Please note: the 2020-2021 Academic Year Catalog for SJSU will be available on April 28, 2020 at


SJSU Studies

Students complete 9 to 12 units of SJSU studies: 9 units of upper division general education courses (Areas R, S, and V) and 0 to 3 units of 100W (Area Z). In some cases that SJSU Studies areas are integrated in a single course or overlap with major courses.

  • Complete one SJSU Studies course in each category.
  • All SJSU Studies course must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Completing Area Z with a grade of "C or better" (C- not accepted) is a graduation requirement.
  • Prior to enrollment, all SJSU Studies courses require completion of core GE, satisfaction of Writing Skills Test and upper division standing. Pre/Co-requisite of a 100W course is strongly recommended for enrollment in Areas R, S, and V.
  • Students who fail the WST may satisfy this requirement by passing ENGL 100A or LLD 100A with a grade of "C or better."
  • Students can satisfy Areas R, S, & V by taking COMM/ENVS/GEOL/HUM/METR 168A/168B: Global Climate Change or HUM 177A/177B: Advanced Honors in Integrated Science, Social Science and Humanities. These are year-long courses sequences: students enroll in 6 units in the Fall and 3 units in the Spring. By successfully completing one of these course sequences with a "C or Better" in each semester, students satisfy all nine units of upper division GE (Areas R, S, & V) within SJSU Studies.
  • All first baccalaureate students are required to have a minimum aggregate GPA of 2.0 in their upper division GE courses (Areas R, S, & V). If more than one course is taken in any of the individual R, S, or V areas, then the highest grade in that individual area will be used to calculate the aggregate SJSU Studies GPA. This policy is effective Fall 2011 for all SJSU students who do not have catalog rights prior to Fall 2011.
  • Second baccalaureate students who earned their first bachelor degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. are not required to take SJSU Studies unless specific courses are required by the major. (Effective Fall 2011)
  • Transfer students who complete any portion of upper division GE at another CSU campus may request equivalency for coursework in SJSU Studies. Contact the Office of Graduate & Undergraduate Studies for evaluation of coursework.

Areas R, S, and V.

9 units
Complete one 3-unit course from each category.

Earth & Environment (R)
Courses in Earth and Environment will cultivate a student's knowledge of the scientific study of the physical universe and its life forms. Students will understand and appreciate the interrelationship of science and human beings to each other.
ANTH 160Reconstructing Lost Civilizations
ASTR 101Modern Astronomy
BIOL 101Origins of Life
BIOL 110Biodiversity & Biopolitics
BIOL 135B*Eukaryotic Cell and Molecular Biology II
BIOL 159*Integrative Biology
BIOL/BOT 160*Ecology
CHAD 130Coding for Scientific Discovery
CHEM 131B*Biochemistry Lab
COMM/ENVS/GEOL/HUM/METR 168A/168B**Global Climate Change
ENGR 100W*Engineering Reports (Z)
ENGR 108Green Electronics
ENVS/ENGR 119Energy and the Environment
ENVS/PKG 152Globalization and the Environment
GEOL 103Earth Systems & the Environment
GEOL 105General Oceanography
GEOL 107Prehistoric Life
GEOL/ENVS 111Geology & the Environment
GEOL 112Hazards, Risks of Earthquakes & Volcanoes
GEOL 124Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
GEOL 171The End of the World (as you knew it)
GLST 167Changing Ecologies of Globalization
HS 172Contemporary Environmental Health Issues
HUM 177A/177B**Advanced Honors in Integrated Science, Social Science and Humanities
LING 123Sound & Communication
MICR 127*Microbial Physiology
METR 112Global Climate Changes
METR/ENVS 113Atmospheric Pollution
METR 115Wildfire in the Earth System
NUFS 115Issues in Food Toxicology
NUFS 139Hunger & Environmental Nutrition
NUFS/KIN 163Physical Fitness & Nutrition
PHIL 160Philosophy of Science
PHYS/MUSC 166Physics of Music

*For specific department/program majors only

** Successful completion of this year-long course sequence (with a "C or Better" in each semester) satisfies Areas R, S, & V.

