Jun 17, 2024  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Undergraduate Policies & Procedures

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Information about course credit and number, including grades, registration and attendance is found in Policies and Procedures  section. 

Catalog Rights

Undergraduate students remaining in attendance in regular sessions at any California State University campus, at any California community college, or any combination of California community colleges and campuses of The California State University may, for purposes of meeting graduation requirements, elect to meet the requirements in effect at the campus from which they will graduate either:

  1. at the time the student began such attendance, or
  2. at the time of entrance to the campus, or
  3. at the time of graduation.

Continuous attendance is defined as enrollment in at least one semester or two quarters in each calendar year. Absence related to an approved educational leave or for attendance at another accredited institution of higher learning is not considered an interruption, providing the absence does not exceed two years.Campus authorities may authorize or require substitutions for discontinued courses and may also require students changing their major or any minor field of study to complete the major or minor requirements in effect at the time of the change. Students who do not maintain continuous enrollment will be held to any new requirements approved by the university at the time of their readmission.

Continuous Attendance and Catalog Rights

Undergraduate students acquire “catalog rights” with respect to the requirements for a degree program by maintaining continuous attendance. A student who has been enrolled either at a California community college (CCC) or in regular sessions at a CSU campus for at least one semester or two quarters of consecutive calendar years is considered to be in “continuous attendance.” Once a student has established his or her “catalog rights,” an absence related to an approved leave of absence or for attendance at another accredited institution of higher learning (for undergraduates only) shall not be considered an interruption, providing the absence does not exceed two years.

This concept is important because continuous attendance affects the requirements a student must meet to graduate from a CSU campus. SJSU issues a new on-line catalog every year, which is the official record of all the degrees and degree requirements for the programs at SJSU. These degree requirements may change from one catalog to the next.

Students who have been in continuous attendance may meet the SJSU campus graduation requirements in force

  1. at the time they began continuous enrollment at a CCC or other CSU campus; or
  2. at the time they entered SJSU; or
  3. at the time they graduate from SJSU.

By maintaining continuous attendance and selecting option (1) or (2), students can be assured that their SJSU campus graduation requirements will not change. Their right to choose one of these options is called “catalog rights.” SJSU will use the matriculation term (i.e., option 2) as the initial option (default) for all students; however, students transferring from a CCC or CSU campus, who would benefit from an earlier term based on continuous enrollment, may request option (1) or (3) from their departments or the Office of the Registrar.

If a student follows an earlier version of a program in which his or her department has discontinued or modified required courses, the department may authorize appropriate substitutions. If, while enrolled, a student changes major, concentration, or minor, he or she may be required to complete the major or minor requirements in effect at the time of the change. However, he or she may continue to follow the university, General Education, and mathematics and writing requirements listed in the university catalog for which “catalog rights,” are claimed.

SJSU affords graduate students the same rights as indicated above with the exception of the references to CCCs.

Change of Major/Degree Objective

Undergraduate students who wish to change their degree major objectives should obtain a change of major form. The form requires the approval and signatures of the appropriate university official(s). The completed form for students with fewer than 90 or more units must be returned to the Registrar’s Office. Students with 90 or more units must obtain approval signatures from the major advisor, Department Chair, and College Associate Dean of the major they wish to enter. Students changing to undeclared or undeclared-prenursing major must submit the completed form to Undergraduate Advising and Success Center (UASC) in Administration 150. The completed forms need to be submitted to the Registrar’s Office.

The change of major is not official until the approved form is on file with the Registrar’s Office. This form may also be used to move from undeclared to a major; declare a second major, or change a minor (change of undergraduate major and minor forms or graduate change of major forms).

Students who have earned more than 90 earned units (counting no more than 70 community college transfer units) are not likely to be approved and will need to appeal.

Change of major is not guaranteed.

Classification of Students

San José State University students are classified in the lower or upper division or in graduate standing based on the units completed. The basis of classification is as follows:

Lower Division

Freshmen are those who have earned a total of fewer than 30 semester units. Sophomores are those who have earned a total of 30 through 59 semester units.

Upper Division

Juniors are those who have earned from 60 through 89 semester units. Seniors are those who have earned 90 semester units or more. Second or Post-baccalaureate students are those possessing a recognized baccalaureate degree and enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. Unless otherwise noted, post-baccalaureate students follow the same policies and procedures as upper division undergraduates.

Graduate Standing

Graduate standing is the classification for those who possess a recognized baccalaureate degree and are enrolled in graduate studies or in school credential programs.

Disqualification and Probation - Undergraduate & Post-baccaluareate

Disqualified students may enroll in Professional Education  programs.

