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DE Student Resources

DE FAQs 

Frequently Asked Questions

The following contains answers to many Frequently Asked Questions concerning UH DE:

General Questions

Admissions

Academic Advising

Registration and Class Information

Exam Proctoring

Blackboard and Technical Requirements

International Students

 

General Questions

What is distance education?

What classes and programs are offered via distance education?

What distance education class formats are available?

How does a typical online class work?

How much do online classes cost?

Can I complete an entire undergraduate degree online at UH?

Will UH accept credit hours from my current and/or previous institutions?

How many credit hours can I transfer?

Do a certain number of my final credit hours need to be completed with UH classes?

What degrees do you offer through distance education?

Does UH offer any business degrees through distance education?

Do you offer doctorate degrees through distance education?

What is the difference between distance education and continuing studies?

Are distance education classes available in accelerated format?

Does UH offer concurrent credit for high school students?

Will my transcript mention "Online Degree" if I complete my degree through distance education?

How do I obtain a student ID card?

What happened to your tape purchase and broadcast classes?

What are UH's accreditations?

Where is your office located?


Admissions

What are UH’s admissions requirements?

What are UH’s admissions deadlines?

Do new freshmen or transfer students need to attend any pre-semester orientations?


Academic Advising

Who can I contact for academic advising?


Registration and Class Information

What are the deadlines for enrolling, adding, or dropping distance education classes?

Can I take a distance education class without being admitted as a student?

What is the UH System Pathways Program?

Can a student enrolled in another UH System institution (i.e., UH-Downtown, UH-Clear Lake, UH-Victoria) take classes at UH?

How do I register for classes?

Are students that are only enrolled in online classes required to have the bacterial meningitis immunization?

Do new freshmen or transfer students need to attend any pre-semester orientations?

Can I add a distance education class after the drop date?

How do I drop a distance education class?

Is there an online orientation for current or prospective distance education students?

Does my online class have a face-to-face orientation?

Will I be required to attend any on-campus meetings?

How can I contact my instructor?

What is the difference between dropping and withdrawing?

What is the Term Withdrawal procedure at UH?


Exam Proctoring

How do I take exams?

What are the proctoring procedures for distance education students?

Can students enrolled in other colleges have their exams proctored at UH?


Blackboard and Technical Requirements

What system does UH use for distance education classes?

How do I find out if my class uses Blackboard?

What is my username and password for Blackboard?

I'm registered for a class that uses Blackboard, but I can't view my class page after logging in. What should I do?

Where can I get help with Blackboard?

What are the technical requirements for online classes?


International Students

Do international students have any special DE requirements?

How many DE classes can an International Student apply toward their degree?

What if the “one class” is more than 3 credits? What if a student wants to take two classes of 1 credit each?

What if the student has only one class left in their course of study? Can they take an online DE class as their only course in the final semester of study?

 

Answers

 

General Questions

What is distance education?

Distance education at the University of Houston is any instruction that takes place outside the main campus classroom setting. DE classes are regular UH classes taught by UH faculty and have the same prerequisites and requirements as classes taken on campus.
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What classes and programs are offered via distance education?

For a list of classes offered during the current semester or upcoming semester, please visit the Class Information page.

For a list of current programs (including certificates, undergraduate minors, undergraduate degrees, and graduate degrees), please visit the Degrees & Programs section.
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What distance education class formats are available?

DE classes are available via online, hybrid (i.e. half face-to-face, half online), interactive television, or an off-campus teaching center. Please visit our Class Formats page for more information.
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How does a typical online class work?

Most DE classes use Blackboard as the primary course management system. Some history classes use CourseCompass, and some math classes use CourseWare, while some instructors may actually only use their own website.

Coursework usually includes reading lectures and/or supplemental material/required texts, completing homework assignments, taking exams, submitting assignments, and interacting with the instructor and other students online. Some courses may also include real-time chat sessions, but most of the coursework is not conducted in real-time.

Once the course begins, students usually log on at least every other day to see if any new messages have been sent to their mailbox or posted to their virtual classroom. Students can access coursework 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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How much do online classes cost?

Online classes cost the same as regular face-to-face classes. For more information on costs, please visit the Costs & Financial Aid site.
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Can I complete an entire undergraduate degree online at UH?

No. Currently, UH doesn’t offer enough undergraduate core curriculum classes online for a student to complete an entire degree from start to finish. Many DE students finish their core curriculum at a community college, and then finish their degree. Please contact a DE Academic Advisor for more information.
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Will UH accept credit hours from my current and/or previous institutions?

