University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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Distance Education
Las Vegas, Nevada

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), has grown dramatically since its founding in 1957 and now enrolls more than 26,000 students. The campus is on 333 acres in urban Las Vegas, in a metropolitan area of more than 1.5 million. The University concentrates its resources on instructional and research programs that are student centered but responsive to the needs of the local, regional, national, and international communities. In addition to its educational offerings, the University plays a vital role in the economic development of the community and assumes a major role in identifying and solving many of the region's social and environmental problems. UNLV offers stimulating intellectual activities, diverse cultural and arts experiences, and exciting athletic competition, all of which invite community participation.

All programs are fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The University is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Council of Graduate Schools, the Western Association of Graduate Schools, the American Council on Education, and the Western College Association.

Distance Learning Program

Distance education (DE) at UNLV was started in 1996 to develop and deliver educational programs to southern Nevada's rapidly growing communities and as a result of Nevada's prior commitment to extended education and UNLV's desire to respond to community needs. Over time, an electronic network emerged, and online learning became a part of many of the regular course offerings.

The mission of the Office of Distance Education is to provide learning opportunities that are less restricted by time and place than are on-campus UNLV courses and programs. Through its network of distance education professionals, who use the latest in educational technology, students may work toward a college degree, enhance their professional standing, or enrich their understanding of the world. The office increases educational access for students unable to attend classes on campus, fully uses the resources of the University, and improves instruction by integrating technology into the curriculum. Distance education offers off-campus students the chance to complete their degrees in their own homes or at other computer-accessible locations.

There are currently more than 16,000 distance education students. UNLV's 74 percent retention rate is far above the national average of about 50 percent. More than 14 percent of UNLV courses now have an online component.

Delivery Media

Students need access to a computer capable of using Internet Explorer 6.0 or above to access the Internet. Las Vegas students without Internet access at home may use any one of UNLV's computer labs. All DE courses use WebCT, and 99 percent use streaming video. Lectures can be watched online with the RealPlayer plug-in.

Programs of Study

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in social science studies degree tailored to students seeking a wide range of knowledge applicable to a variety of careers. An interdisciplinary degree, it is designed to develop lifelong skills in critical and creative thinking, problem solving, effective communication, and intercultural understanding through an individualized course of study. Students acquire a broad, interdisciplinary understanding of many of the central issues addressed by research in the social sciences. They develop a critical awareness of the different methodologies used to answer questions about society, social interaction, and human subjectivity. Major areas of concentration in the social science program include anthropology, history, political science, and psychology. This program is intended primarily for students who have completed, or nearly completed, the equivalent of the first two years of college and are unable to complete a degree because they cannot attend classes on campus.

In 2005, UNLV began offering a Ph.D. in nursing education completely online through distance education. A highly competitive Master of Hospitality Administration is also offered through DE. Additional degrees are planned; students should check the UNLV DE Web site for the latest information.

UNLV offers more than 100 undergraduate and more than forty graduate classes online. Students should check the Web site to see which courses are available in a given semester.

Student Services

Support is available in a number of ways to students who are enrolled in distance classes. From student labs to online and telephone support, help is always available. The Student Computing Support Center is the central source of information for distance education course registration (except course listings) and all student WebCT information.

Leid Library makes every effort to ensure that off-campus students have access to all online electronic services provided to on-campus students, including the availability of databases, tutorials, and Internet links offered through the library Web site, as well as an expanding array of full-text information, reference by e-mail, and instructional assistance. Students can, if necessary, arrange to come to the campus to use the library at any time during its open hours (105 hours per week). Interlibrary loan and document-delivery services can be easily arranged. In addition, the library has classroom space designed to accommodate the instructional needs of the distance learner.

Credit Options

Most distance education courses, both undergraduate and graduate, are 3 credits. Those enrolling in the bachelor's degree in social science studies program should have the equivalent of about two years of college work completed.


Many of the University's faculty members teach distance education courses. UNLV is committed to staffing the program with full-time tenure-track faculty members, and there are also some tenure-track faculty members from collaborating universities. Part-time faculty members can participate only if they have previously taught on campus. Of the University's 850 faculty members, 54 percent are full-time. Professors bring degrees and teaching experience from leading universities around the world. Faculty members are involved in important research for government and public service agencies and for scholarly books and journals, and many have won major awards.


Information on admission to the bachelor's degree program is available from the Office of Distance Education.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for Nevada residents is $113 per credit for undergraduate courses and $151 per credit for graduate courses, which includes the $15 per credit DE fee. In addition to these costs, nonresidents must pay $136.50 per credit for 6 or fewer credits ($4734 per semester for 7 or more credits) for undergraduate classes and $150 per credit for 6 or fewer credits ($4734 per semester for 7 or more credits) for graduate work. Out-of-state students should contact the Office of Distance Education to find out about special tuition rates. Fees vary.

Financial Aid

UNLV offers more than $70 million each year to students who apply for scholarships, grants, student loans, part-time work, or veterans' benefits. Funds come from federal, state, and private sources. Financial assistance can be used to help cover the costs of registration, fees, tuition, and books. To apply for federal, state, and institutional financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).


Students already enrolled at UNLV can register for classes online. Other students must first fill out a non-admitted student information form, which lets them use UNLV's registration system. Nevada residents must also fill out a residency form. More information is available from the Distance Education Office.


Alonda Allen
Program Manager of Distance Education
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 451038
Las Vegas, Nevada 89154
Phone: 702-895-2918 or 0334
Fax: 702-895-3647
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: