Semester @ SF State Courses

Semester @ SF State students should read and review the information on this page carefully before registering for classes. All courses are offered through Open University on a space-available basis. As a student on F-1 visa, you must take a minimum of 12 units (undergraduate) or 8 units (graduate) per semester to meet the immigration requirement.

International student on a beach, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background

A U 110: Living in San Francisco

This one-unit course introduces new students to the geographic, historical and environmental, socio-cultural and political context of the Bay Area, San Francisco and San Francisco State University. In addition, this course prepares students for success in their transition to living in San Francisco while preparing for life in San Francisco, building community, and learning about the campus and the surrounding area. The course is experiential and includes field trips throughout the city.

The course is optional, in-person/hybrid, and is offered to you free of charge. You are encouraged to take it to learn more about and experience the City of San Francisco. You can sign up when completing your course preference wishlist.


Once admitted into the program, all students will be contacted via email with detailed enrollment instructions. If you have questions about the enrollment process, please contact

All students will need to set up an SF State Login and Password to be able to log in to their student accounts. Don't have an SF State Login? Create SF State Login.

The course number determines the level of the class.

  • Level 100 - 299 = lower division (1st year and 2nd year courses)
  • Level 300 - 699 = upper division (3rd year and 4th year courses)
  • Level 700 and above = graduate courses

Semester @ SF State students may take more than 12 units (undergraduate) or 9 units (graduate) at an additional per unit fee with the approval of their advisor.

Semester @ SF State students should only sign up for courses that they are academically qualified for. Please read the course description and requisites in the  SF State Bulletin carefully as some courses may have prerequisite requirements. It is your responsibility to confirm that you have the appropriate prerequisites for a course.

A copy of the student’s university transcript with proof of equivalent prerequisites and bachelor’s diploma, if applicable. The decision on whether a student may or may not join a class is determined by class availability and whether student meets the course prerequisite requirement.

No, we cannot. Semester @ SF State students add classes on a space-available basis, after SF State matriculated students have enrolled. It is very important that all students are flexible in their class choices.

In most cases, you will enroll in regular SF State classes. These classes will have local degree-seeking students enrolled in them. At times when a class is in extremely high demand for many Semester @ SF State students, we may add an additional section that may or may not have local degree-seeking students.

Courses and class schedules are posted on the SF State class schedule a few months prior to the start of the term. Fall courses are posted in April. Spring courses are posted in November.

Please refer to Registration Policies for detailed instructions.

Current students may view and print their unofficial transcripts online at no charge by accessing their Student Center on the SF State Gateway. SF State Login and Password are required in order to use this service. For information about requesting official transcripts visit Transcripts.

Information and Policies

A prerequisite is a course that a student must pass before enrolling in the more advanced course. Some departments require that you complete prerequisites prior to registering for their courses. Prerequisites and course description can be found under the course title in the SF State Bulletin. Prerequisites taken at your home university must be noted and reviewed by an SF State Center for Global Engagement advisor before the first day of school. If you have not met the prerequisites and later you are dropped or must withdraw from a course, you will be subject to College of Professional & Global Education refund deadlines and policies.

The following classes are unavailable through Open University:

  • Graduate business courses (700-899).
  • Most graduate classes in Health Education, specifically HED 810, HED 811, HED 815, HED 820, HED 821, HED 822, HED 825, HED 828, HED 829, HED 830, HED 831, HED 835, HED 840, HED 855, HED 884, HED 890, HED 895.
  • Most graduate counseling courses, with the following exceptions: COUN 700, COUN 702 and COUN 703.
  • Multiple subjects credential core courses in the department of elementary education, specifically EED 679, EED 681, EED 682/782, EED 684, EED 685, EED 686 and EED 783.
  • Graduate culminating experience courses, numbered 892, 893, 894, 895 and 898.
  • Independent Study courses, numbered 699 and 899.

To register for Independent Study courses see Special/Independent Study.

Students must enroll, attend and complete at least 12 units (undergraduate) or 9 units (graduate) to maintain status while at SF State. It is the student's responsibility to report any academic issues, medical conditions or emergencies  that could affect academic performance or attendance  to their international student advisor within a timely manner for assistance, not at the end of the semester.

Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA (C average) for all coursework taken while enrolled in the program. If your GPA is below 2.0, you may not be eligible to continue or enroll in future semesters.

Please email us at or speak to an advisor if you have any questions.

Can students take more units? Students may register for additional units with extra fees (currently $395/unit). If you need to officially enroll in over 12 (undergraduate) or 9 (graduate) units, please see an International Student Adviser. We will verify the reason and your academic capability to enroll in more units.

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