Frequently Asked Questions

Compact Scholars Program

You do not have to apply to be a Compact Scholar. All students applicants who meet the following benchmarks are considered Compact Scholars once enrolled at SDSU:

  • Continuous enrollment in the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) since the 7th grade
  • Maintain a CSU GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Completed CSU's A-G Requirements

There are approximately 2,000 active Compact Scholars at SDSU, which comprises about 8% of the total undergraduate population. The size of the incoming cohorts of Compact Scholars for the past ten years are:

  • 2006 - 201 students
  • 2007 - 186 students
  • 2008 - 225 students
  • 2009 - 265 students
  • 2010 - 372 students
  • 2011 - 378 students
  • 2012 - 465 students
  • 2013 - 483 students
  • 2014 - 541 students
  • 2015 - 585 students
  • 2016 - 578 students
  • 2017 - 600+ students

The benefits of being a Compact Scholar are many, and they include, but not limited to:

  • Access to a Compact Scholars Advisor
  • A one-on-one Compact Mentor program that pairs freshmen students with upperclassmen to learn essential skills that will enable them to succeed in college
  • Events hosted by the Compact Scholars Student Association, the SDSU student organization connected to Compact Scholars Program
  • Monthly Compact Scholars Newsletter to keep students informed about the latest opportunities on campus, including scholarships, fellowships, and internships
  • Priority registration for Academic Learning Communities
  • Freshman University Seminars
  • Access to the DAESA Student Learning Lounge for studying, printing, etc. This is located in AD201.
  • Access to the DAESA Conference Room for study groups, student org executive board meetings, and presentations.
  • Scholarship opportunities for study abroad and other expenses
  • Undergraduate Research & Creative Endeavors Opportunities
  • Teaching employment opportunities in the Sweetwater Union High School District through the RISE Program

We are located in the Administration Building, Suite 201 or you can reach us by phone at (619) 594-0563.


  1. You will receive an email from the SDSU bookstore with a link to log in to EZ Books.
  2. Log into EZ Books to see your personalized book list. Use your SDSU Webportal Account information.
  • You can purchase/rent your book through the bookstore through the "EZ Books" program. The SDSU Bookstore staff will arrange for you to pick-up your books on campus or delivered to your home.
  • You can also personally go into the bookstore and find the books that you need on the 2nd floor.
  • Some books are available through Amazon. *Amazon Prime is offered to students for half the cost of a regular membership. The benefits are identical.

Commuter Resources

A "commuter student" does not live on campus. Students who do not live on campus their first year often have lower graduation rates than students who live on campus their first year. "Commuter students" face unique challenges when it comes to finding success in college.

Visit the Commuter Life page for resources specifically tailored for Commuter Students.

Academics & Advising

A great place to find out which classes you need to take depending on your major is the "MyMap" service hosted by the Office of Advising & Evaluations. The MyMap shows you which classes to take and when. Remember, the MyMap is only a guide or suggested order - each student's path to completed all required courses will be different.

Go to the Office of Advising & Evaluation, located at Student Services West (SSW), Room 1551.

The Academic Advising Center can help you:

  • Understand Graduation Requirements
  • Develop an Academic Plan
  • Evaluation Transfer or Advance Placement (AP) credit
  • Add, choose, or change your major(s)
  • Plan your next semester's schedule
  • Remove Probationary Status to Avoid Disqualification

For up-to-date hours of operation, and instructions on what matierials and information to bring to your advising session, please see the Office of Advising & Evaluations website.

There are many sorts of advisors on the SDSU campus. All students can go to the Academic Advising Center to see a general academic advisor. However, there are other advisors available to students on campus, depending on their affiliation with certain groups, majors, etc.

