Frequently Asked Questions

Wisconsin Online is a website portal to access fully online degrees available from the 13 Universities of Wisconsin. Here you’ll find information on degrees by area of interest and by university. You’ll also find information on program cost and how to apply.

All Universities of Wisconsin online programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). In addition some professional programs in fields such as Business, Social Work, and Education have disciplinary accreditation. Contact your program of interest for more information on disciplinary accreditation.

All 13 Universities of Wisconsin offer online degrees. See the program catalog to learn more about online offerings at each university.

Wisconsin Online features approximately 200 fully online degree programs (Associates, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral Degrees) across eight areas of interest: Business, Criminal Justice, Education, Engineering & Natural Sciences, Health Professions, Humanities & Communication, Information Science & Technology, and Social & Behavioral Sciences.

Yes! Each program is designed by expert University of Wisconsin faculty members, the same faculty who teach in-person courses. Online degrees from the Universities of Wisconsin universities are valued exactly the same as degrees earned through traditional face-to-face programs.

Yes. You can request information about specific degrees from specific universities, or visit your program of interest’s university or program page to connect with an admissions counselor. Click to browse all UW online programs.

Once you’ve decided on a program that best fits your needs, you’ll apply directly to that university per that program’s application instructions.  Some programs use the Universities of Wisconsin electronic application for admission, and some programs have you use a university provided application specific to that program. Visit your program page at that university to learn more – that link is provided within the program page on this website.   

The cost of each program varies. For more details, each of our programs’ pages includes an estimate of the program’s cost per credit.

Online courses and programs are taught entirely over the Internet, allowing you the freedom to learn when and where you choose. You’ll work closely with the instructor and the students in your class, just as you would in a traditional in-person classroom, but you’ll do so by participating via online discussions or forums and completing your assignments. You will not be entirely on your own, but you will need to learn good organizational and time-management skills to be successful as an online student.

The Universities of Wisconsin also offer 6 self-paced competency-based programs through the UW Flexible Option.  Learn more about the Flexible Option student experience.

To access online courses, you will need a computer with a high-speed internet connection. You will also need a web camera, microphone, and speakers.

Minimum Technology Requirements:

  • Windows 10 or macOS 10.13
  • 2 Ghz dual-core processor
  • 8 gigs of memory
  • Latest version of Chrome and Firefox
  • Current Windows/Mac updates and anti-virus

Students may use a smart phone or tablet as a secondary device, but a Windows or Mac computer is needed for online learning. Additional software requirements may apply in some courses.

Instructors may require the use of proctoring software and a webcam for online quizzes and exams. If you do not already have a webcam, they can be purchased through major online retailers for about $25.

Students can readily connect with faculty by email, web conferencing, or phone. Instructors will provide information about how best to contact them.

How long it takes for someone to finish their degree depends on the type of degree (undergraduate or graduate), the program requirements, whether you are starting college or have transfer credits, and whether you attend full– or part–time. Most students starting college for the first time and attending full–time take four to six years to complete their undergraduate degree. Full–time graduate students can complete some programs within a year.

The Universities of Wisconsin offer both semester–based and competency–based online programs. Semester–based online programs follow a traditional fall, spring and summer schedule with courses lasting approximately 15 weeks. Competency–based programs are self–paced programs that start each month focusing on demonstrating mastery of required competencies. Competency–based programs are ideal for adult learners who have practical work experiences to apply to their learning.

Tuition and fees vary between Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s programs. And while the majority of online programs charge the same tuition for in-state, out-of-state and international students, there are exceptions. Tuition information is listed on each online program page on this website, and exceptions can be found by clicking on the informational question mark by the tuition information.

Yes.  See our Financial Aid & Paying for your Education page to learn more about what to consider and what may be available to you.

Yes. Contact your program of interest for more information and visit the Universities of Wisconsin Veterans Education Benefits page.

Yes. All your academic coursework occurs online – you’ll never need to come to campus (unless you want to attend to walk in your graduation ceremony!).  Some programs, though, include hands-on or clinical assessments and experiences that require interactions in a workplace or clinical setting. Contact your program of interest with questions specific to clinical or field placements.

“Asynchronous” means that an event occurs at different times or is not continuous in time. For online learning, this means that students are not required to attend a class at a particular time or day. Assignments for asynchronous online courses can be worked on and completed, within certain limits, at times that best suit the student’s schedule. Every online course has a syllabus that lists assignment due dates and (if applicable) quiz and exam dates. Although asynchronous online courses allow for significant flexibility in the student’s personal schedule, assignments and course requirements must be completed within scheduled program session lengths, such as 7-week or 15-week academic terms.

Fully online courses are designed for students who are interested in active and participatory learning in an online format. They might be a brand-new, first-year student, or someone who wants to finish the degree they started two, five or perhaps 12 years ago. Most online students are busy with work and/or family and want to replace travel and on-campus time with online study. They’re independent and disciplined enough to value the freedom of “anytime, anyplace” learning, but they also enjoy learning from moderated online conversations with fellow students and appreciate the direct feedback they receive from online professors and instructors.

For more detailed information on being a successful online student and four questions you should ask yourself before you enroll visit our online student page.

No. All Wisconsin Online students receive diplomas stating that they are graduates of the program at the Universities of Wisconsin institution they attend. Both our online classes and traditional classes are held to the same high standard of quality, and there is nothing indicating mode of delivery on the diploma or on a student’s transcript.

No, the online programs listed within the Universities of Wisconsin Online website have classes that are completely asynchronous, so there is no mandatory time to log on. Instructors may have deadlines to complete assignments, but not a specific “class” time. This format allows you to consume lectures, readings and other materials at a time of day and week that works for you.

Courses are delivered through Canvas, a course management software. Instructors typically use textbooks, multimedia lectures, and Internet sources as learning tools.

Students can readily connect with faculty by email, web conferencing, or phone.

Online classes can be taken from anywhere in the world as long as you have a computer that meets the minimum technical requirements. Note, however, that due to U.S. Homeland Security requirements, international students residing in the United States cannot enroll in a fully online program.

Our online programs provide personal attention from faculty and program directors, as well as opportunities for meaningful interactions with your peers on Canvas.

If you have problems with technology you will want to contact your campus help desk, which will assist you in solving the problem. You’ll also have access to LinkedIn Learning tutorials.  Visit our technical requirements page for links to your university’s tech support webpages.

The Universities of Wisconsin online programs use the same accredited, rigorous curriculum and faculty as on-campus programs.

Online graduates gain the same competitive edge as in-person learning, leading to strong employment and success rates in a variety of fields.

From the day you apply to the day you graduate, you will have access to the technical, academic, and financial support you need to succeed.

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