Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between Synchronous and Asynchronous online courses?

  • Asynchronous: students access the class through Blackboard 24/7 and learn the material on their own time and schedule. Students are not required to be online at the same time in an asynchronous course.
  • Synchronous: students are required to meet online at pre-designated times based on a meeting pattern set by the instructor.

How can I tell if my class requires me to be online at specific times?

  • Courses without a meeting pattern (Dates/Times listed as TBA) are offered asynchronously, and do not require students to be online at specific times.
  • Courses that have specific Dates/Times listed do require students to be online at designated times.
  • Some multiple component courses (e.g., those with a lecture section and a discussion section) may have one asynchronous component and one synchronous component
  • Some courses may require several synchronous class meetings at the beginning of the semester, but will then be asynchronous for the remainder of the term. That information is included in the Course Notes section.
  • If a class meets together for only a meeting or two at the beginning of the session, those times/dates are added in the Course Notes section.
  • Confirm Dates/Times and Course Notes information in the schedule of classes.

How many credits can I take?

  • During winter session you can enroll in up to 4.5 credits.
  • Highly motivated and academically strong students may be granted permission to enroll in more than the designated course load limit with prior approval.
  • Am I allowed to take Shady Grove courses?


When do I pay my bill?

  • E-bills are available monthly, the first business day of each month, as determined by the date you register for your courses.
  • A reminder email is sent 7 days later, if e-bills have not been viewed.
  • View payment chart.

I’m a Graduate student, but I want to take an Undergraduate course – will I be charged at the Graduate tuition rate or the Undergraduate tuition rate?

  • Tuition charges are based on Academic Career.
  • Undergraduate Students – All courses charged at undergraduate rates.
  • Graduate Students – All courses charged at graduate rate.
  • Audited courses are charged at the same rate (tuition and fees) as per-credit courses.

How is Maryland residency determined?  How does this affect my tuition rate?


What minimum hardware/software requirements do I need to take an online class?

The Division of Information Technology has a complete list of student technology resources.

What resources are available to me now that the physical campus is closed?

This is my first online class. Where can I go for help?

The Academic Success Center provides Online Learning Resources with strategies to help you study, manage your time, and ask for help.