Academic Programs

Frequently Asked Questions for Undergraduate Students

What is General Education?

Photo of a student in a lecture hall.

The Cal State East Bay General Education (G.E.) Program is designed so that, taken with the major depth program and electives, it will assure that graduates have made measurable progress toward becoming truly educated persons for a diverse society. Particularly, the purpose of the General Education Program is to provide means whereby graduates:

  • achieve the ability to think clearly and logically, to find information and examine it critically, to communicate orally and in writing, and to reason quantitatively;
  • acquire appreciable knowledge about their own bodies and minds, about how human society has developed and how it now functions, about the physical world in which they live, about the other forms of life with which they share that world, and about the cultural endeavors and legacies of their civilizations;
  • come to an understanding and appreciation of the principles, methodologies, value systems, and thought processes employed in human inquiries;
  • come to understand and appreciate the contributions to knowledge and civilization that members of diverse cultural groups and women have made.

What is a baccalaureate degree?

A baccalaureate degree, often called a bachelor's degree, is the academic title that the university confers upon you after you have successfully completed a minimum number of college credit units (180 quarter units at Cal State East Bay), including certain specified patterns of coursework (for example, General Education, a major) and a minimum number of advanced units (60 upper division) with a grade point average of at least 2.00 (on a 4.00 point scale), and various other requirements specified in Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. Some students in higher unit majors will complete more than the minimum 180 units for their degree. Cal State East Bay offers three baccalaureate degrees, a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree, a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. The degree awarded appears on your diploma and permanent record.

What is a major?

A major is a specified pattern of courses in a particular discipline or group of disciplines. It complements G.E. by allowing you to specialize in one area, to study it in more depth than the one or two courses taken for G.E. in other disciplines. 

What is an option?

An option is a prescribed pathway through a major which allows for emphasis on a particular segment of the discipline.

What is a minor?

A minor is a coherent program in some field or group of related fields other than the major.

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