Jul 21, 2024  
2024-2025 University Catalog 
2024-2025 University Catalog

Course Information

This section contains the specific requirements for all graduate degrees authorized at San Diego State University by the board of trustees of the California State University. These specific requirements of departments or schools supplement and are in addition to the basic requirements for advanced degrees. All official master’s degree programs must be prepared in conformity with the specific requirements for the degree in question.

In addition, courses acceptable for credit toward an advanced degree are listed under major fields and areas of concentration. Each course is listed by department number, title, and units. Not all courses are offered every semester or every academic year. Ordinarily each listed course will be offered not less than once during a two-year period. Refer to the Class Schedule within my.SDSU for a listing of course offerings.

San Diego State University reserves the right to withdraw any course listed in the Class Schedule for which the enrollment is not sufficient to warrant the organization of a class.

NOTE: Select courses are offered at SDSU Imperial Valley.

Absence from Class

Instructor Initiated Drop Policy

Students who do not attend the first class session of a course, and who are not present at the start of the second session, may be administratively dropped from that course within the first eight class days of the semester. Students who do not meet prerequisite requirements may also be dropped within the first eight class days of the semester. Any student administratively dropped during this period will be notified at their SDSU email of the action. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor their SDSU email regularly for communication. Summer deadlines vary by session. Consult the Academic Calendar for specific dates.

Not all instructors will request administrative drops for students who miss the first class session or who do not meet course prerequisites. Students are responsible for all courses on their schedules and should check their online schedules regularly, taking necessary action to add or drop during the schedule adjustment period.

Religious Observances

By the end of the second week of classes, students should notify the instructors of affected courses of planned absences for religious observances. Instructors shall reasonably accommodate students who notify them in advance of planned absences for religious observances.

Major Academic Plans (MAPs)

The MAPs website located at http://www.sdsu.edu/mymap was created to help first-time freshmen navigate the course requirements for their majors. 

The MAPs help identify which General Education course will also fulfill a major preparation course requirement. They will also suggest sequencing to ensure completion of prerequisites for an upper-division course prior to taking the higher-level course.

Questions about graduation requirements and General Education should be directed to the campus adviser. The major adviser directory can be found in the Major Adivsor Directory

Numbering of Courses

Courses numbered 80 through 99 are nonbaccalaureate level and are not acceptable for a bachelor’s degree; those numbered 100 through 299 are in the lower division (freshman and sophomore years); those numbered 300 through 499 are in the upper division (junior and senior years) and intended for undergraduates; those numbered 500 through 599 are in the upper division and are also acceptable for advanced degrees when taken by students admitted to graduate standing; those numbered 600 through 799 are graduate courses; and those numbered 800 through 899 are doctoral courses.

Courses numbered at the 900 level, except 997, are reserved for graduate courses in certain professional curricula as part of advanced certificate, credential, and licensure programs and are specifically intended for students admitted to the university with post-baccalaureate classified standing. Courses numbered at the 900 level may only be used as electives towards a specific graduate degree if acknowledged in the Catalog. Undergraduate students may enroll in 900 level courses only as part of Accelerated Curriculum for Educators programs through which students complete course work that can be applied to the partial fulfillment of the requirements for a preliminary California teaching credential.

Courses numbered 397 offered in regular sessions are professional advancement/training or tutorial/discussion classes that may accompany other credit courses and are not acceptable towards an undergraduate or graduate degree.

Courses numbered X-01 through X‑79 and X‑397 are professional development units offered only through SDSU Global Campus to meet specific academic needs of community groups and are not acceptable toward an undergraduate or graduate degree.

Credit Hour or Unit

On July 1, 2020, the United States Department of Education changed its definition of the student credit hour. Fundamentally, the change now shifts responsibility for credit hour compliance to the accreditation agency and/or to the state.

As such, the CSU’s accreditor, the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), has published its own updated definition of student credit hour and related accreditation processes. The new regulations no longer require an accrediting agency to review an institution’s credit hour policy and procedures. It does require the WSCUC to review the institution’s definition of credit hour and (as a newly introduced practice) an institutions’ processes and policies for ensuring the credit hour policy is followed.

The CSU credit hour definition is consistent with federal law (600.2 and 600.4 revised July 1, 2020) and the requirements of the WSCUC. The CSU defines a credit hour as an amount of work represented in stated learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement. Such evidence is an institutionally established equivalency that approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph 1.a. of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours; and
  3. Permits an institution, in determining the amount of work associated with a credit hour, to take into account a variety of delivery methods, measurements of student work, academic calendars, disciplines and degree levels. Institutions have the flexibility to award a greater number of credits for courses that require more student work.

As in the past, a credit hour is assumed to be a 50-minute (not 60-minute) period. In some courses, such as those offered online, in which “seat time” does not apply, a credit hour may be measured by an equivalent amount of work, as demonstrated by student achievement.

For purposes of accreditation, all CSU campuses are required to develop, communicate and implement procedures for regular, periodic review of this credit hour policy to ensure that credit hour assignments are accurate, reliable and consistently applied. WSCUC published new draft guidelines that will take effect in June 2021. Campuses will be responsible (effective summer 2021) for publishing a clearly stated practice or process that ensures they are in compliance with the student credit hour definition.

