Undergraduate Credit for Graduate Courses

(Senate: 11/15/69, 7/10/79, 4/17/07, 5/26/09; President: 12/31/69, 7/31/79, 5/11/07, 6/16/09; Editorial Amendment: 8/01)

Under special academic circumstances as specified below, an academic program, department, division or school, may approve the granting of baccalaureate credit for 500-level course work to a maximum of two courses not to exceed a total of 9 quarter units.  Academic credits earned under this rule may not be used to satisfy requirements towards M.A. and M.S. degrees awarded by California State University, Los Angeles except through integrated degree programs

Additionally, the following conditions must be met.

  • senior standing by the quarter the class is set to begin (completion of 135 quarter units);
  • a grade point average adequate for admission in classified standing to the master's program in that major;
  • permission of the instructor teaching the course, the student's advisor, and the chair or director of the department, division or school offering the course.

Graduate Course Credit for Undergraduate Students

(Senate: 11/15/69, 7/10/79, 7/10/07; President: 12/31/69, 7/31/79, 10/30/07; Editorial Amendment: 8/01)

Undergraduate students with 135 quarter units completed may take for graduate credit a maximum of 13 quarter units in courses beyond the minimum requirements for the baccalaureate degree, provided they have maintained a grade point average of 2.75.  Graduate credit is allowed for courses numbered in the 400 and 500 series only.  Enrollment in any course for which graduate credit is requested must be approved in advance by  the instructor teaching the course, the student's adviser and the coordinator/chair/director of the program/department/division/school offering the course.

The approved application must be delivered to the Graduation Office, Administration 409, during the quarter before that in which courses are to be taken. 

Policy Regarding Collections of Native American Burial Remains and Associated Grave Artifacts

(Senate: 10/5/93; President: 11/3/93)

California State University, Los Angeles, recognizes that ancient human remains have cultural as well as scientific and historic values and that American Indian concerns about human burials should be taken into consideration. As of August 17, 1993, it has been certified that Cal State L.A. has no collection of native American burial remains and associated funerary objects or cultural patrimony. If, in future research or in any other endeavors, any of the above is discovered by University personnel, after proper and necessary identification, the following will be adhered to:

  1. For future applicability, Cal State L.A. will not retain any discovered native American burial remains or associated or unassociated funerary objects. Any and all remains and associated grave artifacts, that are uncovered by Cal State L.A. personnel, will be inventoried and deposited with government agencies following state and federal regulations. Proposed federal regulations for the Native American Graves Protection Law (Public Law 101601) will be adhered to.
  2. Human skeletal remains and associated grave artifacts that are discovered will be treated with care and respect in accordance with the best possible conservation techniques.
  3. It is noted that human skeletal remains excavated from state or private land must comply with state law (Section 7050.5 of the State Health and Safety Code and Section 5097.5 et. seq. of the State Public Resources Code, Division 5, Chapter 1.75, added by amendments, Senate Bill 297 of 1982, Chapter 1492.).

Repeating Courses and Grade Replacement

(Senate: 2/22/83, 10/24/95, 4/14/98, 2/6/01, 4/24/07, 10/19/10, 5/8/12; President: 4/7/83, 12/1/95, 6/9/98, 10/19/01, 5/11/07, 11/18/10, 7/10/12; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 8/01)

Unless otherwise indicated in the University Catalog, undergraduate students may not repeat for credit any course already completed with a grade of C (2.00 grade points) or better and post-baccalaureate or graduate students may not repeat for credit any course already completed with a grade of B (3.00 grade points) or better.

