Find answers to many of the most common questions asked by students who want to pursue continuing and professional education.
Advance Your Career |
Finish Your Degree |
Learn Something New |
Study Online |
Take a Course Without Enrolling at the CSU (Open University)
How do I get started?
If you know what you need to advance in your field, start searching for degrees, certificates and credentials and fully online programs at the CSU. Once you’ve identified a program that’s right for you, contact the campus for more information. If you’re not sure what you need to move ahead, you may want to speak with your employer, someone in your industry or a campus advisor to get a better idea of the skills you’ll need to advance in your field.
How long will it take to advance my career?
It can take several years to earn or complete a bachelor’s degree; longer if you are only able to attend school part-time. If, though, you’ve enrolled in a certificate or credential program, you could complete coursework in as little as a few weeks or months, depending on the program you choose.
How much will it cost to improve or add to my skillset?
Again, much depends on the type and length of the program you choose. Degree program fees are calculated on a per-unit basis. Professional and continuing education students are often eligible for most forms of financial aid. Beyond grants and loans, you should consider other sources of aid, such as employer tuition assistance, scholarships, veterans’ benefits and workforce funds. Certificate program fees range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the type and length of the program.
Who teaches the courses?
Professional development courses are taught by university faculty and industry experts.
Returning to school can be overwhelming. The best way to get started on completing your bachelor’s is to search for a degree program by discipline (business, healthcare, etc.) and/or by a specific CSU campus by using the Search CSU Degrees database. If you’re looking for fully-online degree programs, you can find programs at Cal State Online. Once you’ve found a program, contact the campus for more information.
How long will it take to finish my degree?
That depends on a number of factors, such as what type of program you choose; if you’re transferring credits; and whether you will attend school full- or part-time. The typical undergraduate degree completion program requires 60 units beyond general education, so it could take between two and four years to complete your bachelor’s degree.
How much will it cost?
Fees can vary by CSU campus and are calculated on a per-unit basis. The average range for an undergraduate degree completion program is $400 to $500 per unit. Once you’ve identified a program you’re interested in, contact the campus for more information. You’ll also find information at CSU Costs.
Can I get financial aid to finish my degree?
What does “extended education” mean?
Will I earn the same degree as if I were enrolled in traditional courses at a CSU?
Who teaches professional and continuing education courses?
How do I find out what degree programs and courses are available in a specific industry or career path?
Campuses will often announce new programs via social media; you can follow a campus you’re interested via their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. You can also check state agency websites like California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) for trends in industries and regional and local opportunities, including job openings, job fairs and workshops and more.
How long will it take to learn a new skill?
That depends entirely on the program you choose. Professional development certificates can be as short as a few weeks or last a full year or even longer.
Again, this will depend on the type and length of the program you choose. Contact the campus you’re interested in for more information.
How do I get started studying online?
If you know that taking courses online is the best option for you, you can get started by searching for a fully online degree program at Cal State Online. Once you’ve found a program that’s right for you, contact the campus for more information.
How long will it take to complete my degree online?
Fees can vary by CSU campus and are calculated on a per-unit basis. The average range for a self-support undergraduate degree completion program is $400 to $500 per unit. Once you’ve identified a program you’re interested in, contact the campus for more information.
Can I get financial aid?
If the program you’ve chosen and your eligibility as a student meet federal financial aid requirements, you can apply for aid using the federal financial aid form, also called FAFSA. Students enrolled in extended education/self-support programs are eligible for most forms of aid, with the exception of the State University Grant (SUG). Visit Paying for College to learn more.
Extended education is a way to identify self-supporting programs, meaning the programs operate entirely on student fees; CSU campuses don’t receive any state aid. Campuses must cover the full cost of offering the program. The cost to students may seem higher, but students enrolled in self-supporting programs benefit from flexible scheduling and enhanced student services to move students into the workforce sooner or help them advance in their career more quickly.
Yes. Degrees offered by the CSU in extended education/self-support programs are no different than any other degree earned at the CSU. Your diploma will not be any different, either.
University faculty and industry experts teach the courses.
Open University is available to anyone who wants to attend a college course without being admitted to the university and is available at all 23 campuses. Open University might be right for you if you're a community member wanting to take courses to resume a college career or looking for personal enrichment.
These courses are also a good fit if you’re a student wanting to jumpstart a college career or an international student who’d like to study abroad for a short time.