Registration Process


Program Planning

Freshmen should plan their programs early, beginning, when practical, with the selection of a major. Degree requirements in each major are listed under the appropriate department. Degree Roadmaps are available for every major. If you are undecided about a major, indicate Undeclared on the appropriate forms until a definite decision is reached.

Regular advising is key to the successful and timely completion of a degree. Depending on the major department's procedure, an academic advisor is assigned to each student, or selected by the student. The University Advising Center (Joyal Administration Building, Room 224) advises undeclared majors and those re-deciding on a major.  At a minimum, all undergraduate students are expected to review their “roadmap” to graduation with an advisor from their College Advising Center or department by the end of the term in which they complete 75 units. Some departments require advising earlier and more often.

Undergraduate students entering the university without a major are strongly encouraged to declare a major before the end of the term in which 45 units are completed toward a degree. Students must declare a major no later than the term in which 60 units are completed. Undergraduate transfer students with 60 or more units must declare a major upon entry or before course registration begins for their second semester at the university. Students may contact the University Advising Center for further information (Joyal Administration Building, Room 224, or call 559-278-1787).

It is recommended that all students meet with a faculty advisor once each semester and/or visit the College Advising Centers before registering for classes. A faculty or professional staff advisor assists the student in planning an academic program, but the primary responsibility for meeting all graduation requirements is the student's. 

If you are a veteran/active duty, guard or reservist or dependent utilizing a VA Education benefit please contact the Veterans Resource Center for additional advising pertaining to course enrollment.

Recommended Preparation

Freshmen. Overall excellence of performance in high school subjects and evidence of academic potential provide the basis for admission at California State University, Fresno.

Since certain academic majors require high school preparation in definite subjects, the student should consult the requirements indicated in the field of his or her choice.

In university majors, such as engineering, natural science, mathematics, social science and humanities, a maximum number of high school credits should be obtained in appropriate preparatory subjects.

Transfer Students. Students intending to transfer to California State University, Fresno should plan their programs while attending other colleges to meet our General Education and major degree requirements. Students transferring from a California community college should complete as many of the CSU General Education requirements of that college as possible while keeping in mind that a maximum of 70 transferable units is allowed from two-year institutions (community/junior colleges). For more information, visit the California Articulation website. A General Education Certification (requested only from California public community/junior colleges and California State University campuses) should be sent to California State University, Fresno along with the final transcripts. Earning an A.A. or A.S. degree does not necessarily mean one has fulfilled CSU admission and/or General Education requirements.
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Registration Eligibility

Registration is open to new and returning students who have been admitted and to eligible continuing students in good standing. A continuing student is eligible to register for two subsequent semesters if he/she was enrolled by the eleventh day of instruction and had paid registration fees for the previous semester.

Students must make progress toward fulfillment of degree requirements to remain in good standing. Students who enroll and withdraw and do not complete coursework for two or more consecutive semesters may lose their continuing student status. Contact Undergraduate Degree Evaluations regarding potential loss of catalog rights if you remain away from California State University, Fresno more than one calendar year. Registration is complete only when all class selection through registration is finalized and all fees are paid. See the Office of the University Registrar website for all registration deadline dates. Repeating Classes (see Academic Regulations section).

Student Standing and Stop Out Eligibility

Continuing undergraduate and graduate students can "stop out" for one semester (simply not enroll for a subsequent term) and maintain registration eligibility without the need to reapply for admission or request a leave of absence. A student who withdraws from the university after the tenth day of instruction is eligible to enroll the following two semesters without reapplying for admission. Undergraduate students with Disqualification Academic Standing are NOT eligible for “stop out” and must reapply for admission. Students should contact the University Advising Center to meet with an Academic Counselor to review the steps for readmission. Graduate students with Disqualification Academic Standing are NOT eligible for “stop out.” They may, however, petition for readmission for the immediate subsequent semester, which does not require application for admission through Cal State Apply. Disqualified graduate students who petition for readmission AFTER having been out of attendance for a semester or more, must also reapply for admission through Cal State Apply.

New and returning undergraduate and graduate students cannot “stop out” for one semester until they establish continuing eligibility student status. To gain continuing eligibility into the next semester, a student must be enrolled through the tenth day of instruction. Undergraduate and post-baccalaureate (e.g. credential programs) students follow the same academic standing policies.

