Information For

Frequently Asked Questions

How many degree applicable units can I take via Open University? 
What if I have been denied admission to the University?
What if I want to take upper-division Business Administration courses?
What types of payment methods are accepted?
Other payment methods?
How do I drop my course(s)?
What is your refund policy?
What about Independent Study?
If I later decide to enroll in a regular degree program, can Open University credit be applied toward a degree?
If I am a foreign student, can I obtain a visa through Open University?
Can I use the library?
How do I obtain access to an online class?
How do I obtain an official CSU San Marcos transcript?

How many degree applicable units can I take via Open University?

Undergraduate students may take a maximum of 24 semester units that can be applied toward a degree.  Graduate students may take a maximum of 9 semester units.  Units in excess of the designated maximums will not count toward CSUSM degree requirements.  For those students not seeking a degree, there is no preset limit on classes that may be taken in the Open University program.


What if I have been denied admission to the University?

Students who have been denied admission to the University, or who have been academically disqualified from Cal State San Marcos, are not eligible to enroll as Open University students. A student who has been denied admission, but wishes to be considered for enrollment as an Open University student must petition the Director of Admissions. A student who has been academically disqualified but wishes to enroll as an Open University student must petition to the Dean of the college of the student’s intended major.


What if I want to take upper-division Business Administration courses?

Individuals wanting to enroll in an upper-division business administration course must complete and submit the following forms to the CoBA Advising Offices (Markstein Hall, Suite 126) prior to the start of the semester (these forms are available from the CoBA Advising Offices or at www.csusm.edu/cba).

  • A Special Permission Form, which is available from the CoBA Advising Offices.
  • A Business Status Application along with unofficial transcripts/copies of grades.
  • An Upper-Division Transfer Credit Approval Formalong with a syllabus and unofficial transcripts for any business course that has upper-division prerequisites.

What types of payment methods are accepted?
  • In person at Craven Hall 3107: cash, check, money order and ATM/Debit Cards
  • Drop Box: check and money order - no cash
  • Online or Telephone: MasterCard, American Express, Discover and E-Check

You may pay your fees with a credit card by accessing MyCSUSM or call (866) 486-0459. Payments made via MyCSUSM are received by the University Cashier's no later than the next business day. MyCSUSM assesses each customer a 2.9% convenience fee based on the transaction amount.


Other payment methods?

Only checks/money orders can be dropped in the drop box located in the breezeway outside the University Cashier’s office (CRA 3107). Write your Student ID on your check/MO. The drop box is checked every morning and payments are processed by 9:00 am.


How do I drop my course(s)?

You may drop a course during the ADD/Drop period (refer to registration calendar). Please be aware that if you decide to drop a class and add another class, the fees are NOT transferable. You pay for each class you register for. You will be charged a fee for every class you drop (refer to the Open University drop/refund schedule).


What is your refund policy?

Please reference the University's refund schedule. For additional information visit Refunds.

Refund amounts are calculated in accordance with the Formula for Refunds established in the California Administrative Code, Title 5, sections 41802. The following fees are nonrefundable according to California Administrative Code, Title 5: Late Registration Fee of $25.00; Late Administrative Fee of $15.00.

In the case of extenuating circumstances, in which you feel you may be eligible for a refund outside of the normal refund schedule, you can complete and submit a University Fee Appeal form, which will be reviewed by Student Financial Services. Please follow the submission instructions found on the form.

Students who wish to withdraw from all classes (after the end of the add/drop period) must petition for complete semester withdrawal through Registration and Records located in Cougar Central on the third floor of Craven Hall. If you do not formally withdraw from your class you will receive a "WU" (equivalent to an F in GPA calculation). All dropped or withdrawn classes are subject to the Extended Learning Credit Course Drop/Refund policy.


What about Independent Study?

Registration for any of these is handled through the academic department.


If I later decide to enroll in a regular degree program, can Open University credit be applied toward a degree?

A maximum of 24 units may be applied to a bachelor's degree. The number of Open University course credits applicable toward a master's degree is determined by the appropriate college and academic department. Academic credit earned through any other extension program would also be calculated into these maximums. You cannot earn a degree through Open University. All 24 units through Open University may be applied to the 30-unit residency requirement. Grades earned through this program will affect your grade point average at CSU San Marcos.


If I am a foreign student, can I obtain a visa through Open University?

Immigration regulations prohibit issuing a visa unless students are enrolled in a regular program. Units completed through Open University cannot be counted toward full-time enrollment certification for an F-1 visa. However, if you have a visa and a valid I-20 form, you may take courses through Open University. Please contact Global Education for further information.


Can I use the library?

Open University students are entitled to use the library. To check out books, you will need a student photo ID card, which are issued by Media Services in the Kellog Library, 2nd Floor. To obtain a CSU San Marcos identification card, students must present proof of registration and payment of fees.


How do I obtain access to an online class?

Students who register for online classes will most likely be required to use WebCT.  For additional information about logging in to online courses visit the IITS website.

How do I obtain an official CSU San Marcos transcript?

Transcripts are not automatically sent. There is no charge for transcripts. Students who have attended CSUSM may request official transcripts by sending a written request to: Cal State San Marcos, Transcript Request, Office of Registration and Records, San Marcos, CA 92096-0001. Transcripts are not issued until all outstanding accounts or holds with the university are paid or cleared. For more information call 760-750-4814. Please visit the Registration & Records website.