Components of the Degree
The General Education and All-University Requirements (GEAR) component requires a minimum of 48 units. Some of these units may simultaneously satisfy major, minor, or Diversity and Common Ground (DCG) requirements. General Education (GE) courses meet CSU breadth requirements.
Students may elect to take approved GEAR courses offered by their major department.
General Education (GE)
Students must complete a minimum of 48 units in approved GE courses with the subject area distribution described below. Some of these units may simultaneously satisfy major, minor, or Diversity and Common Ground (DCG) requirements. General Education (GE) courses meet CSU breadth requirements and help students meet the goals of the bachelor’s degree program. The following GE requirements are in effect for students entering Cal Poly Humboldt with a catalog year of 2021-22 or later.
GE requirements cannot be waived and other Cal Poly Humboldt courses cannot be substituted for approved GE courses. To fulfill a particular requirement, a course must be completed during the academic year in which the GE status is designated in the catalog. Courses that address outcomes of more than one GE Area A-F, can only be used to satisfy one of those areas.
Lower Division GE Component
Area A: English Language Communication and Critical Thinking requires 9 semester units, with one course (3 units) in each subarea: Oral Communication, Written Communication, and Critical Thinking. Area A courses must be completed with a C- or better. Written Communication is recommended for the freshman year. The Area A requirement must be completed by the time a student earns 60 units. Transfer students who come to Cal Poly Humboldt with more than 30 units must complete these courses by the time they earn 30 units at Cal Poly Humboldt.
Area B: Math and Science requires 9 semester units, with one course each in subarea: Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning (B4), Physical Science (B1), Life Science (B2), and a laboratory activity (B3) related to one of the completed science courses. The math portion of Area B must be completed with a C- or better. It is recommended for the student’s freshman year and must be completed no later than the junior year (before reaching 60 units).
Area C: Arts & Humanities requires 9 semester units, with at least one course completed in each of the two subareas Arts (C1) and Humanities (C2).
Area D: Social Sciences requires 6 semester units, Courses must be completed in at least 2 different disciplines.
Area E: Lifelong Learning and Self-Development requires 3 semester units of study at the lower-division level.
Area F: Ethnic Studies requires 3 semester units at the lower or upper division level.
Upper Division GE Component
Upper division GE courses build upon knowledge and abilities developed in lower division GE courses. Students must complete 9 semester units, with 3 units in each area: B: Math & Science, C: Arts & Humanities, and D: Social Sciences taken no sooner than the semester during which they will attain junior status (earned 60 units).
The California State University requires every student receiving a baccalaureate degree to be knowledgeable about the Constitution of the United States, American history, and state and local government. Students must complete 6 units, with one course (3 units) in each subarea: US Government and U.S. History.
Although the American Institutions requirement is separate from general education, one course can be applied to GE Area D or F. Regardless of whether a lower or upper division American Institutions course is applied to GE, it will count for lower division GE, not upper division GE.
Diversity & Common Ground (DCG)
Students must complete at least two DCG courses (6 units); one of these courses must be designated domestic (focused within the boundaries of the United States); the second course may either be domestic or international/transnational (non-domestic) in focus.
All-University requirements cannot be waived and other Cal Poly Humboldt courses cannot be substituted for approved American Institutions and DCG courses. To fulfill these requirements, a course must be completed during the academic year in which its All-University status is designated in the catalog.
The major component of the undergraduate degree provides a depth of study. Major programs listed in this catalog are approved by Cal Poly Humboldt and the CSU. Students are required to declare a major by the time they earn 45 units.
A Bachelor of Arts Degree requires a major with a minimum of 33 semester units. At least 12 semester units in the major must be upper division courses or their equivalent.
A Bachelor of Science Degree requires a major with a minimum of 36 semester units. At least 18 semester units in this major must be upper division courses or their equivalent.
A Bachelor of Fine Arts degree requires a major with a maximum of 70 semester units with at least one-fourth of these units devoted to theory and content as distinguished from studio, production, and performance.
Grade Point Average
A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better is required in all work taken for the degree, all work taken at Cal Poly Humboldt, and all work taken in the major.
Students must earn a minimum of 30 units in regular courses at Cal Poly Humboldt. Of those 30 units, 24 must be upper division, and 12 of the upper division units must be in the major. All students must earn at least 9 units of general education at Cal Poly Humboldt. None of these resident course units may be satisfied through extension, (24 units of Open University courses excepted), or credit earned through examination.
Unit Requirements & Limitations
The baccalaureate degrees, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Fine Arts, (B.F.A.) require a minimum of 120 semester units.
In certain kinds of courses, only a limited number of units apply toward graduation requirements. The maximum number of units of each type that will apply toward a bachelor’s degree are as follows:
- 24 semester units of extension or correspondence courses (These may not count toward the residency requirement)
- 24 semester units of Open University / Special Session courses
- no more than 70 semester units earned at a regionally accredited community college may be applied toward the 120 unit requirement for graduation.
- 6 units earned in intercollegiate athletics
- 2 units of intramural courses
- Courses used to fulfill major requirements may not be taken on an optional credit/no credit basis. No more than 24 semester units of credit/no credit (mandatory and/or optional) taken at Cal Poly Humboldt will count toward a bachelor’s degree.
Open University is not available to matriculated students (those officially admitted to and eligible to register at Cal Poly Humboldt during the current semester or the previous two semesters). Regularly enrolled students who are academically disqualified from the university are not eligible to enroll in coursework through Extended Education and Global Engagement for an academic year.
