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General Information

iStudy: What, Why, When, Who, and How?

Study is the University of Mississippi's independent study program. iStudy offers self-paced, non-traditional “distance learning” UM courses that allow students to study outside the confines of a classroom. Nonetheless, the academic integrity, workload, and time required are the same as an on-campus class. iStudy is a great option when flexibility is needed.

The courses are offered online through Blackboard. Information about specific courses is located on the iStudy website’s Courses tab.
The flexibility of the courses requires self-motivation and discipline. Because of this, some students find iStudy courses more difficult than traditional ones. Beginning promptly, setting up a schedule, and proceeding at a steady pace is the key to success. Time management is crucial.

iStudy courses may be taken in two different completion schedules.

Semester courses (UM students only)
iStudy semester courses are available during the registration window of each major semester (fall, spring, and full-summer).*
*Please note: All semester dates and regulations associated with University policies, the academic calendar, and catalog are applied and upheld.

Flex courses (UM and non-UM students)
Flex courses provide extended time. Students may enroll in a Flex course anytime throughout the year, and aren’t tied to the semester calendar. Flex courses can be completed in any amount of time between two months to one year. Personal deadlines, such as graduation, supersede course expiration. Students must apply separately for the Flex course, and its cost is in addition to full-time tuition.

People who take iStudy courses

  • Are working towards a degree at The University of Mississippi or another college or university
  • Have scheduling problems and can't get into a needed course on campus or online
  • Changed major and are trying to catch up
  • Need a prerequisite for undergraduate and/or graduate programs
  • Have an off-campus internship
  • Are renewing or updating a teaching license
  • Are completing a degree while having a job and/or a family
  • Need to continue college studies while under medical treatment
  • Are a high school student receiving both high school and college credit for a UM course
  • Are incarcerated - while some prisons offer GED classes, few have college-level courses
  • Serve in the military - we are in the DANTES (defense activity for non-traditional education support) catalog
  • Need courses to meet requirements for certification, job advancement, or continuing education
  • Are interested in personal enrichment

Use iStudy to catch up, stay on course, or get ahead!

Strategies for success

A successful and rewarding experience in iStudy requires initiative and discipline, good study habits, and a regular study plan.

Initiative and Discipline
Independent Study courses require students to motivate themselves to keep moving ahead on readings and assignments. Feedback from your instructor will play an important role.

Good Study Habits
The same study habits that help you in a traditional classroom setting will help you to be successful in an Independent Study course.

  • Find a time and place to study that is as free of distractions as possible.
  • Ask questions when you don't understand a concept or want to pursue a subject in-depth.
  • Read your instructor's comments on the graded written assignments and exams.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to study and prepare for exams.

The flexibility of our courses gives you the freedom to set your own schedule. Be sure to set up a plan for completing your course in the time frame allowed.

When you set up your study plan, allow extra time for lessons to be reviewed by the instructor and for assignments and exams to be graded and returned to you. This will give you the opportunity to benefit from your instructor's feedback as you move along in the course.

Additional Tips for Success in iStudy

  • A typed lesson that follows the format of the questions makes grading easier for the instructor.
  • Include enough detail in the homework answers to insure that the instructor will know you understand the material. Don't simply copy information from the assignments.
  • Read the entire question carefully. Be sure to answer every part of the question.
  • Start your course as soon as you receive your books.
  • You do not have to wait for lessons to be graded and returned before you start on the next assignment.
Enrollment Information


Get an iStudy Course Application Form by clicking here. Please follow the directions carefully.

Enrollment times

  • Semester courses (UM students only)
    When the semester registration window is open iStudy courses are available as Semester courses. These are only available during the registration window of each major semester (fall, spring, and full-summer).
  • Flex courses:
    Students may enroll in a Flex course anytime of the year, and aren’t tied to the semester calendar. Once enrolled, students may begin immediately. Flex iStudy courses can be completed in any amount of time between two months to one year. Personal deadlines, such as graduation, supersede course expiration.


  • If you are enrolled as a student at UM, your academic dean’s approval is required. The iStudy department sends your application to your academic dean's office electronically.
  • Non-University of Mississippi students should check with their institution to determine if the iStudy course will meet the student’s requirements, and whether there are limits on the number of credits you may take through iStudy.
Course List

We offer courses from the Schools Accountancy, Engineering, Applied Sciences, Business, Education and the College of Liberal Arts. All of our instructors are UM faculty and the courses are approved by their chairs. Full credit is given by the University of Mississippi.

Visit the courses page for a complete listing.

Semester courses:
Tuition for a semester-based course(s) is included in full-time tuition.

Flex Courses:
The tuition fee for a three credit hours course is currently $1,068.75 (2018-2019). There is no non-resident fee for Flex iStudy courses.