Disqualification - Academic

Undergraduate students on academic probation are subject to academic disqualification if their subsequent Fall or Spring term GPA falls below 2.0. Freshmen on Academic Probation are allowed a second consecutive semester of probation if their SJSU cumulative GPA is in the range 1.50 to 1.99.

An undergraduate student reinstated on probation must achieve a grade-point average of 2.0 or better each semester following reinstatement until such time as he/she has achieved a cumulative SJSU GPA of 2.00. A student who fails to do so will be disqualified again (even if this occurs prior to readmission).

Undergraduate students are eligible to repeat a limited number of courses with grades of “C-“, “D+”, “D”, “D-“, “F”, “NC”, “WU”, or “IC” through SJSU’s Open University. All work taken through Open University is included in the cumulative record and is considered in the determination of probation and disqualification. Graduate students should see the section on graduate disqualification  section.

Disqualified students should also refer to the section on reinstatement.

Unless otherwise noted, post-baccalaureate (second baccalaureate) students follow the same policies and procedures as upper division undergraduates.

Academic disqualification policies were revised in University Policy S16-16 and are effective with the determination of Academic Standing at the end of the Fall or Spring semester.

Disqualification - Administrative-Academic

A student who has been placed on administrative-academic probation may be disqualified from further attendance if:

  1. The conditions for removal of administrative-academic probation are not met within the period specified;
  2. The student becomes subject to academic probation while on administrative-academic probation;
  3. The student becomes subject to administrative-academic probation for the same or similar reason for which he or she has been placed on administrative-academic probation previously, although not currently in such status.

When such action is taken, the student will receive written notification, including an explanation of the basis for the action.

In addition, an appropriate campus administrator may disqualify a student who at any time during enrollment has demonstrated behavior so contrary to the standards of the profession for which the student is preparing as to render him/her unfit for the profession. In such cases, disqualification will occur immediately upon notice to the student, which shall include an explanation of the basis for the action, and the campus may require the student to discontinue enrollment as of the date of the notification.

Administrative Academic Disqualification of Students

Section 41300 in Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations permits administrative-academic probation or disqualification from academic programs in the CSU for unsatisfactory scholastic progress regardless of cumulative GPA. See University Policy S16-16 for details.

Disqualification - Major

Each college, school, program and/or department has the option of employing a guideline for disqualification from the major. Those which opt to disqualify from the major must have published criteria for determining probation in the major, disqualification from the major, and reinstatement into the major. Such criteria may include individual course grades below “C” (2.0) or “CR”, a major GPA below 2.0, or a university GPA below 2.0. Students disqualified under this guideline must be notified by the department, school or college when placed on probation in the major or disqualified by the major.

Students disqualified from their major are listed as Undeclared, report to Undergraduate Advising and Success Center (UASC), and may do academic work to be reinstated to the major (if permitted by guideline), or change to another major for which they are qualified. Appeals may be submitted to the Academic Disqualification and Reinstatement Review Committee via the Office of Undergraduate Education.

Impacted degree programs are those most likely to have policies for disqualification in the major, but even non-impacted programs may have such policies. The Office of Undergraduate Education will maintain current information about disqualification in the major.

Probation - Academic

An undergraduate student is placed on academic probation if the SJSU cumulative grade point average falls below a “C” average (2.0). Students will remain on academic probation until they return to good academic standing (SJSU cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 2.0) or are disqualified. All work taken through Open University is included in the cumulative record and is considered in the determination of probation and disqualification.

Unless otherwise noted, post-baccalaureate (second baccalaureate) students follow the same policies and procedures as upper division undergraduates.

Probation - Administrative-Academic

A student may be placed on administrative-academic probation by action of the Provost for any of the following reasons:

  1. Withdrawal from all or a substantial portion of a program of studies in two successive terms or in any three terms. A student whose withdrawal is directly associated with a chronic or recurring disability or its treatment is not subject to administrative-academic probation for such withdrawal.
  2. Repeated failure to progress toward the stated degree or other program objective, including that resulting from assignment of 15 units of “NC”, when such failure appears to be due to circumstances within the student’s control.
  3. Failure to comply, after due notice, with an academic requirement or regulation which is routine for all students or a defined group of students (examples: failure to complete a required CSU or campus examination, failure to complete a required practicum, failure to satisfy GE Areas A2 and B4 by the beginning of the 2nd year, failure to comply with professional standards appropriate to the field of study, failure to complete a specified number of units as a condition for receiving student financial aid or making satisfactory progress in the academic program).

When such action is taken, the student will be notified in writing and provided with the conditions for removal from probation and the circumstances which would lead to disqualification, should probation not be removed.

