General Questions

Is the University of San Diego accredited?

Yes. The Division of Professional and Continuing Education is regionally accredited through the University of San Diego by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Are loan deferments, financial aid and student loans available for continuing education courses?

Because our courses are not degree-seeking, we are unable to offer financial aid or assist with loan deferments.

Do I need to be a USD student to take a continuing education course?

No, all professional and continuing education courses are open to everyone.

Do Continuing Education courses count towards a degree?

Most of our courses do not count toward a degree, unless otherwise stated on the course website page. While credit earned for our courses may be accepted by some universities as applicable towards a degree it is ultimately the decision of the institution you plan to transfer the credit to. It is highly recommended and the responsibility of the student to confirm the transferability with the other institution

Is online learning, classroom or independent study Instructional Method right for me?

Online Fixed-Date courses offer a convenient yet rigorous style of learning that allows you to structure your education to suit your schedule while keeping you on pace toward achieving your educational goals. Online fixed-date courses have fixed start and finish dates similar to classroom courses, but as an online student, you will have access to your classroom at any time and can view your assignments, syllabus, and course resources from any computer with Internet capability.

Our online courses offer the same high-quality content and expert instruction as the courses held on-ground at the University of San Diego. Instructors facilitate courses through engaging multimedia presentations and provide prompt feedback to questions within a 24-48 hour time frame. Online learning allows students to interact with classmates worldwide and replicate in-classroom interactions through weekly discussion forums, chats and email communication.

Online Self-Paced courses are a perfect blend of accessibility, convenience and flexibility for you to control your learning pace. You will use course textbooks, manuals, assignments and exams to learn and earn credit. Depending on the course, you may also use streaming audio and video, CD-ROM, and download embedded materials through the Internet. Communication with your instructor will take place through your course site online. Your instructor will provide feedback via written responses on your assignments and exams. Grades are based on completed projects, assignments and exams. You can register at any time and you will have six months from the time of registration to complete your course.

Classroom courses are offered in a traditional classroom where you can connect with your instructor and classmates in a live setting. This learning environment facilitates a communication on a given subject in real time, enables immediate feedback, and fosters interaction with the instructor and likeminded classmates. To see if a course is being offered in a location near you please click on the Find a Course on the website’s top navigation bar: then Filter by SUBJECT AREA/PROGRAM and LOCATION. Classroom courses have a scheduled start and end date in which you are expected to attend the courses at that location for all course sessions.

Independent Study Self-Paced courses offer flexibility and the ability to complete a course faster than a traditional live course. Our courses deliver the same high-quality content and expert instruction as traditional, “face-to-face courses.” These courses work well for:

Working professionals with tight schedules

Students who require a specific course to meet professional development or recertification requirements

Students living in remote locations

Students who cannot easily attend courses due to injury or illness

Students who are self-motivated and conscientious

You can register at any time and you will have nine months from the time of registration to complete your course. Completed course work is submitted electronically through your student account.

How do I request an Official Transcript?

Transcripts can be ordered online via your student account. For more detailed information, please visit the Student Transcript Request Page

What is “Open Campus”?

USD’s Open Campus initiative provides an administrative mechanism through which members of the broader San Diego community might enroll in and attend USD campus courses on a space-available basis after receiving the signed permission of the course instructor and a department, school or college administrator.

The application process for Open Campus does not require University admission. Open Campus offers course enrollment on a space-available basis only. Please note that Open Campus students are not guaranteed access to courses. Instructors must provide permission before Open Campus students may attend a course. Participation in Open Campus does not grant admission to degree programs at the University of San Diego. For information about joining degree programs please contact Admissions.

For more information regarding Open Campus please go to www.sandiego.edu/opencampus.

What are the technical requirements for online courses?

Please visit the technical requirements page for more information

What type of credit am I earning?

The credit earned is considered Graduate Level Extension Credit, in semester hours (1 semester hour= 15 contact hours). The credit earned is usually used for salary advancement, credential renewing and/or recertification. Graduate Level Extension credit is not usually transferrable towards a degree. Prior district approval is highly recommended and the responsibility of the student if using the units towards salary advancement, credential renewing and/or recertification.

If I take a course on campus is parking included in my course fee?

No. Parking fees are not included in the course fee. For information on metered or permit purchase, please refer to Parking information for PCE students and guests

How many units can I complete in one semester?

USD Professional and Continuing Education allows for a maximum of 18 units to be completed during any one semester: fall (September – December); spring (January – April); and summer (May – August).

I need more time to finish my Self-Paced course, what do I do?

Independent Study Self-Paced courses – USD allows 9 months from the date of registration to complete an independent study formatted course and submit all completed course work for evaluation.

