Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long has California Lutheran University (CLU) been around?

Founded in 1959, CLU is part of a 500-year-old tradition in Lutheran higher education and academic excellence with experienced faculty who bring real-world theory to the classroom.


2. Is California Lutheran University accredited?

Yes.  CLU is accredited by The Western Association for Schools and Colleges
985 Atlantic Avenue, Ste. 100 Alameda, CA 94501
Phone: (510) 748-9001, Fax: (510) 748-9797


3. What makes CLU stand out from other institutions?

Our commitment to quality and the commitment to our student’s success is what makes CLU stand out from other institutions. Our faculty members have both real world and academic experience which enables them to help our students connect theory to practice.  As a student in our on-line MBA program, you will have the opportunity to acquire the skillset and knowledge base that will assist you in dealing with the various challenges you will face as you pursue your professional goals. Our class sizes are very small; we cap our onsite and online classes at 20 students. Our faculty are very accessible and are just an email or phone call away.   We offer a very flexible MBA program designed to meet the needs of busy professionals; that means you choose how fast you complete your MBA program.


4. What is the tuition for the MBA program?

For current tuition amounts, please visit the Student Accounts-Tuition and Fees website. Tuition for out of state students is the same as in state students.  Many employers offer tuition reimbursement for graduate study, so students are encouraged to check with the benefit's department at their place of employment. Tuition can be paid by cash, check or electronic debit.  Payment plans are also available through the business office.


5. What types of financial aid are available?

Need-based financial assistance is available for matriculated students in the form of loans, grants and scholarships. To apply, simply complete the FAFSA as well as CLU's Financial Aid application. Veteran's benefits may also be available. For specific questions concerning financial aid, you may visit the Financial Aid office or call (805) 493-3115.


6. Is the online MBA a true MBA program?

Yes. All graduates of this program will be awarded a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Students in our online MBA program will receive the same diploma that is awarded to residential on-campus graduates. They will be eligible to participate in California Lutheran University's commencement ceremony in Thousand Oaks, California.


7. Who should enroll in the CLU online MBA program?

CLU's Online MBA degree program suits the needs of full-time professionals, offering flexibility and convenience. It is designed for adult students pursuing upper-level positions as managers within larger organizations or owners of small to mid-sized firms. CLU's Online MBA program places significant emphasis on decision-making and leading organizations from a basis of financial data and fiscal analysis. CLU's Online MBA graduates are primarily those from the for-profit sector or product design, development and delivery and/or the service sector for profit-driven companies.


8. My undergraduate degree is not in business; do I need to complete course pre-requisites? If so, what are my options?

The MBA program is looking for students who have an upper division GPA of 3.0 or higher in their Bachelor’s Degree and who have completed the following prerequisite classes:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Applied Calculus I or an upper division statistics class

If an applicant has not successfully completed the prerequisite classes listed above, the MBA program does offer online foundation courses as part of the MBA program. These classes are graduate level courses that are designed to prepare you for the rigor of our MBA coursework.  The foundation courses that are offered online include:

  • BUS 511 – Foundations of Accounting and Finance
  • BUS 513 – Foundations of Economics
  • BUS 514 – Foundations of Quantitative Methods


9. What is the difference between the online MBA and the on-campus MBA programs?

The only difference lies in the delivery (online versus on-site). The word "online" is appropriately used to describe the flexibility and convenience of the online format for professionals who wish to earn an MBA from CLU without relocating or leaving an already well-established career. No differentiating language will appear on your diploma.


10. Is an internship/practicum included in the online MBA program?

There is not an internship or practicum as part of our program.  Students do complete a Capstone Course as their last class in our MBA program.  The purpose of the Capstone Course is to integrate as much of the students’ MBA curriculum as possible into a final holistic activity and the goal is to show how all of the previous coursework that the student has taken, fit together.


