About Semester Online


A student attending a live class session.

Semester Online courses are rigorous.  Classes include a required 80 minute per week live class session with the instructor as well as compelling and professionally produced multimedia and text course materials delivered through a virtual classroom environment.  Students will engage in significant amounts of work between synchronous sessions, both on their own and collaborating with their classmates.  The successful student will be self motivated, well organized, and able to manage their time well.

Semester Online courses are 15 weeks long and follow a calendar similar, but not identical, to the WFU Academic Calendar.  Term start and end dates may be slightly different and the deadline to drop or add the courses is much sooner than for traditional courses.

You may have heard about MOOCs, or Massively Open Online Courses.  Semester Online courses are NOT MOOCs.  Some of the ways in which they are different include:

Semester Online Courses


Selective enrollment

Open enrollment

For credit

Not for credit

Small classes (15-20)

Very large classes

Tuition bearing

Free or fee-based

Synchronous and Asynchronous

Asynchronous only

Semester Length

Average length = 8 weeks