A baccalaureate degree from the CSU has a dual purpose: to provide
a broad education and to prepare you for specific professional
and occupational goals. CSU stresses the importance of the arts
and sciences as the foundation of the baccalaureate degree. For
this reason, the CSU requires all students, regardless of major,
to complete a program of general education as part of the baccalaureate.
California community college catalogs identify which courses
are acceptable to meet CSU lower-division general education requirements.
While completion of general education requirements is not required
for admission, it is important to complete as many of the lower-division
general education requirements as possible prior to transfer.
(Some students in majors that require extensive lower-division
prerequisites may not be able to complete all lower-division general
education requirements prior to transfer. (See Lower-Division
Pre-Major section). If you enroll at CSU with 56 transferable
semester (84 quarter) units but have completed few general education
units, completion of your baccalaureate program may take longer
than expected. Good planning is essential!
The CSU provides California community college transfers with
two options for fulfilling CSU lower-division general education
requirements. You should review the two programs described below
and discuss with your college counselor which program is best
CSU Education-Breadth Requirements--
The General Education-Breadth (GE-Breadth) program requires
that students who select this option complete at least 48 semester
(72 quarter) units of general education to receive the baccalaureate
degree. At least 9 of these units must be upper division level.
The GE-Breadth program is designed to educate students to:
- think, write, and speak clearly and logically;
- reason quantitatively;
- gain knowledge about the human body and mind, the development
and functioning of human society, the physical and biological
world, and human cultures and civilizations; and
- develop an understanding of the principles, methods, and values
of human inquiry.
The 48 semester (72 quarter) units required for CSU GE-Breadth
are distributed as follows:
- Area A--A minimum of 9 semester (12 quarter) units
in Communication in the English Language, to include
both oral and written communication, and, in Critical Thinking,
to include consideration of common fallacies in reasoning,
- Area B--A minimum of 12 semester (18 quarter) units
to include inquiry into the Physical Universe and Its Life
Forms ,with some immediate participation in laboratory activity,
and into mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning and
- Area C--A minimum of 12 semester (18 quarter) units
among the Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and Foreign Language.
- Area D--A minimum of 12 semester (18 quarter) units
dealing with Human Social, Political, and Economic Institutions
and Behavior and their historical background.
- Area E--A minimum of 3 semester (4 quarter) units in
study designed to equip human beings for Lifelong Understanding
and Development of themselves as integrated physiological
and psychological entities.
Up to 39 of the 48 GE-Breadth units required can be transferred
from and certified by a California Community College or other
certifying institution. Students who are certified with 39 semester
units of lower-division GE-Breadth units will be required to complete
a minimum of 9 semester units of upper division general education
work after transfer.
It is important that you request that your community college
certify completion of California Community College coursework
that meets CSU general education requirements. Certification
mean that the CSU will accept these courses to meet the CSU GE-Breadth
areas designated by your California Community College. (Please
see Certification section)
Intersegmental General Education Transfer
The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum is
a general education program that California Community College
transfers can use to fulfill all lower-division general education
requirements at any CSU or University of California campus. This
curriculum provides transfer students with an alternative to the
CSU General Education-Breadth requirements.
The IGETC requires completion of a minimum of 37 semester (49
quarter) units of lower division work with a C grade or better
in each course.
Requirements of the IGETC are:
- Area 1--English Communication--Three courses required,
one in English composition, one in critical thinking-English
composition, and one in oral communication (at least 9 semester
or 12 quarter units);
- Area 2--Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning--One
course (at least 3 semester or 4 quarter units);
- Area 3--Arts and Humanities--At least three courses,
with at least one from the arts and one from the humanities
(at least 9 semester or 12 quarter units);
- Area 4--Social and Behavior Sciences--At least three
courses from at least two disciplines or an interdisciplinary
(at least 9 semester or 12 quarter units);
- Area 5--Physical and Biological Sciences--Two courses,
one physical science and one biological science; at least one
must include a laboratory (at least 7 semester or 9 quarter
The course requirements for all areas of IGETC must be completed
and certified by a California Community College to be accepted
by CSU or UC. (See Certification section below.) If you complete
IGETC requirements and your courses are certified, you will be
required to complete at least 9 semester units of upper division
general education work after transfer to a CSU campus.
Since IGETC is accepted by both the CSU and University of California,
it is a good option if you are undecided about the system to which
you will transfer. If you are enrolled in a major that requires
extensive lower-division preparation, you may not be able to complete
all the IGETC requirements prior to transfer. Therefore, completing
IGETC may not be useful since partial certification is not allowed.
You should consult with your counselor to determine which general
education program is most appropriate for you.
of General Education Requirements--
California Community Colleges and other qualified institutions
can certify completion of up to 39 lower-division semester units
applicable to GE-Breadth requirements or all of the courses required
for IGETC. "Certification" refers to official notification
from a California Community College that a transfer student has
completed courses fulfilling CSU general education requirements.
After you have applied for admission to a CSU campus, you should
visit your California Community College admission or counseling
office to request certification of courses meeting CSU general
education requirements. The California Community College will
then officially notify a CSU campus that these requirements have
been satisfied. (CSU campuses will also accept certification of
courses meeting the CSU graduation requirement in the U.S. History,
Constitution, and American Ideals. See American Institutions Requirement.)
Certification of General Education-Breadth Courses: Certification
of GE-Breadth is not required prior to transfer. CSU campuses
will accept certification of one or more complete areas (e.g.,
all of the units required for Area A) or up to 39 lower
Certification of IGETC: All of the courses required for
the IGETC must be completed in order for CSU campuses to accept
the certification. Certification of "Areas" is not allowed
under IGETC. Additionally, all of the courses used for IGETC must
be completed with a C or better grade (a C minus is not acceptable)
for the certification to be accepted. If you are following the
IGETC program but you have not completed all of the courses required
for IGETC before you are ready to transfer, most of this coursework
can be certified under the CSU GE-Breadth program.
It is important that you request certification of general education
coursework. Certification will ensure that a CSU campus accepts
all your courses in the areas in which the coursework is certified.
If you do not request certification, the CSU campus you transfer
to will apply your general education courses to the general education
areas that are the most appropriate. See your counselor for more
information about certification.