Online Self-Paced courses – USD allows 6 months from the date of registration to complete an online self-paced formatted course and submit all assignments for evaluation within this period

If you need additional time and would like to make an extension request, contact us prior to your upcoming deadline at continuinged@sandiego.edu or call between 8:30AM – 5:00PM (PST), M-F, at (619)260-4585 or toll free at (888)321-6658 for a one-time extension. If an extension is granted, it is final.

Classroom, Online Fixed-Date, and Credit Validation formatted courses do not allow for any additional time to complete assignments.

What if I have to drop a course?

A full refund is provided if PCE cancels a course. Students who need to drop a course due to extenuating circumstances may receive a refund, if the request is received prior within three (3) days of the start date of the course. The refund of the course fee will be returned less a processing fee of 10% or $50, whichever is higher. There are no refunds after the three day withdrawal period. Learn about our registration policies here.

Can I transfer in courses to certificate programs from other colleges and universities?

If you have a course or credits you would like to have considered for transfer credit, please contact us. Transfer credits are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

What if I can’t complete a course?

An Incomplete (INC) grade grade is available in some circumstances. The instructor makes the final determination of acceptance of assigning an incomplete grade based on the level of work already completed and the amount of assignments remaining.

To receive an ‘INC’ grade, students must complete a Petition for Incomplete and forward it to PCE. PCE will then forward the Petition to the instructor for approval. If coursework is not completed in the agreed extension period, a final grade is assigned, all ‘INC’ grades convert to ‘F’ grades or ‘NG’ (No Grade).

What are your registration/drop/refund policies?

Click here for complete details regarding our refund, drop and transfer policies

How long do I have to complete the Certificate?

You have five years to complete the certificate.

How can I receive a receipt for tax purposes?

A payment confirmation is automatically sent via email once you have registered and paid for a course through the website, please save these receipts for tax purposes. In addition, you can access receipts in your Student Account, Account History.

Program Questions

Business

What are the requirements for completing a certificate program?

Requirements for completing a certificate can be found on the certificate page.

Are the continuing education courses transferable to a master degree program?

Professional and Continuing Education courses that are transferrable to a USD master degree will be stated on the course or certificate page. If you wish to transfer credit, it is your responsibility to confer with the receiving institution before enrolling, as each
individual academic institution decides whether or not to accept USD Professional and Continuing Education credit.

Can the Division of Professional and Continuing Education help in the process of issuing the Student Int’l Visa (F1)?

Certificate programs offered through the Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) at the University of San Diego, are not supported with I-20 assistance (student visas) at this moment. However, PCE’s English Language Academy (ELA) offers I-20 assistance and students who are participating in ELA programs may also participate in other PCE programs. For additional information, please call 1 619-260-8887.

If you are interested in pursuing a degree program with the University of San Diego, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions can issue a Form I-20 to international students who have been accepted to degree program at the University. The application procedures, deadlines, and the Admissions Office contact information can be found on USD’s Undergraduate Admissions page.

How long do I have to complete the Certificate?

You have five years to complete the certificate.

What if I can’t get into a course because it is full?

Prospective students can request to be placed on a waitlist. Should a space open up in a course, those on the waitlist will be notified. We encourage you to register early for courses.

I need more time to finish my Self-Paced course, what do I do?

Independent Study Self-Paced courses – USD allows 9 months from the date of registration to complete an independent study formatted course and submit all completed course work for evaluation.

Online Self-Paced courses – USD allows 6 months from the date of registration to complete an online self-paced formatted course and submit all assignments for evaluation within this period

If you need additional time and would like to make an extension request, contact us prior to your upcoming deadline at continuinged@sandiego.edu or call between 8:30AM – 5:00PM (PST), M-F, at (619)260-4585 or toll free at (888)321-6658 for a one-time extension. If an extension is granted, it is final.

Classroom, Online Fixed-Date, and Credit Validation formatted courses do not allow for any additional time to complete assignments.

Can I transfer in courses to certificate programs from other colleges and universities?

If you have a course or credits you would like to have considered for transfer credit, please contact us. Transfer credits are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

What if I can’t complete a course?

An Incomplete (INC) grade grade is available in some circumstances. The instructor makes the final determination of acceptance of assigning an incomplete grade based on the level of work already completed and the amount of assignments remaining.

To receive an ‘INC’ grade, students must complete a Petition for Incomplete and forward it to PCE. PCE will then forward the Petition to the instructor for approval. If coursework is not completed in the agreed extension period, a final grade is assigned, all ‘INC’ grades convert to ‘F’ grades or ‘NG’ (No Grade).

