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California Coast University

67 Reviews

Salary Score







91% of 67 students said this degree improved their career prospects
91% of 67 students said they would recommend this school to others



California Coast University is a private institution located in Santa Ana, California. It is best known for its selection of affordable remote learning options, which include 100% online, self-paced degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students at CCU study from all over the world using the school's online learning platform. They can select from a wide array of business programs as well as options in criminal justice, education, psychology, and more. 

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FAQs About California Coast University

Is California Coast University Legitimate?

It's best to first look at CCU's accreditation status in order to determine whether it is legitimate or not. This is a process in which third-party organizations test the quality of a school's education programs. CCU is an accredited member of the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The DEAC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency, and it's a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CHEA is a nonprofit organization serving as a national advocate for self-regulation of academic quality through accreditation. All of CCU's programs have been reviewed and approved by DEAC, which last reviewed the school in 2020.

Although online learning has in the past held a stigma about its legitimacy, today online degrees are respected just as much as the on-campus counterparts. This is mainly due to the advancement of learning management systems and schools, such as CCU, that are putting more resources into remote education.

What Is California Coast University Known For?

CCU is best known for the flexibility that it offers online students. Its open admissions policy means that enrollment is available all year long with no specific start dates. Once a student is enrolled, they can study completely on their own schedule without adhering to classroom attendance requirements, meeting times, exam dates, or group projects. CCU's flexibility extends to international students as well.

CCU is also known for its affordable tuition costs, and it features interest-free payment plans. CCU also offers tuition discounts for law enforcement employees, government employees, firefighters, military, corporate partners, and CCU degree graduates. Its website features transparent pricing lists that show the cost of each credit, including those with discounts. 

In terms of its program offerings, CCU has several online business degrees — including a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Management — where students can learn valuable leadership skills that may lend to a career at the executive level. 

Can I Transfer Credits from CCU?

CCU allows the transfer of credits as long as it comes from another accredited institution. At the bachelor's level, students may transfer up to 93 semester credits. Associate, master's, doctorate, and certificate credits are also eligible for transfer to a CCU program. Students who have completed exams from certain programs, such as the Thomas Edison College Examination Programs (TECEP) or Advanced Placement Program (AP), may also be accepted. The latter greatly benefits students who participated in advanced high school courses. 

How Difficult Is It To Get Into CCU?

The difficulty level of any school depends on a wide variety of factors. Admission criteria and competitiveness can vary depending on the specific program or degree you are applying for, as well as the overall demand for enrollment at the institution. One aspect to consider is whether a school requires college entrance exams, which CCU does not. Overall, it's important to note that a school's difficulty level is subjective and can vary from one individual to another. The best approach is to thoroughly research the admission requirements and process for the specific program or institution you're interested in and prepare your application to the best of your ability.

What Are the Admission Requirements for CCU?

 Applying to college means gathering documents, organizing transcripts, filling out applications, and preparing resumes. In order to be accepted into CCU, students must follow the series of steps listed below: 

  • Complete an online application through CCU, which includes basic background information, education history, and a brief survey.
  • Submit a resume that details previous work and volunteer experience as well as any additional academic experience.
  • Submit existing college transcripts that show completed credits from other institutions.
  • Submit documentation of previously completed training hours (applies to undergraduate degrees for up to 15 units in an associate degree program and up to 30 semester units in a bachelor's degree program). 

Many colleges charge application fees, and although CCU boasts affordable tuition and transparent pricing, students must still pay a $75 non-refundable application fee. (Admission requirements may vary for international students and doctoral candidates.)

