Note: For detailed information regarding General Education (GE) Requirements see the chapter: General Education Program
Credit by Examination
Baccalaureate Degree Requirements
There are three major parts of a baccalaureate degree and eight basic requirements defined in the California Code of Regulations.
Most courses will fall into one of the three parts of the degree:
- the General Education (GE)/Breadth requirements for basic skills and breadth,
- the major for depth in one field, and
- electives, which can shape students’ education in directions they choose.
NOTE: Each of these will be described in other sections of this chapter.
These are the eight basic requirements for the baccalaureate degree defined in the California Code of Regulations:
- Complete a 48 semester-unit program of General Education requirements including a minimum of 9 upper-division (300 or higher) units in GE Areas B6, C4, D4 (see the General Education Program ).
- Complete the local breadth requirements, including a Second Composition course, 3 units of Diversity Overlay, 3 units of Social Justice Overlay, and 3 units of Sustainability Overlay (see the General Education Program ).
- Complete one of the majors described in this catalog.
- Complete the U.S. history, U.S. Constitution, and California state and local government requirement through coursework or exams (see U.S. History & Government Code Requirements below).
- Satisfy the University Writing Skills Requirement (UWSR) (see Graduation Requirements in Writing Proficiency below).
- Complete a minimum of 30 semester units in residence enrolled as an admitted student at Cal State East Bay. Up to 24 units taken through Open University and Extension may be counted for residence. Units in residence must include at least 24 upper division units, 12 units in the major, and 9 units of GE. (Units earned at other institutions and units earned through Credit-by-Examination are not residence units.)
- Complete at least 120 semester units for a B.A. degree, 130 semester units for a B.F.A. degree, or 120 semester units for a B.S. degree. At least 40 of these units must be in upper division courses (courses numbered 300 and above). No more than 40 units can be graded in the Credit/No Credit pattern (CR/NC or A/B/C/NC). No more than 24 units can be in Continuing Education or Open University, and no more than 30 units can be earned credit-by-examination (excepting Advanced Placement).
- Attain a grade point average of at least 2.00 on a 4.00 scale in all major and university-earned coursework for the degree.
Graduation Requirement in Writing Proficiency (UWSR)
Note: This content has been changed, please see the Errata chapter for information.
In addition to the lower-division General Education requirements for writing, the California State University system requires that all students must demonstrate competency in writing skills as a requirement for graduation and to receive a baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degree. This requirement was implemented system-wide in 1977. Students must satisfy the University Writing Skills Requirement (UWSR) in order to receive a degree from Cal State East Bay unless they are exempt by one of the following criteria:
- Previously satisfied the UWSR at Cal State East Bay or at another CSU campus, Cal State East Bay will accept official certification of completion if the entire requirement, as specified by that CSU campus, was satisfied and the student was a matriculated student at that campus at the time. On some CSU campuses, the requirement is called the “Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).”
- Graduated from any one of the CSU campuses; unless it is noted on the transcript that the UWSR (or GWAR) was not satisfied.
- Received an essay score of 4.5 or higher on the GMAT or GRE or an essay score of 53 or higher on the CBEST.
Undergraduate students are required to begin steps to satisfy the University Writing Skills Requirement after completing 60 semester units. Students who do not enroll in an appropriate course or register to take the Writing Skills Test in their first semester after completing 60 units will have a registration hold placed. The hold will be lifted as the student progresses towards completion of this requirement. Note: Undergraduate students cannot satisfy this requirement before completing 60 units. For undergraduate students, completion of GE Area A2 and ENGL 200 or another approved second composition course, which are graduation degree requirements, is also required before attempting to satisfy the UWSR.
To satisfy the requirement at Cal State East Bay, students may do one of the following:
- Option One: Register for and pass the Writing Skills Test. See Writing Skills Test (Option One) below.
- Option Two: Enroll in and pass a first-tier writing course (ENGL 300 or ENGL 301 ) and possibly a second-tier course, as well. See Course (Option Two) below.
