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Enrollment Tutorial

Welcome to Academic Advising

Fall 2023 Admits
This Tutorial will be updated on June 5, 2023 for new incoming students. 

This Tutorial is designed to ensure you have and understand the courses/requirements needed to graduate from CSUSM, as well as the tools 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 acknowledgment form at the end of the Tutorial so we know you have completed it!
  • Course enrollment does not take place at Orientation.
  • New students are invited to join an Enroll the Cougar Way Workshop to learn how to enroll in classes in CSUSM.

    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. A maximum of 70 community college units may be applied towards the 120 unit requirement.

    • Component 2: General Education Requirements

      General Education requirements are referred to as Areas A through F. 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. Nursing majors will take NURS 210 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 video below will walk you through the process for enrolling in your first semester classes.  

    Additional Enrollment Resources


    Beginning December 12, 2022, we are offering the following advising services for new students who have completed the Enrollment Tutorial:

    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 iconEmail an Advisor (eAdvisor)

    Email the eAdvisor and an Academic Advisor will answer your question as soon as possible via email

    schedule an appointment  Schedule an Advising Appointment

    Schedule an Appointment - Academic Advising Appointments 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.

    email a peerEmail a Peer Advisor

    Email a Peer Advisor for student to student support on basic questions and help with advising/enrollment tools.

thank you!