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.
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
Matriculated (Admitted) 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.
Matriculated (admitted) students or students who have previously attended SSU and whose current status is disqualification for either academic or administrative reasons may not enroll through Open University. There will be no exceptions to this regulation and no refund of fees.
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.
Open University courses are open to permanent residents and those with visitor (B) visas. In addition to any course pre-requisites, all students whose native language is not English must fulfill English language proficiency requirements.
- 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. TOEFL is not required of freshmen (0--29 units) who have studied in the United States full-time (excluding ESL) for three consecutive years.
- IELTS (International English Language Test System): A band score of 6.0 will be accepted in lieu of TOEFL for undergraduate students.
International students must also obtain the signature of the International Student Advisor, Marisa Thigpen, prior to enrolling in Open University courses.
How to Register for Classes through Open University
- Registration will be accepted through the normal add/drop period, usually the first two weeks of each semester; see the Academic Calendar for details.
- Late registration is accepted 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 online. Select the course(s) you wish to take. Be sure you have fulfilled any necessary prerequisities 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 fill out and print the online form. Then, go to the first class meeting.
3. Ask the instructor to sign the form.
Most classes require only an instructor signature. However, some schools or departments require more:
School of Business and Economics: In general, Level 500 Graduate School of Business courses are not available through Open University. For undergraduate courses, you must also obtain a permit to register issued by the Business Administration department before registering.
School of Natural Sciences courses with a laboratory component: You must also obtain the Department Chair's signature.
School of Education, Credential pre-requisites: Students wishing to take prerequisites for a teaching credential cannot use Open University to register. They may take courses when offered through Summer Session, but during the regular year must apply to the University, following procedures outlined on the School of Education website.
All other 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.
4. Bring your signed form to the Extended and International Education office with your method of payment: cash, check, money order, or credit card.
Financial aid can be used only by Special Sessions degree or other approved program students who will already have been advised of their eligibility.
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:
- Lecture/Discussion: $280
- Nursing Department courses: $300
- School of Natural Sciences Laboratory: $300
- A total refund of fees is granted through the end of Add/Drop.
- After that time, no refunds are given.
- This fee applies to all Natural Science 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:
The effective date of a refund application is the day it is received by the office. Refunds will be mailed to the address listed on the Add/Drop form after approval and processing by SEIE. Allow 4-6 weeks for refunds to be issued.
Grade Mode Change
Most courses have an option for students to receive a letter grade or Cr/NC; otherwise, the course description in the catalog will specify. Students may change their grade mode up to the end of the 4th week of instruction, using the form at the SEIE office.
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. Nine 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 Registration office.