Cleveland State University

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Updated August 6, 2020

With a campus in downtown Cleveland, Cleveland State University appeals to a number of students living near the major city as well students from other parts of Ohio and even other states. Founded in 1923 as Fenn College, it grew out of the classes offered by a Cleveland branch of the YMCA. That organization offered a small number of free classes before earning the right to offer formal programs later in the 1800s. As the popularity of those programs grew, a college eventually formed called the Cleveland YMCA School of Technology. This school then became Fenn College and then Cleveland State University in the 1960s.

Also called CSU and Cleveland State, the university now offers 70 majors for undergrad students, nearly 30 master's programs and a handful of both certificate and doctoral programs. It also has an arrangement with the NASA Glenn Research Center that allows some of its students to complete co-op programs and internships are the research center. Though CSU announced plans in modern years to renovate its campus and bring in new opportunities for its students, the university offers online programs that appeal to students living both in and outside of Cleveland. Between its online and traditional students, Cleveland State has more than 17,000 students enrolled.

Cleveland State University Accreditation Details

CSU has program accreditation for its programs in law, occupational therapy, social work, music and other topics. This type of accreditation lets students know that they'll have access to more professional opportunities and that their programs have accreditation from an organization with higher authority. Some of the groups that granted Cleveland State program accreditation include the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, Inc. (ABET), Council on Education for Public Health, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education. Those enrolling in its traditional MBA program or online MBA program will find that those programs have accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The regional accreditation that Cleveland State has comes from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS). With NCACS accreditation, students know that they can use the FAFSA to get financial aid and that they can complete a worthwhile degree. The NCACS requires that the university maintain its accreditation and apply for a renewal every decade.

Cleveland State University Application Requirements

All of the graduate and professional programs offered by CSU have admissions requirements that students must meet before they can enroll. Those hoping to start one of its MBA programs must have a cumulative undergrad grade point average of 2.75 or higher. The university asks for a score from the GRE or the GMAT too. Students who spent six years or more out of college must score within the 50th percentile on one of those exams. Cleveland State is a little unique because the university does not ask for letters of recommendation or a personal essay.

Its MBA programs start in the fall, but its accelerated program also begins in the spring semester. The university has an application deadline of June 15 for those who want to start in the fall and November 1 for those who want to start in the spring. Prospective students must complete the application and submit test scores and transcripts before this deadline. Students have the option of using an online application, sending an application through the mail or visiting the campus and filling out the application in person. All students seeking to enroll in a graduate degree program must pay a $40 fee by money order or check.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Like other state colleges, Cleveland State University has one tuition rate for Ohio/state residents and a different rate for nonresidents. Its rate for Ohio residents starts at around $530 per credit hour, but for nonresidents, this rate increases to just over $900 per credit hour. Those enrolling in its online MBA program, also called its mobile MBA program, pay a flat rate of $37,500. This covers the cost of all classes that students take, all the online resources they use for their courses and an iPad, which comes with an exclusive Cleveland State cover. The university requires that students pay a $1,500 deposit upfront. Students will then receive a tuition bill of $12,000 at the beginning of each of the three semesters it takes to finish the program.

Around 70% of all students attending CSU receive some type of financial aid. The university asks that students file the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1. Students receive aid based on their college status, their year in school and the amount they or their parents can contribute to their education. Many of its graduate students use unsubsidized loans to cover their costs. CSU will also accept private loans called alternative student loans.

Online MBA

The online MBA program offered by Cleveland State is an accelerated program that allows students to finish an MBA in just one year or three semesters of full-time study. Unlike other online programs that still require students spend a lot of money on textbooks, CSU puts all MBA resources online. The university also provides students with an iPad that they can use to access all those resources. Its mobile system allows students to work on their degrees from anywhere they go. Though some students in this program live all across the country and around the world, some live and work in Cleveland.

Students typically take four courses in their first semester, five courses the second semester and just two classes in the last semester. They can work with their advisers to change the number of classes they take each semester based on their own schedules. A class on strategic entrepreneurship teaches students how to run or launch a business, and a course on managerial accounting focuses on the accounting techniques that managers use daily.

Related Resource: 15 Best Affordable Online Master's in Finance

This program includes courses on team dynamics that can help students work as part of a team and on HR management for those who need to lead teams. Integrative business strategy is the only course students take that is worth four credit hours and it focuses on teaching students effective business strategies. Cleveland State University requires that online MBA students also take classes on financial policies and product management.

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