Self, Society & Equality in the U.S. (S)
In these courses, students will study the interrelationships of individuals, racial groups, and cultural groups to understand and appreciate issues of diversity, equality, and structured inequality in the U.S., its institutions, and its cultures.
AE 172A*Spacecraft Design I
AE 171A*Aircraft Design I
AAS 175Asian American Communities
AMS/HUM 169The American Dream
ANTH/BIOL/HS 140Human Sexuality
BME 198A*Senior Design Project I
CA/ENGL/MUSC/TA 172The Arts in US Society
CCS 130Chicanas & Chicanos in American Society
CCS 160Gender and Sexuality in the Chicana/o Community
CHAD 102Development of Self in a Culturally Diverse Society
COMM/ENVS/GEOL/HUM/METR 168A/168B**Global Climate Change
COMM 174Intercultural Comm & Struct Inequality
CMPE/SE 195A*Senior Design Project I
EDUC/APSC/COMM/ENGR/HA/SCI 157SLCommunity Action/Community Service
EDSE 102Speech, Language & Typical, Atypical Dev
EE 198A*Senior Design Project I
ENGL 117AAmerican Literature, Film, & Culture
ENGL 169Ethnicity in American Literature
ENGR 195A*Global and Social Issues in Engineering
ENGR 195C*Interdisciplinary Senior Project I
ENVS 150Introduction to Environmental Thought
SOCS 138United States in Historical & Social Science Perspectives
GERO/HS/SCWK 107Aging & Society
HIST 170STopics Am History: Am Identities (US 1)
HIST 188History of Women in the United States
HPRF/HS/NUFS/NURS/OCTH 135Health Issues in a Multicultural Society
HUM 177A/177B**Advanced Honors in Integrated Science, Social Science and Humanities
JS 132Race, Gender, Inequality & the Law
JS 136Family & Community Violence
KIN 101Sport in America
KIN/HS 169Diversity, Stress & Health
LING 129Culture, Language and Ethnicity in the U.S.
LSTP 139Education and (In)Equality
MATE 198A*Senior Design Project
ME 195A*Senior Design Project I
MUSC 120Worlds of Jazz
NURS 138Professional Role Development VI
PHIL/BUS3 186Professional & Business Ethics
POLS 120Law & Society
PSYC 191The Psych of Prejudice
RECL 111Leisure, Culture, & Identity
RELS 162Religion & Political Controversy in the US
RELS/HUM 191Religion in America
RTVF 110Electronic Media & Culture
SOCI 162Race & Ethnic Relations
URBP 101The City
WOMS 101The Study of Women

