environment. It does not count toward the 51 units required in General Education.
• One 3-unit course in written composition in English.
• One 3-unit course in oral communications.
• One 3-unit course in mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning.
• One 3-unit course in critical thinking.
The courses listed above must all be completed with a grade of at least "C". Where appropriate exams exist, Foundation requirements may be met by advanced placement.
The 13-unit Foundation curriculum must be completed by the time a student has completed 36 units of baccalaureate-level work at CSULB, except that lower-division transfer students have at least one semester in residence to complete the requirements.
Courses in the Foundation curriculum are numbered from 100 to 199. All other General Education courses have pre- or co-requisites from the Foundation curriculum, and all General Education courses numbered 200 or higher have the entire Foundation curriculum as prerequisites. General Education courses numbered between 100 and 199 may appropriately be taken at the same time as courses in the Foundation curriculum.
After an early focus on fundamental learning and academic skills, students will have an opportunity to explore human knowledge in many disciplines. The Explorations stage encompasses all areas outside the Foundation curriculum, except the final nine units of General Education, described under “Capstone.”
Although the primary purpose of Explorations is the development of breadth of knowledge, all courses offer opportunities for continued development of foundational skills. Reading, writing, oral discussion and presentation, problem solving and/or quantitative reasoning, and critically- and analytically-based research are central to the learning of content.
In addition, as students progress though the Explorations, they are expected to develop additional skills and attributes, including ethical reasoning, analytical reading, creativity, respect for difference, awareness of other cultures, questioning of stereotypes, the values of citizenship, negotiating skills, and other attributes of use in a diverse society.
The final nine General Education units form the Capstone. All students, including transfer students who have completed a certified lower-division General Education program, must complete 9 units of Capstone courses. Students must take these courses at CSULB. The purpose of the Capstone is to bring the strands of the General Education experience into focus, to reinforce knowledge and skills acquired from many areas, and to incorporate depth in the form of more sophisticated tools and analysis, if not necessarily in terms of content knowledge.
Capstone General Education courses are at the upper-division level. Prerequisites for these courses include upper-division standing and the entire Foundation curriculum, along with one or more prerequisites from the Explorations stage. All Capstone courses are designed to develop advanced college skills, including synthesis and application of knowledge, analysis, critique, and research.
Capstone classes are classified as Interdisciplinary (identified with the letter "I" in the Schedule of Classes), Advanced Skills (identified with the letter "A" in the Schedule of Classes), Service Learning (identified with the letter "S" in the Schedule of Classes), or Linked (identified with the letter "L" in the Schedule of Classes). Students are permitted to count no more than one Advanced Skills class and one Service Learning class toward the 9-unit Capstone requirement.
Students must complete at least three units of course work devoted to global issues or world societies and cultures (designated with a W or "?" in the Schedule of Classes). This may be in any category. (For students under the 1998 or earlier catalog, the Global Issues course must be in Category D.) Students who transfer with all lower-division requirements certified are exempt from this requirement.
Human Diversity Requirement
At least three units of the General Education program must be course work that focuses on instructive examples of human diversity in the United States. The course may be in any category. Human Diversity courses are identified with a "?."
General Education Distribution Requirement
General Education units must be distributed as follows:
Communication in the English Language and Critical Thinking — 9 units to include:
1. One approved course in written English;
2. One approved course in oral communication or a combination of oral and written communication, to include an understanding of the process of communication and experience in communication;
3. One approved course in critical thinking, designed to develop the ability to reason clearly and logically and to analyze the thinking of others.
Physical Universe — 12 units to include:
1. At least six units of inquiry into the physical universe and its life forms to include one approved course in the life sciences and one approved course in the physical sciences; both must involve laboratory experience;
2. At least three units of study in mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning; approved courses foster an understanding of mathematical concepts rather than merely providing instruction in basic computational skills;
3. Another three units as necessary, selected from approved courses, to achieve a minimum of 12 units.
Humanities and the Arts — 12 units to include:
1. At least three units from approved fine arts courses;
2. At least six units from approved courses to include courses in at least two of the following areas:
b. philosophy, and
c. foreign languages.
