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Enrollment Tutorial

Welcome to Academic Advising

This Tutorial is designed to ensure you have and understand the courses/requirements needed to earn your bachelor's degree from CSUSM, as well as the tools needed to identify and self-enroll in your first semester courses. Please complete this Tutorial so you are ready to self-enroll in your classes.

  • Be sure to submit the acknowledgement form at the end of the Tutorial so we know you have completed it!
  • After you have completed the mandatory Tutorial,  you will have ongoing access to Academic Advising services beginning Monday, December 13, 2021.
  • Course enrollment will not take place at Orientation.
  • New student course enrollment begins December 15-17, 2021. 
  • Please join an Enroll the Cougar Way Workshop on December 15 to learn how to enroll is classes in CSUSM.
While you may begin the course enrollment process on your assigned course enrollment date/time, please remember that course enrollment is a process. Finalizing your schedule may continue until the beginning of the Spring 2022 semester and this is normal for many of our majors. Begin your course enrollment on your assigned date and time, enrolling in your Degree Planner suggested courses. 

Click the "plus icon" icon below to expand each section.


    There are 3 components to earning a degree at CSUSM: University Requirements, General Education Requirements and Major and/or Minor Requirements.

    components pie chart

    • Component 1: University Requirements

      Diversity & Equity Requirement:

      Students must satisfy two Diversity and Equity requirements by taking two courses certified for Diversity and Equity in the United States (DEu) and Diversity and Equity in Global Contexts (DEg). Diversity and Equity certified courses can double-count with other general education, major, minor and/or elective courses.

      Minimum Grade Point Average:

      Grades for major and/or minor coursework must be a “C” or higher.
      Students at CSUSM must maintain a 2.0 minimum GPA (“C” average).
      Failure to maintain a 2.0 GPA may result in academic probation or disqualification, even after your first semester!

      Unit Requirement:

      The minimum number of overall units required to graduate at CSUSM is 120 units. After you have completed all of your general education and major requirements, you may still need additional electives to reach 120 units.

    • Component 2: General Education Requirements

      General Education requirements are referred to as Areas A through E. You must complete all subsections of these areas prior to graduation. You can review your GE Requirements on our GE Worksheets, your Academic Requirements Report (ARR) and your Degree Planner.

      Area A: Basic Skills

      A1 – Oral Communication
      A2 – Written Communication
      A3 – Critical Thinking

      Area B: Math & Science

      B1 – Physical Science
      B2 – Biological Science
      B3 – Science Lab
      B4 – Mathematics
      BB – Upper-division Mathematics or Science

      Area C: Arts & Humanities

      C1 – Fine Arts 
      C2 – Humanities
      C3 – Language other than English
      CC – Upper-division Arts or Humanities

      Area D: Social Sciences

      D7 – Interdisciplinary Social Science (only transfer students need to take D7)
      Dh – United States History
      Dc, Dg – U.S. Constitution/CA Government 
      DD – Upper-division Social Science

      Area E: Lifelong Learning

      For Area E, the majority of first year students take GEL 101, a course designed to assist in your transition to university life. We strongly recommend that first year students enroll in GEL 101 in the first semester. Liberal Studies majors should take PE 203 for Area E. 

      Area F: Ethnic Studies

      Only first-time freshmen are required to take an Area F course.

      Notes about your General Education Requirements:

      • A grade of C- or higher is required for courses used to satisfy the A1, A2, A3 and B4. If any general education courses are also counting towards your major and/or minor, a grade of C or higher is required. For Liberal Studies – Elementary Subject Matter majors, all General Education requirements and major courses must be passed with a C or higher. 
      • There are 3 upper-division GE courses listed above (BB, CC, DD). These requirements are not to be taken until after you have completed GE Areas A1, A2, A3 and B4. First year students should not enroll in BB, CC or DD courses in their first semester.
    • Component 3: Major and/or Minor Requirements
      Every major and minor possesses their own particular set of requirements. They are listed in the catalog, major/minor worksheets, Academic Requirement Report and in your Degree Planner.  Your Degree Planner will let you know which classes to take and when. 


    Setting a Pace That's Right for You

    It's important you consider the other factors of your life when selecting your unit load. Different students require different paces, depending on outside obligations. Be sure to set a pace that works best for you.

    First Year Student
    Graduation Goal 
    (entering as a first-year student)
    Units Per Year Units Per Semester
    4  year pace 30 15
    5 year pace 24 12
    6 year pace 20 10
    Transfer Student
    Graduation Goal 
    (entering as an upper-division transfer student)
    Units Per Year Units Per Semester
    2 year pace for ADT students 30 15
    2 year pace for non-ADT 30 15

    Graduate in four years (120 units total). 30 units per year, 15 units per semester.


    Enrolling in Classes:

    Enrollment videos are based on the Full Site view in the Student Center. If you are on a mobile device using the modernized view, you will need to select the Full Site view: Visiting the Student Center in Full Site View (PDF)

    The videos below will walk you through the process for enrolling in your first semester classes.  

    Accessing Your ARR (PDF)

    How To Edit Preferences in Degree Planner (PDF)

    Degree Planner Features (PDF)

    Schedule Assistant Features (PDF)

    Enrollment Instructions: Visual Aid (PDF)

    • Where do I find what classes I need to take?
       Your Academic Requirements Report (ARR) shows you all the requirements needed for graduation.  Your Degree Planner lists your remaining requirements in a suggested semester by semester plan.  Click on the How to Enroll in Classes tab above to find information for how to use your ARR and Degree Planner. 
    • I’m a transfer student and my degree planner is suggesting a class that I’ve already taken. What should I do?

