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Oklahoma State University

Office of Individual Study

Oklahoma State University

frequently asked questions

Why take an OSU Individual Study course?

Individual study courses are flexible, self-paced, and available to both Oklahoma State University students and non-OSU students. People from anywhere in the world can take Oklahoma State University college credit courses. Some individuals take the courses to begin a degree program or to finish a degree. Some students need specific courses from OSU as a pre-requisite for admission into graduate school and can take a full year to complete the course, but many complete it within a typical semester length.

Having the opportunity to work at your own pace is a great advantage for many individuals. Oklahoma State University OSU students may choose to enroll through Banner for any of the semester length, self-paced individual study courses. Both non-OSU students and OSU students who wish to take a year-long course will enroll through the Individual Study office. Please visit our enrollment page to register.

How do Individual Study courses work?

When you enroll, you receive instructions (in print, CD, or website form) that direct you on how to access discussions, explanations, and reading and writing assignments. These guide you through the course as a classroom instructor would. Suggested exam completion schedules are provided so you can complete your course in a timely manner. Some courses require that written "homework" be delivered by land mail and/or face-to-face delivery, while others permit email or web delivery are. Students access the course content through OSU’s online classroom. Assignments are uploaded through the online classroom, and grades are entered into your own gradebook through the online classroom. When "homework" is received, the office records its receipt and submits it to the instructor. The instructor has two weeks to grade assignments, then enters the grade and/or comments. For students taking the course offline, the I.S. office staff facilitate the correspondence between the student and the instructor. sends them back to I.S. with a grade and comments. I.S. records the grades and delivers/mails the assignments back to you.

How many courses may I take at once?

There is no limit to the number of courses you may take at once, but we recommend no more than two at a time. You should take into consideration your workload, activities, and other commitments.

Can I earn a degree from OSU entirely through I.S.?

Not at this time; however, if you are an OSU undergraduate, you may take I.S. courses for up to one-fourth of the required hours for your OSU degree.

How long does it take to complete an Individual Study course?

How long you take to complete a course depends completely on you—how motivated you are and how many other commitments you have. However, since I.S. courses are designed to cover a full semester of material, it normally takes a minimum of 12 to 16 weeks to complete a 3-hour course. The OSU Registrar’s Office requires that a student be enrolled for at least 30 days from enrollment date to completion date.

I need the credit to graduate; when are the deadlines for each semester?

For your final grade to be included on your semester grade report, you must complete all of your course assignments and exams. For current semester deadlines, visit or contact the Registrar's office at https://registrar.okstate.edu. Please remember instructors can take 2 weeks to grade. We recommend you complete assignments and final exams 4 weeks before needed.

Can members of the Armed Forces and Veterans enroll in I.S. courses?

All college credit courses are approved for veterans and other eligible persons covered in the provision of the G.I. Bill. Military personnel interested in enrolling for courses should ask their education officer for information and application forms. Military Education Centers have copies of the DANTES Independent Study Catalog, which lists courses offered by regionally accredited colleges and universities, including OSU. Tuition assistance is generally available to military service personnel, although policy varies among the different services. The Veteran’s Administration will reimburse eligible veterans and service men and women for fees for I.S. courses. For more information, see the "Veterans" section under "University Services" on this website.

What do I do if my course has prerequisites I have not yet taken?

Prerequisites are geared toward OSU students, but they may apply at other schools. You should discuss the prerequisites with your advisor at your institution to determine if you have the needed foundation to complete the course successfully.

How do I enroll?

Individuals who wish to enroll in year-long individual study courses enroll through the Individual Study office. OSU students enroll through Banner for the semester length, self-paced individual study course.

Please visit our enrollment page for details.

Can I talk to an I.S. advisor or counselor before enrolling?

I.S. personnel are not trained nor qualified to offer course suitability information regarding what will fit into a student’s plan of study. If students working toward a degree need academic advice, they are referred to their advisors by our staff personnel.

Is financial aid available for I.S. courses?

Financial aid is not available through the I.S. office. Contact your institution’s financial aid office for pertinent information.

How do I take the course, turn in assignments, and take exams?

The I.S. office staff will add you to the online classroom called Brightspace. If you are a non-OSU student, our staff will contact you with login information to Brightspace. If you are a current OSU student, you will see the class added to your Brightspace home page. All course information is available within the online classroom; however, the instructor may require a textbook or ebook. The IS Office does not provide the textbook for the course, only the course guide Assignment and exam instructions will be in the online classroom. Many exams require that you secure a proctor who is approved by the I.S. office.