Undergraduate students may repeat a course up to two times for purposes of grade replacement if the grade of record is below a C.  Grade replacement is the circumstance under which the new grade replaces the former grade in terms of the calculation of GPA.  Grade replacement will occur automatically for up to a maximum of 20 quarter units of repeated coursework and is limited to courses taken at California State University, Los Angeles, whether taken in a matriculated status or as coursework completed through the College of Extended Studies and International Programs or Open University. Grade replacement shall occur only when the same or equivalent course is taken a second or third time at California State University, Los Angeles.  For purposes of grade replacement, a repeated course may be considered equivalent to the original course if only the number and/or name of the original course has been modified, but not for a different course with equivalent content. In computing grade point averages for graduation with a baccalaureate from this institution, units attempted, units earned (if any), and grade points (if any) for up to two previous attempts of the same or equivalent course shall be excluded when conditions specified in this policy are met.  Repeating courses under this policy does not result in the removal of the original record and grade from the transcript. Grade replacement shall not be applicable to courses for which the original grade was a result of a finding of academic dishonesty.  Individual colleges and departments/divisions/schools/ programs may have additional restrictions on repeating courses and on acceptance of grade replacement.

Repeating Courses with "Grades Averaged"

(Senate: 10/19/10; President: 11/18/10)

In addition to the 20 quarter-units for which grade replacement is permitted, undergraduate students may repeat 18 quarter-units with the grade earned in the repeated course calculated into the student's overall grade-point average.  The original grade is not replaced by the repeated grade; both grades are used for the calculation of the grade point average and remain on the student's records.  These limits apply to units completed at CSULA, whether as a matriculated student or through Extended Education or Open University.

Admission to 500-Level Courses

(Senate: 3/5/97, 7/10/07; President: 4/22/97, 10/30/07; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 8/01)

Students admitted with postbaccalaureate classified, graduate classified or graduate conditionally classified standing may enroll in 500-level courses.  Colleges and programs/departments/divisions/schools may impose additional restrictions.  For all programs, no more than 20% of a students total units may be completed at the 500-level prior to the formal approval of the student's official program by the student's principal graduate adviser, the head of the student's academic unit, and the student's college graduate dean.  In addition, all such students must have completed either the prerequisites for the course or equivalent competency.

Other students may enroll in 500-level courses with the following restrictions:

  • Postbaccalaureate unclassified students may register for 500-level courses if the department/division chair or school director determines that there is space available.  These students must have satisfied all prerequisites for the course and have obtained approval of the instructor, the principal graduate adviser, and the head of the academic unit offering the course.
  • Undergraduate students may, with prior approval and subject to policies governing graduate credit for undergraduate students, enroll in a maximum of 9 units of 500-level courses.  See "Graduate Course Credit for Undergraduate Students."
  • Matriculated Cal State L.A. students may not enroll in Open University courses.   Students who are not matriculated at Cal State L.A. may enroll in 500-level courses through the Open University (concurrent enrollment) Program administered by the Office of Extended Education.  These students must have satisfied all prerequisites for the course and have obtained approval of the instructor and the head of the academic unit offering the course.

Special Major for Master's Degrees: Admission to Special Major Program

(Senate: 8/7/79, 4/29/80, 4/17/90; President: 8/31/79, 6/30/80, 5/9/90; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 8/01)

In addition to meeting minimum University requirements for admission to graduate standing, applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree in an area cognate to the areas of the proposed special major, must have a minimum grade point average of 2.75 in the last 90 quarter units, and must meet all college requirements and such department/division/school requirements as course prerequisites, test scores, and grade point average for the master's degrees of the colleges and departments/divisions/schools in which course work or the special major is proposed. Special majors are approved on an individual basis. If coursework is to be taken in departments/divisions/schools in more than one college, students must make formal written application to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. If course work is to be taken in departments/divisions/schools within one college, students are required to make formal written application to the college graduate dean. All applications must include the following:

  1. A clear and concisely stated rationale for pursuing a special major and an indication of the professional/academic objectives to be achieved. This rationale must include evidence clearly indicating that the special major program could not be accommodated within any existing approved master's program on campus.
  2. A proposed list of available courses chosen from two or more departments/divisions /schools totaling a minimum of 45 units, of which at least 23 must be 500-level.
  3. An indication of whether a comprehensive examination or thesis or project will be used to complete the graduate course of study. If a thesis or project is proposed, a preliminary description of the thesis topic or research project to be included. If a comprehensive examination is proposed, an indication of the area in which the student will be examined is to be included.
  4. The names and areas of specialization of at least two faculty members representative of those who might consent to serve on the advisory committee for such a degree program.
  5. If coursework to be taken is offered in more than one college, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research must also approve the program. The student's program is subject to University graduate procedures and regulations that govern all graduate degree offerings.