Prerequisites for Undergraduate and Graduate Courses

Students must satisfy course prerequisites (or their equivalent) prior to beginning the course to which they are prerequisite. Students are responsible for knowing the prerequisites of any course for which they intend to enroll, as not all courses are checked for prerequisites at the time of registration. Faculty have the authority to enforce prerequisites listed in the current catalog and current Class Schedule to evaluate equivalent preparation, and to require proof that such prerequisites/preparation have been completed. Students who do not meet prerequisite requirements may be administratively dropped within the first eight days of the semester.

NOT ALL INSTRUCTORS WILL DROP STUDENTS WHO MISS THE FIRST CLASS SESSION OR FOR LACK OF PREREQUISITES. Students are responsible for all courses on their schedules. Students should check their online schedules regularly and take necessary action to add or drop during the schedule adjustment period.

General Education and American Institution Courses

Notations in brackets at the end of course titles in the course listings identify courses which satisfy General Education [GE] and American Institutions [AI] requirements. See Graduation Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree section in this catalog for full explanation.

Common Courses

Experimental or Selected Studies or Topics or Workshop Courses (96, 296, 496, 596, 696)

Courses offered by departments under the numbers 296, 496, 596 are subject to the following conditions: no more than nine units of such courses shall be applicable toward a bachelor’s degree; such courses may be applicable toward the minor or toward preparation for the major only with the approval of the department chair.

Topics courses may be offered by the departments under the number 96. These courses are nonbaccalaureate level and are not acceptable for a bachelor’s degree or General Education.

Special Study (299, 499, 599)

These courses provide opportunity for individual study of a subject not offered in the regular curriculum. The student does this outside of the classroom and must secure the consent of an instructor to supervise the study before registering for the course. The student should discuss the topic with the instructor and come to an understanding on the amount of time to be devoted to the topic, the credit to be earned, and the mode of investigation and report to be used. As with regular courses, the expectation is that the student will devote three hours per week to the subject for each unit of credit. A maximum combined credit of nine units of 299, 499, and 599 is applicable to a bachelor’s degree. Examination credit awarded for a 299 course is excluded from the nine unit limit. Maximum credit of six units of 499 in one department applicable to a bachelor’s degree.

A 499 or 599 number cannot be used to offer lower division coursework. Also, 299, 499, and 599 cannot be used to extend internships, to award academic credit in place of pay, for work experience, or for class-sized groups.

Special Topics Courses 596 and 696

No more than 12 units of coursework numbered 596 and/or 696 may be applied to a graduate degree; up to six units for an advanced certificate program with approval of the graduate adviser and graduate dean of the College of Graduate Studies. 

Special Prerequisites for Registration in 798 and 799A

Registration in course 798, Special Study, must be arranged through the instructor, the major adviser, and the chair or director of the department or school concerned. Forms for this purpose are available in the departmental offices.

Only those students who have been advanced to candidacy and who have an officially appointed thesis committee are permitted to register for course 799A, Thesis (3 units). The student must obtain clearance for registration in this course from the College of Graduate Studies. Failure to obtain this clearance may result in cancellation of enrollment.

Thesis Extension (799B)

This course is intended solely for those graduate students who have had prior registration in Thesis 799A with an assigned grade symbol of SP or RP. Credit is issued for 799B (0 units) if the final version of the thesis (approved by Montezuma Publishing) is submitted, paid for, and approved for publishing by the publishing deadline that semester. If this does not happen, the 799B course has not been completed and a grade of NC (no credit) is issued. A grade of NC is issued each time a 799B student does not submit, pay for, and is approved for publishing by the publishing deadline that semester. After receiving a grade of NC in 799B, students can register again for 799B in a future semester. Although credit may be given retroactively for the outstanding report in progress (RP) in 799A, any 799B NC grades from previous semesters remain NC.

Comprehensive Examination Extension (799C)

Enrollment in 799C (0 units) is intended solely for those graduate students who have completed all degree requirements except for the comprehensive examination (Plan B) option. Enrollment in 799C is not necessary if a student is enrolled in other coursework during the semester they take the comprehensive examination. Enrollment in 799C is limited to two semesters. A grade of NC is issued for 799C if during the term the student is registered in 799C does not complete the comprehensive exam. Students who have satisfied the comprehensive exam requirement are not allowed to register in 799C.

Special Prerequisite for Registration in 899

Registration in course 899, Doctoral Dissertation, is limited to those doctoral students who have been advanced to candidacy and who have an officially appointed dissertation committee.

Credit/No Credit Courses

Courses which are offered for credit/no credit are indicated by the symbols Cr/NC in the course title.