How and where do I take my exams?

Many exams require that you secure a proctor who is approved by the I.S. office (see below). If you live in the vicinity of Stillwater, OK, you may wish to take exams in the I.S. office. If you are not in Stillwater, you can find a proctor who is approved by the I.S. office. Students must request an exam be emailed to the proctor. Once the exam is completed the proctor will send it back to our office. Please schedule your exams with proctors ahead of time keeping in mind holidays and weekends. The Examity proctoring service offers flexible hours.

What is an approved proctor?

A proctor is someone who supervises test administration at a convenient location for the student and may or may not charge a fee.

A proctor can be a librarian, a staff member or instructor at a local education facility, someone on a military base, etc. Please check with the I.S. office for approval of the proctor. You will need an identification card that has your photograph. You may choose Examity as a proctor service (see Examity instructions below).

If you are in the Stillwater, OK vicinity and want to schedule an exam in the Individual Study office, please use the student portal to reserve a time or call our office at 405-744-6390 to schedule an appointment. Please allow enough time to complete your exam before the office closes. We are pleased to announce that Examity is an available proctor your exams. To use Examity, you will first need a few things first:

  • A working computer with a strong internet connection
  • A working webcam and microphone, either built into the computer or external
  • Any pop up blockers disabled
  • To send the Individual Study Office a filled proctored exam request form.

Once you have those, go under the Contents tab and select the Examity link. You will be prompted to make a username and password for Examity, and once you do that, you will be able to schedule your exams.
Examity FAQ
Examity Prices

  • Level 3 - $15 for the first hour, $7 for each additional hour
  • Scheduling with 24 hour notice will cost an extra $5

Students must fill out the proctor request form provided under "Contents" in the online classroom. Fill it out by listing your proctor as "Examity" and send to the I.S. office email ics-inf@okstate.edu or fax to (405) 744-3420. We will still provide exams for those who wish or need to take the exams in person.

Both the proctored exam request form and the Examity link are located in the Contents section of the course in the online classroom.

I’ve sent my request for an exam, but my proctor hasn’t received it yet. What do I do?

After requesting an exam, allow three business days for the proctor to receive the exam. For individuals who are offline students, please allow two weeks for the exam to arrive. Please keep in mind that either time could be longer especially near University holidays and closings. If that time period has passed and your proctor still has not received your exam, please call the I.S. Office to request assistance. Exams are not faxed or emailed to proctors. If you are having issues with Examity as your proctor, you can contact them at http://examity.com/contact-us-2/ or if the problem is not resolve, contact the IS Office.

Where can I find help if I have a technical problem?

Contact the I.S. office staff at phone: (405) 744-6390 or by email ics-inf@okstate.edu, or the OSU-Stillwater Information Technology Helpdesk, or your instructor by whatever means they have indicated.

How long does it take to receive back my graded assignments?

We ask instructors to grade your assignments and exams within two weeks. Grades are entered into the online classroom. Expect slower grading during instructor's vacations, University holidays, OSU on-campus heavy testing periods. Students are advised to plan accordingly. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor if the student needs to complete the course in an accelerated pace which may require a faster grading period. Please remember to request this of the instructor to make sure this is an option he/she can deliver.

If you are taking the course offline, please allow three weeks from delivery to the I.S. Office to receive your grade.

Is OSU accredited and are earned credits transferable?

Accreditation is a system for recognizing schools that have achieved academic excellence. Oklahoma State University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and is a member of the University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA). Talk with the Admissions Office at your institution to find out if earned credits are transferable.

You may also consult the Department of Education’s Accrediting Branch, the governmental agency responsible for accreditation matters, or check to see if a school is listed with the CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation), the private agency responsible for accreditation. These agencies evaluate and publicly recognize the various accrediting bodies, which in turn accredit individual schools or programs. This list of recognized accrediting agencies and more information can be found at the following websites: Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Can a high school student enroll in college-level I.S. courses?

High school juniors and seniors may enroll for college-level courses on a credit basis with the approval of their high school principal or counselor. For more information, see the subheading "Concurrent Enrollment as a High School Student," found under "Entering the University—Admissions" in the OSU Catalog. Contact your high school counselor if you do not have a copy.