Graduation Requirements

You must fulfill ten overall requirements to receive your bachelor's degree from San Diego State University. Below is the information as listed in the current SDSU University Catalog. For information on a previous catalog year, view the SDSU Catalog archives.

Incoming freshmen must demonstrate competency in written communication and mathematics/quantitative reasoning based on multiple measures of academic proficiency determined at admission.

Multiple measures used to determine level of competency consist of achieving a minimum score on assessment tests such as the SAT, ACT, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate. Placement into first year writing and mathematics courses will be based on these measures. For more information refer to the Graduation Requirements section in the SDSU University Catalog.

Due to COVID-19, the Writing Placement Assessment (WPA) has been temporarily suspended. Upper division students may register for an approved upper division writing course to satisfy the Graduation Writing Assessment (GWAR). Completion of the approved upper division writing course with a "C" or better will fulfill the GWAR required for your bachelor’s degree.

All undergraduates must demonstrate competency in writing skills at the upper division level as a requirement for graduation. Continuing students MUST take the Writing Placement Assessment (WPA) during the semester in which you achieve 60 units or in the semester immediately following. Transfer students are eligible to take the WPA once they have received an offer of admission, and they must take the exam during the first semester at SDSU. Students who do not take the exam within the required period will be administratively disqualified from attending SDSU.

For information about test dates, writing workshops, test registration, and test scores, visit the Office of Testing Services. You may also call (619) 594-5216 or email [email protected].

Major

A major is an area of specialized intensive study (as opposed to General Education - a broad area of study). You cannot graduate without fulfilling the requirements for a major. Students must meet the major requirements that are in effect at the time they declare the major, assuming continuous enrollment at SDSU.

Based on your specific major and the type of degree you are earning, there are several specific requirements you must follow. There are rules about the number of upper division units that must be taken at SDSU, preparation for the major courses that can be used to satisfy General Education requirements, SDSU extension courses, and more. You are encouraged to read the SDSU University Catalog thoroughly and meet with your major advisor to ensure that you are taking the right courses.

Note: Some majors require that specific academic requirements be met within seven years of granting an undergraduate degree.

Multiple Majors

Some students may wish to complete up to three majors. In such a case, each major must be declared with the Office of the Registrar, and all requirements for each major must be fulfilled.

In the case where the same class is required for each major, the class can only be counted towards one of the major requirements. Therefore, you must substitute another class for one of your majors, as approved by your major advisor.

Minor

Like the major, the minor is a cohesive and integrated pattern of coursework focused on a single discipline. It most often consists of 15-24 units, and usually 12 of those units are upper division units. A minimum of 6 upper division units in the minor must be completed at SDSU.

Please note that some majors require a minor. Some students may wish to complete two minors. In such a case, each minor must be declared with the Office of the Registrar, and all requirements for each minor must be fulfilled.

Additionally,

  • You must have a grade point average of 2.0 in the classes required for your minor (including transfer classes) in order to be awarded the minor at graduation.
  • Courses in the minor(s) may not be used for the major(s). However, courses in the minor can be used to satisfy preparation for the major and General Education requirements.
  • Credit/No Credit classes may not be used for upper division minor classes unless they are only offered as Credit/No Credit.
  • Classes numbered 296, 496, or 596 may not be used for the minor without permission from the department chair.
  • Due to COVID-19, some majors and minors may allow CR grades earned from Spring 2020. Go to your academic department for more information.

California state regulations require that all college graduates demonstrate an understanding of:

  • American History
  • U.S. Constitution
  • California Government

You may take American Institutions courses anytime before you graduate.

Review the SDSU University Catalog or contact an advisor for details abou the SDSU courses that satisfy this requirement, and/or the transfer courses or Advanced Placement Credit that may fulfill all or part of this requirement.

Students whose majors lead to the Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Bachelor of Music, the Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Arts and Sciences in English, or the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree must satisfy a language requirement in a language other than English as indicated in the SDSU University Catalog. Students whose majors lead to other degrees are not subject to this requirement.

Exclusion: Conversation courses may not be used to meet this requirement.

Native speakers from foreign countries where English is not the principal language and who have finished high school or the equivalent in that country will be considered to have satisfied the language requirement and will not be given credit for taking lower division courses in their native language except with advance approval from the department. In this case, proper documentation must be provided in order to satisfy the language requirement. Go to the Office of Evaluations for further assistance.

Two types of unit requirements exist at SDSU: unit minimums and unit maximums. The unit minimums outline the minimum number of units you need to graduate. The unit maximums indicate the maximum number of units you can take that will count toward your units for graduation. Refer to the SDSU University Catalog for details on the various unit minimums and maximums.

