Registration Process


Program Planning and Registration

Freshmen should plan their programs early, beginning, when practical, with the selection of a major. Degree requirements in each major are listed under the appropriate department. Major information sheets are available for most of our majors. If you are undecided about a major, indicate Undeclared on the appropriate forms until a definite decision is reached. For general information, see Degrees and Credentials.

Regular advising is key to the successful and timely completion of a degree. Depending on the major department's procedure, an academic adviser is assigned to each student, or selected by the student. The University Advising Center (Joyal Administration Building, Room 224) advises undeclared majors and can advise all students on General Education and non-major related degree requirements. At a minimum, all undergraduate students are expected to review their "roadmap" to graduation with an adviser from their major department by the end of the term in which they complete 75 units. Some departments require advising earlier and more often.

Undergraduate students entering the university without a major are strongly encouraged to declare a major before the end of the term in which 45 units are completed toward a degree. Students must declare a major no later than the term in which 60 units are completed. Undergraduate transfer students with 60 or more units must declare a major upon entry or before course registration begins for their second semester at the university. Students may contact the University Advising Center for further information (Joyal Administration Building, Room 224, or call 278.1787).

It is recommended that all students meet with a faculty adviser once each semester before registering for classes. A faculty adviser assists the student in planning an academic program, but the primary responsibility for meeting all graduation requirements is the student's.
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Recommended Preparation

Freshmen. Overall excellence of performance in high school subjects and evidence of academic potential provide the basis for admission at California State University, Fresno.

Since certain academic majors require high school preparation in definite subjects, the student should consult the requirements indicated in the field of his or her choice.

In university majors, such as engineering, natural science, mathematics, social science and humanities, a maximum number of high school credits should be obtained in appropriate preparatory subjects.

Transfer Students. Students intending to transfer to California State University, Fresno should plan their programs while attending other colleges to meet our General Education and major degree requirements. Students transferring from a California community college should complete as many of the CSU General Education requirements of that college as possible while keeping in mind that a maximum of 70 transferable units is allowed from two-year institutions (community/junior colleges). For more information, visit the California Articulation Website. A General Education Certification (requested only from California public community/junior colleges and California State University campuses) should be sent to California State University, Fresno along with the final transcripts. Earning an A.A. or A.S. degree does not necessarily mean one has fulfilled CSU admission and/or General Education requirements.
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Registration is open to new and returning students who have been admitted and to eligible continuing students in good standing. A continuing student is eligible to register for two subsequent semesters if he/she was enrolled by the eleventh day of instruction and had paid registration fees for the previous semester. Therefore, a continuing student can "stop out" for one semester and still maintain registration eligibility and priority without the need to reapply for admission or without the need to request and educational leave of absence. Students must make progress toward fulfillment of degree requirements to remain in good standing. Students who enroll and withdraw and do not complete coursework for two or more consecutive semesters may lose their continuing student status. Former California State University, Fresno students returning after an absence of two or more semesters must apply for readmission, subject to university enrollment limitations and filing deadlines, and they are required to pay the $55 application fee when applying.

Registration is complete only when all class selection through registration is finalized and all fees are paid.

Registration appointment date and time for all students is determined by the number of academic units completed with limited exceptions. After a priority group is processed, then assignments are made based on the highest number of completed units.

Registration in courses offered by some colleges/schools or departments may be restricted to students officially enrolled in certain majors and/or class levels. It is essential that each student’s current major be correctly recorded in the university’s records. Failure to do so may result in enrollment difficulties. It is the student’s responsibility to be sure his or her major is correct. Undergraduate major changes can be made at the Admissions and Records service windows, Joyal Administration Building, North Lobby; postbaccalaureate and graduate changes are done at the Division of Research and Graduate Studies Office.

Full-time/Part-time Students. Students taking at least 75 percent of the normal academic load are considered full-time students. Since the normal academic load is 15 semester hours, students carrying 12 or more semester hours are full-time students. For purposes of financial aid, graduate (200-level) courses are weighted for graduate students. Each graduate unit attempted by a graduate student is considered as 1.5 units.

Full-time (12 or more units)
Three-quarter time (9 to 11.5 units)
Half-time (6 to 8.5 units)

Veterans Certification. The Office of the Registrar acts as liaison to the Veterans Administration, the State Department of Veterans Affairs, and other related agencies for veterans, dependents, or reservists eligible to receive educational benefits. A student may obtain information and assistance regarding certification of benefits, V.A. Work Study, advance pay, and processing of tutorial assistance paperwork by visiting the Veterans Services Office, North Lobby, Joyal Administration Building, Room 121, or by calling 559.278.7030.

