Online Learning FAQ

Programs / General Information Advising and Registration
About Online Learning Getting Help
How Online Courses Work  


Programs/General

Can I earn my degree entirely online?
ABSOLUTELY! If you are an undergraduate student or a graduate student, we currently offer full programs, certificates, and undergraduate degree completion programs that be completed entirely online.

Click here to view our most recent available programs.

Are the online programs accredited?
Yes. Click here to view a complete list of Webster University’s accreditations and licensures. The curriculum is the same, regardless of the format in which the course is taught.

Can I mix online with face-to-face classes?
Yes, you may blend your program with face-to-face classes and online classes at the same time provided the face-to-face courses are available at your local Webster campus.

I am already a Webster University student; can I take an online course?
Of course! If you are interested in taking an online course, please check with your advisor first to make sure the course is applicable to your program. If so and you have fulfilled the necessary prerequisites, your advisor will get you enrolled!

How many online courses per term can I take?
We suggest that students new to the online learning environment start with only one course for the first per term. Once you get a feel for the environment, you can more easily determine how well online learning fits your needs and lifestyle. We do not suggest you attempt two online courses per term, but if you have experience in online education and the appropriate amount of time in your personal schedule to dedicate to coursework, then this may be a viable option.

How do I meet with an academic advisor?
You are able to consult with an advisor in person at your local campus, or the main campus via email, webinar, or phone.  New students consult with an academic advisor to review their degree plans and register for their first class.  Please consult the Academic Advising website for next steps.

Is an on-campus residency or campus visit required?
There is no on-campus residency requirement for taking online classes at Webster University, although you are welcome to visit any of our worldwide campuses at any time.

How long will it take to complete an online program?
Programs are generally completed within one to four years and can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis.  Click here to ask an admission counselor about the length of your program JoinUsOnline@webster.edu.

Who are the online faculty?
Webster University's online courses are taught by the same distinguished faculty who teach our face-to-face classes. They bring extensive real-world experience and practical knowledge to the classroom.

Will my diploma indicate that I have taken an online degree?
No. Your diploma will be identical to those received by students in on-site programs.

About Online Learning

What is online learning?
Online learning uses a Learning Management System to deliver course content and enable asynchronous communication between teachers and students. Online courses are accessible anywhere, provided you have a Wi-Fi enabled device and Internet access.

What format does Webster University use for online courses?
Webster University utilizes an asynchronous format, meaning there is typically no set day or time you will need to log in to your course. Learners log in at their convenience to complete assignments and/or participate in class activities. This allows for a very flexible learning environment. However, this is not to say the courses are self-paced. Our online courses follow a week-by-week structure. You will have assignments and due dates, but there will not be a specific time in which you have to log in to listen to a lecture. You will have modules to complete each week containing reading assignment and discussions. In the absence of a lecture/lecturer, many of our online courses are discussion based. Open and robust discussion provides for a variety of viewpoints which lends itself to an expansive online learning experience.


Is online learning effective?
Research has proven that there is no difference in the academic success of students in distance learning programs vs. students in face-to-face programs. In fact, a recent study presented by The US Department of Education states, "meta-analysis found that, on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction." You can expect to receive the same high-quality, innovative and dedicated educators online that you would on-ground. Our online programs demonstrate and adhere to the same rigorous academic standards and quality of education that our face-to-face programs do.

What type of student would benefit from an online program?
Students who are self-motivated, self-disciplined and open-minded generally do well in online learning environments. Being able to communicate effectively through writing is a vital component of the online learning environment. Time management and adaptability are key traits as well.

What is WorldClassRoom?
WorldClassRoom is Webster University's portal for online learning.

What is Canvas by Instructure?
Canvas by Instructure is the learning management system that Webster University employs to power WorldClassRoom (WCR). Canvas is the learning management system developed by Instructure. Webster’s WorldClassRoom provides a comprehensive and secure learning and teaching environment for the virtual learner. WCR is outfitted with a robust set of tools that provide for a streamlined facilitation of asynchronous interaction between students and instructors.  

How computer savvy do I need to be to take an online class?
You definitely need to be comfortable in front of a computer. Some basics that you will need to know are: how to use your computer, how to save a file, how to attach a file, and how to retrieve a saved file. It will be assumed that you have a working knowledge of office software components such as word processors, spreadsheets, etc. Do you know how to send and receive email? Are you comfortable and confident browsing and navigating the Internet?