3. Another three units as necessary, selected from approved courses to achieve a minimum of 12 units.
Social and Behavioral Sciences and History — 15 units to include:
a. Three units selected from courses in U.S. History;
b. Three units selected from courses in U.S. Constitution and Ideals, including state and local government.
2. Social and Behavioral Sciences
At least 9 units from the approved courses in at least two disciplines.
Self-Integration — 3 units:
At least three units selected from approved courses which facilitate understanding of the human being as an integrated physiological, psychological, and social organism.
General Education Certification for Transfer Students
General education certification is available from California community colleges and CSU campuses. Fully certified students have completed all of their lower-division GE courses at either institution. CSULB also accepts partial certification in one or more GE categories. Students with GE certification must complete 9 units of upper-division general education courses at CSULB, and must satisfy the US History requirement (an approved three unit course in either early or recent US History,) and the US Constitutions requirement (an approved three unit course in national government, and California state and local government.)
Choosing a major is one of the most important, and sometimes most difficult, academic decision students will make during their college careers. There may be many possible choices of major that would provide preparation for a given career. The section on Degrees, Options, Minors, and Certificates earlier in this Catalog shows the many choices available and where to find information on each. Many departments have additional information posted on their web pages, accessible from the university's home page. Students are encouraged to interview faculty in possible majors and to seek the help of student services professionals to assist them in making this important decision.
A choice of major is not a final decision. There is no limit to the number of times a student may change majors.
Declaration of a Major
To help insure timely completion of graduation requirements, students who have a total of 60 units completed must have declared a major before they may register for the next term. Upper-division transfer students are required to declare their intended major on their application for admission. (PS 06-04)
Change of Major or Other Objective
Undergraduate students declaring a major for the first time or changing from one degree program or degree option program to another must submit an approved Change of Major/Declaration form to the Office of Enrollment Services. Some departments may submit these forms electronically.
Students who are candidates for a certificate or credential program must also file a Request to Graduate. (Please see Graduation section of the Catalog.)
The evaluation of credits transferred to the University is based in part upon the objective indicated on the application for admission. Students should be aware, therefore, that under some circumstances transfer courses accepted for one purpose may not be acceptable for other purposes. Graduation checks needing to be redone may carry a special fee.
Students may complete the requirements for two baccalaureate programs concurrently, but only one degree will be conferred and only one diploma issued. Therefore, one baccalaureate program must be designated as the primary major. The degree will then take on the designation, i.e., Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, associated with that primary major. The fact that the requirements of two majors have been completed will be noted on both the diploma and the transcript. A course, or courses, may be used to satisfy the individual requirements of both majors, without limit, as long as the required pattern of course work is completed for each major.
A minor is a structured selection of courses by which a student can enrich his or her academic preparation through concentrated study of a discipline that is different from, but may be related to, the student’s declared major. A minor is a means to augment or complement the major by broadening the student’s academic experience or serving as preparation for a specific career. A minor is not required for the baccalaureate; however, students may elect to complete a minor and have that fact noted on their records. Students should consult with an advisor in their major department for recommendations on suitable minor fields of study.
A minor consists of a minimum of 18 units, as specified by the department or program, at least nine of which must be upper-division. The minor may be in a single subject or interdisciplinary. Students may not declare or receive a minor in the same subject as the major, and the major and minor may not have the same title. The description of each minor shall have a statement listing all majors, if any, that may not be combined with that particular minor. The minimum overall GPA in courses toward the minor is 2.0. A minimum of six units of course work toward the minor must be taken at CSULB.
