Frequently Asked Questions

What are the computer requirements for taking courses at aspen?

You will need a computer, an Internet connection, and the basic Microsoft package that includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It's that easy.

How do I receive and hand in my assignments?

All assignments are available in your online classroom. Each week's activities are clearly organized in the syllabus. You can view all assignments, due dates and grading criteria to help you plan. You can view and print assignments, discuss them with your fellow students, and ask for feedback from your instructor. When you complete an assignment, you will upload it into the classroom, and then click "submit."

Will I miss the interaction of a conventional classroom setting?

Aspen's online learning experience is dynamic, personal and highly interactive. You will feel very connected with the Aspen community at all times. All students are active participants in the online classroom. You can contact your professors at any time and will receive written feedback on assignments from them. Your academic counselor is available by e-mail and phone throughout your Aspen program. Advisors help you plan your program, adjust the plan as needed, and assist with any other academic matters.

What time are classes held?

You can participate in course discussions at any time, day or night, wherever you have an Internet connection. However, your writing assignments and project work can be done offline. Most students enter the online classroom several times each week to participate in discussion, but there is no set class schedule so you can "attend class" any time of day, whenever it is convenient for you.

How will I be graded?

Your professor for each course reviews all graded assignments and provides feedback. The feedback is a private communication unless it takes place in an online class discussion, where it may benefit all participants. Your grades on all case studies, assignments and discussions are not shared with the rest of the class. You will receive a final course grade within three business days from the course completion.

How will I know which classes to take?

You'll find the requirements for your specific program and the courses available within that program in the student catalog. You can browse the various programs and specializations there or speak to an Enrollment Advisor.

How are the courses structured?

Courses will fall on alternating Tuesdays of each month. Courses are 10-weeks in length with designated assignments due throughout the term. You can view the academic schedule here.

How much time should I expect to spend on each course?

Depending on specific learning style and schedule, students may expect to spend a minimum of 5 hours per course per week, and a maximum of 15 hours per course per week. This does not apply to all programs as our MSN program may require a larger time commitment.

What is the duration of the program?

Most of our students take 1 or 2 courses at a time; however, you may take up to 3 courses at a time. Undergraduate programs are usually completed within 4 years. Graduate programs are typically completed in 12 to 30 months. Doctoral programs may be completed within 2 to 10 years. The programs are designed for students to work at their own pace. There is no minimum amount of time students are required to be in the undergraduate or graduate programs. There is a maximum of 6 years to complete an associate's degree program, 8 years to complete a bachelor's degree program, and a maximum of 5 years to complete a master's degree program. For the doctoral programs, there is a minimum requirement of 2 years, and a maximum of 10 years to complete the program.

How will I be able to communicate with my instructor if I have a question?

The instructors are available as a resource if students have any questions regarding the coursework. All of the instructors are available by email, and some provide a contact phone number as well.

What are the proctored exams?

Degree seeking students are required to successfully complete two Proctored Exams prior to graduation. One proctored exam is required at the mid-point of a degree program, and one is required at its conclusion. The four year Undergraduate degree program includes three Proctored Exams administered after the completion of each third of the program. Both doctoral programs require a comprehensive exam, which is comparable to the proctored exam. The exams will be open book and essay based, with a four hour time limit. Programs in the School of Nursing have unique requirements for the proctored exams, which are explained in the student handbooks.

The exams will be open book and essay based, with a four hour time limit.

Will I be required to travel at any point during the program?

You are not required to travel at any time during the program. The proctored exams may be taken in your local area, wherever that may be in the world. In most major areas in the U.S. and Canada, there are official proctor centers. If an official proctor center cannot be located in your area, arrangements may be made for the exams to be taken at a local library or other academic institution. If those facilities are not convenient, anyone may proctor an exam with the exception of a friend, a relative, or a work subordinate.

Aspen holds an optional graduation ceremony here every other year; however, attendance is optional.

Will I receive an accredited degree from Aspen University?

Aspen University is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council or DETC (www.detc.org). The Accrediting Commission of the DETC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency, and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or CHEA (www.chea.org). The master's degree in nursing at Aspen University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation).

Will the credits transfer or be recognized at other institutions?

We recommend checking with your local and state requirements, your employer, or the institution to which you would transfer the credits, just to make sure they will be recognized. Different institutions and employers uphold different polices and standards. We recommend referring to www.detc.org for more detailed information.

How much do Aspen University's programs cost?

Please visit our Tuition Rates to determine the cost of our programs, or contact an Enrollment Advisor.

Can I transfer my previously earned credits?

We will evaluate a maximum of 90 credits for transfer into our bachelor's degree programs, 18 credits for transfer into our master's degree programs, and 9 credits for transfer into our doctoral degree Programs. In the School of Nursing, 18 credits may be transferred into the RN-to-MSN degree program, while 12 credits may be transferred into the MSN degree program.

Can I receive credit for life/work experience?

Prior Experiential Learning (Portfolio Credit) is any learning experience that was not part of a college or university course and does not carry academic degree credit. Up to 25% of a degree program can be applied in this way. We will evaluate a maximum of 30 portfolio credits into our bachelor's degree programs, and a maximum of nine portfolio credits into our master's degree programs. Please note Portfolio Credits may not be awarded into the Ed.D, or DSCS programs. Programs in the School of Nursing have unique requirements for Portfolio Credit, which are detailed in the student handbook.

Prior Experiential Learning can take place in a variety of settings including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Military Training
  • Continuing Education Courses
  • Seminars and Workshops
  • Training Programs or In-Service Courses
  • On the Job Training (OJT)

Academic Standards for Award of Prior Experiential Credit are as follows:

  • Credit can be awarded for documented learning.
  • Credit must be appropriate to the academic context in which it is accepted.

Are there additional requirements for International students?

Please see our International Students page for more details.

Do you issue student visas?

Because Aspen University is online we do not require our students to travel to, or reside in the United States while attending, we do not issue student visas.