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Open University
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CSU, 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     Summer Session

Take an Open University Class

The fall 2021 semester begins August 23. Requests for Open University registration begins August 9. Please read the instructions below carefully as we have made some changes to our Open University enrollment request process.

  • Select the class(es) you would like to attend from the CSU, Chico schedule of courses available on the Chico State class schedule. Course descriptions are available under "Academic Programs" in the online University Catalog. Most classes in the current term class schedule are available for Open University enrollment on a space available basis and with instructor's permission. Updates to the class schedule and enrollment numbers are reflected daily. 
  • When choosing a class, make note of the information required for your class request:

Class schedule and open university enrollment request example.

  • Also note the information regarding course delivery. Synchronous courses have a meeting pattern and requires student participation online according to the schedule. Asynchronous courses do not have a set meeting pattern. Please contact the instructor if you have questions about the delivery method and meeting schedule for the course.

Class schedule course delivery information example.

  • Make note of the number of available seats in the course:

Class schedule available seats example

  • If you have been academically disqualified, please meet with an academic advisor prior to submitting your request. You will need to supply the name of the advisor that has approved your request on the enrollment request form.
  • Beginning August 9, complete the online enrollment request form. RCE will receive a copy of your request upon submission.
  • If no additional information is needed, RCE registration staff will request the necessary permission(s) on your behalf. Permission is granted entirely at the instructor's discretion and is contingent upon space availability, as well as other criteria established by the instructor, department, or college.
  • If this is your first time taking a class at Chico State, you will receive a separate email with your student ID and instructions on how to activate your student account. Please do this as soon as possible to make sure you are able to begin participating in the class as soon as you are enrolled.
  • If you receive permission to take the class, an email to request your signature on your enrollment request form will be sent to you. Please open and sign the form. After you have completed signing the form, you will receive a pdf copy of the fully signed form via email. Please forward the copy of the fully signed form to rce@csuchico.edu to continue processing your enrollment. RCE will not process your enrollment request unless you submit the fully signed copy of your form.
  • If your enrollment request is denied, you will receive an email notification that your request has been denied and the reason for the denial.
  • Open University fees are $302/unit.* A $10 late fee will be charged for any registrations after September 20. Any debt to the University or registration hold must be resolved before registration can take place. Financial aid is not available to cover Open University fees.
  • Requests to enroll in Open University can be submitted as early as August 9, however the enrollment period for Open University begins on August 23 which means we will begin enrolling students into classes on that day. Once you are enrolled in the course you will gain access to the course materials through Blackboard Learn.
  • Open University enrollments must be completed by the fourth Friday of the semester (census date). Instructor permissions more than ten working days old will not be accepted.
  • If you wish to take multiple classes, please complete a separate form for each class. Please do not submit duplicate requests for the same course as this will slow enrollment processing.
  • Enrollments can take 7-10 business days to process and are not complete until all approvals and full fee payment have been received.

Special Eligibility Requirements & Restrictions

  • Admitted CSU, Chico 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.
  • CSU, Chico 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 zoom appointment and meet with an academic advisor prior to enrollment. 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. RCE 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 September 20 (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.
  • RCE 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. Please forward the copy of the fully signed form to rce@csuchico.edu to complete your drop. RCE will not process your drop request unless you submit the fully signed copy of your form.
  • RCE 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.
  • RCE 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. Please forward the copy of the fully signed form to rce@csuchico.edu to complete your swap. RCE will not process your enrollment request unless you submit the fully signed copy of your 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 the 4th Friday 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 the September 20 (census date): 65% refund.
  • Drop after September 20 (census date): No refund.


Official transcripts are obtained from the Students Records Office. For more information, or to request a transcript, visit https://www.csuchico.edu/sro/transcript/index.shtml.

Apply Open University Units Toward a Degree

The maximum amount of Open University credit which may be applied toward a CSU, Chico 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 CSU, Chico 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 FAQ

For more information please visit our Open University FAQ page!

* Open University students are not admitted to CSU, Chico 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 Regional & Continuing Education. For accommodations for an event, workshop, or online or on-campus class, please contact the CSU, Chico Accessibility Resource Center.