New Visiting or Nondegree Student
Before You Enroll in an Online Course
Who Can Take Online Classes?
Online courses are open to all degree-seeking and nondegree students. If this is your first semester as a CU Boulder student and you are interested in taking an online class, please schedule an advising appointment with one of our academic advisors so we can discuss your options.
Why Should I Consider an Online Class?
Online courses can provide you with flexibility to study when and where it is convenient for you. If you can’t come to campus to learn, online courses can be a great option.
How Do Online Class Credits Appear on My Transcript?
Online classes appear on your CU Boulder transcript like any other class. The transcript does not indicate the class was taken online or offered through Continuing Education. However, please note the College of Arts and Sciences has a 30-credit hour limit on the number of online credits that count toward graduation requirements.
Where Can I Take an Online Class?
Online courses can be taken from almost anywhere in the world with a reliable internet connection. Please note that some countries may have firewalls or other internet restrictions that could affect access to some online course components. Please schedule an academic advising appointment with one of our advisors to learn more about this.
The Difference Between Term-Based and Online Flexible (formerly Self-Paced) Courses
Term-based courses follow structured academic calendars and holiday schedules in full-semester, 10-week, and 7-week sessions. Courses may have unique start and end dates, drop deadlines, and refund schedules listed under dates and deadlines.
Online Flexible (formerly Self-Paced) courses offer ultimate flexibility; you may enroll any time and finish in less than a semester or up to 6 months. You take exams and finish projects when you have time to focus on them as long as it fits the course time limits and deadlines.
Learn more about these two online course options on our Online Credit page.
Online Flexible (formerly Self-Paced) Expiration Date
Your Online Flexible (formerly Self-Paced) class expires six months after your enrollment date. If you do not remember when you enrolled, contact Enrollment Services at 303-492-5148 or firstname.lastname@example.org to check your expiration date.
The dates that appear next to your online course in MyCUInfo are the dates for enrollment; they are not the dates when your course began or expires.
5 Tips for Success in Online Classes
Online courses are a great option if you require more flexibility in your education; however, they can also provide unique challenges you might not find in traditional on-campus courses:
- Time management is key. Online courses do not require you to be in class at a specific time or place, but you are still responsible for completing the work. Create a consistent schedule for yourself that allows you to devote enough time to be successful in the course. We suggest for every credit hour of enrollment you should spend two to three hours studying. Therefore, if you enroll in a three-credit course you should expect to study anywhere from six to nine hours per week for this course.
- Find or set up a dedicated study space. Just because your course is online does not mean that you have to study in your pajamas at home on the couch in front of the TV; it just means that you can (but probably shouldn’t). Make sure you find a space where you can focus successfully on your work. Libraries are great places to study and many have dedicated study spaces that can be reserved. If going to a library is not convenient, set up a dedicated study space at home. When you enter that space, whether it is a guest room, home office, or simply a desk in the corner of the living room, you are there for one thing: to study.
- Make use of resources as you would in an on-campus course.
- Contact your instructor during office hours (yes, they will have office hours).
- Consider getting a tutor if you struggle with the material.
- Be sure to utilize the Online Composition Hub for any online class that involves paper writing or multimedia presentations and projects.
- Start slow. The opportunity to take an online class is exciting and we offer more sections every semester, but consider enrolling in only one course during your first attempt at an online class. This will allow you time to adjust to your new learning environment.
- Make sure you are taking an online course for the right reasons. Think online courses are easier than in-person courses?
Think again. You will be expected to do the same amount of work (or more) than most traditional on-campus courses. If you are not sure if an online course is right for you, please contact our advisors and we can help you figure it out.