  1. Commuter and Compact Scholars Program Advisor - dedicated to providing academic guidance to Compact Scholars and commuter students is located in the Administration building, Suite 201J.
  2. Major Advisors - available for each individual major. Find the specific advisor for your major. Your major advisor will help you choose your upper division courses. He or she can also answer your questions regarding career opportunities and graduate studies that are in your major field.
  3. Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Advisors - are available for EOP students. Advisors can be found in the Office of EOP/Ethnic Affairs: Student Servies East (SSE), Room 2209 or call (619) 594-6298.
  4. Professional Advisors - are available for students pursuing a pre-professional career (Pre-medical, pre-law, etc).

You may change your major any time after censur of your first semester on campus. Visit the Office of the Registrar for more details.

If you are struggling to find or choose a major that is a good fit for you, please visit Career Services and ask about taking a skills inventory, which will provide you with careers best suited to you skillsets and interests.

Weber Honors College

High School Applicants - High school seniors (incoming college freshmen) will be required to meet of the following three eligibility criteria in order to apply:

  • A grade point average of 3.70 or above, or
  • A score of 1270 or above on the New SAT (Evidence-Based Reading & Writing + Math), or
  • A composite score of 28 or above on the ACT

Currently Enrolled SDSU Applicants - Current SDSU Students must have at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average in order to apply.

Transfer Applicants - Students applying from a community college or another university must have at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average in order to apply.

You must apply to the Weber Honors College. Students interested in applying for Honors can do so before they are formally admitted to SDSU. For more information, visit the Weber Honors College. You can also visit the Honors staff in the Administration Building, Suite 201.

Mathematics Courses

Students required to take math courses for their major usually follow the following course trajectory depending on their test scores and credits upon admission:

  • Biological Sciences take Math 124.
  • Other majors requiring Math require Math 141 (Pre-Calculus),
  • 150 (Calculus I) and 151 (Calculus II).

Students who score a 3 on the AP Calculus Exam will be placed in Math 150; students who score a 4 or a 5 will be placed in Math 151. Students who score a 1 or a 2 on the AP Calculus Exam, or who do not take the exam, are automatically placed in Math 141.

Student who complete a Community College Course equivalent to Math 141 with a “C” or better will be allowed to enroll into Math 150. Student who complete a Community College Course equivalent to Math 150 with a “C” or better will be allowed to enroll into Math 151.

If you have taken the AP Calculus Exam and scored a 3 or higher, NO.

If you have taken the equivalent of Math 141 or higher at a Community College, and earned a “C” or better, NO.

If you did not take the AP Calculus Exam, took the AP Calculus Exam and did not pass, or failed a related math course at a Community College, you must take the Pre-Calculus Proficiency Assessment in order to test out of Math 141 and go directly into Math 150 or Math 151.

If you plan to take the Pre-Calculus Proficiency Assessment, we STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you take the test as early in the summer as possible. For information on registering for the Pre-Calculus Placement Test visit their webpage.

If you pass the AP exam form AB with a 3 or higher, or have Community College credit for Math 141 or Math 150, you do not need to take the Pre-Calculus Proficiency Assessment. However, some students take the Pre-Calculus Proficiency Assessment to see how they will perform in college-level mathematics. If you take the Pre-Calculus Proficiency Assessment and do NOT pass, you might consider starting at Math 141. 

However, failing the Pre-Calculus Proficiency Assessment does not negate your AP or Community College credit; you will still be allowed to enroll in the highest level mathematics allowed based on your test scores and college-level credits.

Math 141 is a good starting point. If you feel that you have a solid understanding of algebra and trigonometry you can start with Math 150. In order to register for Math 150 you must satisfy one of the following:

  • Receive a C or better in Math 141
  • Receive a C or better in a Community College Course equivalent to Math 141
  • Receive a 3 or better on the AP Calculus test (AB or BC)
  • Pass the Pre-Calculus Proficiency Assessment administered by the SDSU Testing Office
  • If you don’t pass that assessment, establish competency using an online system called ALEKS.
  • See:

First of all, don’t stress. It is common for this to happen. Often SDSU receives late AP, ALEKS, or testing scores that allow students to move into higher level math courses just as school is starting in the fall. Once you receive your scores, and can enroll in a higher level course, contact the Compact Scholars staff in Administration Building, Suite 201 for help with switching math courses after registration.

