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The Language Other Than English Requirement (LOTER) is a University graduation requirement that is specific to CSUSM. Beginning with the Fall 2019 catalog year, it will no longer be a University graduation requirement for an undergraduate degree.

Students graduating through Summer 2019

You must complete LOTER in a way listed on this website. 

If avoiding the LOTER is more important than getting an August degree, students may apply in early fall for a December graduation without the LOTER. Important notes:

  • Students who are taking CSUSM classes in EITHER Spring 2019 OR Fall 2019 don't have to do anything else.
  • Students who are not taking CSUSM classes in BOTH Spring 2019 AND Fall 2019 must also file a Leave of Absence for Fall 2019, to keep their previous catalog rights.  Students should hand-write in "LOTER" as their reason for the LOA.

Continuing CSUSM students graduating Fall 2019 or later and who have declared their major prior to Fall 2019

You do not have a LOTER. It has been waived in your ARR and Degree Planner.

Exception: Global Studies Majors still have their fourth-semester language requirement, no matter when they entered/declared.

Students who expect to be enrolled Fall 2019, but whose LOTER has not yet been waived by the university, will have LOTER waived no later than the start of the Fall 2019 semester, if still enrolled in an undergraduate degree program.

FAQs, updates, and details for Fall 2019 continuing students.

Contact Advisor Hilary Taylor with any questions, at 760-750-4197 or .

Incoming CSUSM students Fall 2019 and Continuing students who change/add/declare major Fall 2019 or later

Only the following CSUSM Majors, all of which are within the College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences (CHABSS), require intermediate-level (3rd-semester) proficiency starting Fall 2019. That requirement will be built into the major, so even if the sequence is started from the 1st-semester class because the students hasn't met any prerequisites, all nine units fit within the major without adding any additional units.  All language classes are 3 units each. Details are not yet confirmed, but the requirement will look almost identical to the former university-wide LOTER.
Note: No other Colleges or Majors have a foreign-language requirement, as of Fall 2019. 
  • American Indian Studies
  • Anthropology, with options in:
    • Medical
    • Indigenous
  • Arts, Media & Design, with options in:
    • Visual and Performing Arts: Arts & Technology
    • Visual and Performing Arts: Visual Arts
  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Communication
  • Criminology and Justice Studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • Ethnic Studies
  • History
  • Liberal Studies, if doing the option in Border Studies
  • Literature and Writing Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Political Science
  • Psychological Science
  • Social Sciences
  • Sociology,with options in:
    • Criminology
    • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Theatre (new Fall 2019)
  • Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Global Studies in CHABSS will continue to have a 4th-semester proficiency requirement. Even if the sequence is started from the 1st-semester class because the student hasn't met any prerequisites, all 12 units fit within the major with adding any additional units. Native/Heritage Spanish-speaking students should take 301b. Non-native Spanish-speaking students should take SPAN 202 or 301a.
Only these CHABSS Majors will not have any language proficiency requirement starting Fall 2019:
  • Economics
  • Liberal Studies, if not doing the option in Border Studies
  • Music

Contact Advisor Hilary Taylor with any questions, at 760-750-4197 or

Returning, Former Students Who Lost Catalog Rights

Students who left CSUSM some time ago and were not enrolled at another institution continuously may have lost catalog rights to their major and GE requirements, which means there may be new requirements to meet.

Catalog rights describe what needs to be done to graduate CSUSM and are given upon enrollment at CSUSM. For example, a student entering CSUSM in Fall 2013 has "Fall 2013 Catalog Rights". Even if major or GE requirements change later, that student does not have to take those different/additional courses.

A student who has lost catalog rights and who...
a) IS in one of the 19 CHABSS  majors above WILL need to complete a foreign language to graduate.
b) IS NOT in one of the 19 CHABSS majors above WILL NOT need any foreign language to graduate.

A returning student who believes they have completed all graduation requirements with the exception of LOTER should submit an application for graduation for Fall 2019. As part of the review of the application for graduation, the Registrar's Office will:
1) determine the student's appropriate catalog year;
2) review for degree conferral; and
3) either notify the student of any outstanding requirements or graduate the student as of Fall 2019. 

Contact Advisor Hilary Taylor with any questions, at 760-750-4197 or

Transfer Nursing Applicants for Fall 2019 & Fall 2020

The LOTER is still a way to earn additional application points, for Fall 2019 and Fall 2020 transfer student applicants to the traditional nursing program.  Nursing is an impacted program, so we strongly suggest that you do meet the LOTER by the Nursing program's spring deadline, in a way listed on this website. [Note: This does not apply to any other Nursing applicants.]