Frequently Asked Questions

    About CNU

  • Q: Is California National University (CNU) accredited?
    • A: CNU is nationally accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), Washington D.C. ( The Accrediting Commission of the DETC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and as a recognized member of the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CNU is listed in the American Council On Education Directory and in the Higher Education Directory
  • Q: How does distance learning at CNU work?
    • A: You will need a computer and access to the Internet. Distance Learning at CNU includes one-on-one communication with your professors. This process guarantees you maximum feedback and support by an expert in the field. Currently this contact is made through two delivery systems. Both systems provide you with a sequential course syllabus, assignments and guided learning experience. Many of our courses are being taught in the CNU Online Campus learning platform. Here, students access their course documents anytime from anywhere. They complete and submit assignments online. Students interact with their professors and virtual “classmates” and even take exams and receive faculty feedback and grades online.
  • Q: How much does it cost?
    • A: CNU's tuition is based on 15-week trimesters; with the recommendation students take two courses per trimester. Tuition is charged by the unit or credit hour. U.S., Canadian and International residents are charged $300.00 per unit/credit hour for a Bachelor's program or $330.00 per unit/credit hour for a Master's program.

      3 payment plan options are available including 1) payment in full, 2) 3 payments divided over the trimester (includes a 10% finance charge assessed against tuition only), or 3) tuition deferment for those students who receive tuition assistance from their employer (includes a $150.00 per course fee). Textbook, supplemental course materials and shipping and handling charges must always be paid before course of instruction can begin regardless of the payment plan option. NOTE: Overdue payments are charged a late fee of 1.5% per month of the outstanding balance.

  • Q: Does California National University offer financial aid?
    • A: CNU is approved for you to use the voluntary education tuition assistance program administered by the Defense Activity on Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) as well as approved for Veterans Benefits under the G.I. Bill and VEAP.
  • Q: Why should I choose CNU?
    • A: To stay competitive in today's market, one must be continually learning. But how does one find time to drive to a campus and go to a classroom while still working and meeting family commitments? CNU provides a flexible and individualized program that recognizes the needs of the adult learner and mid-career professional without ever having to compromise academic excellence. Although you never have to attend classes, you are guaranteed one-on-one instruction from an esteemed faculty, whereby you receive timely feedback through regular contacts with your professors. With an accredited curriculum, CNU will provide you with the tools, the skills and the knowledge so you can continue to grow professionally and financially throughout your life.
  • Q: What are my student rights and how do I file a grievance with the university?
    • A: Students may appeal decisions of faculty and staff of the University and its policies by filing a formal grievance petition in the form of a letter addressed to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Vice President, along with the academic deans, will constitute the Grievance Committee. This Committee will review and research all facets of the student’s concerns and provide the student with a report of its findings.
  • Q: What is California National University for Advanced Studies’ attendance policy?
    • A: Day-to-day attendance is not taken by the professor. However, the expectation is that the student is working independently to meet the 15-week course deadline.
  • Q: Does the university provide housing?
    • A: California National University for Advanced Studies is an online learning university. We do not have a physical campus, nor do we do we have dormitory facilities under our control. California National University for Advanced Studies does not provide student housing and the university assumes no responsibility for finding housing for students or assisting students in finding housing.
  • Q: What is CNU's policy on the retention of student records?
    • A: The California Code of Regulations, Title 3, Division 10, Private Postsecondary Education requires an institution to maintain student records for a minimum of five years and a transcript of grades for a period of 50 years.
  • Admissions

  • Q: What is involved in the application process and how long does it take to get started?
    • A: The application process involves submitting the Degree Program Application to CNU along with your Essay and the application fee. The Degree Program Application can be mailed in or you can apply online. Also included in the application process is having your Official Transcripts mailed to CNU by any and all colleges you attended.

      Once the evaluation of the admission materials is completed by the Admissions Committee, and the applicant is accepted, the applicant is mailed his or her Enrollment Agreement, Degree Program Evaluation, Acceptance Letter, and Textbook Memorandum.

      The applicant is admitted when the signed Enrollment Agreement and payment are received by CNU. Courses begin on the Friday determined by the student on his/her Enrollment Agreement.
  • Q: Are California National University credits transferable?
    • A: There is never complete assurance that credits will transfer. As is the case with any college/university, the acceptance of credits from CNU is at the discretion of the accepting institution.
  • Q: What does California National University accept as transfer credit?
    • A: Transfer Credit is awarded for courses taken at an accredited* post-secondary institution in which a grade of "C" or better was received, and the course is applicable to/equivalent to the courses at CNU.

      Standardized tests such as the College-Level Examination Program(CLEP) offer a desirable means for adult-learners to receive academic credit for what they know. CLEP exams mostly cover General Education content area courses.

      Credit may also be granted for military coursework and occupational specialties.

