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 two 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.

Preferred Name & Pronouns Policy

(Senate: 9/12/17, 5/11/21; President: 10/10/17, 9/2/21)

California State University, Los Angeles recognizes that some students may prefer to use a first name and pronoun other than their legal name or assigned gender pronouns to identify themselves. The university acknowledges that a student's “preferred name” as well as their preferred or chosen pronoun can and should be used where possible in the course of university business and education.

Students who would like to use a preferred name must formally make a request. If approved, the student’s preferred name will be used in the university directory, in campus communications, on class rosters, on the student’s Golden Eagle One Card, and in reporting, except where the use of the legal name is required.  For example, some records, such as paychecks, legal documents, and transcripts, require use of a legal name; in such circumstances, the university will not be able to use the preferred name.  However, whenever reasonably possible, the preferred name will be used.

To affirm the University's commitment to equality of opportunity of all students and to honor the University's commitment to non-discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression as outlined in the university's Non-Discrimination Policy, university staff, faculty, and administrators should use students' preferred or chosen pronouns whenever possible. The University also will use preferred chosen pronouns in student records documented on university learning management systems and student information systems. These records shall be maintained to facilitate the proper use of chosen pronouns and to foster educational equity.

Inappropriate use of the preferred name and pronouns, including but not limited to misrepresentation or attempting to avoid a legal obligation, may be cause for denying the request. The dean of students shall have the authority to audit and review student chosen names and pronouns to prevent use of abusive language.

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.

Continuing Student Status

(Senate: 3/16/68, 8/14/74, 11/19/19, 2/1/22, 9/26/23 ; President: 4/3/68, 8/29/74, 1/13/20, 2/7/22, 12/7/23)

This policy defines the “Continuing Student Status” for undergraduate and graduate students. A student who has lost continuing student status must reapply to the university, and shall be held to the catalog requirements in effect at the time of readmission or must be eligible to petition to return from an educational leave as defined below. For the purposes of this policy, only fall and spring terms are considered semesters, while winter and summer terms are not.  Enrollment in winter or summer terms does not count towards maintaining continuing student status, and lack of enrollment in winter or summer terms does not interrupt continuous enrollment.  If a student withdraws from all classes in a given semester, that semester will not count towards maintaining continuing student status.

Students who are enrolled in consecutive semesters will maintain continuing student status.  

Undergraduate students will maintain continuing student status if they are absent for one semester as long as they enroll in the following semester. Undergraduate students will lose continuing student status if they are absent for two consecutive semesters.

Graduate students who have not Advanced to Candidacy will maintain continuing student status if they are absent for one semester as long as they enroll in the following semester.  Graduate students who have not Advanced to Candidacy will lose continuing student status if they are absent for two consecutive semesters.

Graduate students who have Advanced to Candidacy will lose continuing student status if they are absent for one semester of absence (i.e., any break in continuous  enrollment). Graduate students who have Advanced to Candidacy must file a petition for leave of absence prior to taking their leave; they are not eligible for return from educational leave as described below.

Return from Educational Leaves

A petition to return from an educational leave is only available to students in good standing who have not Advanced to Candidacy and who have lost continuing sudent status due only to absence not exceeding the allowance indicated below. Students not eligible to return from educational leave must re-apply for admission through the formal CSU application process.

Students may petition to return from an educational leave for such reasons as professional or academic opportunities, like travel or study abroad; employment related to educational goals and major fields of study or participation in field study or research projects; medical reasons, including pregnancy, major surgery, and other health-­related circumstances; financial reasons, such as the necessity to work for a specified period to resume study with adequate resources; or other extenuating life circumstances.

Undergraduate students may request a return from an educational leave following absence for two, three, or four consecutive semesters, and are allowed a maximum of four semesters of leave in their undergraduate career.

Graduate students who were not Advanced to Candidacy prior to leaving may request a return from an educational leave following absence for up to two consecutive semesters, subject to renewal for up to two additional consecutive semesters. Graduate petitions to return require the approval of the department/division chair/school director and college graduate dean.

For both undergraduate and graduate students, if a student has already been absent for one semester, that semester will be counted as part of the educational leave.

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.

Missed Class Time and Makeup Policy

          (Senate: 10/10/17; President: 11/6/17)

Students are responsible for adhering to the attendance policy set by the instructor. It is the students' responsibility to make themselves aware of each faculty member's guidelines by carefully reading the syllabus.

Not attending a course does not constitute an official drop or withdrawal. It is each student's responsibility to drop or withdraw officially from the class, meeting all University deadlines. Faculty members may drop students who fail to attend class during the first class meeting of the semester (see Policy on Exclusion from Class). However, students should not presume that they will be dropped by the faculty member. Students who have registered for a class, but never attended, should verify whether or not they are officially enrolled.


