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Chapter 7: Course Applicability

Course Articulation, Graduation Requirements,and Transferability



7.1 Overview

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Once a credit, degree applicable course has been approved by the Curriculum Committee and the State Chancellor’s Office, it may be eligible to satisfy CCSF Graduation Requirements, and/or be accepted at a variety of articulation levels with four-year schools. The determination of a course’s applicability to any of these is mostly outside of the purview of the Curriculum Committee. The guidance here is intended to shed some basic light to the processes involved, and to provide information to course outline developers who are hoping that their course will be accepted for graduation requirements or for articulation. Outline preparers and department chairs who hope to have the course satisfy one or more of these areas are encouraged to involve the Articulation Officer early in the process of developing a course outline.


7.2 CCSF Graduation Requirements

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There are several areas of general education requirements required for the CCSF Associate’s Degree. The Bipartite Committee for Graduation Requirements meets annually to consider adding new courses to each of these areas. Courses considered for inclusion in one of the General Education areas must be introductory in nature, which generally means they have no prerequisites. A prerequisite may be acceptable if it is a course that is often taken at the high school or pre-collegiate level. This would include courses in foreign language, English, ESL and math.

Departments typically submit courses for consideration in November, and the Bipartite Committee typically meets in February. Table 7-1 has excerpts from the State Board of Governors’ Resolution regarding General Education Requirements, and gives guidance on the attributes that are required for each of the CCSF general education areas.


7.3 CSU Transferability

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Almost all degree applicable courses at City College can be used for general or elective credit at CSU campuses. The CSU system has delegated the responsibility of identifying courses that are applicable for CSU elective credit to individual community colleges. As of Fall 2007, the only degree-applicable courses that do not qualify for CSU Elective Credit are:

  • Child Development 108A
  • English 96
  • Engineering Technology 108A
  • Math 835, 840, 850, 855, 860
  • Work Experience 805, 806, 807


7.4 University of California (UC) Transferability

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Only courses that have been reviewed and approved by the UC Office of the President may be used for general or elective credit at UC campus. The basic principles used by UC in determining the transferability of community college courses are:

  • Courses should be comparable to those offered at the lower division level at any of the UC campuses; and
  • Courses not equivalent to any offered at UC must be appropriate for a university degree in terms of purpose, scope, and depth.

Courses that are approved by the Curriculum Committee are automatically reviewed by the CSU/UC Breadth Committee at City College, which recommends courses to submit to the UC Office of the President for UC transferability. The CSU/UC Breadth Committee typically meets once a semester.

Departments are encouraged to discuss the option of UC transferability with the Articulation Officer.


7.5 CSU General Education Requirements

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The CSU General Education pattern allows students to complete their lower division general education requirements at the community college prior to transferring to a CSU campus. Courses that are approved by the Curriculum Committee are automatically reviewed by the CSU/UC Breadth Committee at City College, which recommends courses to submit to the CSU Chancellor’s Office for acceptance in one of the CSU GE areas.

CSU GE Area | Sub-Areas

A: Communication in the English Language and Critical Thinking

  • A1: Oral Communication
  • A2: Written Communication
  • A3: Critical Thinking

B: Physical Universe and its Life Forms

  • B1: Physical Science
  • B2: Life Science
  • B3: Laboratory Activity (taken with a course from B1 or B2)
  • B4: Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning

C: Arts, Literature, Foreign Language, and Philosophy

  • C1: Arts
  • C2: Humanities

D: Social, Political, and Economic Institutions and Behavior, Historical Background

  • D0: Sociology and Criminology
  • D1: Anthropology and Archeology
  • D2: Economics
  • D3: Ethnic Studies
  • D4: Gender Studies
  • D5: Geography
  • D6: History
  • D7: Interdisciplinary Social or Behavioral Science
  • D8: Political Science, Government, and Legal Institutions
  • D9: Psychology

E: Lifelong understanding and self-development.

CSU has a statewide graduation requirement of United States History, Constitution and American Ideals (commonly known as American Institutions). Courses approved for this requirement may also be used to satisfy CSU GE requirements. The CSU/UC Breadth Committee at City College also reviews these courses for submission to the CSU Chancellor’s Office.

Departments are encouraged to discuss CSU GE and American Institutions acceptance with the Articulation Officer, and have the opportunity to provide input on which GE areas best match their courses.



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IGETC (Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum) is the GE pattern students can follow to complete the lower division general education requirements for either the CSU or UC systems. Courses that are approved by the Curriculum Committee are automatically reviewed by the CSU/UC Breadth Committee at City College, which recommends courses to submit to the CSU and UC system offices for IGETC approval. Only UC transferable courses can be approved for IGETC. Table 28: IGETC Areas summarizes IGETC areas and any sub-areas.

IGETC Area | Sub-Areas:

1: English Communication

  • 1A: English Composition
  • 1B: Critical thinking – English Composition
  • 1C: Oral communication (CSU only)

2: Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning

3: Arts and Humanities

  • 3A: Arts
  • 3B: Humanities

4: Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • 4A: Anthropology
  • 4B: Economics
  • 4C: Ethnic Studies
  • 4D: Gender Studies
  • 4E: Geography
  • 4F: History
  • 4G: Interdisciplinary
  • 4H: Political Science
  • 4I: Psychology
  • 4J: Sociology

5: Physical and Biological Sciences

6: Language other than English (UC only)

Again, departments are encouraged to discuss IGETC acceptance with the Articulation Officer.


7.7 Course-to-Course Articulation

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The highest level of articulation is course-to-course articulation, where a course (or set of courses) at City College is considered the equivalent of a course at another institution, and generally counts towards lower division requirements of the major or discipline at that institution. The Articulation Officer, usually working with the department chair or advisors, will submit courses to the articulation officers of other institutions for course-to-course articulation consideration. The acceptance of a particular course is typically the determination of the respective department at the other institution. Departments at City College are encouraged to establish relationships with their counterparts at other campuses to help facilitate the review and acceptance of course-to- course articulation agreements.


7.8 Articulation Resources

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There are many articulation resources and programs that departments should be aware of. Contact the Articulation Officer if you would like more information about the following:

  • ASSIST – The official web-based clearinghouse for articulation between California community colleges, UCs and CSUs. Contains detailed information about how City College courses meet major requirements at individual CSU and UC campuses, and identifies those courses that have been approved for UC transferability, CSU GE, CSU United States History, Constitution and American Ideals, and IGETC.
  • CCSF Articulation Webpage – Contains links to public and private college articulation agreements with CCSF, university and college catalogs, general education handouts, and other resources.
  • C-ID (Course Identification Number System) – A newly funded project, sponsored by California Community Colleges (CCC) Chancellor’s Office, to develop a voluntary, “supra-numbering” system that links courses at CCCs, CSUs, UC, and possibly California private colleges. C-ID builds upon previous common course projects (CAN and LDTP).