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California Coast University

63 Reviews

Salary Score







93% of 63 students said this degree improved their career prospects
92% of 63 students said they would recommend this school to others
By the OnlineU team | Updated



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. 

Fast Facts

Accreditation: California Coast University is accredited by 1 agencies

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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, who are eligible to apply for admission whether they are a legal citizen of the U.S. or undocumented.

CCU is also known for its affordability. It features interest-free payment plans; low tuition costs; and discounts for service members, first responders, government workers, and CCU 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?

Many colleges require students to submit scores from their college entrance exams. This includes the SAT and ACT exams, which are generally taken during the junior or senior year of high school. CCU does not require students to submit these exam scores, which may make it easier to get into compared to other universities. 

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.

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

Student Reviews

Student Reviews

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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.


Reviewed: 8/22/2017

Degree: Psychology

I am currently enrolled in the Ed.D program and can highly recommend it. Communication, infrastructure and administration are efficient and the staff are approachable. I usually get email responses immediately. Essay feedback has so far been quite thorough. If you're looking for a program that is business-like and straightforward, this has to be the most affordable, accessible, accredited professional doctorate out there. No mind-games or jargon. A particularly good choice for mature, returning or... Read More


Reviewed: 8/14/2017

Degree: Psychology

I had an overall great experience at California Coast. I get that there are places that might not readily accept CCU credits while there are many more that will.The whole national versus regional accreditation seems to depend on where you live. My state licensing board had no problem with my credits from CCU. The acceptance for DEAC seems to be growing as online education becomes more commonplace. My education at CCU overall was excellent. The choice of texts were top notch.. My other graduate degree... Read More


Reviewed: 8/10/2017

Degree: Business Administration

This is not a traditional university and may not be suited for everyone. For a senior professional like myself, I found this an extremely useful option to gain knowledge and upgrade my qualification at a schedule suited for me. It does take longer than what they generally recommend. If you are self-starter and would like to get some value for your money, then I would not hesitate to recommend this option.


Reviewed: 7/2/2017

Degree: Educational Leadership

First: Administration responded to all my queries within twenty-four business hours. Second: School staff and administration enthusiastically supported my program progress. Lastly, and though nationally accredited, the course work is exceptional. My undergrad and masters were at regionally, brick-and-mortar institutions. Structured learning at CCU was on par with my experience at those institutions. Six years of continuous classwork and a dissertation (defense before a board required) have ended,... Read More