What type of equipment is needed to take an online course?
Please review the technical requirements for WorldClassRoom.

See a course preview

How Do Online Courses Work?

How are online programs delivered?
Each student receives a unique user ID upon acceptance to the University, which gives them secure access to their WorldClassRoom courses. The courses are designed to be asynchronous, which means you may access the class and assignments at your convenience to complete weekly assignments.Live or face-to-face meetings are usually not required.

How are exams/test/assignments given?
All assessments are taken online. Each instructor approaches testing differently. Some courses do not give tests but require final papers, others give open book tests with time limits, and others may be more open ended.

What is the length of each course?
The length of courses varies by program. Courses are offered in 8, 9, and 16 week formats. Please refer to the academic calendar for specific dates.

How many hours per week do I need to devote to my online degree program?
It depends on the length, requirements, and workload of each course, as well as your own learning style. For each credit hour of the course, you should generally allot 3-4 hours for readings, participating in course activities, contributing to class discussions, completing assignments and/or working on group projects. For a typical 8 or 9-week course, be prepared to invest 15-20 hours per course each week. Keep these figures in mind when planning your online program and considering other responsibilities to which you may need to devote time.


Do I need an email account for my online course?
All students receive a free Webster email account that is used for all official school communication. Course related conversations between students and instructors are generally handled by the messaging tool within WorldClassRoom, which is different than Webster email.

Do online courses have real time deadlines?
Yes. Each term has beginning and ending dates. In addition, assignments, readings, and online discussions have weekly deadlines that must be met. Online course are not self-paced or designed to be taken as independent study.

How do I log in to my course(s)?
You may log into your online courses through the Connections Portal.

Do I have to log in a certain time?
No, but students are encouraged to log in several times a week to get their assignments and participate in discussions. If you do not log in to your course within the first 2 weeks of the academic term you will be dropped from the course. The requirements for your weekly participation in each course are outlined in the course syllabus.

The online program offers the flexible schedule I need, but I am concerned that it may lack the "human" one-on-one contact you get with a traditional campus.
Though you will not meet with your class face-to-face, the online courses at Webster University and the tools within WorldClassRoom incorporate many opportunities for interaction. You may find that you communicate with your instructor and classmates more effectively than in a face-to-face classroom environment.

Do online courses require textbooks and where can I purchase them?
Most online courses require at least one textbook. To see and purchase what textbooks are needed for online courses please go to our online bookstore through Follett.

How do I know what book to order?
When you log into the Follett Bookstore, you will be directed to the correct textbook when you select the appropriate course and section number.

Advising and Registration

How do I register for an online course?
Approximately three business days after you submit your application for admission to Webster University, you will receive an email from the university letting you know about your admission. You will be contacted by Academic Advising via email or phone.  They will then provide some information to schedule your initial advising session. Formal letters are issued approximately 10 days after acceptance. New students (and students who have not been enrolled for 1 academic calendar year or longer) are required to consult with an academic advisor before registering for classes the first time.

Academic Advising will go over your degree plan with you and register you for your first online class.

What should I do after I register?
See the New Student Online link: http://www.webster.edu/olc/students/new_students.html

Can I get a syllabus for a course?
You will be able to access your syllabus on the Friday before courses start when you have access to the course.

What should I do on the first day of class?
Courses will be available at 12:00 pm (Noon, Central Time) on the Friday before courses start. Students should log in to their courses as soon as they are available to review the syllabus and first assignments.

Do you limit the number of student who can enroll?
Online courses are limited to 24 students per course.  This allows for more personal interaction between instructors and students.

Getting Help

What if my login does not work?
Contact the Webster University IT Service Desk for login or technical problems, including resetting passwords, at http://www.webster.edu/technology/service-desk/, 1-866-435-7270, or 314-968-5995.

If I have a disability, can I receive academic accommodations for online courses?
If you need academic accommodations, please contact the Academic Resource Center  at (314) 246-7620 or disability@webster.edu

Is there anyone available to assist me if I have questions?
Should you have questions at any time, feel free to contact the Online Student Services Team in  the Online Learning Center at studyonline@webster.edu , (314) 246-8746 or (866) 622-0888.


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