Refer to the following University Catalog "graduation" entries:
Degree Requirements and Policies
Q. How soon can I apply for my bachelor's degree?
A. You may apply for graduation if you have met the following minimum criteria: 1) declared a major, 2) have 90 units (including work-in-progress) and 3) have completed at least one semester of course work in residence at CSUN (required for Undergraduate Degree Services to prepare your graduation evaluation). Before you apply, review your Degree Progress Report/Planner to determine your expected graduation date. If needed, consult with an academic advisor to discuss your major and/or minor requirements, approved course substitutions and waivers, appropriate major and minor catalog years, and any needed elective courses.
Q. How and when do I apply for graduation?
A. Submit an “Application for Bachelor’s Degree and Diploma” for the semester in which you anticipate completing all requirements. There are three (3) official graduation dates per year: the final day of the fall semester, the final day of the spring semester, and the final day of summer term. Each official graduation date has a set of deadlines to apply and submit documents. Mark your calendar with the application deadlines for your graduation term published at Graduation Calendar. Learn more at “When and How to Apply to Graduate” (note: will need to link to new site).
Q. What happens after I apply to graduate?
A. After you submit an "Application for Bachelor’s Degree and Diploma," Undergraduate Degree Services (UDS) will provide a graduation evaluation. UDS will review and evaluate your academic records to ensure that all General Education, major/minor, and university degree requirements have been completed.
- 1st Bachelor’s Degree Candidates: A communication will be sent to your CSUN email account when your graduation evaluation has been completed. Your graduation evaluation will be available online through myNorthridge Portal.
- 2nd Bachelor’s Degree Candidates: Your paper graduation evaluation will be emailed to your CSUN email account. (Second bachelor’s graduation evaluations are not available online at this time.)
Q. What if I need to submit a transcript for courses from another institution or a course substitution/waiver in order to graduate?
A. You may submit transcripts from other institutions and your department may submit course substitution/waiver forms until the published “Document Deadline” for your graduation term. The document deadline for each graduation term is published on the Undergraduate Degree Services Calendar.
Q. I will complete my last degree requirement in a Winter Session. What graduation term should I apply for?
A. You will need to apply for a Spring graduation term. Your degree will be conferred and posted after the conclusion of the Spring term.
Q. I previously applied for graduation but did not complete all of my degree requirements. Do I need to re-apply for graduation and pay the fee again?
A. It depends on how long it has been since your original graduation term. If it was less than two years ago, you can contact Undergraduate Degree Services Office to inquire about the possibility of a Graduation Date Change (within one semester of original date) or a Graduation Reinstatement (more than one semester, but less than two years). Both of these will require the payment of an $8.00 fee. If it has been more than two years, a new Application for Graduation along with the $47.00 fee will be required.
Q. What is a “graduation evaluation”?
A. The graduation evaluation is a special Degree Progress Report (DPR) that enumerates each degree candidate's completed and remaining degree requirements. Your graduation evaluation DPR has been reviewed and evaluated by Undergraduate Degree Services to verify the extent to which your degree requirements have been met. Use your graduation evaluation DPR as a tool to track your progress toward degree completion, just as you would your regular DPR audit. Learn more about DPR and Planner.
Please note: Degree Progress Reports are not available for second bachelor’s degree candidates at this time. Therefore, graduation evaluations will be mailed to the address on record.
Q. My graduation evaluation indicates that I need to submit a college transcript for my in-progress transfer work even though these courses are not required for my degree. Do I still need to submit this transcript?
A. Yes. All CSUN students are required to submit final, official college transcripts from every institution they have attended prior to graduation. Any “work-in-progress” transcripts that you previously sent to CSUN are part of your record and must be settled with a final transcript and grade. If you are transferring in course work from a California community college, save time with eTranscript California.
Q. Can I substitute a major and/or minor course with another course?
A. Your academic department may be able to grant a substitution or waiver for a major and/or a minor requirement. If a substitution or waiver is approved by the department, they will submit it directly to Undergraduate Degree Services. Please contact your major and/or minor department to discuss this option.