11. Can I complete the entire MBA program online?

Yes. You can complete your entire MBA degree from the comfort of your own keyboard. You will not be required to visit the campus anytime during your length of study. Students can choose from the following Professional Tracks for our Online MBA Program. (Professional Tracks consist of your 3 elective courses):

  • Entrepreneurship
  • International Business
  • Management and Organizational Behavior
  • Marketing


12. Do I have to be a computer expert to pursue my MBA degree online?

No. The only computer skills required are a familiarity with Windows and an Internet browser.


13. How long does it take to complete the online MBA degree program?

The time it takes to complete your degree depends on the number of classes you choose to take per term. Two classes per term is considered full time for a working student; however, students can take from one to three courses per term. There are five 8-week terms per year in our MBA program.  The courses are semester units in a compressed 8-week format so that you can complete your MBA as fast as you would like.  By taking two courses per term, you can finish your MBA in just 8 terms, or less than two years if desired.


14. What term can you begin the program?

For our online program, you can start during any of the five terms.


15. How do I apply to the online MBA program?

The MBA admissions process is the same whether you intend to pursue your MBA in the classroom, online or a combination of both. For current information on applying to the MBA Program at CLU, please visit the MBA Admission website


16. What are the Technical Requirements?

Students are required to have a computer, headset with microphone, CLU e-mail and internet access to enroll in this course. This course is delivered via online instruction. All materials, with the exclusion of the textbook, are delivered via the Internet. Technical support is available 24/7/365. Your personal computer must be equipped with the following:


  • 1.4GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Microsoft® Windows® XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8; 2GHz Pentium 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Windows Vista®
  • Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
  • 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended) for Windows XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8; 1GB of RAM (2GB recommended) for Windows Vista
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9, 10; Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome
  • Adobe® Flash® Player 10.3      

Mac OS

  • 1.83GHz Intel Core™ Duo or faster processor
  • 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
  • Mac OS X, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7.4, 10.8
  • No Adobe Connect Add-in support for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). Users on Leopard can attend meetings in the browser.*
  • Mozilla Firefox; Apple Safari; Google Chrome
  • Adobe Flash Player 10.3


  • Ubuntu 10.04, 11.04; Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6; OpenSuSE 11.3
  • No Add-in support for Linux. Users on Linux can attend meetings in the browser.*
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Adobe Flash Player 10.3

Chrome OS

  • No Adobe Connect Add-in*

* If an OS above is noted to not be supported by the Adobe Connect Add-in, it means that users can still join, host, and present in meetings within the browser, but will not be able to use functionality enabled by the Add-in, like screen sharing.  For more information on this, see this Tech Note.


  • Apple supported devices: iPad, iPad2, iPad3; iPhone 4 and 4 S, iPod touch (3rd generation minimum recommended)
  • Apple supported OS versions summary: iOS 4.3.x, 5.x, or 6.x (5.x or higher recommended)
  • Android supported devices: Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1), Samsung Galaxy Tab (10.1), ASUS Transformer, Samsung Galaxy Tab (7”) , Motorola Xoom, Motorola Xoom 2, Nexus 7
  • Android supported OS versions summary: 2.2 and higher
  • Android AIR Runtime required: 3.2 or higher

Virtual environments

  • Citrix XenApp 6
  • Additional requirements
  • Bandwidth: 512Kbps for participants, meeting attendees, and end users of Adobe Connect applications. Connection: DSL/cable (wired connection recommended) for Adobe Connect presenters, administrators, trainers, and event and meeting hosts.


17. Can I combine online MBA classes with on-campus classes?

Absolutely!  In addition to the online and on-campus delivery formats, other options include weekend intensive, weekend compressed courses in Austria* and international travel courses.

*The weekend compressed courses in Austria usually run over four days (Thursday until Sunday) and mostly require some work prior to and after the compressed weekend. Please contact the MBA Office at (805)493-3329 for a schedule of the next weekend compressed course offerings in Austria. A

Dates TBD – end March or early April 2013

18. How many online classes can I take at one time?

Most students, whether they are taking classes on campus, online or a combination of the two, take two courses each term. This allows you to finish the program in a reasonable period of time.


