Degree Requirements - Fresno State (2024)

  • Baccalaureate Degree Requirements
  • Double (Concurrent) Major Requirements
  • Residence Requirements
  • Specific Course/Skill Requirements
  • Second Baccalaureate Degree
  • Post-baccalaureate Credit
  • Graduation
  • The California Promise Program
  • 15 to Finish
  • Commencement
  • Certificates
  • Public School Teacher and Services Credentials

Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

A student must complete the following requirements in order to earn a Bachelor of Arts,Bachelor of Science,Bachelor of Fine Arts, or aBachelor of Music 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 non-designated electives in order to fulfill the requirements of a baccalaureate degree. These requirements are fulfilled when a student successfully completes:

  1. a minimum of 120 semester units for the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degree programs
  2. an academic major requirement
  3. General Education requirements
  4. Specific course/skill requirements: (a) English Composition (ENGL 5A-ENGL 5B, ENGL 10, or equivalent); (b) United States History (HIST 11or HIST 12); (c) United States and California Constitution (PLSI 2or PLSI 101); (d) Upper-division writing skills; (e) Multicultural/International Requirement
  5. a minimum of 30 residence units, of which 24 must be upper division, 12 in the major, and 9 in General Education
  6. 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 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 (such as a 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., B.S. & B.F.A., etc.) 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.

Note: Students may not pursue a baccalaureate and master’s degree concurrently.

Residence Requirements

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. Credit by evaluation, including credit by examination, may not be used to fulfill the above described residence requirements.

Specific Course/Skill Requirements

English Requirement. ENGL 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.)
U.S. History and Government Requirements. Undergraduatedegree 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 completing HIST 11or HIST 12and PLSI 2. (In cases in which students have completed the federal government requirement at another institution, PLSI 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.).

Unit Limitations

The following unit limitations apply to all bachelor’s degrees:

  1. A maximum of 70 transferable semester units (105 quarter) is allowed from two-year institutions (community/junior colleges).
  2. A maximum of 8 semester units of Kinesiology (P.E.)/Dance Techniques/Athletics activity is allowed. (Kinesiology - Sports Administration,Exercise Science, Physical Education and Dance majors may have credit for 12 semester units.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. A maximum of 30 semester units is allowed for Credit for Prior Learning, including Credit by Examination (CLEP, DANTES, etc.), military credit and/or education. Maximum does not include Credit for Advanced Placement Examination (AP) & International Baccalaureate (IB).
  6. A maximum of 24 semester units is allowed for credit through Extension and/or correspondence coursework.
  7. A maximum of 6 semester units is allowed for independent study coursework. (Note: If utilizing any form of VA Education Benefits please consult with an advisor in the Veterans Resource Center prior to registering.)
  8. A maximum of 6 semester units is allowed for coursework in typing/keyboarding.

Second Baccalaureate Degree

Please note: Pursuant to Executive Order 1084, post-baccalaureate students (i.e., those who already hold a bachelor’s degree) seeking a second baccalaureate degree will only be considered for nursing majors.

  1. If eligible, post-baccalaureate 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 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; (f) filing of an undergraduate degree application and payment of graduation fee. (See Graduation.)
  2. Students pursuing a second baccalaureate degree 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. (See Choice of Catalog.)
  3. Post-baccalaureate students may not earn a minor or a second minor.
  4. Determination of honors at graduation for students earning a second baccalaureate degree will be calculated based on grades earned in all courses required by the university to complete the second degree which are taken subsequent to completing their first degree.

Post-baccalaureate Credit

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 post-baccalaureate credit as long as

  1. the courses are not needed for the bachelor’s degree.
  2. the student is neither on academic probation nor academic disqualification at the beginning of the final term.
  3. the units are not in excess of stated maximum limitations (e.g., 6 units of independent study).
  4. 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 post-baccalaureate 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 post-baccalaureate credit for other purposes is to be determined by the appropriate authority.