Note: Former California State University, Fresno students interested in returning after an absence of two or more semesters must apply for readmission; admission is subject to university enrollment limitations. Returning applicants must adhere to admission filing deadlines and are required to pay the application fee when applying. In addition, continuing and matriculated students may NOT “stop out” to attend Open University.

Military students who were on active orders should contact the Veterans Resource Center for additional information and guidelines regarding readmission at 559-278-6036 or email fsveterans@mail.fresnostate.edu.

Repeating Classes. (see Academic Regulations section).

Registration Appointment Information

Registration appointment date and time for all students is determined by the number of academic units completed with limited exceptions. After all priority and early registration groups are processed, then assignments are made based on the highest number of completed units. Priority registration is defined for groups who are mandated by law to receive a priority registration appointment in the California Education Code. Early registration is defined for other on-campus groups that have been approved by the Enrollment Management Committee. See website.

Class Level Priority and Early Registration Unit Limit*
All Priority Group Veterans Monday (1st day) of Registration Week 16
All Priority Group CA Promise Monday (1st day) of Registration Week 16
All Priority Group Foster and Homeless Youth Monday (1st day) of Registration Week 16
All Early Registration Groups Monday (1st day) of Registration Week 16
All Graduate-Level Students Monday (1st day) of Registration Week 16

* See open registration unit limits section for information after open registration begins. 

Class Level General Registration Unit Limit*
Seniors (90+ completed units) Tuesday (2nd day) of Registration Week 16
Juniors (60-89 completed units) Wednesday (3rd day) of Registration Week 16
Sophomores (30-59 completed units) Thursday (4th day) of Registration Week 16
Freshmen (0-29 completed units) Friday (5th day) of Registration Week 16
Returning UGRD (All class levels) Friday (5th day) of Registration Week 16

*See open registration unit limits section for information after open registration begins. 

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Registration in courses offered by some colleges/schools or departments may be restricted to students officially enrolled in certain majors and/or class levels. It is essential that each student's current major be correctly recorded in the university's records; failure to do so may result in enrollment difficulties. It is the student's responsibility to be sure his or her major is correct. Undergraduate major changes can be made at the Student Services Center service windows, Joyal Administration Building, North Lobby; postbaccalaureate and graduate changes are done at the Division of Research and Graduate Studies Office.

Full-time/Part-time Students. Students taking at least 75 percent of the normal academic load are considered full-time students. Since the normal academic load is 15 semester units, students carrying 12 or more semester units are full-time students. For purposes of financial aid, graduate (200-level) courses are weighted for graduate students. Each graduate unit attempted by a graduate student is considered as 1.5 units.

  • Full-time (12 or more units)
  • Three-quarter time (9 to 11.5 units)
  • Half-time (6 to 8.5 units)

Veterans Benefits Certification

The Office of the University Registrar acts as liaison to the Veterans Administration, the State Department of Veterans Affairs, and other related agencies for veterans, active military, dependents, or guard/reservists eligible to receive educational benefits. A student may obtain information and assistance regarding certification of benefits, processing of Tuition Assistance (TA) paperwork or V.A. Work Study eligibility by contacting the Veterans Resource Center at 559-278-6036 or email fsveterans@mail.fresnostate.edu.

Intrasystem and Intersystem Enrollment Programs. Fully matriculated students enrolled at any CSU campus have access to courses at other CSU campuses on a space available basis unless those campuses/programs are impacted. This access is offered without students being required to be admitted formally to the host campus and in most cases without paying additional fees. Students should consult their home campus academic advisors to determine how such courses may apply to their specific degree programs before enrolling at the host campus. There are two programs for enrollment within the CSU and one for enrollment between CSU and the University of California or California Community Colleges. Additional information about these programs is available from the Office of the University Registrar.

CSU Fully Online. Matriculated students in good standing may request enrollment in one course per term, offered by a CSU host campus. Enrollment requests will be granted based on available space, as well as completion of any stated prerequisites. Credit earned at the host campus is electronically reported to the student's home campus to be included on the student's transcript at the home campus. More information is available at the Office of the University Registrar.

CSU Visitor Enrollment. Matriculated students in good standing enrolled at one CSU campus may enroll at another CSU campus for one term. Credit earned at the host campus is reported at the student's request to the home campus to be included on the student's transcript at the home campus.

