Jun 09, 2023  
University Catalog 2011-2014 (PRINTED) 
University Catalog 2011-2014 (PRINTED) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Bachelor’s Degree

Introductory Comments

California State University, Los Angeles offers the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Science. The specific bachelor’s degrees and academic majors are listed below. Minors and certificate programs are also available in many fields, and are also listed below. Full descriptions of each of these programs, including specific information about admission requirements, curriculum, courses of instruction, and graduation requirements is presented in the Academic Programs  section. Within each chapter, the administrative units offering the academic programs are listed in alphabetical order. There is a Directory of Academic Programs at the beginning of the Directories chapter, near the front of this catalog. Characteristics of the different Bachelor’s degrees and the general degree requirements for all Bachelor’s Degrees at Cal State L.A. are described after the listings immediately below.

In addition, the basic information about undergraduate preparation for California teaching credentials is presented later in this chapter. The undergraduate and postbaccalaureate subject matter portions of each of the teaching credential programs are fully described in the appropriate academic department, division or interdisciplinary programs section of that Academic Programs  section. All of the basic credential programs, the specialist and administrative credential requirements, and the Postbaccalaureate programs of study which prepare students for these credentials are all described in the Charter College of Education portion of the Academic Programs  section, with further details available within the Divisional portions of the Academic Programs  section chapter.

Students are expected to familiarize themselves with all degree requirements and to consult an academic adviser on a regular basis.

Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

Degree Characteristics

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree is designed to provide a balanced liberal arts education and general knowledge in a recognized discipline, interdisciplinary field, or areas of professional study.

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree is designed to provide a balanced liberal arts education and a scientific, technical, or professional entry level of competence.

The Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree provides a balanced liberal arts education with additional preparation in musical performance with emphasis on high performance standards.

The Bachelor of Vocational Education (B.V.E.) degree, created through state legislation, is designed specifically for vocational/occupational teachers who are required to have both work and teaching experience.

Degree Requirements

The Bachelor of Arts degree requires the satisfactory completion of 180-186 quarter units. The Bachelor of Science degree unit requires 180 to 204 units, and the Bachelor of Music degree requires 189 quarter units.. Included in the total unit requirement for each of these degrees is a minimum of 72 units of general education courses, including the units necessary to complete mandatory requirements for the U.S. Constitution and American History, 12 units in an upper division theme, 12 units in upper division General Education residence at Cal State L.A., 4 units of English 102, and 2-4 units of Introduction to Higher Education. For each degree a minimum of 60 quarter units must carry upper division credit (courses numbered 300–499). Courses numbered above 499 are intended for graduate students only and are not applicable toward bachelor’s degrees.

Catalog Requirements Under Which an Undergraduate Student Graduates


Unless exception is requested under one of the provisions below, students enrolling at Cal State L.A. for the first time must meet degree requirements specified in the catalog in effect at the time of entrance. The catalog date is specified on each student’s credit summary and on the unofficial transcript available on GET.

Baccalaureate students who remain in attendance in regular sessions at any California State University campus, any California community college, or any combination of California community colleges and CSU campuses and thereafter at Cal State L.A. may elect to meet Cal State L.A. graduation requirements in effect at the time they began such attendance, at the time they entered Cal State L.A., or at the time of graduation from Cal State L.A. In this context, attendance means attendance in at least one semester or one quarter each calendar year, excluding summer session, extension, and concurrent enrollment in Cal State L.A. courses. Absence due to an approved educational leave or for attendance at another accredited institution of higher learning shall not be considered an interruption in attendance if the interruption does not exceed two years. Disqualified students retain their existing catalog privileges under the conditions outlined above.


All other transfer students and students who have not remained in attendance as described above will be held to Cal State L.A. graduation requirements in effect at the beginning of their most recent period of attendance at Cal State L.A. or, alternatively, at the time of graduation. Students who change to a new degree and/or major objective must meet requirements for the new degree and/or major in the catalog in effect at the time of change. If courses described under earlier requirements are no longer available, the major department or division may authorize or require appropriate substitutes.

General Education is an integral component of the requirements for the bachelor’s degree. Students who remain in attendance as defined above normally will meet General Education requirements listed in the catalog in effect at time of entrance. However, they may elect to meet General Education requirements in the catalog in effect either at the time of entrance or graduation, and need not meet major requirements from the same catalog. If courses described under earlier requirements are no longer available, appropriate substitutes must be selected from the current list of courses approved for the area involved.

