To view term specific dates and enrollment times, select the semester or term in the
left navigation menu. Should you have questions or need more information, please
call the Office of the Registrar during business hours at 760-750-4814 or email the registrar.
Enrolling the Cougar Way
Visit the Degree Planner website for guided videos and step-by-step instructions on how to enroll the Cougar way. You can also check out the Academic Advising website for more enrollment tips!
Unit Load FAQ
Glossary of Terms and Phrases
Full-time: The term “full-time” has different meanings for different purposes.
- For enrollment status at CSUSM, full-time is defined as taking 12 or more units in
a semester for undergraduates.
- For fees and tuition calculation at CSUSM, an undergraduate student is required to
pay full-time fees when enrolled in 7 or more units.
- For financial aid eligibility, full-time status for undergraduates is defined as 12
or more units. For more information, visit the Financial Aid website.
- For international undergraduate students, the U.S. government requires students using
F-1 and J-1 visas to register and complete at least 12 units to maintain status.
- For Veterans Affairs (VA) educational benefits, the VA defines full-time as being
enrolled in 12 or more units in a semester for undergraduates. For more information,
contact Veterans Services.
“Graduate On Time”: Each student must determine what graduating “on time” means to them. For those who
desire to graduate in four years, a unit-load of 15 units per semester or 30 units
per academic year would be required.
Register/Enroll: The process for signing up for classes. These words may be used interchangeably.
Unit: The measure of credit each course is assigned is based on the amount of time a student
should devote to the course each week. For example, a unit of academic credit equates
to one hour of classroom/laboratory time and two to three hours of preparation each
week. Therefore, a 15-unit course load requires 45 to 60 hours of time each week.
Unit-load: The number of units a student is taking in any given semester.
How many units do I need to take each semester to graduate in four years?
If you are on a four-year plan starting as a first-year, first-time-in-college student,
you need to complete 30 units per academic year or 15 units each during fall and spring
semesters. Please note that changing your major and/or adding a major and/or minor,
may affect your graduation date.
I want to complete 30 units/year, but can only take 12 units/semester. What do I do?
If you can only take 12 units during fall and spring semesters, take summer and/or
winter session classes to increase your unit load to 30 units per academic year.
How do I know what requirements I need to fulfill in order to graduate?
There are several different resources that can help you determine what requirements
you need to graduate, including:
- Degree Planner, an interactive online tool that shows requirements for your major, minor (if applicable),
and general education in a recommended sequence using information from your student
record. It even recognizes the courses you've already taken at CSUSM, test credit,
transfer credit, course substitutions, and prerequisites to recommend an education
plan designed just for you!
- Academic Requirement Report, a report and evaluation tool, tracks the completion of all degree requirements in
one document. Students can access notes and reminders from their academic advisor
and graduation auditors. Found in your online student center at MyCSUSM.
- Major and Minor worksheets – these documents are meant to be used for reference only and to assist you in determining
what courses you need to take to graduate in a particular major or minor.
- GE worksheets – these documents are meant to be used for reference only and to assist you in determining
what general education courses you need.
- Your Academic Advisor
What is the difference between an Academic Advisor and a Faculty Advisor?
An academic advisor is a professional staff member who is trained in the complex details of CSUSM's academic,
general education and University requirements and can provide accurate and specific
advice about academic requirements.
A faculty advisor is a faculty member from your major or minor department who can provide in-depth
advice about that program’s curriculum as well as advice about course choices, career
paths, and preparation for graduate or professional study.
Will my graduation be delayed if I change my major and/or add a double major?
If you decide to change your major and/or add a double major, it is important for
you to know that your graduation date will likely be delayed. It is recommended that
you meet with your academic advisor or go to the "What If Plan" in your online student
How can I make an appointment to meet with my advisor?
Academic Advising is divided by college at Cal State San Marcos. Visit http://www.csusm.edu/academicadvising/colleges/index.html to reach the correct academic advising office for your major.
Visit the department website and/or contact the department administrative coordinator
for information about faculty advisors, including office hours.
How do I find out what community college classes are transferable to CSUSM?
ASSIST.org is an online student-transfer information system website that shows how
course credits earned at one public California college or university can be applied
when transferred to another. ASSIST is the official repository of articulation for
California’s public colleges and universities and provides the most accurate and up-to-date
information about student transfer in California.
If I fail a class, can I repeat it?
Yes you can repeat a failed class, but there are limits. Please see the Undergraduate Course Repeat Policy.
If I fail a class, can I still graduate in four years?
If you fail a class, it may still be possible to graduate in four years, depending
on several factors. Connect with your academic advisor to create an updated academic
Can I take 15 units a semester even if I work a full-time job?
It is possible to take 15 units a semester if you work full-time; however, we expect
that for every unit that you are registered, you commit two to three hours of time
per week, including class time to your studies. Therefore, a 15-unit load implies
a 45 to 60-hour-a-week commitment to class and study.
Personalized Academic Success Services (PASS) works with students to assess each student’s situation holistically to provide appropriate
support and resources (on-campus or in the community) to help students achieve academic
and personal success.
Note, if you are in any of the following programs, please see your program counselor/advisor
instead of PASS for individual assistance. However, workshops offered through PASS
are available for all CSUSM students:
Search for Courses
Search for available classes by course, times, days, instructors, course number, locations,
Please note, several sections have seats reserved for students with the course as
a major/minor requirement. Any remaining seats will be open to all students during
the schedule adjustment period.
Online Course Material
Many professors make course containers available to students in Cougar Courses. After
you have officially enrolled in a course, wait 24 hours, and then check for your course
in Cougar Courses. Please note your course will only be listed if your professor has
made the course visible to student view.
Looking for Online Classes?
Go to the Class Search and follow the below instructions.
- Select the correct Term in the drop down menu.
- Click on “Additional Search Criteria,” which will then display more options for you
to choose from.
- Click on the drop down on “Mode of Instruction” (second option from the bottom)
- In the drop down menu, select “On Line”
- Click the search button.
You may select more criteria in these options, such as Subject or Course Number, to
narrow down your search as well.