Intersystem Cross Enrollment. Matriculated CSU, UC or community college students may enroll on a "space available" basis for one course per term at another CSU, UC, or community college and request that a transcript of record be sent to the home campus.

Undergraduate Students Excess Units. Each semester, students are limited to 16 units during the initial registration period. Beginning on the semester’s open registration date (see Registrar’s website), students can register for additional units. Undergraduate students are cautioned against registering for more than 18 units without consulting with an advisor, since more than 18 units is generally considered to be an academic overload. A limit of 16 units also applies to graduate students (see section below).

Students wanting to enroll in units beyond the limit established by their cumulative GPA during the open registration period can complete an Excess Unit Form. The Excess Unit Form requires an approval signature from the department chair of the student’s major. An absolute limit of 22 units (excluding credit by examination units) is enforced. Students seeking consideration for enrollment in more than 22 units will need to get two additional approval signatures on the form, one from School/College Dean of the student’s major and from the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. The Excess Unit form is available on the Office of the University Registrar website and at the Student Services Center, Joyal Administration building, North Lobby.

Postbaccalaureate Students Excess Units. To enroll in 17 or more units, master's degree students must demonstrate a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better; credential students must demonstrate a minimum GPA equivalent to the admission standards of their individual credential program. Students wanting to enroll in units beyond the established registration limit can submit an approved Graduate Student Petition for Academic Overload form after the open registration period. Form available on the Division of Research and Graduate Studies website.

However, if the credential program requires enrollment in graduate-level (200-series) coursework, the students must demonstrate a 3.0 GPA or better. Second baccalaureate students may enroll in 19 units if they possess a GPA of 2.5; 3.0 for 20-22 units. Graduate-level (200-series) courses are unavailable to second baccalaureate/major and nonobjective students. 

Open Registration Unit Limits:

  • 18 units - students with cumulative GPA below 2.5 or no cumulative GPA earned.
  • 19 units - students with cumulative GPA 2.5 or above.
  • 20-22 units - students with cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.

Enrollment Restrictions. An academic department may restrict enrollment by requiring students to drop a class if the student has been disqualified from the major or the student has not achieved a C average in the major or has not met the stated course prerequisites. This is especially true in academic areas that are impacted or are in high demand.

Enrollment in upper-division courses is normally restricted to students with junior, senior, or graduate standing or who have the necessary prerequisites. Exceptions are subject to the approval of the instructor and department chair. Only students who have been fully approved for admission to credential programs may enroll in certain education courses and qualify for a school service credential on the basis of the university's recommendation.

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Change of Major. Undergraduate students who wish to change their major must initiate the process at the Student Services Center, Joyal Administration Building, North Lobby. New graduate and postbaccalaureate students should report to the Graduate Admissions Office and continuing graduate and postbaccalaureate students should report to the Division of Research and Graduate Studies Office.

Nonattendance. During the first week of classes (or first 5 days of instruction), it is the responsibility of students to attend each class meeting of courses in which they are enrolled. Students absent from any class meeting during this period are responsible for personally contacting their instructor by the next class meeting to request being retained in the class.

Students who decide to drop a class should do so immediately as a courtesy to other students attempting to add and as a courtesy to the faculty. Students must not assume that instructors will exercise their option to submit an Instructor Drop. In short, it still is the responsibility of the student to withdraw properly from any class he/she does not intend to complete. Failure to withdraw will result in the assignment of the appropriate failing grade and may result in responsibility to pay tuition and fees.

Further, in order to permit students on waiting lists to enroll in a class, instructors may administratively withdraw from their classes students who are absent from any class session during the first week of classes and do not personally notify the instructors by the next class meeting of their intent to remain in the course.

Adding/Dropping Courses. After initial registration, a student may continue to add open classes up through the tenth day of instruction without permission. After the tenth day of instruction and through the 20th day of instruction, all adds require permission from the instructor or the department. After the official census date (20th day of instruction) adding is no longer allowed.

A student may drop a course without permission up through the 15th day of instruction. From the 16th day to the 19th day of instruction, dropping a course requires the signatures of the instructor and the chair of the department on a Drop/Withdrawal Form, but no record is registered in the transcript. After the 19th day of instruction, a student may drop a course for a serious and compelling reason that makes it unreasonable for the student to complete course requirements. A "W" grade will be recorded for each dropped course after the 19th day of instruction on student transcripts. A serious and compelling reason is defined as an unexpected condition that is not present prior to enrollment in the course that unexpectedly arises and interferes with a student's ability to attend class meetings and/or complete course requirements. The reason must be acceptable to and verified by the instructor of record and the department chair in which the course is offered. The condition must be stated in writing on the appropriate form. The student must provide documentation that substantiates the condition.

