Chapter V

Instructional Policies

The University Year

(Based on Administrative Code: Sections 42700, 42800; Editorial Amendment: 1/21/15)

The University year is composed of ftwo semesters, winter intercession, and summer session and commences with the opening of the fall semester. The President, in consultation with the Academic Senate, shall fix and publish in the online catalog the beginning and ending dates of the University year and semesters.

Statement of Responsibility for Knowledge of Catalog Rules

(Senate: 5/24/77; President: 6/30/77)

Students, faculty members, and administrative officers of the University are expected to be familiar with university rules and regulations as published in the General Catalog.

Undergraduate Student Orientation

(Senate: 10/10/06; President: 12/12/06; Editorial Amendment: 1/21/15)

All freshmen students enrolling for the first time at Cal State L.A. shall be required to attend an orientation to the University prior to registering for classes for their first semester of attendance.  The orientation shall include information and/or activities that will help students:

  • transition from high school and/or community college to the University,
  • gain better understanding of the various aspects of  University life,
  • learn about policies and procedures most relevant to their first year of attendance,
  • learn about what skills, knowledge and student traits are most important in helping them achieve the highest level of success,
  • learn about appropriate courses for their individual program and register for their first semester.

The orientation program will be evaluated at least every five years.

Definition of Continuing Students

(Senate: 2/13/68; President: 4/3/68; Editorial Amendment: 8/01, 5/15)

If undergraduate students maintain continuous attendance at any accredited California community college and thereafter at this University, they may elect to graduate under those Cal State L.A. requirements in effect at the time of their first matriculation in either institution. In no event will this policy extend beyond 10 years after the initial matriculation. All other transfer students and those students who have not maintained continuous attendance will be held responsible for the Cal State L.A. requirements in effect at the beginning of their last continuous attendance at Cal State L.A., or to later requirements included in the catalog in effect at the time their programs are established. In the event that courses described under earlier requirements are no longer available, the major department/division/school may require appropriate substitutes. In this context, continuous attendance implies that the student will register for and have a grade assigned (except for W or U) in at least one course during each semester in which attendance is claimed.

Status of Continuing Students

(Senate: 3/16/68, 8/14/74; President: 4/3/68, 8/29/74)

Students who maintain continuous attendance from one quarter to the next need not file an application for each succeeding quarter. A student may elect to be absent any two quarters of the university year, but not more than two of any four successive quarters, without losing continuing student status. (Approved by the President with the proviso that the statement relates only to registration procedures and establishes continuing status priorities in registration.)

A disqualified student who enrolls in the quarter immediately following the disqualification period will be considered as a continuing student for purposes of graduation evaluation. If a period longer than two quarters has elapsed since the student's last quarter of attendance, the student shall be evaluated on the basis of the catalog in effect at the time of the student's readmission.

Enrollment in Degree Credit Granting Classes through the College of Professional and Global Education

(Senate: 4/24/84, 2/27/90, 7/30/96; President: 5/20/84, 3/22/90, 9/4/96; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 1/21/15)

A student who is matriculated in the University in continuing status may enroll in, and earn residence credit for, courses that are offered through the College of Professional and Global Education in self-support special sessions. Any course or program offered in special session must, each time that it is offered, have the approval of the appropriate college dean and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Matriculated students in the University in continuing status may not enroll in degree credit granting classes offered under state support and made available to students by the College of Professional and Global Education through Open University.


All offices and rooms containing special equipment, such as laboratories, are designated as "locked" rooms. It is important that windows as well as doors be locked when these rooms are vacated. Regular classrooms which contain standard equipment and to which keys are not issued need not be locked when the instructor leaves; however, reasonable precautions should be taken to prevent wind or rain damage during inclement weather. Windows and doors should be closed and lights extinguished when a room is vacated.

Each classroom on the campus has been assigned specific equipment and a maximum seating capacity. Equipment should not be removed from classrooms. The Fire Department has set the maximum seating capacity for each room, which is not to be exceeded. If at any time furniture is missing from a classroom, Facilities Services should be notified.

Required Breaks in Courses that Meet Once a Week

(Senate: 12/5/78, 10/16/12; President: 12/11/78, 11/14/12; Editorial Amendment: 8/01, 1/21/15)

Classes scheduled to meet once a week for three or more instructional hours must have a 15-minute break period.

