Frequently Asked Questions
Pursuing a college education is a major decision—and a major commitment. It’s only natural that you will have questions about our programs and process. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. If you don’t see your question on this list, be sure to call or email us so that we can provide you with specific information to help you make the right decisions.
I need to set up a telephone interview - are the advisors available on the weekends?
Yes, we can set up an interview on Saturdays.
What kinds of questions do the advisors ask during the interview?
Advisors ask about your background and why you have chosen this program. Much of the appointment is spent answering your questions.
How long does the interview last?
The interview takes about 30 to 45 minutes.
Are there opportunities to transfer credits or other advanced standing opportunities?
An advisor can evaluate your transcripts and inform you of the potential credits that you may be awarded through advanced standing opportunities such as transfer credits, CLEP exams, Prior Learning Assessment and military credit.
Tuition and Financial Aid
With the accelerated bachelor's degree, I see that there are 5 semesters a year with each semester having two classes. How does that work with financial aid? Or rather... what would be the cost per semester?
As long as you are registered for two classes each semester, you are considered a full-time student which is important for the financial aid. If you are concerned about your financial ability, please call the financial aid office (412-396-6607) and schedule an appointment with a counselor.
My employer provides tuition reimbursement. Will I need to pay the tuition upfront and then have them reimburse me or do you have a program for employers with this type of policy?
We have a corporate deferment plan. You will need to submit a letter from your company on company letterhead stating that they will pay for your classes. The tuition bill will be due after the semester ends and when your employer provides the tuition assistance benefit.
Support and Resources
What online support and resources are available to me?
All students have online access to the library, writing center, Help Desk support, online Blackboard tutorial website and the student resource center. Our commencement ceremony in August is broadcast live online and the names of online graduates are announced. The video is also available for viewing later.
Is online advising available?
Yes. Students can work with an advisor via e-mail or live chat.
How do I get my course materials?
Textbooks and other materials are available through the online campus bookstore. More details will be provided once your registration has been processed. Your syllabus, available on your course website, will include information about the books you need. If you will need to have materials mailed, be sure to allow sufficient time prior to the beginning of class.
Are there programs for military service members and veterans?
Yes. The School of Leadership and Professional Advancement is honored to serve those who have served. We offer special military tuition rates for those with tuition benefits and Duquesne is also a Yellow Ribbon Program Participant. Learn more about our military education program.
What are some benefits of online learning?
While there are many benefits to taking a course online, several stand out as the most significant:
- Students learn as much if not more in an online environment.
- The social aspect exists but is different. There is online camaraderie. People often feel they know their classmates better through an online course than they do in face-to-face classes.
- Discussions can be more beneficial because the online environment creates a level playing field.
- It will help students learn to work better in virtual teams, which is a skill needed in today's workplace.
How does an online course work?
Online courses can vary by institution. Duquesne University's courses are highly interactive. Duquesne is currently using Blackboard version 9.1 as its Learning Management System. A majority of our student collaboration occurs in the discussion forums. Instructors, or student teams, pose questions and create an interactive educational experience for all participants. Instructors actively support individualized student learning by provided relevant feedback and challenges to students. Our asynchronous format allows students the flexibility to collaborate with other students, and faculty, through their own arrangements. Many courses utilize the Wimba (Live) Classroom, which provides a real-time discussion environment full with audio/video. Our programs offer students access to wide array of research resources, as well as online videos, and webinar sessions, all of which students have reacted positively to.
My company doesn't pay for correspondence courses. Is an online class a correspondence course?
No. Correspondence courses, and some distance learning courses at some institutions, are set up with little or no structure. Students can take as long as they like to finish a course and there is very little interaction with an instructor. For this reason, some companies don't reimburse for correspondence courses. However, in the School of Leadership and Professional Advancement at Duquesne, our online courses are highly structured and academically challenging, and we have very specific guidelines for ensuring high quality outcomes in our online courses.
Will I learn as much in an online course as I would face-to-face?
Absolutely. In fact, some of our students have noted that they actually learned MORE in their online courses. Studies show that learning at a distance can increase the student's concentration by lowering social barriers and engaging the student more than in a physical setting. The use of the written word, in the text-based discussions, requires the student to reflect on the course material, think critically about the material, and post cogent messages to analyze and evaluate the material. And because students can e-mail the professor privately, the student has direct communication with the professor-- something that is not always possible in a classroom.
Will my degree differ because I earned it through an online program?
No. Online courses at Duquesne University have the same course titles, objectives, rigorous workload, tuition, and academic credit as on-campus courses. Therefore, there is no distinction made on the diploma, certificate or on your official university transcript.
Do I need to be online at a specific time and day in order to participate?
Most courses are designed so that you can complete your work at anytime and anywhere via the Internet. Some classes may require participation in a scheduled online chat session or a phone conference. Your instructor will explain this in the course syllabus.
Are there any times I need to be on campus?
No. If you are enrolled in an online degree program, you can register, communicate with your advisor and handle any other class-related items online or via e-mail, fax and phone. Students may choose to complement their online coursework with Saturday courses on campus.
How do I take exams in an online course?
This depends on your instructor and course. Some instructors may assign papers in lieu of tests. Others may give "take-home" tests. Others may have you take timed quizzes or tests online. Your instructor will provide guidelines in your syllabus.
Is there technical support?
Yes. Enrolled students are given information regarding the online support services available.