Writing Skills Test (Option One)
The Writing Skills Test (WST) consists of an analytic essay that requires students to demonstrate that they can think and write critically. A score of Clear Competence (8) is needed to meet the requirement. Students who do not meet receive the Clear Competence designation on the first attempt have only one opportunity to take it again; a score of Clear Competence on the second attempt satisfies the requirement. If both tests are scored as “Limited Competence (6)”, they will be required to take the course option (see below). If one or both scores is “Developing Competence (7)”, they need only take a second-tier course to satisfy the UWSR (see below).
Note: There is a fee for the WST. See the Fees & Financial Services chapter for more information.
Course (Option Two)
ENGL 300 and ENGL 301 are the first-tier writing courses designed to help students meet the University Writing Skills Requirement. Students who have not attempted the WST or those who have taken the Writing Skills Test (WST) and have received Limited Competence (6) must take either ENGL 300 or ENGL 301 and perhaps a second-tier writing course as well. Students who have not taken the WST twice may take it even when enrolled in a writing skills course. Generally speaking, ENGL 300 is intended for native speakers of English, while ENGL 301 is intended for non-native speakers. Based on end-of-course portfolio evaluation scores, at the end of the first-tier course they will be advised as to their next step, which will involve one of the following: they may be found to have met the UWSR requirement altogether; they may be directed to enroll in a second-tier course; or, they may be directed to repeat the first tier course.
Generally, two second-tier writing courses are regularly offered: ENGL 302 and MKTG 305 . Students who passed the quarter-based equivalents to these courses (ENGL 3003 and MKTG 3495) prior to fall 2000 may not have met the UWSR. For more information on these courses, contact the individual department. Courses approved for second-tier writing are listed here: Second Tier Courses . Students who pass a second-tier writing course with a C- or better (or “CR” if taken as CR/NC) have satisfied the UWSR.
Students who have taken the first-tier writing course three times consecutively, have not passed, and have a letter of good faith effort from their most recent first-tier instructor may apply to the Dean of Academic Programs and Services for a waiver of the UWSR. If a waiver is granted, the student’s permanent record will note that they were allowed to graduate without having satisfied the UWSR. Students who do not satisfy the requirement and do not have a waiver approved will not be allowed to graduate. Contact the Dean of Academic Programs and Services for information on this waiver at (510) 885-2990.
If a student receives a grade of “D+” or “D” in a second-tier writing course (taken Fall Quarter, 2000 or later), they may appeal to the Dean of Academic Programs and Services for a waiver of the UWSR. If a waiver is granted, their permanent record will note that they were allowed to graduate without having satisfied the UWSR. Students who do not satisfy the requirement and do not have a waiver approved will not be allowed to graduate. Contact the Dean of Academic Programs and Services for information on this waiver at (510) 885-2990.
Students who have a verified disability and would like to request accommodations to assist them in satisfying this requirement should contact the Accessibility Services in the Library Complex 2440 or call (510) 885-3868 (phone/TTY).
For more information on meeting the University Writing Skills Requirement, see the Testing Office website or call (510) 885-3661.
American Institutions Requirement
CSU graduates are expected to have knowledge of: significant events in U.S. history; the role of major ethnic and social groups in these events; the political, economic, social, and geographic context of these events; the U.S. Constitution, U.S. political institutions and processes; the rights and obligations of U.S. citizens; the California Constitution; federal-state relations; and California state and local government, and political processes.
Students demonstrate their competence in these fields by either:
(a) Passing the CLEP exam in History of the United States I or II, CLEP exam in American Government, and the California State and Local Government exam administered by the CSUEB Testing Office.
(b) Passing the Advanced Placement United States History with a score of 3 or above, the Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics with a score of 3 or above, and the California State and Local Government exam administered by the CSUEB Testing Office.
(c) Passing two courses which cover all three topics (while some courses cover all 3 topics, students are required to take two courses):
Note: Be aware that receiving credit for any courses applicable to this requirement through a national test such as Advanced Placement, CLEP, or at an out-of-state institution will not satisfy the California state and local government (US-3) part of this requirement. Please contact the History or Political Science Departments for further information. Students who have completed part of the Code Requirement at a California Community College should also consult the corresponding departments to avoid duplicating coursework.
