Northwestern extends registration deadline for Semester Online

Cat Zakrzewski, Assistant Summer Editor

The deadline to register for Northwestern’s first online courses for credit has been extended three weeks, the University announced Tuesday.

Jake Julia, NU associate provost for academic initiatives, said undergraduate students have been given until Aug. 26 to sign up for Semester Online due to more interest in the program in recent weeks.

“This is our pilot year, and we’ve continued forward as we planned,” Julia said. “We look forward to seeing this develop as we start offering courses.”

Julia said he does not know how many NU students have applied for Semester Online, which allows undergraduate students to take online classes from a consortium of top schools. NU joined the program in November and is one of seven schools in the group offering online courses this fall.

As of last week, thirty-seven students had registered for NU’s inaugural class in integrated marketing communications, Julia said. Ten of those students are from NU, and the course is planned for 40 to 60 students.

The deadline extension applies to students in all 10 universities participating in Semester Online.

Temple University, Southern Methodist University and Baylor University joined Semester Online as affiliates late last month. Although their students can access the consortium’s courses, the three schools are not offering their own courses. Students from schools outside the consortium may apply to take Semester Online classes, but the deadline extension only applies to students at schools in the partnership.

Semester Online extended the deadline to the same date on which its courses begin at the end of August. Unlike NU classes, Semester Online courses run on a semester schedule from Aug. 26 to Dec. 13.

The cost of Semester Online classes is included in NU tuition for a normal course load. Although the online classes run longer than typical NU courses, Julia said students will receive the same credit.

The consortium experienced a series of shifts in the spring. Duke University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Rochester dropped out of the program, while Wake Forest University said it is evaluating its position. Boston College was a late addition.

Other consortium schools offering online courses this fall include Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Notre Dame, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Emory University and Brandeis University.

NU is already planning for the winter Semester Online classes with two faculty members designing courses. Julia said the University is “cautiously excited” about the future of the program.

— Cat Zakrzewski