Time Limits on Major Requirements for Bachelor’s Degrees

A department, division or school may specify that no subject, unit, or grade credit be granted for specific upper division courses offered by that department, division or school to students who completed such courses more than ten years before the date of their bachelor’s degree. Courses with time limits are designated in the course descriptions in this catalog and on the major program advisement sheets submitted by each student’s major department, division or school to the Graduation Office. When a Cal State L.A. course is so designated, the restriction also applies to equivalent courses transferred from other institutions. Students may petition for and, in extraordinary circumstances, the major departments, divisions, and schools may grant permission to validate by examination such an expired course with the concurrence of the department, division or school that offers the course or its equivalent. For all requirements, election of any catalog will not extend beyond ten years after its designated academic year.

Residence Requirement

Undergraduate students must complete a minimum of 45 quarter units, including at least 36 upper division units, 18 units in the major, and 12 units in general education courses, in residence at Cal State L.A. for the baccalaureate. Credit earned in special sessions may be applied toward this residence requirement. However, only 36 residence units may be earned through Open University. Credit earned in extension courses or by examination may not apply toward the residence requirement.

Scholarship Requirements

In addition to meeting total unit requirements for graduation, students must also satisfy specific scholarship requirements. These include achievement of a minimum 2.0 grade point average (C on a scale in which A=4.0) in all units attempted, including those  accepted by transfer from another institution, all courses required for the major, all courses used to meet General Education requirements, and all units attempted at Cal State L.A.

Introduction to Higher Education Course Requirement

NOTE: This requirement must be completed no later than the second quarter of attendance at Cal State L.A. All undergraduate students who do not have a bachelor’s degree and enter Cal State L.A. Fall 1997 or later, and who are subject to the 1997 and later GE requirements, are required to complete an introduction to higher education course. Freshmen meet this requirement by enrolling in a 100-level course offered by the college that offers the student’s major. Undergraduate transfer students who entered Cal State L.A. Fall, 1999 or later and who are subject to the 1997 and later GE requirements are required to complete a Transition to Cal State L.A. course (300 level) offered by the college that offers the student’s major. These courses, which must be completed no later than the second quarter of residence at Cal State L.A., introduce students to the following aspects of the University: History, structure, policies and procedures, faculty expectations, resources and skills necessary for success, and content specific to disciplines in the college that offers the student’s major. Special sections of the 100-level course, UNIV 101, are offered for undeclared students. Students should consult their academic advisers before enrolling in the courses.

Graduation Requirement in Writing Proficiency

All students must demonstrate competency in writing skills as a requirement for graduation. Information on currently available ways to meet this graduation requirement may be obtained from the University Writing Center, located in the Library, Rm. 2097, (323) 343-5350.

Lower Division Writing Requirement

The English Placement Test (EPT), described in the Admissions  section of this catalog, must be taken before enrolling in any courses at Cal State L.A. The EPT is prerequisite to all lower division English writing courses.

All baccalaureate students who enter Cal State L.A. Summer 1993 or later, and who are subject to requirements of the 1993-95 or later general education catalog, are required to take two quarters of English composition (ENGL 101 and 102), which  must be taken in sequence. Students entering Cal State L.A. as freshmen must complete these courses before they reach upper division standing (90 quarter units). Transfer students entering above the freshman level who are required to take one or both of these composition courses must do so before they complete 45 quarter units at Cal State L.A. Only the first of the two courses (ENGL 101) is applied to General Education. The second course (ENGL 102) is prerequisite to UNIV 400 (WPE).

Upper Division Writing Requirements WPE/GWAR

All Cal State L.A. students who entered Summer 1984 or later and are pursuing a degree or credential must satisfy the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) by passing the Writing Proficiency Examination (WPE). Students must first pass ENGL 101 and 102 (or their equivalents) with a minimum grade of C prior to taking the WPE. The WPE must be taken and passed prior to completion of 135 quarter units eligible for degree completion. Transfer students who have completed 135 or more degree eligible units upon entrance must pass the WPE during their first quarter of residence at Cal State L.A. Students who have satisfied the upper division writing proficiency requirement at another CSU campus shall be considered to have met the Cal State L.A. requirement.

Students who fail to take and pass the WPE within the required time limit of 135 units will have a hold placed on their records, which will preclude them from enrolling in any courses and will be placed on administrative probation. These students will be required to take ENGL 102, UNIV 400 or UNIV 401 in their next quarter and to complete the GWAR at the earliest possible date. Students who receive a No Credit (NC) grade on the WPE must meet with a WPE consultant in the University Writing Center to discuss deficiencies identified by the exam and receive recommendations of activities to correct these deficiencies. Based on the recommendations from the WPE consultant, students who have completed less than 135 units of degree eligible coursework may re-take the WPE or enroll in UNIV 401, the upper division writing proficiency course, while students who have completed 135 units or more of degree eligible coursework must enroll in UNIV 401, Writing Proficiency.

To take the WPE, students must register for UNIV 400 by the add deadline of each quarter. Additional information about the WPE is available in the Schedule of Classes and at the University Testing Center.

