Open University

Registration - Fees

No Formal Admission Required

Open University is a registration process whereby students who have not been formally admitted to Sonoma State may participate in regular University classes on a space-available basis.

Enrollment Eligibility

Open University is for you if you:

  • missed the deadline for admission to SSU degree programs
  • want to update your professional training and job skills
  • want to explore personal interests
  • want to test your interest in a field before entry
  • have been academically or administratively disqualified at SSU or another CSU

Matriculated (Admitted) SSU Students

The Open University registration process is available only to non-matriculated students. If a student who has applied and been admitted to Sonoma State as a resident student enrolls through Open University in the semester of his or her admission, they will lose their status as admitted students and must reapply for admission.

Disqualified Students

Current or former SSU students who have been academically disqualified for academic or administrative reasons may be allowed to take classes at SSU through Open University if approved by an Advisor. The focus should be on raising the GPA by retaking courses for which a C- or below was received.

First, set up an appointment with your Advisor to create a reinstatement plan. To that meeting, bring an Open University Disqualified Student Approval Form (available from the SEIE office). Fill in which classes you have been approved to take, have the Advisor sign, and submit this form along with your Open University registration form(s) and method of payment. Please see below for additional information about the Open University registration process.


Please note that some courses are closed to non-majors, and that students enrolling through Open University must have fulfilled test score and/or other pre-requisites. If pre-requisites have not been fulfilled, the University reserves the right to withdraw you from the course(s) with no refund. An instructor's signature on your registration form does not guarantee that any pre-requisites have been waived.

Foreign/International Students

International students may apply to take a full course of study through Open University via the Semester at Sonoma program. Otherwise, Open University registration is open to permanent residents and those maintaining valid non-immigrant visa status, including, but not limited to F-1/F-2 student visa and J-1/Au Pair visa holders. Sonoma State University will not issue immigration documents for attendance through Open University registration.

Students must demonstrate proof of English proficiency by one of the following options:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): A minimum score of 61 for undergraduate courses or 80 for graduate courses is required. Sonoma State's ETS code is 4723.
  • IELTS (International English Language Test System): A band score of 6.0 will be accepted in lieu of TOEFL for undergraduate students.
  • TOEFL/IELTS is not required of those who have studied full-time for three or more years at the secondary level or above at an institution where English is the principal language of instruction. Official transcripts are required.

International students must also obtain written approval from the International Student Advisor, located in the Center for International Education in International Hall, prior to enrolling through Open University.

How to Register for Classes through Open University

  • Registration is on a space-available basis and we cannot guarantee a spot. Normally, registration will take place on or after the first day of class.
  • Registration forms will be accepted through the normal add/drop period, usually the first two weeks of each semester; see the SSU Academic Calendar for details.
  • Late registration can be accomplished until the end of the 4th week of the semester, but a $25 late fee will be charged and courses will not be eligible for refunds.

1. Choose your class(es)

View the SSU Schedule of Classes PDF. Select the course(s) you wish to take. Be sure you have fulfilled any necessary prerequisites and are eligible to enroll in each course. Complete course descriptions can be found in the current SSU Catalog.

2. Fill out a registration form

Pick up and complete an enrollment form from the School of Extended and International Education (SEIE) office in Stevenson Hall 1012, or print and fill out the registration form. Then, go to the first class meeting.

  • You will need one form for each class you wish to enroll in.

3. Obtain required signatures.

Most classes require only an instructor signature. However, some schools or departments require more:

  • School of Business and Economics: Graduate business courses (500-level) are not available through Open University. For undergraduate courses, you must also obtain the Business Administration department chair's signature before registering.
  • School of Natural Sciences courses with a laboratory component: You must also obtain the Department Chair's signature.
  • School of Education classes: Individuals should meet with the department chair of the department in which the course they wish to take is offered in order to determine if an Open University enrollment is appropriate. You must obtain the signature of the Education Department Chair; instructor's signature is not required.
  • Special note regarding Credential pre-requisites: During the Fall and Spring semesters, students wishing to take prerequisites for a teaching credential cannot use Open University to register. They must apply to the University, following procedures outlined on the School of Education website. However, during Summer Session, they may take courses without special requirements as these courses are open to anyone.

4. Bring your signed form to the Extended and International Education office with your method of payment: check, money order, or credit card.

  • Disqualified students will also need to submit an Open University Disqualified Student Approval Form signed by their Advisor. See Disqualified Students section, above.
  • Financial aid can be used only by Special Sessions degree or other approved program students who will already have been advised of their eligibility.
  • If the class is full, Open University students cannot be put on waiting lists. You will need to let us know when a spot has opened up so we can register you. You must keep checking with the instructor as we cannot track this for you.


You are not officially registered in a class until fees are paid and your registration form has been received by Extended Education. Current fees per unit:

  • Undergraduate Lecture/Discussion: $325
  • Graduate Lecture/Discussion: $450
  • Nursing Department courses: $325
  • School of Science and Technology Laboratory courses: $450
    • This fee applies to all Science and Technology courses with a laboratory component


To drop a class, students must submit a Class Drop and Refund Request form to the SEIE office.

Non-attendance does not constitute withdrawal. Students must withdraw from a class by date specified in the Academic Calendar for dropping with a grade of "W", generally four weeks into the semester.

After this time, students may withdraw for reasons clearly beyond their control by securing the approval and signature of the instructor on a Class Drop and Refund Request form. No refund will be given.


Refunds are calculated on the following scale:

  • A total refund of fees is granted through the end of Add/Drop.
  • After that time, no refunds are given.

The effective date of a refund application is the day it is received by the office.

Grade Mode Change

Many courses have an option for students to receive a letter grade or Cr/NC; otherwise, the course description in the SSU Catalog will specify. Students may change their grade mode up to the end of the 4th week of instruction. Please stop by the SEIE office for the appropriate form. Please note that courses graded Cr/NC may not count for major purposes should you pursue a degree in the future. See an Advisor in that department if you are unsure.

Credit Information

Open University participants receive Special Sessions academic credit for courses numbered 100--599. Up to 24 units of academic credit may be applied toward a Baccalaureate degree. Up to 9 units may be applied toward a Master's degree (subject to departmental approval). Units earned in Open University courses do not meet degree residence requirements.

Grades & Transcripts

All regular University rules and regulations pertaining to grades and transcripts apply to Open University students; see University grading policies.

Students may request official transcripts using the transcript request form supplied by the Office of the Registrar.