Students wishing to receive an associate degree or certificate must complete the Associate Degree Application or Certificate Application in order for the Evaluations Office to perform an official final evaluation of the student's record for completion of requirements. Students must be within two terms of completing requirements before the application will be accepted, and should consult with a counselor for verification.

Diplomas and transcripts will be withheld if the student has a financial obligation or hold with Cuesta College. See policy.

Catalog Rights
A student who satisfies the following definition of attendance will follow the Cuesta College curriculum for degrees and certificates in effect:
• at the time the student began attendance at a California Community College, California State University, University of California, or other regionally accredited college or university; or
• as outlined in a subsequent Cuesta College Catalog.

"Attendance" means attendance in at least one semester or two quarters each academic year. A student who misses two consecutive semesters, or three quarters in an academic year, excluding summer school, will lose catalog rights. In that case, the student must follow (1) the Cuesta College Catalog that coincides with the student's date of re-enrollment in a regionally accredited college or university or (2) subsequent Cuesta College Catalog. A total withdrawal in a semester does not constitute a one-semester break in enrollment when "W" symbols are posted on the student record. Campus authorities may authorize or require substitutions for discontinued courses in certificate or degree programs.

Note: Catalog rights do not apply to the ADT degrees (Associate Degrees for Transfer) or General Education Certifications.

Residency Requirements (Refer to Admissions for residency for tuition purposes.)
Residency credit for the graduation requirements is defined as credits earned in residence at the college granting the degree, certificate, general education (GE) certification, or application of alternative education credit.

Credit that does not satisfy the residency credit requirement:
• Advanced Placement
Credit by Examination
• Military
• Other alternative education credit

Residency requirements to be completed at Cuesta College:
• Degrees - Minimum of 12 semester credits
• Certificate of Achievement - Minimum of two of the required courses
• Certificate of Specialization - Minimum of one of the required courses
• CSU General Education Certification - Minimum of one course
   (at least 3 semester credits)
• IGETC - Minimum of one course (at least 3 semester credits)

Residency requirements for the application of alternative education credit:
Credit by Examination - Minimum 12 semester credits with "C" average work
• Advanced Placement - Minimum 12 semester credits
• Military Credit - Minimum 12 semester credits with "C" average work

Credit for Alternative Education
Cuesta College affirms that there is merit in awarding college credit for other than the traditional classroom experiences when those experiences represent learning that may be validated. Therefore, Cuesta College awards credit according to the policies stated below.

  • Advanced Placement Examination: Cuesta College recognizes the completion of College Board Advanced Placement Exams (AP), authorized by the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB). Credit is awarded based upon the criteria established by the college. Advanced placement scores may be ordered by calling the College Board at (888) 308-0013.
  • Credit for Educational Training in the Military: For currently enrolled students, in good standing, who have completed at least 12 semester credits of “C” average work at Cuesta College, the college may grant up to 12 elective semester credits in accordance with the recommendations of the American Council on Education for educational training completed in the military service. Educational work completed through the United States Armed Forces Institute (USAFI) will also be accepted with no unit maximum. For more information contact the Veterans Resource Center.
  • Credit by Examination (Challenge of Courses)
  • Independent Studies
  • High School Career Education Articulation: Local high school students may receive Cuesta College credit for approved technical and vocational courses, through the San Luis Obispo County Tech Prep Articulation Agreement process. A specialized “Credit by Examination” process allows high school students to challenge the content and/or skill proficiency of specific courses, provided a valid Tech Prep articulation agreement between the student’s high school and Cuesta College is maintained.

Degree (AA/AS) Requirements:

• 60 semester degree applicable credits of lower division college level work with an overall average of "C" (2.00 GPA) or better;
• Prescribed coursework in an area of emphasis or major with grades of "C" or better;
• Minimum of 12 semester credits completed at Cuesta College;
• General Education coursework (local GE, CSU GE, or IGETC) - overall minimum 2.00 GPA;
• English and Math competency;
• Heath Education (except ADT- see requirements below);
• Diversity (except ADT- see requirements below);
• American Institutions (except ADT- see requirements below).

ADT (A.A. for Transfer and A.S. for Transfer) California Community Colleges offer the Associate Degrees for Transfer to the CSU. This includes Associate in Arts (AA-T) and Associate in Science (AS-T) degrees. These degrees are designed to provide a clear pathway to a CSU major and baccalaureate degree. California Community College students who are awarded an AA-T or AS-T degree are guaranteed admission with junior standing in the CSU system and given priority admission consideration to their local CSU campus or to a program that is deemed similar to their community college major. This priority does not guarantee admission to specific majors or campuses. Consult with the Cuesta College Transfer Center for mandatory application, evaluation and notification deadlines.

Students who have been awarded an AA-T or AS-T are able to complete their remaining requirements for the 120-credits baccalaureate degree within 60 semester or 90
quarter credits.

ADT Requirements:  Students pursuing the Associate Degree for Transfer are also required to complete a minimum of 12.0 credits in residence at Cuesta College.

(1) Completion of 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits that are eligible for transfer to the California State University, including both of the following:

(A) The California State University General Education Breadth Requirements (CSU GE) or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC), and

(B) A minimum of 18 semester credits or 27 quarter credits in a major or area of emphasis, as determined by the community college district.

(2) A minimum overall grade point average of 2.0.

(3) A “C” or better grade in all courses required for the major or area of emphasis; a “P” (Pass) grade is not an acceptable grade for courses in the major. External exams such as Advanced Placement, etc. are not subject to this grade restriction.

Cuesta College does not accept the following:

  • Continuing Education Units (CEU): Though earned at colleges and universities, continuing education courses are designed for personal enrichment or job advancement and may not be used.
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP): A passing score earned on the American Government CLEP exam is accepted by Cuesta College for credit toward Cuesta’s POLS 202, Government and Politics of the United States. Due to lab or performance requirements, Cuesta College does not accept credit for any other tests offered by the College Level Exam Program.
  • Non-Degree Applicable Credits: Non-degree applicable college courses are not used. Degree applicability is determined according to the catalog for the term in which course was taken.
  • Credits from Non-Accredited Institutions: Cuesta College only accepts course work from regionally accredited institutions.
  • Upper Division Course Work: Course credit from colleges and universities at the upper division level is not used (certain exceptions apply).
  • Religious Dogma Coursework: Courses taken at a regionally accredited school with a religious affiliation cannot be used if the courses espouse the beliefs of that institution. Courses will be carefully reviewed.

Quick Tools:

  • ASSIST is an online student-transfer information system that shows how course credits earned at one public California college or university can be applied when transferred to another.

  • official source for college and career planning in California

  • CSU Mentor: how to plan for and apply to the California State University

  • UC Pathways: find everything you need to prepare to apply to the University of California

  • Unit Converter: use to convert quarter credits to semester credits, multiply .6667 x quarter credits
    (Example: .6667 x 12.0 quarter credits = 8.0 semester credits.

  • GPA Calculator: use to determine your GPA (Grade Point Average), divide your degree applicable grade points by your degree applicable credits attempted. GPA is carried out to three decimal places, then rounded to two decimal places.
    (Example: 24.0 grade points / 7.0 credits attempted = 3.428, rounded to 3.43 GPA.)