Exclusion from Class

(Senate: 8/26/75, 1/31/89,10/9/12; President: 9/8/75, 2/6/89, 1/28/13; Editorial Amendment: 8/01, 5/15)

Instructors establish rules for their classes at the first meeting; attendance at that meeting therefore is most important. Instructors may drop absentees to admit other students in accordance with department/division/school policy. Instructors may also drop students who are ineligible to take the course. If instructors choose to drop students, they must submit drop lists no later than the eighth instructional day of the academic term. Students will be dropped without record of enrollment by the registrar upon receipt of the drop list initiated by the instructor or as a result of a student initiated drop during the no record drop period.

In courses that meet only once a week with a scheduled break period, students shall be deemed to be absentees if, by the end of the break period of the first class meeting of the term, they have failed to appear or have failed to communicate to the instructor their intent to attend.  In online classes, students shall be deemed to be absentees if they have not logged in to the online classroom or contacted the instructor by the end of the fourth calendar day of the academic term.  In all other courses, students shall be deemed to be absentees if they have failed to appear or have failed to communicate their intent to attend to the instructor by the scheduled end of the first class meeting of the semester.

The Class Syllabus

(Senate: 2/18/97, 7/17/01, 5/26/09; President: 4/22/97; 10/15/01, 6/16/09; Editorial Amendment: 8/01)

Each instructor shall provide information at the first class session as to the general requirements and goals of the course, and the general criteria upon which students will be evaluated in that course. Such information must be made available in the form of an electronic or hardcopy version of the syllabus no later than the second meeting.  A copy of the syllabus shall be available for review in the department/division/school office.  An instructor must provide his or her syllabus in an accessible format in keeping with the CSU Accessible Technology Initiative with proper notification from the Office of Students with Disabilities. The syllabus shall include but not be limited to the following:

  1. Contact information for the instructor: campus office hours and location, campus telephone extension, and campus e-mail address.

  2. General course description including course prerequisites, if any.

  3. Student learning outcomes for the course.

  4. For all general education courses, the area of the general education program that the course fulfills.

  5. Topical outline of the course.

  6. Requirements - policies and procedures (for example, attendance, assignments, readings) and basis for evaluation (written work, examinations or quizzes, term papers, portfolios, projects, laboratory or field work assignments, and other items as appropriate).

  7. Grading system and its relation to achievement of the requirements stated above.

  8. Date and time of final examination.

  9. The following ADA statement verbatim:  "Reasonable accommodation will be provided to any student who is registered with the Office of Students with Disabilities and requests needed accommodation."

  10. An academic honesty statement that includes reference to the University policy.

Timeline for Ordering Required Course Materials

(Senate: 7/8/08, 4/12/11; President: 8/14/08, 5/17/11; Editorial Amendment: 1/21/15, 9/29/16 [EA])

CSULA is committed to ensuring that required course materials are fully accessible to all students, including those with disabilities. Faculty members assigned to specific courses shall inform the University bookstore of the required instructional materials for courses that they are assigned to teach by Friday of week 10 of the prior term in which the materials will be used.  For courses without assigned faculty, the department/division chair or school director, in consultation with faculty members with expertise in the course subject matter or a closely related field, shall provide the necessary information by the same deadline.  For courses for which faculty members have not submitted the required information by the deadline, the department/division chair or school director shall submit the information for the course materials on behalf of and, if possible, in consultation with the faculty member assigned to teach the course or, if this is not possible, with other appropriate faculty member(s) within five working days after the deadline.

When a section is added or deleted after the deadline, the department/division chair or school director shall notify the University bookstore of the change(s) to the schedule and to the accompanying course materials.

For the purpose of this policy, "course materials" refers collectively to any instructional material that students are required to purchase or acquire for a course, including books, lab manuals, workbooks, non-print materials, and collections of articles (also known as course packs).

Accessible Instructional Materials

(Senate: 10/14/14; President: 10/22/14)

GOVERNING DOCUMENTS:  The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, California Government Code 11135, CSU Executive Order 926, CSU Coded Memo AA 2013-03, and the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the California State University and the California Faculty Association. 

The Collective Bargaining Agreement between the CSU and CFA recognizes that quality education requires an atmosphere of academic freedom and academic responsibility. As such, they acknowledge and encourage the continuation of academic freedom while recognizing that the concept of academic freedom is accompanied by a corresponding concept of responsibility to the university and its students.  Instructors select instructional materials for their courses based on pedagogical considerations such as, but not limited to, instructional objectives, course content, teaching style, and the characteristics of the students enrolled in the course.