Hybrid, Online, and Intercampus Courses

Hybrid, online, and intercampus classes involve a formal educational process in which student and instructor are not necessarily in the same physical location, but interact in a synchronous or asynchronous manner through technology. Classes in which 20% to 50% of the scheduled sessions are conducted through this process are defined as hybrid. Classes in which greater than 50% of the scheduled sessions are conducted through this process are defined as online. Classes in which the instructor is located on one SDSU campus and interacts with students on another SDSU campus shall be defined as intercampus; such intercampus classes shall be arranged through consultations between the instructor and the appropriate personnel on each campus. For all three class modes, any required synchronous interactions (e.g., weekly sessions, aperiodic examinations, capstone presentations) shall be clearly established in the official schedule of classes with respect to specific dates, days, times, and locations as appropriate. Hybrid, online, and intercampus courses offered each term can be found in the Class Schedule.

Faculty Office Hours

All faculty members are required to hold regularly scheduled office hours during the week to allow for student consultation. A schedule of those hours and contact information is posted outside each faculty member’s office door and on their course syllabi.


San Diego State University is accredited by the Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 1001 Marina Village Parkway, Suite 402, Alameda, CA 94501, 510-748-9001; FAX 510-748-9797; http://www.wascsenior.org. It is also approved to train veterans under the G.I. Bill.

San Diego State University’s programmatic accreditation is through membership in the following associations:

Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
415 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
410-347-7700, http://www.abet.org

Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
(Preventive Medicine Residency Program)
401 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60611
312-755-7498, https://www.acgme.org

American Chemical Society
Committee on Professional Training
1155 Sixteenth Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
202-872-4600, http://www.acs.org

American College of Nurse Midwives Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education
8403 Colesville Road, Suite 1550
Silver Spring, MD 20910
240-485-1800, http://www.midwife.org

American Psychological Association (Clinical Psychology)
750 First Street, NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
202-336-5500, http://www.apa.org

California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
1900 Capitol Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95811
888-921-2682, http://www.ctc.ca.gov

Commission on Accreditation Athletic Training Education
6850 Austin Center Boulevard, Suite 100
Austin, TX 78731
512-733-9700, http://www.caate.net

Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
6110 Executive Boulevard, Suite 614
Rockville, MD 20852
301-298-1820, http://www.cahme.org

Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
112 South Alfred Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
703-838-9808, http://www.aamft.org/iMIS15/AAMFT

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
703-684-2782, http://www.capteonline.org

Council for Interior Design Accreditation
206 Grandville Avenue, Suite 350
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
616-458-0400, http://www.accredit-id.org

Council of Graduate Schools
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 230
Silver Spring, MN 20910
202-789-1050, http://www.cgsnet.org

Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
2200 Research Boulevard
Rockville, MD 20850
301-296-5700, http://www.asha.org

Council on Education for Public Health
1010 Wayne Avenue, Suite 220
Washington, D.C. 20005
202-789-1050, http://www.ceph.org

Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite 510
Alexandria, VA 22314
703-535-5990, http://www.cacrep.org

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
1701 Duke Street, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
703-683-8080, http://www.cswe.org

National Association of School Psychologists
4340 East West Highway, Suite 402
Bethesda, MD 20814
301-657-0270, http://www.nasponline.org

National Association of Schools of Art and Design
11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21
Reston, VA 20190
703-437-0700, http://nasad.arts-accredit.org

National Association of Schools of Theatre
11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21
Reston, VA 20190
703-437-0700, http://nast.arts-accredit.org

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
1140 19th Street, Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20036
202-223-0077, http://www.ncate.org

National Council on Rehabilitation Education
1099 E. Champlain Drive, Suite A, #137
Fresno, CA 93740
559-906-0787, http://www.ncre.org

National Recreation and Park Association
22377 Belmont Ridge Road
Ashburn, VA 20148
800-626-6772, http://www.nrpa.org

Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration
1029 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
202-628-8965, http://naspaa.org

Western Association of Graduate Schools
University of Washington, The Graduate School
Box 351240
Seattle, WA 98195
206-543-9054, http://www.wagsonline.org

In addition, San Diego State University is accredited by the following agencies:

The Fowler College of Business and the Charles W. Lamden School of Accountancy are accredited by AACSB International-The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Several Fowler College of Business programs are registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, 1425 K Street, NW, Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20005, 202-379-2200.

The College of Engineering undergraduate programs in aerospace engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, construction engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering and mechanical engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET, 415 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, 410-347-7700, http://www.abet.org.

The School of Journalism and Media Studies programs in advertising, journalism, and public relations are accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, Stauffer-Flint Hall, 1435 Jayhawk Boulevard, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-3973, http://www.acejmc.org.

The School of Nursing is approved by the California State Board of Nursing, State of California, Department of Consumer Affairs, 400 R Street, Suite 4030, Sacramento, CA 95814, 916-322-3350. The baccalaureate and master’s degrees in the School of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791, http://www.aacnnursing.org/CCNE.

Concentrations in Environmental Health and Occupational Health, in the School of Public Health are accredited by the American Board for Engineering and Technology, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202, 410-347-7700.

The undergraduate program in Athletic Training in the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, 2201 Double Creek Drive, Suite 5006, Round Rock, TX 78664, 512-733-9700, http://www.caate.net.

Foods and Nutrition, the Didactic Program in Dietetics in the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences is approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606, 800-877-1600, http://www.eatright.org.