Concurrent Registration at a Non-CSU College or University. While enrolled at California State University, Fresno, students may enroll for additional courses at another institution outside the CSU system. The courseload in the combined enrollment program may not exceed the maximum unit load restrictions for California State University, Fresno.

Concurrent Registration at Another CSU Campus. A continuing undergraduate student who has completed a minimum of one semester of 12 units on the Fresno campus and is in good standing with a grade point average of 2.0 or better in all work completed at Fresno State; or a graduate student who has been and is in an authorized graduate program in good standing may enroll concurrently at another CSU campus without any additional fees. Complete information is available in the Office of the Registrar.

Visitor Registration at Another CSU Campus. A continuing undergraduate student who has completed a minimum of one semester of 12 units and has attained a grade point average of 2.0 or better in all work completed at Fresno State, or a continuing graduate student who has completed one semester and is admitted to an authorized graduate program, may register and pay fees at another CSU campus for one semester without applying for admission to that campus. Complete information is available in the Admissions and Records service windows, Joyal Administration Building, North Lobby.

Excess Unit/Enrollment Restrictions Undergraduate. Undergraduate students are cautioned against registering for more than 18 units without consulting with an adviser, since more than 18 units is generally considered to be an academic overload. A limit of 16 units applies to graduate students. See the Class Schedule for details.

To register for 19 units, an undergraduate student must have an overall grade point average of 2.5; for 20 to 22 units, a student must have an overall grade point average of 3.0. Exceptions to these limits must be approved by the chair of the student's major department. An absolute limit of 22 units (excluding credit by examination units) is enforced and may be waived only with the approval of the dean of the college/school of the student's major and the dean of Undergraduate Studies.

An academic department may restrict enrollment by requiring students to drop a class if the student has been disqualified from the major or the student has not achieved a C average in the major or has not met the stated course prerequisites. This is especially true in academic areas that are impacted or are in high demand.

Enrollment in upper-division courses is normally restricted to students with junior, senior, or graduate standing or who have the necessary prerequisites. Exceptions are subject to the approval of the instructor and department chair. Only students who have been fully approved for admission to credential programs may enroll in certain education courses and qualify for a school service credential on the basis of the university's recommendation.

Credit in any course is also subject to restrictions (see section on Degree Requirements).

Excess Units/Enrollment Restrictions Postbaccalaureate/Graduate. To enroll in 17 or more units, master's degree students must demonstrate a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better; credential students must demonstrate a minimum GPA equivalent to the admission standards of their individual credential program. However, if the credential program requires enrollment in graduate-level (200-series) coursework, the students must demonstrate a 3.0 GPA or better. Second baccalaureate/second undergraduate major/nonobjective students may enroll in 19 units if they possess a GPA of 2.5; 3.0 for 20-22 units. Graduate-level (200-series) courses are unavailable to second baccalaureate/major and nonobjective students.

Change of Major. Each undergraduate student who wishes to change his or her major must do so at the Admissions and Records service windows, Joyal Administration Building, North Lobby, to initiate the procedure. New graduate and postbaccalaureate students should report to the Graduate Admissions Office and continuing graduate and postbaccalaureate students should report to the Division of Research and Graduate Studies Office.

Adding/Dropping Courses. After initial registration, a student may continue to add open classes up through the tenth day of instruction without permission. After the tenth day of instruction and through the 20th day of instruction, all adds require permission from the instructor or the department. After the official census date (20th day of instruction) adding is no longer allowed.

A student may drop a course without permission up through the 15th day of instruction. From the 16th day to the 19th day of instruction, dropping a course requires the signatures of the instructor and the chair of the department on a Drop/Withdrawal Form, but no record is registered in the transcript. After the 20th day of instruction, a student may drop a course for a serious and compelling reason that makes it impossible for the student to complete course requirements. A serious and compelling reason is defined as an unexpected condition that is not present prior to enrollment in the course that unexpectedly arises and interferes with a student's ability to attend class meetings and/or complete course requirements. The reason must be acceptable to and verified by the instructor of record and the department chair in which the course is offered. The condition must be stated in writing on the appropriate form. The student must provide documentation that substantiates the condition. Failing or performing poorly in a class is not an acceptable serious and compelling reason within the university policy, nor is dissatisfaction with the subject matter, class or instructor.

