Glossary

Continuing education

Continuing Education (CE) hour — A nationally recognized way of recording your participation in noncredit professional development. One hour of continuing education instruction equals 0.1 CEUs. Ten continuing education hours equal 1 CEU.

Continuing Education Unit (CEU) — A nationally recognized way of recording your participation in noncredit professional development. One hour of continuing education instruction equals 0.1 CEUs. A six-hour workshop equals 0.6 CEUs.

Personal enrichmentClasses, certificates and other programs that allow students to specialize in topics and build skills related to their personal interests.

Professional developmentClasses, certificates and other programs that allow students to specialize in topics and build skills related to their workplace or career.

Learning format

Accelerated — A class or program that is delivered at a faster pace and in a shorter amount of time than the traditional version. Accelerated classes or programs have a higher course load to condense the time to completion.

Evening/weekend — An in-person class or program that meets only in the evenings and/or on weekends. Unless otherwise noted, evening and weekend classes take place on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus.

Face-to-face — A class or program that is delivered entirely or mostly in person. Unless otherwise noted, our face-to-face classes take place on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus. (See also In-person.)

Hybrid — A class or program that is delivered via both face-to-face and online formats. Unless otherwise noted, our face-to-face classes and programs take place on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus. The online portion may be delivered in real-time or self-paced format.

In-person — A class or program that is delivered entirely or mostly face-to-face. Unless otherwise noted, our in-person classes take place on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus. (See also Face-to-face.)

Online — A class or program that is delivered completely online. There are multiple types of online classes:

  • Live online — A class or program that is delivered online, with real-time lectures, lessons and discussions presented via web conferencing or virtual classroom software. Assignments and projects may be scheduled for completion outside of class.
  • Interactive online — The same as a live online class or program, these classes meet the designation for “interactive, live online class” required for continuing education in certain professions. Content is delivered in real-time; assignments and projects may be scheduled for completion outside of class.
  • Self-paced online — A class or program that is delivered online, with no class meetings or fixed deadlines. These programs may be started anytime, with a completion time that may vary anywhere between and two years (see course description for specific completion requirements). Students work independently through a web-based learning management system to complete lessons and assignments and to interact with instructors.
  • Group-paced online — A class or program that is delivered online with the same group of students, with no or very few real-time class meetings. Students work through a web-based learning management system to complete lessons, with set due dates for assignments and frequent opportunities to interact with instructors and other students.

Program/degree type

Bachelor’s degree — A degree awarded upon the completion of an academic program that requires four to five years of full-time equivalent preparation. A bachelor’s degree is typically required for acceptance into a graduate program.

Doctoral degree — The highest level of academic degree, awarded upon the completion of a PhD program, which takes, on average, four to seven years to complete. A doctorate degree is typically a basic threshold for certain professional roles, including the licensed practice of medical care, professorship or professional research.

Graduate-level certificate — Graduate-level certificates, called capstone certificates at UW–Madison, generally focus on professional skills and certification in a particular discipline, and typically take a year to complete. This type of certificate helps individuals advance in their current field or obtain an advanced position in another field.

Master’s degree — A degree awarded upon the completion of a graduate program where students specialize in an area of study; typically takes 1 to 2 years to complete. Depending on the field, graduates may qualify for work in an advanced or executive-level position.