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Graduate Work in Open University

Open University, often known elsewhere as extension, is set up primarily as a device for members of the surrounding community to take college courses. It is attended by non-matriculated postbaccalaureate students who hope to gain future admission to one of the SJSU graduate programs or who wish to take classes to prepare for a professional degree program, such as medicine. It can also be part of the program-of-study mechanism by which scholastically disqualified SJSU graduate students can gain reinstatement to the graduate school (see section on Program of Study). Non-matriculated students who enroll only for Open University courses are reminded that they must apply for admission to the university and graduate program and complete other details of matriculation if they wish to obtain a degree or credential from SJSU. Enrollment in Open University courses is governed by specific policies, as follows:

  • Fees differ from those in regular and special sessions.
  • Open University enrollment in a given graduate class is permitted only with instructor and department chair or school director approval and only after reasonable efforts are made to provide full enrollment opportunities to regularly matriculated students.
  • Matriculated students may not take Open University courses. This restriction also applies, without special permission of the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, to formerly matriculated students who have gone out of matriculation by stopping out or being disqualified.
  • Letter-graded or CR/NR courses may be taken through Open University with the exception of supervisory courses, such as independent study courses and project or thesis courses.
  • Either regular (state-support) or special (self-support) classes may be taken through Open University if all other requirements are met.
  • Open University course enrollment in 200-level courses is ordinarily open to holders of baccalaureate degrees who meet course prerequisite requirements. Neither disqualified students nor those denied admission into a graduate program for reasons other than limitations imposed by enrollment caps are permitted to enroll in 200-level courses.
  • Open University courses do not qualify for residence credit toward a master's degree, as specified by Title 5.
  • Upper-division (100-level) and graduate (200-level) Open University units up to 30% of the degree program total and taken prior to matriculation may be applied to a master's degree program with the consent of the program's graduate advisor. Note that these units are considered to be transfer units into the master's program, and the allowable total of all transfer units is 30%, with the exception of transfers from credential programs into master's programs (40% of degree unit total allowed, i.e., 12 units in a 30 unit master's program). Upper-division courses taken as part of a program of study for reinstatement after disqualification may be applied to the graduate program if they were already present on the student's candidacy form or were otherwise approved by the graduate advisor.

Open University courses are counted toward the cumulative GPA. Those taken in the postbaccalaureate career (before matriculation and enrollment in the semester admitted) are also counted in the candidacy GPA if transferred into the graduate program. Because the university cannot determine whether the courses are part of the degree program until they appear on the candidacy form, it is not until advancement to candidacy that the grade points are transferred. Thus a student may conceivably be disqualified before advancing to candidacy even if courses to be transferred would have raised the GPA to a passing level.

For further information concerning special session or Open University offerings and policies, inquire at College of International and Extended Studies, 210 North Fourth Street, Suite 301, call 408-924-2670, or www.sjsu.edu/cies.