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Self-Paced Distance Learning Courses

MSU Denver's Self-Paced Online Learning Program provides fully accredited college courses that offer a flexible alternative to traditional classroom and online schedules. Courses are offered in Self-Paced Online (SPO) format which give students the flexibilityto:

  • Work independently and at your own pace from course material provided in Blackboard.
  • Set your own schedule with no fixed assignment deadlines or class meeting times.
  • Register for courses mid-semester (does not apply to financial aid eligible sections).
  • Select 22-week or 6-month completion period (based on financial aid options).

Self-paced online correspondence courses are appropriate for independent learners who can, or need to, set their own learning schedule.

View the Current Self-Paced Online Course Schedule

Self-Paced Online (SPO) Courses

Self-paced online students work at their own pace from course material provided in Blackboard. Students may choose from one of two options when selecting a self-paced online (SPO) course. Financial aid eligible sections allow students the flexibility of independent, self-paced study within a 22-week term while using Federal financial aid and grants to fund their education. Non-financial aid eligible sections give the same flexible schedule with the bonus of a 6-month completion period for students who are not eligible for financial aid or just need the extra time to complete.  Regardless of the format, self-paced online classes are more affordable than their traditional online or residential counterparts.

Financial Aid Eligible sections have approximately 22-weeks to complete. You may start and complete the course at any time within the 22-week term. However, you must enroll in all classes by the add/drop date posted on your Student Detail Schedule. Classes open approximately 2 weeks before the start of the term and close approximately 2 weeks after the end of the term. Check the Course Notes or your Student Detail Schedule for the exact dates. Drop and withdrawal dates are available on the Student Hub.

Non-Financial Aid Eligible SPO sections have an extended registration and completion period (see chart below). Students may start and complete the course at any time within the 6-month term. Students may drop within 30-days of registration for a full refund by submitting a written request to drop. The withdrawal date is included on the Student Detail Schedule.

Non-Financial Aid Eligible SPO Registration and Completion Deadlines

Semester Registration Deadline Coursework Completion Deadline
Spring March 15th September 15th of the same year
Summer July 15th January 15th of the following year
Fall October 15 April 15th of the following year


Self-Paced Online Learning Tuition

Self-Paced Online Course Tuition:  $185.00 per credit hour

Mandatory Fees:

  • Immunization Fee: $2.10 per semester
  • Metro Bond Fee:  $20.50 per credit hour (caps at $250.80 - 4 classes)
  • Matriculation Fee (one-time fee per degree program - $75.00):  The matriculation fee is a one-time fee per Undergraduate and Graduate degree program.  It is used to offset orientation and graduation costs and is charged to all students as part of their tuition and fees.
Example 3-credit course SPO
Tuition $ 555.00
Immunization $     2.10
Metro Bond Fee $   62.70   
Total Tuition & Fees $ 619.80*

 * Total for one 3-credit course, not including Matriculation Fee.

Tuition and Fee rates are subject to change.

Extended Campus classes are exempt from the 12 credit - 18 credit flat tuition structure.

Self-Paced Online Learning Drop Policies

Drop policies vary based on the type of self-paced online course you are taking. Regardless of format, all self-paced online courses can be dropped any time up to the posted “last day to drop a class with 100% refund” date. Otherwise, see the policy below that corresponds to your course format.

Financial Aid Eligible sections may be dropped through the Student Hub up to the posted 100% or 50% refund drop dates. The withdrawal period for this course is provided on your Student Detail Schedule. This information is also available in the Dates and Deadlines section of the Student Hub. 

Non-Financial Aid Eligible sections can be dropped through the Student Hub up to the posted “last day to drop a class with 100% refund” date. After this date, you may drop your course for a full refund if you are within 30-days of the date you registered for the course. To request a drop, please send a written request to Heather Ligrani at Your written request to drop must include your name, student ID, the course name and number, and a brief explanation of why you want to drop the class. If your request to drop is received within the designated timeframe, you will receive a full refund. After the 30-day period, you will not be allowed to drop the course. Although, you may elect to withdrawal by the date posted on your Student Detail Schedule. Please note that dates for this class are not provided on the Dates and Deadlines section of the Student Hub.

For questions regarding drop policies, please contact the Correspondence Program Coordinator at 303-721-1313.

Self-Paced Online Learning Financial Aid Policies

Students may choose either a financial aid eligible or non-financial aid eligible self-paced online course. The best way to determine whether a course section is eligible for financial aid is to read the course notes. Typically, section number “SPO” indicates financial aid eligibility whereas “EXT” indicates the section is not eligible for financial aid.  Once again, always check the course notes to confirm

Financial Aid Eligible Sections

  • Students must enroll in all classes by the “Last day to Add/Drop Full-Semester Classes” date posted on the Dates and Deadlines section of the Student Hub.
  • Have an extended completion time of approximately 22-weeks to complete.
  • Students may start and complete the course at any time within the 22-week term.
  • Classes open approximately 2 weeks before the start of the term and close approximately 2 weeks after the end of the term. Check course notes for the exact dates.
  • Follow the same 100% / 50% drop policy posted on the Dates and Deadlines section of the Student Hub.
  • Follow the same Withdrawal period posted on the Dates and Deadlines section of the Student Hub.

