FAQ

What programs are available through distance education at USC Upstate?

USC Upstate currently offers the final two years of degree completion in the following online degree programs: RN-BSN ProgramCriminal Justice ProgramEngineering Technology Management Program, Information Management Systems and Health Informatics Programs, M.Ed. in Applied Learning and Instruction, M.S.N. in Clinical Nurse Leader, and a graduate certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

A variety of courses within most degree programs are offered online or in hybrid (mixed online/face-to-face) formats, including graduate courses. See the listing of distance education courses for the current semester on the Course Schedule by doing an advanced search for Web or Over 50% Web courses.

I have never taken a course online. How do I know if this will work for me?

Take a quiz to gauge your readiness to take an online course. Online learning requires a self-motivated learner with a reliable Internet connection who adheres to deadlines, completes tasks on their own, and communicates well in written form . This type of learning is not for everyone, but is an option for those seeking the flexibility distance education affords.

Is financial aid available for distance education courses?

Yes, students should contact Financial Aid for applications and further information.

Do distance education courses cost more than regular courses at USC Upstate?
Do distance education courses cost more than regular courses at USC Upstate?

Students who enroll in an online or hybrid course pay the same tuition and fees as students in face-to-face courses. Students who enroll completely online are eligible for some reduced fees for on-campus services. Students who are admitted to one of the online degree completion programs offered with the Palmetto College are eligible for Palmetto College tuition. Visit Admissions for more information.

Am I eligible for USC Upstate Student Services?

Yes! Distance Learners are eligible for all services offered by the University. You may call or e-mail to request specific services. Visit Virtual Student Services for information about the range of services available to you. Student Account Services can be reached at 864-503-5108.

How do I obtain accommodations for my special learning needs or disability?

Students requiring accommodations for disabilities or learning needs must contact the Office of Disability Services to make the necessary arrangements. USC Upstate provides accessibility accomodations for all university programs, services, and activities in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Services offered include priority registration, test proctoring, classroom adaptation, and a sign-language interpreter, a reader, or a note taker.  The Office of Disability Services can be reached at 864-503-5199 or visit Disability Services.

Will I have to participate in an online course at a set time or at my own pace?

Our online instructors design their courses according to best practice and what works best for their subject areas. Some distance education courses may require meeting as a class at a specific time through online meeting applications. Others will offer a schedule of assignments and activities that you can complete within your schedule, any time day or night.

Once I register for an online course, what do I do next?

Once you are officially enrolled in an online course, you will need to access the course through the USC Upstate Blackboard system no later than the first scheduled date for the course; however, most course materials are available several days before the course officially begins. We have several support materials regarding how to navigate Blackboard, logins, etc.

How do I find out if there are required textbooks or other materials for the course?

All required course materials are available through the USC Upstate bookstore and can be purchased online. Visit the bookstore – use the search feature to find your course information.

What if I need to access the library?

Distance education students with a student identification number and access to the USC Upstate Web site have full access to USC Upstate library services and electronic holdings. Contact the USC Upstate Library’s Coordinator of Distributed Education, Dr. Andrew Kearns (864.503.5991), or use the 24/7 Ask-a-Librarian service for help with your library needs. Books and articles not available online will be mailed to your home if you are enrolled fully online. Visit the Library Distance Education resource page.

Can I participate in student organizations as a distance education student?

Yes. All students officially enrolled at USC Upstate are eligible to become members of any student organization for which eligibility requirements are met. Check out the list of student organizations.

Are distance education courses generally easier than campus-based courses?

No. Students should expect online and hybrid courses to require at least as much time as a face-to-face campus courses. All courses at USC Upstate, regardless of delivery method adhere to the same strict standards and pre-requisites.

How will I submit assignments and take tests?

Most distance education courses require assignments to be submitted through Blackboard or emailed to the instructor (each instructor has different policy; therefore, read the syllabus carefully). Examinations may also be administered securely through Blackboard. In hybrid courses, the instructor does reserve the right to require major examinations to be taken with a proctor or on campus through our Testing Center. Tests in online courses must be available fully online and may require students to use the ProctorU online proctoring system.