Students should refer to the requirements of the department and college of their major, to see whether a minor is required for that major. Even if a minor is not required, students may elect to complete one or more minors from those available and have that so noted on their transcripts. Unlike certificates, minors are awarded only as part of a baccalaureate degree. Students may not finish a minor after they have graduated, except in conjunction with a second baccalaureate degree.
California State University, Long Beach offers 40 baccalaureate-level programs leading to the award of a Certificate. Certificate programs differ from baccalaureate majors and minors in their emphasis on practical and applied uses of knowledge in a specific area of human enterprise. Certificates may only be earned concurrently with or following the award of the baccalaureate degree. Certificate programs must require at least 18 units of course work, of which at least 15 units must be at the upper-division level. Many certificates require 24 to 27 units. Courses taken to fulfill the requirements for the baccalaureate may also be applied to certificate requirements. A maximum of two 500-level courses, taken by eligible students in their senior year, may be applied to a baccalaureate certificate program. Extension and/or transfer credit may comprise no more than one-fourth of the course work used to meet baccalaureate certificate requirements. A grade-point average of at least 2.0 must be maintained in the certificate program's course work.
Students wishing to pursue a baccalaureate certificate program should consult the relevant department as early as possible to receive early advisement on the program. Students wishing to receive a certificate must so indicate on the Request to Graduate form filed with the Office of Enrollment Services.
Additional Baccalaureate Degrees
A graduated student who wishes to pursue an additional baccalaureate degree and maintain undergraduate status may do so by completing a minimum of 30 units in residence after graduation, of which 24 units must be upper-division courses and 12 units must be in the major. (See the Catalog section on admissions for restrictions on the admission of candidates for a second baccalaureate degree.)
A senior, with advance approval of the Academic Appeals Committee, may earn a maximum of twelve units toward the additional degree while in residence for the first degree. Any courses to be applied to the additional degree must be specified and taken in addition to those needed to satisfy the requirements of the first degree.
Students applying for and accepted to a second baccalaureate degree program who have received their first baccalaureate degree or equivalent from an institution outside of the U.S. will be required to complete any deficiencies in the General Education pattern and will be evaluated for General Education on the same basis as undergraduates.
Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)
In order to obtain a degree or certificate from CSULB, all students must demonstrate upper-division competence in academic writing in English. For the purposes of fulfilling the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR), students are responsible for developing the skills necessary to demonstrate this level of writing competence (which should include analysis and exemplification with one or more of the following: synthesis, critique, inquiry, and argument).
All undergraduate students must fulfill the GWAR by one of the following:
1. Passing the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE);
2. Passing another approved CSULB assessment of writing competence;
3. Having already passed an assessment of writing competence GWAR while matriculated at another CSU campus.
Assessments of writing competence from non-CSU campuses will be evaluated by the GWAR Coordinator as a fulfillment of the GWAR on an articulation basis if possible, or on a case-by-case basis if necessary.
Students needing to fulfill the GWAR must take the WPE at least once. Students who do not pass the WPE may take it a second time or may attempt to fulfill the GWAR by another approved assessment of writing competence.
All continuing CSULB and transfer students who must fulfill the GWAR must register for and take the WPE by the end of the semester in which they earn 65 units. Upper-division transfer students who enter CSULB with 65 or more units must take the WPE within their first semester of residency at CSULB. (PS 04-06)
To register for the WPE, students must pick up an application at the Office of Testing and Evaluation Services, BH-216, (562) 985-4007, www.csulb.edu/centers/tests. Students must pay a fee each time they take the WPE to cover the costs of test administration and scoring.
Students may attend free three-hour workshops scheduled one to two weeks prior to each WPE date indicated in the Schedule of Classes and may obtain information about these workshops, the WPE workbook, and related services from the Testing Office.
Students who fail any approved assessment of writing competence two times must meet with a GWAR faculty advisor located in the Learning Assistance Center in the Horn Center, Room 104 (562) 985-5350. Such students will be required to present evidence that they have followed the advisor’s recommendations regarding course work, tutoring, or other services connected to developing the requisite skills before they will be allowed to register for a third attempt.