Non-Financial Aid Eligible Sections

(If a non-financial aid eligible section of your course is not available, please contact the Correspondence Program Coordinator at 303-721-1313 to inquire if a section can be opened.)

  • Students may not use financial aid, which includes Federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans, Federal grants, or educational benefits from The Department of Veteran Affairs.
  • Have an extended registration period.
  • Have an extended completion time of 6-months.
  • Students may start and complete the course at any time within the 6-month term.
  • Students may drop a course within 30-days of registration for a full refund
  • Withdrawal dates are posted on your Student Detail Schedule.

ANT 1310: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 

This course provides a comparative perspective on human cultural behavior and theory by exploring a variety of world cultures in the major domains of language, food-getting strategies, economics, marital and family systems, kinship, sex and gender, political organization and social control, social stratification, religion, and art. The applied aspects of anthropology are also investigated. Crosslisted with HON 1311. Credit will be granted for only one prefix: ANT or HON. (General Studies: Social and Behavioral Sciences II)

CIS 1005: Surviving and Thriving in the E-World  

This course emphasizes using the Internet and online resources to collect, understand, evaluate and validate information relating to basic computer literacy and emerging technologies.  Using different search terms and search engines, students will find information that describes computer hardware, software, information systems, Web 2.0 and big data, amongst other information technology topics.  They will prepare brief abstracts and ratings of information gathered.  Additionally students will learn to use Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to prepare reports and business documents.  This course does not serve as a pre-requisite for CIS 2010.

CJC 2210: American Policing

This course provides an introductory examination of law enforcement in the United States, including its historical foundations and emerging issues. The relationship between law enforcement and the community serves as the context within which the challenge of responding to society’s multiple and changing public safety needs are addressed. Law enforcement agencies, their administrative practices, and the behaviors of those involved in the delivery of police services are examined from the perspective of democratic values, racial and ethnic diversity, and societal perceptions of police effectiveness.

CJC 3350: Juvenile Justice and Delinquency

This course is a study of the nature and causes of delinquency and crime, criminal personality, and societal processes. This course analyzes the concepts of prevention, control and prediction in juvenile delinquency.

CJC 3480: Sex Crimes and Offenders 

Students will examine the nature and etiology of the major categories of sex offenses. Students will also explore the criminal justice system’s responses to sex crimes and offenders, including investigation and prosecution of sex crimes. Students will evaluate federal and local sex offender legislation, as well as community supervision and reentry issues that face offenders. Students will also survey theoretical approaches to sex crimes and offenders.

CJC 3490: Serial Killers

Students will study the phenomenon of serial murders and other serial violent crimes in America. Students will examine the typology of serial killers and other violent serial offenders. Different and unique characteristics of male, female, and team serial killers will be discussed. An overview of theoretical explanations and causes of serial offending and/violent crimes will be analyzed. The social and political implications of studying serial killings will be studied, as well as how law enforcement and the legal system investigate and prosecute serial murderers.

COM 2610: Introduction to Technical Writing

This course provides students with the skills to analyze and produce clear and effective technical and scientific documents and materials.  Students determine the style, purpose, content, and format for numerous industry-specific reports and technical support documents.  Students analyze and produce accessible materials for expert, technical, lay, and intercultural audiences.  Students also develop, incorporate, and cite visual elements, including images, tables, and the representation of numeric data, to support the message delivered towards a specific audience.  Crosslisted with HON 2611. Credit will be granted for only one prefix: COM or HON.

EDS 2680: Portfolio Development Workshop 

The primary purpose of this class is to enable you to develop a prior learning portfolio that can be used to apply for academic credit for courses offered at MSU Denver.

GEL 1150: Oceanography

This introductory course studies the world’s oceans, including historical explorations, physical and biological processes, energy sources, ocean resources, marine provinces, and geology of ocean basins.  This course emphasizes global distribution, use and control of ocean resources and ocean pollution. (General Studies: Natural and Physical Sciences)

HCM 3010: Healthcare Organization 

This course is designed to familiarize students with the organizational structure of the health care system in the U.S. The nature of health and health care delivery is assessed. Emphasis is placed on the interrelatedness of cultural, economic, political, technological, and social aspects of health care delivery, along with its services and management. Disease origins and epidemiology are explored.