ITEP Post-baccalureate Credit. Students participating in an approved ITEP degree program are granted up to 14 units of post-baccalaureate credit for coursework that is in excess of the 120 unit undergraduate degree requirement. Courses in excess will be notated as post-baccalaureate credit on the transcript. Students will also be able to request a letter in support of their post-baccalaureate credit by the Kremen School of Education Dean. For more information, contact the ITEP program directly.


Students who anticipate meeting bachelor’s degree requirements by the end of a term should file an online application for a degree (including appropriate fees) with Undergraduate Degree Evaluations. The Division of Research and Graduate Studies processes graduate degree applications. See Semester Calendar for filing dates and deadlines located on the Office of the University Registrar’s webpage. Failure to apply before the final deadline will delay the granting of the degree.

Undergraduate Degree Evaluations review student applications for bachelor degrees and inform them regarding eligibility. 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:

  1. Submit an online application for the degree and pay the graduation fee
  2. Have completed with appropriate scholastic standing all courses required for the degree.
  3. Have filed official transcripts for all coursework attempted prior to graduation

It is the responsibility of students to ensureall requirements have been met and 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. Graduates receive their official diplomas by mail.

Honors at Graduation. Honors at the time of graduation from the university are awarded to undergraduate students based on the following criteria:

  1. Students must have an overall minimum Cumulativegrade point average of 3.5 on all work attempted and;
  2. Students must have a minimum Campus 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 California Promise Program enables a specific number of CSU campuses to establish pledge programs for entering first-time students who are both interested and able to complete baccalaureate degrees in four years. All campuses have established programs for students with Associate Degrees for Transfer from any California Community College to complete their baccalaureate degrees in two years. The program is limited to students who are residents of California. Detailed program information can be found on the website at or contact

Students who commit to enter either the four-year or two-year pledge will be given a priority registration appointment for each state-supported enrollment period and will be provided with routine and thorough academic advisem*nt. In order to remain in the program, students must meet with their advisors as prescribed, develop an enrollment plan and complete 30 semester units within each academic year, including summer. Participating campuses may stipulate other requirements as well. Fresno State has an additional 2.75 GPA requirement to remain in the program.

15 to Finish

Graduating in 4 years as an entering freshman, or 2 years as an entering transfer student, is possible. By earning 30 units per year, or 15 per semester, a student will complete the minimum 120 units needed for an undergraduate degree. “15 to Finish” is a campus-wide initiative to provide undergraduate students with guidance in completing degree requirements in a timely manner. Meeting regularly with an advisor and creating a semester-by-semester plan will help ensure the correct classes are taken in the right order to achieve a timely graduation. For more, visit


All degrees conferred fall within eight schools and colleges. Each organizes its own ceremony to honor graduating students. 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:

  1. The Certificate of Completion is awarded for successfully completing a planned educational experience (workshop, conference, short course, or seminar) designed for specific academic objectives. Awarded certificates of completion are not currently posted on the Fresno State official transcript.
  2. 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 Special Study earned fall 2021 or forward is posted to the Fresno State official transcript. Students may contact the department offering the Certificate of Special Study for more information.
  3. 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.

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:

Multiple Subject, BLCAD
Multiple Subject, with emphasis in Early Childhood Education
Multiple Subject Internship
CalState TEACH

Basic Teaching Credentials, Secondary

Single Subject:

  • Art
  • English
  • Foreign Languages - Spanish, French
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Science - Biology, Chemistry, Physical Science, GeoScience
  • Social Science
  • Theatre

Single Subject Internship

Basic Teaching Credentials, Special Education

Preliminary Education Specialist (formerly Preliminary Level I Education Specialist)

  • Mild/Moderate Support Needs (including internship)
  • Moderate/Severe Support Needs (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 Support Needs (including internship)
  • Moderate/Severe Support Needs (including internship)
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing (including internship)

Services Credentials

  • Preliminary Administrative
  • Professional Administrative

Speech-Language Pathology

School Nurse Services

Pupil Personnel in

  • School Counseling
  • School Psychology
  • School Social Work, Child Welfare and Attendance
Degree Requirements - Fresno State (2024)


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