Each student is responsible for meeting the requirements printed in the University Catalog and all published regulations of the university.
The university establishes certain academic policies and requirements that must be met before a degree is granted. These include major and unit requirements and prerequisites. While advisers, directors, deans and faculty will provide a student with information and advice, responsibility for meeting these requirements rests with the student. Since failure to satisfy these requirements may result in the degree being withheld, it is important for each student to become thoroughly acquainted with all regulations. The catalog and the semester online Registration Guide are the best sources of information on current policy and regulations.
The student also has the responsibility for securing the consent of the instructor before enrolling in a course with prerequisites that the student has not completed.
To ensure receipt of timely information from the university, each student must keep the Office of Registration and Records informed of changes in personal data, including changes in name, address and program of study. Enrollment corrections and changes must be reported to the Office of Registration and Records by the 20th day of classes each semester. During weeks one and two of the semester, changes may be made using Titan Online. During the third and fourth weeks, corrections must be made using the appropriate form, and a $20 administrative late fee per class will be required to make such change. Other corrections should be reported on forms provided by and returned to the Office Registration and Records. Check with the Office of Registration and Records for specific deadlines.
Commitment to Civility
At Cal State Fullerton we foster a climate where civility is valued, appreciated and expected, and where all members of the community are treated with dignity, respect and care. Civility is apparent when we are aware of the impact that our communications, practices and behaviors have on others and when we acknowledge each person’s worth, cultural perspective and unique contributions to the community.
Establishing a civil climate is a shared responsibility of all university community members - students, faculty, staff and administrators. Civility is the expression of respect for others and for the tasks we share. Therefore, we believe that civility is a cornerstone of our university mission and values, and we reaffirm our commitment to civility on the campus - both inside and outside the classroom.
Units of Credit
Each semester unit represents three hours of university work per week for one semester. Courses are of three types:
- Lecture - one hour in class plus two hours of study.
- Activity - two hours of class plus one hour of study.
- Laboratory - three hours of laboratory activity in class plus one hour of study outside class.
Some courses may combine two or more of these types. All required courses carry unit credit.
On July 1, 2020, the United States Department of Education changed its definition of the student credit hour. Fundamentally, the change shifted responsibility for credit hour compliance to the accreditation agency and/or to the state.
As such, the CSU’s accreditor, the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), has published its own updated definition of student credit hour and related accreditation processes. The new regulations no longer require an accrediting agency to review an institution’s credit hour policy and procedures. It does require the WSCUC to review the institution’s definition of credit hour and an institutions’ processes and policies for ensuring the credit hour policy is followed.
The CSU credit hour definition is consistent with federal law (600.2 and 600.4 revised July 1, 2020) and the requirements of the WSCUC. The CSU defines a credit hour as an amount of work represented in stated learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement. Such evidence is an institutionally established equivalency that:
- Approximates not less than:
- One hour of direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
- At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph 1.a. of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours; and
- Permits an institution, in determining the amount of work associated with a credit hour, to take into account a variety of delivery methods, measurements of student work, academic calendars, disciplines and degree levels. Institutions have the flexibility to award a greater number of credits for courses that require more student work.
As in the past, a credit hour is assumed to be a 50-minute (not 60-minute) period. In some courses, such as those offered online, in which “seat time” does not apply, a credit hour may be measured by an equivalent amount of work, as demonstrated by student achievement.
For purposes of accreditation, all CSU campuses are required to develop, communicate and implement procedures for regular, periodic review of this credit hour policy to ensure that credit hour assignments are accurate, reliable and consistently applied. WSCUC published new draft guidelines that took effect in June 2021. Campuses are responsible for publishing a clearly stated practice or process that ensures they are in compliance with the student credit hour definition.
Undergraduate students who have completed 0-29 semester units of work are classified as freshmen, 30-59 semester units as sophomores, 60-89 semester units as juniors, and 90 or more as seniors.
Maximum Number of Units
Undergraduate students’ requests to enroll for more than 18 units in the fall or spring semester must be approved by the student’s adviser and the department chair of the major. If such requests are denied, appeals may be made to the appropriate college dean. (Undeclared majors must receive the approval of the director of Academic Advising Services.) The minimum full-time program is 12 units.
Consistent with university policy for the fall and spring semesters, the following individual student enrollment limits are assigned for summer (YRO) sessions:
- No more than seven units in any five- or six-week session, or
- No more than nine units in an eight-week session, or
- No more than 12 units in a 10-week session, or
- No more than 16 units in the entire summer (YRO) term
A student whose academic record justifies a study list in excess of the normal may request to be allowed to enroll for extra units. Request forms may be obtained from the Office of Registration and Records. In general, only students with superior academic records are allowed to enroll for more than the maximum. In addition, the need to enroll for the extra study must be established. Factors such as time spent in employment or commuting, the nature of the academic program, extracurricular activities and the student’s health should be considered in planning a study program.
The minimum and maximum units of a full-time program of study for graduate students are defined in the “Graduate Regulations ” section of this catalog.
Graduate-level (500) courses are organized primarily for graduate students. Undergraduate students may be permitted to enroll in a graduate-level course if:
- They have reached senior standing (completed a minimum of 90 semester units)
- Have academic preparation and prerequisites required for entry into the course
- Gain the consent of the instructor
Students wishing to use 500-level coursework taken during their undergraduate degree toward a master’s degree should read “Enrollment in 500-Level Courses by Seniors” and “Postgraduate Credit” in the “Graduate Enrollment Policies” section of this catalog.
While class attendance is not recorded officially by the university, students are expected to attend all classes. The policy on class attendance is within the discretion of the individual faculty member and shall be included in the class syllabus distributed at the first class meeting of the semester.
Students who must miss class to represent the university or to participate in a university-sponsored activity must notify the class instructor in writing a minimum of two weeks in advance of the absence. Given prior notice, instructors are encouraged to allow students to make up class work, complete class work in advance of the class absence, or complete an alternative assignment without penalty. In case of a disagreement about whether an activity constitutes a university-sponsored activity, the appropriate administrator will make the determination.
Initial Class Meeting
It is especially important that students attend the first meeting of a class. Students absent from the first meeting must notify the instructor or departmental office of the absence no later than 24 hours after the class meeting in order to preserve their places in the class. Instructors may deny admission to the class to absentees who fail to contact the instructor or office, in order to admit persons on waiting lists.
A student who registers for a class should attend all class meetings in the first week. For students enrolled in online, hybrid or televised courses, meetings are defined as logging on to the course on the Learning Management System (e.g., Canvas). If a student decides not to continue enrollment in a class, either before or after instruction begins, it is the student’s responsibility to follow appropriate procedures for dropping the class; however, if a student is absent without notifying the instructor or departmental office within 24 hours after any meeting missed during the first week, the student may be dropped administratively by the instructor. Students should not assume that this will be done for them and should take the responsibility to ensure that they have been dropped, by following the appropriate procedures for dropping classes.
An instructor may also administratively drop a student who does not meet prerequisites for the course. These administrative withdrawals shall be without penalty and must be filed by the instructor with the Office of Registration and Records no later than the end of the second week of instruction (the specific date is published in the online Registration Guide each semester).