      *Listed in the ACE Directory of Accredited Institutions of Post-Secondary Education
  • Q: If I am an International student, what is required?
    • A: Submission of the Degree Program Application, your Essay, the $100 Application Fee, and, if you attended a post-secondary institution in a country other than US/Canada, you must have your transcript(s) evaluated by a Foreign Transcript Evaluation Agency approved by CNU. Also, a condition for admittance of international students is they must demonstrate adequate English language proficiency and have access to a computer. A score of 213 on the computer-based Test of English as a Foreign Language(TOEFL) or a score of 550 on the paper-based test is the minimum accepted.
  • Q: Do I need to have majored in Engineering as an undergraduate in order to apply for an Engineering Degree?
    • A: No. But, applicants should be able to demonstrate that they have an academic background in algebra, plane geometry, trigonometry, physics and chemistry. If an applicant lacks this background, prerequisite courses will be assigned from the CNU Basic Science curriculum. Students who have not taken Calculus I will be required to take a math placement test in the field that they are applying to.
  • Q: What kind of financial support does CNU provide?
    • A: CNU provides a military scholarship to eligible active military and their spouses to meet the gap of the GI Bill.
  • Q: How long should the essay in my application be?
    • A: The essay is generally 3–4 paragraphs, but should be no more than 2 pages, double spaced.
  • Q: Should supplemental materials (letters of recommendation, transcripts) be sent all in one package or sent separately?
    • A: Either method is fine. If the applicant is sending all of these items in themselves, the letters of recommendation should be in sealed envelopes with the recommender’s signatures across the envelope flap. Also, the transcripts should be in sealed envelopes as well.
  • Academics

  • Q: How do I start my courses?
    • A: When you receive your enrollment agreement for the trimester you will be given your choice of two different Friday start and end dates for your courses. After you indicate your selection of dates and return the agreement to CNU administration, your professors will be notified of your start date.

      For courses in the online environment, you will receive e-mail notification of your user codes for access to your courses online. For courses not yet in the online environment, you will receive a student packet via U.S. mail or e-mail.
  • Q: What do I do if I run into difficulties with a course?
    • A: Students, Faculty and Administration are communicating on a regular basis via e-mail, fax and phone etc., so any problems which may arise can be resolved as quickly as possible. If circumstances require a delay in completion of the course, a Course Extension Request may be filed. If circumstances occur which prevent continuous enrollment, a Leave of Absence is provided to accommodate the situation.
  • Q: How do I take my exams?
    • A: California National University for Advanced Studies requires that the Final Exam be taken under the supervision of a Proctor for each course. The student is expected to submit to the University for approval, the name of a Proctor, their address, and means of contact by completing a required Proctor Information Form.

      The site for taking any exam is to be approved by the professor. However, the exam cannot be taken or administered at the student's home.

      A proctor should be a citizen of the student’s community that holds a position of integrity, such as a workplace supervisor, a librarian, teacher, minister, rabbi, law enforcement officer, etc. A Proctor cannot be a friend, family member, or anyone related to the student by marriage.  The Proctor will be notified by the professor of the time and date of an exam and will be sent the exam with instructions to return it to the professor upon completion. Students are never required to travel to a central location in order to take an exam.

      Some exams are taken online through the course site located in the CNU Online Campus
  • Q: What about graduation?
    • A: A degree is granted by CNU when in the judgment of the Deans and Faculty you have completed all designated requirements. You have six years to complete the program according to the requirements in effect at the time of your enrollment. If you do not complete your program within the six-year period, you may be obligated to fulfill any new requirements in place at the time of your next enrollment to graduate. Prospective graduates must file an Application for Graduation no later than 15 weeks prior to the expected date of graduation. Final determination of eligibility is dependent on a Degree Check for Advancement to Candidacy, approval of the supervising Faculty and the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student may graduate with honors signifying achievement of scholastic excellence. The diploma will bear one of the following inscriptions:

      Summa Cum Laude (minimum of 3.8 GPA) Magna Cum Laude (minimum of 3.6 GPA) Cum Laude (minimum of 3.3 GPA)

      The Administration and Faculty wish to recognize the academic achievements of CNU Outstanding Graduates who have pursued their degrees through distance learning. Students who have graduated with honors are invited to join the Beta Chapter of the Delta Epsilon Tau International Honor Society.
  • Q: What is California National University for Advanced Studies’ attendance policy?
    • A: Day-to-day attendance is not taken by the professor. However, the expectation is that the student is working independently to meet the 15-week course deadline.
  • Q: How can I get credit for prior experiential learning?
    • A: Students seeking credit for related academic experience that directly relates to specific California National University for Advanced Studies courses may seek credit by applying for a Challenge Examination for each course they are seeking credit.

