Baccalaureate Degree Requirements
A student must complete the following requirements in order to earn a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree. Requirements are described in detail in the latter part of this section. Most students accumulate a combination of units in the major, General Education, and nondesignated electives in order to fulfill the requirements of a baccalaureate degree. These requirements are fulfilled when a student successfully completes:
- a minimum of 120 semester units for the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degree programs
- an academic major requirement
- General Education requirements
- Multicultural / International Requirement
- Specific course/skill requirements: (a) English Composition (English 5A-B, 10, or equivalent); (b) United States History (History 11 or 12); (c) United States and California Constitution (Political Science 2 or 101); (d) Upper-division writing skills
- a minimum of 30 residence units, of which 24 must be upper division, 12 in the major, and 9 in General Education
- a minimum of a C average for units in the major, all California State University, Fresno units, and total units.
To receive the degree, a student files an online application for graduation via the Student Center by one of the published deadlines. After paying the fee online, your application is submitted to the Undergraduate Degree Evaluations.
Double (Concurrent) Major Requirements
Undergraduate students may desire to complete the requirements for more than one major at the time of completion of the baccalaureate degree (i.e., graduate with a double major). All requirements for each degree must be met. When students apply for graduation, they must designate which is the primary degree major. Minimum requirements and exceptions for double majors are as follows:
- Double B.A. majors must include a minimum of 24 units exclusive of the other major, 12 of which must be upper-division.
- Double B.S. majors must include a minimum of 36 units exclusive of the other major, 18 of which must be upper-division.
- Units may be double-counted for both majors above 24 mutually exclusive units (12 upper-division) in B.A. programs and 36 units (18 upper-division) in B.S. programs.
- Courses in General Education may be used to fulfill major or minor requirements.
- Students may not earn a special major as a double major.
One Degree with More than One Major and/or Minor: Two majors leading to the same baccalaureate degree (B.A. or B.S.) do not constitute separate baccalaureate degrees. Only one degree and one diploma will be awarded. Only one application fee is required for one degree, regardless of the number of majors and minors. A student may earn a maximum of two majors and two minors so long as all work can be completed within 144 units.
Graduating with Two Degrees: A student may be awarded more than one baccalaureate degree (such as a B.A., B.S., or B.F.A.) at the same time provided that requirements of all degree programs have been completed. Students who complete two different baccalaureate degrees must apply for all degrees in a single degree period by submitting separate applications simultaneously. A fee is required for each application submitted. Students who concurrently complete the requirements for two baccalaureate degrees will be acknowledged on separate diplomas for each degree earned.
Special Major for a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science Degree
The Special Major Degree provides an opportunity for students to engage in an individualized course of study leading to a degree when one's academic and professional goals are not accommodated by standard degree majors. The Special Major consists of correlated studies in two or more fields and should provide integrated instruction comparable in quality and depth to regular major programs.
The minimum requirement for the Special Major is an approved program of 45 units at least 30 units of which must be upper division work. A maximum of six independent study units may be included in the Special Major Program. Any exception to this limit must be approved in writing by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies upon written recommendation by the Special Major Advisor prior to registration for the additional units.
The maximum number of units for a B.A. or B.S. Special Major shall not exceed 144 total earned units.
A student requesting a Special Major must meet with an Advisor in the University Advising Center to review criteria and obtain application forms. On these forms the student must: 1) Prepare a statement giving reasons for desiring a Special Major in terms of academic and professional goals and why these goals cannot be met through a standard major; 2) Develop a specific list of courses which would lead to the academic and professional goals stated above; 3) Secure the signed approval from the University Advising Center, as well as from the Special Major Advisor and department chairmen in the areas from which the Special Major courses are drawn. The student must submit the foregoing material to the University Advising Center and the Dean of Undergraduate Studies for final approval. Any changes to an approved Special Major must be processed through the University Advising Center and forwarded accordingly for approval.
B.S. Program Requirements: At least 25 units of the B.S. Special Major must be from campus colleges offering a broad range of instructional programs in science- or technology-based disciplines. These colleges include the following: Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Craig School of Business, Engineering, Health and Human Services, Science and Mathematics, and Social Sciences. Coursework must be taken in at least two different subject areas or fields of study, with no less than 9 units each from a minimum of two areas.
