EKU Online: Frequently Asked Questions


How can I make the most of my online educational experience?

You are encouraged to interact with your professors and classmates as much as possible throughout your educational experience. In fact, our professors welcome and encourage your feedback. You will be able to communicate via chat, e-mail and other tools. Be sure to take advantage of these opportunities.

Is an online degree different from a traditional degree?

The only difference between an online degree and a traditional degree is that the course work was completed online. Upon graduation, you will hold a degree from Eastern Kentucky University, and you will have all the rights and privileges of traditional EKU alumni.

As an online student, will I ever be required to come to campus?

The paralegal program requires 2 weeks of on-campus sessions devoted to writing and research. The fire, arson and explosion investigation program requires 2 weeks of hands-on activity at the EKU Fire Labs. Otherwise, online students are not required to visit campus. However, you are always welcome to visit the Richmond campus or any of EKU’s satellite campuses in Kentucky at any time.

What is an online course like?

Most EKU Online courses are offered in two 8-week terms in the fall and spring semesters and two 6-week terms in the summer.  This accelerated schedule allows you to focus on two classes per term and still carry a full-time load over the course of the semester.

EKU uses The Blackboard Learning System, which provides a framework for instructors to organize course material and interact with students through discussion boards, chat rooms and online assignments. You will log in to this system to access your courses. Some professors also produce mini-lectures on video and incorporate instructional videos in their course design. Others rely more on PowerPoint presentations, discussion boards and reading assignments. Most use a combination of strategies and techniques to ensure for a high level of interaction and instructor feedback.

Every course will be presented in Blackboard, which means you will always work within a standardized course layout and navigation system. This will allow you to devote your time to the coursework rather than the technology. Click here to take a virtual tour of Blackboard and explore the resources available.

What type of technology will I need to participate in an online degree program?

EKU uses The Blackboard Learning System,an internet-based course management system that provides a web site for every class. Blackboard lets students and instructors participate in class activities online. The system offers online storage for course materials, discussion boards, virtual chat, online quizzes, grades and more.

You will need a computer with high bandwidth Internet access (not a dial-up connection), a Flash player and speakers. It is recommended that you use Mozilla Firefox as your primary browser when working with the system. Some courses will have additional requirements. The EKU tech support team is always available to answer any technical questions you may have as an online student.

Can I transfer in to the online program?

Eastern Kentucky University awards transfer credit for courses completed at regionally accredited colleges and universities. No limit exists on the number of credits that may be transferred from other institutions, however; students must earn a minimum of 32 credit hours through EKU to be awarded a bachelor's degree from the institution. The EKU Student Outreach and Transition Office has online resources that can help you determine which credits may transfer. Use their Transfer Equivalency Course Search to look for matches among the courses we currently have on file. If your specific course is not on the list, it is still eligible for review. Please contact an enrollment advisor for more information about transferring credit.

How much does the online degree program cost?

Click here for current tuition rates. Note that textbooks, lab fees and technology fees are not included and will vary by course.

Is financial aid available for online students?

Students pursuing online degrees at Eastern Kentucky University may also qualify for federal financial aid (loans and grants), private loans, employer tuition reimbursement and military benefits. The EKU Financial Aid Office can assist you with questions about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and federal loans. The EKU Scholarship Office offers a variety of awards and has additional information that can help you pay for college.

What is the difference between regional and national accreditation?

Regional accreditation is the highest level of accreditation available. Eastern Kentucky University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS*). This regional accrediting body is recognized by both the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA**) and the United States Department of Education (USDE).

Students can be confident that credits earned at one regionally accredited school will transfer to other regionally accredited universities. This is especially important if you plan on transferring or continuing your education. It is also important to look for other credentials that may set a program apart. For example, the EKU Online paralegal program is approved by the American Bar Association and meets the guidelines as set forth by the ABA, which means students can sit for the certified paralegal exam upon graduation.

 The six regional accrediting agencies are:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

What are the enrollment requirements for my program?

To apply for undergraduate enrollment, students must meet one of four criteria:

  • An A.A.S., A.S. or A.A. degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • An ACT score of 20+ in reading, 18+ in English and 19+ in math
  • An SAT combined score of 870+ (combining verbal and math)
  • 24 hours of transfer credits from a regionally accredited institution, including an equivalent to an EKU 100-level or higher English and math course

The certificate in paralegal science is a post-baccalaureate option, which means that applicants must have a bachelor’s degree.

When are the online classes taught?

EKU Online degree programs offer classes on your schedule.  With relatively few exceptions, you will log in at your convenience and will not be expected to be at your computer at a certain time each day. Students can work at a pace that works for them, as long as homework assignments and exams are completed by the instructors’ deadlines.

Online courses are offered in two 8-week terms in the fall and spring semesters and two 6-week terms in the summer.  This accelerated schedule allows you to focus on two classes per term and still carry a full-time load over the course of the semester. There are approximately six start dates each calendar year.

Can I take one or two courses online to satisfy a requirement without enrolling in an online degree program?

EKU does offer some online courses that can be taken independently from a fully-online degree program. For more information, visit www.eku.edu/onlinelearning/courses.

If I am enrolled in an on-campus degree program at EKU that is also offered online, how do I switch to the fully online program?

If your on-campus program is offered 100% online, you can switch to the online degree program.  Most of the online classes include video instruction from the professors teaching the class, assignments, discussion board questions, quizzes and exams. Everything is available through Blackboard.  You can learn from the same on-campus faculty and earn the same degree as an online student.

There are some differences between the online and on-campus programs. Online courses are offered in two 8-week terms in the fall and spring semesters and two 6-week terms in the summer.  This accelerated schedule allows you to focus on two classes per term and still carry a full-time load over the course of the semester. Contact us at 859-622-7045 or online at onlinedegrees@eku.edu for assistance in switching to the online program.  

Full-time student status is required for financial aid and other purposes. How do I maintain that as an EKU Online student? 

Online courses are taught at an accelerated pace. Generally, classes last for 8 weeks Fall A, Fall, B, Spring A and Spring B. Classes run for 6 weeks in Summer A and Summer B. Those seeking status as full-time students should take 2 courses, or 6 hours, during each session. Two courses in Fall A and 2 courses in Fall B would give a student a total of 12 hours, or full-time status, for the Fall semester, for example. The same rules apply for the Summer terms.

Are library resources available to EKU Online students?

EKU Libraries are proud to support all EKU students, faculty and staff, regardless of location. Much of what is needed to conduct research can be found on the Library website, including ability to chat or txt with a librarian, search the library catalog, or search hundreds of online resources, even from home. The library can UPS resources to you if you live outside the EKU service area and are enrolled in EKU classes. Even more, if you need a book or article the library does not own, they can order it for you.

Learn more about Distance & Online Learning resources on the library website.


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