Undergraduate Catalog Rights

Definition:This policy defines catalog rights in relation to graduation requirements.
Authority:Title V, Section 40401.
Scope:All CSUSM undergraduate students.
Responsible Division:Academic Affairs
Approval Date:02/25/2010
Implementation Date:08/24/2010
Originally Implemented:08/24/2010
Signature Page/PDF:View Signatures for Undergraduate Catalog Rights Policy


Procedure

I. ELECTION OF GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS AND CATALOG RIGHTS FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

A student may elect to meet the graduation requirements in effect:

  1. at the time the student began his/her college program at any one of the California State University (CSU) campuses or California Community Colleges,
  2. when the student entered the CSU campus from which s/he intends to graduate,
  3. at the time the student applies for graduation or at the time the student graduates from CSU San Marcos,
  4. at the time the student declares or changes his/her Major/Concentration/Option/Track/Minor, or
  5. at the time changes in Major or Minor requirements are found to affect the student.

By choosing the catalog term(s) [year and semester] for the graduation requirements, a student is claiming his/her catalog rights.

There are three types of graduation requirements:

  1. General University Requirements: Total Units; Campus Residency; GPA; US History, Constitution and American Ideals; Writing Requirement; Language Other Than English; Computer Competency;
  2. General Education Requirements: Lower-Division Areas A-E, Upper-Division BB, CC, DD; and
  3. Major or (optional) Minor Requirements.

A student's catalog terms may or may not be the same for all three types, as described below in Sections II and III.

As long as a student maintains continuous attendance at CSU San Marcos, or a combination of CSU campuses and California Community Colleges, his/her catalog rights are protected, and thus his/her catalog term(s) for the  graduation requirements listed above, are protected. See Section VI for the definition of continuous attendance.

II. TYPICAL CIRCUMSTANCE FOR TRANSFER STUDENTS

Transfer students attending a California Community College follow requirements in effect at the beginning of their study at a community college for General University and General Education. But the catalog rights (and thus the catalog term) for the Major or (optional) Minor are established when the Major or Minor is declared at CSU San Marcos; and, at that time, the student may also select the catalog term for General University and General Education requirements to be the same as that of the Major or Minor requirements.

III.  SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES FOR MAJOR AND (OPTIONAL) MINOR REQUIREMENTS

A. Discontinued/Modified Courses

If a student is following an earlier version of a Major/Minor in which his/her department has discontinued or modified required courses, the department will authorize appropriate substitutions.

B. Changes in the Curriculum

If the Major/Minor requirements change, a student may select the catalog term for Major/Minor requirements in effect at the time the student requests the change. The student may also select the catalog term for General University and General Education requirements to be the same as that of the Major or Minor requirements.

C. Changing the Major/Concentration/Option/Track/Minor

If while enrolled, a student declares or changes his/her Major / Concentration / Option / Track / Minor, the student may select the catalog term for the Major or Minor requirements in effect at the time of the declaration or change. The student may also select the catalog term for General University and General Education requirements to be the same as that of the Major or Minor requirements.

IV. GRADUATING STUDENTS

Regardless of the previously declared catalog term(s), when a student applies for graduation, s/he may select the catalog term for any of the graduation requirements in effect (1) at the time the student applies for graduation or (2) at the time the student graduates. 

V. CONTINUOUS ATTENDANCE AND OUT-ONE TERM FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

A. Continuous Attendance

Continuous attendance/enrollment, as it refers to attendance by a student at any campus of The California State University, means enrollment in at least one course for at least one regular semester in each calendar year.  Absence due to an approved educational leave or for attendance at another accredited institution of higher learning shall not be considered an interruption in attendance, if the absence does not exceed two years. 

B. Out One Term

An "out one term" for an undergraduate student is a regular semester (either spring or fall) of any calendar year in which s/he does not enroll in any course or drops all courses by the end of the add/drop period, and which immediately follows a semester in which s/he was enrolled in at least one course beyond the add/drop period.  A student maintains catalog rights during the out-one term. After exhausting the "out one term" allowance, if a student does not enroll and attend the subsequent term, the student must reapply for admission and may forfeit catalog rights, unless the student is granted an Educational Leave of Absence. Absence due to an approved educational leave shall not be considered an interruption in attendance if the absence does not exceed two years.