Additional Courses in English Composition

(Senate: 12/3/91; 9/23/92 [EA], 5/21/96;  President: 4/1/92, 11/18/92, 8/12/96)

Students subject to the requirements listed in the 1993-95 and subsequent Catalogs are required to satisfactorily complete two quarters of English (freshman) composition, four units each at the lower division level; these courses must be taken in sequence. Students entering CSLA as freshmen must complete these courses before they reach upper division standing (90 quarter units). Transfer students entering above freshmen level who are required to take one or both of the freshman composition courses must do so before they complete 45 quarter units at CSLA. Only the first of the two courses may be applied to General Education but both are required for graduation. Students must receive a grade of C (2.0 GPA) or better in each of the two courses to meet this requirement. The second of the two courses shall be the prerequisite to University 400 (Writing Proficiency Examination).

Writing Skills Requirement

(Upper Division Writing Requirement)

(Senate: 4/3/84; 9/23/92 [EA], 5/21/96; President: 4/19/84; 11/18/92, 8/12/96; Editorial Amendment: 8/01)

All CSU students subject to degree requirements listed in the 1977-78 and subsequent catalogs are required by Trustee policy to demonstrate competence in writing skills as a requirement for the bachelor's degree. The English Placement Test, described in the Admissions section of the General Catalog, has been implemented as a screening device for entering lower division students.

In addition to the EPT, all Cal State L.A. students pursuing the baccalaureate who are subject to requirements of the 1984-85 or subsequent Catalogs are required to pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) prior to completion of 135 quarter units. English 101 (plus English 102 effective summer quarter, 1993) is prerequisite to that examination. Students must receive a grade of C (2.0 GPA) or better in each of the two courses to meet this requirement. Students who have not passed the GWAR will not be permitted to register for courses beyond 135 units. Transfer students who have completed 135 quarter units or more upon entrance must pass the GWAR during their first quarter in residence at Cal State L.A. Such transfer students who do not meet this requirement are subject to administrative probation or administrative disqualification. Students who have satisfied the upper division writing requirement at another institution with an implied level of achievement at least equivalent to that at this campus shall be considered to have met the Cal State L.A. requirement.

Successful completion of the GWAR is evidence of compliance with the Upper Division Writing Requirement; however, departments/divisions/schools may require of their majors additional discipline-based coursework in writing. See your faculty adviser for requirements in your major department/division/school.

See Schedule of Classes for further details, i.e., examination fee, retake charge, test details.

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

(Senate: 11/16/91; President: 4/2/92)

a. A written essay examination (WPE) shall be used as the primary means of meeting the CSU Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).

b. A student who receives a no credit (NC) grade on the WPE must meet with the WPE Coordinator or designee to discuss deficiencies identified by the exam and receive recommendations of activities to correct these deficiencies. The student then has two options:

Option 1 (Effective Summer, 1992)

Retake the WPE. Prerequisite to registering to take the WPE is the approval of the WPE Coordinator or designee. This approval will require that efforts have been made to remove those deficiencies which were identified in the prior examination and counseling.

Option 2 (Effective Summer, 1993)

Take a Special Upper Division Writing Proficiency Course (WPC). The course will include instruction designed to improve student writing, and it will provide an alternate basis for the assessment of upper division writing skills. The course grade (CR/NC) will be based solely on the result of assessment activities, common to all sections of the course, in which a portfolio of examples of the student's course work, plus a common exam, will be evaluated by at least two course instructors other than the student's own instructor. Instructors will not grade their own students. The assessment activities will be no less rigorous than the WPE. Credit for the WPC will be deemed to satisfy the GWAR. Students who receive a NC grade in the assessment course must meet with the WPE Coordinator or designee to determine what steps the students must take in order to prepare to meet the GWAR.