Double Major

If a student has completed the requirements for two or more majors leading to the same baccalaureate degree (e.g., two B.A. degrees or two B.S. degrees) for the same graduation application period, those majors shall be acknowledged on a single diploma and on the student’s transcripts. Each major, not including courses in preparation for the major, must consist of at least 36 units for Bachelor of Science degree majors, or at least 24 units for Bachelor of Arts degree majors, units that are completely separate and distinct from the other degree. The University has the right to restrict students from pursuing double majors, particularly when resources must be equitably distributed among all students.

Double Concentration

If a student has completed the requirements for two or more concentrations within the same baccalaureate degree (e.g., two concentrations for the same B.S. degree) for the same graduation application period, those concentrations shall be acknowledged on a single diploma and on the student’s transcripts. Each concentration, not including courses in preparation for or in support of the major, generally must consist of at least 12 units that are completely separate and distinct from the other concentration. Individual degree programs may set higher limits for the number of units that are completely separate and distinct from the other concentration. Exceptions to allow two concentrations with fewer than 12 units unique to each concentration will require the approval of both the appropriate college Associate Dean and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education. The University has the right to restrict students from pursuing double concentrations, particularly when resources must be equitably distributed among all students.

Graduate Credit Earned by SJSU Undergraduate Students

Per University Policy S20-3

  1. Undergraduate students shall petition through their major advisor to earn graduate credit for a graduate course (200 level or higher) taken.
  2. Undergraduate students shall meet the following criteria before enrolling in graduate level courses for graduate credit:
    1. Will have applied to graduate from their baccalaureate degree program prior to enrolling in graduate level courses;
    2. No more than 30 units are needed to complete the baccalaureate degree at San José State University;
    3. None of the courses to be taken for graduate credit is required for the baccalaureate degree or minor;
    4. Normally, a grade point average of 2.75 or better on all work completed in upper division standing at San José State University;
    5. Normally, a maximum of 16 units is attempted in the semester in which the courses for graduate credit are proposed.
  3. Graduate credit will appear on the student’s official transcript, but that credit does not imply admission to any graduate degree program.
  4. The student may not elect to take letter-graded graduate courses as CR/NC when graduate credit is requested.
  5. If a student is admitted to an SJSU graduate degree program, the maximum graduate credit earned, including through the process described within this policy, that may be transferred into the graduate program is limited to 30% of the total units of the graduate degree (per University Policy S13-8) and must be approved by the appropriate program authority.

This policy applies solely to graduate classes taken at SJSU; courses taken at other universities or undergraduate classes taken during the undergraduate career do not qualify for transfer into an SJSU graduate program. If the student subsequently matriculates into a graduate program at SJSU and the courses are approved by the program’s graduate advisor, the units will be transferred into the graduate career. The grade points will not be included in the student’s cumulative grade point average after admission to the Graduate Division.

These policies also apply to students in second baccalaureate status. No courses taken while a student is in second baccalaureate status shall be awarded graduate credit unless the student is within 15 semester units of qualifying for award of the second baccalaureate degree and meets the criteria specified above (including enrollment in all units required for completion of the second baccalaureate degree).

It is recommended that students obtain permission for future graduate credit in writing before enrolling in the graduate classes by means of the Request for Validation of Transfer Credit form.

Leaves of Absence and Withdrawal

One Semester Leaves

Students who have attended at least one semester as a matriculated student and who are in good or probationary standing may choose to leave SJSU (“stop out”) for one semester (Fall or Spring) without a formal leave. Students choosing this option must return the following semester and continue their enrollment as matriculated students. If a student does not return in the semester following the one semester leave, he or she will be required to apply for re-admission to resume study at SJSU.

The exception to this rule is that graduate students who have completed all degree requirements except their culminating experience and who either have an RP grade in a project or thesis course or will be taking comprehensive exams may not stop out but must maintain continuous enrollment (see University Policy S17-5). They can do so by taking a 1-unit special session course designed for this purpose. Students should consult their department website or this catalog under the appropriate academic program to determine the course to take. Also consult the section entitled Thesis and Project Work - RP Status - Graduate. At this stage of the graduate student career, leaves of absence other than medical or military will rarely be permitted.

Students in cohort programs may also be restricted in the semester of their return following a stop out or formal leave of absence. The individual program director or graduate advisor of the cohort program should be consulted before and after an absence to determine the semester of eligibility to return.

