Open Classes FAQs


FAQs — Open Classes

Early Start Options and Transferring Units

  1. Q. Can I transfer units completed through the Open Classes program to the MLIS, MARA or Teacher Librarian Credential program offered by the SJSU information school?
    A. Yes, a total of nine units may be transferred. Please note that there is a seven-year time limit for completing our MLIS and MARA programs. That means that courses completed more than seven years prior to a student’s graduation date do not count toward the degree requirements. For example, if you were to complete a course through the Open Classes program in 2014 and were accepted to the MLIS program in 2016, the Open Classes course could only be used to meet MLIS program graduation requirements if you complete the MLIS program by 2021. MLIS students may choose up to 9 units of their 27 elective units from our iSchool MARA program, or no more than 6 units of INFM classes. Note that the maximum number of units that can be transferred into your MLIS degree, (iSchool Open Classes, SJSU World Languages or other institutions such as WISE) is 9 units. Teacher librarian credential students must choose available Open Classes topics from the Teacher Librarian Credential required courses
    iSchool Open Classes courses are recorded in the Post-Baccalaureate section of the Official SJSU Transcript and are to be reported by the student on the MLIS or MARA Candidacy plan in Section C. No permission is needed for transfer credit for iSchool Open Classes courses.
  2. Q. If I applied and was accepted to the MLIS, MARA or Teacher Librarian Credential program at the SJSU information school, can I take a course through the Open Classes program and get an early start?
    A. Yes. New students can get an early start on completing electives, and then use those completed courses to meet graduation requirements for the MLIS or MARA program. For example, if you are admitted for fall, you may take courses through the Open Classes program in the spring or summer sessions before you start your fall classes. Admitted students who choose to start early are cautioned to only take one class before starting the program. This is because introductory and core courses are not offered in the Open Classes program. You must be ready to take an elective without the benefit of the introductory courses. We want students to have a strong start and to not overload themselves before starting the program. Teacher librarian credential students must choose available Open Classes topics from the Teacher Librarian Credential required courses.
  3. Q. If I take an Open Classes course and later decide to earn my Post-Master’s Certificate at the SJSU information school, will my course count toward meeting the certificate program requirements?
    A. Some courses in the Open Classes program may count toward certificate program requirements. Post Master’s students are limited to transferring in up to three units earned through the Open Classes program. If you are considering this option, please contact our school’s Student Services Team for additional details.
  4. Q. May I use Open Classes units earned toward an Advanced Certificate in Digital Assets?
    A. A maximum of 3 units may be transferred in from the iSchool Open Classes program if a student applies and is admitted to the Advanced Certificate in Digital Assets program. Students must request the specific course topic chosen from their intended Digital Assets Management pathway.
  5. Q. I am interested in applying to the MS Informatics Program in a future semester. May I take INFM classes in Open Classes and later transfer those in to my future degree?
    A. No. INFM classes taken in Open Classes will not transfer into a future MS Informatics degree. Because of the cohort nature of the MS Informatics program, prospective students will start their INFM classes once they are admitted and matriculating in the program.
  6. Q. If I applied and was accepted to the MLIS program and took a course through the Open Classes program before starting the MLIS program, would INFO 203 be waived?
    A. INFO 203 would not be waived. All MLIS students must complete INFO 203 as part of the master’s program requirements.
  7. Q. I haven’t applied to the MLIS program because I do not have a 3.0 GPA, can I take classes through Open Classes and use those to raise my GPA before applying?
    A. No, iSchool Open Classes from SJSU cannot be used to raise your undergraduate GPA. You will need to take additional undergraduate, academic courses at a regionally accredited institution. The courses need to be used in a degree program at said institution, not used in professional or personal development certificates. Your last 60 semester (90 quarter) units will be used in the GPA calculation. Once you have raised your GPA to 3.0 or above, apply. Note: we do not pre-evaluate transcripts; you must actually apply in order for us to look at any transcripts.


