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Southern Oregon University

Before you decide to take an online course, you need to consider if you have the necessary skills and equipment to be a successful online learner. In addition to having these skills and resources, online degree completion candidates need to have taken specific courses before applying for admission. These pages will help you determine if you are ready to enroll in an online program.

Are You Ready?

Online Learning

swamped by emailOnline courses allow you to complete your coursework anywhere and at any time of day. Despite this flexibility, online learners don't set the pace for their studies. Courses have start and end dates, and instructors set the pace by requiring specific deadlines for all coursework. It is very important to keep up with due dates and participate actively in your course.

SOU's online courses are delivered through a program called Moodle. You can access course content, participate in discussions, and submit assignments online through Moodle. We recommend that you review the Moodle Student Guide to familiarize yourself with this program. Refer to these Moodle How-Tos for more information about working in Moodle.

To take an online course, you will need regular access to a computer for extended periods of time. You will also need a reliable Internet connection so you can participate in your course and check your student email regularly.

Skills Needed

Do you have what it takes to be a successful online learner?

Learning online is quite different from learning in a traditional college classroom. Before deciding to enroll in a distance course, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. online student3Am I self-motivated, self-disciplined and able to meet deadlines without close supervision?
  2. Will I be able to devote at least 10 hours per week to engaging with course materials and completing assignments? (Your course may require more or less time, but you should budget for a minimum of 10 hours per course.)
  3. Will I have regular access to a computer with a reliable Internet connection for extended periods of time? 
  4. Am I comfortable creating documents and performing other tasks on the computer?
  5. Do I know how to send and receive email messages, attach files, and browse for information online?
  6. Am I an independent learner with good reading skills and study habits?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, you are a good candidate for online learning. If you answered "no" to one or more questions, online learning may be challenging for you. Please contact us or the instructor for advice on preparing for your online course.

Prerequisite Courses

If you are enrolling in an online degree completion program, you must complete the prerequisite courses for your major and many of your general education courses prior to applying for admission. To find out what courses are required for each program, review the information provided on the Programs and Degrees page. Additional information on degree requirements can be found in the University Catalog.

climbingIf you are transferring to SOU from a community college, you can review our current transfer equivalency information to help you identify how courses you have already taken fulfill your course requirements at SOU. You may also contact your program coordinator to have your transcripts reviewed.

Some prerequisites may be met through the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). Visit SOU Testing Services: CLEP for a list of CLEP credits accepted by Southern Oregon University.

Note: Once you are admitted, you must contact your major advisor to develop an advising plan prior to registering for classes. You do NOT have to come to campus for this meeting, but you have to have a plan in place before you can register. Program coordinators can put you in touch with a major advisor.