Payment Options

  • Bursar – For UM students only, bursar accounts can be charged by iStudy
  • Credit Card –Visa or Master Card payments are made online through TouchNet.
  • Check or money order – Please make these out to the “University of Mississippi”.
  • Financial Aid- The iStudy office does not provide any form of tuition assistance.  However, tuition assistance may be available through other departments. It is the student’s responsibility to check with the appropriate department to determine eligibility. For more information regarding financial aid, please visit this page.
  • Specific populations-
    • UM and UMMC Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver
      The Faculty/Staff Tuition Benefit applies to iStudy courses.
    • Child of UM and UMMC Faculty and Staff Tuition Waiver
      Children of UM and UMMC Faculty and Staff may be eligible for a 50% tuition waiver.
    • Agency Banked Hours
      (Follow procedures per your school district/institution)
    • AmeriCorps
      Contact AmeriCorps directly about using their benefits at UM.
    • Military reimbursement
      Send your DD form to the Financial Aid Office.
    • VA scholarship
      Contact the coordinator for Veteran and Military Services in the Center for Student Success and First Year.
Financial Aid

iStudy is not authorized to award any forms of student aid or scholarships. Students should check with the Financial Aid Department of their college or university to determine their eligibility to enroll in iStudy courses using financial aid.

For more information regarding financial aid, please visit this page.

Semester Course Requirements

Requirements for Semester students: (Note: this does not apply to Flex students. If you are unsure of your status, the information will appear in your Blackboard course gradebook.)

  1. Complete the syllabus quiz as soon as you have access to your Blackboard course. This is mandatory to verify your attendance.
  2. Reach the midpoint of your course, as indicated on the lesson page. The exact date is posted in the Announcements section of the course in Blackboard. Any lesson assignment or exam needed to reach the midpoint, but not completed by the midpoint deadline, will receive the grade of zero.
  3. The last day to submit lessons is the last day of class, per the UM Registrar’s academic calendar.
  4. The final exam must be taken by the last day of finals week, per the UM Registrar’s academic calendar.
Course Load

Generally, students may take up to two courses at one time. However, the School of Business allows one course at a time.

University of Mississippi students are required to have Academic Dean approval before enrolling in an iStudy course.

Non-University of Mississippi students should check with their institution to determine whether there are limits on the number of credits you may take through iStudy.


Semester courses:
A University of Mississippi student taking a Semester course(s) can only withdraw when the semester withdrawal period is open, per the academic calendar.

Flex Courses:
A University of Mississippi student taking a Flex course(s) can only withdraw before reaching the course midpoint and before the course expiration date. See the section on Withdrawals for more information.

Non-UM student:
A non-University of Mississippi student may withdraw from a course at any time prior to taking the final exam with no academic penalty for withdrawal, and no grade will be recorded.


Semester courses:
For students taking a Semester course(s), the cost of the course is part of regular full-time tuition. No refund is due because there is no additional cost.

Flex Courses:
For students taking a Flex course(s), a refund of 80% is given when students withdraw within thirty days of enrollment. For more information about refunds, click HERE.


Semester-Based courses:
Students taking semester-based courses may transfer an enrollment from one course to another only when the semester period to register/add is open.

Full-Year Courses:
Students taking full-year courses may transfer an enrollment from one course to another provided that no more than three lessons have been submitted, and the transfer is requested within the two months following enrollment. See the policy information on Transfers for more details.

Time Limits

Semester courses:
Semester iStudy courses must be completed within the semester and no extensions are available. Instructors may be approached for a temporary grade of incomplete. Incompletes are not automatic and are at the instructor’s discretion as they are in traditional courses. All normal semester protocols apply.

Flex Courses:
The course completion deadline is one year from the enrollment date. One three-month extension is available, and costs $150. If you need the course completed by a particular deadline, including graduation, we suggest taking the final exam two weeks prior to your deadline. The minimum time needed for the completion of a Flex course is two months from the date on which the first lesson is submitted. This may be waived by the instructor on an individual basis.


All iStudy exams are proctored. Please click here for detailed information regarding exam location options.

Library Services

UM Library services are available to non-UM, as well as UM, iStudy students. Please feel free to utilize this valuable resource. The library web address is:


Should you have the need for a tutor, the iStudy department will work with you to find appropriate resources.

Blackboard Technical Assistance

All technical assistance is provided through the iStudy office (662-915-7313). We are opened Monday through Friday from 8-5 CST. You can also email us at


Transcripts are issued only by The University of Mississippi's Registrar's Office, not by iStudy. There is a $7 fee for each transcript requested.

Requests for official transcripts can be made through your myOleMiss portal, in person, by mail, by fax, or by a 3rd party.

More information is available at the University Registrar's Transcript Request page.

Other Questions

Your instructor is available to answer content questions, and the iStudy staff (662-915-7313 or can help you with any other questions.

Welcome to iStudy

iStudy classes are flexible and self-paced. Our distance learning program allows you to learn anytime, anywhere. Most courses are available online through Blackboard. We also have classes that are paper based. Many are available in both formats. Learn More »

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