California has some of the largest university systems in the world. And though there is not room enough for everyone who wants to be admitted, these schools reach around the world with their online bachelor’s degree and coursework offerings so that any interested student anywhere may find a class that advances his or her educational endeavors. Here are three schools in California with online college programs:

California State University

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 12
  • Fields Offered: Social Science, Liberal Studies, Nursing, Business Administration, Human Development
  • Accreditor: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

California State University offers online bachelor’s degree programs from several of its campuses, including CSU Chico, Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Sacramento State, Fresno, East Bay, San Jose State, and Bakersfield. Undergraduate degree programs are available online in sociology, environmental resource management, criminal justice, quality assurance, business administration, and several other areas. Distance learning programs vary by CSU campus, but most deliver course resources like lectures, syllabi, schedule information, and assignments through the Blackboard Learn course management system. Live and archived lectures are delivered through virtual classroom environment Wimba. California State University also offers Open University courses through its 23 campuses.

University of Southern California

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 0
  • Fields Offered: Education and Administration, Business and Leadership, Military Culture, Writing and Communication
  • Accreditor: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

The University of Southern California does not offer distance learning bachelor’s degree programs, but courses are available online through the continuing education department. Courses include Recalling Childhood – Writing, Thinking, and Misremembering Our Early Years, Establishing Leadership through the Power of Talk, VentureBuild: Tools for Aspiring Social Entrepreneurs, and Leadership in Enrollment Management. Educational format varies depending on the class and may be as short as 90 minutes or as long as 12 weeks. Additionally, some courses are self-paced while others are taught synchronously. Prospective students should refer to the corresponding course website.

University of California-Irvine

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 0
  • Fields Offered: Business and Management, Education, Engineering, Environment and Facilities, Information Technologies, Legal, Life Sciences, Sustainability Studies
  • Accreditor: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

While it doesn’t offer online bachelor’s degree programs, the University of California-Irvine offers online undergraduate course work in several areas, including accounting, human resource management, marketing, Montessori teacher education, decision making for climate change, predictive analytics, contract management, and facilities management. Classes meet for five or 10 weeks, depending on the course. UC Irvine also offers course work online like Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning, Microeconomics for Managers, Science from Superheroes to Global Warming, Algebra, Principles of Public Health, Pre-Calculus, and Introduction to Biology: DNA to organisms.

Higher Education in California

The California Postsecondary Education Commission is the coordinating institution for higher education in California. The commission consists of 16 members ó nine commissioners representing the general public, five representing major post-secondary education systems in California, and two student members appointed by the Office of the Governor. California has been a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) since 1955. As a member of WICHE, California participates in the Internet Course Exchange (ICE), which sets policies and procedures for sharing distance-delivered courses from two- and four-year institutions in member schools.

California postsecondary institutional systems include the University of California, California State University, and the California Community College systems, as well as private and state-approved institutions. The California State University system includes 23 universities, and the University of California system includes 10 universities. Several universities in the state offer open courses through Coursera, including California Institute of Technology, the University of California, Irvine, the University of California, San Francisco, and Stanford University. The state legislature is also considering a bill requiring all state schools to grant credit for faculty-approved online courses from other third-party providers, as well.


Degree Search

Make your degree count. Find out which accredited schools offer the degree program you want to take.

Degree Search is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.