Admissions - Professional Education

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Admissions Information 

Admission Requirements

  • Proof of High School graduation/GED or recognized equivalent
  • Cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (on 4.0 scale) or better on all prior college work
  • Completion of Application Process including forms, fees, assessments, references, transcripts (official transcripts must be received from each institution attended, regardless of academic performance or credit awarded) 

All applicants meeting the above-stated admission requirements will be considered by the Admission Committee. Applicants who do not meet the above requirements may apply. Please see the Provisional Student section below.  During the admission process, students will be informed of remaining requirements accompanied by a recommendation as to how these requirements can be completed.

Application Process

The application process is as follows:

  1. Complete and submit the Application for Admission, along with the non-refundable application fee of $45.00
  2. Request Official Transcripts from each college or university previously attended, regardless of credit granted or academic performance. Check with the Registrar's Office from each institution for the appropriate transcript fee.
  3. High School Completion or recognized equivalency. Final official high school transcript or diploma, GED certificate or transcript, transcript stating 2-year program completion and specifically Associate of Arts or Associate of Science, home school credential or transcript, or proof of passing both sections – English-language Arts and Mathematics – of the California Proficiency Examination (CHSPE).
  4. Submit Reference/s as required by program.
  5. Submit the required admissions essay(s) and/or petitions.
  6. Complete any required assessments.
  7. After all required documents are received, an unofficial transcript evaluation is done on previous coursework, and an admissions interview may be scheduled based on file review.

Application, Transcript Request, and Reference forms are available on the Professional Education Admissions page of the University’s website at

Completed applications are reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Students accepted into Vanguard will be notified of their acceptance status via email or phone call. The typical admission deadline is three (3) weeks prior to each semester start date.

Individualized Appointments

Prospective students are invited to meet with an admissions counselor to discuss their academic needs as they step into their program of study. These appointments cover:

  • An unofficial transcript evaluation
  • The nature of our academic programs
  • Session start dates
  • Meeting the needs of the working professional
  • Application procedures
  • Questions and answers
  • Financial matters, such as:
    • Employer reimbursement
    • Loans and grants
    • Payment schedules

Education and Training Benefits for Veterans

For more information on education and training benefits available for military veterans and/or their dependents, please visit the Education and Training Benefits for Veterans page or contact the School Certifying Official.

International Students

Refer to the International Students Admission page for more information.

Re-Admitting Students

Students wishing to return to a Professional Education program after withdrawing, being academically disqualified, or taking an unapproved leave of absence of three concurrent semesters or more must submit a readmission application and the $15.00 readmission fee, along with official transcripts for any course work completed since leaving Vanguard. Students who apply for readmission will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee and the appropriate Chair. The decision to readmit a student is based upon their standing with the academic, financial and student life policies of the university. Upon notice of approval, the student may proceed with academic and student account clearances. Readmitted students will be subject to current academic catalog program requirements.  Denial of re-admission applications are reviewable by the Dean in consultation with the respective department Chair.  

Admission Status


Students may attend class with no obligation to participate actively in the work. For such students, no examinations are given, no assignments are requested or marked; however, no credit may be obtained for such attendance. Auditors pay the auditing fee. A student must attend at least 50% of the class sessions in order to have the audited course recorded on the transcript.


At the discretion of the respective chair and in conjunction with the dean. A limited number of students who have not met the admission requirements may be admitted as “provisional” students.  Unless otherwise approved by the program chair or dean, students admitted provisionally will be required to limit their course load to 9 units per term. In order to receive regular standing classification and continue enrollment, provisional students must attain a 2.0 grade point average in their first term of no less than part-time (at least 6 units) enrollment. If the provisional student fails to do so, they will be subject to academic disqualification. Provisional students may be eligible for limited financial aid. 


Students who have fully met all the requirements for admission and have been accepted are considered regular-standing students. Unless otherwise approved by the program chair,  students may not exceed an enrollment maximum of 18 units per semester.


Non-degree seeking students who attend Vanguard University without submitting the credentials required for admission with regular status.  Abbreviated application forms are available online at Types of non-degree students include:

  • Students taking Continuing Education Units. Units are not degree applicable.
  • Students seeking Certificates.  Certificate students may only take coursework that applies to the certificate they are pursuing.

Non-degree students also include the category of students-at-large.  Students-at-large earn academic credit for work completed successfully, but they are not considered degree-seeking students at Vanguard University. The student-at-large classification is possible only for those taking nine (9) units or less during any term.  Students accepted as a Student-at-Large are not eligible for financial aid unless they are enrolled in prerequisite courses for graduate school (except tuition remission) and have applied to a graduate program.

University Selection and Community Participation

The School for Professional Education at Vanguard University selects students based on academic record, the admissions interview, work experience, references, and willingness to comply with the standards and values of the university. It is expected that each individual who joins the academic community of Vanguard University will deepen his or her ethical commitment and understanding, strengthen his or her intellectual and creative abilities, and participate constructively in the life of the University community.

Furthermore, Vanguard University community members are expected to commit to mutual respect for one another and will:

  1. Treat all members of the community with the utmost regard, supporting and upholding the rights of others to a safe, collaborative, and collegial learning environment;
  2. Foster collegial learning by participating in class as a supportive and cooperative community member;
  3. Refrain from derogatory, disrespectful, or inflammatory comments regarding any member of the academic community;
  4. Resolve any personal conflicts by first approaching the other party privately in accordance with professional protocol and the principles that are outlined in Matthew 18:15-17.

Credit Hour Policy

See the Credit Hour Policy for more information. 

Professional Education programs are delivered in an accelerated format. In an accelerated format, courses are typically compressed into five to eight weeks. This means that students essentially triple the pace of coursework, completing the same amount of work in one third of the time.  The ideal student is one who is highly motivated, self-directed, and  disciplined with respect to time management. It is expected that students will invest appropriate time to assure successful course completion.  In accordance with the federal guidelines, over the period of a course, a student will typically spend an average of 40 to 45 hours each for credit hour awarded, regardless of the number of weeks of the course may run.  Time spent includes all learning activities, including time in seated class as well as time completing academic tasks in an online learning environment.  

Evaluation of Previous College Transcripts and Degree Progress

The amount of credit, the courses to be accepted, and the method of evaluation will be determined by the nature of the courses and the type of institution. An applicant who has attended any college or university must submit an official transcript from each institution, regardless of credit granted. Evaluations are completed as new transcripts are received. Once students have received an updated official evaluation or viewed it on their self-service portal they may review and request clarification on anything they may find unclear or questionable. All official academic evaluations and degree evaluations are provided by the Office of the Registrar.

Credit by Examination (maximum: 36 units)

See the Credit by Testing, Extension and Examination policy for more information.

Prior Learning Assessment

See the Prior Learning Assessment policy for more information.

Straighterline (maximum: 45 units)

Straighterline offers self-paced computer guided courses that can transfer to the University to satisfy select lower division general education and elective requirements. This program is only available to students enrolled in Professional Education programs.

Degree Completion

See Commencement Ceremony Participation and Degree Completion policy for more information.


See Degree Requirements for Graduation policy for more information regarding issuance of academic diplomas. 

Student Records

Records submitted for the purpose of admission or for recording supplemental work become part of the student’s permanent record file and may not be reclaimed or duplicated. This includes, but is not limited to educational transcripts.