The postbaccalaureate writing skills requirement–for students pursuing graduate degrees and credentials–is described in the Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Study: General Information chapter.

Summary of Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

Total units required for degrees:
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) 180–186 units
Bachelor of Music (B.M.) 189 units
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) 180–204 units (depending on major)
NOTE: Students receive no credit toward degree for any course in which they do not earn a passing grade.


Writing skills requirements (for all Bachelor’s Degrees):
  • a minimum grade of “C” in ENGL 101 and 102, and a
  • a passing score on the Writing Proficiency Examination (WPE) OR a minimum grade of “C” in UNIV 401, and
  • a minimum grade of “C” in an upper division writing course designated by the major.


Grade point average:
Minimum C (2.0) average in:
  • all college work attempted
  • all courses attempted at Cal State L.A.
  • all general education courses
  • all courses required for major


Required Distribution of Units
(for all Bachelor’s Degrees):

General education:

72 units, including:

  • 12 in residence
  • 12 in an upper division theme

Major subject area:

Varies by major. Some majors require a minimum grade in each

course that is used to fulfill major requirements. Students should

consult with their major department for major specific requirements.

Upper division units

60 units minimum

In residence
45 units at Cal State L.A. including:

  • 36 upper division units
  • 18 units in a major
  • 12 units in general education

Introduction to Higher Education course

One course

One course (ENGL 102) in written communication
beyond the General Education Requirement
4 units

Other Bachelor Degree Regulations

Preliminary Evaluation of College Work Completed Elsewhere

College work completed elsewhere is evaluated in terms of its relevance to Cal State L.A. course offerings and degree requirements. Preliminary evaluation information is sent to all new transfer and readmitted students at the time of notification of eligibility for admission to the University. A complete evaluation of transfer work is available on GET for all new transfer and readmitted students during their first quarter of attendance. The evaluation identifies general education and graduation requirements met by transfer courses and transfer unit credit accepted. For readmitted students, it also identifies general education and graduation requirements met by Cal State L.A. courses. Students should review their evaluation carefully, consult their academic department promptly if they do not agree with or fully understand all information on the evaluation. Determination of the catalog governing graduation requirements is explained below.

Special Major for the Bachelor’s Degree

The Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree with a Special Major allows selected students an opportunity to pursue individualized programs of study if their academic and professional goals cannot be met through existing degree programs, or combinations of programs (i.e., majors, minors, etc.), at Cal State L.A. or other CSU campuses. The Special Major consists of a program of study in two or more disciplines developed in consultation with faculty members from the respective departments. See the University Programs section of the Academic Programs  section for details about these degree programs.

Multiple Majors and/or Degrees

Students may earn the same or different baccalaureate degree(s), e.g. a B.A. with multiple majors, or B.A. and B.S. degrees, if the requirements for each of the multiple majors leading to the degree(s) are completed in the same quarter. Students may also earn a baccalaureate and graduate degree, e.g. B.A. and M.S. degrees, or B.S. and M.A. degrees, if the requirements for each of the multiple degrees are completed in the same quarter.

Students who wish to have multiple majors and/or degrees listed on their diploma and transcript must:

  • Fulfill department/division/school requirements in the multiple majors and/or degrees;
  • File a request endorsed by the multiple departments, divisions, and/or schools; and
  • Be approved and recommended for graduation by the faculty of each major department, division or school granting the majors and/or degree(s)

Second Baccalaureate

 Students seeking a second baccalaureate from Cal State L.A. may qualify for graduation with the approval and recommendation of the faculty upon completion of the following:

1. Residence and scholarship requirements then in effect;
2. A major program as specified by the major department;
3. Completion of a minimum of 45 quarter units in residence beyond the requirements of the first degree. The 45 quarter units in residence must include at least 36 units in upper division courses, at least 18 units in the second academic major and 12 units in general education if applicable.

In accordance with the revisions to Title V approved in 2011, a student who has previously earned a baccalaureate or higher degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association or has completed equivalent academic preparation, as determined by the appropriate campus authority, shall not be required to undertake courses, including General Education, other than those that are specifically required to complete the current major within the degree program.

Post-baccalaureate students who are not deemed to have met General Education requirements upon matriculation must complete the following G.E. requirements if they were not completed as part of the first degree:

A. Sixteen units in each of the three areas: natural sciences and mathematics, humanities, and social sciences, for a total of 48 units, Of these 48 units, students must complete 4 upper division units in each of the three areas, a requirement which can be met by the upper division General Education themes. Transfer courses will be evaluated as to meeting the GE Blocks as a whole and course by course comparability is not required.
B. Statutory requirements: U.S. History, U. S. Constitution, and California state and local government.
C. Diversity requirement: two G.E. courses designated as “diversity” courses.
D. Any University requirements not previously satisfied: ENGL 102, WPE.

