Academic Placement

Classification of Students

Student class levels are determined as follows:

Freshmen. Students who have earned a total of fewer than 30 semester units.
Sophomores. Students who have earned a total of 30 to 59 semester units inclusive.
Juniors. Students who have earned a total of 60 to 89 semester units inclusive.
Seniors. Students who have earned 90 semester units or more.
Postbaccalaureate/Graduates. Students who have at least one bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.

Advanced Placement

The Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board permits high school students to take college-equivalent courses while in high school, and, based upon comprehensive qualifying examinations, receive advanced placement and credit at participating universities and colleges. 

Credit is applied to undergraduate degrees for the successful completion of examinations of the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board. Students who present scores of three or better will be granted up to six semester units (nine quarter units) of college credit. In order to receive credit for these examinations from California State University, Fresno, students must request an official copy of their test results directly from the College Board. 

Credits earned through advanced placement are not included among the maximum of 30 units of credit by examination that may be credited toward a bachelor's degree. The most commonly passed Advanced Placement Tests and equivalent courses are noted in the table below. Please visit the Fresno State Admissions and Undergraduate Recruitment webpage for a full list of AP exam articulation.

Test Score Units Subjects
U.S. History 3,4,5 6 HIST 11, 12
Computer Science Principles 3,4,5 3* Comp Sci Elective, GE Area B4
English Lit/Comp 3,4,5 6** ENGL 5B or 10, 20
English Lang/Comp 3,4,5 6** ENGL 5B or 10, 2
Math Calculus AB 3,4,5 6 MATH 75***
Math Calculus BC sub-score 3,4,5 3 MATH 75***
Math Calculus BC 3,4,5 6 MATH 75, 76
U.S. Gov't & Politics 3,4,5 3 Federal Government

Official scores may be obtained from:
Advanced Placement Examination
P.O. Box 6671
Princeton, NJ 08541-6671

For more information, contact Admissions at 559-278-2261.

* Effective beginning with exams taken in spring 2018.
** If English Lit/Comp and English Lang/Comp are passed, then a maximum of 9 units is allowed for ENGL 5B or 10, 2, and 20.
*** Remaining 2 units in lower-division mathematics electives.

International Baccalaureate. Credit is granted for International Baccalaureate Higher Level examinations passed with a score of 4 or higher (some exams require a score of 5 or higher). International Baccalaureate examinations taken spring 2018, or later, will be applied to general education areas as noted below. Contact Admissions at 559-278-2261 for more information. Please visit the Fresno State Admissions and Undergraduate Student Recruitment webpage for IB exam articulation.

IB Exam Score Units GE Area
Biology HL 5 3 GE Area B2
Chemistry HL 5 3 GE Area B1
Economics HL 5 3 GE Area D3
Geography HL 5 3 GE Area D3
History (any region) HL 5 3 GE Area D3
Language A Literature HL 4 3 GE Area C2
Language A and Lit HL 4 3 GE Area C2
Language A1 (any language) HL 4 3 GE Area C2
Language A2 (any language) HL 4 3 GE Area C2
Mathematics HL 4 3 GE Area B4
Physics HL 5 3 GE Area B1
Psychology HL 5 3 GE Area D3
Theatre HL 4 3 GE Area C1

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Placement Measures for First-Year GE Written Communication and Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning Courses

Freshmen skills assessment and placement for General Education written communication and mathematics/quantitative reasoning shall be based on systemwide skills assessment standards that include the Early Assessment Program/ Smarter Balanced Achievement Levels, ACT scores and/or SAT scores, high school coursework, high school GPA and math GPA.
Skills assessments are not a condition for admission to the CSU; they are a condition of enrollment.

These skills assessments are designed to inform entering freshmen of placement in appropriate baccalaureate-level courses based on their skills and needs.

First-time freshmen in need of support as determined by the skills assessment will be placed in supported instruction. Supported instruction is designed to assist students in credit bearing courses. Students may also be required to participate in the Early Start Program. 
The Early Start Program gives students the opportunity to earn college credit in written communication and mathematics/ quantitative reasoning the summer before their first term. 

