The University of Alabama: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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The University of Alabama

College of Continuing Studies Division of Academic Outreach

Tuscaloosa, Alabama


The Division of Academic Outreach accommodates distance and adult learners who are limited by time, geography, work schedules, or personal obligations. Degrees and courses are available via the Internet, written correspondence, videotape, and videoconferencing.


Academic Outreach delivers high school and college courses over the Internet directly to the student's computer. Students are instructed through a secure Internet site, and they interact with their professors and complete lessons via e-mail. Courses are offered in both synchronous (semester-based) and asynchronous formats.

Through Independent Study, students may select their hours of study and work at their own pace to complete courses through written correspondence. With certain stipulations, the undergraduate courses may be used to complete a maximum of 25 percent of the work leading to the bachelor's degree. Nine of the last 18 hours required for a degree may be taken by written correspondence, provided that all residence requirements have been met.

Academic Outreach delivers undergraduate and graduate courses via videotape to students who cannot attend classes on campus. Courses are filmed as they occur, and videotapes are mailed to students the same week. Students take proctored exams at convenient locations. Videocourses are semester based, with enrollment typically occurring during August, January, and May.

The Intercampus Interactive Telecommunication System (IITS) is a network of conference rooms connected to Vianet, a statewide video-conferencing network. Approximately 120 sites throughout Alabama are equipped with cameras, monitors, and other devices that allow teachers and students to interact as if they were in the same room. Courses are semester based, with enrollment typically occurring during August, January, and May.


The University of Alabama offers the following programs through distance learning: B.A. or B.S. in inter-disciplinary studies (requires a three-day, on-campus orientation), B.S. in human environmental sciences (general studies), B.S. in human environmental sciences (restaurant and hospitality management), B.S. in mechanical engineering (available in Dothan, Alabama), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to B.S.N.), M.S. in aerospace engineering, M.A. in health studies (health promotion), M.S. in human environmental sciences (family financial planning and counseling), M.S. in human environmental sciences (food and nutrition), M.S. in human environmental sciences (general studies), M.S. in human environmental sciences (interactive technology), M.S. in nursing case management, M.A. in rehabilitation counseling (in Alabama only), and Master of Law and Taxation.


The External Degree Program is an interdisciplinary undergraduate distance learning program. Students may apply previously earned academic credits transferred from regionally accredited colleges or earned through national tests such as the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), independent study, out-of-class learning contracts, correspondence studies, classroom work, and demonstrated prior learning toward a B.A. or a B.S. in interdisciplinary studies.

Applicants must have high school diplomas or minimum General Educational Development (GED) equivalency scores of 50, be 25 years of age or older, and have educational goals that are attainable through the program. As with most of the University's distance programs, applicants need not be Alabama residents.

Founded in 1831, the University of Alabama has been selected repeatedly as one of the top fifty public universities in the country. By using technology and flexible formats, the Division of Academic Outreach provides diverse and convenient academic programs to students pursuing educational and personal development.


Applicability of credit toward an undergraduate degree refers to the prerogative of the respective academic divisions to count specific credit toward a student's degree requirements. A maximum of 64 semester hours of two-year college credit may be applied toward graduation requirements. At the graduate level, a maximum of 12 semester hours of work taken as a nondegree student may be applied to the credit-hour requirements for a degree. Responsibility rests with the student to observe the limitations imposed on credit hours, course work, and transfer of credit. Procedures and forms are furnished upon request.


Approximately 180 full-time and 10 part-time faculty members are involved in these programs. Of this group, 99 percent of the full-time faculty members and 90 percent of the part-time faculty members have doctoral or other terminal degrees.


Formal admission is not required for undergraduate students to enroll in Independent Study or Internet courses. However, admission to the University is required for students who wish to enroll in undergraduate courses delivered via videotape and videoconferencing and for all graduate-level courses. Undergraduate admission to the University requires acceptable evidence of previous academic performance and scores on a recognized admission test. All graduate students must satisfy the University's Graduate School admission criteria.

The Division of Academic Outreach provides services to assist students with the admission process, registration, advising and schedule building, and financial aid. Students should contact Nina Smith for assistance (telephone: 205-348-0089 or 800-452-5971 (toll-free); e-mail: [email protected]).


Tuition varies by program and format. Students should contact the Division of Academic Outreach for current tuition rates.


Loans are administered through the Office of Student Financial Services. Academic Outreach offers several scholarships for adult students each academic year. Applications are generally available in the fall semester, and the deadline is usually in early January.


Division of Academic Outreach
College of Continuing Studies
The University of Alabama
Box 870388
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487-0388
Telephone: 205-348-9278 800-452-5971 (toll-free)
Fax: 205-348-0249
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:


Students may obtain information or complete registration by contacting the Division of Academic Outreach.

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The University of Alabama: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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The University of Alabama: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth