Online classes: Frequently Asked Questions

Questions
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1. Are these online courses offered for college credit?
2. What is a Continuing Education Unit (CEU)?
3. Is financial aid available for these courses?
4.
Do I have to be a UW-Madison student to take a class?
5. Are the course fees higher if I don't live in Wisconsin?
6. Can I take these courses if I live overseas?
7. How long can I take to finish the course?
8. When can I start a course?
9. Can I take more than one course at a time?
10. Can I drop or cancel a course?
11. Is there advising to help me decide which courses are best for my needs?
12. Can I register with a credit card?
13. Is there a minimum age requirement?
14. Do I have to own a computer?
15. Can I work from different places and computers as I proceed through the course?
16. What are the minimum computer requirements?
17. What is expected of me in an online course?
18. How much do these courses cost?

Questions and answers

1. Are these online courses offered for college credit?

No. These are noncredit courses which are offered for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) which are not equal or interchangeable with university credit.

2. What is a Continuing Education Unit (CEU)?

It is a measure of participation in structured continuing learning experiences. One Continuing Education Unit is a national unit of measurement defined as 10 hours of participant effort in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction.

3. Is financial aid available for these courses?

No.

4. Do I have to be a University of Wisconsin–Madison student to take a class?

No. Student status is not required.

5. Are the course fees higher if I don't live in Wisconsin?

No.

6. Can I take these courses if I live overseas?

Yes. Students are already taking our courses from many parts of the world.

7. How long can I take to finish the course?

One year, starting from when you choose to register. Your instructor will let you know if you must complete the course in less time. You may also apply to your instructor for an extension, if necessary.

8. When can I start a course?

You can start any course at any time and work at your own pace. Our faculty and instructors are not tied to an academic-year schedule.

9. Can I take more than one course at a time?

Yes. You can take multiple courses or stagger the starting dates of courses according to your own schedule.

10. Can I drop or cancel an online course?

For detailed information on dropping or cancelling an online course, please refer to our policies page»

11. Is there advising to help me decide which courses are best for my needs?

Yes. Please contact the course instructor by phone or e-mail, as posted in this Web site.

12. Can I register with a credit card?

Yes. You may register using our secure web form, by mail, or by phone at 800-725-9692.

13. Is there a minimum age requirement?

No. All ages are welcome, as long as the prerequisites of the individual course, if any, have been met.

14. Do I have to own a computer?

No. You may access our courses from wherever you wish.

15. Can I work from different places and computers as I proceed through the course?

Definitely. For our Web courses, you only need to remember "uwmad.courses.wisconsin.edu", your NetID, and password. For e-mail courses, you only need to access your e-mail.

16. What are the minimum computer requirements?

If you choose one of our Web-based courses, here are the current requirements»

If you choose one of our e-mail-only courses, you only need regular access to an e-mail account.

17. What is expected of me in an online course?

The great benefit of being in an online course is that you can have direct, one-to-one communication with your instructor—and, in some of our courses, with your fellow students—at any time, rather than only during class or office hours. If you do take advantage of this new ability, then you should check your e-mail regularly.

Similarly, you are strongly encouraged to post questions and comments on the course discussion boards, if they are made available. This method of informal communication is an important and very rewarding replacement for the atmosphere and camaraderie of a friendly, face-to-face classroom. And just like in a classroom, if everyone else gets to hear a question and its answer, everyone learns from it.

18. How much do these course cost?

Cost information varies and is found with individual class descriptions.

Have a question not addressed here?
Email us as info@dcs.wisc.edu, or call 608-262-1156.