Assessments and Placement for GE Written Communications
Has Fulfilled the GE Subarea A2 English Requirement

The student has met the requirement via completion of one of the following:

Advanced Placement (AP) Test

  • 3 or above: AP Language and Composition
  • 3 or above: AP Composition and Literature

 
College Transfer Coursework

  • Completed approved college course that satisfies CSU GE Area A2 (written communication) with a grade of C- or better

Placement in a GE Subarea A2 English Course

The student has met examination standards and/or multiple measures- informed standards via one of the criteria below:

English CAASPP/EAP Test:

  • Standard Exceeded
  • Standard Met and completed 12th grade approved year-long English course (CSU ERWC, AP, Weighted Honors English) with grade of C- or better

*English New SAT Test:

  • 550 or above
  • 510 – 540 and completed 12th grade approved year-long English course (CSU ERWC, AP, Weighted Honors English) with grade of C- or better English

ACT Test:

  • 22 or higher
  • 19-21 and completed 12th grade approved year-long English course (CSU ERWC, AP, Weighted Honors English) with grade of C- or better

High School Courses and GPA:

  • Weighted GPA 3.3 or above
  • GPA 3.0 or above and completed approved 12 grade year-long English course (AP, CSU ERWC, Weighted Honors English)
  • GPA 3.0 or above and completed Honors English
  • GPA 3.0 or above and 5 or more years of high school English

Placement in a Supported GE Subarea A2 English Course
The student has met examination standards and/or multiple measures- informed standards via one of the criteria below:

*English New SAT Test:

  • 510 – 540 and 4 or more years of high school English


ACT Test:

  • 19-21 and 4 or more years of high school English

High School Courses and GPA:

  • Weighted GPA 3.0 or above and 4 or more years of high school English
  • *SAT score conversion for scores prior to March 2016 (old SAT): https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat-scoring-beforemarch-2016

Placement in a Supported GE Subarea A2 English Course and Participation in the Early Start Program Required
Based on multiple measures evaluation, student needs additional academic support including participation in the Early Start Program.  Visit the Early Start Page to learn about the Early Start Program.

 

Assessments and Placement for GE Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning

Non-Math Intensive Majors (Algebra and Statistics Disciplines, Non-STEM and Undecided Majors)
Has Fulfilled the GE Subarea B4 Math/Quantitative Reasoning Requirement
The student has met the requirement via completion of one of the following:

Advanced Placement (AP) Test:

  • 3 or above: Calculus AB
  • 3 or above on AP Calculus BC
  • 3 or above on AP Statistics
  • 3 or above on AP Computer Science Principles

International Baccalaureate (IB) Test:

  • 4 or above on Math Higher Level (HL)

College Level Examination Program (CLEP):

  • 50 or above on: Calculus, College Algebra, College Algebra-Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus or Trigonometry

College Transfer Coursework:

  • Completed math/quantitative reasoning college course with a C- or better that satisfies CSU GE Area B4

Placement in a GE Subarea B4 Math/Quantitative Reasoning Requirement
The student has met examination standards and/or multiple measures-informed standards via one of the following criteria:

CAASPP/EAP Math Exam:

  • Standard Exceeded
  • Standard Met and completed 12th grade approved year-long math course beyond Algebra 2 with a C- or better
  • Standard Met and 4 or more years of high school math or quantitative reasoning

*New SAT Math Test:

  • 570 or above
  • 550 or above on Subject Test in Math Level 1 or 2
  • 520 – 560 and completed 12th grade approved year-long math course beyond Algebra 2 with a C- or better

ACT Math Test:

  • 23 or above
  • 20-22 and completed 12th grade approved year-long math course beyond Algebra 2 with a C- or better
  • *SAT score conversion for scores prior to March 2016 (old SAT): https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat-scoring-beforemarch-2016

 

High School Courses and GPA:

  • Weighted math GPA 3.0 or above and completed 12th grade approved year-long math course beyond Algebra 2 with a C- or better
  • Weighted math GPA 3.0 or above and 5 or more years of high school math or quantitative reasoning
  • Weighted high school GPA 3.7 or above
  • Weighted high school GPA 3.5 or above and 4 or more years of high school math or quantitative reasoning

Placement in a Supported GE Subarea B4 Math/ Quantitative Reasoning Requirement
The student has met examination standards and/or multiple measures- informed standards via one of the criteria below:

High School GPA:

  • Weighted  math GPA 3.3 or above
  • Weighted high school GPA 3.0 or above

Placement in a Supported GE Subarea B4 Math/ Quantitative Reasoning Requirement and Participation in the Early Start Program Required
Based on multiple measures evaluation, student needs additional academic support including participation in the Early Start Program. Visit the Early Start page to learn about the Early Start Program.