The GWAR, Registration Holds, and Application to Graduate
All undergraduate students who have not attempted the WPE by the time they earn 65 units, as specified earlier, will have registration holds placed on their records. Students must sign up for and take the WPE to release registration holds. Students with compelling reasons can file requests at the Office of Testing and Evaluation Services for deferment of these registration holds. In certain circumstances, students, with help from their faculty or staff advisors, may submit an appeal or contract to release a registration hold temporarily. All students must attempt to fulfill the GWAR before filing a graduation application.
Dates and Requests to Graduate
The university awards degrees at the end of each of four terms in a year: January (work completed at the end of Winter session); May or June (end of the Spring semester); August (end of Summer Session); and December (end of the Fall semester.)
Seniors and graduate students who expect to receive degrees or Certificates at the end of any semester, winter or summer session must complete the Request to Graduate form and/or Certificate form well in advance. The appropriate request for Spring or Summer candidates must be filed by the preceding October 15; and for Fall or Winter candidates, by the preceding March 1, at the Office of Enrollment Services. The names of Candidates who file within these deadlines will appear in the Commencement Program published each Spring. Publication of names in the program does not constitute graduation from the university. Credential students should apply in the Credential Processing Office, located in the Graduate School of Education, or the Office of Enrollment Services by February 1 for December completion and by October 1 for Spring and Summer sessions.
Requests to graduate submitted later than the deadline will be processed after those submitted on time. The degree will be granted once all requirements have been completed, but the student’s name will not be printed in the Commencement Program.
Completion of Records and Requirements
Prior to receiving a degree, students are responsible for the following:
• Insuring that the university has received official transcripts of all work completed at other institutions. If graduation depends on any classes taken outside CSULB during the final semester or session, the transcript must be submitted by the announced date, approximately one month after the official graduation date.
• Completing all requirements for the degree, including the minimum number of units. Units will not be counted toward the minimum if they are above the acceptable total in certain categories, as listed in the degree requirements, or if they are a repetition of a course for which credit has already been counted. Any substitutions or waivers of course requirements must be submitted by the advisor.
• Completing all “in progress” and “Incomplete” courses that are to be completed. No additional work may be completed after the degree is awarded. No grade can be changed after the degree is awarded, except for a change resulting from a grade appeal. Any Incomplete remaining on the record as of the graduation date will be counted as if it were an “F,” with units attempted but no grade points earned, unless the instructor has specified on the Incomplete form that some other grade be recorded.
Final review of records begins three weeks after final exams in the student’s last term, and can take up to three months. If all degree requirements are complete, the degree and any honors are added to the transcript. The transcript is the official verification of the degree.
It is the student's responsibility to submit records of all changes in the record no later than the last day of the final semester or session. Such materials include transcripts from other institutions and amendments, substitutions, waiver, and grade changes.
Graduation with Honors
The following grade-point average criteria are used to identify undergraduate students eligible for the honors specified:
1. 3.95 to 4.00 graduated Summa Cum Laude
2. 3.80 through 3.94 graduated Magna Cum Laude
3. 3.50 through 3.79 graduated Cum Laude
An undergraduate student may be considered eligible for honors at graduation provided that a minimum of 45 units are earned at California State University, Long Beach. For the first baccalaureate degree, the GPA will be determined from units earned at CSULB plus transferred units. For the second baccalaureate degree, the GPA will be determined only by courses taken after the first degree was awarded.
With the approval of the Dean of the College, departments may elect to award departmental honors to their graduates based on GPA and/or other criteria determined by the department. The number of honors awarded by a department will be limited to three students or five percent of graduates, whichever is larger.