UH will evaluate transcripts from U.S. regionally accredited institutions and give credit for coursework that is equivalent to UH courses. For undergraduate students, a maximum of 66 freshman and sophomore-level hours of credit can be transferred. Credit earned at international institutions will be evaluated for UH course equivalents at the end of the first semester of enrollment. Further evaluation is required if specific transfer courses are to be included in the degree plan.

For more information concerning transfer credit, please visit the Credits & Transfers section and the Transfer Advising Program.
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How many credit hours can I transfer?

For undergraduate students, a maximum of 66 freshman and sophomore-level hours of credit can be transferred. If students are transferring junior- and senior-level hours, there is no limit, but your last 30 hours have to be completed with UH classes. For graduate students, students should contact the academic department for transfer credit policies.

For more information concerning transfer credit, please visit the Credits & Transfers section and the Transfer Advising Program.
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Do a certain number of my final credit hours need to be completed with UH classes?

Yes. University rules state that the final 30 hours of an undergraduate degree must be UH classes.

UH Bachelor of Arts degrees require six credit hours of sophomore-level or higher Foreign Language classes. Currently, UH does not offer online Foreign Language classes. Therefore, students completing this degree online must finish this portion prior to beginning the last 30 hours.
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What degrees do you offer through distance education?

Please visit our Degrees & Programs section for a list of certificates and degrees currently available through complete either partially or completely through DE.
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Does UH offer any business degrees through distance education?

Currently, while there are a few individual courses offered online or hybrid, UH doesn’t offer any undergraduate or graduate degrees via DE through the Bauer College of Business. Students can earn a Corporate Entrepreneurship Certificate by completing two selected ENTR courses, and these are also typically offered online.
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Do you offer doctorate degrees through distance education?

No. UH currently doesn’t offer doctorate degrees via DE.
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What is the difference between distance education and continuing studies?

At UH, DE classes are for-credit classes used to complete degrees in an academic program. Continuing studies classes are used for professional development and personal enrichment, but classes don’t count towards an academic degree.
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Are distance education classes available in accelerated format?

No. UH DE classes follow the same academic calendar as any other class.
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Does UH offer concurrent credit for high school students?

No. UH currently doesn’t offer concurrent credit for high school students. However, most of the community colleges in the area do offer concurrent credit which can then be transferred to UH.
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Will my transcript mention “Online Degree” if I complete my degree through distance education?

No. Your transcript makes no distinction between online classes or regular face-to-face classes.
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How do I obtain a student ID card?

For most university functions involving DE, students can use their PeopleSoft ID to access services. However, some students also like to have a student ID card for a variety of reasons.

For students that are only taking online or off-campus teaching center classes, and are unable to come to campus to pick up their student ID card, they can contact the Cougar Card Office at 832-842-2273. The Cougar Card Office will need you to electronically send a recent photograph, and they will then mail the Cougar Card to your address.
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What happened to your tape purchase and broadcast classes?

UH used to offer distance education courses via tape purchase (DVD and VHS) and broadcast (i.e. KUHT, HCCTV, and Cougar Cable).

In an effort to reduce student costs and enhance online course availabilities, UH stopped offering classes through these formats beginning in Fall 2009. Courses that were previously offered by tape purchase or broadcast will instead be offered through other formats.
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What are UH’s accreditations?

UH is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, masters, professional, and doctoral degrees.

In addition, the university is a member of the Association of Texas Colleges and Universities, the American Council on Education, the Association of American Colleges, and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.

Individual colleges and programs may hold memberships or accreditations by additional agencies.
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Where is your office located?

Distance Education Student Services is located in Room 101 in the West Wing of the C.N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management Building.
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Admissions

What are UH’s admissions requirements?

Admissions requirements vary for freshman, transfers, and graduate students.

Please carefully review this information.
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What are UH’s admissions deadlines?

The following are the primary undergraduate admissions-related deadlines.
Please be advised that graduate programs may have earlier deadlines. For more information, visit the Graduate Admissions Dates & Deadlines.

