Frequently Asked Questions


Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT)

General Education Requirements

General Questions

Graduation Requirements


Reinstatement and Re-Admissions to SJSU

Special Major

Study Abroad

Transfer Credit

WST & GWAR Requirements


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 current articulations from California public colleges or universities (CCC, CSU, or UC). In addition students may also visit for articulation of classes from prior academic years taken at a CCC, CSU, or UC campus.

If a course I have taken at an out of state college or university is not articulated, how would I petition for it to be accepted for a particular GE area?

Matriculated Undergraduate students who have taken or plan to take a non-articulated courses that satisfies requirements of a particular General Education or American Institutions area, will need file a petition with Undergraduate Education for review.

I took an upper division GE or a Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) 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 an SJSU Studies course, meaning either an upper division GE course (Areas R, S, and/or V) or an upper division Written Communication II course (Area Z, satisfies the CSU GWAR requirement)

Is there a website 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 register for online general education courses offered by California State University and California Community College campuses 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.

General Education Requirements

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 Earned 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 must obtain the Petition to Enroll in SJSU Studies with Fewer Than 60 Units, obtain their major advisor or department's chair's signature before submitting the petition the office of Undergraduate Education. If approved, students are eligible to enroll in SJSU Studies no earlier than the first day of instruction. Course enrollment is not guaranteed.

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 in Catalog ( 

What are SJSU Studies courses?

SJSU Studies courses consist of upper division GE (Area R,S, & V) and an upper division Written Communication II course (Area Z, satisfies the CSU GWAR requirement) Passing the Written Skills Test (WST) is a prerequisite to any SJSU Studies course. Students must have at least sixty earned units in order to take SJSU Studies courses.

Can I waive the 100W course (Area Z)?

The 100W course can be waived if a student scored 11 or 12 on his or her WST and if the student's major permits a waiver. The GWAR requirement may be satisfied (not waived) at another CSU campus or by approval of a Written Communication II petition

General Questions

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.

What is California Promise?

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

Does grade forgiveness apply to the CSU Fully Online?

Yes. If the course is articulated with (equivalent to) our SJSU course, it will be given grade forgiveness, otherwise the grades will be averaged. 

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

No. SJSU Grade Forgiveness only applies to courses for which both attempts were taken at SJSU. For more information see Grade Forgiveness in the catalog. California Community College have a similar process when both attempts of a course are taken at their campuses; generally, they use the term "Articulation Renewal" t mean the same thing as "Grade Forgiveness" at SJSU.

 Graduation Requirements

I walked, does that mean I graduated?  

Participating in a graduation convocation DOES NOT mean that you have completed all requirements to graduate with your degree from SJSU. Only when a degree is posted on your student record have you officially graduated from SJSU. See Registrar web-page for more information.

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 is posted on the unofficial transcript.  See Registrar web-page for more information.

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.

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. 

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

Students can appeal such decisions under Presidential Directive 2009-05 ( Petition can be found under the Undergraduate Education petitions page. 

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 students in disqualified status) and who have been matriculated at SJSU for at least one semester before completing requirements through OU. Students in "Disqualified" academic standing must be reinstated first before submitting/applying for graduation. 

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 without the need for a petition. 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. 

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

A minimum of 120 Earned Units (EU) is required for any undergraduate baccalaureate degree. At least 50 of those 120 UE must be from a 4-year college or university, or from units earned through AP, CLEP, & IB exams. In other words, maximum of 70 Earned Units from community college may count towards the 120 UE required for any undergraduate degree.

A minimum of 40 UE mus be eared at the upper division. For a BA degree, a minimum of 12 UE must be earned at the upper division.  For a BS degree a minimum of 18 UE must be earned at the upper division.

a minimum of 30 units mus be earned in residence. Within the 30 units taken in residence, at least 24 units must be earned in upper division, at least 12 units must be in the major and at least 9 units must be earned in upper division general education courses. Only SJSU Studies or upper division GE from another CSU count towards these 9 units of upper division GE residency. Units earned through AP, CLEP, & IB exams may NOT count towards the residence requirement.

