Academic Placement

Classification of Students

Student class levels are determined as follows:

Freshmen. Students who have earned a total of fewer than 30 semester units.
Sophomores. Students who have earned a total of 30 to 59 semester units inclusive.
Juniors. Students who have earned a total of 60 to 89 semester units inclusive.
Seniors. Students who have earned 90 semester units or more.
Postbaccalaureate/Graduates. Students who have at least one bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.

Advanced Placement

The Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board permits able high school students to take college-equivalent courses while in high school, and, based upon comprehensive qualifying examinations, receive advanced placement and credit at participating universities and colleges.

California State University, Fresno 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 three or better will be granted up to six semester units (nine quarter units) of college credit. In order to receive credit for these examinations from California State University, Fresno, students must request an official copy of their test results directly from the College Board.

Credits earned through advanced placement are not included among the maximum of 30 units of credit by examination that may be credited toward a bachelor's degree. The most commonly passed Advanced Placement Tests and equivalent courses are as follows:

Test Score Units Subjects
American History 3,4,5 6 HIST 11, 12
Computer Science Principles 3,4,5 3 Comp Sci Elective
English Lit/Comp 3,4,5 6** ENGL 5B or 10, 20
English Lang/Comp 3,4,5 6** ENGL 5B or 10, 2
Math Calc AB 3,4,5 6 MATH 75***
Math Calc BC sub-score 3,4,5 3 MATH 75***
Math Calc BC 3,4,5 6 MATH 75, 76
U.S. Gov't & Politics 3,4,5 3 Federal Government

Official scores may be obtained from:
Advanced Placement Examination
P.O. Box 6671
Princeton, NJ 08541-6671

For more information, contact Admissions and Records, Joyal Administration Building, North Lobby.

* Remaining 2 units in lower-division Computer Science electives.
** If English Lit/Comp and English Lang/Comp are passed, then a maximum of 9 units is allowed for ENGL 5B or 10, 2, and 20.
*** Remaining 2 units in lower-division mathematics electives.

International Baccalaureate. Credit is granted for International Baccalaureate Higher Level examination passed with a score of 4 or higher. Contact Admissions and Records, Joyal Administration Building, North Lobby, for further information.
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Assessment of Academic Preparation and Placement. The CSU requires that all entering freshmen students be evaluated in terms of their preparation to complete first-year courses in written communication and mathematics/quantitative reasoning. This evaluation will utilize the broadest set of multiple measures including high school grades as well as performance scores on standardized exams such as the ACT or SAT. This evaluation of academic readiness is not a condition for admission to the CSU, but it is an important step for determining the best course placement for entering students.

Successful completion of general education (G.E.) written communication and mathematics/quantitative reasoning courses in the first year of CSU enrollment establishes a foundation for continuous learning. Unless the requirements have been completed, freshmen shall enroll in G.E. written communication and mathematics/quantitative reasoning courses appropriate to each student’s major and skill level, as demonstrated by applicable systemwide standards utilized in the review of academic preparation.

Students whose skill assessments indicate academic support will be needed for successful completion of G.E. in written communication or mathematics/quantitative courses shall enroll in appropriate college-level, baccalaureate credit-bearing courses that strengthen skills development to facilitate achieving the appropriate general education student learning outcomes. Supportive course models may include, among others, co-requisite approaches, supplemental instruction or “stretch” formats that extend a course beyond one academic term. In these approaches, instructional content considered pre-baccalaureate may carry a maximum of one unit and shall be offered concurrently with a college-level, baccalaureate credit-bearing course.

Multiple Measures Assessment for General Education Written Communication. Based on the systemwide assessment standards for GE written communication below, freshmen shall enroll in appropriate GE written communication courses during their first academic year unless the requirement has been fulfilled.