Leaves of Absence

By University Policy S15-3, a formal leave of absence for undergraduate or graduate students in the first or subsequent semesters for medical, care-giving, military service, personal hardship, or educational reasons may be requested by submission of the fully signed and documented Leave of Absence Petition. Submission to the Registrar’s Office (Window R at the Student Services Center) must precede the leave period except in the rarely granted cases of retroactive leaves. Leaves can be 1-4 semesters in length (with some exceptions). If a stop-out semester is taken prior to the formal leave, that semester counts in the 4-semester maximum period. Following the leave period, re-enrollment is required to avoid application for re-admission. An early return from leave must be accompanied by written notice to the Registrar’s Office. Students granted a leave are guaranteed a return to their department even if it is or becomes a program restricting the number of applicants.

Graduate students are eligible for all leaves of absence except when finished with all degree requirements other than their culminating experience (thesis, project, and/or comprehensive exam plus any other components required of the major). At that point, neither stopping out (voluntary absence for a semester) nor financial leaves are permissible.

Review University Policy S15-3, for specific information regarding:

  • Categories of Leaves of Absence
  • The process
  • Leave Durations and Extensions
  • Retroactive Leaves of Absence
  • Exceptions

First-Semester Leaves

These leaves, which are rarely awarded, are for students accepted into the university, but unable to attend because of an exceptional trauma prior to the start of instruction. Once the semester begins, this type of leave is no longer applicable.

Medical Leaves

Matriculated students unable to continue their enrollment by reason of health are eligible for health leave as long as a minimum of one semester has been attended as a matriculated student prior to the leave. The leave request must be supported by a personal statement and documentation that details the health concern or the Healthcare Provider Verification of Medical Condition form signed by a California-registered physical or mental healthcare professional.

Primary Caregiver Leaves

A student can take a leave when responsible for taking care of a loved one in ill health. The Healthcare Provider Verification of Medical Condition form must also be submitted to confirm the medical condition of the patient.

Personal Hardship Leaves

If a student’s scholastic performance is affected by financial hardship, changes in work schedule, or other similar circumstances, he or she may seek a leave. The personal statement must include a plan to bring oneself to financial security or to resolve the other personal hardship to be able to successfully return to one’s studies.

Military Leaves

Students called to U.S. military active duty and provided a copy of the military orders, may request a military deployment leave at any time for as long as five years.

Planned Student Educational Leaves

An Educational Leave permits a student to be absent from regular attendance for one or more terms while maintaining continuing enrollment status. Applicants must have an intention to return to formal study within a specified period and a plan for how the time is to be spent. There must be a clear educational objective for award of the leave. At least one supporting letter from an advisor, mentor, or chair from SJSU as well as the consent of the associate dean of the college is also necessary.

The opportunity to apply for such leave is available to all non-international students except those attending their first semester and those in disqualified status.

Leave arrangements must be made in advance with the department in which the student is majoring. Undergraduate students in undeclared status will make leave arrangements with Undergraduate Advising and Success Center (UASC) in Administration 150. Graduate students will make leave arrangements with the graduate program coordinator in their department.

Leave forms and additional information is available on the Registrar’s Office website.

International Student Leaves

International students must be enrolled in a full course of study (12 units for undergraduate students; 9 units for graduate students) for two semesters annually (summer and winter breaks not included). International students are eligible for leaves of absence only when authorized by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). Lack of enrollment for any reason other than prevention of the ability to pursue one’s studies by severe medical circumstances shall result in the student having to leave the US. If the student is able to return from abroad at the expiration of the leave period, he or she shall derive the benefits of having had the formal leave, such as avoiding the readmission process. However, other restrictions, such as in the ability to work within the US, may be imposed by federal immigration regulations. International students in need of a leave of absence must first speak with an international student advisor. Walk in advising is available at ISSS in Student Union CPGE.

Withdrawal from the University

Students may withdraw officially from all courses during the first two weeks of instruction without academic penalty (no “W” grade on academic record). Students who have compelling reasons to cancel their registration or who wish to withdraw from all classes after the last day to drop without a “W” grade should consult their instructors, department chair or school director, academic advisor, and, for undergraduates, Undergraduate Advising and Success Center (UASC) in Administration 150 Counseling & Psychological Services might also be sought for assistance.

A completed Petition for Withdrawal form for undergraduates or a Graduate Petition for Course Drop/Semester Withdrawal for graduate students must be submitted. Failure to follow formal university procedures may result in an obligation to pay fees as well as the assignment of failing grades in all courses. Students who leave the university but who do not officially withdraw will receive a grade of “WU” (denotes failure for unauthorized drop or withdrawal) in all of their classes. No personnel actions, grades, or transcript services will be permitted until all financial obligations, such as unpaid fines have been settled. If a student fails to return the semester immediately following withdrawal, reapplication for admission at www.calstate.edu/apply will be required.

