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How do I take an online course at Purdue?


If you are a Purdue student having trouble scheduling courses you need, you should explore with your advisor the possibility of taking an equivalent distance learning course from other Indiana colleges and universities in the Indiana College Network. These courses are available to you through the Continuing Education Student Learning Center.

Where do I begin?
Talk with you academic advisor about the attached list of courses for which Purdue has established equivalencies; those courses are designated as “P” classes. Once you and your advisor agree that a listed distance learning course will meet your needs, complete the attached Purdue-ICN Registration Form and have your advisor complete a Form 23 authorizing your participation in the course. Then call Continuing Education at 49-42746 for hours and appointment scheduling. Be sure to bring both completed forms with you.

How do I register for an ICN course?
In your registration meeting Learning Center staff will determine if space is available for you in a distance learning class offered by an ICN institution. If space is available, they will reserve space in the course, register you in the appropriate Purdue-equivalent “P” class, and provide you with pertinent information about taking the course. Please do not attempt to register yourself for an ICN course online without making an appointment with the Learning Center.

How do I know I’m registered?
Within a few days of your appointment, your registration in the Purdue-equivalent “P” course will appear in SSINFO. Depending on the course, you will be given instructions for logging into the course website or you will be informed that the instructor will contact you via e-mail. It may be helpful for you to contact the instructor directly to let him or her know you have signed up for the course.

What does it cost to take a distance learning course?
If you are a full-time Purdue student paying full fees, there is no extra charge for taking an ICN distance learning course. If you are a part-time Purdue student paying less than full fees, Purdue will assess their regular charge per credit hour. By special arrangement, all participants pay in-state fees for ICN courses. Please be aware that some courses may assess some extra charges for technical services or administrative charges.

Will the distance learning course be counted in my Purdue course load?
Yes. As far as Purdue is concerned, you are enrolled in a Purdue course with a “P” designation. Therefore it can be applied toward maintaining a full load and for financial aid purposes, for good student insurance, and other Purdue benefits.

How do I turn in homework and take tests?
Distance learning courses may require access the Internet to email, access online library services, etc. Fax machines may be used to submit assignments. Exams are either mailed/faxed/e-mailed to the Learning Center or offered online (using password security). Both paper and online exams must be proctored. If you are on the West Lafayette campus, your exams may be taken in the Continuing Education Learning Center. If you are away from the campus, the Learning Center will work with you to arrange test proctoring in your locale.

What about books and materials?
The ICN campus coordinator at the originating institution will give you information about purchasing course texts and materials. For some courses books must be purchased from the originating institution’s campus bookstore, but they can be mailed to you. Some course texts may be purchased from online bookstores. Your instructor will tell you how to access the course syllabus and related materials.

Are distance learning classes different from regular on-campus classes?
When you register for a distance education course, you should expect equivalent content and opportunity for learning as students who are able to take the course on a college or university campus. Distance education courses are not easy, fast-paced replacements for regular on-campus classes. In fact, distance education requires self-motivation and a serious approach to learning because much of the work is done individually, without the in-person instructor guidance of traditional learning environments. However, most instructors are available to answer your questions by phone, email, or even by an on-campus orientation meeting or a video conference.

Will I receive a grade for a distance learning course?
Yes, unless you have selected the Pass/No Pass option.

What if I want to drop a distance learning course?
Purdue drop and refund policies apply to distance learning courses. If you need to drop a distance learning course, obtain a Drop Form from you advisor and bring it to the Learning Center to be processed. Do not try to drop a course without working through the Learning Center!

How will I learn in a distance learning course?
You will learn in much the same way you do in a face-to-face class. You’ll be expected to read a textbook and other online materials; you’ll complete assignments and exercises online with interactive forms; you’ll discuss course content with other students and the instructor via e-mail and chatrooms; you’ll have access to your instructor during virtual office hours.

How do I contact an instructor?
You will be given contact information at your registration appointment in the Learning Center. This information is also available on the ICN online search at, or you can call the ICN Student Services Center at 1.800.426.8899.

What is the Indiana College Network?
The Indiana College Network, or ICN, is a gateway to distance learning opportunities from Indiana's colleges and universities. ICN provides access to member institutions' distance education offerings, ranging from general education to program specific, including more than 100 certificate and degree programs and nearly 1,500 courses per year. A rich Web site, a network of more than 70 Learning Centers, and a toll-free hotline provide technology access and strong learner support. Members include Ball State University, Indiana State University, Independent Colleges of Indiana, Indiana University, Ivy Tech State College, Purdue University, University of Southern Indiana, and Vincennes University. Search the ICN Course Catalog at to see what's available.


Programs & Publications


September 24, 2018

Introducing a Special Issue of Agricultural Economics on the World Food Crisis of 2007-08More

Now accepting applications for Natural Resources Leadership Development InstituteMore

Considering becoming an Agricultural Economics student? Please visit our Future Student pages.More

USDA National Needs Fellowships In The Economics Of Alternative Energy are available. For more information, download the pdf. More

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