Public Programs Registration Policies

Public Programs offers courses to the general public on subjects that are closely aligned with CIIS's mission. A subset of these courses may be taken for academic credit by CIIS students. Below are the policies which apply to these courses.

These courses, like other CIIS courses, appear on the transcript and contribute to CIIS' evaluations of the student's academic standing, enrollment status, and financial aid eligibility.

Please note that Public Programs offers its own certificate programs which are distinct from CIIS' academic programs. Public Programs's certificates bestow no academic credit and the policies below are inapplicable to them.


Register for Public Programs courses for academic credit through the Registrar's Office, not through Public Programs.

Registration deadlines for Public Programs courses for academic credit align with registration for all other CIIS classes. Refer to the Institute's academic calendar for registration and add/drop dates.


Tuition is charged at the student's academic division rate. For example, doctoral students are charged the doctoral tuition rate. See the Tuition and Fees page for these rates.


The audit option is not available for Public Programs courses.

Grade Option and Cancellations

All Public Programs courses offered for academic credit are graded only on a Pass/No Pass basis.

Public Programs reserves the right to cancel a course up to three days before it is scheduled to begin if enrollment is insufficient. Should this happen, students will be given the opportunity to register for another available workshop.


Students are required to attend all hours of a Public Programs course. Attendance will be taken and will be part of the grading criteria. Check in with the workshop assistant when arriving and departing. The instructor has the right to fail a student who does not attend the entire course. If a student knows in advance that he or she will miss part of the course, he or she is to call Public Programs at (415) 575-6175 before the first class meeting.

Paper Requirements

To obtain academic credit, students must write a paper synthesizing the topics discussed in the course with their own personal experience and required readings. The specific requirements are derived through conversation with the instructor. Any questions not answered by the instructor can be directed Public Programs. Below are the policies regarding this paper:

  1. Students planning to graduate in the current semester should NOT register for a course that has a due date for its paper past the semester's end. Otherwise, the student's graduation date will be moved to the following semester.
  2. Papers must be at least six pages, double-spaced, for all master's and undergraduate students, and eight pages, double-spaced, for doctoral students.
  3. Papers are due at 2 p.m. three weeks after the course ends. If the paper is not submitted by the due date, a grade of "NP" (No Pass) will be assigned and recorded on the student's transcript.
  4. Public Programs does not grant extension to the due date. An "Incomplete" grade is not available. If an emergency prevents a student from turning in the paper on time, he or she should call Public Programs at 415-575-6175 before the due date.
  5. Students should submit papers to the Public Programs Office - NOT the instructor - by fax to 415-593-9042 or by postal mail to Public Programs, 1453 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103. Do not e-mail the paper. Public Programs will forward the paper to the instructor and the grade from the instructor to the Registrar's Office.
  6. If the student wants the graded paper, he or she is to enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope when submitting it.

Credit Applicability

Most Public Programs courses offered for academic credit fulfill electives rather than required courses of the degree. Each degree program has a limit on the amount of Public Programs credit that can be applied toward its requirements. Please consult with your academic advisor before registering.

Non-Credit Registration For Degree and Certificate Students

CIIS students are free to register for any Public Programs course as a "public participant," meaning that they are not taking the course for academic credit. Such a course will not appear on the CIIS transcript and will have no bearing on their enrollment status, academic standing, or financial aid eligibility. Any student wishing to register as a "public participant" must do so through Public Programs (not the Registrar's Office) and pay the same fee charged to public participants. Some of these courses may be offered at discounts to CIIS students. Contact Public Programs for more information about this.


Questions about these policies should be directed to Public Programs at (415) 575-6175.

Questions about registering for Public Programs courses for academic credit should be directed to the Registrar's Office at (415) 575-6126.

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