The CSU and CSULA are committed to provide equal access to information resources to all individuals. This commitment is both an ethical matter and a legal mandate. CSULA and CSU policies must comply with federal and state laws governing access to information and services for students / persons with disabilities. The Chancellor’s Office (CSU Executive Order 926 and Coded Memo AA 2013-03) requires campus administrations to create plans to support faculty and staff practices that will ensure timely access to all instructional materials.  The Center for Effective Teaching and Learning provides information to support faculty in providing accessible instructional materials. Faculty members seeking additional information should consult with the CSULA Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD).  The successful implementation of this policy requires the active cooperation of the faculty, departments, administration, staff, and students.


Instructional materials are defined in this policy to include, but are not limited to the following: course syllabi; the expressive content of digital teaching media; content delivered by audio or video methods whether recorded or live streamed, learning management systems (e.g., moodle), or other technologies not yet developed; web-based publications; and any other materials created for the purposes of teaching or instruction or to support the teaching of a course, regardless of mode of delivery.  This policy does not apply to routine course materials that the student requires in the normal course of academic endeavors (e.g., paper, pencils, pens, notebooks, etc.).

Accessible materials are materials that are designed or converted in a way that makes them usable across the widest range of student variability regardless of format (e.g., print, digital, graphic, audio, video).


It is the shared responsibility of faculty, staff and the administration to ensure that accessible instructional materials are available to students. The university will adopt procedures that ensure that instructional materials are accessible to enrolled students with disabilities at the same time they are available to any other student, including materials that require conversion to accessible formats by OSD. The university will bear the cost of converting materials to an accessible format when an accessible version considered acceptable by the course instructor does not already exist.  Students are responsible for notifying OSD of their disability and their need for accommodation in accordance with OSD procedures.

Early adoption of required textbooks and other course materials facilitates the efforts of OSD to provide appropriately formatted materials in a timely manner.  When possible, instructional materials should be available in multiple formats (e.g., print, electronic, audio).  Given two or more equivalent instructional materials, the instructor should select an accessible version.  If needed, faculty should work with an OSD Disability Specialist to review alternative formats for educational materials in advance of the need for such materials.

Electronic and information technology resources used in instruction must also be accessible and meet the section 508 standards for electronic and information technology.  Examples include course websites, materials uploaded to a course website or learning management system, video and multimedia products, software, telecommunication devices, and computers.  Faculty can seek guidance and information about the accessibility of electronic and information technology resources from OSD, the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning, and Information Technology Services.

Early Registration Policy

(Senate: 10/21/14, 9/20/16; President: 12/2/14, 10/3/16)


The goal of Early registration for students is to enhance the University’s ability to attract, retain, and graduate specific groups or cohorts of students in a timely manner. Such student groups or cohorts typically participate in activities in which students represent the University in an official capacity, provide vital services to the university, need Early registration in compliance with State or Federal Policy, or are granted early registration by the University. In order to promote student participation in such activities and accommodate State and Federal Policies, the University shall allow approved groups to register in advance of the regular registration period.


Registration in advance of the regular registration period consists of two types of Early registration. Students approved for registration on the first day of registration are granted Priority registration (in compliance with State or Federal Policy or as granted by the University). Students approved for registration at the beginning of their assigned registration period are granted Early registration (for participating in activities in which students represent the university in an official capacity or provide vital services to the University).


The following student groups or cohorts are granted Priority registration in compliance with State or Federal Policy or as granted by the University:

  1. Students registered with the Office for Students with Disabilities*
  2. Members of the military, national guard, veterans and their dependents*
  3. Students who are former foster youth and/or wards of the state*
  4. Students in EOP in their first year and in their second fall term*
  5. Elected officers of the Associated Students Inc. (ASI)
  6. Student athletes
  7. Students in the Honors College

*In compliance with State or Federal Policy. Note Title V policy for EOP students only mandates early registration in the first year.

Other student groups or cohorts may only apply for Early registration status. The program advisor or administrator must submit a request to the Student Policy Committee of the Academic Senate.  The Committee reviews requests from groups seeking Early registration and sets review eligibility timelines for these additional groups.  The committee makes recommendations to the Vice President for Student Life and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (“Provost”) who acts in coordination with the Registrar.  Upon approval of Early registration:

  1. Notification is sent from the Vice President for Student Life and the Provost to the Registrar.
  2. The list of students eligible for Priority or Early registration is documented by the appropriate department or program administrator, and the list is submitted to the Registrar a minimum of one month prior to the start of the next term’s registration period.
  3. Students on this documented list are allowed to register during the designated period prior the start of the regular registration period.
  4. Priority or Early registration begins with the students’ second term of full-time study.
  5. The Registrar shall provide an annual report to the Student Policy Committee on the number of student groups and students who are eligible for and who have utilized Priority or Early registration. This data will be used to help determine continued authorization of a group’s eligibility for Early registration.
  6. The committee will consult with a group’s advisor or administrator before discontinuing its Early registration authorization.
  7. Additional requests for Early registration are to be reviewed annually by the Student Policy Committee.
  8. The Vice President for Student Life and the Provost will provide a report to the Enrollment Management Implementation Team on an annual basis.

