Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

To graduate from CSUN, students must complete all of the following requirements:

  1. 1. The applicable General Education program, which includes Title 5 requirements in American History and U.S. State and Local Government.
  2. 2. The requirements for a major.
  3. 3. Writing Skills Requirements as listed below:

Lower Division Requirement:

The University requires of all students a 3-unit Lower Division course in composition. Students must complete the Lower Division writing requirement no later than the semester in which 45 units are completed. Transfer students with more than 35 units who have not completed the Lower Division writing requirement must do so within the first semester of residence.

Students may meet this requirement by:
  1. a. Completing one course from AAS 115, AAS 155, CAS 115, CAS 155, CHS 115, CHS 155, ENGL 115, ENGL 155, PAS 115 or PAS 155; or an equivalent course at an accredited community or 4-year college; or completing 1 of the following 2-semester course sequences: AAS 113A/113B or 114A/114B, CAS 113A/113B or 114A/114B, CHS 113A/113B or 114A/114B, ENGL 113A/113B or 114A/114B, PAS 113A/113B or 114A/114B.
  2. b. Receiving a satisfactory score on the English Equivalency Examination, the Advanced Placement Test in English Language or the Advanced Placement Test in English Literature.

Completion of this requirement fulfills a portion of the Basic Skills Section of the General Education Program. Note: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement is a prerequisite for all Upper Division General Education courses.

Upper Division Requirement:

The University has implemented the Trustee Policy for the Writing Skills Graduation Requirement for all Upper Division students who will graduate in Spring 1982 or thereafter in the following manner:

  1. a. Students who have completed 56 units and have met the Lower Division writing requirement will be required to take an essay examination.
  2. b. Undergraduate students are encouraged to take the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Examination (UDWPE) as early as possible after condition “a” above has been met, but must take the UDWPE no later than the semester in which 75 units are completed. Students who have not taken the UDWPE by the completion of 75 units will have an advisement hold placed on their subsequent registration(s).
  3. c. Students who fail the exam will be permitted to repeat the examination. Students are strongly urged to make an appointment with a writing consultant at the Learning Resource Center by calling (818) 677-2033. This service is offered at no cost to students. Consultations may be available during the Summer (from June to August) on a limited basis.
  4. d. The examination will consist of an essay on an assigned topic evaluated by s faculty.
  5. e. The criteria of evaluation will include: (1) a demonstration of analytic skills; (2) use of relevant evidence to support an argument; (3) effective organization; and (4) use of standard English grammar, diction and mechanics.
  6. f. Administrations of the examination will be announced on the Testing Center website (, as well as in other official University publications.
  7. g. The examination will be scheduled at least 5 times within an academic year.
  8. h.Registration may be completed at University Cash Services, Bayramian Hall, first floor. Online registration and payment also is available. See for registration information.
  9. i. Certification of graduation writing competence will be transferable from one CSU campus to another. However, students must pass the UDWPE at the campus at which they are enrolled.
  1. 4. Grade Point Average Requirement. Each student will complete with a GPA of 2.0 (grade “C” on a 4-point scale) or better:
  1. a. All units attempted, including those accepted by transfer from other institutions;
  2. b. All Upper Division units required in the major;
  3. c. All Upper Division units required in the minor (if student chooses to declare a minor); and
  4. d. All units attempted at CSUN.
  1. 5. Residency Requirement. Completion of 30 units in residence at CSUN in the following distributions:
  1. a. 24 of the 30 units must be completed in Upper Division;
  2. b. 12 of the 30 units must be in the major; and
  3. c. 9 of the 30 units must be in General Education.

Note: CSUN course work taken in Open University is considered in residence, with a maximum of 24 special session units.

  1. 6. Total Unit Minimums and Distribution:
  1. a. B.A. Degree: 120 units, 40 of which must be Upper Division units
  2. b. B.S. Degree: 120 units, 36-47 of which must be Upper Division units
  3. c. B.M. Degree: 132 units, 40 of which must be Upper Division units
  4. d. All Bachelor’s Degrees: At least 9 units must be Upper Division General Education units
  1. 7. Formal approval by the faculty of the University. Application for Graduation, Graduation Evaluation and Diploma: Undergraduate students must file an Application for Bachelor’s Degree and Diploma (approved by the major Department) with the Office of Admissions and Records before they can be officially evaluated for graduation.


Applying for Your Bachelor’s Degree

Your application for the Bachelor’s Degree and Diploma initiates the graduation process, participation in Commencement and receipt of your diploma.

You may apply for graduation once you have completed 90 units (including work-in-progress). There are three official graduation dates each calendar year—the final day of the Fall semester, the final day of the Spring semester and the final day of the Summer term.

Follow these steps:

  1. 1. Once you have completed 90 units of course work, print and complete the Application for Bachelor’s Degree and Diploma form located at
  2. 2. Access My Academic Planner (MAP) through the myNorthridge Portal. Use your MAP to plan your remaining course work in future terms. Print a copy of your completed My Academic Planner (MAP). You may view the My Academic Planner guide located at .
  3. 3. Schedule an appointment with a major advisor. Bring your completed MAP and Application for Bachelor’s Degree and Diploma to your advising session to discuss the major curriculum, major Catalog year and your anticipated graduation date (3 official graduation dates— Fall, Spring or Summer). If you plan to graduate with a second major and/or minor, include the additional major and/or minor and the Catalog year on the application. Secure the advisor’s signatures for the major, second major and/or minor on the application.
  4. 4. Submit your completed Application for Bachelor’s Degree and Diploma, a copy of your MAP, a Department evaluation (for Journalism majors only) and the appropriate fee to Admissions and Records at the Student Services Center in Bayramian Hall.

Important Note: Applying after the filing period deadline may delay receipt of your graduation evaluation and your graduating senior status priority registration appointment time. Commencement participation could be affected.

  1. 5. The Undergraduate Degree Services Office will notify you via email when your graduation evaluation is complete. A copy of your graduation evaluation will be available online through the myNorthridge Portal. The graduation evaluation reflects units applicable toward Degree requirements only. Therefore, the units listed on the graduation evaluation may be lower than the cumulative units reflected on other CSUN documents. If you have any questions about your graduation evaluation, contact your major and/or minor advisor or the Undergraduate Degree Services Office at (818) 677-3781.

Note: At least 1 semester of work must be completed in residence at CSUN before our office can complete a graduation evaluation.

  1. 6. You will be invited to the commencement ceremony for the academic year in which you graduate. If you decide to participate in the annual commencement ceremony, follow the instructions in the Commencement Handbook. Information about the ceremony can be found at the Commencement website at

Note: Participation in the ceremony does not mean that you have officially graduated from CSUN. All Degree requirements must be completed before a Degree is awarded.

If you do not complete your final requirements by the end of your anticipated graduation date, you will need to change your graduation date to the semester of actual completion and submit a Bachelor’s Degree Date Change form to the Undergraduate Degree Services Office located in Bayramian Hall, room 150.

  1. 7. Your diploma and letter of congratulations will be mailed to you 3 to 6 weeks after your official graduation is posted. There are 3 official graduation dates each calendar year—the final day of the Fall semester, the final day of the Spring semester and the final day of the Summer term. These are the only dates on CSUN diplomas.