Minimum GPAs of 2.00 in all relevant categories is required for completion of an SJSU degree. These are the SJSU Cumulative GPA, the All College GPA, and all Major(s) or Minor(s) degree programs GPAs.

Reinstatement and Re-Admissions to SJSU

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

If you are planning to return to SJSU as a regularly enrolled undergraduate student, the answer is yes. Students will need to submit an application for admission through CAL STATE APPLY after their disqualification have been cleared. Detailed information and links to the relevant petition is found at the Registrar's Reinstatement web-pageReturning students should 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.

If all requirements for graduation have been completed, it is not necessary to reapply for admissions to SJSU. However, if you have been disqualified, you must be reinstated in Good Standing prior to submitting your application for graduation.

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 and are otherwise eligible for admissions as upper division students should complete the FSR form and apply for admissions through CAL STATE APPLY. Reinstatement petitions are only for those students that were disqualified from SJSU.

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

Students who are eligible for reinstatement should petition to their INTENDED MAJOR, which may or may not be their major when they were disqualified from SJSU. Students do not have to be reinstated back to the original major unless it remains their intended major. Reinstatement petitions require signatures and recommendations of their major department and associate dean of their college. The associate dean of undergraduate education will make the final decision to approved reinstatement (or not). 

What should I do, if my reinstatement was denied (not recommended) by the major department?

Occasionally, following disqualification from SJSU, students are able to improved their GPAs and deserve to be reinstated to SJSU, but in doing so, they have not made progress toward completion of courses taken towards completion of the major of courses taken in preparation for major. Departments and/or colleges may have their own criteria for Probation and Disqualification for the Major (though many do not). Many departments will give the student a "To-Do List", with specific steps that a student needs to take in order to be (re)accepted into the original major or a new intended major. 

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).

This petition has specific due dates and requirements, please read instructions carefully.

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).

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

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, and B4) with grades of C- or better in each, 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 the deadline (Jan 15th for next Fall (re)admissions; Sept 30th for next Spring (re)admissions).

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 determines (re)admissions. 

Special Major

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. 

Study Abroad

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 fever than 3 units, students may need an additional course approved to clear full GE area credit. 

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.

All SJSU upper division GE courses (R, S, & V) required a minimum of 3000 words of writing with practice and feedback.

Why was my Study Abroad Course assigned 092/192?

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

Transfer Credit

How do I transfer credit from another university 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.

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 the course are complete, it is the students responsibility to submit an official transcript from those schools to SJSU.

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.  

WST & GWAR Requirements

Do I have to take the Writing Skills Test?

All CSU students must meet the CSU Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) as part of their degree requirements. For first baccalaureate students at SJSU, successful completion of the GWAR generally means 1) passing the WST and 2) passing an Area Z 100W course. The WST is a prerequisite for 100W (Area Z) and SJSU Studies (GE Area R, S, & V) courses.

Starting in Spring 2010, SJSU will offer courses [LLD 100A and ENGL 100A (formerly LLD 96S and ENGL 96S)] that satisfy the WST requirement. For more information see Testing site

Exception Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 students are not required to take the WST but must complete the online Directed Self-Placement (DSP), students will be clear the WST requirement.

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

A passing score on the WST is prerequisite to all SJSU Studies courses. You may take a the WST a second time, but failure on the WST also serves as a prerequisite to either LLD 100a or ENGL 100A, and a passing grade of C or better in either of these 100A courses satisfies the WST requirement. Failure to pass the WST will delay your graduation. Workshops on the WST can be found at the Peer Connections web-page. You can only take your required 100W course after you pass the WST or 100A course.  Some majors require the successful completion of 100W course prior to taking any upper division coursework in the major.

Exception Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 students are not required to take the WST but must complete the online Directed Self-Placement (DSP), students will be clear the WST requirement.

When should I take the WST?

You should take the WST as soon as possible after successfully completing GE Area A3 or another second semester composition course.