Additional Undergraduate Requirements
Complete a minimum of 30 semester units in residence enrolled as an admitted student at Cal State East Bay. Up to 24 units taken through Open University and Continuing Education may be counted for residence. Units in residence must include at least 24 upper division units, 12 units in the major, and 9 units of GE (Units earned at other institutions, and units earned through Credit-by-Examination are not residence units, with the exception of upper division GE units earned at another CSU.)
Complete at least 120 semester units for a B.A. degree, 130 semester units for the B.F.A. degree, or 120-125 semester units for the B.S. degree. At least 40 of these units must be in upper division courses (courses numbered 300 and above). No more than 40 units can be graded in the Credit/No Credit pattern (CR/NC or A/B/C/NC). No more than 24 units can be in Continuing Education, Open University, or correspondence credit, and no more than 30 units can be earned credit-by-examination (excepting Advanced Placement).
Grade Point Average
Attain a grade point average of at least 2.00 on a 4.00 scale in all units attempted at Cal State East Bay, all the units attempted including transfer units, and all units attempted in the major regardless of the department in which they are taught.
Progress to Degree
Students must complete their GE A1, A2, A3, and B4 requirements before reaching junior status. Students must take steps to satisfy the UWSR during their junior year.
English Language Requirement
All undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and graduate applicants whose native language is not English, and who have not attended schools at the secondary level or above for at least three years full time where English is the principal language of instruction, must demonstrate proof of English proficiency.
CSU minimum TOEFL standards are:
- Undergraduate: 61 - INTERNET, 500- PAPER
- Graduate: 80 - INTERNET, 550 - PAPER
Cal State East Bay standards for Undergraduate Students are:
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 525 (or 197 computer-based or 61 Internet-based) or above.
- An overall IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 6.0 or above.
- Transferred from a U.S. college with 60 or more semester units with a minimum grade point average of 2.4, and have completed a transfer course in each of the following general education areas with a grade of 2.0 or better: English composition, speech, critical thinking, and mathematics.
Cal State East Bay standards for Graduate Students are:
- An official transcript showing graduation with a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university, or an international college or university where English is the principal language of instruction, or an official letter from the college or university certifying that English was the language of instruction.
- A TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 550 (213 computer-based or 79 Internet-based; 92 for Master’s of Science degree in Economics) or above.
- An overall test score from IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam of 6.5 or above for graduate students. A score of 7 or above is required for international students seeking a Master’s of Science degree in Economics.
Some majors may require a higher score.
Note: All test scores must be sent directly from the testing institution. Cal State East Bay’s International Admission Office contacts are located at: http://www.csueastbay.edu/prospective/how-to-apply/international-student-admission.
Undergraduate Certificate Programs
Undergraduate Certificate Program
A certificate program is a coherent set of academic courses, considerably narrower in scope and objectives than a degree or major, for which students can receive a certificate upon its successful completion. Most certificate programs are oriented toward occupations and/or career skills. A certificate program must contain at least 12 units of courses numbered 300 or above and a minimum of 15 total units. Each certificate program must contain a required core of at least three courses and 9 units. With faculty advice, special certificate programs may be available.
Students must receive a grade of “C” or better in each course applied to the program. Only one course may be taken “CR/NC” in a certificate program not counting courses for which that is the only grading pattern for the course. At least 75% of the units must be taken at Cal State East Bay. (For certificate programs, Cal State East Bay courses may be taken through University Extension or as a regularly admitted and enrolled student.) Students who have already received a major, option, or minor with the same title are not eligible for the certificate. No student is required to complete a certificate program. Completion of a certificate program is recognized by the awarding of a certificate. There is no notation about the program on either a diploma or permanent record. (The courses will be on the student’s transcript.) Students may pursue a certificate program before, during, or after their baccalaureate degree. Unlike a minor, a certificate is not part of a degree.
University Extension also offers professional and career development Certificate Programs which may be taken for academic credit or Continuing Education Units (CEUs). For information about the certificate programs offered by University Extension please visit https://www.ce.csueastbay.edu/.
