Open University

California State University, Fullerton

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Program information

Open University allows people who are not currently admitted to a Cal State Fullerton degree program to enroll in undergraduate and graduate-level classes with appropriate permissions. For more information, see our About page.

A matriculated student has gone through the full admission process and is admitted at CSUF. Matriculated (admitted) students are not eligible to enroll via Open University, while in admitted status. Open University does not constitute admission to CSUF.

These guidelines apply to undergraduate students only. Graduate students should consult their program’s academic department.

Students experiencing academic disqualification (ADQ), were previously admitted to CSUF, however due to low GPA, were academically dismissed from the university. Open University allows students experiencing academic disqualification to take courses from the regular university schedule of degree classes to raise their CSUF GPA to the minimum requirement, which is part of eligibility for readmission.

Students experiencing academic disqualification are limited to six units during spring, summer, and fall semesters, and a maximum of 3 units in winter.

Note: Financial aid awarded through FASFA is not available for students not currently in an admitted status with CSUF.

While enrollment through Open University does not constitute admission to Cal State Fullerton, a maximum of 24 cumulative units may count toward a bachelor’s degree at CSUF; additional units earned can meet course requirements and will impact the CSUF GPA. For graduate degrees, six to nine units taken through Open University may (normally) apply. Please consult your degree program’s graduate advisor for more information. Courses taken through Open University cannot be used to fulfill the residency (admitted status) requirements for a bachelor's degree. Residency in this context refers to units completed in an admitted status.

Students receive a unique 9-digit campus-wide identification number (CWID) when they first enroll. Your CWID will be used instead of your Social Security Number to identify all your records. You will also need your CWID the first time you log into the CSUF Portal. If you lose your CWID,  use the What's My CWID? link.

The first time you enroll into a course via Extension and International Programs, you will receive a Personal Identification Number (PIN) by email. Use this number in combination with your student ID (CWID) to customize your account the first time you log into the CSUF Student Portal.

The CSUF Student Portal provides access to your personal and academic confidential information (where you can look up grades, schedule, unofficial transcript and other important statistics).

Students enrolled through EIP, who forget or misplace a PIN, may go to the What’s my registration PIN? page of the Student Portal.

Academic or financial holds are placed when there is an issue to be resolved. Once the hold is waived or removed, the student can initiate enrollment. Students must make sure any hold is waived or removed before enrollment can be processed. Disqualified students from CSUF must contact an Open University Advisor to get a recurring DQ Hold waived or removed.

The financial assistance options for Open University students are different than those available to admitted CSUF students. Please see our Financial Assistance page for more information.


Maximum Units Allowed



Winter Session


Summer Session*


*During Summer Session, students can take no more than:

  • 7 units in any individual five or six week session
  • 9 units in an eight-week session
  • 12 units in a ten-week session
  • 16 units over the entire Summer Session term

Students academically disqualified from CSUF are restricted to the following maximum units:

  • Spring, Summer, Fall: 6 units
  • Winter: 3 units

Once enrolled, the course section will be accessed by logging into the CSUF Portal and clicking on Titan Online.  From there, you will be able to access the course through Canvas.

You do not have to submit transcripts officially, but please have unofficial transcripts available should an instructor or department ask to see them.

Open University is for those who:
  • Are not admitted to a degree or other qualified program at Cal State Fullerton, but want to take classes for academic credit
  • Missed the deadline for admission to the university as an undergraduate transfer student
  • Have been academically disqualified from an undergraduate degree at CSUF (DQ)
  • Need to earn prerequisites for admission to a graduate or professional program
Open University is also a way to:
  • Update professional skills
  • Explore a new field before applying to a degree program
  • Pursue intellectual interests
  • Earn transferable credit for another college or institution
Open University is not available to:
  • Students who are currently in an "admitted status" with CSUF.

Note: Students, regardless of citizenship, who have not attended (for at least three years) a school at the secondary level or beyond in which English was the principal language of instruction, are required to provide documentation of appropriate TOEFL or related scores.

You may request approval to enroll into courses from the university schedule of degree courses, for which you can acknowledge you meet the stated prerequisites or their equivalent.  Graduate level courses (500 level) may require other consultation and approvals. Always consult with a graduate advisor first before selecting to enroll into any 500-level course.

Please visit the OU Enrollment Instructions page to review the process for Spring/Fall semesters and Winter/Summer terms.  The process is different by semester or term .


After completing steps 4 and 5 in the OU General Instructions, you will be able to view the course enrollment in your Student Homepage in both the Manage Classes and Academic Records tiles.  Access to view a course in Canvas is not official enrollment.  You must see the course in your student schedule and on your unofficial transcript view.

You can use the contact form on our Contact page, or stop by in person. Student Services location and hours of operation are also available on our Contact page.

Please see our Fees & Resources page for information on Open University fees.

Official transcripts can be ordered through the National Student Clearinghouse. Visit the Registration and Records website for more information and directions.

Parking permits are required for all students and individuals physically coming to the campus. Detailed information regarding parking policies and maps of parking lots and structures, can be found at CSUF Parking Information

The refund amount you are entitled to depends on when you drop the course. Please refer to the Refund Policy for details, as well as the procedure for dropping the course.

Waitlists are only for students currently admitted to CSUF. If your course section is closed with an active wait-list, follow the request for approval and enrollment instructions for the specific term at OU Enrollment Instructions.

No. Cal Vet Fee Waiver requires you to be an admitted/matriculated student in a qualified program at CSUF.  You are not in an admitted status when completing courses through Open University. For further information or questions, please contact the Veterans Resource Center at CSUF.

Eligibility to enroll into college-level courses at a four-year university is determined by each campus.

In general, high school students need permission from an OU Advisor and a specific academic department to be allowed to enroll into any college-level course. Evidence of overall grades and appropriate AP scores are also required for specific course requests. Currently, it is recommended a student complete at least one’s junior year of high school (11th grade) and there be a specific academic need or purpose to take a course at the four-year university level, such as the student has exhausted all possible options for a specific subject area at the high school level. Often these subjects fall in the Math and Science areas.

Students should not enroll into college-level courses, at the four-year university level, to meet high school level requirements. Students should exhaust all of their high school and school district possibilities first, to meet such requirements. Students that complete college-level courses prior to high school completion are still eligible to apply as a first-time freshman in the CSU system. If a student completes college-level course after high school graduation… and prior to being admitted as a college student, the student does have to apply as a future undergraduate transfer student in the CSU system and meet all of the requirements for transfer admission.

High School students are required to reach out to one of the OU Advisors first before considering adding any courses through the Open University Enrollment process. Go to the advising page for contact information.  Do not create or update a student record through OU self-service via this website.  Please contact an OU Advisor first or EIP Student Services at


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