Q. Can I substitute another course for a General Education requirement?
A. Academic departments are not able to make substitutions or waivers for General Education course requirements. If you would like a review of the placement of a General Education course in your Degree Progress Report (DPR):
- Contact Undergraduate Degree Services if you have already applied for graduation.
- File an online DPR Review Request if you have not yet applied for graduation.
Grades and GPA
Q. How do I calculate my Grade Point Average (GPA)?
A. Calculate your GPA by dividing the number of grade points you've earned in courses that assign letter grades by the number of units you've attempted. (Courses in which grades of CR, NC, I, RP and W are assigned are not used in GPA calculation.) Your cumulative GPA, CSUN GPA and upper division major GPA display in the Degree Progress Report (DPR). If you'd like to raise your GPA, you can determine how many credit hours and what grade average you will need to raise your current GPA using the Raise GPA Calculator.
Q. All my degree requirements will be satisfied except for a course with a grade of "Incomplete." Can I graduate with an Incomplete even though the course is not a degree requirement?
A. No. All grades of Incomplete received at CSUN must be changed to a final grade, and all course requirements must be completed by the end of the semester in which you plan to graduate. If you do not intend to complete the remaining course work to remove the Incomplete, notify Undergraduate Degree Services as soon as possible.
Minors and Second Majors
Q. Can I drop my minor?
A. You may drop your minor by submitting a "Change of Minor" form to Undergraduate Degree Services. However, you cannot drop your minor if it is required in the major. Please consult with your major advisor.
Q. All my degree requirements will be satisfied except for my minor and/or second major. Can I graduate and return to CSUN in the future to complete my minor and/or second major?
A. No. If you wish to earn a minor and/or second major, the minor and/or second major must be completed simultaneously with the first major degree.
Q. All of my degree requirements are satisfied except for the overall unit requirement. What are my options to complete the minimum units required for my degree?
A. Your options would be to complete additional units at CSUN or at another institution in order to earn the number of units required for your degree. Please keep in mind these restrictions:
- You may transfer additional community college units to CSUN as long as the number of units you’ve already transferred from a community college does not exceed the 70-unit limit. There is no limit on the number of units transferable from another 4-year university.
- A maximum of 24 units taken in extension (e.g., through Open University) can be counted toward the bachelor's degree.
- Repeating courses you’ve already earned units for at CSUN or other institutions will not give you any more units toward your total.
- In order to count toward your degree, courses at CSUN must be numbered 100-599. Courses numbered 001-099 or 600-699 will not count toward your total.
- CSUN courses that are cross-listed with other courses may not provide additional units toward your total. Before enrolling, review the course description in the University Catalog. The description will tell you when credit is not allowed for two cross-listed or closely related courses. For example, you cannot receive credit for both FCS 207 and HSCI 337.
- If you are transferring quarter units to CSUN, please be aware of unit conversions. Note that 4 quarter units are equivalent to 2.6 semester units.
Q. I am missing overall upper division units. Can I take a course at another college to fulfill this requirement?
A. It's possible, but be aware of the following limitations:
- Upper division units cannot be taken at Community Colleges.
- Before enrolling, refer to the institution’s catalog for the course numbering system to ensure that the course you plan to take will yield upper division credit.
- Repeating courses that you’ve already earned units for at CSUN at another institution will not give you more units toward your total.
- If you are transferring quarter units to CSUN, please be aware of unit conversions. Note that 4 quarter units are equivalent to 2.6 semester units.
Q. Why don't some of my units count toward my bachelor's degree?
There are several reasons courses you have taken may not count toward your degree:
- You’ve taken more than:
- 3 units of Independent Study (499 level) outside your major
- 6 units of Independent Study (499 level) in your major
- 6 units of academic internships
- 18 units taken for a grade of Credit/No Credit (CR/NC)
- 24 extension units
- 70 community college units (for the purposes of overall lower division units)
- Courses numbered 001-099 and 600-699 cannot be counted toward a bachelor's degree.