Graduate Certificate Programs
For information concerning graduate certificate programs see the Degree Requirements, Policies, & Other Information chapter.
Music Auditions & Proficiency Exam Requirements
Students who declare a major in music must complete examinations and auditions to determine:
- theory placement,
- level of applied study,
- piano proficiency, and
- major performance ensemble.
These examinations are not a substitute for the Advanced Placement Test in Music and should not be confused with the Advanced Placement Program. Auditions and examinations are scheduled prior to the first week of each semester. For additional information and specific appointment times, contact the Department of Music, MB 2571, or telephone (510) 885-3135.
Challenging Courses by Examinations
The University recognizes that exceptional students, by reason of special studies or experiences, may already have achieved the objectives of certain courses in the basic program; therefore, students with this background may petition to receive credit in selected courses by special examination. Such an examination is normally from three to six hours in length and may be oral as well as written. Each course may be challenged only once.
Students who wish credit under this plan must enroll for the course during the enrollment period for the units to be earned by the examination. The class being challenged for credit must be listed in the Class Schedule for the particular semester. Obtain a petition for credit by examination from the office of the department offering the course, and obtain the permission of both the instructor and department chair. No instructor is obliged to offer credit-by-examination for a course.
The examination must be administered during the first two weeks of the semester. The instructor is responsible for notifying the student of the results of the examination. If the exam is passed with a grade of “C-” or higher, the letter grade and credit by examination will be indicated on the student’s permanent record and the results, in grade form, must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the end of the fifth week. If the student receives a grade of “D+,” “D,” or “F” on the examination, the student must either continue taking the course formally or officially withdraw from it within one week after completing the examination. The instructor need not inform the Office of the Registrar of the grades “D+,” “D,” or “F.” Some departments (e.g., Modern Languages and Literatures) only allow their courses to be challenged for a “CR” grade.
No more than 24 semester units of credit obtained by challenging courses may be applied toward the baccalaureate degree. No credit earned by examination may be used to satisfy the requirement of 30 semester units in residence at Cal State East Bay.
Credit for External Examinations
Cal State East Bay grants credit for successfully passing any University-approved examination, subject to the following conditions:
- Credit shall not be awarded for successful passage of any examination if the student previously took that examination during the past semester.
- Credit shall not be awarded when equivalent degree credit has been granted for regular coursework, credit-by evaluation, or other instructional processes such as correspondence.
- Credit shall not be awarded when credit has been granted at a level represented by the examination in question.
- Duplicate credit shall not be awarded where there are overlapping tests, university level work, or both. Where there is partial overlap, the amount of examination credit shall be reduced accordingly.
- The total amount of credit earned on the basis of externally developed tests that may be applied to a baccalaureate degree shall not exceed 30 semester units. Note: Advanced Placement credit is excluded from this limit.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
This program was created by the College Board to allow students to demonstrate college-level achievement through a series of exams in undergraduate college courses. There are 2900 colleges that grant credit and/or advanced standing for CLEP exams.
California State University East Bay is an open test center and we welcome military personnel. All of the computer-based exams are administered by the Testing Office.
Note: Please see the list of CLEP exams and the Cal State East Bay credit awarded.
Advanced Placement (AP) Exam Credit
Cal State East Bay grants credit toward its undergraduate degrees for successful completion of examinations of the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board. Students who present scores of 3 or better will be granted up to six semester units (nine quarter units) of college credit. Students need to request that the official score be sent to the Office of Admission.
The AP exams are prepared and offered by the College Board. Unit credit will be granted to those passing the exams, but no letter grade will be assigned or computed in a student’s grade point average.
If students have Advanced Placement credit, they must request to the College Board to send their test score(s) to the Office of Admission at Cal State East Bay.
Normally, if Advanced Placement course credits satisfy G.E. Area B, C, and/or D requirements, they will apply to sophomore year general education requirements and not to freshmen clusters because all freshmen benefit from participating in these learning communities. Only if the amount of Advanced Placement credit exceeds what can be applied to the second year will it be applied to freshmen clusters.
