Summer & Winter Online Courses
Information for Students

What are Online Courses?

Online classes are one form of distance learning, in which students and faculty members are separated from each other by location and/or time. Online classes are conducted primarily via the internet, and usually have little or no requirement for "live" meetings - whether in a physical location or across the Internet. However, there may sometimes be requirements for meetings throughout the semester (the requirement for such face-to-face meetings is made known to you in the schedule of classes at the time you register). Students and faculty interact in a password protected online classroom inside a learning management software system known as Blackboard (Bb). In this virtual classroom, faculty deliver the course content, students and faculty engage in asynchronous discussions, students submit their assignments and exams, and faculty provide feedback, grades, and answers to students’ questions. Online students at Ship can order their textbooks and use the library’s wide range of services online and at a distance. In addition, the university provides students with support for the Bb virtual classroom technology, including tutorials and a 24/7 help desk (available by phone, live chat, and email) should they encounter technical problems.

Online classes at Shippensburg University are primarily offered during the summer and winter terms. Many students find these courses a good way to catch up or to get ahead on their degree requirements. These classes are typically 5-7 weeks in duration and entail the same content, academic rigor, and total time requirements as courses offered during the fall and spring semester of the academic year. Since summer and winter online courses are compressed into a short time frame, students should expect to spend more time each week on these classes than on courses offered during the fall and spring semesters.

Are Online Courses Right for Me?

There are a number of factors you should consider when deciding whether online courses are right for you. Online courses are very focused and intense, and require much independent work. Therefore, some strategies for success in online courses include good time management skills, solid organizational skills, self-discipline, and self-motivation.

To learn more about how well online courses fit your circumstances, lifestyle, personality, and learning styles take the quick self-assessment titled “Is Online Learning for Me” at

How Do I Register for Online Courses?

Schedule and registration information for summer and winter online classes is located at In order to register for summer and winter online courses, undergraduate students must have previously completed a minimum of 12 credits and attained a minimum GPA of 2.0. A previously failed course may not be repeated through the online format. Students should consult their advisor to discuss which online courses are best suited to their degree plans and progress.

To learn more about online courses visit or contact the Office of Extended Studies at .