Students who receive financial aid must consult with the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office prior to withdrawing from the university regarding any required return or repayment of grant or loan assistance received for that academic term or payment period. If a recipient of student financial aid withdraws from the institution during an academic term or a payment period, the amount of grant or loan assistance received may be subject to return and/or repayment provisions.

Students holding visas must consult with ISSS (International Student and Scholar Services) regarding effects on their visa status before submitting a withdrawal petition.

Refer to the section on Continuous Attendance and Catalog Rights for information about the possible effect a break in attendance may have on requirements for graduation.


An undergraduate student may elect to complete a minor. Some departments require or recommend a minor as part of the undergraduate degree.

To be awarded a minor, at least 12 units of coursework must be completely distinct and separate from the coursework in the major, and coursework for the minor must include a minimum of 6 upper-division units (University Policy S16-4). Minor preparation or support courses do not count toward the 12 distinct units. Of the coursework for the minor, at least 6 units completed in residence at SJSU. The minimum aggregate GPA for all coursework required for the minor must be at least 2.0.

If a minor is completed after a degree has been granted, the minor is not recorded on the student’s permanent record. Minors are only available to undergraduate students.

Double Minors

If a student has completed the requirements for two or more minors, each minor must independently satisfy the criteria for a single minor. Additionally, each minor must include a minimum of 12 units of course work completely distinct and separate from the course work in the other minor(s).

Open University - Courses

San José State University’s Open University program permits enrollment by non-matriculated students in specified regular curriculum classes on a space available basis. Formal admission to the university is not required. Registration is not possible prior to the first class meeting. A maximum of 24 semester units may be applied toward bachelor degree and not more than nine units for a 30-unit master degree (30% of the degree program total) . Units earned in Open University may not be used to meet residence unit requirements for a degree. For undergraduate students, exceptions to these restrictions may be granted by petitions.

Regular (matriculated) students in good standing may not enroll as Open University students. Matriculated students are those who have been admitted to San José State University as a regular student for the current semester or were registered as a matriculated student in the previous semester and who have not graduated.

Disqualified students who seek reinstatement following disqualification must see their advisor to develop a plan to meet the required GPA standard for readmission to the university. In addition to reinstatement, disqualified students must reapply and be readmitted in order to become regular (matriculated) students once again.

All prerequisites, including WST are enforced when enrolling through Open University.

International Students

International students must be regular full-time matriculated students admitted to a degree program. Enrollment in Open University does not qualify international students for the immigration document necessary to enter the United States, to transfer to SJSU from another U.S. university, or to maintain their legal F-1 status. Academically disqualified international students are eligible to enroll through Open University but must transfer to another I-20 issuing institution to maintain their F-1 student status, or apply for reinstatement to F-1 student status from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services after being re-admitted to SJSU.

Summer Session

Summer Session allows both matriculated and non-matriculated (i.e. Open University) students to enroll in summer classes at San José State University. Credit earned may be applied to residence unit requirements for previously matriculated students, and is not subject to the 24-unit limitation in applying toward bachelor’s degree requirements at San José State University.

Winter Session

Both matriculated and non-matriculated students may enroll in this session. Credit earned may be applied to residence unit requirements for previously matriculated students, and is not subject to the 24-unit limitation in applying toward bachelor’s degree requirements at San José State University.

Readmission - Former Students Returning (FSR)

Readmission is the process of reapplying to the next available application cycle through CSU Apply and it is dependent on meeting all eligibility criteria.

Those that are intending to return to SJSU whether in good academic standing or disqualified are encouraged to submit the Readmission Petition. This petition process is based upon University Policy F12-7 which outlines enrollment priorities for Former Students Returning (FSR). Former Students Returning may complete and submit this petition by the deadlines stated on the petition found on the Office of Registrar’s website in order to receive priority consideration for admission prior to impaction processing for the term indicated by department administration.

To be eligible to submit this petition you must:

  1. Have previously enrolled at SJSU as a fully admitted and matriculated student. (Students who have completed Open University units only are not eligible.) PLEASE NOTE: Students who left SJSU due to disqualification must complete the reinstatement process prior to submitting this petition.
  2. Submit an application and application fee for admission by the deadline to apply via CSU’s Cal State Apply for the term indicated on this petition. No exceptions.
  3. Complete all the required steps for admission by the published deadlines for the term indicated. For example, transcripts must be submitted, intent to enroll must be completed, orientation must be attended, etc.

For the most up to date readmission information for former students returning, please visit Admission website.