      Students are encouraged to give careful consideration before beginning the Challenge Examination Process. Some courses that are project oriented may not be appropriate for challenge by exam. Students should understand that what they believe is applicable background for successfully passing a Challenge Examination may not be adequate or complete enough to meet the criteria for the CNU course in question. Note that a successful course challenge will require the student to provide documentation of prior learning, pass a proctored examination, and may require additional assignments as determined by the instructor of the course being challenged.

      A student must successfully pass the Challenge Examination in order to receive credit for the course.
  • Q: What is needed from professors to provide timely feedback to students?
    • A: The California National University for Advanced Studies (CNU) is a online university/distance education. All CNU degree program courses are fifteen weeks in duration; the Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate Course is six weeks; and the Six Sigma Black Belt Certificate Course is eight weeks. Course assignments are due on a weekly basis; the approximate number of days that will elapse between the institution's receipt of student lessons, projects or thesis is forty-eight hours. It is expected that all grades and paperwork for students be submitted to CNU Administration within 7 business days after the student’s completion of the 15-week trimester. The institution's mailing/e-mailing of its response or evaluation is forty-eight hours.

      CNU utilizes the Blackboard Online Learning System, a Web-based course management platform. Students access their course sites with secure, password-protected accounts set up and maintained by CNU’s Blackboard System Administrator and supporting CNU Staff. CNU students have 24/7, 365-day, year round access to their courses in Blackboard, which is easily accessed from the CNU Online Campus link at the CNU website ( ).

      Within the self-contained Blackboard environment, CNU students:
      • interact in discussion forums with their professors and fellow students
      • retrieve course documents and assignments in Weekly folders, which provides specific instructions on when assignments are due.
      • submit assignments and receive faculty feedback and guidance on their submitted assignments.
      • view course progress in “My Results”
      • access online links and resources associated with the student's areas of study
      Students also have access to university-wide Announcements; course Announcements; and a site called Student Documents, which houses, among other documents, CNU Policies, Forms and Surveys.

      Professors follow the University guidelines for responding to assignment submissions and Student questions within 48 hours via threaded discussion boards in the Online Campus, via email or, in some instances, by phone or fax.

      The process for submitting assignments and receiving evaluation, feedback and grading is as follows:
      1. Students submit assignments according to the course syllabus published in the Online Campus classroom or in hard copy format provided for a non-online course. Faculty will also communicate additional written instructions about how to submit completed work through postings in the online Discussion Board or email.
      2. When Students have submitted an assignment, CNU Faculty responds within 48 hours, providing assessment and feedback.
      3. Students complete assignments and quizzes/exams in sequence; Students receive grades and/or scores within 48 hours, posting any questions and/or requests for Faculty assistance using the Online Campus Discussion Board or email.
      4. In online courses, the assignments are submitted into the online classroom as a Word attachment and eventually archived. Professors submit grades through the Online Campus or email so that Students are fully apprised of their progress throughout the course.
      5. Non-online course assignments are typically emailed or faxed to the professor with assessment and feedback provided within the standard 48-hour response guideline. Non-online course, hard copy exams are typically filed with the professor. In some instances, professors will prefer that the University keep copies of the original exam. These are mailed to and archived at CNU.
      6. The professor posts all final grade reports in the Online Campus and submits a grade report to CNU’s Registrar for entry in the CAMS academic management system. Whether a Student is enrolled in an online course or a non-online course, he/she receives an official Grade Report for each completed course. It is expected that all grades and paperwork for students be submitted to CNU Administration within 7 business days after the student’s completion of the 15-week trimester.

      The process for addressing the inquiries of Continuing Students differs in the channels through which the initial Student inquiry is received. Continuing Students may submit inquiries related to program content and requirements by phone and/or email to any member of the Student Services Team, to the Vice President of Student Affairs/Registrar, to the Deans, and Director of Instruction, to the professor, or to the Admissions Advisor. In all instances, the Continuing Student’s inquiry is forwarded to CNU’s Vice President of Student Affairs/Registrar who acts as the locus of communication amongst the Student Services Team, Academic Team, Faculty, and Students. The Vice President of Student Affairs/Registrar will determine the nature of the question and whether to consult with the Director of Instruction and/or Deans to problem-solve the issue. As stated above, the target resolution timeframe is to respond in 24-72 hours. Once a resolution plan is in place, the Vice President of Student Affairs/Registrar will communicate with both the Student and the professor to address the inquiry and facilitate the Student’s progress.

      download - School Performance Fact Sheet
  • Policies

  • Q: What is the Toefl policy for CNU?
    • A: You can download and review our Toefl
  • Q: What is the Proctor policy for CNU?
  • Q: What is the the Conflict of Interest policy for CNU?
  • Q: What the CNU Policy and Practices for Student Verification and Identification Proctoring?