Non-traditional courses are defined as those learning experiences which do not fall neatly into the traditional term. OSU evaluates and approves all non-traditional course offerings to ensure continued compliance with federal regulations related to federal student aid programs. Examples of non-traditional courses are:

  • Hybrid courses: on-campus courses with significant online, out-of-classroom components
  • Modular (5A/5B) courses: offered in five week modules within a standard term
  • Term extension courses: are attached to an official term, but occur between traditional term dates
  • Summer Session courses: offered during summer term, with multiple sessions of varied lengths
  • Super Term courses: these span a traditional term length, plus the entirety of the approved extension for that term

Modular (5A/5B) term, term extension, and Summer Session dates are established by the Office of the Registrar and must be adhered to.

These dates can be viewed on the non-traditional course calendar.

View Fall 2019 extension deadlines.

What are the requirements for offering these courses?

To ensure continued support of Federal Student Aid programs, non-traditional course proposals must follow these federal compliance guidelines, developed by the Office of Financial Aid, in collaboration with the Office of the Registrar.

A course offered in modules is one that does not span the entire length of a period of enrollment (less than that of a standard term). 

  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).
  2. Must be part of a standard term. These dates are published in the term extension calendar.
  3. 5A modular courses must begin during Week 1 of the term (and have documented contact hours) and finish in Week 5 of the term. These courses will sit for finals during the last scheduled class meeting the fifth week of the term.
  4. 5B modular courses must begin (and have documented contact hours) during Week 6 of the term and finish in Week 10 of the term. These courses will sit for finals during finals week, according to the final exam schedule. 
  5. 5-week or modular courses must be within the zone scheduling requirements.
  6. Drop/add/withdraw deadlines for non-traditional courses will be based on a proportion of class equal to that for the standard full term. These dates will be established by the Office of the Registrar and published via the academic calendar.
  7. Exceptions to 5A, 5B or established summer sessions are allowed, however there must be a verifiable and bona fide reason that the course cannot meet within established dates. These exceptions will be handled on a case by case approval basis, with final decision authority residing with the Office of the Registrar. To request a schedule exception, submit a non-traditional course request via the normal scheduling process.

To ensure continued support of Federal Student Aid programs, non-traditional course proposals must follow these federal compliance guidelines, developed by the Office of Financial Aid, in collaboration with the Office of the Registrar.

A term extension course refers to a course that happens between regularly scheduled terms. 

  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).
  2. Must be attached to a standard term and take place during established dates for extension. These dates are published in the term extension calendar.
  3. Courses must not overlap terms (e.g. cannot begin in summer term and end in fall extension).
  4. Cannot exceed two weeks and must encompass the entire length of the extension.
  5. Exceptions are allowed if a term extension course is part of an agreement with another institution that operates on a different academic calendar, or if a department has submitted a request via the normal scheduling process and received approval. Documentation of this agreement must be on file.
  6. Drop/add/withdraw deadlines for non-traditional courses will be based on a proportion of class equal to that for the standard full term. These dates will be established by the Office of the Registrar and published in the academic calendar.

To ensure continued support of Federal Student Aid programs, non-traditional course proposals must follow these federal compliance guidelines, developed by the Office of Financial Aid, in collaboration with the Office of the Registrar.

A Summer Session course is one that is offered during summer term. All courses offered during Summer Session, except those in Session 1, are offered as non-traditional 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).
  2. Courses must adhere to established session dates, and must have academic engagement during all weeks of the session to which they are assigned. The session dates are published as part of the Summer Session calendar. Fall extension courses are not considered part of Summer Session and must be scheduled as part of fall term. 
  3. Courses must not overlap terms (e.g. cannot start in summer term and end in fall extension)
  4. Drop/add/withdraw deadlines will be based on a proportion of class equal to that for the standard 10-week term; deadline dates are established by the Office of the Registrar and published on the Summer Session website
  5. Summer Session courses will sit for finals during the last scheduled class meeting of the session.
  6. Exceptions to established summer sessions are allowed, however there must be a verifiable and bona fide reason that the course cannot meet within established dates. These exceptions will be handled on a case by case approval basis, with final decision authority residing with the Office of the Registrar. To request a schedule exception, submit a non-traditional course request to summer.session@oregonstate.edu

To ensure continued support of Federal Student Aid programs, non-traditional course proposals must follow these federal compliance guidelines, developed by the Office of Financial Aid, in collaboration with the Office of the Registrar.

  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)
  2. Courses must begin at the start of the full extension and end with the standard term to which it is attached.
  3. Courses must not overlap terms (e.g. cannot start in winter extension and end in spring extension).
  4. Courses offered during the Super Term will have customized registration deadlines. These dates will be established by the Office of the Registrar and published in the academic calendar.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

A term extension course refers to a course that happens between regularly scheduled terms. For example, if a course was offered over winter break, it would occur after finals week of fall term and before the first week of winter term. It would be an extension of winter term, as term extensions must be attached to the next standard term. View the term extension calendar

In order to allow students to obtain financial aid for these classes, they must comply with US Department of Education guidelines. These stipulate that courses must not overlap with terms for which aid is generated and distributed. These timeframes are published in the academic calendar, as well as the term extension calendar.

This will depend on the format of the class. For example, courses that are 5-weeks in length or are offered in modules may create scheduling difficulties for the remainder of a student's term, particularly if these courses span a longer block of time and/or overlap with peak class times. Additionally, students who receive financial aid may need to be considerate of the timeline for disbursements and how that may affect their ability to afford course expenses.

If a department is interested in offering non-traditional courses online, please contact Oregon State E-campus first. E-campus has an online course proposal process for the development of new and refreshed online courses, which if approved, includes funding and instructional design support.

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, or that operates outside of established summer term sessions, the course is considered a non-traditional course and must be approved. 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 OSU Academic and U.S. Department of Education regulations. 

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