Restrictions, Time Limits, and Expirations

Minimum Time to Complete a Course

You may begin work on your course immediately after enrolling. Your enrollment period is nine months from the date of enrollment. The minimum time to complete a course is

  • Noncredit course: 12 weeks
  • 1 credit hour: 6 weeks
  • 2 credit hours: 9 weeks
  • 3 credit hours: 12 weeks
  • 4 credit hours: 16 weeks.

The minimum time is counted from the date we receive your first assignment, not from the date of your enrollment. We cannot guarantee that you can complete a course and take the final exam in the minimum time allowed. 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. Grading a final exam, recording a final grade, and processing and mailing a transcript can add extra weeks to the end of a course.

If you are facing a personal deadline: Discuss your plans with the Student Services Manager or another Self-paced Courses representative before you enroll. Tell us whether you need to have the course work completed by your deadline or whether you need to have a transcript arrive at another institution by your deadline. Our office can check to see if the instructor’s schedule will permit him or her to grade your work quickly enough for you to meet your deadline. If you are trying to complete the course in the minimum time allowed, we can assist you with planning a schedule for assignment submissions and taking the final exam.

Restrictions on Submitting Assignments

Ideally, you should submit assignments one at a time and review comments from your instructor before submitting additional work. In a three-credit-hour course, you are limited to submitting one-fifth of the total number of assignments in your course every two weeks. For one- and two-credit-hour courses, students are not permitted to submit more than one-fifth of the total number of assignments at any one time. If your instructor has not returned your work at the end of the two-week period, you are allowed to submit further work.

Scheduling and Taking Your Final Exam

You may take your final exam after you have submitted all of your assignments. If you wish to take your exam at the Friday Center, call at least one week in advance to schedule a date and time. If you are scheduling your exam at another location, submit your exam application form at least two weeks in advance. We do not email or fax exams to off-site proctors. Allow at least three to four weeks between the time you take the final exam and the time your grade must be posted to a transcript at the records office of the UNC institution offering your course.

Course Expirations

Courses expire nine months after the enrollment date. You will receive a notice prior to the expiration of your course, and you may extend your enrollment if you wish.

Extending Your Enrollment Period


You may extend your original enrollment period for four months by completing the renewal form (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download for free if you do not have it on your computer) and paying a renewal fee of $30. The renewal period begins immediately upon conclusion of the original nine-month enrollment period.


You may request a second renewal period of four months if the following conditions have been met:

  • Your ability to complete the course has been seriously hampered by circumstances relating to employment, health, family responsibilities, or comparable personal factors or significant involvement in other forms of learning.
  • You could not have fully anticipated these circumstances at the time you enrolled in the course.
  • You are able, despite the circumstances, to demonstrate a reasonable degree of progress in the course within the original enrollment period and/or the first renewal.

The fee for a second renewal period is $75.