Jul 13, 2024  
National University Volume 86B-2 Catalog - April 2024 
National University Volume 86B-2 Catalog - April 2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admissions Requirements

Notice of Nondiscrimination

The University does not permit discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, ancestry, national origin, religious creed, age, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, color, physical or mental disability, marital status, military or veteran status, or medical condition, under any program or activity under its control. In a continuing effort to enrich its academic environment and provide equal educational and employment opportunities, the University actively encourages applications from members of all groups that are under-represented in higher education. 

General Admissions Requirements

The University offers programs for bachelor’s degree completion, master’s, and doctoral degrees in specializations designed to meet the needs of adult students and professionals. Meeting the admission requirements is an indicator that the student is qualified to enter and pursue the degree program chosen. The University emphasizes that a student’s success depends upon applying oneself to the degree program studies.

State regulatory information is available at https://www.nu.edu/state-authorization/.

Online Requirements

National University offers many programs in an online format. In an online course, students will be able to view the syllabus, complete assignments and assessments, engage with varying course materials (videos, interactive presentations, assigned reading), participate in threaded discussions, interact with peers and the instructors, as well as review instructor feedback. Students should log in on the first day of class and anticipate checking their online course multiple times per week. Students are provided access to online courses beginning on the Sunday before the term begins through three weeks after the term ends. Students should ensure they have a reliable internet connection and a reliable computer to access their course.

As of August 2021, the following are the minimum system requirements that are needed to successfully access your courses on the Brightspace (D2L) platform.

Technical Requirements

Windows Users

  • Recommended OS: Windows 8, 10
  • Supported OS: Windows 7
  • Secure High-Speed Internet connection (e.g.: DSL, Cable, etc.)
  • Soundcard & Speakers
  • Screen Resolution: 1280 X 1024 or better
  • Recommended Browsers: Firefox, Chrome
  • Supported Browsers: Chrome 90+, Edge 90+, Firefox 88++
  • Headset with microphone using USB/wired connection

Mac Users

  • Recommended OS: OS X 10.14
  • Supported OS: OS X 10.12+
  • Secure High-Speed Internet connection (e.g.: DSL, Cable, etc.)
  • Soundcard & Speakers
  • Screen Resolution: 1280 X 1024 or better
  • Recommended Browsers: Firefox 88+, Safari 14+
  • Headset with microphone using a USB/wired connection

Mobile Users

  • Recommended OS: Android 9+, IOS 14+, Chrome OS 90+
  • Supported OS: Android 5+, IOS 11+
  • Recommended Browsers: Chrome, Safari
  • Secure High-Speed Cell Service, Mobile Hotspot or Wi-Fi Connection
  • Headset with microphone

Brightspace Pulse:

  • AndroidTM 6.0 (2015 release) or later on tablets or phones
  • iOS® 13.0 or later on iPhone®, iPad®, and iPod® touch

Latest Supported Browsers:

  • Chrome 112+ (released March 2023)
  • macOS Safari 16+ (released September 2022)
  • Android Chrome 107+ (released October 2022)
  • iOS Safari 16+ (released September 2022)
  • Firefox 112+ (released April 2023)

Unsupported Technologies:

As of December 31, 2020, Adobe no longer supports Flash Player and has blocked Flash content from running in Flash Player on January 12, 2021. For more information, refer to Adobe Flash Player End of Life.


Satellite & Cellular Internet Connections: If this is the only connection you have access to, please note that you may experience sporadic issues while working in your online courses. If you report these problems to the IT Helpdesk, we will attempt to address them with your Satellite or Cellular connection provider.

Wireless Routers/Connections: While working in your online courses via a wireless router or wireless connection you may experience problems such as various error messages. If you contact the IT Helpdesk, please be aware that part of the troubleshooting process may be to have you bypass your wireless router or connection. If bypassing the wireless router resolves the problem you are experiencing, you will either need to continue to bypass the router or contact the router’s manufacturer’s support to further diagnose the source of this problem.


