FAQs | University Extension | The University of Texas at Austin
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Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started

Completing Your Course

Taking Exams

Other Common Questions

What is a self-paced course like?

In self-paced courses, students work through the lessons independently without regular supervision. You receive feedback from your instructor as you progress through the assignments, and you may ask questions or request additional feedback via Canvas email at any time. The format of each course is different. Some courses have recorded video lectures, some have interactive exercises to be completed online and others require major papers or projects. As you complete each unit or learning module, the next becomes available.

Self-paced courses work well for students who are self-motivated and have the discipline to set their own deadlines, monitor their progress and ask when they need assistance. Independent learning is a great option for many students, but it is not for everyone. We encourage you to call our office or speak with an advisor about your questions and concerns.

Getting Started

I've submitted my registration. How do I get started?

Once our office staff have reviewed and processed your registration request, you will receive an email containing instructions about how to access your course.

How do I contact my instructor?

You can contact your instructor through the Canvas Inbox. If this process is not clear to you, contact University Extension.

How do I get technical help with my course?

For help with technical problems, such as Canvas or course media issues, email UEX Tech Support.

Who do I contact about disability accommodations?

Please contact Services for Students with Disabilities for more information.

Completing Your Course

How long do I have to complete a self-paced course?

Five months from the date you enroll. Your completion deadline is provided on your enrollment confirmation receipt.

What kind of grading turnaround time can I expect?

Computer-graded assignments are scored immediately. You can expect to receive feedback on instructor-graded assignments within three business days following submission. This does not include weekends or holidays.

During certain times (end of semester, etc.), instructors may experience higher than usual demands on their time and may need additional time for evaluation. Students should reach out to University Extension at uex@austin.utexas.edu with any concerns regarding grading turnaround.

How quickly can I complete a self-paced course?

Pretty quickly – especially if you are motivated and consistent in completing your assignments and taking your exams. These are full semester courses, however, and you should expect to spend several weeks or months to work through the material. You also must allow adequate time for your instructor to grade your work.

University Extension strongly advises students to be aware of when they may need a course grade to be recorded on their transcript. It can take up to two weeks after the final exam is complete for a grade to be officially recorded with the Office of the Registrar.

I’m highly motivated to complete this course as quickly as possible. Can I finish it in less than a month?

No. While self-paced courses allow substantial freedom in terms of when you complete the lessons and submit assignments, periodic midpoint assessments are critical to ensuring that students receive adequate support and are able to achieve the intended learning outcomes. Thus, these courses are designed such that the learning modules must be completed in order, and students will not be able to move forward until they have received a grade and feedback on all assessments within a given module. Each exam, also, generally takes a few days to request and process.

What do I do if I need to drop a course?

Please see Drops, Transfers and Refunds for more information.

How do I request a course extension?

A one-time only four-month course extension, without any restrictions, is available for $200. Students who have completed most of the course may qualify for a restricted one-month course extension for $75; restrictions are course-specific and are listed within the course.

To remain active in your course, you must request the extension before the expiration of your original five-month enrollment period. You will not have the option to extend your enrollment or get back into the course once it has expired.

Purchase course extensions using this link.

How long does it take my course grade to be posted to a transcript?

It can take up to two weeks after taking your final exam for the course grade to be officially recorded with the Office of the Registrar. Students needing a grade on their transcript by a specific date should keep this administrative time in mind when making their plans. Once our office has received your course grade from your instructor, you will receive a confirmation email with more information.

How do I request an official transcript?

Please see Credit, Grades and Transcripts for more information.

Taking Exams

What do I need to know about requesting my exams?

Students in self-paced courses use an exam management system within Canvas to request their exam, designate a proctor and track the status of their exam. All testing arrangements, including new testing site nominations, must be requested through this system.

Any midterm exams should be taken at the designated point in the course syllabus. Midterm exam requests made with less than one week remaining in your enrollment period will be denied, as this does not allow sufficient time for exam processing and grading.

To be eligible to request your final exam, you must have submitted all assignments and received a grade on your midterm exam. You must request your final exam before your course completion date. As long as your exam has been requested by this date, you will be given a full 30 days in which to study for and take the exam, regardless of your course completion date.

Once approved, your exam will be held at the testing site for a maximum of 30 days. Midterm exams requested with fewer than 30 days left before your course expiration date will only be held until your course expires. If your exam expires or you wish to change testing sites, and you still have time remaining in your course, we may be able to reprocess your exam for an additional fee. Your exam will not be reprocessed for any reason once your course has expired.

If you believe that you have taken all necessary steps to make yourself eligible to take an exam and your request is declined, contact University Extension at 512-471-2900 or uextesting@austin.utexas.edu.

Can I take my final exam after my course completion date?

You must meet the final exam eligibility requirements and request the final exam by your course completion date. As long as your final has been requested before your course end date, you will be given a full 30 days in which to study for and take the exam. This date is printed on your exam confirmation email.

Final exam requests made after your course has expired will not be considered.

How do I review my exam?

Instructors will provide exam feedback in Canvas. You will not receive back a copy of your taken exam. If you would like to review your exam, you may do so at an approved proctor location for up to one long semester after your exam date. Be aware that proctor locations may charge a fee to allow you to review your exam.

To request an exam review, email uextesting@austin.utexas.edu. After your request has been processed and the proctor approved, University Extension will notify you where and when your exam is available for review. After 30 days, your exam will be returned to our archive. The review will be proctored under the same conditions under which you took the exam in terms of time allowed and materials permitted. You may only review your exam once.

All taken exams will be destroyed after one year.


Other Common Questions

Who teaches self-paced courses?

All courses are taught by UT Austin faculty or instructors approved by the associated UT Austin academic department and college.

How do I get my textbooks?

Please see Course Logistics for more information about ordering required course materials.

Many self-paced courses cannot be started without the required textbook and you have a limited time to complete your course after you register. Therefore, we recommend that you get the textbooks before you register for a course.

Can I take a self-paced course pass/fail?

Yes, but it isn't always wise to do so.

When you enroll in a course, you are allowed to choose whether to take the course for a letter grade or pass/fail. Most courses required for a degree must be taken for a letter grade, so before you choose the pass/fail option, check with your academic advisor if you are concerned about earning credit.

You may change your grading option one time during your enrollment in a self-paced online course by submitting a request in writing

Through May 20, 2020, as an accommodation in response to the COVID-19 situation, you may select to change your grading status to pass/fail at any time before requesting or taking your final exam.  After May 20, 2020, changes to pass/fail grading status must be submitted before having completed 50% of your assignments.   

For Spring 2020, UT Austin is allowing UT students to apply courses taken pass/fail toward prerequisites, degree requirements, core and flags. The UT Austin policy exception to Spring 2020 grades term can be found here in the FAQ regarding deadlines for Pass/Fail. Students in self-paced courses seeking to take advantage of this exemption should plan to complete their final exam by May 20, 2020 so that their grade will be recorded as spring semester credit.

University Extension

UT Administration Building (UTA)
1616 Guadalupe Street
2nd Floor, Room 2.408
Austin, Texas 78701