Students disqualified at the close of their last enrollment must petition for reinstatement. See the section titled Disqualification and Probation for detailed information. Students seeking reinstatement to the university are also advised to make early application for readmission and meet all application and admission deadlines posted at http://www.calstate.edu/apply. Contact the Student Services Center for details, or read the Petition for Reinstatement form.

  1. Students disqualified from San José State University who wish to be considered for readmission should:
    1. Read the section of this catalog titled Disqualification and Probation.
    2. Complete a Petition for Reinstatement. Petition guidelines can be found on page 1 of the petition form.

Approval for reinstatement to the University after disqualification does not assure readmission to any particular semester or specific degree objective.

  1. Students who have been disqualified from the college or university of last attendance (other than SJSU) will not be considered for admission to a regular session until:
    1. They have reapplied for admission, as upper division transfers, during the next available admission application cycle and meet all posted deadlines.
    2. The official transcript of record indicates eligibility to re-enroll
    3. Former Students Returning (FSR) should complete an “FSR petition” from SJSU in addition to applying for admission. Details may be found at FSR Petition.
    4. Register and attend Transfer Orientation, once re-admitted and reinstated.


Students on probation at the close of their last enrollment may be readmitted on probation as upper divisions transfers, provided they are otherwise eligible. They must meet all application and admission deadlines. Students must furnish transcripts of any college work taken during their absence.

Former Students Returning (FSR) should complete an “FSR petition” from SJSU in addition to applying for admission. Details may be found at FSR Petition.

Good Standing

Undergraduates in good standing at the close of their last enrollment may be readmitted as upper divisions transfer provided they are otherwise eligible. They must meet all application and admission deadlines. All students must furnish transcripts of any college work taken during their absence.

Former Students Returning (FSR) should complete an “FSR petition” from SJSU in addition to applying for admission. Details may be found at FSR Petition.



University requirements for establishing residency are independent from those of other types of residency, such as for tax purposes, or other state or institutional residency. These regulations were promulgated not to determine whether a student is a resident or nonresident of California, but rather to determine whether a student should pay tuition on an in-state or out-of-state basis. A resident for tuition purposes is someone who meets the requirements set forth in the Uniform Student Residence Requirements. These laws governing residence for tuition purposes at the California State University (CSU) are California Education Code sections 68000-68085, 68120-68134, and 89705-89707.5, and California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Subchapter 5, Article 4, sections 41900-41916. This material can be viewed on the Internet by accessing the CSU’s GC Resources web page.

Each campus’s Registrar’s Office is responsible for determining the residency status of all new and returning students based on the Application for Admission, Residency Questionnaire, and, as necessary, other evidence furnished by the student. A student who fails to submit adequate information to establish eligibility for resident classification will be classified as a nonresident.

Generally, establishing California residency for tuition purposes requires a combination of physical presence and intent to remain indefinitely. An adult who, at least 366 days prior to the residence determination date for the term in which enrollment is contemplated, can demonstrate both physical presence in the state combined with evidence of intent to remain in California indefinitely may establish California residency for tuition purposes. A minor normally derives residence from the parent(s) with whom they reside or with whom they most recently resided.

Evidence demonstrating intent may vary from case to case but will include, and is not limited to, the absence of residential ties to any other state, California voter registration and voting in California elections, maintaining California vehicle registration and driver’s license (or California identification card), maintaining active California bank accounts, filing California income tax returns and listing a California address on federal tax returns, owning residential property or leasing an apartment where permanent belongings are kept, maintaining active memberships in California professional or social organizations, and maintaining a permanent military address and home of record in California.

Nonresident students seeking reclassification are required to complete a supplemental questionnaire that includes questions concerning their financial independence. Financial independence is required, along with physical presence and intent, to be eligible for reclassification. Financial independence is established if in the calendar year the reclassification application is made and in any of the three calendar years preceding the reclassification application the student:

  • has not and will not be claimed as an exemption for state and federal tax purposes by his/her parent;
  • has not and will not receive more than seven hundred and fifty dollars ($750) per year in financial assistance from his/her parent; and
  • has not lived and will not live longer than six (6) weeks in the home of his/her parent.

A nonresident student who has been appointed as a graduate student teaching assistant, a graduate student research assistant, or a graduate student teaching associate on any CSU campus and is employed on a 0.49 or more time basis is exempt from the financial independence requirement.

Non-citizens establish residence in the same manner as citizens, unless precluded by the Immigration and Nationality Act from establishing domicile in the United States.

