Frequently Asked Questions

Articulation           MyPlanner
Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT)    Reinstatement and Re-Admission to SJSU
Faculty and Staff FAQs   Special Major
General Education Requirements   Study Abroad
General Questions   Transfer Credit
Graduation Requirements   WST & GWAR Requirement


1. How do I apply for admission to SJSU?

Interested applicants should submit their application for admissions on CAL STATE APPLY. Applicants should check admission deadlines prior to applying.

2. What is California Promise?

This is a program to help frosh graduate in four years and transfers graduate in two. For more information see California Promise

3. Does grade forgiveness apply to the CSU Fully Online?

Yes. If the course is equivalent to our SJSU course, it will be given grade forgiveness if eligible, else the grade would be averaged. 

4. Can I apply grade forgiveness to second attempt taken outside of SJSU?

No. Grade Forgiveness only applies to courses taken at SJSU. For more information see Grade Forgiveness in the catalog. 

5. How do i find out if the courses I am taking at another institution or college is transferable to SJSU?

Students can visit the SJSU Articulation website for complete listings of articulations from a variety of local and statewide institutions or colleges. In addition students may also visit for articulation of classes from prior semesters taken at a California community college.

6. If a course I have taken at another institution or college is not articulated, but I would like to petition to see if the course can be accepted for a particular GE area, what for will I use?

Matriculated Undergraduate students who have taken or plan to take a course that satisfies requirements of a particular General Education or American Institutions but is not currently articulated will need to file a petition with Undergraduate Studies for review.

7. I took an upper division GE course at another CSU, but the course did not articulate when I transferred, what form should I use?

Students will need to file a petition to get course(s) approved as SJSU Studies. 

8. Is there a programs that I can use to find classes that fulfill GE at SJSU from other CSU or Community Colleges?

Use the California State University - Quottly website to find and registrar for online general education courses offered by California State University and California Community College that count for CSU transfer credit at SJSU.  It's easy to search and filter over 70,000 online course offerings from both the CSU and California Community Colleges to find the right class for you - one that fits your schedule and helps you graduate faster.

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9. How do I transfer credit from another institution or College?

To transfer credit from another university or College, students should request official transcripts to be sent to the Admissions Office for processing. Transcripts may be mailed or submitted in-person at the Admissions Office, located in the first floor of the Student Services Center.

10. Can I take courses at a community college or 4-year school while attending SJSU?

Yes, students are permitted to take courses outside of SJSU. Once course is complete is the students responsibility to submit an official transcript from those schools to SJSU.

11. I failed a course at SJSU can I retake it at a community college?

Yes, students can repeat failed courses at a community college.  However, students will not benefit from receiving Grade Forgiveness if the course is taken outside of SJSU.  

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12. I completed all of my lower division GE and I have passed the WST. I currently have FEWER than 60 units completed and I would like to register for SJSU Studies? (Areas R, S, V, & Z) courses requiring upper division standing, but MySJSU says I do not meet the requirements. How do I register for these courses?

Students who have been matriculated at SJSU for at least one semester, who have fewer than 60 Units completed at the time of registration, and would like to register for SJSU Studies courses requiring upper division standing will need to file a petition. Students will need to obtain the Petition to Enroll in SJSU Studies with Fewer Than 60 Units, obtain major advisor or Department Chair's signature before submitting the petition t the Office of Undergraduate Studies. If approved, students are eligible to enroll in SJSU Studies no earlier than the first day of instruction. Enrollment is not guaranteed.

13. How can I get a list of GE courses

A list of required General Education courses can be found in the SJSU A-Z Policy

14. What are SJSU Studies courses?

Studies courses (Area R,S,V, & Z) are Advanced GE courses taken after the Writing Skills Test (WST) is passed. Students must have at least sixty earned units in order to take Advanced GE courses. Please note that Area Z is for major courses and you should check with your major department.

15. Can you waive the 100W course?

The 100W course can be waived for a few majors if a student scored 11 or 12 on their WST or completed the GWAR requirement at another CSU campus or a Written Communication II petition was filed and approved. 

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16. Do I have to take the Writing Skills Test?

All CSU students must meet the California Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) as part of their degree requirements.  At SJSU, for first baccalaureate students, successful completion of the GWAR means: 1) passing the WST and then 2) passing 100W. At SJSU, all first baccalaureate students must pass the WST as a pre-requisite for 100W and SJSU Studies (Advanced GE) courses (Areas R, S, V, and Z).