Student Reviews

Student Reviews

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G.C. Riley

Reviewed: 9/12/2023

Degree: Counseling Psychology

I was working on my Doctorate by distance learning, on paper, not online. I finished all my course work on paper and I was living in another country. I was sending my proposal for my thesis and each time, I was turned down. They requested that I get with a professor. The professor wrote what I needed to do, but I had been doing that. And then nothing. No more response. So, when I returned to the US, I tried calling, and left messages, but no reply. In 2012, I got my 2nd Masters in School Counseling... Read More


Reviewed: 8/11/2023

Degree: Psychology

CCU is by far the best education I acquired. They are also military friendly which is a huge plus if you are Active Duty or work as a Federal Gov't employees trying to pursue higher education degrees while working full time and have families, as well as other obligations in our busy schedules. As many other reviews already provided some overview the CCU courses are self-paced and corresponded with sufficient support with curriculums. CCU libraries are also helpful for a great rent a book program... Read More

Daniel Minton

Reviewed: 7/26/2023

Degree: Business

Cheap, self-paced, quality curriculum, interest free financial aid in the full amount. I’m going to pursue my Masters and potentially beyond with CCU. I am incredibly pleased with them. I recommend CCU to all my friends and family when college is mentioned.

Brian M

Reviewed: 6/23/2023

Degree: Criminal Justice

The only review you need - June 2023 After reading the reviews (most of the bad ones are really old) I felt compelled to offer my review having just completed my Bachelor's degree this week. Though CCU is not your traditional college, it definitely has its place in further education. It is super convenient for someone like me who works full-time+, on top of having a two kid family. I was referred to CCU by a former student because I had limited time to complete my degree for an upcoming LT promotional... Read More

Jack S

Reviewed: 8/14/2022

Degree: Business Administration

I just graduated from CCU in June with a BS in Business Administration. It took me 2 years to complete the degree. Since graduating and posting on Linked In, I've been consistently contacted by recruiters. Last week, I accepted a position at a consulting firm for a junior analyst position with a salary in the mid 80s. I'm 25 years old and feel earning this degree was one of the smartest investments I will ever make in myself. Because the degree is accredited, I encountered zero problems. My new employer... Read More


Reviewed: 3/10/2021

Degree: Psychology

TLDR; *Seems* shady, but actually accepted by other schools and state/federal entities. I have mixed feelings. The school *does* seem shady from the web site design and marketing. However, they are accredited. I can tell you that multiple states do accept these credits towards psych licensure. Yes, you do have to pay to retake classes/exams if you fail. That is every school, including brick/mortar. So study. I never failed a test there though. When I attended in 2007, you had to have finals proctored... Read More

Stephen Strunk

Reviewed: 11/2/2019

Degree: Psychology

I attended Christopher Newport University (BA), Old Dominion University (MS), and Virginia Commonwealth University (post-graduate Counseling Certificate). California Coast University is where I earned my Ph.D. in Psychology. I found the degree to be challenging and rewarding. It also opened many employment opportunities and gave me a solid education at the graduate level. CCU is accredited and a great deal for someone who is trying to finish graduate work while being employed full-time.

Andy Ash

Reviewed: 5/12/2019

Degree: Business Administration

This school help me achieve my goal of graduation with a 4 year degree. I had previously attended another school for my associates degree and all my credits transfered. The education was challenging and rewarding and I am proud to have graduated Magna Cum Laude. The staff, from enrollment to graduation are helpful and the feedback I received invaluable. Thank you for making my experience with California Coast University one I will remember and be proud of.


Reviewed: 7/15/2018

Degree: Criminal Justice

I am very satisfied with my experience with CCU. I used my GI Bill to complete my bachelor's degree with no issues. The staff and veterans assistance staff were amazing. They handled all of my concerns in a timely manner. My degree earned my a raise at my current job and I can't thank CCU enough. I am currently enrolled in their masters program for criminal justice and am having a similar experience. Thank you, if you choose CCU you will not be disappointed.


Reviewed: 6/21/2018

Degree: Psychology

Overall great school, staff and faculty always available to help out. Very understanding programs for those who work full time and are looking to get more schooling under their belt. They understand that when you work 40+ hours a week and are a parent the flexibility that they offer is so important.

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