Course Formats

No matter whether you are taking the UNC Core Certificate or individual courses, all classes are taught from a distance; no classroom attendance is required. Courses are offered through UNC-Chapel Hill’s Friday Center for Continuing Education in self-paced or semester-based formats.  Self-paced courses are available in either an online or text-based (correspondence) format; all semester-based courses are online. As you browse through the Course List, you’ll see an icon that indicates whether the course is in online or correspondence format. Some courses are available in multiple formats.

Self-paced Courses
These UNC System university courses can be started at any time and are not tied to a semester schedule. You have nine months from the date that you submit your first assignment to complete a course. If circumstances prevent you from completing the course in the nine-month period, you can extend your enrollment period for four months. In some situations, a second four-month renewal period may be approved. You will communicate one-on-one with the course instructor via email or other prearranged means. Supervised final exams are usually required; if you are on active duty, then you can have exams supervised by an education officer on your base or ship.

Semester-based Courses
These University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill courses (also called Carolina Courses Online) are offered on a semester-based schedule in the spring, fall, and summer terms. Most courses follow the UNC-Chapel Hill academic calendar, with some summer courses offered in an 11-week period across first and second summer terms. Courses are fully online and don’t require you to work at set times of day unless requirements for virtual class sessions are noted in the course description. You will communicate with your classmates and your instructor via email and discussion forums. In most courses, final exams are taken online or are in the form of final projects.