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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 21-week or 6-month completion period for Fall and Spring semesters (based on financial aid options).
  • All Summer semester classes are eligible for financial aid, and have a 12-week completion period.

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 21-week Fall or Spring and 12-week Summer 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 may be started and completed at any time within the 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 21-weeks for Fall and Spring semesters and 12-weeks for Summer semester to complete.
  • Students may start and complete the course at any time within the 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 

General Studies: Social and Behavioral Sciences II 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.

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

Prerequisite: CJC 1010. 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

Prerequisite: CJC 1010 or Permission of Instructor. 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 

Prerequisite: CJC 1010. 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

Prerequisite: CJC 1010. 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

Prerequisite: ENG 1010. 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.

EDS 2680: Portfolio Development Workshop 

Students learn to identify, analyze, discuss, and document learning gained through experience. Students integrate prior experiential learning with current educational needs and goals. Basic principles of adult learning and developmental theory are introduced as they apply to the student’s experience. Students will prepare a prior-learning portfolio. Those who are interested may develop this portfolio into an application for credit for prior learning. This is a 1 credit hour course.

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.

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 

Prerequisite(s): HCM 3010 or permission of instructor. 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: Analytical Methods in Health Data

Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): HCM 3010, HCM 3600. 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 

Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): HCM 3010, HCM 3600. 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 

Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): HCM 3010, HCM 3600. 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 

Prerequisite(s): HCM 3010, HCM 3600, HCM 3830, HCM 3840, HCM 3850, Post-baccalaureate status. 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. This course is only available in the self-paced online format through Extended Campus.

HIS 3290: Nazi Germany and WWII

Prerequisites: ENG 1010 or equivalent with a grade of D or better and any course with HIS prefix or that is crosslisted with HIS prefix or Permission of Instructor. 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

Prerequisites: ENG 1010 or equivalent with a grade of D or better and any course with HIS prefix or that is crosslisted with HIS prefix or Permission of Instructor. Crosslisting: WMS 3360. 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. Credit will be granted for only one prefix: HIS or WMS. 

HIS 3735: World War II, 1939-1948

Provides a detailed examination of World War II and the early years of the Cold War. Emphasis is on the origins of the conflict, the impact of Axis rule, diplomacy among the wartime allies, the collapse of wartime cooperation, the advent of the Cold War as well as containment.

HTE 2512: Hotel Front Office

Prerequisite(s): ENG 1020, HTE 1030 and SPE 1010. This course examines hotel front-office procedures by detailing the flow of business through a hotel, from the reservations process to check-out and settlement. Students identify effective front-office management, with particular attention to the planning and evaluation of front office operations. Front-office procedures and management are placed within the context of the overall operation of the hotel.

HTE 3522: Hotel Housekeeping 

This course demonstrates 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. 

HTE 3350: Hospitlaity in Human Resources

Prerequisites: HTE 1035. In this course, students examine the human resources and management issues that are prevalent in the hotel, restaurant, tourism, and events industries. Students learn to plan, organize, set goals and communicate effectively. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), diversity, recruitment, and training are also covered in this course. 

ITP 2500: Complementary and Alternative Medical 

General Studies: Social and Behavioral Sciences II. 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. This course may be applied towards the Wellness Coaching Certificate Program.

ITP 2700: Holstic Health

Prerequisite(s): ENG 1020. This course is designed to allow students the opportunity to explore health from a holistic perspective, which is a complex combination of mind, body, spirit and emotions. This course may be applied towards the Wellness Coaching Certificate Program.

ITP 2950: Wellness Coaching I 

Prerequisite(s): Completion of General Studies Written Communication and Quantitative Literacy Requirements. 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. This course may be applied towards the Wellness Coaching Certificate Program.

ITP 3850: Lifestyle Medicine

Prerequisite(s): ITP 2500; ENG 1009 or ENG 1010; and ENG 1020 or ENG 1021. This class is an overview of lifestyle medicine and its use in disease prevention and enhancing overall health and wellbeing. Students will gain a basic understanding of the most common medical conditions that are impacted by lifestyle behaviors. In addition, we will explore the importance of motivation and behavior change in the field of lifestyle medicine and the importance of self-care/self-advocacy for optimal health. Students will understand the importance of referral to appropriate health professionals. This course may be applied towards the Wellness Coaching Certificate Program.

ITP 4400: Wellness Coaching II 

Prerequisite(s): ITP 2950 and ITP 3850. 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. This course may be applied towards the Wellness Coaching Certificate Program.

ITP 4910: Applications in Wellness Coaching

Prerequisite(s): ITP 2500, ITP 2700, ITP 2950, ITP 3850, ITP 4400, Post-baccalaureate status. This capstone course provides students with the opportunity to combine skills, knowledge, personal growth, and reflection with application through a summative presentation and demonstration of wellness coaching skills. This is the final course for the Wellness Coaching Certificate, and only available in the self-paced online format through Extended Campus.

JRN 1010: Introduction to Journalism

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. 

NUT 2040: Introduction to Nutrition 

Prerequisites: Completion of General Studies requirements in Quantitative Literacy and Written Communication or Permission of Instructor. 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

RECR 3330: Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation Services

Prerequisites/Corequisites: RECR 1870 or Permission of Instructor. This course surveys the recreation needs of individuals with disabilities. It provides an overview to therapeutic recreation services, including those in both healthcare agencies and community-based settings.

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. (Prereq: Minimum performance standard scores on the reading, writing, and mathematics preassessment placement tests) (GT-SS3) 

SOC 2010: Current Social Issues

This course presents an analysis of the causes and consequences of major social problems, such as crime, family violence, racial and ethnic conflict, and poverty, using examples from contemporary America in conjunction with historical and cross-cultural data.

SOC 3090: Urban Sociology

Prerequisite(s): SOC 1010. The history and development of the modern city and its relationship to social and cultural change will be the focus of this course. Social problems, power structures and social organization, including class divisions, migrants and urbanites, urban institutions, and mass communications and urban leisure will be examined.

SOC 3410: The Family in Transition

This course is designed to study the changing nature of the family in a changing society. A variety of theoretical perspectives will be incorporated to facilitate an understanding of the transitions taking place in the areas of sex roles, coupling, parent-child relationships as well as variations in lifestyle, including historical and cross-cultural data.

SOC 3500: Criminology

A sociological analysis of the nature, causes and treatment of crime and delinquency; 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 the student who wants to acquire a basic knowledge of conversational Spanish for personal travel. It does not fulfill the prerequisite requirements for any Spanish 2000-level course. 

WMS 1001: Introduction to Women's Studies

Provides an important foundation for the understanding of women’s status and roles in society.  It explores the social economic, and political factors that affect women’s lives in connection with systems of oppression—sexism, racism, classism, and heterosexism.  Issues surrounding work, the media, age, disability, and violence against women are also addressed.

WMS 1200: Multicultural Study of Sexualities and Genders

General Studies: Multicultural. 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

Prerequisites: ENG 1010 or equivalent with a grade of D or better and any course with HIS prefix or that is crosslisted with HIS prefix or Permission of Instructor. Crosslisting: WMS 3360. 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. 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 “SP1” 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.  If you have documentable circumstances that require extra time to complete your course, please contact your instructor to discuss your situation.

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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