Guiding Notes for General Education Course Review

These Guiding Notes have been developed based on recommendations from the faculty and staff who review California community college (CCC) course outlines proposed for lower-division general education credit in the University of California (UC) and the California State University (CSU). They elaborate on state and systemwide policies, adding guidance from experienced reviewers. 

Guiding Notes for General Education Course ReviewThis link will open a PDF file. (pdf) (September 2023)​

Guiding Notes Summary of Changes This link will take you to an external website in a new tab. (September 2023)

CSU GE Breadth Course Review Process

Flow chart: Course Design, Submission, 1st level review, 2nd level review, reconciliation, notification

In the fall, CCC articulation officers submit courses by entering their new or substantially revised course outlines into ASSIST. Course outlines submitted with “substantial changes” must include an explanation of revisions.

Substantial changes for re-review include changes in content in stand-alone and cross-listed courses, student learning objectives, modes of delivery (only if student learning objectives or content are affected), prerequisites, contact hours and/or decrease in units, or methods/criteria of assessment.

Course content
Course objectives/learning objectives
Contact hours and/or decrease in units
Cross-listing courses
Methods of instruction and/or evaluation
Modes of delivery (only if student learning objectives or content are affected)


Technical changes (not requiring review) include prefix, number, increase in units, title changes and/or updates of representative texts and/or resource materials.

Course number
Course prefix/subject change
Title change
Updates to representative textbooks


See Guiding Notes for GE Course ReviewThis link will open a PDF file. (pdf)

  1. Any course submitted for CSU GE Breadth or IGETC must be baccalaureate level. For IGETC, courses must be UC-transferable (on the UC TCA).
  2. Course has appropriate number of units for CSU GE Breadth or IGETC Area.
  3. Course content should reflect a balance between breadth and depth appropriate for lower-division work.
  4. Variable-topics courses are excluded (directed-study or independent study).
  5. Course outline includes at least one textbook; laboratory activities must include lab manual.
  6. Representative textbooks are current and published within 7 years of submission year or identified as a “classic text” or “discipline classic”.
  7. Course outline includes methods/criteria of assessment and college-level assignments.
  8. Course outline contains enough detail to make a decision in proposed CSU GE Breadth and/or IGETC Area.
  9. Course outline should make sense to the reviewers.
  10. Course outline is in English.
  11. Course outline is complete.


See Guiding Notes for GE Course ReviewThis link will open a PDF file. (pdf)

GE review requires CCCs to have curriculum approved (e.g., college curriculum committee or college/district board) for cross-listing before submitting course outlines of record. Course outlines are identical in title, description, objectives, content, methods of instruction, methods of evaluation, textbooks/readings, and assignments but may have a different prefix. All approved cross-listed courses must appear together or with an annotation in official college publications.

See Guiding Notes for GE Course ReviewThis link will open a PDF file. (pdf).


If you have questions about the Ethnic Studies requirement, please use the link below.

CSU Area F Ethnic Studies Rubric

  • Document
    CSU Ethnic Studies Requirement Rubric 10_5_22.pdf

    This rubric is designed for system-level evaluation of California Community College (CCC) course proposals seeking approval as a CSU Ethnic Studies Requirement. It is used to offer guidelines for approval, highlight missing content that contributes to the need for revision or denial, and enable compliance with the Ethnic Studies Core Competencies approved by the CSU Academic Senate, CSU Council on Ethnic Studies, and the CSU Office of the Chancellor. Ethnic Studies are an interdisciplinary and comparative study of race and ethnicity with special focus on four historically defined racialized core groups: Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latina and Latino Americans (California Education Code 89032).

    (PDF, 191.82 KB)

GE Workshops and Training

CSU GE Reviewer Participation

The CSU Chancellor's Office invites full-time CSU and CCC Articulation officers to participate in the annual GE review process. We continue to offer a high-quality general education curriculum that separates California public higher education from other states. As a GE reviewer, you will be working with colleagues across the state on this important interdependent task that provides robust transfer options for our students. 

If you would like to participate or need more information, please contact Kieran Mulholland at