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Online Frequently Asked Questions

Undergraduate Students

The Office of Admissions coordinates all aspects of the admissions process for undergraduate students.  On their website, information is available for first-time freshmen, adult/nontraditional learners, transfer students, military/veterans, readmission, home school and international students.

Graduate Students

The Office of Graduate Admissions coordinates all aspects of the admissions process for graduate students.

Can I attend APSU online even if I live out of state?

In order to offer distance education courses and programs in states other than Tennessee, all Tennessee Board of Regents institutions including Austin Peay State University must first comply with a state’s requirements to be authorized in that state legally.  Authorizations vary from state to state. 

APSU is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).  As such, online students outside of the state of Tennessee are able to take distance education courses and programs through APSU as long as they are a resident in a SARA state.

SARA States & Institutions


SARA and Students

Fully admitted students can complete all of their courses online; however, some courses or programs require either face-to-face or proctored exams.  If a proctored exam is required, you should coordinate with your professor to ensure satisfactory arrangements like the location are made.  Online proctoring may be an option if permitted by the professor.  Additionally, some graduation requirements may necessitate coming to campus.  We strongly encourage you to read all course syllabi completely, speak to your professors and academic department, and review graduation requirements to keep apprised of any requirements.


Generally online courses are not self-paced. While online courses will offer you the convenience of arranging study times and locations around work and family needs, most professors provide specific dates for completing assignments and taking tests. In addition, some professors require participation in online discussions at specific times. It is important for you to closely read the syllabus for assignment information and deadlines.


No. You will have more flexibility in an online course, but you will be required to learn the same material and meet the same course objectives. You will be required to study most of the material on your own and most communication with the professor will be through email. This means that you may have to wait for an answer to your question. There are challenges to taking an online course, but you can succeed by being self-motivated and responsible. The amount of time you need to spend preparing and reviewing material for an online course depends on your study habits.

For a three credit course, students should typically expect to spend a minimum of nine hours on course work per week.  This can increase quickly depending on the type of course; for example, courses that incorporate heavy reading, research or project work will require more hours as well as courses that have more rigorous content.  It is important for online students to stay involved with the course, keep deadlines and reach out as soon as assistance is needed.  Your instructor is an amazing resource and can help clarify time requirements.  Capitalize on your time by using support resources like tutoring from the Academic Support Center.   

Online courses begin on the same day as traditional courses. The Academic Calendar provides information about when classes begin each semester. If you are not able to access one or more of your courses on the first day of class, please contact the following:

APSU Online Courses
(931) 221-6625

TN eCampus (formerly RODP) Courses
(866) 895-8429

Yes!  We want you to succeed and there are many places to find help. The Sources of Assistance webpage lists some of the offices that students most frequently contact.  You should also work closely with your academic advisor.  On the academic advisor page, you can find information on how to identify your academic advisor.  Though you are only required to meet with them once a semester to prepare for the next, an academic advisor is an extremely useful resource all year long.  For technical issues, please see the General Technical Support page.

You can receive help on course material from the following sources:

Your professor is the main source of information on the course. The syllabus will list how to contact them including email and/or phone.  Contact your professor as soon as you need assistance; waiting could impact course performance.

The course syllabus outlines the professor's expectations and provides direction to help navigate the course.

Most courses provide a discussion board where you can post questions and topics for other students. In addition, some courses offer a live chat feature where you can converse with your fellow students.

Academic Support Center


For most courses, you will need to purchase a textbook.  Check the course syllabus for specific requirements.  Textbooks may be purchased on the APSU Bookstore page for APSU students or the TN eCampus Bookstore page for TN eCampus students.


It is highly recommended that you have high-speed internet connection. Your computer should meet the minimum requirements as laid out on the minimum requirements page.  We do not recommend the use of iPads or smartphones for accessing your courses.


Course content is delivered through Desire2Learn (D2L) which is provided to students and accessible through any web browser; however, Distance Education staff recommends Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. D2L tutorials are available on the Distance Education website.  Students can contact Distance Education Support at online@apsu.edu or 931-221-6625 for assistance.

Most often courses require the use of software for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations.  APSU students have access to Microsoft Office 365 for free.  Please contact the Information Technology Help Desk for more information.  They can also assist students with using these softwares.  For additional support, Microsoft provides support on their website, Office Help & Training.

Additionally, it is important for students to have basic computer skills - locating and opening files, using email including opening and adding attachments, playing audio and video files,etc.  Many free tutorial options are available online like GCFLearnFree.org (not affiliated or supported by APSU). 


This happens occasionally. Try to access the test again. If you are able to continue your test, please do so. If technical difficulties prevent you from completing a test, you should notify your professor immediately. The professor is able to permit you back into a test. Do not wait until after the deadline for taking the test to notify your professor.


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