By University of Phoenix
Higher education looks different for everyone. From traditional college students to lifelong learners and those seeking to transfer credits, there are many ways to pursue educational goals. Single courses can be a way to find the perfect fit for your career ambitions and personal development.
Single courses are college-level classes you can take independently without enrolling in a full program. Courses can range from general education like biology, English composition and creative writing to industry-specific topics like managerial accounting, business law and information systems governance to more specialized subjects such as pathophysiology, counseling crisis intervention and trauma and ethics for support services professionals. This type of learning allows students to customize their education according to their personal needs and professional interests.
Single courses can also benefit those already enrolled in a degree program and looking to transfer credits. Many universities provide information on their websites about flexible course scheduling options, making it easier than ever for students to complete the required credit hours for their degree without taking on a full-time load. It’s often possible to enroll to take single courses online.
Explore more than 600 credit-bearing courses to help you meet your educational goals
A single course makes sense in a wide range of circumstances. Some students use single courses to complete their prerequisites for a degree program or to complete an undergrad degree on their way to a master’s. Others may use single courses as transfer credits to a new school or to finish a class they may have missed, failed or dropped for personal or academic reasons. Online single courses can provide a flexible option for students who need to take a course over the summer or are in a rush to meet a deadline.
Single courses can be useful for completing general education courses, like biology or math. They can also be useful for the sciences, like nursing or healthcare, or for people looking for additional credit requirements for testing and licensure. Some occupations require employees to continually upskill to meet industry requirements and stay up to date with the latest education and practices. Teachers routinely have to go back to school to update their credentials, for example.
Generally, taking single courses is less involved than enrolling in a full degree program. There are usually fewer admission requirements and no need to fill out a formal application.
Depending on where you take your single course, the first step may be to contact the admissions office. You can either make an appointment with the admissions counselor or apply online. You will need to provide documents such as transcripts, an application fee and other materials the school requests. Once your application has been accepted, you will need to officially register for the course by submitting required forms and fees. At University of Phoenix the process is as easy as adding online courses to a shopping cart and checking out.
When considering taking a single course, it’s important to ask questions about prerequisites, grading scales and terms, transferability, and whether online options are available. Additionally, depending on where you are located, research whether your chosen institution is accredited by an agency such as the Higher Learning Commission for your credits to transfer elsewhere if desired.
The biggest difference between taking single courses and enrolling in a more traditional college program is how many classes are considered full time enrollment. Generally, taking four courses or 12 credit hours is considered a full-time student load.
While this may seem intimidating for someone looking to dip their toes into higher education, it’s essential to keep in mind that single courses can be taken at your own pace, allowing you to set a comfortable workload that fits your lifestyle.
Here are some tips for choosing a single course that will be most useful to you:
Identify your personal goals and motivations: Consider why you want to take the course. Is it for career advancement, academic enrichment or something else?
By assessing these factors, you can find a single course that will best meet your needs.
Here are examples of courses that have a broader reach:
Each provides a solid foundation in marketable skill sets that can open up potential opportunities in their respective fields. So, whether you’re looking for a career change or just want to expand your knowledge and skills, single courses can provide an accessible way to explore the world of higher education.
Taking a single course may provide several benefits, such as:
Taking a single course can not only help you reach educational and professional goals, but it can also be an enriching experience that allows networking opportunities.
Single courses can be beneficial for a variety of people, such as:
Because college credits typically don’t expire, single courses can be a great way to earn college credit that can later be applied to a degree program.
As with any undertaking, there are potential challenges to consider when taking single courses. These can include:
While some of these issues can be mitigated with planning, they’re still important to consider when deciding whether taking a single course is right for you.
Generally speaking, there’s no limit on how many classes you can take as a non-degree student. There may be an 18-to-19-hour course limit, but this varies depending on your school. However, each college or university may have its own policies regarding how many courses you can take in any given semester. So, as you’re looking for the best courses to take, keep in mind that you may need to pace out courses over several semesters.
It typically takes about 120 credits to obtain a bachelor’s degree, which you can achieve by taking about 40 classes (assuming a standard semester system). Single classes usually award between two to five credits.
Credits may be measured differently depending on the school or program you are in; for instance, some schools follow a traditional semester calendar with two regular semesters each year, and an optional summer term. Other schools break courses into quarter terms, with three standard quarters each academic year plus an optional summer quarter term.
To put that into perspective, most students take four or five classes per semester and complete their undergraduate degree within four years. The number of credits required for a degree can vary depending on the program and level of study.
Ultimately, single courses gives you the flexibility to expand your knowledge and life at your own pace.
If you’re interested in exploring single, online courses that are only five weeks long, to expand your knowledge and skill set, consider browsing through the many options at University of Phoenix. Here are just some of the sought-after single courses offered:
want to read more like this?
About University of Phoenix
As pioneers in online higher education since 1989, University of Phoenix is an accredited online university for working adults. We are proud to offer quality educational pathways through flexible, career-focused online degrees, certificates and professional development courses that fit into your life and options to save you time and money. Our students are supported every step of the way, including career services for life.
Let us help you take the most direct path to your future career goals. We’re ready when you are.
More than 100 online programs aligned to 300+ occupations.
Online courses and certificates
Explore professional development and earn credentials.
Ways to save
Learn ways you can save as you pursue your goals.