Waiting List Policy

(Senate: 1/18/78; President: 2/28/78; Editorial Amendment: 8/01)

Professors are expected to add eligible students up to the class limit, adding students in the order prescribed by the waiting list for the class until the class limit is reached, or until the waiting list is exhausted. Additional enrollment up to the breaking point shall be at the discretion of the instructor, but only with department/division/school approval.

In multi-section courses and labs, students should be allowed to place their names on waiting lists of sections they could attend. Indication of duplication shall appear on the list so that total waiting count is not inflated.

A student already registered for a class should not be displaced by a student on the waiting list for any reason except failure to comply with policy on attendance at first class meetings or lack of the proper published prerequisites for the course.

Add and Drop Deadlines and Limit on Number of Withdrawals

(Senate: 7/31/73, 10/13/81, 10/19/10, 6/22/16; President: 8/9/73, 10/15/81, 11/18/10, 8/16/16)

Students may add and drop classes without restriction or record through the first 15% of an instructional period.  

Drops occurring after the first 15% of an instructional period and prior to the last 20% of an instruction period are considered withdrawals and shall be recorded with a grade of "W" on the student's permanent record transcript.  Withdrawals are permitted only for serious and compelling reasons. The student must complete a drop request form, state the reason for withdrawal, and obtain the signatures of the course instructor and the department/division chair or school director.  Records of such approvals shall be maintained in accordance with campus record retention policy.  Undergraduate students may withdraw from no more than 18 semester-units (27 quarter-units) attempted at Cal State Los Angeles.

Withdrawals shall not be permitted during the final 20% of instructional period except where the cause of withdrawal is due to circumstances clearly beyond the student's control (e.g. serious illness, accident, job transfer, military deployment, etc.) and the assignment of an incomplete is not practicable.  Withdrawals of this sort may involve total withdrawal from the University or may involve only one course, except that course grade and credit or an incomplete may be assigned for courses in which sufficient work has been completed to permit an evaluation to be made.  Requests for permission to withdraw under these circumstances shall be handled and filed as indicated in the preceding paragraph, except that such requests must also be approved by the appropriate college dean.  Such withdrawals shall not count against the 18 semester-unit maximum.

The department/division chair or school director may approve a withdrawal for a student without first obtaining the instructor's signature when the student and the chair and/or director have been unable to contact the instructor after a reasonable good faith effort.  In these cases, the chair or director shall notify the instructor of the action and its justification.

Add and drop activity occurring on or after the first day of instruction may incur late payment fees and refund limitations as specified by the office of student financial services and the center for student financial aid & scholarships.

Final Examinations

(Senate: 11/18/81 [EA], 1/12/82, 10/14/14; President: 1/28/82, 10/22/14; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 8/01)

Final examinations or final class meetings are required in all courses, and shall be held at the time and place shown in the Schedule of Classes.

Course activities shall continue through the week designated for final examinations. Final examinations, if required by the instructor, will be given at times published in the on-line schedule of classes. Once established, the final examination time scheduled may not be changed without written approval from the department/division chair or school director and the appropriate dean. Individual student exceptions in time or place of the final exam period require approval by the instructor and department/division chair or school director. An instructor may not shorten the academic quarter by scheduling an in-class or online final examination or its equivalent before the week scheduled for final examinations. When the final examination is to be a take-home examination or a final project in lieu of an examination, it shall be due no earlier than the day scheduled for the final examination in that class. For online classes with no set meeting time, final examinations or projects shall be due no earlier than the first day of the published exam period.

Grades, Grading System and Grading Symbols

(Senate: 10/24/95, 7/27/04, 10/31/12; President: 12/1/95, 8/10/04, 1/28/13; Editorial Amendment: 1/15)

The final grade that a student receives is the prerogative of the instructor concerned.  The University has no regulations which might govern a faculty member's grade distribution. 

Definition of Course Grades

The following grades are used to represent levels of performance in meeting course expectations:

A - Superior
B - Good
C - Fair
D - Poor
F - Failed

In addition, plus and minus grades may be used, with the exceptions of A plus, F plus, and F minus.

