Open University

Opening Doors to opportunity

California State University, Chico's Open University program allows community members, working professionals, international or visiting students, former Chico State students and alumni to enroll in university courses during fall and spring terms on a space-available basis with instructor permission, and earn college credit.

  • There is no formal application or admission process
  • Courses are available online or on campus
  • Earn transferable credits, up to 24 units toward a bachelor’s degree or 9 units toward a master’s degree

Open University opens doors so that you can grow professionally, explore personal interests, prepare for a career change, or give university life a try.

If you are looking for a University course when the fall and spring semesters are out of session, please check out the Winter Session and Summer Session schedules.

 Winter Session at Chico State    Summer Session at Chico State

Read About

Take an Open University Class

The Spring 2024 semester begins January 22.

How to Enroll

Step 1: Complete the Open University Add/Drop Form

Complete the Add Form or Drop Form electronically in Adobe Sign. Submit a separate form for each class you wish to take. Once you submit the form(s), Continuing Education will route it for permission and signatures from the instructor and others as needed. Once all approvals are complete, we will hold the forms until January 22, the first day of class, when enrollments begin.

Select the class(es) you would like to attend from the Chico State schedule of courses available on the Chico State class schedule. The info needed for the Add/Drop form is noted here:

Class schedule information needed for Open University Add/Drop form

Step 2: Claim Your Account

First-time Chico State students will be emailed your student ID number, which is needed to self certify, and instructions to claim your student account. Please allow 1-2 business days to receive this email.  

Step 3: Class Enrollment

We'll start enrolling students in their classes on Monday, January 22. Once enrolled, you'll receive an overnight confirmation email.

Step 4: Pay Fees Once Enrollment is Complete

After you receive your enrollment confirmation email, log into your Student Center to pay course fees and self certify your vaccination status if you haven't already done so.

Open University Fees

  • Fees are due at the time of enrollment. If fees are not paid within 72 hours of being enrolled, you will be dropped from the class. 
  • Open University fees are $302/unit.* A $10 late fee will be charged for any registrations after February 16. 
  • Financial aid is not available to cover Open University fees.
  • Any debt to the University or registration holds must be resolved before registration can take place.

Special Eligibility Requirements & Restrictions

  • Admitted Chico State students are not eligible to take classes through Open University. Admitted students should seek the assistance of an advisor for enrollment.
  • International Students / Non-U.S. Citizens may need to provide additional documentation in order to enroll in university courses.
  • Chico State benefitted employees (state and CSE) who work a minimum .40 appointment are eligible for reduced Open University fees of $75/unit. Please email Continuing Education to confirm eligibility.
  • If you are an Open University student and decide to apply for admission to the University, you must meet all regular admission requirements. Contact the University Admissions Office for additional information.

Disqualified Students and/or Students Who Have Been Denied Admission

Academically-disqualified students must attend an academic advising appointment and meet with an academic advisor prior to completing the Add/Drop Form. Permissions will be required of the instructor, department chair, and academic or graduate advising.

For students denied admission, approval from the Admissions Office (undergraduates) or your department's Graduate Coordinator (graduates), as well as permission from both the instructor and department chair are required. Continuing Eduation registration staff will obtain these permissions on your behalf.

Late Adds

All late adds after the census date require a serious and compelling reason and require permission from the instructor, department chair, and college dean. A $10 late fee will be assessed for each class added after February 16 (census date), regardless of the class start date.


  • To drop a class, please submit an online drop form. Failure to do so constitutes an unofficial withdrawal and can result in a failing grade for the course.
  • PCE will receive your form and route for any required approvals. After approval signatures have been received, you will receive a request from Adobe Sign via email to sign the form. Once you sign the form you will receive a pdf copy of the fully signed form. 
  • PCE will email a confirmation of your drop once completed.
  • Students can drop classes through the second week of class without permission.
  • After the second week, instructor permission is required to drop courses. 
  • After the fourth Friday (census date), a serious and compelling reason, as well as permission of the instructor, department chair, and college dean is required to drop courses.
  • Please review our refund policy before submitting your drop request.


  • To request a swap, please submit an online swap form.
  • PCE will receive your form and route for any required approvals. After approval signatures have been received, you will receive a request from Adobe Sign via email to sign the form. Once you sign the form you will receive a pdf copy of the fully signed form. 
  • Students can request swaps through the second week of the semester and any fees paid will be transferred to the newly added course.
  • After the second week, a 65% refund will be given for the dropped course and the newly added course will be charged at the full rate. The student is responsible for paying any difference in cost. 
  • After census of the semester a serious and compelling reason must be given. No refund will be given for the dropped course and the student must pay full price for the newly added course.


  • Drop on or after the first day of the term and on or before September 18 (census date): 65% refund.
  • Drop after February 16 (census date): No refund.


Official transcripts are obtained from the Students Records Office. For more information, or to request a transcript, visit

Apply Open University Units Toward a Degree

The maximum amount of Open University credit which may be applied toward a Chico State undergraduate (BA or BS) degree is 24 units. The maximum number of Open University units which may be applied toward a master's degree is nine units. By that point, you are expected to be admitted to Chico State to continue your degree coursework. If you are planning to pursue a master's degree, please refer to the department office of the appropriate major to check the unit limit. Note: Master's Thesis/Project (699) courses cannot be taken through Open University.

Student Health Services

If you are an Open University student taking six or more units you may have access to Student Health Services for $258 per semester. If you're interested, please email Continuing Education. The deadline for payment of the Student Health Fee is the fourth Friday of each semester.


* Open University students are not admitted to Chico State and are therefore not eligible to receive federal loans or financial aid. You may, however, be eligible for other options, such as loans. Per unit cost indicated is for undergraduate courses and does not include any other additional course fees. Actual cost may vary.

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.