Assessments and Placement for GE Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning: Pre-STEM/STEM and Other Math- Intensive Majors
Has Fulfilled the GE Subarea B4 Math/Quantitative Reasoning Requirement
The student has met the requirement via completion of one of the following:

Advanced Placement (AP) Test:

  • 3 or above on AP Calculus AB 
  • 3 or above on AP Calculus BC
  • 3 or above on AP Statistics
  • 3 or above on AP Computer Science Principles

International Baccalaureate (IB) Test:

  • 4 or above on Math Higher Level (HL)

College Level Examination Program (CLEP):

  • 50 or above on: Calculus, College Algebra, College Algebra-Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus or Trigonometry

College Transfer Coursework:

  • Completed math/quantitative reasoning college course with a C- or better that satisfies CSU GE Area B4

Placement in a GE Subarea B4 Math/Quantitative Reasoning Requirement
The student has met examination standards and/or multiple measures- informed standards via one of the criteria below:

CAASPP/EAP Math Exam:

  • Standard Exceeded
  • Standard Met and completed 12th grade approved year-long math course beyond Algebra 2 with a C- or better

*New SAT Math Test:

  • 570 or above
  • 550 or above on Subject Test in Math Level 1 or 2
  • 520 – 560 and completed 12th grade approved year-long math course beyond Algebra 2 with a C- or better

 

ACT Math Test:

  • 23 or above
  • 20-22 and completed 12th grade approved year-long math course beyond Algebra 2 with a C- or better

High School Courses and GPA:

  • Weighted math GPA 3.5 or above and completed 12th grade approved year-long math course beyond Algebra 2 with a grade of C- or better
  • Weighted math GPA 3.5 or above and 5 or more years of high school math or quantitative reasoning
  • Weighted high school GPA 3.7 or above
  • *SAT score conversion for scores prior to March 2016 (old SAT): https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat-scoring-beforemarch-2016

Placement in a Supported GE Subarea B4 Math/ Quantitative Reasoning Requirement
The student has met examination standards and/or multiple measures- informed standards via the criteria below:

High School Math GPA:

  • Weighted math GPA 3.3 or above

Placement in a Supported GE Subarea B4 Math/ Quantitative Reasoning Requirement and Participation in the Early Start Program Required
Based on multiple measures evaluation, student needs additional academic support including participation in the Early Start Program.  Visit the Early Start page to learn about the Early Start Program.

The goal of the Early Start Program (ESP) is to:

  • Better prepare students in written composition and mathematics/quantitative reasoning before the fall term of freshman year, improving students’ chances of successful completion of a baccalaureate degree.
  • If required to participate in ESP, as determined by multiple measures, students will begin in the summer before the start of the freshman year.
  • For general information about ESP including fees and course listings, visit csustudentsuccess.org/earlystart. Students are encouraged to visit the campus website for ESP information once admitted.
  • Eligible financial aid applicants with an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,000 or less will be eligible for waiver of the per unit ESP fee. For more information on assessments, placements and the Early Start Program, please visit www.csustudentsuccess.org


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Credit by Examination

Credit by examination is designed to encourage matriculated students to seek college credit in courses in which they have competence through prior learning or experience, outside the usual academic processes. This permits students to accelerate their progress to degree. Credit earned by examination does not meet the residence requirement of the university and is not available for graduate level courses. For further information, consult the department where the course is offered.

Graduate Students

Credit by examination for coursework may be used to fulfill prerequisites only and may not be applied toward the total units required for a master's degree.

Independent Study

Independent study is offered to give students experience in planning and outlining a course of study on their own initiative under departmental supervision. Independent study should deal with a special interest not covered in a regular course or with the exploration in greater depth of a subject presented in a regular course. Each department has an independent study upper -division course (190). In addition, some departments have a lower-division course (90) and/or a graduate-level course (290).

To be eligible for independent study, students should have an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher. This requirement may be waived in exceptional cases, when approved by the department chair. Maximum credit of 6 units in independent study courses is allowed toward the bachelor's degree, and maximum credit of 6 units in independent study courses may be approved for use toward a 30-unit master's degree. Such credit is limited to a maximum of 3 units per semester. Under extraordinary circumstances more than 3 units per semester may be allowed on petition to the department chair.

Eligible students desiring to register for Independent Study must first obtain the consent of an instructor, who will guide the project, and the chair of the department in which the course is given. Students must register for Independent Study courses during the regular registration period in the same manner as they register for any other course at the time of registration.