Minimum passing grades are D- for undergraduate credit and C for graduate credit (note: a C- does not count for graduate credit).  However, University requirements or individual programs may have higher course grade requirements to successfully pass a course.  Undergraduate students who earn below a C (including C-) and graduate students who earn grades below a B (including B-) may adversely affect their progress towards their degree and may be subject to academic probation or disqualification (policies on probation and disqualification for undergraduate students and graduate students can be found elsewhere in this Handbook).

Additional course grades include:

CR - Credit (passing grade for non-letter-graded courses equivalent to a C quality or better for undergraduate courses and a B quality or better for graded courses)

NC - No Credit (less than the equivalent of a C- for an undergraduate and a B for a graduate, non-letter-graded course)

WU -Withdrawal Unauthorized (student stopped attending class and never officially withdrew)

Additional policy on Incomplete (I and IC) and Report in Progress (RP) grades can be found in the Faculty Handbook.

Grade Point Requirements for Graduate Students

Students in a Master's degree program are required to maintain a minimum B (3.0) grade point average for all courses attempted at Cal State L.A. and in all courses in the Master's degree program (including transfer courses).  A grade of C or better must be earned in any course used to fulfill Master's degree requirements.  Programs may require higher minimum grades for specific courses.  Grades below C will be counted toward the grade point average.

Graduate students in certificate or credential programs and graduate students not in a program are required to maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average for all courses attempted at Cal State L.A.  Individual programs may have higher GPA or course requirements.

Other Requirements and Satisfactory Progress

Students should consult with their department/school or college for any additional requirements.  The University expects students to make satisfactory progress toward their academic objectives in order to remain in good academic standing.  Students who receive financial aid should consult with the Center for Student Financial Aid regarding any additional conditions for meeting the Center's definition of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

Grade Reporting

(Senate: 8/12/80; President: 8/19/80; Editorial Amendment: 8/01, 1/21/15)

Instructors are expected to submit grades online as soon as possible after each final examination, and no later than the deadline announced by the Registrar. If the instructor of record cannot or does not assign a grade, the department/division chair or school director is required to assign that responsibility to a qualified faculty member (or members).

"Incomplete" Grades

(Senate: 7/8/80, 8/9/83, 3/9/88 [EA], 2/21/06, 10/19/10 ; President: 7/21/80, 9/9/83, 6/22/88, 10/18/06, 11/18/10; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 9/03, 1/15)

An Incomplete grade is an interim grade designed for students who are passing but who through extenuating circumstances have not been able to complete a portion of the work required for the course.  An Incomplete grade shall be assigned at the discretion of the faculty member only when the faculty member concludes that a clearly identifiable portion of course requirements cannot be met within the academic term for unforeseen reasons.  An Incomplete shall not be assigned when it is necessary for the student to attend a major portion of the class when it is next offered.  An Incomplete is also prohibited where the normal practice requires extension of course requirements beyond the close of the term, e.g., thesis or project type courses.  In such cases, the use of the "RP" symbol is required.

A student may not re-enroll in a course for which he or she has received an "I" until that "I" has been converted to a grade other than "I"; e.g., A-F, IC.

It is the responsibility of the student to request a grade of Incomplete from the instructor and to determine from the instructor the remaining course requirements that must be satisfied to remove the Incomplete.

The conditions for removal of the Incomplete including due date shall be specified in writing by the instructor and given to the student with a copy placed on file with the appropriate campus officer until the Incomplete is removed or the time limit for removal has passed.  This “Incomplete Grade Agreement” must specify the outstanding course requirements and the final grade to be given based on the evaluation of the outstanding work.  This time limitation applies whether or not the student maintains continuous attendance.

An Incomplete grade may be removed by completing the outstanding work by the date specified on the Incomplete Grade Agreement which shall be within one calendar year after the end of the term in which the Incomplete grade was assigned.  An Incomplete that is made up within the time period allowed will be replaced on the student's permanent academic record by the letter grade earned followed by an indication that the original grade was an Incomplete and the date that the Incomplete was removed.

Where department policy requires assignment of final grades on the basis of multiple demonstrations of competency by the student, it may be appropriate for a faculty member to submit a letter grade to be assigned in the event the Incomplete is not made up within one year.  If the Incomplete is not converted to a credit-bearing grade within the prescribed time limit, or any extension thereof, it shall be counted as a failing grade in calculating grade point average and progress points unless the faculty member has assigned another grade in accordance with campus policy.  An Incomplete that is not removed within the time period allowed will appear on the student’s permanent academic record as an “Incomplete Charged” and will be counted as an F in grade point average calculations, unless the student was enrolled on a credit/no credit basis, in which case the default grade will be a grade of No Credit (NC).  An Incomplete that is not removed before the degree is awarded will be charged as an F in the grade point average calculations.  Upon expiration of an Incomplete grade, the student’s permanent academic record will be modified to reflect the number of units attempted and zero units earned.