Eligibility and Enrollment (Including Course Drop Policy)

  1. Q. Do I have to live in the United States to take an Open Classes course?
    A. No. Our courses are offered fully online, and you can live anywhere while completing the course.
  2. Q. Do I need to hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in order to enroll in Open Classes?
    A. Open Classes are available to anyone with a 3.0 GPA or higher in their completed bachelor’s degree, or a 3.0 in their last 60 semester or 90 quarter units. IMPORTANT: Students who have applied and were denied admission to the MLIS or MARA programs, or who were disqualified from any of our programs, are not eligible to take courses through the Open Classes program.
  3. Q. Do I need to submit transcripts for evaluation to be admitted?
    A. SJSU graduates will not need to submit a transcript. SJSU iSchool applicants who are already admitted to the coming term (whose transcripts have been submitted and evaluated by SJSU Graduate Admissions office) will not need to submit a transcript. IMPORTANT: All other iSchool Open Classes requestors will now need to submit a PDF scanned copy of their bachelor’s transcript, showing a bachelor’s degree conferred, and institutional GPA, when they submit their request for an Open Class.
  4. Q. What technology is required to be successful in fully online courses?
    A. Students will need a computer and an Internet connection. For more information regarding the technology skills and tools that will foster success in our courses, please see our technology literacy requirements for our graduate students, the iSchool home computing environment and the application software page.
  5. Q. How do I enroll in Open Classes courses?
    A. Open Classes are only available via our Special Session (self-support) program. We do not offer open university classes via our Regular Session (state-supported) program, or through the main SJSU Open University enrollment process. The first step in enrolling in an iSchool Open Classes course is completing our online sign-up form, when it becomes available. Once you indicate your interest in taking a course by submitting the form, we will notify you whether space is available in the course. Learn more about the steps to enroll here.
  6. Q. What if I decide to drop within the specified drop period, but then change my mind? Can I be added back to the dropped course?
    A. While we welcome adds during the Open Classes course enrollment window, and will process a drop request when given notice according to refund notices, an Open Classes student may not request to be added back to the dropped class once the request to drop has gone to the SJSU Registrar. 
  7. Q. What is the deadline to enroll in an Open Classes course?
    A. Information regarding the deadline to enroll can be found here.
  8. Q. Will I be guaranteed a spot in an Open Classes course?
    A. Your enrollment in an Open Classes course is not guaranteed until we confirm that space is available in the course you want to take, and you confirm your interest in enrolling.
  9. Q. If I applied to the MLIS or MARA program and was denied admission due to my GPA, can I take a course through Open Classes?
    A. Students who have applied and were denied admission to the MLIS or MARA programs are not eligible to take courses through the Open Classes program.
  10. Q. As an Open Classes student, when will I receive access to the King library and its databases?
    A. After you have been enrolled in the MySJSU system you will learn about how to you will gain access to the King Library and its electronic resources in the Self-Paced Technology Preparation Canvas course. All new Open Classes students are joined into this self-paced Canvas course before the beginning of the semester. 
  11. Q. I missed the deadline to drop, what are my options to drop the class, and what are the implications on my future admissibility or status in the Master’s or Certificate programs?
    A. After the last day to drop for the semester, you must submit a petition to withdraw. They are approved only for serious and compelling reasons. Please read the instructions on the withdrawal petition carefully. It is best to save the blank document to your computer, then fill it in and save again. Make sure you have the latest Adobe Acrobat reader. Use the GAPE withdrawal form. If needed, use the Healthcare Provider Verification of Medical Condition (HPVMC) form.                                                                                                                            
    IMPORTANT: Save the PDF and send as an attachment along with personal statement and supporting documents to the Student Services Team. The iSchool will obtain signatures. You do not obtain signatures. Include your personal statement and supporting documents. Failing an Open University class will not impact the MLIS GPA should an Open Classes student go on for the degree. A failed class can impact the student’s admission GPA. It will be counted in the last 60 semester units GPA for admissions.
  12. Q. I’m a former student applying for re-admission to iSchool in the fall. When I left I was on academic notice. If I do not earn a 3.0 term GPA in my open classes this summer, can I be disqualified?
    A.  Open classes in the School of Information cannot be used to raise a GPA in order to re-enter iSchool programs.  Students on academic notice can take Open University classes to raise their GPA -different from the School of Information’s open classes program.
  13. Q. I was disqualified from SJSU as an undergraduate, but went to another university to complete my Bachelor’s, can I take classes through iSchool Open classes?
    A. No, Graduate Admissions and Programs Evaluations office will not approve your registration if you have ever been disqualified from SJSU.



