One of the advantages of online learning is its flexibility. You can log in to your online classes at times that work for you, day and night. This includes weekends and holidays as well. American Public University (APU) has sessions that start the first Monday of each month, so you don’t have to wait for a semester to start to begin your degree.
In the online learning atmosphere there is a variance in regards to class length. APU offers undergraduate and graduate classes in 8-week and 16-week session lengths. Regardless of course length, these classes are the same number of credits, and they cost the same. When you register for your classes, you will see the session length on the registration grid.
The 16-week courses tend to involve more reading and writing and have more complex content that is better delivered over the longer time frame. Most schools will make an archived syllabi available for many of these courses, and it’s a great idea to review them to get an idea of the types of assignments these courses had in the past.
The undergraduate 16-week classes currently include languages, sciences, and math.
Languages: Russian I and II, Chinese I and II, Arabic I and II, and upper-level Spanish and German. These classes use the Rosetta Stone online immersion technique, which allows you to listen to and speak the languages. You need to be able to download and install the speech component to your computer and have a working microphone so that you can upload your speech and pronunciation assignments. Learning about the cultures of these countries is also an important part of these courses.
Sciences: Introduction to Chemistry with lab, and Physics I and II. These courses use interactive simulation labs that reinforce and build on the concepts presented in the lectures.
Math: Pre-algebra; Intro to College Algebra; College Trig; Calculus I, II, and III; Differential Equations; and Statistics. Weekly discussion board postings are important parts of these courses, and some use videos to help convey the principles.
Some courses are offered in both 8-week and 16-week sessions, and you can choose the session length that fits your learning style, time constraints, and funding requirements. If you are not sure which length would be best for you, closely review the archived syllabi for the course learning objectives, types of assignments, and pace that the material is covered. For example, some of the math classes, including College Algebra and Math for Liberal Arts Majors; sciences, including Intro to Biology with lab, Intro to Human Anatomy and Physiology with lab, and Intro to Astronomy with Lab; and languages, including French II and German I are both 8-week and 16-week session lengths.
At the graduate level, none of the courses are offered in both 8-week and 16-week sessions. Most degrees have 8-week classes. The History, Military History, Humanities, and Education courses are almost all 16 weeks; the Education internship and student teaching courses are also 16 weeks. End-of-program capstone seminars and practicum projects are 16 weeks, as these involve researching and writing a thesis.
By Hunter Barrat
Senior Admissions Representative