Note: Please see the list of exams and credit awarded here .
International Baccalaureate (IB) Exam Credit
Cal State East Bay recognizes the International Baccalaureate (IB) as a challenging college-preparatory program. Four (4) to fifteen (15) units of college credit will be awarded for each IB Higher Level Examination passed with a score of 4, 5, 6, or 7. (No credit will be awarded for IB Subsidiary Level passes.) A copy of the official IB transcript must be supplied to the University when credit is requested. All credit is granted in terms of existing Cal State East Bay courses with equivalent subject matter determined by the department.
Note: Please see the list of IB exams and the Cal State East Bay credit awarded here .
Science Equivalency Exam
Students who pass the American Chemistry Society Cooperative Examination in General Chemistry at or above the 50th percentile will receive 5 units of credit. Contact the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, North Science 431, College of Science, Phone: (510) 885-3452, Office Hours: 9-5, M-F.
Language Placement Exams
Placement exams in French and Spanish languages are offered on a continuing basis through the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Placement exams for other languages may also be periodically available. Students who have prior language experience but are uncertain of their level of ability (elementary, intermediate, or advanced) are encouraged to consult with a faculty advisor before enrolling in a French or Spanish language course. Placement exams are given only on the recommendation of faculty. For more information, contact the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures in Music Building (MB) 2599 or by phone at (510) 885-3211.
The Testing Office provides a wide variety of services and assistance to students, faculty, staff and the community.
Students should be aware of CSUEB’s test requirements. They are:
- The University Writing Skills Requirement (UWSR) . One way to satisfy the UWSR is the Writing Skills Test (WST). The WST must be taken by all undergraduate students at the beginning of the junior year, and by all graduate students upon admission to a program unless they elect to meet the requirement through coursework.
- The American Institutions Requirement in U.S. History, the U.S. Constitution, and California State and Local Government may be met by coursework or tests.
Additional information is available on the Testing Office website.
Other tests administered by the Testing Office:
The ACT (American College Test) and the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), one of which is required for entering freshmen. For more information see the Application & Admissions chapter.
The MAT (Miller Analogies Test) is required by some graduate programs.
The CLEP (College Level Examination Program) was created by the College Board to allow students to demonstrate college-level achievement through a series of exams in undergraduate college courses.
The TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) is required for entering in Nursing Program.
The Math Proficiency Assessment (ALEKS PPL) for students who wish to demonstrate proficiency in College Algebra and/or Pre-calculus in order to fulfill pre-requisite requirements for Math 120, 130 or 180.
Additional tests available on the Testing Office website.
ACT - American College Testing Program
CBEST - California Basic Educational Skills Test
CLAD/BCLAD - Bilingual/Cross cultural Language and Academic Development
CLEP - College Level Examination Program
CSET - California Subject Examinations for Teachers
GMAT - Graduate Management Admission Test
GRE - Graduate Record Examinations
IELTS - International English Language Testing System
LSAT - Law School Admission Test
MAT - Miller Analogies Test
MCAT - Medical College Admission Test
PRAXIS - Praxis Test
RICA - Reading Instruction Competence Assessment
SAT - Scholastic Aptitude Tests
SSAT - California Single Subject Assessments for Teachers
TEAS - Test of Essential Academic Skills
TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language
Due to campus impaction, freshman and transfer applicants who have fewer than 60 semester or 90 quarter units of transferable college credit must submit scores from either the ACT or the SAT of the College Board. Applicants should take the test no later than November or December of the year prior to enrollment. Test scores also are used for advising and placement purposes.
- Sending SAT Scores: School Code: 4011 (California State University, East Bay).
- Sending ACT Scores: School Code: 0154 (California State University, East Bay).
Registration forms and dates for the SAT or ACT are available from school or college counselors or from a CSU campus testing office at: http://www.csueastbay.edu/testing/
Or students may contact:
The College Board (SAT)
Registration Unit, Box 6200
New Jersey 08541-6200
ACT Registration Unit
P.O. Box 414 Princeton
Iowa City, Iowa 52240