Academic Status

Academic Status issues:

Complete information about student academic status can be found in the University Catalog.

Undergraduate Class Levels Undergraduate students are classified according to the number of semester units of baccalaureate-level course work they have completed, calculated as follows:

Division Class Level Semester Units Completed
Lower Division Freshman 0-29
Sophomore 30-59
Upper Division Junior 60-89
Senior 90+


Academic Study Loads


Undergraduate Students
The recommended normal full-time undergraduate study load is 15 semester units. Students earning a C average or better may register for 18 semester units with department/division/school approval. Authorization for more than 18 units requires prior approval of an advisor and the department/division chair or school director. Students on academic status must limit their study loads to 12 semester units or fewer. A student on academic status may petition the University for a greater study load with the approval of an academic advisor and department/division chair or school director.

Graduate Students
For full-time enrollment certification by the University graduate students must carry a unit load of 8 units of approved prerequisite, corequisite, or graduate program courses. Upon recommendation of a student's major department/division/school and approval by the appropriate college dean, a student enrolled in any of the following department/division/school courses may be certified as full-time with fewer than 8 units: 5960, 5970, 5990, 5995, 6990. The maximum unit load for students working towards a graduate degree is 16 units per semester. Authorization to enroll in more than 16 units requires a petition approved by the student's major department/division chair or school director and the appropriate college dean.

(See the Faculty Handbook for more info)

Removal of Work from Bachelor's Degree Consideration

Under certain circumstances, up to two semesters or three quarters of previous undergraduate course work taken at any college may be disregarded from all consideration associated with requirements for the baccalaureate. Neither subject nor unit credit for work taken during the disregarded term(s), even if satisfactory, may apply toward baccalaureate requirements. Detailed information appears below:

  • 5 years must have elapsed since completion of the most recent work to be disregarded;
  • Any previous removal of work from degree consideration must be included in applying the limits on work that may be disregarded;
  • Since completion of the work to be disregarded, students must have maintained at least the following grade point average (GPA) at Cal State L. A. at the time of petition:
    Units Completed GPA
    14-29 3.0
    30-44 2.5
    45+ 2.0
  • Students must provide evidence that units in additional term(s) would be required to graduate without approval of their request.

A Student may file an academic renewal petition with a GPA lower than C (2.0) either in general education (GE), the major or overall college units attempted (a condition that is preventing them from qualifying for the degree) and meet all above criteria and conditions.

Repeating Courses

Please refer to the Faculty Handbook for the latest information on repeating courses.


Per Executive Order 1037, undergraduate students may withdraw from no more than 18 semester units. For withdrawals made prior to Fall 2016, the units will be converted and displayed as their semester equivalents.

Grade point Requirements

Undergraduate students must maintain a C (2.0) average in all courses attempted at Cal State LA and any other college or university attended and to make satisfactory progress toward their academic objectives. Students who receive financial aid should consult Student Financial Aid about additional criteria that may define satisfactory progress.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The GPA is computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of units attempted. Grade points are assigned for each unit of course work undertaken. CR and NC grades are not included in grade point average computations.

Grade Grade Description Adds to Quality Hours Quality points earned Adds to Earned Hours Effective Date
A Superior Yes 4 Yes  
A- Outstanding Yes 3.7 Yes  
B+ Very Good Yes 3.3 Yes  
B Good Yes 3 Yes  
B- Better than Average Yes 2.7 Yes  
C+ Above Average Yes 2.3 Yes  
C Average Yes 2 Yes  
C- Below Average Yes 1.7 Yes  
D+ Weak Yes 1.3 Yes  
D Poor Yes 1 Yes  
D- Barely Passing Yes 0.7 Yes  
F Non-Attainment Yes 0 No  
U Unauthorized Incomplete Yes 0 No Sum 1967 ‑ Sum 2002
WU Withdrawal Incomplete Yes 0 No Fall 2002
IN Incomplete No 0 No Sum 1967 - Sum 2002
I Incomplete Authorized No 0 No Fall 2002
I Expired Incomplete Yes 0 No Sum 1967 - Sum 2002
IC Incomplete Charged Yes 0 No Fall 2002
SP Satisfactory Progress No 0 No Sum 1967 - Sum 2002
RP Report in Progress No 0 No Fall 2002
W Withdrawn No 0 No  
CR Credit No 0 Yes  
NC No Credit No 0 No  
RD Report Delayed No 0 No  


  • Earned Hours: Hours which earn credit, but may or may not carry grade point value
  • Attempted Hours: Hours attempted which carry grade point value
  • Points awarded per course are multiplied by the point value of the grade.
  • GPA (Grade Point Average) is determined by dividing attempted by points.
  • Repeat: Repetition of prior course with lower grade removal from GPA calculation.

Spring 2020 Grading

Information regarding grading options for Spring 2020 can be found at the Spring 2020 Grading FAQs .

Please refer to the Faculty Handbook for information on repeating courses.

Please see the Faculty Handbook for information on Readmission of Disqualified Students.

Students enrolled but not officially reinstated for the term after disqualification should file a request for complete withdrawal and full refund of fees prior to the start of the term. Registration will be cancelled for disqualified students who are enrolled and do not file a withdrawal request. Fees are not returned in these cases.

For detailed information about Academic Dishonesty, please refer to Appendix D of the University Catalog.

Students in good standing and officially enrolled in one or more residence courses may challenge courses by taking examinations developed at the campus.

Students may obtain credit by examination in undergraduate and graduate courses listed in the General Catalog. Approval of the Instructor and Department Chair is required. These units do not count towards residency credit, nor do they count as part of a student's academic workload. Grades received by examination are recorded as final grades on the permanent academic record and are designated as earned through credit by examination.

Class instructors can approve enrolling as an auditor only after for-credit students have had a chance to register. Students registered for other classes may audit classes only by special arrangement with the class instructor. Regular add procedures do not apply. Students must submit an instructor-approved program change form. Audited courses are not recorded on the student's transcript.

For full details on the policy please refer to the Faculty Handbook.

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 not in candidacy may request a return from an educational leave following absence for up to two consecutive semesters, subject to renewal. Graduate petitions to return require the approval of the college graduate dean.

Graduate students who have advanced to Candidacy may use the Graduate Leave of Absence Petition.

Grades are submitted to the Records Office three working days after the end of final examination week. To reconcile a suspected error, students should submit a discrepancy report form available at the Records Office, located in Administration 409 by the following term. Any student who wishes to contest an assigned grade should refer to the "Student Conduct: Rights and Responsibilities" section in the General University Catalog.

We strongly recommend you browse, at minimum, the Procedures and Regulations section of the University Catalog, which has the latest (and often more detailed) information on many of the topics we cover here.