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Academic Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Students ask many of the following questions about the processes and rules of CSULB. Successful students know the answers to these frequently asked questions. Please read them carefully. Knowing these answers can help you avoid pitfalls during your first semesters on campus. For further information, contact the University Center for Undergraduate Advising at (562) 985-4837.

1. Why is it critical that I check e-mail from CSULB? It is important to check your e-mail regularly since this is the primary means by which you will receive important information from the University (e.g., deadlines for adding and dropping classes, your enrollment appointment date).

2. How do I tell the University about a change in my phone number, e-mail address or mailing address? You can use MyCSULB to change your phone number, e-mail address, indicate the e-mail address that you prefer to use, or change your mailing address. Click on "Personal Information" to view your current information and to make changes.

3. Why should I check my official class schedule at the beginning of each semester and again after two or three weeks? It is important to make sure that you are officially enrolled in every class you are attending and not enrolled in any class you are not attending. Remember that an instructor can give you permission to add a class, but only you can officially enroll yourself in a class.

4. Why is it important that I personally drop classes that I have registered for but am no longer attending? Instructors do not have the responsibility to drop students. Students must drop classes they no longer want or never attended (using MyCSULB) up to and during the first two (2) weeks of the semester.

Beginning the third week, students must use the official withdrawal petition to change their schedule. (See the section on Withdrawals for the rules that apply to withdrawal after the third week of classes.)
Official withdrawal is indicated on the transcript with the symbol "W." This designation does not affect grade point average (GPA). Undergraduates may withdraw from a career-maximum of 18 units per Executive Order 1037.

Students who fail to withdraw officially within the established deadline receive a "WU" symbol (unauthorized withdrawal). In the calculation of the GPA, a "WU" is counted as an "F" grade.

5. Can I enroll in a Fall class that requires a prerequisite if I am currently enrolled in the prerequisite course this Spring? Yes, your work in progress in the spring will be considered as meeting the prerequisite for registration purposes. However, if you fail the class in question, you will be dropped from the class that requires the prerequisite.

6. Can freshmen/sophomore students take upper-division (300-499) classes? University policy prohibits students with under 30 units from taking upper-division courses without permission of the instructor.

7. What can I do if I get a "D" or "F" or "WU" in a course? The University has a policy which allows undergraduates to repeat a course in which they earned a "D", "F," or "WU". If the second grade is a "C" or better and taken at CSULB, the second grade will be used to calculate your GPA. Both grades remain on the transcript, but the first one is "forgiven" from the GPA calculation. This can only be done once per course at CSULB. If you don't earn a "C" or better on the second try, all grades will be counted. Undergraduate students may repeat 28 units of which 16 can be for grade forgiveness, per Executive Order 1037. For further details, refer to the "Repetition of Courses for Credit" in this section of the Catalog.

8. Can I use a first name other than my legal name? CSULB recognizes that, within our community, many students use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. As long as the use of this different first name is not for purposes of misrepresentation or to avoid legal obligations, the university acknowledges that a preferred first name can be used wherever possible as students engage in their education at CSULB. Therefore, the University allows for any current student to utilize a preferred first name whenever possible. To protect the University and to promote a positive campus community, requests will be reviewed for appropriateness. Preferred names cannot be nicknames, cannot contain foul or inappropriate language, nor can they used for purposes of misrepresentation. The University reserves the right to approve or reject a request for the use of a preferred first name. Requests will be reviewed by Enrollment Services. Inappropriate use of the preferred first name guidelines--including, but not limited to, avoiding a legal obligation or misrepresentation--may be cause for denying the request. Inappropriate use of the preferred first name guidelines may result in a violation of the Standards for Student Conduct (CSULB Campus REGS, and may be referred to the Director of Student Conduct and Ethical Development.

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