The residence requirement for the baccalaureate degree specifies that 30 units shall
be earned in residence at the campus granting the degree. Twenty-four of these units
shall be earned in upper-division courses, 12 of the units shall be in the major,
and 9 units shall be in General Education. The residence requirement for graduate
students is 21 units.
Extension credit and credit by evaluation, including credit by examination, may not be used to fulfill the above described requirements.
Specific Course/Skill Requirements
English Requirement. English 10, Composition, or its equivalent is a university graduation requirement
that should be completed before the end of the fourth semester of university attendance.
(A grade of C is the minimum acceptable grade to satisfy this requirement.) The English
Placement Test does not substitute for English 10. Search English Placement Test for
test scores prerequisite to enrollment in English 10.
U.S. History and Government Requirements. Undergraduate and second baccalaureate degree candidates must demonstrate competence with respect to the Constitution of the United States, American history, and in the principles of state and local government of California in order to graduate. This may be done by passing examinations or by completing History 11 or 12 and Political Science 2. (In cases in which students have completed the federal government requirement at another institution, Political Science 102 [1 unit] will fulfill the California government requirement.) (Search History Department -- American History Requirement , Political Science Department -- United States Constitution Requirement, and General Education.)
Upper-Division Writing Skills (UDWS) Requirement. All undergraduate and second baccalaureate degree candidates must demonstrate competency in writing skills at the upper-division (junior-senior) level as a requirement for graduation. After completing 60 units and English Composition (ENGL 5A, 5B or 10) or its equivalent with a C or better, students may meet this requirement in one of two ways:
- Pass the Upper-Division Writing Examination (UDWE) composed of two essays. Students are permitted to take the examination a maximum of two times. Upon successful completion of the UDWE, undergraduate students may request 1 unit of credit (ENGL 100W), which will be posted to their transcripts the semester following the date the UDWE was passed. Call the Bulldog Testing Office, 559.278.4137.
- Obtain a CR or letter grade of C or better in an approved upper-division writing course at this university. Approved writing courses can be identified in the catalog by the letter W (e.g., ENGL 160W, BA 105W).
It is imperative that the UDWS requirement be met within two semesters after completing
60 units. The UDWS requirement cannot be fulfilled by a class or test taken outside
of The California State University system and cannot be satisfied at a CSU campus
at which the student has not matriculated.
Passing the UDWE does not exempt students from taking a W course if it is required in their major, e.g., PLANT 110W.
Graduate students should consult Graduate Studies regarding the graduate-level writing proficiency requirement.
The following unit limitations apply to all bachelor's degrees:
- A maximum of 70 transferable semester units (105 quarter) is allowed from two-year institutions (community/junior colleges).
- A maximum of 8 semester units of Kinesiology (P.E.)/Dance Techniques/Athletics activity is allowed. (Kinesiology and dance majors may have credit for 12 semester units.)
- A maximum of 12 semester units is allowed for work experience/internship/agricultural projects. (A maximum of 6 semester units may transfer into the university. A maximum of 6 semester units of the 12 is allowed in agricultural projects.) All work experience and internships are graded on a credit/no credit basis.
- A maximum of 24 semester units at California State University, Fresno is allowed for CR/NC grading, excluding Credit by Examination. (Search Credit/No Credit Grading for other limitations.)
- A maximum of 30 semester units is allowed for Credit by Examination (excluding Credit for Advanced Placement Examination).
- A maximum of 24 semester units is allowed for credit through Extension and/or correspondence coursework.
- A maximum of 6 semester units is allowed for independent study coursework.
- A maximum of 6 semester units is allowed for coursework in typing/keyboarding.
- A maximum of 30 semester units is allowed for military service and/or education.
Second Baccalaureate Degree or Undergraduate Major Requirements
Postbaccalaureate students (i.e., those who already hold a bachelor's degree) may pursue a program leading to an additional baccalaureate degree. Students are urged to consult with a departmental advisor and with the Division of Research and Graduate Studies to determine whether a second baccalaureate or graduate program better meets their needs.