Upper Division Writing Requirement

(Senate: 1/28/92; President: 4/1/92)

There is an Upper Division Writing Requirement in communication in the English language in each undergraduate major. Students will be taught the conventions of the genres (for example: reports, prospecti, position papers, primary and secondary research papers) particular to their disciplines. Satisfactory completion of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement shall be a prerequisite for taking this requirement.

Postbaccalaureate Writing Requirement

(Senate: 4/3/84, 8/5/86, 8/23/88, 9/23/92[EA], 5/4/99; President: 4/19/84, 5/9/87, 10/7/88, 11/18/92, 8/17/99; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 8/01)

All CSU students are required by Trustee policy to demonstrate competence in writing skills as a requirement for all advanced degrees and all credentials. All post-baccalaureate students at Cal State L.A. who are subject to requirements of the 1984-85 or any later Catalog and who are pursuing a graduate degree or a credential are required to satisfy this Post-baccalaureate Writing Requirement in one of the following ways:

  1. Pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement required for the Cal State L.A. baccalaureate. Post-baccalaureate students selecting this option must register to take the Writing Proficiency Examination no later than the deadline to add classes during the first quarter they are enrolled in a graduate or credential program. Failure to register for the GWAR will void enrollment for that quarter. 
  2. Post-baccalaureate students who hold an earned doctorate or master's degree from an accredited college or university where the primary language of instruction is English may substitute such a degree for passing the Writing Proficiency Examination. 
  3. Post-baccalaureate students who have passed a writing proficiency examination or a graduation writing assessment examination, in English, from any accredited college or university where the primary language of instruction is English, may substitute such a result for passing the Writing Proficiency Examination.

Post-baccalaureate students must satisfy this Post-baccalaureate Writing Requirement within the first three quarters of their graduate (conditionally classified or classified) or credential program or prior to the completion of 16 units, whichever comes later. Students must satisfy this Post-baccalaureate Writing Requirement within the required time in order to be eligible for continued registration.

Departments/divisions/schools may require of their majors additional discipline-based coursework in writing. See your faculty adviser for requirements in your major department/division/school.

Petitions for certification of the Post-baccalaureate Writing Requirement shall be made at the college level and reported to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. A student who has satisfied the Post-baccalaureate Writing Requirement shall continue to be certified with no time limit on such certification. A post-baccalaureate unclassified student is not required to satisfy this Post-baccalaureate Writing Requirement.

See the current Schedule of Classes for details on the Writing Proficiency Examination, i.e. date, examination fee, retake charge, test details, registration procedures, etc.

Study Load for Undergraduate Students

(Senate: 11/30/76; President: 12/6/76; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 8/01)

The recommended normal full-time undergraduate study load is 16 quarter units.  Students earning a C average or better may register for 18 quarter units with department/division/school approval.  Authorization for more than 18 units requires prior approval of an advisor and the department/division chair or school director.  Students on scholastic probation must limit their study loads to 12 quarter units or fewer.   A student on probation may petition the University for a greater study load with the approval of an academic advisor and department/division chair or school director.

Study Load For Graduate Students

(Senate: 8/26/86; President: 10/6/86; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 8/01)

Graduate students must carry a study load of 12 weighted units (graduate level courses have a weighted factor of 1.5) of approved prerequisite, corequisite, or graduate program courses for full-time enrollment certification by the University.  Upon recommendation of a student's major department/division/school and approval by the appropriate college dean, a student enrolled in any of the following department/division/school courses may be certified as full-time with fewer than 12 weighted units:  596, 597, 598, 599, 699, 900.  The maximum study load for students working towards a graduate degree is 16 units per quarter.  Authorization to enroll in more than 16 units requires a petition approved by the student's major department/division chair or school director and the appropriate college dean.

