Non-traditional Course Offerings at OSU

Starting Fall 2018, non-traditional course offerings will be evaluated for federal compliance to ensure continued support of Federal Student Aid programs. The Office of Financial Aid, in collaboration with the Office of the Registrar, developed clear guidelines to provide the opportunity to explore non-traditional types of course offerings while operating under the federal definition of standard terms.

What is a non-traditional course?

Non-traditional courses are those learning experiences that do not fall neatly into the traditional term set-up. The following are examples of non-traditional course offerings:

  • Summer session
  • Hybrid course offerings
  • Term extension courses (e.g. faculty led study abroad programs that occur outside of a term)
  • Five-week courses
What are the requirements for offering these courses?
For five-week or module courses:
  1. Ensure that the total number of contact hours/credits for the course is appropriate for the mode of instruction (e.g. lecture, lab, discussion, et. al.)
  2. Must be attached to a standard term
  3. Must not overlap terms
  4. Cannot extend over a term more than two weeks total, including at the beginning and the end of the term
  5. 5-week or module courses should begin at the start of the term with the second module (5-weeks) ending at the end of the term
  6. 5-week or module courses must be within the zone scheduling requirements
  7. Drop/add/withdraw deadlines for non-traditional courses will be based on a proportion of class equal to that for the standard 10-week term
Term extension courses:

The non-traditional course offerings calendar outlines the specific term extension dates for two academic years.

  1. Ensure that the total number of contact hours/credits for the course is appropriate for the mode of instruction (e.g. lecture, lab, discussion, et. al.)
  2. Must be attached to one of the standard terms
  3. Term extensions will always be attached to the next standard term. For example, the term extension between Summer and Fall will be attached to Fall term
  4. Must not overlap terms
  5. Cannot be longer than two weeks before a term
  6. Exceptions are allowed if a term extension course is part of an agreement with another institution that operates on a different academic calendar. Documentation of this agreement must be on file.
  7. Drop/add/withdraw deadlines for non-traditional courses will be based on a proportion of class equal to that for the standard 10-week term
Summer Session courses:

Summer Session has unique requirements because there are multiple sessions and supporting documentation for summer will be addressed in a different venue, but with protocol that align with non-traditional course offerings.

Requesting approval for non-traditional course formats

Oregon State University operates on the quarter system (10 weeks in length). If a college or department wants to offer a course with a start and end date that does not coincide with the start and end dates of the traditional 10-week term, the course is considered a non-traditional course and must be approved.

Non-traditional course offering approval may be requested through the scheduling process and by completing the Request to Add a Course Section Form

Processing of non-traditional course requests

The Office of the Registrar, in conjunction with the Office of Financial Aid, must review and approve all non-traditional courses to ensure that the course complies with the U.S. Department of Education regulations. Once the course receives approval, the Office of the Registrar will process the request for listing in the Schedule of Classes. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)