Starting in Spring 2010, SJSU will offer courses [LLD 100A and ENGL 100A (Formerly LLD 96S and ENGL 96S)] that satisfy the WST requirement.

17. What happens to me if I don't pass the WST?

You will not be able to take the SJSU Studies courses. If you fail the WST once, it is recommended to take LLD 100A or ENGL 100A. Failure to pass the WST will delay your graduation. Workshops on the WST can be found at the Peer Connections webpage. You can only take your required 100W course after you pass the WST.  Many majors require the successful completion of 100W course before taking any upper division coursework in the major.

18. When should I take the WST?

You should take the WST immediately after successfully completing GE Area A3 or second semester composition course. 

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19. Do I have to reapply to SJSU after I have been disqualified?

Yes, if you are planning to return to SJSU as an undergraduate student. Students will need to submit an application for admission through CAL STATE APPLY after their disqualification has been cleared, by submitted a Petition for Reinstatement. 
Returning students must also file a Re-Admission Petition as a Former Student Returning to SJSU (FSR). Note, this petition has specific due dates and requirements, please read instructions carefully.

20. Do I need to complete a Reinstatement petition even though I was not disqualified from SJSU?

Students wishing to be matriculated back to SJSU and who "stopped-out" on Probation or in Good Academic Standing only need to complete the FSR form and apply for admissions. Reinstatement petition in only for those students that were disqualified from SJSU.

21. Do I need to be reinstated to the major that I was disqualified from?

Students don't have to be reinstated back to the original major unless it is the intended major. Should a student wish to switch to a new major, they new major will need to sign the reinstatement petition. It will be up to the department to reinstate a student. 

22. What should I do, if my reinstatement was denied by the major department?

Students are given a reason on to why the reinstatement was denied to that specific major. Most commonly, it is because the student has not taken a single course in the major. Most department will give the student a "To-Do List", steps that student needs to take in order to be accepted into the major.  The student can do the steps to get into the major or pick a new intended major. 

23. I completed my Reinstatement petition and will be applying for admissions, is there any other form I need to complete?

An approved Reinstatement petition is a prerequisite for submitting an approved "Re-Admission Petition as a Former Student Returning" (FSR).

Note: this petition has specific due dates and requirements, please read instructions carefully.

24. When do I need to reapply for admissions to SJSU?

Students need to reapply, if they stopped attending SJSU for two or more consecutive semesters or following an approved reinstatement (after disqualification).

Note: SJSU is currently not accepting lower division transfer students. Reinstated students need to complete a minimum of 60 semester units (90 quarter units) before they can re-apply for admissions. See Admissions page

25. My Reinstatement and FSR form were both approved. I have over 60 units but I have not completed my basic four skill (Area A1, A2, A3, or B4) requirement.  Am I eligible to apply for admissions?

In order to be eligible for readmission after a Disqualification/"Stopped-Out", students mus have satisfied basic skill courses (Area A1, A2, A3, or B4), earned 60 or more units, and have an All College GPA of 2.0 or better.  Students will need to submit an approved FSR form by it's deadline (Jan 15th for next Fall (re)admissions; Sept 30th for next Spring (re)admissions).

26. What GPA determines my Academic Standing?

SJSU cumulative GPA (SJSU CUM GPA) determines Academic Standing (e.g., Good Standing, Probation, or DQ status); All College GPA determine (re)admissions. 

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27. I walked, does that mean I graduated?  

Participating in a convocation DOES NOT equal to graduating from SJSU. Only when a degree is posted on a student's record does a student official graduate from SJSU.

See Registrar page for more information.

28. How will I be notified if I have officially graduated?

Students can see their current status by viewing their Unofficial Transcript. Official proof of graduation is the student's official transcript, which can be requested as soon as the degree appears on the unofficial transcript.  For more information, students should contact the Registrar’s Office.

29. How do I change/add my major/minor? 

Students will need to complete and file a request for a Change of Major or Minor from the Registrar’s Office. Students will need to obtain signatures from the desired major or minor department before submitting the completed form to the Registrar’s Office.

30. How do I drop a Minor?

To drop a Minor, student needs only to write a statement wishing to drop minor. Statement needs to be signed by students and dropped off to the Registrar's Office.

31. My request to change/add a major/minor was denied, what can I do?

Students can appeal suck decisions under Presidential Directive 2009-05. Petition can be found under the UGS or AARS forms and petitions page. 