An Incomplete shall be converted to the appropriate grade or symbol within one year following the end of the term during which it was assigned.  However an extension of the one-year time limit may be granted by petition for contingencies such as intervening military service or serious health or personal problems.  Any petition for extension of time to remove an Incomplete must be filed within one calendar year immediately after the end of the term in which it was assigned.  A petition must include documentation establishing the reasons the course could not be completed prior to the expiration of the initial one year period.  Petitions must be signed by the course instructor with an indication whether the instructor recommends the petition be approved or denied.  The final decision regarding extension of Incomplete grades rests with the Deans of Graduate or Undergraduate Studies, as appropriate.


"RP" Grades

(Senate: 5/10/88, 10/19/10; President: 7/25/88, 11/18/10; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 9/03, 1/21/15)

The "RP" symbol shall be used in connection with thesis, project, dissertation, and similar approved courses where assigned work frequently extends beyond a single academic term and may include enrollment in more than one term. The "RP" indicates that student performance has been evaluated and found to be satisfactory but that further work must be completed before a final grade (or grades) can be properly assigned for any part of the course. Enrollment for more units of credit than the total number of units which can be applied to the fulfillment of the student's educational objective is prohibited. The "RP" symbol shall be replaced with the appropriate final grade within one year of its assignment except for courses associated with the Master's thesis (5970, 5980, 5990, 9000) in which case the time limit shall be five years and for Doctoral dissertation (6980, 6990) in which case the time limit shall be five years. In the event that an "RP" has not been replaced by a final grade within the prescribed time limit for the course the grade shall be changed to a "NC." Extensions of time to remove "RP" grades may be granted by the Curriculum Subcommittee or appropriate College Graduate Dean for contingencies such as, but not limited to, military service and health problems of an incapacitating nature verified by a physician's statement.

Change of Grade

All grades submitted to the Records Office are final except in the case of a clerical error. An instructor may not change a grade at the request of a student for special consideration unless the grade submitted was erroneously reported. This regulation exists for the protection of the instructor and is not intended to violate the instructor's prerogative of assigning the original grade.

Credit/No-Credit Grading and A through C/NC Grading

(Senate: 4/26/73, 1/27/87, 10/24/95; President: 5/4/73, 8/4/87, 12/1/95; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 8/01, 1/21/15)


  1. A credit grade, denoted CR, indicates units completed and creditable toward a degree or credential but is not integrated into grade point computations.
  2. A no-credit grade, denoted NC, is not considered in computing grade point averages and gives no credit toward a degree.

Policy for All Students.

  1. Only theses, projects, directed study, field work, student teaching courses challenged by examination, extension courses, activities and performance courses, and similar courses at the discretion of the department/division/school and with the approval of the appropriate college and university committee, may be designated as graded solely on a CR/NC basis.
  2. The student shall declare at registration or at the time of adding any course(s) to be graded CR/NC or A through C/NC, (undergraduates only) other than those so graded categorically.
  3. Faculty members are not informed of the student's selection of non-standard grading. Grades are reported as A through F and a computer operation is used to make any transformation required by the student's selection.

Policy for Undergraduate Students.

  1. A CR grade indicates work C or higher quality (2.00 or higher) and an NC grade corresponds to a grade of less than C (grade point of less than 2.00).
  2. CR/NC grading may be selected by the student for any elective course, but an elective General Education course may not then be used for any other purpose within the degree program. Specifically excepted from student selection for CR/NC grading are required courses in General Education and in a student's major, minor or credential program.
  3. Declaration for CR/NC may not apply to more than 6 semester units in any single semester.
  4. A maximum of 30 semester units on the total degree program may be graded CR/NC.
  5. Only those courses designated by the department with the approval of the college  Curriculum Review Committee shall be graded solely on an A through C/NC basis.
  6. A through C/NC grading may be selected by the student for any General Education or elective course. Specifically excepted from student selection for A through C/NC grading are courses within a student's major program.
  7. A maximum of 30 semester units on the total degree program may be graded A through C/NC.

Policy for Graduate Students.

