Discover the Possibilities of Online Learning at American Public University


Pursuing higher education shouldn’t have to mean choosing between living on campus or spending hours commuting to school (and searching for parking). Online degree and certificate programs at American Public University provide the flexibility your busy schedule demands. Unlike a traditional college experience, American Public University's 200+ online education programs create the opportunity for distance learning. When you enroll in online courses, you may attend classes on your own time, from your own space—whether you’re managing a demanding job or running a busy household.

As an online school1, American Public University makes it possible to:


Access Virtual Classrooms

Access virtual classrooms 24/7 from anywhere via your computer or through our mobile app.

Connect with Leaders

Learn from—and network with—leaders in your field of study nationwide.

Learn Affordably

We offer affordable tuition and special rates and/or grants for eligible students so you can focus on what matters.

Develop Skills

Develop time management and other practical skills to help you stay organized.

1 Some programs require in-person activity, including doctoral residencies, internships, practicums, proctored comprehensive exams, or class projects with in-person assignments. View your program of interest for specific requirements.

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Higher Education Should Fit Into Your Life, Not the Other Way Around

For many students, the time commitment alone can make the notion of attending classes seem unrealistic. Often, learners enrolled at traditional brick-and-mortar schools must manage rigid scheduling resulting from a combination of biannual semesters and synchronous classes (these are classes that must be attended at a predetermined time). This could necessitate changing current job schedules, finding childcare providers, and budgeting extra time each week to commute and find parking before classes meet.

Conversely, American Public University's online students have the flexibility to attend asynchronous classes (online classes with no set login times) each week as their schedules permit. Online classes start monthly, allowing students to progress through online degree programs at their own pace, completing class assignments to meet weekly deadlines.

Take a Sneak Peek at Our Virtual Classrooms

The MyClassroom platform allows learners to conveniently access all of their school-related assignments, online classes, discussion forums, and course materials with just a few keystrokes.


7 Tips For Success in Your Online Program


1. Understand Credit Hour Requirements For Each of Your Online Classes

Like traditional college classes, each online class represents a specified number of credit hours (also referred to simply as “credits”). Whether you are pursuing an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or an academic certificate, each online class indicated in your program’s curriculum counts toward the total credit hour requirement.

How Many Hours is 1 Credit Hour?

Every credit hour translates to approximately one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction, plus a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week. This is important to keep in mind when registering for new classes.

In general, undergraduate online students at American Public University should expect a weekly time commitment of:

  • 9-10 hours completing coursework for each 16-week course
  • 15-18 hours completing coursework for each 8-week course

The University also encourages new students to begin their programs of choice with just one online course at a time, in order to more easily acclimate to the online learning environment.


2. Manage Your Time Carefully

As most students may come to find, time management is an invaluable strength when taking online college courses. Exercising discipline and thoughtful planning to create your own schedule—and adhere to it—could mean the difference between a productive online learning experience and utter frustration.

At American Public University, most online classes include weekly assignments with strict deadlines. It is imperative to dedicate enough time each week to complete your studies and turn in all completed work in accordance with your due dates. 

Some learners may find it helpful to designate a given timeframe (for example, 6 pm to 10 pm) every day to all school-related work, while others might instead prefer to fit class time and assignments into any periods of downtime they may have throughout the day.


3. Connect With Your Peers Outside of Class

Online students at American Public University may connect with one another outside of class through a multitude of virtual student communities centered around:

  • Cultural backgrounds
  • Career and pre-professional organizations
  • Faith and spirituality
  • Military experience
  • Volunteer work and community service

Additionally, the University runs several academic and honor societies that may be of interest to its online students.

Explore Our Clubs and Organizations


4. Never Be Afraid to Ask Questions

As you continue through your learning journey, you will inevitably have questions—whether you need clarification about the University’s online platforms, or there’s specific course material you’re having difficulty understanding. For this reason, learners are always welcome to reach out to the University’s academic advising team—as well as professors.


