Our college program at San Quentin State Prison offers college preparatory and credit courses, leading to an Associate of Arts Degree in General Education, and/or coursework necessary to transfer to any California State University or University of California campus. The sole requirement for participation is a high school diploma or GED. No student is excluded from the program based on age, length of sentence, commitment offense, or time left to serve. Students pay no fees or tuition. All textbooks and school supplies are provided by the Prison University Project and through donations from publishers.


All prospective students will be accepted into the program as long as they have a high school diploma High School Equivalency Certificate (in California, the GED, HiSET, or TASC) and are eligible for transfer to San Quentin State Prison.

Prospective students must request to be added to the waitlist and are enrolled in the program on a first-come first-served basis, after they are transferred to San Quentin. After attending a required New Student Orientation, students are placed into classes based on the results of their writing and math assessments.


If you know someone who is currently incarcerated in another California prison that would like to join our program, please have them write us a letter expressing their interest in the program and providing the following information: Name and CDC#, confirmation that they have a GED or high school diploma, and their counselor’s name. Once we receive their letter, we will write a letter of acceptance directly to their counselor.

All letters should be addressed to:
Prison University Project
Post Office Box 492
San Quentin, CA 94964


In California:
If you are interested in higher education programs in other prisons in California, please consider contacting the following colleges:

If you are interested in higher education programs in states other than California, you may find resources at:

If you are interested in information on correspondence courses or are interested in opportunities for incarcerated people to pursue a Bachelor’s, please consider contacting:

    Correspondence Education Program
    208 Edgemont Blvd., Suite 3000
    Alamosa, CO 81101