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The Basics for Online and Distance Learning

Learn how to maintain your status with online courses.

There are many types of U.S. programs that F and M students may enroll in, including vocational, associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs.

Some programs may offer online degree programs, perhaps as massive open online courses (MOOCs). These courses may or may not have physical attendance requirements. A physical presence requirement means you must report regularly and in-person to school officials during that course. This is important to you to know. There are different rules you must follow as an F or M student and understanding these regulations can help you maintain your student status.

Here are the basics of what you need to know:

  • If an online or distance education course has a physical presence requirement:
    • F or M students may enroll in the course. These courses can count towards meeting the full course of study requirement.
  • If an online or distance education course does not have a physical presence requirement:
    • F students who are not in an English language program may count only one online or distance education course (or three credit hours) toward a full course of study in each academic term
    • F students entrolled in English language programs may not count the course toward a full course of study
    • M students may not count the course toward a full course of study

    If you have any questions about maintaining your status, or online and distance learning, talk to your designated school official before you enroll.

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