Web browsers listed have been validated with the online course platform. A student risks running into problems with the course software if they choose to use a non- supported browser.

National University maintains a Technical Requirements web page that is updated frequently with Windows and Macintosh hardware and software requirements, including both recommended and supported web browser software. For further information, please check http://kb.nu.edu/app/answers/detail/aid/120

Application Requirements

A completed application (available online at https://apply.ncu.edu) must be accompanied by:

  • All official transcripts sent from the previous degree-awarding institution
  • Credentials evaluation through an official agency for applicants with international credentials from an academic institution outside of the United States (see the Credential Evaluation policy)

Additionally, a Social Security Number (SSN) is required to be recorded on a student’s education record if the student has or will receive U.S. Federal Title IV funding, U.S. Federal Veterans Affairs funding, and/or U.S. educational tax credit/T-1098. Students who have not or will not be receiving these types of funding will need to complete the Social Security Number Override Verification Form if the student prefers to have the Social Security Number omitted from the student’s education record. Should the University be made aware that U.S. Federal Title IV funding, U.S. Federal Veterans Affairs funding, and/or U.S. educational tax credit/T-1098 has or will be disbursed to a student, the student’s SSN will be added to the student’s education record by the Office of the Registrar. If this occurs, the student will be notified by the Office of the Registrar that the SSN Override has been administratively rescinded.

Note: Applications are good for 365 days from the date of completion for the original program of interest. New applications are required if there is a change in the program of interest. 

Admissions & Evaluation Procedures

Applications may be submitted using the online application form at https://apply.ncu.edu or by contacting Enrollment Services at 866-776-0331 for assistance. Additional documents may be submitted by mail, fax, or email. Fields are available on the online application form to securely store credit card information and social security information, which should never be transmitted by email.

Applicants must request official transcripts be sent directly to the University from prior colleges and universities during the application process. Acceptance may be granted based on unofficial transcripts. However, all official, sealed transcripts must be received from U.S. institutions within 90 days of the start of the first course, and from foreign institutions within 180 days of the start of the first course.

Applicants using academic documents issued by non-U.S. academic institutions for admissions consideration may be required to have these official documents sent directly from the academic institution to the credential-evaluating agency. Please refer to the section entitled Credential Evaluation for current information regarding accepted Credential Evaluation agencies and procedures involved.

Incomplete applications and those without official transcripts or credentials evaluations for applicants with international credentials will not be evaluated. Certain programs may require additional information or documents. Applications missing all required documents will be considered incomplete and will not be evaluated.

Acceptance Requirements

As of 3/1/2023 the Acceptance Policy has been updated. Student enrolling prior to March 1st, can contact the Registrar for the previous policy. 

Program acceptance requirements vary by degree-level, School, and program of study. Minimum requirements for acceptance are outlined below. Please refer to School and program sections for additional, program-specific admissions, evaluation, and application requirements or procedures.

Basis for Admissions

As of 3/1/2023 the Basis for Admissions Policy has been updated. Student enrolling prior to March 1st, can contact the Registrar for the previous policy. 

NU accepts students on a continual basis. Application for admission can be submitted online any time during the calendar year via www.nu.edu. The Office of the Registrar reviews each applicant file to ensure that the prospective students meet the institutional and program-specific basis for admission requirements. Please refer to School and program sections of this catalog for program-specific admissions requirements and procedures.

Address for Submission of Transcripts

Transcripts should be sent to the Office of the Registrar for processing at:

Office of the Registrar
National University
9388 Lightwave Ave
San Diego, CA 92123 

Transcripts sent electronically can be emailed to transcript@ncu.edu

Acceptance to the University

Upon receipt of the application for admission materials, the Office of the Registrar will evaluate the application file and supporting documentation. The academic evaluation includes a review of the applicant’s educational intent, program of interest, prior college work, professional experiences, and University requirements.

Applicants will be notified of their admission status and the requirements for the degree program upon completion of the academic evaluation.