Students who have met the following requirements have fulfilled the GE Written Communication requirement in preparation for advanced courses:

  • A score of 3 or above on either the Language and Composition examination or the Composition and Literature examination of the College Board Scholastic Advanced Placement Program
  • Completion and transfer to the CSU of the credits for a college course that satisfies the CSU GE requirement in written composition, provided such a course was completed with a grade of C- or better

Students who have met the following requirements are ready to enroll in a course that meets the GE Written Communication requirement:

  • A result of ‘Standard Exceeded: Ready for CSU or participating CCC college-level coursework in English’ earned on the CAASPP Early Assessment Program (EAP) exam
  • A score of 550 or higher on the Evidence Based Reading and Writing section of the new SAT Reasoning Test sponsored by the College Board
  • A score of 500 or higher on the Evidence Based Reading and Writing section of the old SAT Reasoning Test sponsored by the College Board
  • A score of 22 or above on the ACT English test
  • Completion of an approved 12th grade, year-long, English course with a grade of C- or better AND a score of 510 – 540 on the Evidence Based Reading and Writing section of the new SAT Reasoning Test or a score of 460-490 on the Evidence Based Reading and Writing section of the old SAT Reasoning Test
  • Completion of an approved 12th grade, year-long, English course with a grade of C- or better AND a score of 19-21 on the Act English test
  • A result of ‘Standard Met: Conditionally Ready for CSU or participating CCC college-level coursework in English’ on the CAASPP Early Assessment Program (EAP) exam AND completion of an approved 12th grade, year-long, English course with a grade of C- or better
  • Achievement of a weighted high school GPA ≥ 3.3 OR a high school GPA ≥ 3.0 and completion of an approved 12th grade, year-long, English course (AP, IB, ERWC) or Honors English or more than 5 years of high school English

Students who have met the following requirements are ready to enroll in a course that meets the GE Written Communication requirement and includes supported instruction:

  • Completion of 4+ years of standard college preparatory high school English courses AND a score of 510-540 on the Evidence Based Reading and Writing section of the new SAT Reasoning Test or a score of 460-490 on the Evidence Based Reading and Writing section of the old SAT Reasoning Test or a score of 19-21 on the ACT English test
  • Achievement of a weighted high school GPA ≥ 3.0 and 4 years of standard college preparatory high school English courses

Students who have met the following requirements are required to participate in the Early Start Program and are ready to enroll in a course that meets the GE Written Communication requirement and includes supported instruction

  • A score less than 510 on the Evidence Based Reading Writing section of the new SAT Reasoning Test or a score less than 460 on the old SAT Reasoning Test AND achievement of a high school grade point average of ≤ 3.0
  • A score less than 19 on the ACT English test and the achievement of a high school GPA of ≤ 3.0

 

Multiple Measures Assessment for General Education Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning. Based on the systemwide assessment standards for GE mathematics/quantitative reasoning below, freshmen shall enroll in appropriate general education mathematics/quantitative reasoning courses during their first academic year unless the requirement has been fulfilled.

Students who have met the following requirements have fulfilled the GE Math/Quantitative Reasoning requirement and are permitted to enroll in the next level of math:

  • A score of 3 or above on the College Board Advanced Placement Calculus AB or Calculus BC tests
  • sub-score of 3 or above on the College Board Advanced Placement Calculus BC test
  • A score of 3 or above on the College Board Advanced Placement Statistics test
  • A score of 4 or above on the International Baccalaureate Mathematics Higher Level (HL)
  • A score of 50 or above on the College Board College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Calculus, College Algebra, College Algebra-Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, or Trigonometry
  • Completion and transfer to the CSU of the credits for a college course that satisfies the CSU General Education requirement in mathematics/quantitative reasoning, provided such a course was completed with a grade of C- or better

Students who are STEM majors who have met the following requirements are ready to enroll in a course that meets the GE Math/Quantitative Reasoning requirement