Minors & Electives
Students choose elective courses (outside of specific degree requirements) to pursue individual goals and interests, complete a minor or to fulfill total unit requirements for the degree. Most Cal Poly Humboldt courses may be taken as electives.
A minor is not required for graduation except when included in the requirements for a major. Many students find a minor complements their studies and enhances their career opportunities. The minor is similar to the major but less comprehensive, consisting of 15-30 units, with at least 6 units at the upper division level. A GPA of 2.0 (C) or better is required. Courses used for a minor can also be used for general education. Students may add, drop or change their minor using the Declare or Update Minor e-form.
Students are generally prohibited from earning a major and minor from the same degree program. Exceptions can be made in major and minor combinations in which:  at least 9 units required for the minor are not already required for the major. In cases where there are “concentrations” within the major, a student must take the concentration such that at least 9 units for the minor are not counted towards the requirements for the major, and  the major and minor must have different titles.
A minor must be completed in conjunction with a degree or credential program. A minor cannot be posted if completed after the degree has been awarded. Minors are recorded on the student’s transcript. Diplomas do not list minors.
Students who transfer to Cal Poly Humboldt from a California Community College, and who have followed the approved CSU or IGETC general education pattern, may satisfy up to 39 semester units of GE with transfer coursework. Transfer students from accredited private or non-California colleges will have their transfer courses applied to GE through individual review of transcripts.
Send transcripts of all previous work to the Office of Admissions. A Degree Audit Report for Students (DARS) will be made available at the time of orientation or initial enrollment that indicates how courses taken elsewhere apply to Humboldt’s all-university requirements (general education, American institutions, diversity and common ground, unit minimums and limits, etc.) and in many cases, the major program. The DARS report also reflects Cal Poly Humboldt courses completed and in progress, and is available to enrolled students whose first term of enrollment was fall 2003 or later.
Students who have completed an Associate Degree for Transfer under the Student Achievement Reform (STAR) Act should check with the Office of the Registrar to determine whether Cal Poly Humboldt offers the parallel bachelor’s degree.
A minimum of 9 units of GE coursework must be completed in residence (i.e. at Cal Poly Humboldt) to satisfy the residency requirement.
GEAR Program Learning Outcomes
The GEAR program learning outcomes are organized into three categories. Upon completion of the GEAR program, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate emergent skills and dispositions necessary for lifelong learning and self-development.
- Locate, evaluate, and employ information effectively and ethically for a wide range of purposes.
- Critically evaluate issues, ideas, artifacts, and evidence.
- Develop and express ideas effectively in writing.
- Effectively communicate orally for informational, persuasive, and expressive purposes.
- Demonstrate knowledge of broad college-level quantitative concepts and apply mathematical or statistical methods to describe, analyze, and solve problems in context.
- Apply scientific methods and models to draw quantitative and qualitative conclusions about the physical and natural world.
- Transform materials, ideas, or solutions into new forms through creative expression, innovative thinking and making, risk taking, or problem solving.
- Analyze literary, philosophical, historical, or artistic works and explain their cultural and/or historical significance and context.
- Analyze concepts, research methods, and theories pertaining to one or more of disciplines of the social sciences.
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of the history of the US, and its structures of constitutional government, as a foundation for civic participation at all levels.
- Apply knowledge produced by voices and perspectives of marginalized communities to analyze systems of power and privilege and identify strategies for creating just and equitable societies.
- Describe how the resilience, sustainability, and conservation of ecological systems is a foundation of the functions of the natural world and/or economies.
- Articulate how a resilient future interfaces with the development of just and equitable societies, economies, environmental protection, and/or resource management at the local, national, and/or global levels.
Guidelines for Completing Graduation Requirements in Four Years
- In general, 15 units per semester each fall and spring semester leads to graduation in four years.
- Declare a major at the time of admission or during your first semester. A change of major may increase the time to degree.
- Build your four-year plan with DARS Degree Planner. Review your DARS Audit to see all completed, in progress and outstanding degree requirements.
- Satisfactorily complete a minimum of 30 semester units per year, as required to complete your bachelor’s degree. Maintain a grade point average of 2.0 or better.
- Meet with your assigned academic advisor to review your DARS degree plan each semester.
- Apply for graduation at least three semesters prior to graduation.
- Participate in early registration each semester, and refrain from withdrawing and/or taking educational leaves
Second Bachelor’s Degree (for post-baccalaureate students only)
All undergraduate units and post-baccalaureate units are counted in computing overall units and grade point average. Candidates should apply for graduation early in order to receive a complete evaluation of their progress toward the second degree.
To earn a second bachelor’s degree at Humboldt, a student must complete at least 30 semester units in residence at Cal Poly Humboldt beyond the requirements of the first degree*. Of these units, 24 must be upper division, and at least 12 of the upper division units must be included in the major.
Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the major and 2.0 in all units attempted at Cal Poly Humboldt since the awarding of the last degree. A higher GPA may be required for some majors.
*For students in the RN to BSN major who have already earned a baccalaureate degree, the residency requirement is reduced to 27 semester units (Title 5, Section 40403).
Honors for second-baccalaureate degree candidates. When computing grade point averages for honors purposes, all undergraduate units from Cal Poly Humboldt and transfer colleges will be considered, plus the Cal Poly Humboldt post-baccalaureate units.
A student may not concurrently earn two bachelor’s degrees; for information on pursuing two majors, please see Academic Policies: Double Major .
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