*For specific department/program majors only

** Successful completion of this year-long course (with a "C or Better" in each semester) satisfies Areas R, S, & V.

Culture, Civilization & Global Understanding (V)
In these courses, students should receive an appreciation for human expression in cultures outside the U.S. and an understanding of how that expression has developed over time. Additionally, students should understand how traditions of cultures outside the U.S. have influenced American culture and society.
AE 171B*Aircraft Design II
AE 172B*Spacecraft Design II
AMS/ENVS/HUM 159Nature & World Cultures
ANTH/ASIA 115The Emerging Global Culture
ANTH 146Culture & Conflict
ARTH 193AWorlds of Art & Culture
ARTH/ASIA 193BEast Meets West in Art
AVIA 198Aviation and Human Civilization
BME 198B*Senior Design Project II
CA/ENGL/MUSC/TA 173Thinking About Contemporary World Arts
CHAD 106Concepts of Childhood
CHIN/ASIA 140Chinese Culture & Politics Through Literature
COMM/ENVS/GEOL/HUM/METR 168A/168B**Global Climate Change
COMM 179Media & Resistance
CMPE/SE 195B*Senior Design Project II
DANC 102Dance in World Cultures
EDSE 124Methodologies for Eng Learners w/out Dis
EE 198B*Senior Design Project II
ENGL 117BGlobal Film, Literature & Cultures
ENGL 123ALiterature for Global Understanding-The Americas
ENGL 123BLiterature for Global Understanding-Africa
ENGL 123CLiterature for Global Understanding-Oceania
ENGL 123DLiterature for Global Understanding-Asia3/25/1
ENGL/JWSS/HUM/FORL 126Holocaust Literature
ENGR 195B*Global and Social Issues in Engineering
ENGR 195D*Interdisciplinary Senior Project II
FREN 102BFrancophone Cultures: Through Literature & Cinema
GEOG 112Nations, Cultures & Territorial Disputes
GLST 143Gender, Power, International Development
GLST 188Special Topics in International Experiences
HIST 153History of Women in Europe
HIST 15520th Century World
HUM/ANTH/ASIA/RELS 114Legacy of Asia
HUM 128Perspectives on the Twentieth Century: The West in a Global Context
HUM 177A/177B**Advanced Honors in Integrated Science, Social Science and Humanities
JPN 102BLocal and Minority Cultures in Japan
JS 171Human Rights & Justice
KIN 111Sport & Movement in a Global Context
KIN 111ITLSport & Movement in a Global Context: International Experience
LING/ASIA 122English as a World Language
MATE 198B*Senior Design Project
ME 195B*Senior Design Project II
MUSC 117Music & Culture in Latin America
NUFS 144Food Culture: Consuming Passions
PHIL/ASIA/RELS 104Asian Philosophy
PHIL 110Science, Technology & Human Values
PHIL 133Ethics in Science
PHIL 134Computers, Ethics, & Society
POLS 150War & Peace
POLS 170VAm Politics-Global Perspective (US 2/US 3)
RELS/ANTH 122Magic, Science & Religion
RELS/ANTH/MDES 145Middle Eastern Traditions
RTVF 111Alternative Cinema
SPAN 102BHispanic American Culture
SOCS 139World History for Teachers
TA/ENGL 127Contemporary Theatre
TECH/CMPE/ENGR/AE/ME 198Technology & Civilization
WOMS 102The Global Study of Women

*For specific department/program majors only

** Successful completion of this year-long course (with a "C or Better" in each semester) satisfies Areas R, S, & V.

Written Communication II

3 units
All students must satisfy Area Z (GWAR) by

  • Earning a "C or better" in a 100W course, all of which enforce the prerequisite of a passing score on the writing Skills Test (WST) or a grade of "C or better" for ENGL 100A or LLD 100A.
  • For most degree programs, students should take the 100W course that is required as part of the degree program (listed below); or
  • Completing the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) while matriculated at another CSU, or equivalent course work at another university prior to SJSU enrollment; or
  • A waiver score on the WST satisfies Area Z without the need to complete a 100W course only in majors that permit a waiver score. Majors that do not permit a waiver (regardless of score) are listed below.
  • Effective Fall 2011: Second baccalaureate students who earned their first bachelor degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. are not required to take this course unless required by their major department.

In written communication II courses, students will develop advanced proficiency in college-level writing and appropriate contemporary research strategies and methodologies to communicate effectively to both specialized and general audiences.

Written Communication II (Z)
ART 100W
CS 100W
JS 100W
KIN 100W
LLD 100W
TA 100W

Majors Requiring Written Communication II (Area Z)
The following majors require that students complete the Written Communication II (Area Z) course regardless of their score on the Writing Skills Test (i.e., no waiver allowed).
African American Studies
Biological Science
Communication Studies
Ecology and Evolution
Engineering (all majors)
Environmental Studies
Global Studies
Marine Biology
Political Science
Social Science (Teacher Preparation and Multiple Subject Preparation)
World Languages and Literature (all majors)