- Repeats of courses you’ve already earned units for do not provide more units toward your total.
Q. I have already completed 70 units at a community college. Can I still take a course at my community college to fulfill a lower division General Education requirement or a lower division major requirement?
A. Yes. The course can meet a degree requirement, but no additional units will be applied toward the minimum number of units required to graduate. For any major or minor requirements, please consult with your major/minor advisor for approval before enrolling in the transfer course.
For more information about transferring General Education courses and major requirements to CSUN, refer to Transfer Course Information.
Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam and GWAR
Q. All of my degree requirements will be satisfied except for the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam. Do I need to change my planned graduation date?
No. The Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE) is no longer a graduation requirement nor a prerequisite for any courses. However, candidates for the bachelor's degree must satisfy the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) as follows:
- CSUN has temporarily suspended the GWAR (and UDWPE) requirement for bachelor’s degree recipients who will graduate through summer 2023. You do not need to do anything; your academic record will be updated automatically. Check your degree audit or consult your academic advisor.
- Continuing students not graduating by summer 2023 and new students entering CSUN in fall 2023 (the fall 2023 catalog year) and after, need to satisfy the GWAR requirement.
You can meet the GWAR requirement by receiving a grade of “C” or better in a minimum of 6 units of course work in the upper-division portion of the General Education curriculum.
An alternate way to satisfy the GWAR will be announced during the 2022-2023 academic year and it will go into effect starting with the fall 2023 semester. This option will be made available to students who are unable to satisfy the requirement via completion of upper division General Education course work.
For exceptions and updates, please visit Undergraduate Studies – GWAR.
Degree and Diploma
Q. When will my degree be posted on my transcript?
A. The degree awarding process may take 3 to 5 weeks after the completion of the graduation term. However, the official graduation date posted on the transcript and diploma will be the last day of the graduation term.
Q. I'll complete all degree requirements in Summer Session 2. When will my degree be awarded?
A. Your summer term degree cannot be awarded until Summer Sessions 1 and 3 have also concluded.
Q. When will I receive my diploma?
A. Diplomas will be mailed to the address on record within 4 to 6 weeks after the degree is conferred. Please verify and update your current mailing address by logging into myNorthridge Portal, locating the Quick Links box, and selecting SOLAR Student Center > Personal Information. Will you move after graduating? If so, please indicate a diploma mailing address in myNorthridge Portal. Learn how: Update Personal Information
Q. Will my major option, minor, and honors be printed on my diploma?
A. While each major is posted on the transcript and diploma, the major option may not be. For example, the CTVA Screenwriting option is not currently posted, but the Film Production option is. Minors will be posted on both the transcript and the diploma. If you are awarded University Honors by the time the degree is granted, the honors will be reflected on both the transcript and the diploma.
Q. What if I need proof that I graduated?
A. Once your degree has been conferred, you can obtain official transcripts that verify your degree information. See Order Transcripts. Employers and other agencies seeking degree verifications should contact the National Student Clearinghouse.
Q. What are University Honors?
A. University Honors are awarded to students who complete their degree with certain GPA criteria. A student who has met the Honors criteria when the graduation evaluation is completed will be designated an "Honors Candidate." The student will be listed as an Honors Candidate in the Commencement Program. S/he is also eligible to purchase the Honors Medallion at the Matador Bookstore. Please note that candidacy for University Honors does not guarantee that honors will be awarded when the degree is conferred. Conversely, a student who did not meet the Honors criteria when the graduation evaluation was conducted may still be awarded University Honors if the Honors criteria are met when the degree is later conferred.
What is Honors Convocation?
A. Honors Convocation is the annual ceremony to recognize outstanding undergraduate and graduate degree candidates. Candidates may be invited to the Honors Convocation for both scholastic and/or personal achievement. Read more: Honors Convocation