University honors will be noted on the diploma and transcript. Departmental honors will be noted on the transcript only. (PS 98-11)
Undergraduate students exhibiting outstanding scholastic achievement are honored by being included on the President’s or Dean's List. A certificate will be issued for each semester in which the student receives this honor. (PS 98-11)
Students will be placed on the President’s List to honor them for academic achievement each semester in which they complete 12 or more graded course units with a semester GPA of 3.75 - 4.0. Students earning fewer than 12 graded course units per semester will be placed on the President's List in the Spring semester of the academic year in which they accumulate 12 or more graded course units with an academic year GPA of 3.75 - 4.0. (PS 98-11
Students will be placed on the Deans' List to honor them for academic achievement each semester in which they complete 12 or more graded course units with a semester GPA of 3.5 - 3.74. Students earning fewer than 12 graded course units per semester will be placed on the Deans' List in the Spring semester of the academic year in which they accumulate 12 or more graded course units with an academic year GPA of 3.5 - 3.74. (PS 98-11)
• Phi Beta Kappa – Founded at the College of William and Mary in 1776, it is the oldest and most prestigious honor society for students of the liberal arts and sciences. A chapter was established at California State University, Long Beach in 1977.
Graduating seniors are elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa on the basis of extraordinary scholarly performance at this University, after study of their records by faculty members who are themselves members of Phi Beta Kappa. No action on the part of the student is necessary to initiate consideration. Inquiries should be directed to the President of the University chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, Dr. Harold Schefski, Department of Romance, German, and Russian Languages and Literatures.
Two additional societies which may elect students from all academic areas are:
• Mortar Board – Founded in 1918 as an honor society focusing on scholarship, leadership, and service. Mortar Board was the first national honor society founded by and for college senior women, and the membership expanded to include men in 1975. The California State University, Long Beach Cap and Gown Chapter was founded in 1972, and grew out of an honor club established here by seven women in 1963. The Cap and Gown Chapter is one of over 200 Mortar Board Chapters, with a total national membership of over 250,000 dedicated, active scholars.
Mortar Board's focus is on collaboration and balancing positive ideology with practical leadership building experiences. Mortar Board holds that both community service and dedication to academic excellence must remain constant in order to provide a full college career.
Membership is extended to service-oriented CSULB seniors who maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.
• Phi Kappa Phi – Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, it is the oldest and largest national honor society which recognizes and encourages superior scholarship in all academic disciplines. Chapter 86 was established at California State University, Long Beach, in 1963.
Admission to Phi Kappa Phi is by invitation only and requires nomination and approval by the chapter and national society. Membership for juniors, seniors, and graduate students is based on integrity of character, one year residence in the University, and outstanding scholarship. Inquiries should be directed to the President of the University chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, Dr. C. J. Walter, c/o College of Business Administration.
Other societies may limit membership to particular academic areas. Among these organizations at California State University, Long Beach are the following:
• Beta Alpha Psi (Accounting) — National scholastic fraternity to give recognition to excellence in the field of accounting.
• Beta Gamma Sigma (Business Administration) — National honorary business society to recognize superior academic performance.
• Chi Epsilon (Civil Engineering) — National honor society open to Civil Engineering majors with a 2.9 GPA.
• Chi Sigma Iota (Counseling) — International honor society open to graduate students with a GPA of 3.5, scholars, and practitioners in the counseling profession.
• Eta Kappa Nu (Electrical Engineering) — National honor society furthering area interests and promoting scholarship. GPA requirements for seniors 2.8, for juniors 3.0.
• Kappa Delta Pi (National honor society for teachers) — encourages high professional, intellectual, and personal standards. Recognizes outstanding contributions to education.
• Kappa Tau Alpha — National honor society that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication.
• Omicron Nu (Family and Consumer Sciences) — National honor society recognizing superior scholarship and promoting leadership and research in the field of Family and Consumer Sciences.
• Phi Alpha (Social Work) — National honor society to improve the goals of social work on campus. GPA requirement 3.0.
