Chico Distance & Online Education

Chico Distance and Online EducationChico Distance & Online Education offers fully-accredited online courses and degree programs, providing students who do not live in Chico access to a Chico State degree without having to come to campus. While the courses are entirely Web-based, many of the courses also provide live, synchronous video streaming of course lectures. To participate in these classes you will need to be admitted to the University and have a computer and access to the Internet. Students may combine Chico Distance & Online Education, Special Session, Summer Session, Winter Session, and on-campus attendance to meet the degree requirements of these programs. The current schedule of online courses may be seen here.

About California State University, Chico

California State University, Chico, established in 1887, is internationally recognized as a pioneer in distance education. In its yearly ranking of "America's Best Colleges," U.S. News and World Report ranks Chico fifth among master's-level public universities in the Western United States. Chico State offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and options and maintains one of the highest graduation rates in the California State University system. It is the second-oldest university in the 23-campus system.

Ready to Apply?

If you are ready to apply for one of these programs please visit the Admission/Registration page for complete details.

Bachelor's Degrees

BA in Humanities

Immerse yourself in the great cultures of the world. Learn about the intellectual and artistic forces that shaped the world that we live in today. Humanities is a program devoted to the study, appreciation, and analysis of cultural traditions from an interdisciplinary perspective. It focuses on the arts (including literature, music, theatre, sculpture, painting, architecture, film) and ideas (philosophical trends, artistic movements, and religious traditions) by examining individual works and thinkers in their cultural and historical contexts. Humanities helps you to render a comprehensive, competent, and constructive assessment of today’s world. You will learn how to write clearly and convincingly, how to reason about a problem, and how to do serious and reflective research. This degree will help you to negotiate life and build bridges across cultures in the diverse world in which we live.

BA in Liberal Studies

The BA in Liberal Studies online degree completion program is designed for students who plan on teaching elementary school or who desire a broad-based degree. Sixty (60) upper division units are offered. Students may take a portion of their lower-division work at a community college, at a CSU campus or online program, or at another accredited four-year college or university. If you plan on teaching, after earning your BA in Liberal Studies you will need to enter a credential program before you are ready to teach. At this time Chico State does not offer an online credential program.

BA in Multicultural & Gender Studies

In this critical moment, there is an unmet demand for leaders with the ability to work with people from every culture and background, with a deep understanding of social justice issues, and with a fresh eye to systemic solutions. The BA in Multicultural & Gender Studies helps students become responsible and responsive citizens of their communities, countries, and world. Program graduates have become K-12 teachers, community and union organizers, social workers, congressional aides, policy analysts, journalists, lawyers, public advocates, artists/graphic designers, small business owners, and so much more. Multicultural & Gender Studies is a 42 unit major. Students pursuing the general option choose one ethnicity/cultural group for close analysis.

BA in Religious Studies

The Chico State online bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies is one of only four such programs in the United States. Religious Studies is the academic study of what religion is and how it shapes–and is shaped–by other cultural forces. The degree offers both deep knowledge of major religious traditions and comprehensive exploration of the role of religion in the contemporary world. Students enter the program with 60 to 70 transferable units, including all lower division general education. The major consists of 34 required units for the major, 9 upper-division general education requirement units, and 17 elective units.

BA in Social Science (Multidisciplinary Studies Option)

The BA in Social Science with a Multidiscipllinary Studies option is 45 units designed to offer students a broad background so they can develop a sensitivity to how individuals relate with one another within society. Thirty-six (36) units are offered via Chico Distance & Online Education, with the remainder available at a community college. Upper division general studies thematic courses are available via Chico Distance & Online Education.

BA in Social Science (Specialization Studies Option)

The BA in Social Science with a Specialization Studies option is a 45-unit major which consists of 24 units from one of the primary advising concentrations and 15 units in a secondary concentration, plus an integrated capstone social science seminar and an introductory computer course. The primary and secondary concentrations available to online students are Sociology and Career and Life Planning. All of the coursework is offered via Chico Distance & Online Education, with only one required course in the major that will need to be taken at a community college or other college, SOCI 100. If desired, 6 community college units can be used toward the major—3 in sociology and 3 in life planning.

BA in Sociology


Do you have a passion for studying social groups? Do you have a vision for a just society? The Chico State BA in Sociology online degree completion program combines the theoretical and research traditions of sociology with hands-on practice, preparing you for a successful and rewarding career in sociology-related fields.


Master's Degree

MS in Nursing

The Chico State School of Nursing is a leader in online education for nurses. The online Master of Science in Nursing program is geared to meet the needs of nurses in a rural area. There are two options offered in alternating years:

  • Nurse Educator
  • Nursing Leadership

We provide a strong program that enables students to gain advanced knowledge and skills in the areas of Nurse Educator and Nursing Leadership roles.

The core year provides a broad foundation in aspects of nursing research, technology, advanced nursing roles and health care organizational systems. 

Certificate Programs/Concentration

Career and Life Planning Certificate


Training for national certification by the National Career Development Association is provided through the online, nine-unit Career and Life Planning Certificate. Professional career and life counselors work in a variety of career development settings, such as career group facilitator, job search trainer, career resource center coordinator, career development case manager, intake interviewer, occupational and labor market information resource person, human resource career development coordinator, employment/placement specialist, workforce development staff person, or school career center technician.

The three courses required to complete the certificate are each offered once a year online—two courses during fall semester and one course during spring semester.



Accessibility Accommodations: If you need special disability accommodations for accessing any information on this website, please contact Professional & Continuing Education. For accommodations for an event, workshop, or online or on-campus class, please contact the Accessibility Resource Center.