Transfer Credit

As of 3/1/2023 the Transfer Credit Policy has been updated. Student enrolling prior to March 1st, can contact the Registrar for the previous policy. 

Transfer Credit Eligibility

National University accepts credits from regionally and nationally accredited institutions. It may also accept credits from institutions that are accredited by an agency which is a member of Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or from collegiate institutions which are accredited by non-CHEA member agencies provided they are recognized by the Department of Education.  Transfer credits from institutions that are accredited by an agency which is a member of CHEA are only accepted provided that the academic quality of the institutions can be verified and the credits otherwise comply with National University guidelines. Transfer credits from agencies which are not CHEA members are subject to additional scrutiny to validate that their academic programs adhere to the standards of institutions accredited by CHEA members.

Requests for course transfer credit must be made along with the admissions application so that an appropriate degree plan can be developed and accepted by the student.  Requests by the student for consideration of additional transfer credit can be made at any time prior to degree conferral provided the maximum number of transfer credits permissible has not already been accepted by the University. 

The Office of the Registrar, School Dean, or designee must approve all requests for transfer credit. Transfer courses are evaluated for currency and relevancy to NU degree programs, and whether they meet academic standards. The Admissions and Evaluation team will document which courses are accepted in transfer and which University requirements the course satisfies.

Any credit hours to be considered for transfer into a National University academic program must:

  • Have been completed at a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution, an institution accredited by an agency which is a member of CHEA, or from a collegiate institution accredited by a non-CHEA member agency provided it is recognized by the Department of Education;
  • Be equivalent to the degree program requirements, including specified electives;
  • Appear on an official transcript from the institution where they were earned;
  • Meet required minimum grade requirements for transfer credit eligibility outlined by degree or program-level (remedial college credits are not accepted as transfer credit);
  • Have been completed within the specified number of years for transfer credit eligibility outlined by degree or program-level.

Note: If a student submits a transcript for basis for admission and the transcript has pending coursework or grades not posted to courses, those courses will not be evaluated for transfer credit until an official transcript is submitted with final grades for those courses. NU is not responsible for duplication of transferable courses that the student may have taken and received credit from a prior institution.

Transfer Credit Articulations and Crosswalks

The University has several partnerships with schools and organizations that allow students to satisfy University program requirements with previously completed coursework and certifications. To learn more about the specific requirements necessary to receive transfer credit, please click on the specific institutional and organizational partnerships linked below.

College of Business, Engineering and Technology
School of Business and Economics
School of Technology and Engineering
Sanford College of Education
School of Arts, Letters, and Sciences

Transferability of Credits and Credentials Earned at Our Institution

The transferability of credits you earn at the University is at the complete discretion of an institution to which you may seek to transfer. Acceptance of the degree, diploma, or certificate you earn in your educational program is also at the complete discretion of the institution to which you may seek to transfer. If the credits or degree, diploma, or certificate that you earn at this institution are not accepted at the institution to which you seek to transfer, you may be required to repeat some or all of your coursework at that institution. For this reason, you should make certain that your attendance at this institution will meet your educational goals. This may include contacting an institution to which you may seek to transfer after attending the University to determine if your credits or degree, diploma, or certificate will transfer.

Non-Degree Applicants

Applicants who want to enhance their personal and professional knowledge but do not intend to pursue a degree, can enroll as a Non-Degree student. The application process for non-degree studies follows the standard admissions process outlined above. Non-degree applicants must provide unofficial transcripts to demonstrate that they have the appropriate academic background for the course level requested (e.g., students requesting a Bachelor-level course must have a high school diploma).

There is no limit on the number of courses a student can take while in a non-degree status. For tuition information specific to Non-Degree applicants, please see Tuition and Fees - Non Degree Tuition.  The Academic and Finance Advisor will advise the applicant if there are prerequisites for the course requested.

If the student later applies for admission to a degree program, they will be required to complete the admissions application for the degree program of interest and submit all required documentation for admissions. The student will be evaluated as a new applicant and must meet tuition requirements, graduation requirements, and policies in effect at the time of application to the degree program. In addition, non-degree coursework completed at the University will be evaluated during the admissions process.