HCM 3600: Health Information Systems 

This course is a general introduction to health care management information system, focusing on the role and importance of electronic communication and data transmission. Planning and change management in health care information technology are emphasized. The materials cover patient-centered technologies found in the health enterprise today.

HCM 3830: Methods in Health Data 

This course allows the student to explore the role of analytics in supporting a complex, data-driven, healthcare industry. Key topics include analytic techniques and methods (spreadsheeting, formulating study questions, report writing, presentations) to examine issues such as measuring health system performance, comparing health care delivery, and assessing the health of populations.

HCM 3840: Statistics in Health Data 

This course will provide students with a general foundation of descriptive and inferential statistics of health care data using an analytical statistical software application, eg, SAS or similar application.

HCM 3850: Database Systems in Health 

This course will provide students with the tools to look at large-scale data analysis, which will lead to the patterns and trends in administrative and clinical data systems. Topics include the types and sources of large healthcare datasets and common techniques used in analyzing healthcare data. Students will focus on navigating complex data structures and retrieving data in order to answer complex healthcare analytical issues.

HCM 3860: Health Business Intelligence 

This course will provide students with the tools to understand the role of health data sets in defining and scoping business and clinical intelligence and apply the techniques of data science and statistical tools. This course provides an overview of data quality and governance, specific issues in various types of health care analyses, and emerging trends, and offers a final experience in the Health Data Science Certificate Program.

HIS 3290: Nazi Germany

This detailed survey examines the origins of Hitler’s regime within the context of 20th century Germany and Nazi domestic and foreign policies to 1939. World War II, given thorough coverage, is viewed as the logical culmination of Hitler's ideology and his ability to use the German nation as a means to achieve his murderous ends.

HIS 3360: Women in European History

This course provides an historical analysis of the role and contribution made by women in the development of Western Civilization from Neolithic times to the present. Crosslisted with WMS 3360.  Credit will be granted for only one prefix: HIS or WMS.

HIS 3735: World War II, 1939-1948

This course provides a detailed overview of the Second World War from multiple perspectives, including military, political, economic, social and cultural history. Special attention focuses on close reading of multiple personal accounts of the war from a variety of perspectives.  Note: Students may not receive credit for both HIS 3735 and HIS 4650.

HTE 3522: Hotel Housekeeping 

In this course, students learn how to manage housekeeping operations in the hotel industry. Students study the management of direct housekeeping day-to-day operations from the big picture perspective down to technical details. This course examines the interrelation of hotel departments, and maximum guest service and profitability.

ITP 2500: Complementary and Alternative Medical 

This course is designed to acquaint students with a variety of nontraditional health and healing modalities in use in the United States today. It provides the basis for understanding the mechanisms and principles by which therapeutic responses are produced. The student will be required to develop and present a report related to a specific therapeutic modality.

ITP 2950: Wellness Coaching I 

 This course is an introduction to the principles and tools of wellness coaching practice. Topics include scope of practice, ethics and values, effective communication, relationship building, and facilitating results to illuminate the discipline of wellness coaching. Research based techniques and best practices for facilitating behavior change are included.

ITP 4400: Wellness Coaching II 

This advanced course in wellness coaching allows students to better understand ethics, professionalism, communication, behavior change, and coaching sessions. Students create coaching agreements, behavior change plans, and document interactions to support the eventual creation of a coaching business.

JRN 1010: Introduction to Journalism & Mass Media

This survey course introduces students from all academic disciplines to the historical development of journalism and mass media and its relationship to contemporary society. Students will explore the functions and impact of newspapers, books, television, radio, magazines, films, public relations and issues such as technology convergence, censorship, economic control, and privacy. (General Studies: Social and Behavioral Sciences I), (GT-SS3)

NUT 2040: Introduction to Nutrition 

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the fundamental concepts of human nutrition, including digestion, absorption, metabolism, and the function of nutrients as they relate to human health and disease.  (General Studies: Natural and Physical Sciences) (GT-SC2)

SOC 1010: Introduction to Sociology

This course facilitates the development of a sociological perspective as it applies to understanding the social forces that shape people's lives, interests, and personalities. The emphasis is on the scientific study of people in groups, the importance of culture, the processes of socialization, social control and social conflict, and the major institutions of society. (General Studies: Social and Behavioral Sciences I), (GT-SS3)

SOC 3410: The Family in Transition

This course is designed to provide an in-depth sociological analysis of the family as a social institution in a changing society. Major theoretical perspectives will be incorporated to facilitate an understanding of significant social transitions, trends and issues of varying patterns of contemporary family life. Dimensions of the family are examined through interactive relationships including ethnicity, gender, age, and social class.   

SOC 3500: Criminology

This course is a sociological analysis of the nature, causes, and treatment of crime and delinquency and of the processes by which such persons and behaviors develop.