19. How long is each online MBA course?

Online MBA courses are delivered in an eight week term and include five terms per year.  Students can access course materials 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Throughout the term, students access lectures, share course information, work on group projects, submit class work and take exams, all online.


20. How are online MBA courses structured?

Online and classroom-based courses are organized and presented in much the same way.  Each class contains weekly instructional lectures comprised of pre-recorded audio lectures, assigned readings from textbook(s), assignments in many forms including quizzes, case studies and homework. Though students may work at their own time and convenience during the week, courses are structured to meet assignment deadlines and require participation in one 60-90 minute live chat session each week. The day and time of the live chat session will be listed in Webadvisor when registering for your classes.

The online courses are hosted in the Moodle learning management system which is provided by Learning House, CLU's online education partner.  All online courses consist of synchronous activities which in some way count towards the final grade.  While the bulk of the workload occurs in the asynchronous mode (a mode under which students can largely work according to their own convenience) all students are required to attend the weekly 60-90 minute online live chat session.  These take place in a virtual classroom in Adobe Connect.

Occasionally, students may have to deal with circumstances beyond their control that would prevent them from participating in the live chat sessions. In such situations, a student may miss a maximum of two live chat sessions.  In this case, students must review the archived live chat session for that week and complete an assignment at the instructor's discretion.  As with traditional classes, students are expected to read any textbook material or outside reading material prior to a certain due date as specified in the course syllabus.

It is common for a number of discussion questions or problems to be assigned that require students to answer and/or participate in class discussion. For example, your professor may ask students to express your personal views on a topic, analyze a case study, or similar. The instructor expects each student to contribute their ideas on the platform by the due date and, where appropriate, to discuss alternative viewpoints with their classmates.


21. Is there an attendance policy for online courses?  

Yes.  There is a mandatory attendance policy for all courses offered through the Online MBA at California Lutheran University.  This policy serves to improve student learning and comply with federal regulations and financial aid policies. CLU Online MBA courses consist of synchronous and asynchronous activities.  All activities are mandatory and in some way count towards the final grade. While the degree of participation in asynchronous activities (e.g. weekly assignments, threaded discussions, quizzes, etc.) is documented by the degree of completion and the quality of the outcomes, the degree of participation in synchronous activities (e.g. a weekly live chat session in a virtual classroom) is documented by the actual presence of a student during such activities. Based on this general policy, the following rules apply:

  • Attendance of synchronous activities (e.g. weekly live chat session in a virtual classroom) is mandatory for all students and in all Online MBA courses. 
  • Students may be dropped from the course if they do not attend the first synchronous activity of the course (unless discussed with the instructor prior to the activity) and/or if they have not logged into the learning management system (online course) during the first week of the term.
  • Students may miss a maximum of two synchronous activities. Attendance of less than 75% of a synchronous activity will be considered as insufficient (i.e. missed). Failure to meet the individual course attendance requirements may result in a grade of F.
  • Students can make up for a maximum of two missed synchronous activities. In the case of a live chat session, students must listen to the archived chat session for that week and complete an assignment at the instructor’s discretion. 

In addition to these attendance requirements, each instructor will have separate grading policies concerning participation in synchronous activities.


22. Do quizzes/tests in the program have to be proctored?

No. Quizzes and Tests are taken online and do not have to be proctored.


23. How do I access my online class?

Students will have access to online courses one week prior to the start of the term.  You can access online courses that you are enrolled in by visiting: Your username and password is the same as your CLU username and password.  Your instructor will send out a welcome email the weekend before classes begin.  A new online student orientation is held a few weeks prior to the start of the term; all new and returning online students are invited to attend.  All correspondence will be sent directly to your CLU email account.

Back to top

« Calendars | Meet the Director »

Apply Online Request Information
Discover your options

Find out about degree options, admission requirements, financial aid and course offerings. Meet faculty and talk with admission counselors at an upcoming Info Session.

View upcoming Info Sessions...

Find us on Facebook