 Units included in a second baccalaureate program may not be applied to a graduate degree. Candidates for second baccalaureates are eligible for the Dean’s List and other academic honors based on the same criteria as candidates for first degrees. A second baccalaureate candidate may graduate with honors according to the same criteria as candidates for first degrees, with the grade point average computed on all units attempted in residence at Cal State L.A.


Although a minor is not required for a baccalaureate, minors are available in many fields for the purpose of strengthening students’ preparation in areas related to the major field or to career choices. A minor may not be taken in the same subject as the major.

A minor consists of a formal aggregate of courses totaling 18 or more quarter units, of which at least 12 units must be upper division and taken in residence at Cal State L.A. A minimum C (2.0) grade point average is required on all course work taken to complete the minor program. The minor will be noted on the student’s transcript if the individual program has been approved by the offering department, division or school and is completed at the same time as the work for the degree itself. Requirements for the minor must be completed either before or simultaneously with requirements for the degree. Minors will not be granted if any requirement of the minor is completed after requirements for the degree. Interested students should consult an adviser in the department, division or school offering the minor of their choice. A list of the approved minors appears at the beginning of this chapter.

Undergraduate Credit for Graduate Courses

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. Additionally, the following conditions must be met:

  • Senior standing at the time of petition (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 Credit for Undergraduate Students

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.

Application for Graduation (Degree Check)

Once a minimum of 135-quarter units is earned, students may apply for graduation. Application for graduation (degree check) is made on a form available at the Cal State L.A. Graduation Office Website, academic department/division/school, the college advisement centers and at Enrollment Services in Administration 146. These forms are available five days prior to the application filing period. Candidates take their completed application form for payment to the Cashiers Office. Once payment is made, candidates take their application to their department, division or school for approval and processing. Filing periods are published in the Graduation Information section of the Schedule of Classes.

Students arrange to meet with their faculty adviser who will complete the Bachelors Degree Worksheet and approve the candidate’s major program. The department, division or school will forward all documentation to the Graduation office for processing. The Graduation Office notifies students of the receipt of their graduation application and supporting documents.

Graduation check results are sent to the students in the mail prior to their final anticipated quarter. Students who are enrolled in the quarter they expect to graduate but do not complete all degree requirements will have their graduation application “automatically” transferred to the following quarter for processing. Students who do not complete all requirements for the degree within the anticipated graduation date or the additional grace quarter following the requested graduation date must reapply for graduation. All questions regarding the graduation check or final results are to be directed to the student’s major department, division or school.

Degrees dates are posted at the end of the quarter in which all requirements are met.

Commencement Ceremony


The commencement ceremony is held annually at the end of the Spring Quarter. Students who have applied to complete degree requirements in Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer Quarters are eligible to participate in the ceremony. Information bulletins about commencement activities are mailed to the home address of those eligible to participate early in the spring, and are available on campus at college, department, division, and school offices and Administration 146 and 409.

During Commencement Exercises, degrees are ceremoniously conferred on the candidates by the President of the University. Although each candidate receives a diploma cover during the program, the actual diploma is sent several months later. Students should be aware that degrees are not officially awarded until they are posted on their permanent academic records, which usually occurs within one quarter after their anticipated graduation date.


Credit for Demonstrated Learning, Knowledge, or Skills Acquired Through Experience

Cal State L.A. grants up to 12 units of undergraduate academic credit for prior learning, knowledge, or skills-based experience that has been documented and evaluated according to campus policy. Students should be aware, however, that policies for earning credit for prior learning vary among CSU campuses. See the University-wide programs section of the Academic Programs: College-based and University-wide chapter for more details about this program.

Cooperative Education

Cal State L.A. offers a range of Cooperative Education courses carrying different unit values. The Cooperative Education program provides educational enhancement by integrating classroom studies with related on-the-job experiences. With department, division or school approval, students may earn a maximum of 12 quarter units of elective credit toward an academic major or minor, including a maximum of 9 transferred quarter units. A maximum of 16 quarter units earned in cooperative education may apply toward a baccalaureate. With department, division or school approval, from 1 to 4 units of credit can be earned per quarter, based upon a minimum 10 hours per week of approved work experience for each unit of credit. Cooperative education may be offered in any department, division or school. For details see the University-wide section of the Academic Programs  section.

Internship in Public Service

The Internship in Public Service program combines individual instruction with practical experience in government agencies and quasi-public enterprises. Although enrollment usually is restricted to Political Science majors, non-majors with appropriate background and preparation may apply. The program operates similarly to the Cooperative Education program, except that the maximum 6 units earned may apply only to upper division free elective credit rather than toward the major. A qualifying civil service examination is required for admission to some internship programs. Information about opportunities and qualifications may be obtained from the coordinator in the Political Science Department.