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How Does Online Learning Work?

Earn your accredited college degree on your schedule and at your own pace with the Online Campus at Columbia College.

At Columbia College, we give online students the freedom to access their courses when it is convenient for them, no matter what time of day or night it may be. Students will meet weekly assignment deadlines, but are not required to meet the instructor or other students at a certain time online or in person. When and how often you study is entirely up to you!

Online Campus Information

Student taking notes at computer Online courses at Columbia College are held in five, eight-week sessions per year. Sessions begin in January, March, June, August and October. Select from 27 accredited online degree programs and more than 350 accredited online classes offered each session. Whether you're interested in science, sociology, law, psychology, mathematics, English, history or a variety of other available online degree programs, your academic options are plentiful at Columbia College.

Columbia College online courses have the same rigor as our traditional courses. The difference is in the delivery design. Online courses use the Internet and a learning management system, Desire2Learn (D2L), to create an online learning environment. Columbia College courses cover the same subject matter and award the same credit, regardless of delivery design.

Our online courses take the same amount of time and effort as an in-seat course. Each course is on an accelerated eight-week schedule and has a set start and end date. Two advantages of online courses are flexibility and no specific class meetings. You will be able to work on your weekly assignments when it is convenient for you; however, you will be required to complete assignments by specified due dates each week.


Testing for Columbia College's online degree programs happens in a variety of ways. Some course instructors have their tests proctored by an approved person while other instructors use less structured evaluation methods.

Assignments, quality discussion postings and research papers are a large part of most online coursework at Columbia College and will most directly affect a student's final grade in any given course.

More information

For more information about distance education at Columbia College, please visit our Online Campus User Guide.

You also can test your individual readiness for the Columbia College Online Campus with the Technology IQ Quiz as well as the online Self-Assessment Quiz.