Online programs and courses at KU

Frequently Asked Questions

What computer skills do I need to successful complete online coursework?

Can you do the following?

  • Find your way around websites with ease.
  • Remember your username and password.
  • Create new web accounts (specifically, non-KU related websites).
  • Create text documents, attaching them to emails or uploading them to websites.
  • View PDFs, watch videos, listen to mp3s.
  • Chat online.
  • Participate in discussion boards.

Are online classes easier than face-to-face courses?

Unfortunately, this is a myth. The Center for Online and Distance Learning strives to uphold online education and hybrid courses to KU quality. These are often just as rigorous (if not more) than your face-to-face courses as they require an even stricter adherence to regular, personal study time in order to learn the material.

The key to a successful experience is discipline. Set deadlines and designate time every day to work (or brush up) on your studies. You will have the greatest chance at success if you are able to set aside two to three hours of study time per credit hour, per week. For one three-credit-hour course, you should be spending around six to eight hours a week on your coursework.

How can I connect with my instructor?

Instructor contact information is posted on course websites. Email instructors as often as it takes to work through issues, and take advantage of their office hours (physical or virtual).

Will I be able to interact with other students in an online course?

Just because you’re taking online courses does not mean you’re in it alone. Many courses incorporate discussion boards, wiki areas, and chat rooms to encourage student-to-student and student-to-instructor interaction.

Research shows students pursuing online education may actually interact more with their classmates and instructor than they would in a face-to-face lecture. Communication is vital in the online learning experience.

Can I work at my own pace?

Self-motivation is key when taking an online course. Your instructor expects you to do the readings and homework assignments each week so you will stay on track throughout the semester. This will prepare you for midcourse and final exams. Pay close attention to the assignment and exam due dates your instructor posts in the syllabus.

How long does it take to complete an online course?

Online course schedules follow the semester calendar, varying from four to eight or sixteen weeks long.

What if I need special accommodations?

The University Academic Support Centers provide services for students with disabilities.

Do online courses cost less?

Online courses at KU cost the same as regular face-to-face classes. Tuition depends on your residency and degree-seeking status. Along with standard campus fees, additional fees may apply, depending on which school (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Education, etc.) offers the online course. Certain online degree programs may be offered at a flat rate. For more information, please visit the KU tuition and fee calculator or the Registrar's Office.

How do I order an official KU transcript?

The Registrar’s Office issues official transcripts.

What are the technology requirements for Blackboard and Canvas?

Refer to the latest Blackboard Learn techonology requirements and use the Browser Checker to ensure it supports Blackboard. Also review the supported browsers and computer requirements for Canvas. If you're having computer-related problems, contact KU IT or call 785-864-8080.

Who do I contact if I have questions about my online courses?

Your online instructor, academic department, or school should be able to answer questions specific to your online course or program. You may also contact the Center for Online and Distance Learning at or 785-864-1000 to be connected with the appropriate campus resource. 

Where do I find textbook information?

Textbook information will be included in the syllabus posted in your online course. Most textbooks may be purchased or rented from the KU Bookstore. If your instructor has selected an online textbook resource or e-text, specific purchasing instructions will be found in the online course.

How do exams work in online classes?

Exams for online classes may be administered either online through Blackboard or Canvas or in person at an approved testing center, depending on instructor preference. Exam information can be found in your online course syllabus. If the instructor requires proctored or supervised exams, instructions will be included in your online course that tell you how to set up your exam appointment. Proctored exams can sometimes be taken online using a proctoring service like ProctorU, otherwise they will be administered in-person on the KU campus by the instructor or by the Center for Online and Distance Learning. Students living outside of Lawrence who are required to take in-person exams may take their exams at an approved testing center such as a university, community college, or public library in their area. Instructions for requesting an off-site exam will be found in your online course.

Why KU Online?


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The KU Center for Online and Distance Learning provides services and support for online and hybrid learning.

Call 785-864-1000 or email