Undergraduate Degree Objectives

Undergraduate Degree Objectives and Progress to Degree

Graduating in a timely manner is a top priority at Cal State LA.

All students must have a declared major by the time they reach 60 earned units. This applies equally to students who are:

  • Undeclared majors
  • Admitted into a pre-major and are requesting to declare the major
  • Requesting to change major
  • Requesting to add a major

It is expected that students will complete study toward their baccalaureate degree in no more than 120% (144 units for a standard 120-unit program) of the units required by their primary degree program, including a second major or any minors.

Advising resources are available to assist you in finding a major, navigating the transition, and planning for degree completion. For more information please visit the Advising and Student Success Centers.

Steps for Pre-majors to Declare the Major

Pre-majors may declare their major after they satisfy the Major Specific Declaration Requirements. You can check your progress towards satisfying the pre-major requirements by reviewing your Academic Requirements Report available in the ‘Academics Section’ of the GET Student Center. Be aware that if you are considering Nursing, additional requirements will apply and admission to the major is very competitive. Once you have satisfied the specified criteria, meet with an advisor from your College Advising and Student Success Center to begin the process of declaring your major. If the advisor supports your request, the advisor will electronically submit your request to Enrollment Services.

Pre-majors must pursue the coursework necessary to be able to declare the major by the time they reach 60 units. Students who are not on-track for admission to the major will be required to meet with an advisor and may need to pursue alternate major options.

Changing your Major or Declaring a Second Major

Students may change their major or add a second major if they will be able to complete their baccalaureate degree in no more than 120% (144 units for a standard 120-unit program) of the units required by their primary degree program, including a second major or any minors. Undergraduates may declare up to (a) two majors without a minor (b) one major and two minors.

If you are considering changing your major or declaring a second major, be aware that you must meet any major-specific criteria in the new major. To determine whether your desired major has major specific criteria, see the list of Major Specific Declaration Requirements. You can check how your academic course work applies to the proposed new major’s admission requirements or degree requirements by creating a ‘What-if Report’ available in the ‘Academics Section’ of the GET Student Center. If you want to see your progress towards meeting the admission requirements, select the ‘pre-major’ code under the Area of Study drop down, such as Pre-Criminal Justice. If you want to see all of the degree requirements for the major, select the actual major in the Area of Study drop down such as Criminal Justice.

Once you have satisfied the specified criteria, meet an advisor from the College Advising and Student Success Center to explore the possibility of changing your major. If the advisor supports your request, the advisor will electronically submit your request to Enrollment Services. Be aware that additional information may be requested to insure compliance with the policies mentioned above prior to the processing of the request.

Note: Due to special requirements, PaGE and Second Baccalaureate students are not allowed to change their degree objective nor are they eligible to declare additional bachelor-level majors or minors.

Declaring a Minor or Certificate

Students are encouraged to pursue their academic interests; however, all degree objectives (e.g., majors, minors, certificates) must be completed within 120% of the units allowed for the primary degree. Undergraduates may declare up to (a) two majors without a minor (b) one major and two minors. If the program advisor for the minor or certificate supports your request for an additional degree objective, the advisor will electronically submit your request to Enrollment Services. Be aware that additional information may be requested to insure compliance with Cal State LA policies prior to the processing of the request.

Minor

A minor is specified at the department level and requires at least 18 units, 9 of which must be upper-division. A minor also requires a 2.00 GPA and 6 units in residence. A minor must be pursued concurrently with a Bachelor's degree. Note that the award of a minor will be reflected on your transcript, not on your diploma.

Certificate

Certificate programs normally require 24 to 27 units and emphasize the application of your knowledge in the subject area. Courses taken to fulfill the Bachelor's degree may also be applied to certificate requirements. Undergraduate certificates must be pursued concurrently with a Baccalaureate Degree. Note that the award of a certificate will be reflected on your transcript, not on your diploma; and a separate certificate document will be issued.

Making Sufficient Progress in the Major

Some departments have identified academic progress criteria and milestones to help students make timely progress towards graduation. These milestones might include having completed required courses within a certain timeframe and with certain grades. Students who are not making sufficient progress and may be at risk of not being able to graduate in their major will be identified and required to meet with an academic advisor to develop a plan that will lead to successful completion of the student's existing program.

If it is determined that successful completion of the existing academic program is not achievable, then the student will be dismissed from that program and guided to a more appropriate program. The goals of the policy are to ensure that students are pursuing degree objectives that they can successfully complete and making progress in their current degree objectives.

Students may be denied a request to declare an academic program if the student's academic record already demonstrates lack of success based on that program's approved Academic Progress Rules or their GPAs. These students should be referred to the college's professional advisors or, in their absence, to the University Center for Undergraduate Advising.

Special Considerations for Financial Aid Recipients

As Financial Aid recipients choose majors and plan for earning a degree, they need to be aware of federal and state policies that should be considered in their decisions.

  • All Financial Aid recipients must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid (SAP). This policy requires that students maintain a Minimum Cumulative GPA, make progress towards the degree at a Minimum Cumulative Pace of Completion as well as sets a Maximum Time Frame of Aid Eligibility for Degree Completion regardless of when more than one degree objective is being pursued.
  • Individual Financial Aid programs such as Pell Grant, State University Grant, and Federal Direct Loans also have limits on the timeframe or amounts that may be received in pursuing the baccalaureate degree. Review the details for the specific awards you are receiving on Types of Aid.

  • Be sure to consult with a Financial Aid Advisor if you need assistance.