Frequently Asked Questions
- What are OSU Individual Study courses?
Individual Study (IS) courses are flexible, self-paced courses that are available to both Oklahoma State University (OSU) students and non-OSU students. IS courses provide a flexible way for people anywhere, with or without internet access, to earn undergraduate college credit either online or through mail. Some individuals take the courses to begin or finish a degree program; others may a need specific course from OSU as a prerequisite for admission into graduate school. IS courses offer the same quality curriculum and course instructors with the flexibility to set your own pace.
Admission to OSU is not required to enroll in IS classes unless the student intends to apply the credits toward an OSU degree. IS courses are offered in both a semester format and a yearlong format. Students access courses in the OSU online classroom or via mail. Students enrolled in yearlong courses may take up to one year to complete, but because courses are self-paced, students may finish in less time.
- How do Individual Study courses work?
Both OSU and non-OSU students who wish to take an IS yearlong course will enroll through the IS office. OSU students self-enroll through Banner for the IS semester length courses after permission is given by the IS office.
IS courses are 100% online in OSU’s Learning Management System, Canvas. After enrolling, OSU students will have access on their Canvas dashboard. Non-OSU students receive email instructions with login information to access the course. The course content includes the syllabus, textbook information, announcements, assignments, and exams. IS courses are self-paced, however a study plan is included to help keep students on track. Assignments are submitted through Canvas, and grades are entered by the instructor in Canvas. Exams are all online and require proctoring.
IS yearlong classes can be completed offline for students who do not have access to the internet. A course guide and mailing instructions are provided. The IS staff facilitate the correspondence between the student and the instructor. When assignments are received in the IS office, the IS staff records the date and time of receipt and then submits the assignments to the instructor. The instructor returns the graded assignments to the IS office and the IS staff mails graded assignments back to the student. Exams are mailed to directly to the proctor. The proctor will mail the completed exam back to the IS office. The IS office will mail the student the grade for the exam, graded exams are not returned.
- How many Individual Study 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 Individual Study?
Not at this time; however, if you are an OSU undergraduate, you may take IS 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?
IS courses are offered as yearlong courses for OSU and non-OSU students and semester courses are offered for OSU students only. How long you take to complete a course depends completely on you—how motivated you are and how many other commitments you have. IS courses are designed to cover a full semester of material which it normally takes a minimum of 12 to 16 weeks to complete a 3-credit hour course. The OSU Office of the Registrar requires that a student be enrolled for at least 30 days from enrollment date to completion date.
- How do I enroll in an Individual Study course?
Both OSU and non-OSU students who wish to take an IS yearlong course will enroll through the IS office. OSU students self-enroll through Banner for the IS semester length courses after permission is given by the IS office. The office is open 8:00a.m. - 5:00p.m. Monday - Friday and can be reached at 405-744-6390 or email@example.com. You can also visit our enrollment webpage for more details.
- What is the cost of an Individual Study course?
The cost details are listed on each course description page. Additional services may incur extra fees. Additional services may include:
- Course Extension Fee: Students may purchase up to but no more than a 3 month extension. Extension fee starts at $60 for one month and varies based on credit hours and extension length desired
- Postage and Handling fee $10.00
- Regrading Fee $15.00
- Canvas Access Fee $15.60
- Fax Fee $2.00 per page *only for paper graded students*
- Course Transfer Fee $25.00
Oklahoma State University students are charged through the bursar or pay the Office of Individual Study directly. Non-OSU students pay IS directly.
- I need the credit to graduate; when are the deadlines?
OSU students enrolled in IS semester courses, need to complete the coursework, with the exception of the final, by the end of pre-finals week and the final exam by the end of finals week. For specific dates, the academic calendar can be found at https://registrar.okstate.edu/academic_calendar/. Students in IS yearlong courses should allow four weeks from the submission of the last assignment before being able to request a transcript from the Office of the Registrar.
- Can high school students take Individual Study courses?
Oklahoma high school students interested in taking IS courses must be admitted to OSU as a concurrent student and request to enroll in IS through the OSU concurrent office. Contact Undergraduate Admissions at phone: 405-744-5358 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Once admitted, the IS office can enroll the concurrent student in an IS course. Concurrent students are required to submit final grades to their high school. High school students in locations outside of Oklahoma will need to ensure the courses meet their state or country eligibility requirements.
