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American Institutions and Ideals | Policies | CSUSM

American Institutions and Ideals

Definition: The American Institutions and Ideals policy establishes a process for transfer students in programs with excessive degree requirements to demonstrate knowledge of American government and history by examination.
Authority: Executive Order 1065
Scope: Those students who hold transfer associate degrees such that general education requirements would exceed 54 units of lower division coursework (a list of relevant degrees will be published in the catalog/addendum).
Responsible Division: Academic Affairs
Approval Date: 09/05/2012
Originally Implemented: 09/05/2012
Signature Page/PDF: View Signatures for American Institutions and Ideals Policy


All undergraduate students must demonstrate that they have a basic knowledge of American history and that they understand the principles and workings of American government. Students who have completed either an Associate in Arts-Transfer (AA-T) or an Associate in Science-Transfer (AS-T) in specific disciplinary areas may satisfy one or more of the three components of this requirement (U.S. history; U.S. government; and California and local government) by passing an examination. Passage of any component of the examination will satisfy that part of the American Institutions and Ideals requirement, but will not result in any credit being earned. The General Education Committee will review the Transfer Model Curricula that guide the construction of the transfer associate degrees and determine which of these are eligible; the GEC will only approve certification by examination for those transfer associate degrees where it is possible that the holder of a transfer associate degree may be required to take a total of more than 54 units in lower-division major preparation coursework not included in the associate degree, required upper-division coursework, and upper-division General Education coursework (9 units). The list of transfer degrees for which certification by examination is possible will be published in the General Catalog or next Catalog Addendum.