- Postbaccalaureate students seeking an additional undergraduate degree must complete the following requirements: (a) A minimum of 30 units in residence at California State University, Fresno since completion of the most recent degree, including 24 upper-division units. ( b) At least 12 units in the major in residence at this university since the last baccalaureate degree. (Departments may set higher requirements.) (c) All state and university requirements for that degree, including English 1, General Education, the Multicultural/International requirement, United States Constitution and California state and local government, American history, and the upper-division writing skills requirement. (These requirements may be met by courses taken in the students' undergraduate programs.) (d) All units required in the major. No credit may be applied from courses taken for an earlier degree. If required major courses were previously taken, the student must substitute, with the approval of the department, additional major courses. Graduate -level courses (200 series) may not be applied toward the requirements for a second baccalaureate degree or additional undergraduate major. (e) Completion of 40 upper-division units taken since the most recent degree was granted. (f) Filing of an undergraduate degree application and payment of graduation fee. (Search Graduation.)
- Postbaccalaureate students seeking an additional undergraduate major must complete items b and d above. The transcript will indicate that all coursework for the additional major has been completed. Students pursuing a second baccalaureate degree or additional undergraduate major cannot select the catalog used for the initial undergraduate degree. If students do not remain in continuous attendance, the requirements will be those in effect at the time they reenter the university or complete their programs. (Search Choice of Catalog under Academic Regulations.)
- Postbaccalaureate students may not earn a minor or a second minor.
- Determination of honors at graduation for students earning a second baccalaureate degree will be calculated based on grades earned in all courses required in the major by the university to complete the second degree which are taken subsequent to completing their first degree.
Upper-division and/or graduate-level units earned at Fresno State in the semester or summer session in which the bachelor’s degree is granted will be notated on the student’s permanent record as postbaccalaureate credit as long as
- the courses are not needed for the bachelor's degree.
- the student is neither on academic probation nor academic disqualification at the beginning of the final term.
- the units are not in excess of stated maximum limitations (e.g., 6 units of independent study).
- course is not a repeated attempt.
In addition, only credit for courses in which grades A, B, C, or CR are earned may
be counted. No course may have its credit divided between baccalaureate and postbaccalaureate
programs; use of such credit for graduate degrees at California State University,
Fresno requires special approval and is limited to one-third of the total units required
in a graduate degree program. (Search Graduate Studies - Advancement to Candidacy.)
Only students with graduate standing may enroll in the following courses: 290, 298,
299. (Search Graduate Studies - Criteria for Thesis and Project.) Use of postbaccalaureate
credit for other purposes is to be determined by the appropriate authority.
Students who anticipate meeting bachelor’s degree requirements by the end of a term
should file an online application for a degree (with appropriate fees) with the Undergraduate
Degree Evaluations. The Division of Research and Graduate Studies processes graduate
degree applications. See Academic Calendar for filing dates and deadlines. Failure
to apply before the final deadline will delay the granting of the degree.
The Undergraduate Degree Evaluations checks students' applications for bachelor's degrees and informs them regarding eligibility for the degrees. Degrees are not awarded to students with I or RD grades remaining on their records. Students receiving I grades during the final year that have not been completed (or changed to F grades) by the appropriate clearance deadline will not be considered for graduation that semester and must reapply for the degree. (Search Incomplete.)
In order to be eligible for graduation, students must:
- Submit an online application for the degree and pay the graduation fee
- Have completed with appropriate scholastic standing all courses required for the degree. (Graduates receive their official diplomas by mail.)
- Have filed official transcripts for all coursework attempted prior to graduation
It is the responsibility of students to be sure that all requirements have been met and that documentation has been filed with the Undergraduate Degree Evaluations or the Division of Research and Graduate Studies by the appropriate deadlines. No additions, deletions, or changes to students’ records are permitted after the degree has been recorded.
Honors at Graduation. Honors at the time of graduation from the university are awarded to undergraduate students based on the following criteria:
- Students must have an overall minimum grade point average of 3.5 on all work attempted.
- Students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on all work taken at the university.