5. Prepare to Collaborate on Group Projects

Although you won’t find yourself face-to-face in school with other students, there may still be opportunities to participate in group projects. As these assignments arise throughout your online courses, it is imperative to let your peers know how and when they can best reach you—whether that’s via email, text, video calls, or over the phone. Similarly, maintaining open communication and responding in a timely manner will be key to successful management, and completion, of each assignment.


6. Stay Organized

Whether you prefer to take notes by hand or digitally, you will quickly accumulate plenty of documents, files, and assignments. Be sure to maintain organized folders—and subfolders, when necessary—for each of your online classes. This will allow you to easily locate all of your coursework and avoid unnecessary stress as you work toward your online degree.


7. Consider Forming a Study Group With Your Classmates

Starting a study group can be a wonderful way to build lasting connections outside of designated class time. You and your classmates will also be able to help hold each other accountable as you progress through your online degree program.


Hear From Our Students



Frequently Asked Questions About Online College


1. Do Online Courses Allow Me to Complete My Degree Faster?

An online degree program will typically take the same amount of time to complete as a degree program in which students are attending courses on a physical college campus. Online students may, however, need to consider other factors, such as the frequency of course start dates, when it comes to completing—and progressing through—individual courses themselves.

Online courses at American Public University run for 8-16 weeks. Because these classes have monthly start dates, students are able to register for each new class whenever they’re ready, thus eliminating the need to wait for a new fall or spring semester or term to begin.

Speed to completion is also dependent on the number of transfer credits accepted and the number of courses completed each session.


2. Are Online Classes More Flexible Than On-Campus Classes?

On-campus classes are synchronous classes, meaning that all students must be in attendance in the same place, at the same time. American Public University’s online classes, however, are asynchronous: students may log in from their own homes—or anywhere else with an internet connection—at any time of day. In that regard, online colleges provide significantly more flexibility than traditional courses.


3. What Are the Assignments Like in an Online Degree Program?

While assignments will differ from one degree program to the next, online classes generally incorporate weekly discussion forums, as well as quizzes, exams, and writing assignments (such as research papers).


4. Do Online Colleges Provide Students With Networking Opportunities?

Yes. As an online college student at American Public University, you will regularly engage with professors and other students who share an interest in your field of study. Additionally, you will have access to the following student resources, through which you may network with like-minded students and faculty members:


5. What is the Difference Between Attending School Part-Time vs. Full-Time?

Each online learning program has unique requirements for part-time and full-time status. To find out how many credits are required within a given online degree program, please refer to the University’s student handbook.


6. What Does a Typical Workload Look Like For an Online Student?

Online degrees and certificates will differ amongst themselves and one another. While most undergraduate and master’s-level students can expect to view lectures, complete required reading, participate in forums, and submit written assignments each week, other coursework, including quizzes and exams, will also arise throughout each term.

Students are encouraged to review all course syllabi in detail when beginning a new online class in order to understand the required workload.


7. How Many Weeks Does Each Online Class Run For?

Online classes at American Public University run in either 8-week or 16-week formats.


8. How Do Online College Exams Work? 

Many online college courses conclude with a comprehensive exam, in order to measure and evaluate a student’s overall comprehension of the subject matter.

Online course instructors will specify in advance whether or not an exam requires a proctor. (A proctor is an individual who is responsible for ensuring academic integrity through the examination process by monitoring online student work during the exam and verifying that the student complied with all exam instructions.)

If a proctor is required, then the course instructor will email an exam password to the proctor prior to the day of the exam. Once it is time to take the exam, the proctor will then provide the student with this password and monitor him or her as the exam is completed online.


9. What Are the Key Advantages of Online Colleges?

Online degree programs provide the opportunity to receive a distance education, or an education in which the student and professor do not need to be in the same place at the same time. This flexibility may allow students to satisfy their unique learning needs, without having to accommodate the demanding schedules of traditional courses (those that require physically attending a brick-and-mortar school).


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