Frequently Asked Questions

For Prospective Online Students

How does an online class work?
The course content, syllabus and books are the same for online classes as for traditional classroom courses. Each online class has links to the course content, announcements, assessments, assignments, calendar, chat, discussion and more. The discussions forum is the main means of student and faculty interaction and students can log into their forums any time day or night.

Why should I consider taking online courses?
The convenience of online learning is the main reason most students make this choice. Because there is no mandatory class time, you can complete assignments and discussion requirements anywhere, anytime.

How will I interact with the instructor and other students?
You will have regular interaction with the instructor and other students in the class through email, chat and discussions. There are both group discussions and one on one communication.

How can I determine if online learning is for me?
If you’d like to preview an online course, click here for a guided tour of one of our online courses. This demonstration will give you a good idea of how to navigate an online class.

What technical skills do I need to be successful in an online class?
You need to have general computer proficiencies such as downloading/uploading, attaching and sending documents, using e-mail and the internet and using presentation software such as PowerPoint. Tutorials are available at if needed.

What computer hardware and software do I need?
The computer requirements for online learning can be found at

What if I experience technical difficulties?
USF maintains a help desk with normal business hours that you can either call or by email 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.