Freshman

Semester of Enrollment

Date the Application is Available to Students

Deadline to Submit the Application and All Credentials

Deadline to Register for New Student Orientation (NSO), Once Admitted

Spring 2014

August 1, 2013

December 1, 2013

December 18, 2013

Summer 2014

August 1, 2013

Priority: December 1, 2013
Final: April 1: 2014

June 1, 2014

Fall 2014

August 1, 2013

Priority: December 1, 2013
Final: April 1, 2014

June 1, 2014

Transfer

Semester of Enrollment

Date the Application is Available to Students

Deadline to Submit the Application and All Credentials

Deadline to Register for Advising and Registration for Transfers (ART), Once Admitted

Spring 2014

August 1, 2013

November 1, 2013

December 18, 2013

Summer 2014

January 1, 2014

May 1, 2014

July 1, 2014

Fall 2014

November 1, 2014

Priority: March 1, 2014
Final: June 1, 2014

July 1, 2014

International Freshman

Semester of Enrollment

Date the Application is Available to Students

Deadline to Submit the Application and All Credentials

Deadline to Register for New Student Orientation (NSO), Once Admitted

Spring 2014

August 1, 2013

October 1, 2013

December 18, 2013

Summer 2014

August 1, 2013

April 1, 2014

June 1, 2014

Fall 2014

August 1, 2013

April 1, 2014

June 1, 2014

International Transfer

Semester of Enrollment

Date the Application is Available to Students

Deadline to Submit the Application and All Credentials

Deadline to Register for Advising and Registration for Transfers (ART), Once Admitted

Spring 2014

August 1, 2013

October 1, 2013

December 18, 2013

Summer 2014

November 1, 2013

April 1, 2014

July 1, 2014

Fall 2014

November 1, 2013

April 1, 2014

July 1, 2014

 

Re-apply as a Former Student

Semester of Enrollment

Date to Submit Application and All Credentials

Spring Term

November 1

Summer Term

May 1

Fall Term

June 1


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Do new freshmen or transfer students need to attend any pre-semester orientations?

Incoming UH DE undergraduate students may need to sign up for one of two New Student Conferences.

Incoming freshmen attend the New Student Orientation (NSO), while transfer students (with more than 15 hours of transfer credit) attend the Advising and Registration for Transfers (ART).

While incoming students in the Houston area will need to attend one of these New Student Conferences, those outside of the area may petition for a waiver.

In order to request a waiver from these conferences, students should e-mail orientation@uh.edu with your situation, and copy DEservices@uh.edu.
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Academic Advising

Who can I contact for academic advising?

Please visit the Distance Education Student Services Staff page for more information.
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Registration and Class Information

What are the deadlines for enrolling, adding, or dropping distance education classes?

The deadlines for enrolling, adding, or dropping DE classes are the same as for any other UH class. View the Academic Calendar for the specific deadlines.
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Can I take a distance education class without being admitted as a student?

No. In order to enroll in a DE class, you must first apply and be accepted into UH.
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What is the UH System Pathways Program?

The UH System Pathways Program allows for UHS students to take advantage of course opportunities that may be more available, convenient, or affordable at one of the other UH System institutions.

Through the UHS Student Pathways Program, an undergraduate student in any of the four UH System universities, with the approval of their academic department, is able to take up to six hours of courses toward their degree, at any of the universities.

For more information and details concerning this program, please visit the UH System Pathways Program site.
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Can a student enrolled in another UH System institution (i.e., UH-Downtown, UH-Clear Lake, UH-Victoria) take classes at UH?

Although the four universities of the UH System are part of the same university system, each institution has their own admissions and operational standards. Therefore, unless a student has been accepted at another UH System university, they normally cannot enroll in classes at multiple universities within the UH System.

For example, a UH-Clear Lake student that hasn't applied or been accepted to UH cannot take UH classes. However, this same student would be able to take classes at both institutions if they were enrolled at both schools.

The exception to this rule is the UH System Pathways Program, which allows for UHS students to take advantage of course opportunities that may be more available, convenient, or affordable at one of the other UH System institutions.

Through the UHS Student Pathways Program, an undergraduate student in any of the four UH System universities, with the approval of their academic department, is able to take up to six hours of courses toward their degree, at any of the universities. For more information and details concerning this program, please visit the UH System Pathways Program site.
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How do I register for classes?

In order to register for DE classes, you’ll use myUH, or PeopleSoft.

On PeopleSoft, DE classes are considered Online, Hybrid, Two-way Interactive Video, or Face-to-face (off-campus teaching centers) under “Mode of Instruction.”
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What looking for classes, what does "TBA" mean in PeopleSoft under the "Days & Times" area?

"TBA" (To Be Announced) is a default option in myUH, or PeopleSoft, when a specific day/time hasn’t been selected for the class. The vast majority of online classes will have “TBA” listed. Typically, most online classes don’t have specific meeting times for online instruction or lectures, but some do.