      It is possible that your transfer credit may not yet be posted to your records. Transcripts are entered and posted in priority order based on when you submitted your intent to enroll and when your transcripts were received.  It can take up to three weeks for transcripts to be processed.  

      On rare occasions, students have taken coursework outside of the California Community College system that may meet major specific requirements. If your transfer credit is up-to-date and you have taken courses at another institution that you believe satisfies a major or minor requirement, please submit a Major Course Approval Request  

    • What if classes on my Degree Planner are full?
      If the classes in your degree planner are full, review Still Looking For Classes? for strategies to finalize your schedule
    • How do I waitlist a class?
      1. During the enrollment process or in the Shopping Cart, click on the class to view course details. 
      2. Under Class Preferences, check the Waitlist if Class is Full box. 
      3. Click Next. 
      4. Click Proceed to Step 2 of 3. 
      5. Click Finish Enrolling. 

      Your waitlist position number is displayed in the message. Check My Class Schedule to monitor waitlist position and enrollment status. More info: Waitlisting a Class  

    • How do I know if I’m enrolled or waitlisted in classes?
      In your Student Center, on your enroll screen, you will see a green check if you are enrolled and a yellow triangle if you are waitlisted.  You can also check ‘My Class Schedule’ to see if you are enrolled or waitlisted as well as your position on the waitlist.
    • What important dates do I need to be aware of?
      Important dates for the Spring 2022 semester can be found on our Spring 2022  Enrollment Calendar 
    • How do I know what the class format/mode of instruction means?

      Each class will provide information regarding the mode of instruction or class format. Please visit our page with information on instruction modes and class formats for the Spring 2022 semester.  

      Helpful Hint: Keep in mind, your first goal is to enroll in the Spring 2022 classes suggested by your Degree Planner. Flexibility is key! Not all courses will be offered in your preferred instruction mode.  

    • I'm a transfer student. How do I know what units transferred in?
      You can view your transfer and test credit units in your student center.    
    • Why am I having trouble enrolling in CHEM 150/150L?

      To enroll in CHEM 150 and 150L there must be a seat available in each of the 3 components of the class: Lecture, Activity, and Lab (CHEM 150 L).  If one or more of these components are full, you will not be able to enroll.  Waitlists are being managed by the CHEM Department. But first do your best to enroll in open sections of the Lecture, Activity and Lab.

      To be placed on the waitlist for this course please email Ann Dickinson:

      • Include your name, major, year (freshman, etc.), student ID, and the 5 digit class numbers for the lecture, activity and lab sections which you prefer, and any other sections which can fit into your schedule.   We will make a sincere effort to get you into your preferred section.
      • Continue to check your email regularly as you will be provided permission numbers if a seat can be provided in this course.
      • Being placed on the waitlist does not guarantee enrollment, but gives you the best chance of getting into the course. 
    • Why don't my Asynchronous classes show up on my weekly schedule?

      Asynchronous classes do not have specific meeting times. They will show at the bottom of your weekly schedule but not on a specific time in your weekly calendar.


    Ways to Virtually Connect With Us:

    Beginning December 13, 2021, we are offering the following advising services for new students who have completed the Enrollment Tutorial:

    • Virtual Front Desk

      virtual front deskVirtual Front Desk

      Message the Virtual Front Desk on Microsoft Teams, a public channel to ask general questions and to receive additional enrollment support throughout the day. Please do not share confidential information. Until further notice, in person appointments are not being scheduled.

    • Email an Advisor (eAdvisor)

      Email iconEmail an Advisor (eAdvisor)

      An Academic Advisor will answer your question as soon as possible via email.

    • Drop-in Advising

      virtual drop-ins Virtual Drop-in Advising

      Fifteen-minute virtual Drop-in Advising for incoming Spring 2022 new students will begin December 14, 2021. 

      In order to limit student wait times, please only sign in for drop-ins after you have either completed this entire Enrollment Tutorial.

      New Student Drop-in Hours
      Date Time
      Tuesday, December 14: 9-11:30am & 1:30-3:30pm
      Wednesday, December 15: 9-11:30am & 1:30-3:30pm
      Thursday, December 16: 9-11:30am & 1:30-3:30pm
      Friday, December 17: 9-11:30am

      Signing in:

      1. View instructions (pdf) on how to access Microsoft Teams.
      2. In the Virtual Front Desk, click on the Sign-in Sheet tab at the top of the page to check-in (sign-in sheet)
        (The Sign-in Sheet will be live one hour before each drop-in start time).
      3. Fill out and submit the form to be placed in the queue.
      4. Remain logged in to Microsoft Teams. Academic Advising will connect with you through Microsoft Teams when you are next in line.

      About Drop-ins:

      • Students are seen 1:1 on a first-come, first-served basis, by major.
      • Due to high volume, it may be necessary to close Drop-in Advising early.
      • Drop-in hours are subject to change.
      • Sessions generally last up to 15 minutes 
      • Guests may not accompany a student into their advising session (including teleconference/virtual sessions) without a FERPA Release [Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act]
    • Schedule an Appointment

      schedule an appointment  Schedule a Virtual Advising Appointment

      Thirty-minute Virtual Advising Appointments via Microsoft Teams will be limited because we are also offering Virtual Drop-in Advising.  If you are unable to schedule an appointment, visit us during Virtual Drop-ins. Until further notice, in person appointments are not being scheduled.

    • Email a Peer Advisor

      email a peerEmail a Peer Advisor

      Student to student support for basic questions and help with advising/enrollment tools.

Congratulations, you have almost completed the Enrollment Tutorial! The last step is to submit the acknowledgment form below letting us know that you have reviewed all topics in this tutorial and watched all the videos.  

Fill out my online form.

Thank you!