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Course Numbering and Credit Definitions

CSUSM academic credit courses are “measured” in semester units. Academic credit represents a measure of time, with one unit of credit equivalent to 15 fifty-minute hours of instruction. University courses offered through Extended Learning and numbered in the 300s, 400s, 500s and 600s are drawn from the regular upper-division and graduate curricula of the University (600-level courses are designed for graduate students specifically).

Special Sessions

A prefix of “E” before the course number indicates that it was taken through Extended Learning as a “Special Session” course. A maximum of 24 semester-units of credit earned in such courses may be accepted in a baccalaureate degree program and six semester-units toward master’s programs at CSUSM.

Extension Credit Courses

Extended Learning professional development courses, (those numbered 1000 or above), are developed to meet special needs of groups or communities, particularly teachers. These classes confer extension credit, denoting an investment of time and accomplishment comparable to that required in established University courses. This credit is generally honored by school districts as evidence of professional advancement for salary increments/increases on the pay scale.


The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is a nationally recognized unit of measurement for a variety of noncredit programs applying toward re-licensure, promotion or career advancement. CEU credit is not applicable toward degrees, credentials or credential renewal. Some re-licensing boards may require that renewal information be expressed in Continuing Education Contact Hours (CECH). Ten Continuing Education Contact Hours are equivalent to one Continuing Education Unit. Each hour of instruction equals one CECH or .1 CEU.