Residence is not about being a California resident. It refers to the requirements you have to meet in order to be considered an SDSU "resident." You must be an SDSU resident to earn your degree from SDSU.

To qualify for a bachelor's degree, each of the following minimum unit requirements must be completed at this university:

  1. Complete a minimum of 30 total units at SDSU. Twenty four of those units must be upper division units (numbered 300-599).
  2. Complete at least half of the upper division units required by your major at SDSU. This requirement can be waived by the major department, but in no case shall the unit total be fewer than twelve upper division units.
  3. If you elect to (or are required to) complete a minor, you must complete at least six upper division units in the minor at SDSU.
  4. Complete at least nine units of upper division General Education taken within the California State University (CSU) system.

Four averages, each 2.0 or higher, are required for graduation:

  1. Cumulative GPA: An average based on all courses attempted at SDSU and transferable courses at other universities, liberal arts colleges, and community colleges. Your cumulative GPA can be found on your transcript or degree evaluation.
  2. SDSU GPA: An average based on all courses attempted at SDSU. Your SDSU GPA can be found on your transcript or degree evaluation. (Courses numbered 80-99 are not counted toward the GPA.)
  3. Major GPA: An average based on all upper division courses attempted in the major department or required by the major. Upper division courses required for the major but taught outside the major department are included in this average. Your Major GPA can be found on your degree evaluation.
  4. Minor GPA: An average based on all units applicable to a minor if a minor is being completed for the degree. Your Minor GPA can be found on your degree evaluation.

Refer to your Degree Evaluation for information on your GPAs.

The GE requirement is the "breadth" requirement of your education at SDSU. It is designed to give you a broad base of knowledge about the world in which you live, how you impact that world, and how it impacts you. General Education is a place where you are free to take a broad range of classes, explore new areas of interest, and begin to formulate ideas about what you might like to choose as a major.

The GE program has four major objectives: (1) to develop your intellectual capabilities necessary to the enterprise of learning; (2) to introduce you to modes of thought characteristics of diverse academic disciplines; (3) to help you understand the conditions and forces that shape you as a human being and influence your life; and (4) to help you apply critical and informed judgments to the achievements of your own and other cultures.

SDSU's General Education requirements consist of 49 semester units.

  1. Communications and Critical Thinking (9 units)

  2. Foundations (31 units)
    • Natural Sciences and Quantitative Reasoning
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences
    • Humanities
    • Lifelong Learning
    • Ethnic Studies
  3. Explorations (9 units)

Each section of the GE program has specific educational objectives and courses designed to meet these objectives.

  • Courses in Section I, Communication and Critical Thinking, are designed to develop your skills in the areas of written and oral communication, and in reasoning.
  • Courses in Section II, Foundations, use the skills developed in Section I, and provide an introduction to various areas of study. The knowledge you gain in Foundations will help prepare you to live in our multicultural society.
  • Section III, Explorations, courses are upper division and cannot be used to fulfill this requirement if taken before you reach junior standing (passing 60 units). Explorations courses build on the knowledge you gained in the first three sections, and provide more specialized or thematic study in the disciplines included in Foundations.

To learn more about these GE requirements, review the Understanding the Degree Evaluation tutorial.

Students must complete a three-unit ethnic studies course. Ethnic studies courses are identified throughout the catalog with an ES designation. Ethnic studies courses focus on the interdisciplinary and comparative study of ethnicity, race, and racialization. Courses meeting this requirement place strong emphasis on groups whose socio-historical experience of land and labor were critical to the building of the United States: African Americans, Asian Americans, Chicanos/Latinos, and Native Americans. An analysis of empire, migrations, nation-building, power, and the intersections of class, culture, gender, race, and sexuality are critical components in these courses.

Ethnic Studies courses may also satisfy General Education, American Institutions, major preparation, or major requirements where applicable. Review the SDSU University Catalog or contact an advisor for details about the SDSU courses that satisfy this requirement.

Track Your Progress

To track your progress towards graduation, refer to your degree evaluation in your SDSU WebPortal. To better understand how to navigate through your degree evaluation visit the Understanding the Degree Evaluation tutorial.

Graphs to illustrate progress towards degree.

Need To Make an Adjustment?

The Request for Adjustment of Academic Requirements, most commonly referred to as a RAAR, is necessary if you are requesting an adjustment to your current graduation requirements that are listed on your degree evaluation. Before you submit the RAAR form or explore a request for an adjustment on your academic record, you must meet with your major advisor to discuss the request. If appropriate, your advisor will assist you in completing the form for review. If you have already applied to graduate, please contact your graduation advisor.

The video will walk you through the process of submitting a RAAR.

Request for Adjustment of Academic Requirements (RAAR)