Definition of a Graduate Study Load for Purposes of Assigning Veteran Benefits

(Senate:  8/12/70 [EA]; President: 8/19/70)

For purposes of assigning veteran benefits, a graduate student will be considered full time if he or she is enrolled in 12-units minimum of course work.  For purposes of this definition, 500-level courses will be given a weight of 1.5 times their unit value in determining the student's load.  Thus, either three 4-unit 400-level courses or two 4-unit 500-level courses would constitute a full load.  Combination of credit for 400-level courses and weighted credit for 500-level courses would be computed to determine student load according to the following formula:  12 weighted units and above = full time; 8-11 weighted units = three-fourths time; 4-7 weighted units = half time.

Characteristics of Master's Degrees

(Senate: 2/20/91, 3/5/97; President:  3/29/91, 4/22/97)

California State University, Los Angeles offers the following master's and doctorate degrees:  the Master of Arts, the Master of Business Administration, the Master of Fine Arts, the Master of Music, the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy.   All five master's degrees and the doctorate degree require greater depth of study and increased demands on student intellectual or creative capacity than the baccalaureate.*

The Master of Art (M.A.) Degree provides a broadened cultural background in a recognized disciplinary field or improvement of professional competence.

The Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) Degree provides a program of professional preparation for management positions in business and industry.

The Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Degree provides specialized training and education for artists and designers in design, computer graphics, painting and printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and metalsmithing.

The Mater of Music (M.M.) Degree is a professional performance degree that prepares students for professional performance, for teaching in community colleges and for advanced study.

The Master of Science (M.S.) Degree provides the opportunity to improve professional competence in areas and approaches involving intense specialization.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree in Special Education, which provides advanced preparation in this diverse professional field is offered jointly with the University of California, Los Angeles.

*See "Characteristics of Bachelor's Degrees."

Requirements for Additional Master's Degree or Option Within A Masters Degree

(Senate: 8/27/91, 2/8/94; President: 9/19/91, 3/11/94'; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 8/01)

Student's who have earned a master's degree at Cal State L.A. and wish to obtain a subsequent master's degree or to add an additional option to a previously completed master's degree from this University must complete an approved program of at least 45 quarter units.  At least half of the units must be new work not included on the previous degree or option.  The remainder can be from the previous degree provided that the courses have been completed within seven years of the award date of the degree and are otherwise eligible for inclusion.

Students who are currently enrolled in a master's degree program at Cal State L.A. may concurrently complete an additional option under the same degree if the department/division/school and college concerned verify that the additional option requires significantly different knowledge, skill and coursework.  The additional option must include a minimum of 23 quarter units of coursework that is specific to that option (not included in the previous option) and an appropriate culminating experience (thesis/project or comprehensive examination).  An approved program plan for each option is required.

Student who have earned a master's degree at an institution other than Cal State L.A. may petition in order to apply for an identical degree at Cal State L.A.  Students must provide extraordinary justification and receive approval of the department/division/school and college concerned before entering the program.

Integrated Bachelorís and Masterís Degree Programs

(Senate:  5/26/09; President:  6/16/09) 

Integrated bachelorís and masterís degree programs provide an accelerated route to the attainment of the masterís degree.  An accelerated route may be appropriate for certain undergraduate students who have maintained an excellent academic record and have participated in, or plan to participate in, research or other creative, scholarly or professional activities in their senior year.  It is expected that students selected to pursue an integrated bachelorís and masterís degree program will have demonstrated through the application process their intellectual maturity and the ability to think and work independently. 

An integrated bachelorís and masterís degree program allows a student to count up to 16 units of course work towards both degrees, excluding Directed Study units, thereby decreasing the total number of units required for both degrees.  For example, an integrated bachelorís and masterís degree program could require 209 units total instead of the 225 units total that would be required to complete a separate bachelorís degree that requires 180 units and a separate masterís degree that requires 45 units. 