An independent study course normally includes an oral examination by a committee set up by the supervising instructor, a formal report that is filed in the department office, and an abstract of the study that is filed with the department chair. Approval forms and copies of the current regulations may be obtained from department, school, or college offices. The entry on the permanent record shows the discipline and course number only; the title does not appear.
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Credit for Noncollegiate Instruction

This university grants undergraduate degree credit appropriate to the baccalaureate degree for successful completion of noncollegiate instruction, either military or civilian, that has been recommended by the Commission on Educational Credit and Credentials of the American Council on Education. The number of units allowed are those recommended in AGuide to the Evaluation of Educational Experience in the Armed Services and the National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs.

Credit for Military Service Coursework

Lower-division elective credit is given for recruit training for initial entry into the service and clears G.E. Area E.Credit given may vary depending on the branch of service and date of entry. An applicant for credit must submit an official copy of the Joint Services Transcript (JST) or Notice of Separation (DD214) to Admissions and Recruitment for review. At the student's request, the Joint Services Transcript or DD214 can be reviewed for ACE recommendations for non-collegiate instruction units. A maximum of 30 units is allowed for military credit.

DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support) maintains the educational records of the servicemen and women who have completed DSSTs (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests), CLEP (College Level Examination Program) examinations and GED tests. DANTES has also maintained USAFI (United States Armed Forces Institute) transcripts since that organization ceased to exist in 1974.

College credit is awarded for acceptable DSST scores as recommended by DANTES. Equivalency for DSST credit is determined by our departments. Other credits recommended by DANTES (CLEP, etc.) must meet university guidelines for the awarding of credit for those examinations. DANTES/USAFI credit is considered Credit by Examination at Fresno State with a maximum of 30semester units. Scores for all CLEP and DSST exams are automatically reported to the Joint Services Transcript (JST).
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College Level Examination Program

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is designed to be a means through which recognition, academic credit, and placement may be given for less conventional forms of educational experience or learning. CLEP exams are now offered only as computer-based tests and are available through Testing Services on campus.

Within the restrictions of systemwide policy, this university awards up to 6 units of credit for successfully completed CLEP examinations. Such credit is applied to the total units required for the baccalaureate degree. Effective with exams taken spring 2018, some exam credit is applied to the General Education requirements as detailed in the chart below. Not all CLEP examinations are acceptable under system policy. It is the responsibility of the student to check with the appropriate department to determine whether it accepts CLEP credit to meet any degree requirement. This should be done prior to taking the CLEP exam. The CLEP exam articulation table can be found on the Fresno State Admissions and Undergraduate Student Recruitment webpage.

Credits earned through CLEP are included among the maximum of 30 units of Credit by Examination that may be credited toward a bachelor's degree. For additional information, call Professional Examination Services, 559.278.2457.

CLEP Exam Score Units GE Area
American Government 50 3 Area D2*
American Literature 50 3 Area C2
Analyzing and Interpreting Literature 50 3 Area C2
Biology 50 3 Area B2
Calculus 50 3 Area B4
Chemistry 50 3 Area B1
College Algebra 50 3 Area B2
College Algebra – Trigonometry 50 3 Area B2
French Level II** 59 3 Area C2
German Level II** 60 3 Area C2
History – United States I 50 3 Area D1
History – United States II 50 3 Area D1
Human Growth and Development 50 3 Area E
Humanities 50 3 Area C2
Introductory Psychology 50 3 Area D3
Introductory Sociology 50 3 Area D3
Natural Sciences 50 3 Area B2
Pre-Calculus 50 3 Area B4
Macroeconomics 50 3 Area D3
Microeconomics 50 3 Area D3
Spanish Level II* 50 3 Area C2
Western Civilization I 50 3 Area D3
Western Civilization II 50 3 Area D3

* Federal Government only

** For CLEP tests in the same language other than English. Only one exam score may be applied towards the CSU degree. A passing score higher than 50 is considered “Level II” and may earn additional units of credit and placement in Area C2 of GE Breadth.

 

Upper-Division Writing Examination.

The UDWE is administered by the university and may be used to satisfy the upper-division writing skills requirement. One unit of credit may be granted (ENGL 100W) to registered undergraduate students upon request. This unit may be applied toward the 40 upper-division unit degree requirement and total units for the baccalaureate degree but cannot be applied toward the 30 residence unit degree requirement or for postbaccalaureate credit. For details, call the Bulldog Testing Center, 559.278.4137


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