- Do military and veterans education benefits pay for Individual Study courses and distance
The Military Tuition Assistance program is available to active duty, National Guard and Reserve Component service members. Tuition assistance can pay up to 100% of tuition expenses for semester hours costing $250 or less. Courses and degree programs may be academic or technical and can be taken from two- or four-year institutions on-installation, off-installation or by distance learning. An accrediting body recognized by the Department of Education must accredit the institution. Your service branch pays your tuition directly to the school. Service members need to first check with an education counselor for the specifics involving TA by visiting their local installation education office or by going online to a virtual education center. Tuition assistance may be used for the following programs: vocational/technical programs, undergraduate programs, graduate programs, independent study, distance-learning programs.
Veterans GI Bill Benefits
GI Bill benefits help military veterans pay for college, graduate school, and training programs. Since 1944, the GI Bill has helped qualifying Veterans and their family members get money to cover all or some of the costs for school or training. Learn more about GI Bill benefits and through OSU’s Military and Veteran Benefit Services.
- What do I do if my course has prerequisites that I have not yet completed?
OSU students must complete any prerequisites that may be listed for the class. The OSU prerequisites are important in determining a student’s ability to successfully complete the course. If you are a non-OSU student, please discuss any prerequisites with your advisor at your institution to determine if you have the needed foundation to complete the course successfully.
- Can I talk to an advisor before enrolling?
Students are encouraged to consult with an advisor for specific questions related to the degree you wish to obtain. If you are interested in an OSU degree, we can refer you to the appropriate advisor.
- Is financial aid available for Individual Study courses?
Financial aid is not available through the IS office. Contact your institution’s financial aid office for pertinent information.
- Will I need a textbook for Individual Study courses?
Information about required textbooks or e-books is listed on our website under the specific course and in the course syllabus in Canvas. The IS office does not provide the textbook for any of our courses.
- How do I take my exams?
All exams need to be proctored. A proctor is someone who supervises test administration and may or may not charge a fee. If you live in the vicinity of Stillwater, Oklahoma, you may choose to have the exams proctored in the IS office. If you are in the Stillwater, OK vicinity and want to schedule in the IS office, please use the exam reservation to reserve a time or call our office 405-744-6390 to schedule an appointment. Please allow enough time to complete your exam before the office closes.
If you are not located in Stillwater, you can use the online proctor service Examity (see Examity below) or an acceptable proctor. An acceptable proctor would be a testing center on any college/university/community college campus, or testing center at a military base. Students must fill out the proctored exam request form provided in Canvas and it should be sent to the IS office three (3) business days before exam to email@example.com.
Students taking the course offline, please allow two weeks for the exam to be received by the proctor. Please keep in mind that times 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 contact the IS Office for assistance at (405) 744-6390, 405-744-6392 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Examity is an online proctoring service. There is a link on the home screen for your course in Canvas for Examity 2.0. If you choose to use Examity, you will click on the link, set up an account profile, pay for and schedule your proctoring session.
To see necessary requirements when using Examity, along with the option to perform a system check go to https://www.examity.com/test-taker-systems-requirements/ under The New Examity Platform.
Examity Prices depend on the instructor’s choice of proctoring level:
- Automated + Audit: $6.75 per exam
- Live Proctoring: $17.25 for the first hour, $7.75 for each additional hour
- Scheduling or cancelling a proctoring session with only a 24-hour notice is an additional cost
- I've sent my request for an exam, but my proctor hasn't received any information.
What do I do?
After requesting an exam, allow three business days for the proctor approval. Upon approval, IS staff will email instructions and exam access codes to the approved proctor.
- Where can I find help if I have a technical problem?
- How long does it take to have my assignments graded?
Instructors usually grade assignments and exams within two weeks. Grades are entered into Canvas. Expect slower grading during instructor's vacations, University holidays and 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 in advance to make sure this is an option he/she can deliver. You can email the instructor through Canvas.
If you are taking the course offline, please allow three weeks from delivery to the IS office to receive your grade assignment back, exam grades are mailed but the graded exams are not.
- How will this course appear on my transcript?
IS semester courses will be entered on an OSU student’s transcript as the course name, number, and the grade received. The transcript does not indicate “correspondence credit”.
Yearlong IS courses are entered on the transcript with the course name, grade, and “correspondence credit”. Correspondence credit is earned by students who complete yearlong courses offered through Office of Individual Study. Admission to OSU is not required to earn correspondence credit unless the student intends to apply the credits toward an OSU degree. OSU will accept, toward a degree, a maximum of eight transfer semester credit hours earned through correspondence study from other accredited institutions. Credits earned through correspondence study cannot exceed one-fourth of the credits required for a baccalaureate degree. (See also University Academic Regulations 2.2, 4.1, 5.5, and 6.11.)
- 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.