How Self-paced Courses Work

Self-paced courses are offered two different ways: online, or via correspondence (mail).


When you enroll in an online course, you will receive information on how to access the course. Once you order and receive your textbooks, you can begin your work. In most cases, you will email your assignments to your instructor and to Credit Programs for Part-time Students at the same time. In rare cases you must submit assignments via US mail. When you have submitted all assignments, you can schedule the supervised final exam (see Final Exams). Note: The number of assignments you may submit at one time is limited (see Policies & Restrictions). You will need a computer (PC or Mac), Internet access, and an email address. Some courses have specific technical requirements as indicated on the course description.

See Student Orientation for more information about taking online courses offered by the Friday Center, or go to Is Online Learning Right for You? for a self-assessment.

For visually impaired students: The online Self-paced Courses are developed to be accessible to JAWS or similar screen readers. We encourage you to self-identify with Accessibility Resources & Service so we can make reasonable accommodations for your needs.


When you enroll in a correspondence course, you will receive a printed course manual that contains all of your lessons, assignments, and instructions. Your enrollment begins on the day we receive your payment. We recommend that you order the textbooks and materials required at that time (see Textbooks).

Once you receive your textbooks, you can begin submitting assignments. Your work will be routed through our office, where Credit Programs for Part-time Students staff will record receipt of your assignments and forward your work to your instructor. Your instructor will return your graded assignments to our office, which we will forward to you. When you have submitted all assignments for the course, you may schedule the supervised final exam (see Final Exams).

Note: The number of assignments you may submit at one time is limited (see Policies & Restrictions).

Emailing Assignments in Correspondence Courses

The assignments for a limited number of correspondence courses can be sent and received via e-mail. If you want to use e-mail to send assignments and receive them back from your instructor, contact Credit Programs for Part-time Students to see if this option is available for your course. If so, complete information will be sent to you with your enrollment materials.


Your instructor will guide you through the course and be your primary contact as you complete your work. If you have questions about any course assignments, contact your instructor.

At certain times of the year, instructors may not be available for rapid grading of assignments and exams. This is particularly true during winter holidays, near the end of terms, and in the summer months (see Policies & Restrictions).

Online Orientation


Whether you’re enrolled or just thinking about it, this orientation shows you how Self-paced online courses work. GET ORIENTED »


Student taking online assessment

Is online right for you? TAKE THE TEST »

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The depths of the human mind remain one of the most fascinating frontiers to explore. PSYC 1000 allows you to wade into those waters at your own pace. READ MORE »

Meet a Student

Student Tyler Forrest

“Without the self-paced program that lets me take the course over a longer period of time, I’m not sure I’d be able to complete [classes].” VIEW STORY »