California Southern University Reviews

  • 54 Reviews
  • Irvine (CA)
71% of 54 students said this degree improved their career prospects
69% of 54 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

  • Reviewed: 4/15/2016
  • Degree: Psychology
  • Graduation Year: 2016
"I am finishing my last semester with CalSouthern, and in all, I will have done my entire BA in Psychology in about 3 1/2 years. I chose this school because I was a stay at home mom who needed to be able to still do all my domestic goddess duties and taxi-service for our 4 kids AND finish my degree. Driving to a school, parking, sitting somewhere else for hours, figuring out (and paying for) child care and taxi-ing for 4 kids, then coming home to do homework while paying obscene amounts of money for school and everything else made no sense in any way, so online school was my only reasonable option. This program has been great, and I am REALLY glad to have found it. Not only is there no "guess work" regarding what classes or requirements you need (it is literally spelled out for you in listed fashion on your "degree plan" portal), but once you select your next classes (I took two each semester), your entire syllabus is right there for you to see, from day one to your last day, which is just not comparable to any other program I know of. Other people I know who have taken online courses have to wait for assignments to "be released" and the way everything is organized is a nightmare...CalSouthern has every assignment completely detailed out, so there are no surprises, no waiting. While there are due dates, and you can be docked 10% for turning in too many assignments at once that are WEEKS late, nothing is "actually" late until the last day of class, but that would be dumb, so don't do that! I have gotten 2 weeks behind a few times and that was FUN making up all that work in a the program really is go-at-your-own-pace, unlike others that say that but aren't. This program is also VERY challenging. APA standards, lengthy essays, 15 page papers, and really interesting, real-life related assignments round this program out well. You won't be handed A's, but if you follow instructions, most Mentors are really fair in their grading. And, while on that topic, I have really enjoyed *most* of my Mentors (what they call the teachers), and have found them to be really supportive, thorough in their critique and grading, and just nice people. My academic advisor has also been really supportive and my ally in any little issues that have popped up with classes. And yes, I have had a few issues...but won't we all anywhere we go, whether it's school or the grocery store...some people are just curmudgeons and that is beyond our control. I think there have been two teachers that I was really unhappy with due to petty, nit-picky stuff in my opinion, but two out of 3 1/2 years worth of teachers is pretty awesome in my book. All other issues are hardly worth mentioning...things like the random book not being available or some technical issues with assignments/finals...but those have always been remedied quick and you are taken care of. Admin is really open to our input and making their program the best available, especially now that they have their WASC accreditation, they are eager to be a leader in online schooling, and in my "humble" opinion, I think they already are for many reasons. My only unresolved gripe is that I wish they allowed us to get governmental loans or grants. I have a great GPA and would be able to get grants through FAFSA, but can't because they do not participate in that/don't have a department who handles financial stuff beyond their own, no-interest payment plan. Don't get me wrong, their plan is great and I am really grateful for that...I have been paying this whole time with zero interest accruing, get my degree in a couple of months now, my tuition must be paid in full, so we will all be in debt to someone...the government, a bank, etc., so it would be nice to at least have that option. We are going to be using equity in our house to pay my tuition off, which is kind of lame, although we can then write off the interest...but you get my point. Having the option would be nice, and this may be a HUGE barrier for some people who would not otherwise be able to afford bettering themselves with a higher education. So I hope that changes with time, which would also draw more students, no doubt. Regardless of that though, this really is a great program and you will be challenged to put your best work in, and will definitely know at the end that you EARNED this degree. I know I do, and look forward to the next phase, which may be pursuing my Master's through CalSouthern as well later this year. I highly recommend the Psychology program...I have enjoyed it, and am overall very satisfied with all aspects of the education I have received."
  • Reviewed: 3/16/2016
  • Degree: MBA in International Business
  • Graduation Year: 2016
"I think independent study is a great way to gain additional education while working full time. I would not recommend this style of learning for an undergraduate degree or degrees that require a high level of engagement for learning success. I enrolled in the MBA program. For the courses that are incredibly easy to pick up, then I would recommend this university's approach. Otherwise, pick another online institution that provides interactive support and engagement as apart of their culture. Do not expect much help or support from the majority of mentors of the CSU courses. It takes them "forever" to response and the responses are usually not helpful initially. It takes many tries to get your questions answered, which translates to a lot of wasted time while your course deadlines are approaching. You'll end up extending to complete the course work, which translates to additional fees. Many of them do not keep to the 48 hours turn around time and when you ask the advisors to help, they take a long time to response as well. I had one mentor that was amazing at returning emails, the project management class. He should be used as the standard model for all mentors. Also, I had one good advisor in the beginning, but then she moved to another program. The value is in the cost for the program if you don't need much interaction to complete the assignments. For example, do you remember your differential equations from calculus? If so, then you'll do fine in the statistical analysis course. Or if you need guidance on what is the expectation on the level of detail or content for a multi-paper final marketing project, you can wait a long time for clarification. Overall, if you need help to explain any of the work or the expectation of the course work, then you're on your own with frustration and lack of motivation. There are a few exceptions as I mentioned above, but those are the exceptions, not the rule. If I had the option to choose again, I would pick another university online program. I would not chose California Southern University. I would pick a traditional regionally accredited program with an online extension."
  • Reviewed: 2/1/2016
  • Degree: MBA
  • Graduation Year: 2016
"Great school and responsive mentors. The website is not the most flashy, but the really low tuition and interest free payment options make up for that. It was easy to enroll since you can start any month of the year. They do not accept student loans, which may not work for everyone but if you can afford the low payments they offer, you will save yourself a ton in the long-run."
J from Virginia
  • Reviewed: 11/5/2015
  • Degree: Psychology
  • Graduation Year: 2016
"I found the program to be robust and difficult while on par with the brick and mortar school I attended for my Master of Education degree. I would recommend this school if you want affordable, quality education. My state accepted course work for LPC."