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Course Formats

Print-Based Courses (PBC)

Print-based courses provide a structured method of independent study involving a tutorial relationship with Ohio University faculty. Faculty members develop the content using the same curriculum from their classroom courses. The instructor prepares a detailed course guide to help you understand the material, and the guide contains assignments you submit to the instructor.

The lessons typically require you to submit answers to objective questions, write brief essays, or complete a project. Some course guides will include self-check tests to monitor your progress. Generally, a midcourse examination and a final examination are required.

You may enroll any time, and you have eight months to complete a print-based course.

Course Credit by Examination (CCE)

If you are familiar with a particular subject or excel at self-teaching, you may be able to earn credit through a single comprehensive examination. Students taking CCE receive a syllabus with reading assignments, grading policy, and exam information. You will obtain the textbook and prepare for the examination without instructor assistance. CCEs involve no guidance from the instructor beyond what is provided in the syllabus.

You may enroll at any time, but you must take the examination within six months from the date of enrollment. Your grade on the examination will be your grade for the course.

Special Projects

Special arrangements can be made for individualized courses called independent study projects. However, important restrictions apply:

  • Must be a course listed in the current Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog
  • Cannot have a required laboratory component
  • Must be approved by the academic department in which the course is offered
  • An Ohio University faculty member must be willing to direct your work in the course

You and the instructor agree on the text and other materials to be used, and what activities will be required to satisfy the course requirements. You may enroll at any time, and you are allowed six months to complete the project. Special course examinations also may be arranged. View more information about Special Projects.

Prior Learning Assessment

The Prior Learning Assessment program awards credit based on your work, volunteer, or other life experiences. You will take a course to learn how to develop a portfolio that demonstrates your prior learning. Your portfolio will be evaluated by a faculty member who will decide if your experience corresponds to the curriculum of an Ohio University course. If the faculty member decides your portfolio deserves credit, you will receive CR credit. No grade will be assigned.

All students who are seeking to earn Prior Learning Assessment program credit from Ohio University MUST be current Ohio University students and must enroll in and successfully complete the Ohio University class UC 2030: Portfolio Development. Students have eight months to complete the portfolio course and two years to submit all portfolios for evaluation. View more information about Prior Learning Assessment.