Students may have a valid reason to miss a class. When any of the following reasons directly conflict with class meeting times, faculty shall consider an excused absence and no penalty shall be accrued.  Students are responsible for informing faculty members of the reason for the absence and for arranging to make up missed assignments, tests, quizzes, and class work insofar as this is possible. Excused absences include, but are not limited to:
   •Illness or injury to the student
   •Death, injury, or serious illness of a close relation
   •Religious reasons (California Education Code section 89320)
   •Jury duty or government obligation
   •University sanctioned or approved activities (examples include: artistic performances, forensics presentations,
    participation in research conferences, intercollegiate athletic activities, student government, required class field
    trips, etc.)

Faculty members may consider other grounds for excused absences. Faculty members may require students to provide documentation for excused absences.


There are numerous classes offered on campus where attendance is crucial since student participation is essential. Absence from these courses may impact the work and participation of other students. Students who anticipate extended or multiple absences during a particular semester should consult with their advisor and the faculty member before enrolling in any class to determine whether it will be possible to complete the requirements for the course. Students who realize after enrollment that they will have extended or multiple absences should consult with the faculty member to see whether it will be possible to complete the course requirements.


The earliest possible notification is preferred. In some circumstances, it may be possible for the student to notify the faculty member of anticipated absences (e.g. for religious reasons or for scheduled athletic events) during the first week of enrollment. Advance notification (minimally one week in advance) is required for the following absences:
   •Jury duty and other government obligation
   •Religious reasons
   •University sanctioned or approved activities

A student who expects to be absent from the University for any valid reason, and who has found it difficult to inform the instructor, should notify the academic department office. The department office shall notify the student's instructors of the nature and duration of the absence. This notice is for the instructor's information only and does not relieve the student of contacting instructors as soon as possible. It also remains the responsibility of the student to arrange with instructors to make up any academic work missed.

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, 11/19/19; President: 4/22/97; 10/15/01, 6/16/09, 1/13/20; Editorial Amendment: 8/01)

The syllabus is a statement of intended course goals and expectations that serves as a reference for students to successfully navigate the course.

A syllabus must be made available in an accessible electronic format, and optionally a hard copy version, and shared no later than the first day of class.  An accessible electronic copy of the syllabus shall be available for review in the department/division/school office. 

The following items must be included in the syllabus and cannot change once the syllabus has been distributed:

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

  2. The mode of instruction for the course, as defined by the Faculty Handbook (e.g., hybrid, fully online, face to face).

  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. Required course materials, including minimum course technology requirements and their support resources.

  6. Basis for evaluation in the course (including written work, examinations or quizzes, term papers, portfolios, projects, laboratory or fieldwork assignments, attendance, and other items as appropriate), a clearly articulated course grading scale (e.g., greater than 90% equals an A or similar descriptive criteria), and relation of evaluated work to final course grade.

  7. Course policy on class attendance that includes a reference to the "Missed Class Time and Makeup Policy".

  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 a reference to the Academic Honesty policy.

The following items must be included in every syllabus but can be revised during the term as appropriate:

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

  2. Topical outline of the course.

  3. Course guidelines and procedures which may include instructor expectations for in-class and online discussions, course communication preferences, and the like.

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.

Priority and Early Registration Policy

(Senate: 10/21/14, 9/20/16, 10/23/18, 4/5/22; President: 12/2/14, 10/3/16, 11/27/18, 4/29/22)


The goal of priority and 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.


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 active in the Honors College Program
  8. Office for Students with Disabilities service providers (notetakers)

*In compliance with State or Federal Policy. Note Title V policy for EOP students only mandates priority 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 and 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 and 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.

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.

Maintaining Educational Continuity in the Context of Campus Emergencies and Disasters

(Senate: 2/1/22; President: 3/10/22)


Cal State LA rapidly transitioned its face-to-face classes to remote (distributed) alternative instruction in spring 2020, due to the novel Covid-19 pandemic. This is unlikely to be a singular event: Cal State LA is likely to experience additional educational disruptions due to epidemics, pandemics, and natural disasters (such as earthquakes or wildfires, which have caused educational disruptions on sister campuses) in the coming years. This policy is designed to ensure that educational continuity can be maintained in the face of the current transition and for future transitions.

It is understood by this policy that these rapid transition events are not synonymous with the development, design, and implementation of fully-online education. This policy actively discourages faculty teaching a course designated as a face-to-face course as a fully-online course, as students will be expecting a modality that more closely mirrors a face-to-face educational environment.