  1. Q. Are there any prerequisites for courses offered through the Open Classes program?
    A. There are no prerequisites for the MLIS and MARA courses. You may enroll in any available course. INFM Open Classes have prerequisite technology skills.
  2. Q. Do you provide any orientation to the school’s online learning environment for Open Classes students?
    A. A self-paced online tutorial regarding the school’s online learning environment is available to new students upon registration.
  3. Q. How are students assessed in the Open Classes program?
    A. Students in the Open Classes program are held to the same standards as matriculating graduate students enrolled in our MLIS and MARA programs. Expectations, assignments, and grading policies are described in each course syllabus. Grades are recorded on an official San José State University transcript.
  4. Q. Do Open Classes students receive a certificate or any other documentation upon course completion?
    A. Students do not receive a certificate upon course completion. However, the course is recorded on an official San José State University (SJSU) transcript. Students who wish to apply completed courses toward a degree program can request a transcript from SJSU. IMPORTANT: Neither the SJSU iSchool nor the university are able to provide certifications that our Open Classes courses satisfy licensure requirements of other states.
  5. Q. Is the Open Classes program offered during fall, spring, and summer sessions?
    A. Yes. Courses are offered during the fall, spring, and summer sessions. Course selection and instructors will vary each session depending on our special session schedules. Regular session courses are not part of our open classes program.
  6. Q. Where can I find out which courses will be offered?
    A. The list of courses is available from this page on our website. Only these courses are available. Students may not sign up for iSchool courses through the university’s main Open University process. They may only access and register for iSchool Open Classes through the iSchool Open Classes registration process.
  7. Q. Do you offer any in-person or hybrid courses through the Open Classes program?
    A. No. Our courses are delivered exclusively online.
  8. Q. I am an alumnus who could not fit in all the classes that I wanted. Am I eligible to take an INFO 294 Internship through the Open Classes program? 
    A. No, INFO 294 for credit internships are not available to non-matriculating students who are taking classes through iSchool Open Classes. Students who enroll in the Post-Master’s Certificate program can take one 3 unit INFO 294.


Costs and Refunds

  1. Q. What are the fees for courses offered through the Open Classes program?
    A. Since our open university classes are only offered in special session, courses in INFO and MARA cost $525 per unit. INFM fees are $575 per unit. Fees are subject to review and change, and updates will be posted on our website. Starting Fall 2024, special session certificate fees will be due one week after the semester start date. If students enroll in a class one week or later after the start date of the semester, fees will be due in 3 days. These dates are based on semester start date, not class start date for shorter 1 and 2 unit courses. IMPORTANT: Open Classes students are not eligible for SJSU Payment Plans.
  2. Q. How do I pay my fees?
    A. After course registration is confirmed, students can pay fees by logging on to one.SJSU and clicking on the Self Service / Campus Finances menu option. All the necessary information to pay fees is included on that web page. Students will not receive a bill. It is the student’s responsibility to view their payment due dates on their one.SJSU account.
  3. Q. Can I drop a class and receive a refund?
    A. Students should check the university’s Professional Degree Program FAQs page or phone 408-924-2670 for refund policy information. Open Classes students will be advised of refund deadlines when they enroll. To receive a full refund, students must notify iSchool student services by email several days before the first day of instruction to allow the university processing time. It will be very difficult to drop the class(es) after the drop deadline and partial refund deadlines. To withdraw will require a Withdraw petition, including documentation of extenuating circumstances.
  4. Q. Are scholarships available?
    A. Our school’s scholarship program is only available to current graduate students in our MLIS and MARA programs.
  5. Q. Can students in the Open Classes program apply for student assistantships?
    A. Students in the Open Classes program are not eligible to apply for student assistantships.
  6. Q. Is there financial aid available?
    A. Courses completed through our Open Classes program are not eligible for U.S. federal financial aid or state financial aid. However, you may be eligible for an IRS tax credit. See