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FAQ’s about General Education (IGETC / CSU GE-Breadth)

Is completion of IGETC / CSU GE-Breadth required for admission to the UC or CSU?
No.  Students are not guaranteed admission to any campus on the basis of completing general education coursework. Completion of the lower-division breadth requirements does however may improve a transfer applicant’s chances of admission to a competitive campus and/or program.

Can a course be used to satisfy more than one GE Category?
No. While a course may appear in more than one general education category, it can only be used to satisfy the requirement in one area.

Can a course be used to satisfy both General Education and Major requirements?
Yes. A single course can meet the requirement for both general education and major requirements.

Is there a GPA requirement for the IGETC Pattern?
Yes. IGETC coursework must be completed with a grade of “C” or better. Grades of “Pass” or “Credit” will be accepted when a passing grade is equivalent to a “C” or better. “C-“ grades and “D” grades are not acceptable.

What about the CSU Breadth Pattern?
The CSU GE Breadth requirements stipulate that grades of “C” or better must be achieved in areas A and B4, as well as coursework in 30 of the 39 units of the general education pattern. Grades of “Pass” or “Credit” will be accepted when a passing grade is equivalent to a “C” or better.

Can I use Advanced Placement scores for IGETC or CSU GE-Breadth?
Yes. Official Advanced Placement scores must be received from CollegeBoard for these to be used in either general education pattern. In most instances, scores of “3” or better will be granted course/subject credit. See GWC Catalog for a listing of AP tests, scores, and approved credit.

Are CSU GE-Breadth and IGETC Certification the same?
No. While similar, there are some key distinctions between the two patterns. IGETC has a foreign language competency requirement that can be met in a variety of ways. Most students will satisfy this requirement with either two years of high school foreign language with grades of “C” or better, or one semester of foreign language at the college level.

The CSU GE-Breadth requirements include an oral communications course, as well as the graduation requirement of U.S. History, Constitution, and American Ideals. This graduation requirement can be met at the community college and can be included in the general education coursework. 
Additionally, CSU GE-Breadth Certification allows certification of separate GE areas, the

course requirements for all areas of IGETC must be completed and certified by a California community college to be accepted by CSU or UC.

Which General Education Pattern should I choose?
It depends. If you plan on applying to both the UC and CSU, then the IGETC is an appropriate pattern as it meets the requirements for both systems. If you are only seeking transfer to the CSU, then you can follow the CSU GE-Breadth requirements.

Are there exceptions to who will accept IGETC?
Yes. UC Berkeley’s Hass School of Business, and UC San Diego’s Revelle and Roosevelt colleges will not accept IGETC. Please see a counselor regarding the general education requirements for these campuses.

Can I use coursework from any college to meet the IGETC or CSU GE-Breadth requirements?
Yes. A community college can included courses from regionally accredited colleges and universities to meet IGETC requirements if the coursework is evaluated and deemed to be equivalent to that of the community college course.

Is IGETC Certification or CSU GE-Breadth Certification automatic?
No. A student must request certification. At Golden West College, this request for certification is located on the transcript request form.

Can any student complete IGETC or CSU GE-Breadth at the Community College?
Not all students can use IGETC or CSU GE-Breadth to satisfy their general education requirements. A student who entered a UC or CSU as a freshman, is now attending the community college, and plans to return to that same institution may not be eligible for the IGETC or CSU GE-Breadth. Please see a counselor if you have previously attended a UC or CSU and want to return to the same campus.

Major Courses ONLY. Number of units required
varies. A series of special major courses, all related to a particular occupational skill. Offered by community colleges and private educational organizations. This course of study can be helpful in obtaining or upgrading employment.

Associate Degree
Major Courses plus general education courses and electives, 60 units required. Usually referred to


Bachelor’s degree plus graduate courses in a
specialized area. Bachelor’s degree plus 36- 56 units depending on major. Usually referred to as MS (Master of Science) or MA (Master of Arts) degree. This degree normally requires two additional years of full-time study after completion of bachelor’s degree.

Doctorate Degree
Advanced training beyond a bachelor’s or master’s


The Bachelor of Arts Degree

Golden West College
Fresh/Soph
Min. units 60 - Max. units 70


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as an AA (Associate of Arts) or an AS (Associate of
Science) degree. Normally requires 2 years of full time study but may take longer.

Bachelor’s Degree
Major Courses plus general education and electives,
120- 132 total units required. Usually referred to as a BA (bachelor of arts) or BS (bachelor of science) degree. Normally requires 4-5 years of full-time study. Students may complete the Freshman and Sophomore years (lower division) at a community college and then transfer to a 4-year university for Junior and Senior (upper division) courses.

degree. Units vary, depending on field of study.
Usually referred to as Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Education (Ed.D.). Normally requires three to five additional years of full-time work after completion of Master’s Degree.

Professional Degree

Professional degrees are advanced degrees in fields like dentistry, ministry, law, medicine, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine. These degrees are earned after