The *new* Aztec Math Center! Love Library, Room 410.

Hours of operation:

  • Monday-Thursday, 9 am – 9 pm
  • Friday, 9am – 12 pm
  • Sunday, 3-6 pm

Learning Communities

The key goals for Learning Communities are to encourage the integration of learning across courses and to involve students with "big questions" that matter beyond the classroom.

Students take two or more linked courses as a group and work closely with one another and with their professors. Many Learning Communities explore a common topic and/or common readings through the lenses of different disciplines. Some Learning Communities deliberately link "liberal arts" and "professional courses"; others feature service learning.

Learning Communities are two or more academic courses, university seminars (USEMs), and supplemental instructional courses based on requirements for different majors, student academic standing, and student interests.

SDSU Offers a variety of Learning Communities, including, but not limted to communities linked to the following courses:

  • Africana Studies 170A
  • Math 141
  • Math 150
  • Math 151
  • RWS 100
  • Politial Science 101
  • Psychology 101
  • Sociology 101
  • Statistics 119
  • USEM: Aztec Scholars Initiative (ASI)
  • USEM: Aztec Freshman Connection
  • USEM: Casa Azteca
  • USEM: College In-Shape
  • USEM: Compact Scholars Program
  • USEM: Emerging Leaders
  • USEM: Pride Hous

Taking an academic course (typically a 3-unit course) in Learning Community is no different than taking the same course independently; it will be calculated into your GPA the same.

However, the 1-unit courses (such as a USEM or supplemental instruction), whether stand-alone or linked to academic courses, are taken credit/no credit, so GPA is not directly affected, even though it is still noted on your transcript and affects unit accumulation.

Supplemental instruction is generally a 1-unit course paired with a larger lecture course. For example, Math 141 (3 units) is paired with Sciences 296 (1 unit) to create a 4-unit Learning Community Package.

In a Learning Community that offers supplemental instruction (often in the form of a Sciences 296 1-unit course), approximately 15-20 students meet weekly to work in groups on course materials with their instructor – exploring together in a low-stakes setting the topics or problems introduced in the associated lecture. Instructors may be professors, graduate students or outstanding undergraduates who are experts in the subject material, depending on the course.

Involvement in a Learning Community is considered a High Impact Practice (HIP), which can also be called an active learning experience. Educational research suggests HIPs/active learning increase rates of student retention and student engagement. Studies also show that students who participate in at least two (2) HIPs during college have higher graduation rates and find more success post-college.

Practically speaking, a lot of lower division courses are taught in lecture format with hundreds of students, making it difficult for individual students to have their questions answered. Students enrolled in Learning Communities have more opportunities to practice and understand the material presented in lecture. The small class size allows students to ask their peers or instructors questions and engage more fully in the materials in a low-stakes environment.

Additionally, the courses most commonly offered in Learning Communities have some of the highest fail rates on campus, especially for commuter students. Data suggests that students who participate in Learning Communities are more likely to not only pass these courses, but avoid academic probation as well.

Support Services

Career Services is a great resource to help you find employment both during and post-graduation. Career Services is located at Student Services East (SSE), 1200 or call (619) 594-6851

Attending office hours can be extremely beneficial for students. Most professors have hundreds of students each semester which makes it difficult for them to get to know each one individually.

  1. The professor gets to know you one-on-one rather than just by another Red ID number.
  2. If you are having a difficult time grasping a concept taught in class/lecture this is the time where you can get direct help.
  3. Professional relationships can form and it will become possible to use the professor as a reference when applying for scholarships, research opportunities, etc.

Visit Psychological & Counseling Services in the Calpulli Center, Room 4401 or call (619) 594-5220. Their services for students include short-term individual, couples and group counseling, as well as crisis intervention. We also provide consultation and referral services to students, staff, faculty and parents.

Visit Student Disability Services (SDS) in the Calpulli Center, Room 3100 or call (619) 594-6473.