G.E. Requirements for CSU Transfer

In addition to preparing students for specific professional and occupational goals, another purpose of a baccalaureate degree from the CSU is to provide students with a broad education. The CSU emphasizes the importance of the arts and sciences as the foundation of the baccalaureate degree and, therefore, requires all students, regardless of major, to complete a program of general education (GE) as part of the baccalaureate degree.

The GE program consists of both lower-division and upper-division coursework. De Anza offers GE coursework at the lower-division level.  California community college students  have two system-wide options - CSUGE and IGETC - that will satisfy CSU lower-division GE requirements prior to transfer.

At DAC, there are several pathways that may fulfill the GE requirements for CSU transfer:

  • California State University General Education-Breadth (CSUGE)
  • Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
  • CSU Campus-Specific General Education-Breadth 

    The CSUGE is a pattern of lower-division GE requirements that is accepted by all CSU campuses. The CSUGE may be a suitable option for students who plan to transfer to CSU but may not know which campus they will attend or which major they will pursue.

    Students must complete specified courses in the following subject areas:

    • Area A:  English Language Communication and Critical Thinking (12-15 quarter units)
    • Area B:  Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning (12-15 quarter units)
    • Area C:  Arts and Humanities (12-15 quarter units)
    • Area D:  Social Sciences (8 quarter units)
    • Area E:  Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (4-5 quarter units)
    • Area F:  Ethnic Studies (4 quarter units)*

    * Students with fall 2021 or later catalog rights are required to complete Area F for full CSUGE certification.  Those with catalog rights prior to fall 2021 are not required to complete Area F, but 12-15 quarter units from Area D (from at least 2 disciplines) are required for full certification if Area F is not completed.  For purposes of this section, continuous enrollment is defined as attendance in at least one semester or two quarters per calendar year at a CSU or CCC or a combination of the two. (Title §40401)  Dually enrolled high school students do not have catalog rights for this purpose.

    DAC students who have completed some, but not all, of the CSUGE subject areas prior to enrolling at the CSU may request “Subject Area Certification” from DAC.


    IGETC is a pattern of lower-division GE requirements that is accepted at all UC as well as CSU campuses. The entire IGETC pattern should be completed prior to transfer. Students must complete specified courses in the subject areas of:

    • Area 1:  English Communication (10-14 quarter units)
    • Area 2:  Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning (4-5 quarter units)
    • Area 3:  Arts and Humanities (12-15 quarter units)
    • Area 4:  Social and Behavioral Sciences (12-15 quarter units)
    • Area 5:  Physical and Biological Sciences (9-12 quarter units)
    • Area 6:  Language Other Than English Proficiency (UC Requirement Only)

    Area 6:  Language Other Than English - LOTE (UC Requirement Only)
    Transfer students to the UC who intend to fully certify IGETC are required to demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English equal to two years of high school study. There are several methods students at DAC may use to demonstrate proficiency for the purpose of fulfilling the LOTE requirement on IGETC.

  • CSU Campus-Specific GE

    Most CSU campuses require students to complete a minimum of 45 quarter (30 semester) units of the CSUGE or the IGETC. As part of the 45 quarter units of GE course work required for admission, all transfer applicants must complete three (3) courses in the English language (oral communication, English composition and critical thinking) and one math course which has intermediate algebra as a prerequisite. Completion and certification of all lower-division GE course work prior to transfer is usually the most efficient path towards graduation from CSU.

    However, a few high-unit majors (e.g engineering and science majors) have so many lower-division requirements that it may not be possible to complete all of the lower-division GE before transfer. Students interested in such majors should focus on completing as many major preparation courses as possible and meeting the minimum CSU transfer admission requirements. A few CSU campuses will allow students in high-unit majors to take fewer GE courses prior to transfer but it is important to keep in mind that, ultimately, these GE requirements will need to be completed later in order to graduate from the CSU.

Reminder about GE Certification

Students must request that GE certification (either CSUGE^ or IGETC) be sent directly to the four-year transfer institution that they will be attending. Upon enrolling in final required courses and receiving conditional admissions to the university, students may submit the General Education Certification Request Form to the DAC Admissions and Records Office.  For students planning to use AP, CLEP, and IB exam credit to satisfy CSUGE^ or IGETC requirements, all necessary documentation (i.e. transcripts, AP, CLEP, and IB scores) must be received and evaluated by DAC prior to a request for GE certification. The certification process may be delayed if transcripts/exams have not been previously and officially evaluated.


CSUGE Breadth

Students may earn general education credits by taking a CSU-accepted external examination in place of a course. Standardized external examinations including Advanced Placement (AP)International Baccalaureate (IB), and College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) may be used to satisfy CSUGE Breadth subject area requirements.


Standardized external examinations including Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) may be used to satisfy IGETC subject area requirements. Credit for College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) cannot be used on IGETC.

For students who do not certify IGETC or fully certify CSUGE^, each CSU campus will determine how to apply credit from external examinations toward major preparation or its local degree and GE-Breadth requirements. Consult the CSU campus catalog or contact a CSU campus admissions office to confirm transfer credit for AP and IB exams.

NOTE:  All AP or IB exam reports must be received and officially evaluated by DAC prior to a request for GE certification (see processes below). The certification process may be delayed if exam reports have not been previously evaluated.

Advanced Placement (AP) - Official reports must be sent to the DAC Admissions and Records Office directly from The College Board in order to apply.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) – Official reports must be sent to the DAC Admissions and Records Office directly from The College Board in order to apply.

International Baccalaureate (IB) – Official reports must be sent to the DAC Admissions and Records Office directly from the International Baccalaureate Organization in order to apply.

DISCLAIMER:  Information provided is subject to change without notice. The final responsibility for successful transfer rests with the student. The information posted on this website is designed to assist students in obtaining the most accurate transfer-related information possible. However, this information is subject to change without notice, which may subsequently impact admission to a transfer college or university.

Students are encouraged to meet as early as possible in their academic careers and periodically with a DAC counselor or academic adviser to develop a Student Education Plan and with a transfer college or university admissions representative to confirm their choice of classes.

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