What are your registration/drop/refund policies?

Click here for complete details regarding our refund, drop and transfer policies

How can I receive a receipt for tax purposes?

A payment confirmation is automatically sent via email once you have registered and paid for a course through the website, please save these receipts for tax purposes. In addition, you can access receipts in your Student Account, Account History.

Credit Validation

How many hours are required per 1.0 unit?

12.5 hours are required per 1.0 unit.

How many hours are required per 1.0 unit?

15.0 hours are required per 1.0 unit.

Does the course have to be classroom or online?

Credit validation units can be classroom, online, or a combination of both. Assignments and readings can count towards the time requirement. Credit can also be earned for attending a conference.

What kind of credits are Dodea Credit Validation participants earning?

Graduate Level Extension Credit.

How do I set up credit as an affiliation or instructor?

Email pce-cv@sandiego.edu. Fill out the Course Approval Request form and the Instructor Approval Request form and return to your person of contact at USD.

How do I set up credit as an instructor?

DoDEA representative completes their own regional form and gets it approved by the school principal, area supervisor, subject specialist, or area superintendent. Then the form is emailed to pce-cv@sandiego.edu for approval.

Will USD Professional and Continuing Education graduate level extension units be accepted by every school district/organization?

It is the responsibility of the participant to confirm with their school district/organization if our units will be accepted before registering for credit.

How long do participants have to register for their course(s)?

Participants typically have 10 days from the start date of the course to register unless otherwise specified by the DoDEA POC. Registration can open any time before the course actually begins but registration typically closes 10 days after the start date (DoDEA policy).

Are DoDEA participants eligible for extensions?

Participants requesting an INC have 60 days from the end date of the course to complete it. If they do not complete the course within that time frame, they will be issued an NG. If the DoDEA POC would like more time for the student, this is acceptable.

Are DoDEA instructors compensated for their role as instructor?

No, they are not. They are instructors on a volunteer basis and are not USD PCE staff.

Do DoDEA courses use Blackboard?

No, they do not. They usually use their own learning system such as Schoology. Since DoDEA courses are not USD developed courses, they do not have the option of using Blackboard.

Education

How can I design a classroom for students with special needs?

Special needs” encompasses such a wide range of student abilities and challenges that no one space can accommodate all physical or behavioral needs. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that all public school classrooms must be ADA compliant, meaning that they must be accessible to wheelchair users and that teachers must make reasonable accommodations when it comes to technology tools. In general, best practices for classroom design apply to students of all abilities, such as minimizing distractions, making the space safe and comfortable, ensuring every student has access to the tools they need, and that the layout supports both independent and collaborative work.

How can I design my classroom on a budget?

Designing or redesigning your classroom does not require expensive materials or upgrades. Big box stores like Walmart and Target sell attractive, affordable classroom organization solutions, and Pinterest features hundreds of thousands of ideas for designing a classroom on a budget.

What if I need help enrolling in a course, or I need more information on a course?

If you experience issues enrolling, or have questions, complete our Contact Us Form or call our Enrollment and Student Services team between 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM (PST), M-F, at (619) 260-4585 or toll free at (888) 321-6658.

How do I request an Official Transcript?

Transcripts can be ordered online via your student account. For more detailed information, please visit the Student Transcript Request Page

What type of credit am I earning?

The credit earned is considered Graduate Level Extension Credit, in semester hours (1 semester hour= 15 contact hours). The credit earned is usually used for salary advancement, credential renewing and/or recertification. Graduate Level Extension credit is not usually transferrable towards a degree. Prior district approval is highly recommended and the responsibility of the student if using the units towards salary advancement, credential renewing and/or recertification.

I need more time to finish my Self-Paced course, what do I do?

Independent Study Self-Paced courses – USD allows 9 months from the date of registration to complete an independent study formatted course and submit all completed course work for evaluation.

Online Self-Paced courses – USD allows 6 months from the date of registration to complete an online self-paced formatted course and submit all assignments for evaluation within this period

If you need additional time and would like to make an extension request, contact us prior to your upcoming deadline at continuinged@sandiego.edu or call between 8:30AM – 5:00PM (PST), M-F, at (619)260-4585 or toll free at (888)321-6658 for a one-time extension. If an extension is granted, it is final.

Classroom, Online Fixed-Date, and Credit Validation formatted courses do not allow for any additional time to complete assignments.

Where can I get directions to my course classroom?

The address for classroom courses are provided at the section level detail on the course page. Once you know the address, we recommend you use Google Maps. Otherwise please contact the ESS during business hours of 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM (PST), M-F, at (619) 260-4585 or toll free at (888) 321-6658.

