Prospective Students

Admission/Registration Procedures

Step 1. Are You Ready to be an Online Student?

You will need a computer and internet access to participate in online courses. Online courses offer a unique and exciting learning experience, but they are not for everyone. The most common obstacles are access and time constraints. To be a successful online student, you must be self-motivated, have access to an internet ready computer, be willing to actively participate within the unique confines of the online environment, and meet the admission requirements of the program. Taking an online class requires as much, or more, time and effort as taking a class on campus. The academic rigor of an online course is equal to its on-campus equivalent.

To see if online classes are right for you, answer these simple questions:

  • Do you have the discipline to work independently?
  • Are you comfortable asking for clarification and continuing to ask when you need more information?
  • Are you good at meeting deadlines?
  • Are you comfortable working at a computer?
  • Are you comfortable working primarily with a text-based medium?
  • Do you have easy access to a high-speed computer and the internet?
  • Have you successfully loaded plug-in applications on your computer from the internet?
  • Would you be comfortable communicating with your professor and fellow students via the phone and e-mail?

If you answered yes to these questions then you'll probably do just fine. If you hesitated on some, or answered no, you will have to put some additional effort into making the experience a good one. Another good tool to determine your aptitude for distance education is the ToOLS: Test of Online Learning Success self-assessment. Be sure you have access to a relatively new computer with a dependable connection to the internet.

Checking out our web page, "Keys to Succeeding as an Online Student," may also be useful to you in making your decision to pursue a degree through our online program.

Step 2. Apply

The application periods for online degree programs are the same as those for on-campus degree programs. Please review admission information and deadlines, as most application periods are limited.

We are currently accepting applications for Fall 2024. University admissions requirements and deadlines for most online programs are the same for on-campus and online students.

Please note: The online application ( is only opened during the application periods.

For your convenience, we will send you an email reminder when the application period opens. Just complete this simple form indicating the semester you would like to start. When you complete the form, we will send you an information letter with an overview of our program and links to other helpful information. These degree programs are designed for students who have completed two years at a community college or have four-year college experience with the equivalent of 60 semester units. All lower division general education requirements must be met before admission to Chico State.

If you live outside of California, please verify our online programs are available in your state. There are approximately nineteen states where it is cost prohibitive for Chico State to offer online courses and degree programs.

Please note: If the formal admission deadline has passed, there may still be a way for you to enroll in courses on a space-available basis through the Open University program.

Step 3. After Admission: Read the Catalog & Talk to an Advisor

It is highly recommended that you talk to your advisors to set up your academic plan: (1) general academic advising and (2) major program advising. Be sure you have read the section of the University Catalog that pertains to your program requirements before calling your advisor.

Step 4. Set up your Portal Account

Go to the Portal Overview web page. You will set up your Portal account using your nine-digit student ID number (which will be on your admission verification letter) and your date of birth. It is through the Portal that you will add, drop and access your courses.

Step 5. Review Available Courses for Your Major

This process will provide you a list of your courses before using your portal account to enroll in classes. (1) Go to the current online course schedule; (2) click on the spreadsheet to the right of the schedule to enlarge it. You then can review the details about courses available for the upcoming term that are related to your major.

Step 6. Registration through the Chico State Portal

Before the registration period opens, the University will give you an online "appointment" date and time to begin enrolling in your classes. At that time, you will log into your portal account to enroll online. On-campus students also enroll in this way.

Step 7. Pay Your Fees

You will be responsible to pay your registration fees by the appropriate deadline. Read the Student Financial Services web page on Fees, Tuition, Refunds, and Holds for complete details. If you applied for financial aid, go to the Financial Aid Website or call the Financial Aid Office at 530-898-6451.

Step 8. Access Your Online Class

Once you have established your portal account (see Step 4, above), the portal will automatically provide you with access to the courses in which you are enrolled. Click on the "Student Services" tab and look for the "Courses Resource" link in the left-hand column. All online materials for Chico State courses are housed in a program called Blackboard Learn. If you have any problems using the portal, just use the toll-free number for IT Support Services (ITSS), 1-800-780-4837, and the technical staff there will help you. Also, ITSS has an entire web page devoted to portal issues, titled Portal Overview. Many instructors should have instructional materials available one week prior to the start of the semester.

Step 9. Be Prepared for Class

If a syllabus is posted, review the course outline and book list. Approximately three weeks before classes start, you can purchase your books online through the Chico State Wildcat Store.

Just in Case: How to Drop an Online Class

To check the deadline dates for dropping a course, please visit or contact the Student Records and Registration Office at 530-898-5142.

Up until the end of the second week of the semester, you may add and drop courses through the Portal without the instructor's permission. During the third and fourth weeks of the semester, the instructor's permission is needed, in the form of a signature on a course drop form or, for online students, an email from the instructor. Forward the instructor's email to Continuing Education and the permission you obtained will be forwarded to the Student Records Office. The staff there will drop you from the course.

After the fourth week, a serious and compelling reason is required to drop a course. You must contact the instructor, explaining your reason for the late drop and requesting written approval (an email is fine) for the drop. You will then forward the email to PCE; as a courtesy, the staff will forward it to the department chair and the dean. After all approvals are granted, the PCE staff will forward the completed documents to the Student Records Office for processing.

Complaint Process

State Consumer Protection laws require the University to provide online and distance education students the state agency address where students can file a complaint with their state agency responsible for distance education. Click this link and scroll down to “CSU Student Internal Complaint Process” for additional information.

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.