Semester at SDSU: Quick Reference

Semester at SDSU

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Schedule Adjustment Deadline
Classes that are on your schedule after the schedule adjustment deadline will be permanently on your SDSU transcript. The official deadline for Spring 2020 is February 4th at 7:59 p.m.

Advisors will be available to answer your questions from 9:00 – 12:00 and 1:00 – 4:00 each day during the add/drop period.  After the add/drop period, you can come into the office for help, but it is best to email for an appointment to ensure than an advisor is available when you plan to come.

Applying to SDSU
Advisors can help you if you’d like to apply to do a degree program at SDSU or another U.S. university.

Aztec Recreation Center (ARC)
Semester at SDSU students will be able to activate a gym membership at the ARC and have access to most group fitness classes free of charge. After you receive your RED ID card, you can go to the ARC with your official SDSU student ID card and sign-up for your included membership.

This online system for course materials is used by many professors. If a professor uses Blackboard, you will gain access 24-72 hours after you are enrolled in the course. You can only access the classes in Blackboard for which you are officially enrolled and after you created a WebPortal account. The login for Blackboard is the same as your WebPortal login. Blackboard student help. Please note: If you drop a course, you may still have access to the course in blackboard. If so, please ignore that course. You can verify that the course has been dropped through your webportal account in the “My classes” section (non-Special Sessions courses only).

Campus Map

Please click here to access the interactive SDSU campus map.

Credit/No Credit
If you are an ALI student, you may take classes that are offered as credit/no credit, but you may not change the grading option. Graded classes must be taken for a letter grade.

Final Exams
Be sure to check the Final Exam Schedule for your classes before making flight or vacation arrangements. Do not expect professors to change exam schedules to fit your schedule. We recommend purchasing your ticket for the day after the program ends or later. Special Session final exam dates may be different than the SDSU Final Exam Schedule.

If you are applying to SDSU, you should not have any grades below a B. If you receive grades of less than a C in any of the SDSU classes in which you enroll or violate any Semester at SDSU policy, you may jeopardize your chances of being able to continue for another semester in the Semester at SDSU program and may be placed on academic probation the following semester.

If you wish to purchase a parking permit for the fall 2018 semester, the permit cost is approximately $171. You will need the vehicle license number, make, and model to purchase one. You may purchase a semester parking permit in person at the Parking Services office, located at the Public Safety building, or online

Students who violate a Semester at SDSU policy will be required to sign a policy violation agreement. Violating a policy may jeopardize your chances of continuing in the program for another semester or returning to the program in the future.

Special Sessions
These are College of Business Administration courses offered exclusively to ALI students through the College of Extended Studies. They have the same content and professors as SDSU courses and will appear on an official SDSU transcript. Once a student signs up for a special session, they cannot drop or switch the course. Students have to attend all classes and do all required readings and homework.

Sports Classes
You may take ENS (sports) classes for credit (these will appear on your transcript) or non-credit (will not appear on transcript). ALI students may not join SDSU sports teams (official or club) but may join intramural teams. You may take surfing and other water sports classes at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center. ENS sports classes will require additional fees and are in addition to your tuition fees. Warning: students who do not need sports courses to fulfill their minimum unit requirement should enroll as “non-credit” to avoid paying extra unit fees. Please see a Semester at SDSU Advisor if you are not sure on how to add a sports course for credit or  non-credit.

Official transcripts of coursework taken at San Diego State University must be ordered online via the SDSU WebPortal. Click on “Official Transcripts” to order. If you do not already have a WebPortal account, follow the directions provided by the link above to create an account. Transcripts ordered online usually are mailed within 5 business days, but will take 4-6 weeks to be delivered to international addresses. There is also an electronic transcript available (PDF format) that can be emailed within 24 hours, but we recommend asking your home university before ordering  if they accept electronic transcripts.

Units – Additional
If you are an undergraduate student you may enroll in up to 12 units and graduate students up to 9 units. If you take 13 units or more (10 or more grad), there is an additional fee per unit. The extra unit fee applies to SDSU and Special Session classes.

Units – Over-enrolling
You may enroll in a maximum of 18 units at a time and drop classes by the add/drop deadline. Any classes you do not wish to take must be dropped by the add/drop deadline. You will be charged for any extra units still on your schedule after the add/drop deadline.

Units – Total
If you are on an F-1 visa, you must be enrolled as a full-time student. For immigration purposes, full-time status is 12 units for undergraduate courses (numbered 100-599) and 9 units for graduate courses (numbered 500 and above). ENS (sports) classes taken for credit are acceptable.

This is the online student information website. Students should sign up for WebPortal after officially enrolling in at least one course.