• Phi Alpha Theta (History) — National honor society in history, founded to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians.
• Phi Beta Delta (International Education) — National society, founded at CSULB, recognizes students from all disciplines with high GPAs and extensive involvement in international education or international studies.
• Phi Delta Gamma (Scholarship) — National honor society which fosters academic achievement and professional preparation.
• Phi Delta Kappa (Education) — National organization which promotes service, research, and leadership in education. Members include both students and faculty.
• Phi Epsilon Kappa (Physical Education) — National society for recognition in sports and physical education. 3.0 GPA requirement and faculty recommendation.
• Phi Mu Alpha-Sinfonia (Music) — National organization for students in music. Promotes music in America, especially contemporary American music.
• Phi Alpha Alpha (Public Administration) — National society to encourage scholarship among students of public administration.
• Phi Sigma Tau (Philosophy) — National honor society for students with a strong undergraduate concentration in philosophy.
• Pi Kappa Lambda (Music) — National honor society for scholastic achievement in music.
• Pi Lambda Theta (Education) — National organization for undergraduate and graduate students. Purpose is to maintain high standards of scholarship and preparation for teaching.
• Pi Mu Epsilon (Mathematics) — National honor society recognizing distinction in mathematics.
• Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science) — National honor society for political scientists. Open by invitation to upper-division and graduate students with a 3.0 GPA.
• Pi Tau Sigma (Mechanical Engineering) — National honorary fraternity encouraging and recognizing outstanding scholastic achievement of students in the field.
• Psi Chi (Psychology) — National honor society recognizing distinction in Psychology. Sponsors research and other participation in psychology.
• Sigma Alpha Iota (Music) — National organization for women in music. Aims to further the development of music in America through performance, study, and participation in both campus and community projects.
• Sigma Theta Tau (Nursing) — International honor society recognizing superior scholastic achievement, leadership, and community service in nursing.
CSULB Alumni Association
The CSULB Alumni Association is the link between the University and its more than 165,000 alumni. The Association develops social, educational and recreational programs that bring alumni back to campus.
All former students who attended at least one semester at CSULB are considered alumni and are eligible to join the Alumni Association. Graduates and credential recipients can join by completing an enrollment card and paying a one-time $25.00 fee; non-graduates, including employees and friends of CSULB, may join as associate members for a yearly fee.
Alumni volunteers assist on Alumni Association committees helping to plan Homecoming festivities, commencement, hospitality center, the summer Concerts in the Grove series, and other events.
Members of the Alumni Association receive a benefit package that includes library privileges at all CSU institutions (there are restrictions on computer usage), on-campus assistance at the Learning Assistance Center at no extra charge, the Career Development Center for a yearly fee, an Association credit card, a hotel/motel discount program, and access to membership in health insurance programs. Also available to members are the semi-annual Alumni Calendar of Special Events; the CSULB Review publication; University Student Union privileges; and discounts on some CSULB theater performances, athletics events and local attractions.
For more information on the CSULB Alumni Association services call the Alumni Relations Office at (562) 985-5252.
The Annual Fund
Alumni actively and generously support the University through the Annual Fund. Over 55,000 alumni, parents, and friends are contacted annually to support University activities. The majority of donations are undesignated and are used to meet the most critical needs of the University. Some donors prefer to designate their gifts to their departments or colleges.
The Parents' Fund was established to give parents the opportunity to support the University. Parents of currently enrolled and graduated students are contacted yearly by the Annual Fund. The willingness of parents to pledge financial support to the University is a confirmation that CSULB provides an excellent educational environment for the students it serves.
Senior Gift Campaign
Every graduating senior is contacted near graduation to initiate a pledge in support of the campus. Seniors are asked to donate $100 to purchase a brick to be permanently placed in the Alumni Brick Plaza. Gifts of $99 or less are designated to the Annual Fund to be used for essential campus needs. Seniors have proven to be generous and loyal donors to the University.