  • A result of ‘Standard Exceeded: Ready for CSU or participating CCC college-level coursework in mathematics’ on the CAASPP Early Assessment Program (EAP) exam
  • A score of 570 or above on the mathematics section of the new SAT Reasoning Test
  • A score of 550 or above on the mathematics section of the old SAT Reasoning Test
  • A score of 550 or above on the SAT Subject Test in Mathematics (level 1 or level 2)
  • A score of 23 or above on the ACT Mathematics test
  • Completion of a 12th grade mathematics course beyond algebra 2 with a grade of C- or better and a score of 520-560 on the new SAT mathematics test or a score of 490-540 on the old SAT mathematics test
  • Completion of a 12th grade mathematics course beyond algebra 2 with a grade of C- or better and a score of 20-22 on the ACT Mathematics test
  • A result of ‘Standard Met: Conditionally Ready for CSU or participating CCC college-level coursework in mathematics’ on the CAASPP Early Assessment Program (EAP) exam AND completion of a 12th grade mathematics course with a grade of C- or better
  • Achievement of a weighted high school GPA ≥ 3.7
  • Achievement of a weighted high school mathematics GPA ≥ 3.5 and 5+ years of mathematics or quantitative reasoning courses
  • Achievement of a weighted high school mathematics GPA ≥ 3.5 and completion of an approved senior year course

Students who are Non-STEM majors who have met the following requirements are ready to enroll in a course that meets the GE Math/Quantitative Reasoning requirement

  • A result of ‘Standard Exceeded: Ready for CSU or participating CCC college-level coursework in mathematics’ on the CAASPP Early Assessment Program (EAP) exam
  • A score of 570 or above on the mathematics section of the new SAT Reasoning Test
  • A score of 550 or above on the mathematics section of the old SAT Reasoning Test
  • A score of 550 or above on the SAT Subject Test in Mathematics (level 1 or level 2)
  • A score of 23 or above on the ACT Mathematics test
  • Completion of a 12th grade mathematics course beyond algebra 2 with a grade of C- or better and a score of 520-560 on the new SAT mathematics test or a score of 490-540 on the old SAT mathematics test
  • Completion of a 12th grade mathematics course beyond algebra 2 with a grade of C- or better and a score of 20-22 on the ACT Mathematics test
  • A result of ‘Standard Met: Conditionally Ready for CSU or participating CCC college-level coursework in mathematics’ on the CAASPP Early Assessment Program (EAP) exam AND completion of a 12th grade mathematics course with a grade of C- or better
  • A result of ‘Standard Met: Conditionally Ready for CSU or participating CCC college-level coursework in mathematics on the CAASPP Early Assessment Program (EAP exam) and 4 years of mathematics or quantitative reasoning courses
  • Achievement of a weighted high school GPA ≥ 3.7
  • Achievement of a weighted high school GPA ≥ 3.5 and 4+ years of mathematics or quantitative reasoning courses
  • Achievement of a weighted high school mathematics GPA ≥ 3.0 and completion of 5+ years of mathematics or quantitative reasoning courses
  • Achievement of a weighted high school mathematics GPA ≥3.0 and completion of an approved senior year course

Students who are STEM majors who have met the following requirements are ready to enroll in a course that meets the GE Math/Quantitative Reasoning requirementand includes supported instruction:

  • Achievement of a high school mathematics GPA ≥ 3.3

Students who are Non-STEM majors who have met the following requirements are ready to enroll in a course that meets the GE Math/Quantitative Reasoning requirementand includes supported instruction:

  • Achievement of a high school mathematics GPA ≥ 3.3
  • Achievement of a high school GPA ≥ 3.0
Students who have met the following requirements are required to participate in the Early Start Program and are ready to enroll in a course that meets the GE Math/Quantitative Reasoning requirement and includes supported instruction:
  • A score less than 510 on the mathematics section of the new SAT Reasoning test or a score less than 490 on the mathematics section of the old SAT Reasoning test AND a high school GPA ≤ 3.2
  • A score less than 20 on the ACT Mathematics test AND a high school GPA ≤ 3.2


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Graduate Students

Credit by examination for coursework may be used to fulfill prerequisites only and may not be applied toward the total units required for a master's degree.