Integrated bachelorís and masterís degrees may be approved either for degrees within the same academic unit or between closely related programs with existing bachelorís and masterís degrees. 

Eligibility for Integrated Bachelorís and Masterís Degree Programs

 The following are minimum eligibility requirements.  Individual programs may set more rigorous requirements to encourage applications from candidates most likely to succeed in graduate study.   

1.  Senior standing (satisfactory completion of a minimum of 134 units) by the time the integrated program commences.

2.   Minimum 3.0 GPA in all coursework in the major completed at the time of application.

3.   Successful completion of the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE).

4.    Eligibility requirements that are at least as rigorous as the eligibility requirements for the non-integrated masterís degree program.  (However, programs are highly encouraged to establish more rigorous requirements in order to limit the program to highly qualified candidates.

Application to Integrated Bachelorís and Masterís Degree Programs

1.      Approved integrated programs will establish their own procedures for review of applications and acceptance of applicants.

2.      Graduate Degree Study Plans are prepared and submitted to the appropriate College Associate Dean prior to completion of 13 quarter units on the Study Plan.  Study Plans may contain up to 16 units of 400-level coursework that count towards bachelorís degree requirements, although at least 50% of the units for the masterís degree (including those units that count towards the bachelorís degree) must be at the 500 level.

3.      The Office of the Associate Dean submits a request to the Registrarís Office to change the degree objective from BA or BS to the appropriate combination of bachelorís and masterís degrees and to change the studentís classification to Graduate.

Retention in the Integrated Bachelorís and Masterís Degree Program

To be retained in the program students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in undergraduate courses in their major.

Awarding of Degrees

1.   Both degrees are awarded at the same time.  The degrees are awarded when requirements for both the bachelorís and masterís degrees are met.

2.   If a student fails to complete the requirements for the masterís degree or opts out of the integrated program, the bachelorís degree may be granted when all requirements for that degree are met.  In such cases the studentís degree objective must first be changed back to BA or BS and the classification back to undergraduate.

 Degree Program Modification

 Programs must submit proposals for integrated bachelorís and masterís degree programs for curriculum approval.  Such proposals must include eligibility requirements and application procedures.

Upper Division Credit for Lower Division Course Work

(Senate:  6/30/96; President:  9/4/96; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 8/01)

Students in a major may be given upper division subject credit for lower division courses taken at another accredited college and not required to make up the upper division units in the major program if:

  • the courses are deemed equivalent in content and level of presentation by the department/division/school
  • the courses are offered by the department/division/school
  • the department/division/school has agreed to this practice and it has been approved at the college level

Master's Student Enrollment and Master's Credit for CSULA Doctoral Level Courses

(Senate:  10/10/06; President:  11/6/06)

Master's students will be permitted to enroll in CSULA doctoral level classes subject to the following conditions:

  • classified standing in a master's program
  • GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • consent of instructor or advisor
  • completion of at least 16 units of 500-level coursework

With advisor approval, a maximum of twelve units of doctoral-level courses can be credited towards a master's program.

University Comprehensive Examinations

(Senate:  4/23/96, 5/17/05; President:  7/24/96, 6/28/05)

Each program offering the comprehensive examination for the master's degree shall implement, maintain in writing, and make readily available to students explicit  current guidelines that address both content and procedures relating to the examination.  These guidelines shall include at least the following information:  eligibility for the exam, registration procedures, exam frequency, exam format, method of administration, the nature of the exam questions, exam length, number of  attempts allowed, grading procedures, and timeline for student notification of grades. All comprehensive examinations must conform to the following requirement of  Title 5, i.e.,

"A comprehensive examination is an assessment of the students' ability to integrate the knowledge of the area, show critical and independent thinking and demonstrate mastery of the subject matter. The results of the examination evidences independent thinking, appropriate organization, critical analysis and accuracy of documentation.  A record of the examination questions and responses shall be maintained in accordance with the records retention policy of the California State University."