Student Expectations & Etiquette

We expect that a big reason that you chose to study in San Diego was our great weather and beaches, but we do want to remind you that the main purpose of your time in the Semester at SDSU program is to study.  Below we have provided some important academic and cultural information to prepare you for your academic life in San Diego.


Class Attendance

  • Students must be enrolled full time.
  • Students on an F-1 visa must have 12 units of undergraduate or 9 units of graduate courses.
  • Students are expected to attend all class meetings for the entire class times.
  • While attendance may not be required at your home university, it will be expected in most of your classes at SDSU.
  • Not all SDSU professors take attendance, but many do have class participation as a requirement. Failure to attend class can lead to a significant reduction in your grade.
  • Courses meet Monday-Friday. You might not have classes every day of the week, but you should not make any travel arrangements until your class schedule is set.


Class Behavior

Students should not use cell phones to talk or text during class. Most professors will require that you keep your cell phone off or silent during class, and most will also require that you keep your phone in your backpack or bag so it is not a distraction.

In many classes, students will be expected to participate in class discussions. Some professors will ask for students to volunteer information, but some professors call on students randomly. It is, thus, a good idea to come to class prepared so as not to be embarrassed in front of the class. Remember that class participation is an important part of the grade in many classes.

Students should not talk to each other during class. Students who disrupt the class will often be asked to be quiet in front of the whole class (the professor may use a sarcastic or humorous tone when doing this). If a student continues to disrupt the class, the student may be asked to leave. If you are asked to leave for being disruptive, this can negatively affect your grade.



When sending emails to professors or advisors, it is important to be polite and formal.

Impolite: I need to meet with you because you gave me the wrong grade.
Polite: Would it be possible to set up an appointment with you to discuss my grade?

Impolite: This is the second time I am emailing you. Why haven’t you responded?
Polite: I am not sure if you received my email on (include date), but (repeat original message).

Please allow the professor or advisor a reasonable amount of time to respond to your email. It is never a good idea to email someone more than once in the same day. Remember that they may have many emails ahead of yours, and that they will get to your message as soon as they can. Do not expect professors or advisors to respond outside of regular work hours. Messages sent on weekends or holidays might not be answered until the next official work/school day.



Cheating is a very serious offense that can lead to your failing the assignment, failing the class, being dismissed from the class, or being dismissed from the Semester at SDSU program.

According to the SDSU website ( cheating is defined as the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain credit for academic work by the use of dishonest, deceptive, or fraudulent means.

Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to

  • copying, in part or in whole, from another’s test or other examination;
  • discussing answers or ideas relating to the answers on a test or other examination without the permission of the instructor;
  • obtaining copies of a test, an examination, or other course material without the permission of the instructor;
  • using notes, cheat sheets, or other devices considered inappropriate under the prescribed testing condition;
  • collaborating with another or others in work to be presented without the permission of the instructor;
  • falsifying records, laboratory work, or other course data;
  • submitting work previously presented in another course, if contrary to the rules of the course;
  • altering or interfering with the grading procedures;
  • plagiarizing, as defined; and
  • knowingly and intentionally assisting another student in any of the above.

Students found cheating in class may be sent before a judicial review process ( DO NOT CHEAT IN CLASS.



Plagiarism is also a very serious offense that can lead to your failing the assignment, failing the class, being dismissed from the class, or being dismissed from the program.

According to the SDSU Library Plagiarism Tutorial: “Plagiarism is the act of using someone else’s words, sentences, or ideas and passing them off as your own without giving credit to the original author.”

You might be plagiarizing if you:

  • Hand in someone else’s work as your own.
  • Buy a paper from another source.
  • Copy complete or parts of sentences, phrases, paragraphs, or ideas from someone else’s work, published or unpublished, without naming the original
  • Copy any work, including any type of multimedia (graphics, audio, video, internet streams), computer programs, music compositions, graphs, or charts without naming the original author.
  • Paraphrase someone else’s idea or phrase in your paper without naming the original author.
  • Hand in your own paper in more than one course.

In the U.S., plagiarism may have serious academic and professional results. American schools, including ALI and San Diego State University, regard plagiarism as academic dishonesty. If you plagiarize, you may fail an assignment, receive a lower course grade, Professors have access to a computer program to easily identify most cases of plagiarism.

Students who are having difficulty understanding the proper way to cite material can find help online ( and at the library on campus.


Code of Conduct

Hostile and offensive actions will NOT be tolerated at the American Language Institute. These actions include fighting, bullying, sexual harassment, stalking, theft, destruction of property, or any actions that put other people in danger or make people feel threatened. Any student who shows these behaviors, or participates in these actions, may be immediately dismissed from ALI.

In addition, ALI administration may take legal action as necessary to protect students, staff and faculty and their belongings ALI students must understand that they are representatives of the ALI, San Diego State University and their home countries. It is the student’s responsibility to behave as a good representative while they are attending ALI.