Open University

California State University, Fullerton

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Program information

Open University enrollment 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 enrolled at CSUF. Matriculated students may not register for university classes through Open University. Open University does not constitute admission to CSUF.

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

A disqualified (DQ) student is a CSUF student who was admitted to a degree program and whose grade point average is below the minimum required. Open University allows disqualified students to take classes from the regular university schedule of degree classes to raise their GPA to the minimum requirement. They can then apply for readmission to CSUF.

Disqualified students are limited to six units during spring, summer, and fall semesters.

Note: Financial aid awarded through FASFA is not available for disqualified students. DQ students may qualify for other private/personal educational loans.

While Open University enrollment does not constitute admission to Cal State Fullerton, as many as 24 units may be applied toward a bachelor’s degree at CSUF; additional units are applied to degree requirements and 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 bachelor’s-degree residence requirements. Thirty semester units are required, as well as major residency requirements. "Residency" 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 Student Portal. If you lose your CWID, go to the What's My CWID (Campus-Wide ID)? page of the Student Portal.

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

The Student Portal provides access to your confidential information (where you can look up grades, units, classes taken, etc.).

EIP students who lose 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 removed, the student can register. Students must make sure the hold is removed before registration can be processed. Disqualified students must contact an Open University Advisor to get a hold waived or removed.

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

Fall and Spring Semesters: If enrolling in an online-format class, contact the academic department of the course to confirm the instructor and department approval process for the specific class section.

Winter Session and Summer Session: You can register on the Open University website during the stated early registration period.


Maximum Units Allowed



Winter Session


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

Academically disqualified students are restricted to the following maximum units:

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

Online classes are accessed through the Student Portal . Access to this site requires a Campus Wide ID (CWID) and your EIP PIN (see related questions).

You do not have to submit transcripts officially to anyone, 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 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 disqualified from Cal State Fullerton (DQ)
  • Are otherwise ineligible for admission and need to raise their grade point average
  • Need to earn prerequisites for admission to a degree or credential program
Open University is also a way to:
  • Update professional skills
  • Explore a new field before registering for a degree program
  • Pursue intellectual interests
  • Earn transferable credit if you are registered in a community college
Open University is not available to:
  • Students who are currently admitted to a degree or credential program at Cal State Fullerton

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 a 500 PBT or 61 iBT TOEFL score or 5.5 IELTS score

Students are able to request permission to add classes from the university schedule what they are eligible to take having met prerequisites. Graduate-level classes (500-level) may have other restrictions.

Please visit our Registration page to learn more about the process for Spring/Fall and Winter Session/Summer Session.

Students may not contact instructors before the first class meeting. Typically, instructors will wait to sign and approve the class until they are certain space is available. The exception would be for online-format classes. Please contact instructors/departments the week before classes start.

Fall/Spring Semesters: Once EIP Student Services receives the registration/application form with all signed approvals, they will confirm whether space is available and enroll you in the class. After payment is made, they will provide confirmation you are officially enrolled.

Winter Session and Summer Session: Most registrations are submitted through the Open University website and confirmed by email. If you enroll in person at the EIP Student Services Office, they will confirm your registration at that time.

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 at the Fullerton and Irvine campuses. Detailed information on parking policies and maps of parking lots can be found at the Parking and Transportation Services website.

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 class has a waitlist, you will need to obtain instructor permission and departmental approval to add the class.

No, your Cal-Vet Fee Waiver only covers state-supported tuition. Open University is not state-supported, and therefore the Cal-Vet Fee Waiver cannot be applied to any Open University costs. For more information or questions, please visit CSUF’s Veterans Certification Office.

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.


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