In a move to reduce costs and move students more quickly toward graduation, California State University trustees approved a plan Wednesday to limit the number of credits required for most bachelor's degrees.
Most of these majors must set a maximum of 120 semester units by fall 2014. Some, in architecture, landscape architecture, fine arts and music, will be allowed to exceed that limit. Other exceptions must be approved by the chancellor, after consulting with faculty and others.
Cal State leaders have been trying to coax colleges to reduce unit requirements for more than a decade, asking campuses to review degree programs and justify those requiring more than 120 units. Currently, about 81% of programs meet the standard.
But the issue has become more pressing as state funding cuts forced course reductions and enrollment declines. Many universities around the country are studying ways to have students complete bachelor's degrees in four years or are touting their success in getting students to graduate in that time.