During the final three weeks of instruction, dropping an individual course is not permitted unless special approval is given by the dean of Undergraduate Studies in cases such as accident or illness where the cause of the drop is due to circumstances beyond the student's control. If the student has completed a significant portion of the required coursework, incomplete grades are often assigned.

Failing or performing poorly in a class is not an acceptable serious and compelling reason within the university policy, nor is dissatisfaction with the subject matter, class, or instructor.

Complete Withdrawal. A student may totally (completely) withdraw from all courses up through the 15th day of instruction without any restriction or penalty. From 16th day to 19th day of instruction, complete withdrawal needs instructor and department chair approval on a Drop/Withdrawal Form. Complete withdrawals after the fourth week of instruction, and up to the last three weeks of instruction, are only approved for a documented serious and compelling reason. Permission to withdraw during this time shall be granted only with the approval of each individual instructor(s) and the department chair(s) of the department in which each course is offered. Undergraduate students will not be allowed to withdraw from more than a total of 18 semester units during their undergraduate career at Fresno State. Complete withdrawal during the last three weeks of instruction is not permitted. Exceptions are only allowed where the cause of the withdrawal is due to circumstances clearly beyond the student's control and the assignment of incomplete grades in all classes is not practical. Students are responsible for obtaining the approval of the instructors of each of their courses, the department chairs for the department in which the courses are offered, and the Dean of Undergraduate Studies or the Dean of Graduate Studies, as appropriate. The 18 units limit, described above, does not apply when the withdrawal is approved during the last three weeks of the semester.

If a student withdraws through the first four weeks of instruction, only the date of withdrawal is posted on the permanent record. If the student withdraws after the first four weeks, a W is posted for each class as well as the official date of withdrawal. For purposes of subsequent registration and catalog determination, students are considered as having been enrolled for that semester.

A student who withdraws from the university after the tenth day of instruction and who is in good academic standing (not disqualified) is eligible to enroll the following two semesters without reapplying for admission. A student not enrolled for two or more consecutive semesters must reapply and pay the application fee. Contact the Degree Advising Office regarding potential loss of catalog rights if you remain away from California State University, Fresno more than one calendar year.

Please note: Adding or dropping classes on or after the first day of instruction may cause additional fees on your account. Please check your student portal for the most updated information. You can also visit the Student Accounts website at for information regarding refunds.

Consult the Admissions and Records website at for specific withdrawal instructions, procedures and forms.

Request for Record Adjustment. The university recognizes that on rare occasions students will experience exceptional situations that prohibit them from completing some procedures in a timely manner. A student may petition for a record adjustment if a documented hardship occurred during the term for which the adjustment is requested, or in instances where the student will suffer a significant academic hardship if the request is not granted. Contact the Office of the Registrar for further information.

Nonattendance. During the first week of classes, it is the responsibility of students to attend each class meeting of courses in which they are enrolled. Students absent from any class meeting during this period are responsible for personally contacting their instructor by the next class meeting to request being retained in the class.

In addition, as a courtesy to other students attempting to add and as a courtesy to the faculty, students who decide to drop a class should do so immediately. Students must not assume that instructors will exercise their option to submit an Administrative Withdrawal. In short, it still is the responsibility of the student to withdraw properly from any class he/she does not intend to complete. Failure to withdraw will result in the assignment of the appropriate failing grade, WU or NC.

Further, in order to permit students on waiting lists to enroll in a class, instructors may administratively withdraw from their classes students who are absent from any class session during the first week of classes and do not personally notify the instructors by the next class meeting of their intent to remain in the course.

Repetition of Courses. An undergraduate student can repeat only 28 total units during their undergraduate career. Of those 28 units, 16 units can be used toward grade substitution and 12 units can be used toward grade averaging. Grade substitution is the circumstance in which the new grade replaces the former grade (see policy on grade substitution substitution for a more detailed explanation). Grade substitution is not applicable to courses for which the original grade was the result of a finding of academic dishonesty. Grade averaging is when the repeat grade shall not replace the original grade; instead both grades shall be calculated into the student's overall grade point average. Undergraduate students can only repeat courses for which the original grade earned is lower than a C.
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