Frequently Asked Questions - International Students

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Once I'm admitted, what do I do?

All international students new to CSUB are required to attend the International Student Orientation. Every quarter, the orientation takes place on Friday before classes start. Specific information regarding the orientation will be sent to you upon your admittance. At this time you will 1) meet with a faculty advisor to choose your courses, 2) learn information about important university policies and 3) register for your classes. We encourage you also to download the Orientation Booklet: Http:// for more information.

Do I need to take placement tests?

A CSU requirement is that all new undergraduate students must satisfy the requirements of the English Placement Test (EPT) and Entry Level Math (ELM) test prior to enrollment, or have their admission cancelled. It is important that you take these tests as soon as possible in order to have the results for your advising sessions. Otherwise, you won't know which English and Math courses are appropriate for your level of preparation. The EPT and ELM are given numerous times each year and advance registration is required. In most cases transfer students and graduate students are not required to take the tests.

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How do I register for classes?

Most of you come to CSU, Bakersfield as a first time freshmen or lower division transfer student. Based on your entrance exams, you may be required to take certain remediation classes during the first academic year. Our academic advisors will help you enroll in courses required by your respective programs. Upper division and transfer students are requested to contact their faculty or academic advisors directly. 

To check your class schedule, please, visit myCSUB for reference.

How many courses will I take each quarter?

Most courses at CSUB are 5 quarter units of credit, and full-time undergraduate students normally take between 12-17 credits. A five quarter-unit course usually meets two or three times per week and is just slightly more credit than a three semester-unit course (1 semester unit equals 1.5 quarter units). Thus full-time undergraduate students will take approximately 46 quarter units per year to meet the 186 quarter unit total graduation requirement. Undergraduate international students are required to take 12 units per quarter. Graduate international students must take 8 units per quarter.

What classes should I take?

Freshmen and Sophomores will take courses in a variety of areas to meet General Education requirements and to meet any prerequisites for their major field's) of study. General Education requirements are required of students because they were deemed essential by the university to ensure that each individual has a well rounded education. 

Juniors and Seniors usually start taking requirements and electives in their major and minor fields, plus any prerequisites and general education requirements they may be missing. You may want to review the General Education and major/minor requirements as outlined in the University Catalog. Graduation requirements vary depending upon the major.

How do I choose a major?

Many people and offices on campus can assist you with this concern. You aren't alone, as many students aren't sure of their goals. The Academic Advising and Resource Center can assist you in making your decision and also has information on opportunities and trends in various career areas; faculty advisors can assist you with details about a particular major. For a list of available majors, see the A-Z Index of Majors and Degree Programs.

Many freshmen and sophomores are "Undeclared" majors while they complete General Education requirements. They try a variety of courses in different fields in order to see what they like; then they formally declare a "major" in their junior year.

What do I need to do if I want to travel out of the country?

If you plan to travel within the United States, you need no special permission. Traveling outside the U.S. requires that you do a little planning. A week before your trip, you should have your I-20 or DS-2019 forms signed by one advisor in the office of ISP. You must also make sure that you have your passport and any other documents that are necessary for you to legally leave or re-enter the country.

Can I work?

Yes, you are allowed to work as long as you are maintaining your immigration status. During the school year, you are allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week on campus. During holidays and school breaks, you are allowed to work 40 hours per week. You are not allowed to work off campus without authorization from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Illegal employment can result in deportation. For any questions regarding immigration, contact the office of ISP. For more information regarding working off campus, please visit Current Students site.

Why do I need health insurance?

The primary reason is because it is University policy. It is also necessary for your protection. In the event that you are in an accident or injured, the company you are insured by will pay for either all of the costs or most of the costs of your medical treatment. In the United States, medical treatment is very expensive. It is not paid for by the government. This is why it is necessary to have insurance.

Don't see the answers you need?

If you have further questions, please contact the International Students & Programs office at (661) 654-6113 or