Exceptions to the general residence requirements are contained in California Education Code sections 68070-68085 and California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Subchapter 5, Article 4, sections 41906-41906.6, and include, but are not limited to, members of the military and their dependents, certain credentialed employees of school districts and most students who have attended three or more years of high school in California and graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent of graduation. Whether an exception applies to a particular student cannot be determined before the submission of an application for admission and, as necessary, additional supporting documentation. Because neither campus nor Chancellor’s Office staff may give advice on the application of these laws, applicants are strongly urged to review the material for themselves and consult with a legal advisor.


Students classified as non-residents may appeal a final campus decision within 30 days of notification by the campus. For more information please visit the Residency website from the Chancellor’s Office.

Residency Determination Dates

At San José State University, the residence determination dates are:

Fall - September 20
Spring - January 25
Summer - June 1

The Office of General Counsel can either decide the appeal or send the matter back to the campus for further review.

Students incorrectly classified as residents or incorrectly granted an exception from nonresident tuition are subject to reclassification as nonresidents and payment of nonresident tuition in arrears. If incorrect classification results from false or concealed facts, the student is subject to discipline pursuant to Section 41301 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

Resident students who become nonresidents, or who no longer meet the criteria for an exception, must immediately notify the Registrar’s Office.

Changes may have been made in the rate of nonresident tuition and in the statutes and regulations governing residence for tuition purposes in California between the time this information is published and the relevant residence determination date. Students are urged to review the statutes and regulations stated above.


Reinstatement of Undergraduate Students After Academic Disqualification

Reinstatement is a different process from readmission. Readmission of a disqualified student is not possible unless reinstatement has been approved, but students must note that reinstatement is not readmission nor does it guarantee readmission. There may even be some situations in which reinstatement is sought with no intention of reapplying to SJSU, such as for admission to another institution or program.

In most situations, students will need to apply for readmission prior to being reinstated. All returning students must submit an application for admission to SJSU. Reapply for the next available term at Cal State Apply by the published deadline. If you miss the deadline for your desired term, you will need to submit an application for the next available term. The major listed on your application must match the major on the Petition for Reinstatement. If the majors differ, the major listed on your application will be changed to reflect the major listed on the Petition for Reinstatement. For more information regarding Readmission, see Readmission - Former Students Returning (FSR).

Categories for Reinstatement

  1. SJSU cumulative GPA 2.0 or better. This category is for disqualified students who have attended SJSU through Open University and brought their SJSU cumulative GPA up to 2.0 or better. Raising the GPA to 2.0 or better does not guarantee that a department will approve the petition. Many departments place restrictions on reinstatement to their major degree programs. Please consult with your major advisor(s) as early as possible.
  2. Extenuating Circumstances. Reinstatements in this category will only be granted for serious and compelling reasons that were clearly beyond a student’s control. Generally, all acceptable extenuating circumstances fall into one of the following eight categories: administrative error, employment, military, natural disaster, death of an immediate family member, personal health or serious family illness, divorce, or personal/other (rarely approved). The following are not valid reasons for reinstatement under this category: Poor academic performance, non-attendance, change of major, or lack of prerequisite(s). In addition to the required documentation of extenuation, approvals will require demonstration that poor performance in a particular semester was atypical.
  3. Special Consideration. This category is reserved for students whose petitions cannot be accommodated within the other categories. Typically, such students have spent substantial time away from SJSU since their disqualification (five years or more) and feel that their life experiences have prepared them for a successful return to school.
  4. Petitioned Grade Change. This category is reserved for changes of grade approved under Section III (Grade Appeal) and Section IV (Change of Grade) of University Policy S09-7. If you are petitioning under this category, you must clearly explain which course grade was changed, when it was changed, and the reason for the change.

Reinstatement Petition Deadlines and Processing

Petitions for Reinstatement are accepted and evaluated on an ongoing basis. Allow at least fifteen business days for processing after submitting the completed petition form to the Registrar’s Office. You may petition under more than one category, but if you do so, your personal statement and documentation must support each category you have selected. Your petition will not be processed if you are not using the current form.

Second or Additional Baccalaureate Degree

Effective Fall 2011: Post-baccalaureate students who have earned a first baccalaureate from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, the second or additional baccalaureate degree will be awarded when the student has filed for graduation with Office of the Registrar and a graduation check determines that all major requirements have been satisfied. For such students, residence, university, GE, American Institutions, and PE requirements normally associated with first baccalaureate degrees are not applicable to second or additional baccalaureate degrees.

Due to enrollment restrictions and impaction, SJSU no longer accepts applications from post-baccalaureate/second baccalaureate students. The only exception is for Nursing.