  1. A CR grade indicates work of B or higher (grade point 3.00 or higher) quality in courses (including 4000-level) taken as a post-baccalaureate or graduate student.
  2. Graduate students may be graded on a CR/NC basis in 5970 (Graduate Research), 5980 (Graduate Directed Study), 5990 (Thesis/Project), and field work and similar courses as individually approved by the appropriate college and university committee.
  3. With the exceptions listed in section 2 above, graduate students may elect CR/NC grading in courses only if these courses do not appear on the student's master's degree program, are not used to satisfy probationary requirements, and are not required courses prerequisite for entering a graduate program. This selection must have the approval of the adviser, department/division/school, and college graduate dean.

Probation, Disqualification, Special Probation, and Readmission Policy for Undergraduate Students

(Senate: 7/15/03, 3/8/11; President: 8/10/03, 3/29/11; Editorial Amendment: 1/21/15, 5/27/15)

Academic Probation

Students are placed on academic probation at the end of a semester if either their grade point average at Cal State L.A. or their cumulative grade point average in all college work attempted falls below C (2.0).  They are continued on academic probation until their Cal State L.A. and cumulative grade point average is 2.0 or higher or until they are disqualified in accordance with the regulations for academic disqualification.

Academic Disqualification

Students already on probation whose Cal State L.A. or cumulative grade point average drops below the following levels are disqualified:

Class Level   Grade Point Average
Freshmen (0-29 units completed) 1.50
Sophomores (30-59 units completed) 1.70
Juniors (60-89 units completed) 1.85
Seniors (90+ units completed) 1.95

Disqualified students are required to arrange a disqualification interview with their academic advisor to review the reasons for disqualification, to explore the option of requesting special probation or readmission, and to establish the terms and conditions for recommending special probation or readmission.  Undeclared majors will hold this interview with their advisor in the University Academic Advisement Center.

Special Probation

Continuing student who have been disqualified may petition to remain as matriculated students on special probation.  To be eligible for special probation, disqualified students must complete the disqualification interview with their academic advisor and obtain the advisor's approval.  The advisor must specify on the special probation petition the terms and conditions under which the student will be eligible to be returned to and to remain in matriculated status, such as courses to be repeated, courses to be completed, GPA requirements, and any required workshops and/or tutoring.

A student's initial petition for special probation must be approved by the appropriate department chair, division chair, school director or the director of the Academic Advisement Center.  Subsequent petitions for special probation must be approved as well by the appropriate college or university dean for that student.  Students' approved special probation petitions must be received in enrollment services by the deadline specified deadline.

All disqualified students who are placed on special probation are required to earn better than a C (2.0) grade point average each semester until their grade point average is increased to a level that is higher than that which would normally cause them to be disqualified according to their class level, at which time they would be switched from special probation to probation.

Readmission of Disqualified Students

Students who are not eligible for or are denied special probation may petition for readmission. Readmission after disqualification is not automatic.  Disqualified students will not be considered for readmission until at least two semesters have elapsed.  Students will be eligible for readmission when they have satisfied the terms and conditions established during the disqualification interview as documented in the student's file by the academic advisor, provided that they meet or exceed the following minimum Cal State L.A. and cumulative grade point averages for their class level when they apply:

Class Level   Grade Point Average
Freshmen (0-29 units completed) 1.50
Sophomores (30-59 units completed) 1.70
Juniors (60-89 units completed) 1.85
Seniors (90+ units completed) 1.95

Units earned at an accredited higher education institution while under disqualification can be used to raise the cumulative grade point average above the minimum required for admission.  However, any deficiency in the Cal State L.A. grade point average may only be corrected by completing Cal State L.A. courses through Open University or special sessions offered by the College of Professional and Global Education.  Students who have not previously been placed on special probation and whose grade point averages do not meet these minimum criteria may be considered for readmission with special probation with the approval of their college dean.

Students who wish to request readmission must provide evidence to their advisor that they have met the terms and conditions specified in their disqualification interview, including official transcripts of all transfer work attempted since disqualification.  Advisors who support the request for readmission must specify on the petition for readmission a plan for attaining good academic standing.  Students requesting readmission must obtain approval for readmission from the department, division, or school and the college from which they were disqualified.  The University Academic Advisement Center and the Office of Undergraduate Studies will rule on petitions for readmission of disqualified students with undeclared majors.

Disqualified students must file their application for readmission to the University before the appropriate admissions deadline.

Probation and Disqualification Policy for Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Students

(Senate: 7/15/03; President: 8/10/03; Editorial Amendment: 11/14)

Graduate students are placed on academic probation at the end of a semester if their grade point average falls below a B (3.0) in course work on their master’s degree program and in all courses completed after admission to the program.  Postbaccalaureate students are placed on academic probation at the end of a semester if their grade point average falls below a 2.5 in all course work taken after admission to Cal State L.A. in postbaccalaureate status, whether or not the course work is taken at Cal State L.A.