32. Can undergraduate students apply for graduation and graduate from Open University status?

Yes, it is possible to apply for graduation and complete degree requirements through Open University (OU) without ever getting readmitted UNLESS there are supervised courses remaining because OU students may not enroll in supervised courses. Application for graduation are only accepted from students on Probation or in Good Standing (not from DQ'd students) and who have been matriculated at SJSU for at least one semester before completing requirements through OU. Students in "Disqualifies" academic standing must be reinstated first before submitting/applying for graduation. 

33. I have earned more than 24 Open University (OU) units, what can I do to have them count towards my degree requirements?

CSU Rules permit a maximum of 24 UE through OU to count toward the minimum 120 UE need for a baccalaureate degree. But, there is no limit on the number of OU units that can be approved by petition; if all other requirements for graduation have been met, the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies or the Registrar can approved excess units needed to satisfy residency, baccalaureate requirements, or upper division credits. 

34. What is the earned units (UE) requirements to earn a baccalaureate degree?

A minium earned Earned Units (UE) is 120. With a maximum community college UE of 70. Units earned through AP, CLEP, & IB exams may count towards the 50 units NOT from a community college.

A Minimum Upper Division UE is 40. Within a BA major, minimum upper division UE is 12; with in a BA major; minimum upper division UE is 18.

Minimum Earned Units in Residence is 30 units . Within the 30 units of residence 24 units shall be earned in upper division courses, 12 units shall be in the major and 9 units shall be earned in [upper division] general education. Only SJSU Studies or upper division GE from another CSU count towards the 9 units of residency. Units earned through AP, CLEP, & IB exams may NOT count towards the residence requirement.

Minimum GPA is 2.00, for SJSU, All College, and all Major(s) or Minor(s) degree program. 

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35. What is a Special Major?

The Special Major is an individually designed course of study leading to a BA or BS degree when academic professional aims are not adequately accommodated by existing university-level SJSU undergraduate degree majors. The purpose of the Special Major is to give a student with a definite educational objective the opportunity to accomplish that goal. The Special Major Guidelines [pdf] provide specific information about how to apply for the program. 

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36. I am teaching a GE course this semester, do I need to complete an "Annual GE Assessment Report"?

The SJSU GE Guidelines require that General Education courses be assessed to measure if students are meeting the GE learning objectives. In accordance with Academic Senate Policy S09-2

See Assessment page for more details. 

37. When are Annual GE Assessments due?

Annual GE Assessment reports are to be submitted electronically to the Office of Graduate & Undergraduate Programs via email to by October 1 of the next academic calendar year. 

38. All approved degree programs meet the UE criteria, so how could a student come up short (120 UE)?

The transcript will show "All College" units in the total, but only the first 70 units from a community college work count toward the baccalaureate degree; this limit does not apply to 4-year university work.

Transfer credit taken at a quarter school when converted to semester units sometimes leaves students short. For every one quarter unit it is 0.67 semester units. 

Most commonly, student being told (usually by an advisor): "all requirements have been met" when that really means "all requirements for the major have been met", University electives can be as high as 43 units. 

Some cases students are short of 40 UE of upper division units, most commonly due to approval/substitution of lower division (LD) courses for upper division (UD) courses.

Or a department change their course unit.  Leaving some students units short 120 UE.

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39. How do I get A study abroad course approved for CORE GE, American Institution or PE credit?

Students will need to attach a course description (or syllabus) to their study abroad academic approval/planning form (AAF) and submit completed form to Undergraduate Studies for approval. If a GE course is less than 3 units, students will need an additional course approved to clear full GE area credit. 

40. How do I get a course approved for SJSU Studies (RSV) credit?

In order to get upper division GE courses approved, the Written Skills Test (WST) must have been taken and passed (7 or higher) before seeking approval. Submit completed study abroad academic planning form (AAF), course description or syllabus to Undergraduate Studies. If a course is less than 3 units, students will need an additional course approved to clear GE area.

Courses in Area V (Culture, Civilization, and Global Understanding) should have a humanities perspective primarily and be non-US centric. Area V is the most commonly approved Study Abroad courses with in upper division GE. Area R and S courses are rarely approved. Upper division GE courses mus have a significant writing requirements. For reference, all SJSU upper division GE courses (R, S, & V) required a minimum of 3000 words with practice and feedback.

41. Why was my Study Abroad Course assigned 92/192?

All Study Abroad Courses (CSU IP, ISEP, or Bilateral) are assigned as follows 092 for lower division courses, 192 for upper division courses, and 292 for graduate level courses.

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