For more information, please review your syllabus or contact your instructor.
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Are students that are only enrolled in online classes required to have the bacterial meningitis immunization?

Beginning January 2014, Texas State law (SB 62) mandates that all entering students under the age of 22 provide a certificate signed by a health care provider or an official immunization record verifying that a student has been vaccinated against bacterial meningitis, or has received a booster during the five years prior to registration.

For more information on the specifics, UH has created a Bacterial Meningitis Immunization page. Unless a student has this stop removed from their records, they will be unable to register for any classes.

However, students enrolling in only online classes that won't attend face-to-face classes can receive an exemption from this requirement.

For more information on the exemption, e-mail immunization@uh.edu, or call 713-743-1010, option 3.
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Do new freshmen or transfer students need to attend any pre-semester orientations?

Incoming UH DE undergraduate students may need to sign up for one of two New Student Conferences.

Incoming freshmen attend the New Student Orientation (NSO), while transfer students (with more than 15 hours of transfer credit) attend the Advising and Registration for Transfers (ART).

While incoming students in the Houston area will need to attend one of these New Student Conferences, those outside of the area may petition for a waiver.

In order to request a waiver from these conferences, students should e-mail orientation@uh.edu with your situation, and copy DEservices@uh.edu.
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Can I add a distance education class after the drop date?

No. DE classes can’t be added after such deadlines.
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How do I drop a distance education class?

Procedure for Undergraduate Students in DE Classes

Undergraduate students are able to drop their classes through their myUH. For more information on the dates for dropping courses, please visit the UH Academic Calendar.

Procedure for Graduate Students in DE Classes

Note: This procedure is designed for DE graduate students that are unable to come to campus to initiate drops or because the instructors are unavailable via face-to-face. If possible, students can still begin and finish the drop procedures for DE classes while on campus.

The following steps outline the process for distance education students to drop a class or withdraw with a W without coming to campus. During the Fall and Spring semesters, students can drop classes or withdraw without receiving a grade prior to the twelfth class day through PeopleSoft, or myUH. During the Summer, students only have until the fourth class day to drop classes or withdraw without receiving a grade.

For more information on the dates for dropping courses, please visit the UH Academic Calendar.

  • Students should email their instructors with the request to drop with a copy to the Office of Educational Outreach at DEservices@uh.edu. The request must include the student's name, PeopleSoft number, the class number, the course number, and the instructor's name.
  • Instructors should "Reply All" with their acknowledgement of the drop.
  • Drop forms will be processed by the Office of Educational Outreach. (NOTE: Requests and Acknowledgements MUST be received by the Office of Educational Outreach by 5:00 PM on the drop date - NO LATE DROPS WILL BE PROCESSED.)

View more information about dropping courses.

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Is there an online orientation for current or prospective distance education students?

Yes, the Pathway to Distance Education is our online orientation for DE.
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Does my online class have a face-to-face orientation?

Most online classes don’t require a face-to-face orientation, but there are exceptions. In order to find out, view the “Class Notes” in PeopleSoft, complete the Pathway to DE, or contact your instructor.
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Will I be required to attend any on-campus meetings?

Online classes generally don’t have any on-campus requirements. However, some instructor may require a few class meetings for an orientation or exams. Classes taught at the off-campus teaching centers and through interactive television are held face-to-face.
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How can I contact my instructor?

Please visit our DE Instructor Directory for contact information.
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What is the difference between dropping and withdrawing?

To drop a course means you are going to maintain enrollment for the academic semester. Dropping all courses constitutes a "withdrawal from the university."

For more information about withdrawing from UH, visit http://www.uh.edu/withdraw.
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What is the Term Withdrawal procedure at UH?

Beginning Fall 2011, students are unable to term withdraw online in myUH. To complete the term withdrawal process, students must download and complete the Term Withdrawal Request Form and submit it to the Office of Registration and Academic Records by the appropriate deadline. Students can submit their request form by fax at 713-743-8342 or in person at the UH Welcome Center. Forms will be processed the day they are received and any refund due to the student will be based on the day processed. Any forms faxed outside business hours, during weekends or holidays will be processed and effective the next business day.

For more information about withdrawing from UH, visit http://www.uh.edu/withdraw.
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Exam Proctoring

How do I take exams?

Exam formats depend on the instructor.

Some instructors will conduct exams entirely online via Blackboard, while others may require that students come to campus a few times during the semester to complete exams in a classroom or testing center.

Most DE instructors will allow students to have their exams proctored if they're unable to come to campus. The instructor may decide to work out the proctoring arrangements with the student, or instead contact DE Student Services to setup proctoring at a location suitable for the student.