For post-baccalaureate students who have earned a first baccalaureate from an institution that is not a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, the second or additional baccalaureate degree will be awarded when the student has filed for graduation with Office of the Registrar and a graduation check determines that all university requirements have been satisfied. To be eligible for the degree, students must complete all course work which constitutes the second or additional degree in at least two additional semesters with a minimum of 30 units of work beyond the first degree in accordance with the minimum residence requirement. Second or additional baccalaureate degree candidates must meet the academic regulations required of all undergraduate students, including the residency requirement (30 units in residence, 24 of which must be upper division, 12 in the major and 9-12 in SJSU Studies).

Coursework completed in the second or additional baccalaureate degree status will be classified as undergraduate work. Students cannot pursue a graduate degree objective and a second or additional baccalaureate degree at the same time at the university.

Special Major

The courses offered by the Office of Undergraduate Education under University Studies (UNVS) promote leadership, integrated and applied interdisciplinary academic experiences for students.

The office also sponsors undergraduate degrees as a Special Major, which is an individually designed course of study leading to a BA or BS degree. The Special Major is designed for situations in which an existing university-level SJSU undergraduate degree major does not adequately accommodate academic or professional aims. Students who complete a Special Major shall be able to demonstrate the characteristics of “intentional learners” who can adapt to new environments, integrate knowledge from different sources, and continue learning throughout their life.

The Special Major is an individually designed, interdisciplinary course of study leading to a BA or BS that gives a student who has a specific educational objective the opportunity to accomplish that goal. It is not to be used to bypass normal graduation requirements or projected programs of the University, nor to substitute for a major in which a student is having academic difficulty.

The proposed course of study must be a coherent program organized around an academic theme. Students who complete a Special Major shall be able to demonstrate: “the ability to analyze an issue or problem, integrating at least two disciplinary perspectives.” In addition, students identify two or more student learning outcomes related to their specific areas of study in consultation with a major faculty advisor. They demonstrate their attainment of the learning outcomes through a portfolio or senior project completed in a capstone course.

Applicants must have both a cumulative and SJSU GPA of at least 2.75 and have sixty units (upper division standing) and at least one year of academic work still to be completed to meet minimum degree requirements. Special Majors are considered on a case-by-case basis. Approval is based on the academic merit of the proposed course of study, the applicant’s proposed rationale and potential for successful completion of the program, and the ability of the university to support the proposed program. Students apply for consideration for the Special Major through the Office of Undergraduate Education, ADM 159. For more information visit Undergraduate Education’s Special Majors web page.

Time Limit

Courses taken to meet degree requirements at San José State University are subject to a time limitation of 10 years. Students are required to meet those requirements in the major in effect no earlier than 10 years prior to receiving the degree. Students with an unusual problem may petition the major department chair for a waiver of the 10-year requirement.

Graduate students should refer to the section on Graduate Degree - Time Limits.

Facilitating Graduation

Effective Spring 2010, any undergraduate or graduate student will be precluded from enrolling in any additional state-supported courses when that student has already met all necessary requirements for the degree for which that student is matriculated. Moreover, students who have met all requirements for graduation prior to any semester in which they are enrolled will be permitted to drop all courses for which they are registered, with little or no penalty, and to graduate at the next available date. Students who have earned more than enough units to graduate but have some remaining requirements to complete, will be advised and precluded from registering in any courses other than those required for a timely graduation.

Undeclared Majors

The university accepts freshmen who are not ready to declare a major academic objective or who do not meet impaction criteria for  their desired major objective into the undeclared category.

Students selecting the undeclared category for admission must declare a degree major objective prior to attaining junior standing (earning 60 units). Students must obtain prior approval from the department in which they ultimately choose to major in accordance with university regulations.

Students who are in doubt about their degree program are encouraged to seek assistance from Undergraduate Advising and Success Center (UASC) in Administration 150 or www.sjsu.edu/ue/uasc/. UASC serves as the major department for Undeclared students and does require advising every semester. UASC also serves as the major department for Undeclared-PreNursing students.

Trained counselors are also available in Counseling & Psychological Services and in the Career Center. Students will be assisted on an individual basis with the appropriate use of vocational assessment when necessary. Staff and resources exist in the Career Center to support major and career exploration.

Undeclared students should report to Undergraduate Advising and Success Center (UASC) in Administration 150 or www.sjsu.edu/ue/uasc/ for General Education and other academic advisement aimed at eventually discovering an appropriate major degree program.

Units from 4-Year Colleges/Universities

At least 50 of the total units required for graduation with a bachelor’s degree must be earned from 4-Year Colleges/Universities. This is commonly referred to as a maximum of 70 units of Community College academic work that may count toward the minimum 120 units needed for all baccalaureate degrees.

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