What are your registration/drop/refund policies?

Click here for complete details regarding our refund, drop and transfer policies

How can I receive a receipt for tax purposes?

A payment confirmation is automatically sent via email once you have registered and paid for a course through the website, please save these receipts for tax purposes. In addition, you can access receipts in your Student Account, Account History.

Can I be notified when a course section opens for enrollment?

Yes, on the course page, click on Request Information and you will be notified by email when enrollment is open for the course or you can complete the Course Inquiry form

English Language Academy

Why should I choose the English Language Academy (ELA)?

The ELA offers an intensive and rigorous language program for students who are serious about pursuing an academic degree at an American college or university. Classes are small, no more than 15 students per class; and teachers are dedicated to helping students achieve their academic and personal goals.

Who should attend the English Language Academy?

The ELA offers a variety of different programs, each carefully designed to serve language learners of varying ages, levels of English proficiency and goals. These range from our popular Global Leadership Summer Program for international students aged 13-17 to the Intensive English Language Program, which prepares those aged 18 and older for university or career success.

What type of Intensive English Program does the English Language Academy offer?

The ELA offers an Intensive English Program which includes reading, writing, grammar, listening, speaking, and test preparation (TOEFL and IELTS).

How are students placed in classes?

Upon arrival at the ELA, new students take a placement test. They are then placed into individual, skill-based classes specific to their level. The ELA has six levels of English language proficiency, ranging from beginner to advanced.

How long does it take for a student at the ELA to enter the University of San Diego?

USD is ranked in the top 100 universities and requires international applicants to have earned a TOEFL score of 80, an IELTS score of 6.5, or a Duolingo score of 115. The length of time it takes a student to earn those scores depends on a number of factors. At the ELA, we have designed our curriculum to help students reach those scores through our test prep and college prep classes.

Do ELA students have access to any facilities on the USD campus?

As an ELA student you will be issued a USD Student ID Card, providing access to the university’s many facilities and services (e.g. swimming pool, tennis courts, gym, etc.).

What makes San Diego a good place for an international student to come and study?

San Diego offers a unique set of advantages for students wanting to live and study in the city. The academic potential, amazing attractions, cultural diversity, food, shopping, and natural beauty make it as many agree “America’s Finest City.”

Healthcare

How long do I have to complete the Certificate?

You have five years to complete the certificate.

What are the requirements for the courses in the Programs?

For successful completion of the certificate programs the following requirements are needed:

What if I can’t get into a course because it is full?

Prospective students can request to be placed on a waitlist. Should a space open up in a course, those on the waitlist will be notified. We encourage you to register early for courses.

I need more time to finish my Self-Paced course, what do I do?

Independent Study Self-Paced courses – USD allows 9 months from the date of registration to complete an independent study formatted course and submit all completed course work for evaluation.

Online Self-Paced courses – USD allows 6 months from the date of registration to complete an online self-paced formatted course and submit all assignments for evaluation within this period

If you need additional time and would like to make an extension request, contact us prior to your upcoming deadline at continuinged@sandiego.edu or call between 8:30AM – 5:00PM (PST), M-F, at (619)260-4585 or toll free at (888)321-6658 for a one-time extension. If an extension is granted, it is final.

Classroom, Online Fixed-Date, and Credit Validation formatted courses do not allow for any additional time to complete assignments.

What if I have to drop a course?

A full refund is provided if PCE cancels a course. Students who need to drop a course due to extenuating circumstances may receive a refund, if the request is received prior within three (3) days of the start date of the course. The refund of the course fee will be returned less a processing fee of 10% or $50, whichever is higher. There are no refunds after the three day withdrawal period. Learn about our registration policies here.

Can I transfer in courses to certificate programs from other colleges and universities?

If you have a course or credits you would like to have considered for transfer credit, please contact us. Transfer credits are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

What if I can’t complete a course?

An Incomplete (INC) grade grade is available in some circumstances. The instructor makes the final determination of acceptance of assigning an incomplete grade based on the level of work already completed and the amount of assignments remaining.

To receive an ‘INC’ grade, students must complete a Petition for Incomplete and forward it to PCE. PCE will then forward the Petition to the instructor for approval. If coursework is not completed in the agreed extension period, a final grade is assigned, all ‘INC’ grades convert to ‘F’ grades or ‘NG’ (No Grade).

What are your registration/drop/refund policies?

Click here for complete details regarding our refund, drop and transfer policies

How can I receive a receipt for tax purposes?

A payment confirmation is automatically sent via email once you have registered and paid for a course through the website, please save these receipts for tax purposes. In addition, you can access receipts in your Student Account, Account History.