Note: Not all students have secure access to internet services, access to a high data usage limit, or access to personal computers. For many of our students, their cellphone might be their primary computing device without access to campus computer labs. All of the following considerations take this reality into account.

In the event of an Emergency Educational Transition or Prolonged Closure

Faculty will be expected to take the following steps during an emergency educational transition or prolonged closure. In order to execute their duties, including the steps outlined below, all faculty shall continue to receive ongoing operational support from the university as allocated by the president and their designees, in consultation with the Academic Senate and its designees. Department chairs or program directors will coordinate with any faculty encountering issues with adopting these steps or obtaining necessary training, equipment and technical support.

1. Place course syllabus and all key course documents (e.g., assignments, reading lists) on the Cal State LA learning management system (LMS), so that students can access these remotely. If the course has a separate website and/or publisher content, provide the link(s) to them on the LMS.

2. Establish a complete and regularly updated gradebook that meets FERPA requirements. It is strongly recommended that faculty use the course gradebook in the LMS for this purpose. Grades should be updated throughout the semester, with a recommendation that this occurs at least every 2-3 weeks or as soon as feasible after the submission of each assignment. Faculty should also regularly communicate with students about when students should expect to see their grades updated. This allows students a mechanism to view their course grades throughout the duration of the transition.

3. Classes that meet synchronously may only do so during the published course meeting times in the class schedule and only record attendance during the published course meeting times in the course schedule.

4. Adjust class participation methods to include asynchronous opportunities so as not to penalize students who are not able to attend synchronous meetings due to the emergency. For example, students may become ill or displaced; students may be front line responders or essential workers; students may be caring for children or other family members.

5. Class office hours should continue to be held during the times posted on their class syllabus. Consistent with the office hours policy, office hours during remote instruction should be held, where at all possible, synchronously via virtual meetings and/or telephone.

6. To support students who are unable to attend class sessions, consider recording synchronous class sessions and uploading these recordings along with any additional material to the LMS.

7. Before recording any lectures, explicitly inform students that the lecture, and their participation in the lecture, will be recorded. This allows students to turn off their video cameras and/or watch the recording as an alternative to being recorded.

8. During any synchronous lectures, the faculty will not penalize students for having their camera (video) turned off. Not all of our students have access to a camera, and people may be attending in less-than-ideal circumstances (e.g., at home with pets/family members; issues with the space in which they attend their virtual class). Exceptions to this include live assessments, evaluations, or class activities that require a live performance or demonstration.

9. Instructors should review their lessons, course assignments, and grading policy, based on the learning objectives for the course and the transition to remote (distributed) alternative instruction. This review should consider that not all students have secure and/or reliable access to the internet services, sufficient data allowances, and/or computing devices that allow for streaming long videos or compatibility with some advanced LMS tools. As part of this review, this policy strongly encourages the use of accepted pedagogical practices to adopt alternatives to timed, synchronous high-stakes testing.

The policy also strongly encourages that any and all changes made individually and institutionally support students struggling under emergency circumstances and does not hold students accountable for circumstances beyond their control. This practice is not a “pass” to allow students to commit academic dishonesty – it is the recognition that emergencies of this type were not caused by students, and how these emergencies change their lives is often beyond their control. It is the advocation for compassion and working with students to meet learning objectives within the confines of those circumstances.

10. It is strongly encouraged that all faculty avail themselves of the many resources on campus to help transition courses to remote (distributed) learning, particularly training and support offered by the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning (CETL).

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, 2/19)

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 semester 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 graduate 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, 4/24/18; President: 7/25/88, 11/18/10, 5/14/18; 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, 5990, 9000) or project 5995 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, 4/24/18; President: 5/4/73, 8/4/87, 12/1/95, 5/14/18; 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 (1.70 or higher) and an NC grade corresponds to a grade of less than C- (grade point of less than 1.70).
  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 5950 (field work), 5970 (Graduate Research), 5980 (Graduate Directed Study), 5990 (Thesis), 5995 (Project) and 6990 (dissertation) 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.

Academic Notice, Disqualification, Extended Academic Notice, and Readmission Policy for Undergraduate Students

(Senate: 7/15/03, 3/8/11, 10/11/22; President: 8/10/03, 3/29/11, 11/16/22; Editorial Amendment: 1/21/15, 5/27/15)

Academic Notice

Students are placed on academic notice 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 notice 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 academic notice 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 extended academic notice or readmission, and to establish the terms and conditions for recommending extended academic notice or readmission.  Undeclared majors will hold this interview with their advisor in the University Academic Advisement Center.

