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Section 2: Program Development and Approval

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B.A., B.M., B.S., B.F.A., M.A., M.M., M.S., M.F.A., M.P.H., M.P.A., M.S.W.

Degree Program

Defined as the sum of : (1) General Education course requirements (undergraduate degrees only), (2) other University course requirements, (3) those courses required for the degree major program of studies (both within and outside of the discipline), and (4) electives. Degree programs vary in the total number of units required according to Title 5 (see Attachment 2.2).

Degree Major

Defined as the sum of coursework necessary to establish (1) an understanding of the breadth of the body of knowledge in a discipline, or of several disciplines in interdisciplinary programs, (2) competence in the fundamental skills and methodologies of the discipline(s), and (3) understanding and skill at an appropriate depth in various aspects of the body of knowledge. Items (1) and (2) may be thought of as the "core" of the major.

Degree Major Option

Defined as a course of studies in which coursework required to establish understanding in depth in the named aspect or sub-disciplinary area normally exceeds 50% of the total coursework for the general major. In undergraduate programs there should be a common core of at least five courses. For graduate programs there should be a common core of at least three courses.

Concentrations, Tracks, Specializations, Emphases, Fields (Sub-options), and other aggregations of courses not specifically called options

All less extensive than degree options. Each such aggregation treats an area within a degree or degree/option program in some depth. While such aggregates will be internally coherent, they do not by themselves provide sufficient breadth of study to be identified as options. Normally, these aggregates constitute much less than 50% of the coursework required for the degree major. No mention is made of them on a student transcript.


Defined as an aggregate of at least 15 units of coursework, as specified by the department or program, at least six of which must be upper-division. The minor may be in a single subject or interdisciplinary. Students may not declare or receive a minor in the same subject as the major, and the major and minor may not have the same title. The description of each minor shall have a statement listing all majors, if any, which may not be combined with that particular minor. The minimum overall GPA in courses toward the minor is 2.0. A minimum of six units of coursework toward the minor must be taken at CSULB. A minor can only be taken by a CSULB undergraduate and must be completed with the rest of the degree. Although one major may require a minor in another discipline, a minor is not generally required for graduation.


Defined as a thematic grouping of courses from one or more disciplines, which define a significant educational accomplishment in an area other than the degree major or option. Both an undergraduate and graduate certificate are comprised of at least 18 units of coursework, but normally more. Undergraduate certificates are awarded only concurrently with or subsequent to a baccalaureate degree. Graduate certificates are awarded only subsequent to a baccalaureate degree. See Policy Statement 85-08 (Attachment 2.11) for specific criteria.


Defined as a specific aggregate of courses, completion of which is sufficient for licensing by the State of California to teach (or perform specific professional tasks) in the public school systems. No specific unit requirements are given for credentials generally; usually the curricular requirements are noted in the governing legislation as "competencies."


Defined as areas of concentrations, tracks, specializations, emphases, fields (see definition above).

New Academic Programs

Defined as new degree majors, new options within existing degree majors, new minors, new certificates, sub-options within existing programs and other aggregates of courses where a defined competency is intended.

Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae

Defined as a CV that contains education information, work history, teaching expertise, and selected recent scholarships.

Course Syllabi

Refer to Policy Statement 11-07 (Attachment 4.6). A model syllabus has been prepared by the Faculty Center for Professional Development and is available on the Center's website:

Section 2: Program Development and Approval
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