Postbaccalaureate and graduate students who are on academic probation are subject to disqualification if they do not raise their grade point average over the levels specified above after completion of 12 units or two semesters in residence, whichever comes later.

Students who are disqualified from a master’s degree program may not reenter that program, and they may be admitted to another program only on the recommendation of the new major department/division concerned and with the approval of the appropriate college graduate dean.

Disposition of Grading Records and Examination Papers

(Senate: 12/4/73; President: 12/6/73; Editorial Amendment: 8/01, 1/15)

Grading records shall be retained by the instructor assigning the grade therein or by the instructor's department/division chair or school director for one year after assignment of the final grade.

At the discretion of the instructor who administered them, final examination papers may be returned at any time to the individual students who wrote the papers for their study and retention. However, if the examination papers are not returned to the students, they shall be retained by the instructor or by the instructor's department/division chair or school director for a period of one year after completion of the class in which they are administered.

Graduate Theses and Projects

(Senate: 8/8/67; President: 9/11/67; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 8/01, 9/03, 1/21/15)

Each thesis or project must be approved by a thesis or project committee. A thesis or project committee shall include, as a minimum, the thesis or project director and one other member of the faculty. The committee shall be approved by the department/division chair or school director and by the college dean or designee.

Visiting Speakers in Class

(Senate: 1/16/64; President: 1/23/64)

No university agency shall review invitations by faculty members to visiting speakers who come to address their classes. See the section titled "Visiting Speakers."

Electronic Recording of Classroom Lectures

(Senate: 2/20/68; President: 2/27/68)

Faculty members may permit their classroom lectures to be recorded. However, for their own protection as well as that of the University, this permission shall be in written form, shall indicate any limitations imposed on future use of the recording, and shall bear the faculty member's signature.

The faculty member may retain a copy of the written permission. All of the normal rights of authorship shall be accorded to the faculty member whose classroom lectures have been recorded, though absolute protection of these rights may be extremely difficult to furnish and therefore cannot be guaranteed.

The Student Opinion Survey on Instruction

(Senate: 11/25/69, 7/8/75, 8/3/76, 10/23/79, 10/13/81, 1/20/82, 1/27/82, 4/3/82, 11/29/83, 11/8/88, 5/23/06; 2/9/16; President: 12/31/69, 7/14/75, 8/16/76, 2/2/82, 4/19/82, 12/19/83, 1/5/89, 12/13/06; 4/22/16; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 8/01)

Governing document: Article 15 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the California Faculty Association and the California State University.

The student opinion survey instrument provides data for the evaluation of all faculty members and graduate students who serve as course instructors. The information from the student opinion surveys shall be used as one of several indicators for assessing instructional effectiveness.

Student opinion surveys shall be administered for all classes taught by probationary faculty members, temporary faculty members, and graduate students. Student opinion surveys shall be administered in a minimum of 50% of all classes taught by tenured faculty members; the classes to be surveyed shall be representative of the faculty member's teaching assignment and shall be determined jointly by the faculty member and her or his department/division chair, or school director. If a tenured faculty member teaches fewer than four classes during the academic year, student opinion surveys will be administered in all classes.

Departments/divisions/schools may develop policies requiring that student opinion surveys be administered in more than 50% of the classes taught by tenured faculty members during the academic year. Faculty members may elect to have student opinion surveys administered in more classes than those that are required.

The student opinion survey instrument shall include a common set of closed-ended and open-ended items to be used by all faculty members (see Appendix L). Departments/divisions/schools and programs may develop a pool of additional questions to the student opinion survey on instruction. Individual faculty members, in consultation with departments/divisions/schools and programs, may select up to three additional questions from the approved pool.

Every attempt will be made to ensure that the students' confidentiality is protected and that students feel free to make comments without fear of reprisal. Therefore, students shall not complete the survey in the presence of the faculty member.

All individual student responses shall be provided solely to the faculty member and summary report of responses to the common set of closed-ended items shall be provided to the department/division chair or school director and the faculty member, after the grades for the class have been submitted .

A copy of the summary report of responses to the common set of closed-ended items will be placed in the individual faculty member's personnel file along with the calculated grade point average for the class.

The Academic Senate has jurisdiction over the content, mode of analysis and distribution of the student opinion survey on instruction. For any analyses to be made, the comparison groups to be used also will be determined by that body. Additional comparisons may be made to meet specific needs of the colleges subject to the availability of administrative resources.

Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities

The rights and responsibilities of the student as a member of the academic community are detailed in Appendix F, "Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities."

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