The grade point average earned at California State University, Fresno determines which
honors the student receives:
Summa Cum Laude (highest honors) 3.90 to 4.00
Magna Cum Laude (high honors) 3.70 to 3.89
Cum Laude (honors) 3.50 to 3.69
Since the requirement for honors could change, students are requested to check the current General Catalog for the criteria in effect at the time of graduation.
The California Promise Program
The program is limited to students who are residents of California. This is a pledge between first-time freshman students or first-time ADT students and Fresno state to ensure graduation with a baccalaureate degree in four years, or two years accordingly. Students interested in the program must sign the pledge and submit an approved Educational Plan by mid-October (Fall entry) or mid-March (Spring ADT entry) to begin receiving benefits. Students who commit to enter into this pledge will be given priority registration and will be provided with routine and thorough academic advisement. In order to remain in the program, students must meet with their advisors as prescribed, develop an Educational Plan, and complete at least 30 units per academic year, including summer (with caution).
Entering first-time freshman who are not California residents may join a program with similar benefits called the Four-Year Scholars Program.
Detailed program information can be found on the website at http://fresnostate.edu/academics/californiapromise/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commencement is held annually at the end of spring semester. Students who have completed
degree requirements in the summer or in the fall semester immediately preceding commencement
are eligible to participate with those who complete their work in the spring semester.
For additional information, see Kennel Bookstore, Student Life, and/or the Office
of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.
Many students want to study areas not covered by traditional degree programs to increase professional competence, to acquire paraprofessional training, to change careers or to promote personal enrichment. A baccalaureate or master's degree, or second baccalaureate or second major may be inappropriate for them, yet they may still deserve recognition for their work. To meet the needs of these students the university has established three kinds of certificates:
- The Certificate of Completion is awarded for successfully completing a planned educational experience (workshop, conference, short course, or seminar) designed for specific academic objectives.
- The Certificate of Special Study is awarded for successfully completing a structured program of educational experiences, at least 12 semester units, determined in advance by a department or college/school, and consisting of upper-division (100-199) courses, professional (300-399) courses, and related activities.
- The Certificate of Advanced Study is awarded for successfully completing an established, approved program of at least 12 semester units of graduate (200-299) courses, upper-division (100-199) courses, and professional (300-399) courses, as recommended by a department and approved by the Division of Research and Graduate Studies.
Please note: Certificates awards are not currently posted on the Fresno State official transcript.
Public School Teacher and Services Credentials
California State University, Fresno offers basic - Multiple Subject, Single Subject,
and Special Education - teaching credentials as well as advanced - Specialist and
Services - credentials required for employment in K-12 public schools. The Kremen
School of Education and Human Development is the primary unit responsible for professional
preparation and credential authorization. However, subject matter preparation required
for basic credential programs and professional preparation required in some advanced
credentials - school nursing, psychology, school social work, agriculture, speech-language
pathology, and deaf and hard-of-hearing - are provided by various academic departments.
For information about credential programs, refer to the Education section of this
catalog or to the appropriate academic department.
Basic Teaching Credentials, Elementary
Multiple Subject, BLCAD
Multiple Subject, with emphasis in Early Childhood Education
Multiple Subject Internship
Basic Teaching Credentials, Secondary
- English; English-Drama; English-Speech
- Foreign Languages - Spanish, French
- Industrial Technology
- Physical Education
- Science - Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science
- Social Science
Single Subject Internship
Basic Teaching Credentials, Special Education
Preliminary Education Specialist (formerly Preliminary Level I Education Specialist)
- Mild/Moderate Disabilities (including internship)
- Moderate/Severe Disabilities (including internship)
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing (including internship)
Advanced Specialist and Services Credential
Specialist Teaching Credentials
- Early Childhood
- Reading and Literacy Leadership
- Professional Level II Education Specialist:
Mild/Moderate Disabilities (including internship)
Moderate/Severe Disabilities (including internship)
Deaf and Hard of Hearing (including internship)
- Preliminary Administrative
- Professional Administrative
School Nurse Services
Pupil Personnel in
- School Counseling
- School Psychology
- School Social Work, Child Welfare and Attendance