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Don Nickel - Counseling & Matriculation

The CSU GE Requirements

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Students planning on transferring to the California State University (CSU) should follow the CSU GE pattern. Keep in mind that you do not need to complete the entire pattern before transfer. CSU transfer students must complete 45 units of GE.

The Golden Four Classes

Students must also complete the 'Golden Four' classes - Area A (Oral Communication, Written Communication, and Critical Thinking) and Area B4 (Math) before transfer.

These Golden Four classes are so important that they must be completed with a grade 'C' or better. In fact, there is an area on the CSU application that asks you to list these classes, where you took them, when, and the grade you received.

Complete the Golden Four within a Specific Time Before Transferring

These Golden Four classes must also be completed within a specific time before transfer. For students planning on a fall transfer, they must be completed no later than the previous spring quarter. For students planning on a winter or spring transfer, these classes should be completed no later than the previous summer quarter. Students who complete these courses during the Fall quarter may still be admitted but will be accepted only upon proof of course completion. The result is these students would have the last priority to register for classes upon transfer.

Note: at this time the CSU is only accepting fall transfer students.

Look at a Copy of the CSU GE Requirements

Open an online version of the CSU GE requirements in a new browser window.Read more about GE at the Transfer Planning web site.


  • Area A: Take one class each from oral communication, written communication, and critical thinking. These classes must be completed with a grade 'C' or higher and completed within the time lines described above.
  • Area B: Students must take one physical science class and one life science (biology) class. One science class must have a lab, which are underlined. Additionally, one math class higher than MATH 114 must be taken with a grade 'C' or higher.
  • Area C: Students must take either EWRT 1B or ESL 6, plus one class from the Creative Arts category and one class from the Humanities category.
  • Area D: Students must complete two classes. There is also the American History and Institutions requirement that must be met. To accomplish this, students complete POLI 1 and either HIST 17A or B or C. Therefore, four classes total will be taken in Area D.
  • Area E: Students must complete one four-unit class. Keep in mind that PE is not a transfer requirement, although it is a graduation requirement for some four-year colleges.
  • Students must complete one Intercultural Studies (ICS) class.
  • With the exception of the Golden Four classes, students can earn a grade 'D' as long as their overall minimum GPA is at least a 2.00.
  • Students should have their GE certified after having taken their last GE class at De Anza. Students can find the GE certification form online through the Forms Web site. Read more about GE certification.


email Email: Don Nickel
Phone: 408.864.5423
Office: RSS 240




Last Updated: 4/21/10