Extended Academic Notice

Continuing students who have been disqualified may petition to remain as matriculated students on extended academic notice.  To be eligible for extended academic notice, disqualified students must complete the disqualification interview with their academic advisor and obtain the advisor's approval.  The advisor must specify on the extended academic notice 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 extended academic notice must be approved by the appropriate department chair, division chair, school director or the director of the Academic Advisement Center.  Subsequent petitions for extended academic notice must be approved as well by the appropriate college or university dean for that student.  Students' approved extended academic notice petitions must be received in enrollment services by the specified deadline.

All disqualified students who are placed on extended academic notice 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 extended academic notice to academic notice.

Readmission of Disqualified Students

Students who are not eligible for or are denied extended academic notice 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 extended academic notice and whose grade point averages do not meet these minimum criteria may be considered for readmission with extended academic notice 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.

Academic Notice and Disqualification Policy for Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Students

(Senate: 7/15/03, 2/14/23; President: 8/10/03, 3/20/23; Editorial Amendment: 11/14)

Graduate students are placed on academic notice 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 notice 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 notice 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, 10/11/22; President: 9/11/67, 11/18/22; 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, a chair and one other member of the permanent faculty. Up to two additional committee members may include other permanent faculty or subject-matter or professional experts, including temporary 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 and Classroom Activities

(Senate: 2/20/68, 9/12/17; President: 2/27/68, 10/13/17)

California State University, Los Angeles recognizes that there may be times when recording classroom lectures and classroom activities may be helpful for students. Faculty members may permit their classroom lectures and classroom activities to be recorded. At the same time, such recording may possibly infringe upon the rights of faculty, staff, and students at the university. The policy below pertains to the recording of classroom lectures and classroom activities by students.

General Policy  

  1. Recording is only to involve audio; video recording is not allowed at any time.
  2. Still photography is allowed by permission of the instructor only.
  3. Students who would like to record a class lecture or class activity must obtain permission from the instructor prior to the recording. The instructor may choose to decline to permit recording of classroom lectures and classroom activities or teaching sessions (except for those students who meet the eligibility criteria from the Office for Students with Disabilities).
  4. When classroom lectures and classroom activities are going to be recorded, the instructor must announce this to the class.
  5. The instructor reserves the right to ask a student to stop recording at any time.
  6. Students are not permitted to record classroom lectures and classroom activities in the absence of permission.
  7. Students and faculty must be especially sensitive to the recording of classes which are discussion based and where such recordings may compromise the integrity of the course.
  8. Recordings of classroom lectures and classroom activities may be used for educational purposes only. Students are prohibited from making the recordings available on websites, podcasts, broadcasts, or social media platforms.
  9. Recording, dissemination, or publication of academic presentations (including hand written notes) for a commercial purpose are prohibited.
  10. Similar policy applies for the recorded classroom lectures and classroom activities that include student participation; such recordings may not be shared without the instructor's written permission.
  11. Students who fail to comply with the aforementioned policy will be subject to disciplinary action.
  12. Disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, a report of academic dishonesty to the University Judicial Officer.

Students with Disabilities

  1. Students with a verified disability requesting permission to record classroom lectures and classroom activities must meet the eligibility criteria as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended in 2008 (ADAAA) and the CSU policy on the Provision of Accommodations and Support Services to Students with Disabilities.
  2. Students with verified disabilities who meet the eligibility criteria may request an accommodation for recording classroom lectures and classroom activities from the Office of Students with Disabilities (OSD). Note: students who request this accommodation must sign the recorded lecture agreement with OSD.
  3. Recordings of classroom lectures and classroom activities may be used for educational purposes only. Students are prohibited from making the recordings available on websites, podcasts, broadcasts, or social media platforms.
  4. Similar policy applies for recorded classroom lectures and classroom activities that include student participation. Such recordings may not be shared without the instructor’s written permission.

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, 10/10/23 ; 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, 12/13/23; 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 in the regular academic year.

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 their 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 regular 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 M). 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.

Student opinion surveys on instruction will be available to students during the last two weeks of instruction in each fall and semester. Student opinion surveys will close for every class before final exam week begins.

For face-to-face courses, faculty are encouraged to give students 20 minutes of in-class time to complete student opinion surveys for that course. The faculty member shall leave the classroom before students start completing the student opinion surveys.

Faculty are encouraged to place a reminder of student opinion surveys on the learning management system (e.g., Canvas) prior to and during the student opinion survey period for all courses.

All individual student responses shall be provided solely to the faculty member and summary report of numeric 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 numeric responses to the common set of closed-ended items will be placed in the individual faculty member's personnel action file (PAF) 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 G, "Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities."

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