Frequently Asked Questions

8-Week Classes

When considering an online degree program, most adult learners seem to be primarily concerned with three things:

  • Degree completion time
  • Cost of tuition and
  • Program offerings.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College announces a transition from the 16-week courses to 8-week courses to allow students the opportunity to map out courses in advance with a clear path to completion and confidently plan financial aid. As always, your faculty advisor will assist in developing your roadmap for degree completion.    

Faster Completion

This will allow for five 8-week terms in an academic year – two in the fall, two in the spring and one in the summer. For example: you can take two classes per eight weeks, which equates to four classes per traditional 16-week semester. You only have to manage two classes at a time instead of four classes at a time while working full-time or balancing family and work to get the same result.

Higher Student Success Rates

You will take fewer courses more often. You will focus on two courses at a time rather than three or four resulting in higher completion rates and higher student success.

Course Rotation

You can easily plot out your path to completion. You will discover higher enrolled courses allowing for more robust discussions.  

8-week Course Development

The new 8-week courses are developed based on learning outcomes and not volume. Through various learning tools, the courses are engineered for the students to demonstrate knowledge, comprehension and/or skills. We will continue to focus on what students will be able to do and how they will apply that skill or knowledge.

A Plus for Financial Aid

The 8-week format allows students to be at full-time status without being overloaded with courses. You will take fewer classes at a time while maintaining your full-time status, which will result in completing the program quicker and maximizing your financial aid options.

This approach aligns with financial aid packaging for an entire year (including the summer) and aligns with state initiatives for students to complete on time.  Students are eligible for the most financial aid when they are full-time students.  Students that qualify for SMWC, federal and state awards can maximize those funds as a full-time student; which will reduce student loan debt. Indiana grant recipients could receive state grant incentives in addition to their regular awards such as; Academic Honors, Associate Degree and Accelerated schedule awards. Those incentives are not offered to students that are less than full-time.

Contact your advisor or the Woods Online Office with specific questions.

Degree / Coursework Questions

Does the Woods Online program require previous college experience?

No, around 35% of new students begin with less than 15 hours of transfer credit.

Is a degree earned through the Woods Online program recognized?

Yes. The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredits Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Coursework completed at SMWC is likely to transfer to other accredited colleges and universities.

Do I need any special equipment to be a online student?

A personal computer with Internet access is a requirement of the Woods Online program. Broadband (High-speed) internet access is highly recommended and required for 8-week course formats.

How long will it take me to earn my degree?

The Woods Online program allows you to set your own pace for your studies. Students enrolled in the program can take as few as six or as many as fifteen credit hours per term. Online students enrolled in our 16-week format average about six years to complete their degree while students enrolled in the 8-week format average four years. Once enrolled students have up to 12 years to complete their graduation requirements.

Can I get any college credit for things I've learned outside of college?

Possibly. Documented college level work and life experience could potentially turn into college credit.

What can I expect in a typical Online class?

Online courses contain the same course material as our campus-based courses. In our distance format you will not have to complete proctored tests; instead, evaluations are made based on written submissions, projects, assignments, and online quizzes. Many assignments encourage you to draw from your personal experiences.

  • Flexible, year-round start dates
  • No night classes
  • No proctored exams
  • You can attend part or full-time
  • Supportive, helpful faculty
  • No requirements to attend classes on campus
  • Access to campus resources, support systems, mentors, and other online students