Independent Study

Independent study is offered to give students experience in planning and outlining a course of study on their own initiative under departmental supervision. Independent study should deal with a special interest not covered in a regular course or with the exploration in greater depth of a subject presented in a regular course. Each department has an independent study upper -division course (190). In addition, some departments have a lower-division course (90) and/or a graduate-level course (290).

To be eligible for independent study, students should have an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher. This requirement may be waived in exceptional cases, when approved by the department chair. Maximum credit of 6 units in independent study courses is allowed toward the bachelor's degree, and maximum credit of 6 units in independent study courses may be approved for use toward a 30-unit master's degree. Such credit is limited to a maximum of 3 units per semester. Under extraordinary circumstances more than 3 units per semester may be allowed on petition to the department chair.

Eligible students desiring to register for Independent Study must first obtain the consent of an instructor, who will guide the project, and the chair of the department in which the course is given. Students must register for Independent Study courses during the regular registration period in the same manner as they register for any other course at the time of registration.

An independent study course normally includes an oral examination by a committee set up by the supervising instructor, a formal report that is filed in the department office, and an abstract of the study that is filed with the department chair. Approval forms and copies of the current regulations may be obtained from department, school, or college offices. The entry on the permanent record shows the discipline and course number only; the title does not appear.
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Credit for Noncollegiate Instruction

This university grants undergraduate degree credit appropriate to the baccalaureate degree for successful completion of noncollegiate instruction, either military or civilian, that has been recommended by the Commission on Educational Credit and Credentials of the American Council on Education. The number of units allowed are those recommended in AGuide to the Evaluation of Educational Experience in the Armed Services and the National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs.

Credit for Military Service Coursework

Lower-division elective credit is given for recruit training for initial entry into the service provided the student was on active duty for at least one year and one day. Credit given varies depending on the branch of service and date of entry. An applicant for credit must submit a copy of Notice of Separation (DD214) to Admissions and Records for review.

DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support) maintains the educational records of the servicemen and women who have completed SSTs (Subject Standardized Tests), CLEP (College Level Examination Program) examinations and GED tests. DANTES has also maintained USAFI (United States Armed Forces Institute) transcripts since that organization ceased to exist in 1974.

College credit is awarded for acceptable SST scores as recommended by DANTES. Equivalency for SST credit is determined by our departments. Other credits recommended by DANTES (CLEP, etc.) must meet university guidelines for the awarding of credit for those examinations. DANTES/USAFI correspondence credit is combined with other extension or correspondence coursework to a maximum of 24 semester units.

Additional credit is granted for military courses as recommended in A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. A maximum of 30 units is allowed for military credit.
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College Level Examination Program

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is designed to be a means through which recognition, academic credit, and placement may be given for less conventional forms of educational experience. Those who may have reached a college level of education through home or correspondence study, on-the-job training, television courses, or by other means may take the CLEP examinations, which are offered by the College Entrance Examination Board. They are now offered only as computer-based tests and are available through Testing Services on campus.

Within the restrictions of systemwide policy, this university awards up to 6 units of credit for successfully completed CLEP examinations. Such credit is applied to the total units required for the baccalaureate degree, but it is not applied to the General Education requirement. Not all CLEP examinations are acceptable under system policy. It is the responsibility of the student to check with the appropriate department to determine whether it accepts CLEP credit. This should be done prior to taking the CLEP exam.

Credits earned through CLEP are included among the maximum of 30 units of Credit by Examination that may be credited toward a bachelor's degree. For additional information, call Testing Services, 559.278.2457.

Upper-Division Writing Examination.

The UDWE is administered by the university and may be used to satisfy the upper-division writing skills requirement. One unit of credit may be granted (ENGL 100W) to registered undergraduate students upon request. This unit may be applied toward the 40 upper-division unit degree requirement and total units for the baccalaureate degree but cannot be applied toward the 30 residence unit degree requirement or for postbaccalaureate credit. For details, call the Bulldog Testing Center, 559.278.4137


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