SOC 3510: Juvenile Delinquency

This course emphasizes the universality and variability of misconduct and delinquencies of youth. In addition, the course examines the youth subculture, gangs, drug addiction, the juvenile justice system and the effects of child abuse. 

SPA 1000: Conversational Spanish for Travel I

This course is designed for beginning students of Spanish and uses the video course Destin: An Introduction to Spanish.  Basic skills addressed include listening, speaking, reading, writing, and culture.  This course is conducted primarily in Spanish, using English to clarify essential points.

WMS 1200: Multicultural Study of Sexualities and Genders

This multidisciplinary course introduces the study of sexualities and genders including the history, major theories, racial intersections, and issues.  Foundational concepts and vocabulary are taught so that the student will be equipped to take advanced courses in this area.  General models of identity linked with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered sexualities are explored.  Intersectional analysis will be applied with particular attention to the experiences of sexuality and gender in the African-American, Chicana/o, and Asian American communities.

WMS 3360: Women in European History

This course provides an historical analysis of the role and contribution made by women in the development of Western Civilization from Neolithic times to the present. Crosslisted with HIS 3360. Credit will be granted for only one prefix: HIS or WMS.

Program Policies

Registering for Self-Paced Online Courses - You must be an MSU Denver student with a student ID to register for courses. For more information about the application process, or to apply online, please visit the website for the Office of Admissions.

As an MSU Denver student, you can register for self-paced online (SPO) courses through the StudentHub. In the Advanced Search options select Schedule Type “Lecture” and Instructional Method “SPO.”  Financial aid eligible sections are indicated by “SPO” for the course section number. Non-financial aid eligible sections are indicated by “EXT” for the course section number. Please read the course notes to ensure that you have enrolled in the course format that best fits your need.

Purchasing Textbooks - Textbooks are available through the Tivoli Station located in the Tivoli Building on the Auraria Campus, or through the Tivoli Station website. 

Outside book distributors may be an alternative option.

Policies for Submitting Assignments - You may not send or submit more than two lessons per week unless you have made prior arrangements with your instructor. Instructors are not required to grade more than two assignments per week, therefore sending all coursework at one time at the end of the course could result in you receiving an “F” as your final grade. Please do not submit all coursework at the last minute.

Course Evaluation – Self-paced online course evaluations are now administered through Blackboard as part of the standard online evaluation process. Please note that you may receive supplemental surveys via your student email account which are specific to the Self-paced Online Correspondence Program. Please take the time to complete these surveys as your feedback is extremely valuable to us as we continue to improve and develop self-paced online classes.

Extensions - MSU Denver policies prevent us from granting extensions for self-paced online courses. If you are not able to complete all the work required for your course within the determined timeframe you will receive a final grade based on the work submitted at the time your course ends. Note: Rare exceptions are made for extenuating circumstances. For more information, refer to the Administrative Withdrawal information in your MSU Denver Student Handbook.

Student Resources

ADA Statement - MSU Denver is committed to making reasonable accommodations to assist individuals with disabilities in reaching their academic potential.  If you have a disability which may impact your performance, attendance, or grades in this class and are requesting accommodations, then you must first register with the Access Center, located in the Plaza Building, Suite 122 303-556-8387.

The Access Center is the designated department responsible for coordinating accommodations and services for students with disabilities.  Accommodations will not be granted prior to receipt of your faculty notification letter from the Access Center.  Please note that accommodations are not provided retroactively (i.e., prior to the receipt of your faculty notification letter.)  Once the Self-Paced Distance Learning Office (MSU Denver South) has received your official Access Center faculty notification letter, we will discuss your needs and make appropriate arrangements for your accommodations.  All discussions will remain confidential. Further information is available by visiting the Access Center website.

Contacting the MSU Denver Distance Learning Office - You may contact the MSU Denver Self-Paced Distance Learning Office (South Campus) by phone at 303-721-1313. Our office is open Monday – Thursday, 8:30am – 9:00pm, and Fridays from 8:30am – 5:00pm Mountain Standard Time.

Technical Support - Blackboard customer service and support is available 24-hour/7 days a week/365 days a year by contacting Embanet support at 1-888-915-9535.

For all other day-to-day technology problems and non-blackboard issues contact the Help Desk at 303-352-7548.

Auraria Campus Library - The Library offers a variety of tools to help you find the resources you need. The Library streaming videos collection contains many resources relevant for homework assignments.

Auraria Library
1100 Lawrence Street
Denver, CO 80204

Transcripts and Name/Address Changes - To order transcripts, change your name, or update your address please log onto your Student Hub account and select the desired option from the My Services/Registration tab.

You may also contact the Office of the Registrar at 303-556-3991, or write to this address:

MSU Denver Office of the Registrar
PO Box 173362, Campus Box 84
Denver, CO 80217-3362

Name Changes: Please include a photocopy of the legal document that changes your name (court order, marriage license, etc.)

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