Terms to Know

Click a term below, or scroll down to browse:
Class Standing | Course Numbering | General Education | Grade Point Average | Impacted Major | Preparation For The Major | Prerequisite | Unit | 24-Hour Clock

Class Standing

  • Freshman—has earned 0 to 29 semester units
  • Sophomore—has earned 30 to 59 semester units
  • Junior—has earned 60 to 89 semester units
  • Senior—has earned 90 semester units or more

Course Numbering

  • 100–299 are lower division (freshmen and sophomores)
  • 300–599 are upper division (juniors and seniors)

General Education(GE)

General Education provides you with multiple sets of skills, perspectives and knowledge. GE will give you a breadth of understanding that will help you make an effective contribution to society. GE consists of 49 units divided into four sections. See the colored pages of your General Catalog.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

To compute the GPA, the total number of grade points is divided by the number of units attempted. Four averages, each 2.0 or higher, are required for graduation. To meet impacted major requirements, your GPA must be much higher than 2.0.

  • SDSU GPA: An average based on all courses attempted at SDSU.
  • Cumulative GPA: An average based on all courses attempted at SDSU and transferable courses at other universities, liberal arts colleges, and community colleges.
  • Major GPA: An average based on all upper division courses attempted in the major department and upper division courses required for the major but taught outside the major department.
  • Minor GPA: An average based on all units applicable to a minor.

Impacted Major

All majors at SDSU have more students wanting to declare that major than can be accommodated. This is called "impaction." Freshmen and transfers admitted to impacted majors are placed in a premajor. See the General Catalog and your major department for impacted major requirements.

Preparation For The Major

Major preparation courses are lower-division courses intended to prepare you for the upper-division courses required in your major. You will take these courses during the first two years of your studies as you complete your General Education. Some major preparation courses can also count toward GE requirements.


Students must satisfy course or exam prerequisites prior to beginning some courses.


A unit represents 50 minutes of class time per week during a semester. Most courses count for 3 units, but they may range from 1 to 6 units each.

A 3-unit lecture class can meet:

  • Three days a week for 50 minutes
  • Two days a week for 75 minutes
  • One evening a week for 150 minutes

The minimum number of units required for a bachelor's degree ranges from 120 to 140. The exact number depends on your major.

24-Hour Clock—Class Time Conversion Table

In converting from a 12-hour clock to a 24-hour clock, the minutes are unchanged but 12 is added to the hour from 1:00 p.m. on; for example, 1:15 p.m. is 1315. Following are some of the corresponding hours:

12 Hour Clock 24 Hour Clock
8:00 a.m. 0800
9:00 a.m. 0900
10:00 a.m. 1000
11:00 a.m. 1100
12:00 p.m. 1200
1:00 p.m. 1300
2:00 p.m. 1400
12 Hour Clock 24 Hour Clock
3:00 p.m. 1500
4:00 p.m. 1600
5:00 p.m. 1700
6:00 p.m. 1800
7:00 p.m. 1900
8:00 p.m. 2000
9:00 p.m. 2100