Note: Non-Degree students will be reported to the National Student Clearing House as attending less than half-time and are not eligible to receive financial aid or have their loans placed in deferment status.


Students admitted to a degree program at the University are considered matriculated into their degree program upon successful completion of their third degree course and participation in one day past the drop period of their fourth degree course (not including leveling coursework). Any student who does not successfully complete the first three degree courses and participate in one day past the drop period of their fourth degree course are considered non-matriculated and will not be used in calculating completion rates. See the Refund Policy and Procedure  for detailed information regarding the University’s drop period.

Student’s Right to Cancel

Students have the right to cancel the Enrollment Agreement and obtain a full refund of charges through attendance in Week 1 (day 7 of the first course).* Applicants who wish to cancel an enrollment agreement must contact their Academic and Finance Advisor at learnerservices@ncu.edu or call (888) 628-6904 prior to attending Week 2 of your first course. Cancellation or Withdrawal will be effective on the date that the notice is received.

The University reserves the right to cancel or terminate the agreement if the applicant fails to accept and attend their first course, meet basic academic requirements during provisional admissions periods, violate the Student Code of Conduct, fail to make satisfactory academic progress, fail to make payment in accordance with the terms of the student finance agreement, and/or fail to meet attendance requirements as outlined in the University Course Catalog.

If students obtain loan(s) to pay for their educational program, they have the responsibility to repay the full amount of the loan plus interest, less the amount of any refund that is owed under the refund policy.

Re-entry Enrollment

Students who have been out of attendance for less than 365 days will be allowed to return to the degree program/catalog version that they were enrolled in prior to exiting the University. New application paperwork is not required unless the student changes degree program/catalog version.

Students who have been out of attendance for over 365 days must reapply for re-entry to the University under the most current degree program/catalog version. Students applying for re-entry must meet all applicable University policies including the basis for admission criteria in effect at the time of their re-entry enrollment.

All returning students are subject to current tuition rates and fees applicable at the time of their return. Click here  for current tuition information. 

Students who are academically or administratively dismissed may not be eligible to return to the University. See Academic and Administrative Dismissal policies for additional information.

Students dismissed due to a violation of the Student Code of Conduct policy, or due to any other legal or ethical matters, do not qualify for re-entry to the University.

All students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) Program are required to complete the Statement of Professional Ethics prior to re-entry. Students enrolled in the MAMFT Program or related certificate who have been out of attendance for over 365 days (or in the case of certificate students, are seeking to change the courses in the certificate regardless of length of time away from their program) and re-entry students new to the MAMFT Program, must complete all application paperwork, participate in an interview with program leadership, and complete a background check (if needed).

Denied Admissions

The University may refuse admission/re-entry to a potential student whose record shows previous or current misconduct that is deemed not to be in the best interest of the University community. The Office of the Provost or designee will review all situations in which behavioral conduct issues or other issues that will prohibit student success are noted. When necessary, this officer will contact appropriate parties having knowledge of the applicant and/or the misconduct and make a decision as to whether admission of the applicant would be in the best interest of the University community. Any applicant denied admission under this policy may submit a written appeal to Provost@nu.edu to be reviewed after the notification of the denial of admission. Details should include the student name, school, contact information, and a description of the circumstances including all supporting documents to be reviewed.

Program Availability

Program availability varies by state. Admission is granted at the time of initial acceptance into a program and is dependent on program availability in a state where the applicant resides at the time of admission. If a student moves to a state other than the state where the applicant resided when accepted into the program, continuation in the program will depend on the availability of the program within the new state of residence. It is the applicant’s responsibility to notify the institution of a change in residence (new state). Students who relocate while enrolled may be unable to complete their studies if they are moving to a state where the university is not currently authorized to offer a particular program. Not all programs are approved in authorized states. Students wishing to relocate to a restricted state will not be able to continue in their program of study. Students should contact their Advisor to discuss how relocation could alter their eligibility in their current program.