If you are utilizing any VA Education benefit you must contact the Veterans Resource Center at 559-278-6036 or email fsveterans@mail.fresnostate.edu regarding withdrawal and possible overpayment status with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

During the final three weeks of instruction, dropping an individual course is not permitted unless special approval is given by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies in cases such as accident or illness where the cause of the drop is due to circumstances beyond the student's control. If the student has completed a significant portion of the required coursework, incomplete grades are often assigned.

Failing or performing poorly in a class is not an acceptable serious and compelling reason within the university policy, nor is dissatisfaction with the subject matter, class, or instructor.

Please Note: Adding or dropping classes on or after the first day of instruction may cause additional fees on your account. Please check your student portal for the most updated information. You can also visit the Student Accounts website at http://fresnostate.edu/adminserv/accountingservices/index.html for information regarding refunds.

Consult the Office of the University Registrar website at www.fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/registrar for specific withdrawal instructions, procedures, deadlines and forms. 

Cancellation of registration or withdrawal from the institution (Complete Withdrawal). Students who find it necessary to cancel their registration or to withdraw from all classes after enrolling for any academic term are required to follow the university's official withdrawal procedures. Failure to follow formal university procedures may result in an obligation to pay fees as well as the assignment of failing grades in all courses and the need to apply for readmission before being permitted to enroll in another academic term. Information on canceling registration and withdrawal procedures is available from the Office of the University Registrar at 559-278-4743. Regarding military withdrawal due to active orders, please contact the Veterans Resource Center for assistance at 559-278-6036 or email fsveterans@mail.fresnostate.edu.

Students who receive financial aid funds must consult with the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office prior to withdrawing from the university regarding any required return or repayment of grant or loan assistance received for that academic term or payment period. Students who have received financial aid and withdraw from the institution during the academic term or payment period may need to return or repay some or all of the funds received, which may result in a debt owed to the institution.

At Fresno State, a student may completely withdraw from all courses up through the 15th day of instruction online without any restriction or academic penalty (without receiving a W grade). From the 16th day to the 19th day of instruction, complete withdrawal needs instructor and department chair approval on a Drop/Withdrawal Form. Complete withdrawal on or after the 20th day of instruction, and up to the last three weeks of instruction, is only approved for a documented serious and compelling reason. Permission to withdraw during this time shall be granted only with the approval of each individual instructor(s) and the department chair(s) of the department in which each course is offered. Undergraduate students will not be allowed to withdraw from more than a total of 18 semester units during their undergraduate career at Fresno State. Complete withdrawal during the last three weeks of instruction is not permitted. Exceptions are only allowed where the cause of the withdrawal is due to circumstances clearly beyond the student's control and the assignment of incomplete grades in all classes is not practical. Students are responsible for obtaining the approval of the instructors of each of their courses, the department chairs for the department in which the courses are offered, and the Dean of Undergraduate Studies or the Dean of Graduate Studies, as appropriate.

If a student withdraws through the 19th day of instruction, only the date of withdrawal is posted on the permanent record. If the student withdraws on or after the 20th day of instruction, a W grade is posted for each class as well as the official date of withdrawal. For purposes of subsequent registration and catalog determination, students are considered as having been enrolled for that semester.

A student who withdraws from the university after the tenth day of instruction and who is in good academic standing (not disqualified) is eligible to enroll the following two semesters without reapplying for admission. A student not enrolled for two or more consecutive semesters must reapply and pay the application fee. Contact the Undergraduate Degree Evaluations regarding potential loss of catalog rights if you remain away from California State University, Fresno more than one calendar year.

Any military affiliated student/dependent receiving VA Education Benefits must contact the Veterans Resource center before completing a withdrawal from the University, fsveterans@mail.fresnostate.edu.

Request for Record Adjustment. The university recognizes that on rare occasions students will experience exceptional situations that prohibit them from completing some procedures in a timely manner. A student may petition for a record adjustment if a documented hardship occurred during the term for which the adjustment is requested, or in instances where the student will suffer a significant academic hardship if the request is not granted. Contact the Office of the University Registrar for further information.

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