Please visit our Exam Proctoring section for more information.
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What are the proctoring procedures for distance education students?

An instructor may decide to coordinate exam proctoring with the student. However, other instructors will work with DE Student Services. Please visit our Exam Proctoring section for more information.
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Can students enrolled in other colleges have their exams proctored at UH?

Yes. University Testing Services in the Office of Learning and Assessment Services handles exam proctoring for students enrolled in other colleges, and these tests may be either paper and pencil, or delivered on the web. For more information, call 713-743-5444.
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Blackboard and Technical Requirements

What system does UH use for distance education classes?

Most UH online classes use Blackboard Vista or Blackboard Learn. Blackboard Learn is a newer version of Blackboard, and will soon be the only version of Blackboard used for classes.

Blackboard is a web-based, interactive tool that UH instructors often use to deliver course information and material online.

Instructors may rely on Blackboard to communicate with students, deliver course materials, administer exams, or hold group sessions online. Blackboard is frequently used for DE classes, but instructors often use this tool as a supplement in traditional face-to-face or hybrid classes on campus.

Blackboard is accessed through a web browser, and is easy to learn for students with basic computer skills.

While most DE instructors utilize Blackboard, several math classes use CourseWare, several history classes use CourseCompass, and a few instructors will simply use their own site.

When students register for a class that uses Blackboard, they are automatically entered into the Blackboard portion of the class.
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How do I find out if my class uses Blackboard?

To find out if your class is using Blackboard, you have three options:

  1. Go to AccessUH to access either or both systems with one log in - either your myUH (PeopleSoft) username and password or your CougarNet username and password.
  2. Go to the Blackboard page, and click the blue "Blackboard Vista" button or the white "Blackboard Learn" button.
  3. The Blackboard Course/Section Finder can also be used to locate whether a class is using Blackboard Vista/Learn.

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What is my username and password for Blackboard?

For Blackboard Learn, log in with your CougarNet ID and password.

For Blackboard Vista, log in with your PeopleSoft ID and your Vista password. Be sure to include the leading zeroes. The initial Vista password is your 6-digit birth date in the format mmddyya! where "a" is the first initial of your last name in lower case. The exclamation point is required as part of the password. For example: April 1, 1992 for Jane Smith would be entered as 040192s!

To reset your password, go to http://www.uh.edu/password.
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I'm registered for a class that uses Blackboard, but I can’t view my class page after logging in. What should I do?

Unless an instructor requests early access, Blackboard won't be available until the first day of classes.

If you register late or change sections, allow 1-2 working days AFTER YOU REGISTER for the class to be available to you in Blackboard, and 2-3 working days to see the systems in AccessUH.

If you're still having problems, visit Blackboard Student Help.
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Where can I get help with Blackboard?

For further assistance with Blackboard, visit Blackboard Student Help or view the Blackboard Log On Information Guide.
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What are the technical requirements for online classes?

The technical requirements for online classes are minimal: basic computer skills, access to a computer, access to the Internet, an e-mail address, Java capable web browser (i.e. Internet Explorer or Firefox), and speakers/headphones.
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International Students

Do international students have any special DE requirements?

Yes. International students attending University of Houston on an F-1 Visa have special limitations regarding online classes. Due to Homeland Security requirements, international students are limited in the number of hours they can take online each semester.

No more than the equivalent of one DE class or 3 credits per session may count towards the “full course of study” (12 hours per semester) requirement. If the student's course of study is in a language study program, no DE classes may be counted toward the full course of study requirement.

For example, an undergraduate that is required to register for 12 credits per semester to maintain a “full course of study” could take 3 of those credits through DE each semester. If the student registers for an overload of 15 credits, 6 of which were done via DE, all 6 credits might be counted.
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How many DE classes can an international student apply toward their degree?

The DE provision does not limit the number of online DE credits that can be used towards a degree's requirements, but rather the number of such credits that can be used to satisfy the “full course of study” requirement.
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What if the “one class” is more than 3 credits? What if a student wants to take two classes of 1 credit each?

The regulation's term “the equivalent of” does give some room for interpretation, but the “3 credit” limit is the way UH chooses to interpret the restriction.
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What if the student has only one class left in their course of study? Can they take an online DE class as their only course in the final semester of study?

If a student needs only one course to finish his or her program of study, it cannot be taken online. There must be a physical presence requirement for the course. If a student remains in the United States without reporting to any class, it becomes a security issue and cannot be allowed.
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