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The University of Mississippi Online

General Information for Prospective Students

For more frequently asked questions, please visit this page.

iStudy: What, Why, When, and Who?

iStudy 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. Students never have to be in class at a specific time or place. 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 and proceeding at a steady pace is the key to success.

iStudy courses may be taken in two different completion schedules.

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).

The cost of a Semester iStudy course(s) will be included in full-time tuition. The course(s) must be completed within the semester. All semester dates and regulations associated with University policies, the academic calendar, and catalog will be applied and upheld.

If the extended time that comes with a Flex course is desired, students must apply separately for the Flex course, and its cost is in addition to full-time tuition.

Flex courses (UM and non-UM students)
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.

After the last day to register or add classes, per the academic calendar, the Semester option is no longer available. After this point only Flex courses are offered and payment for the course(s) is apart from full-time tuition. The cost of 3 credit hours is currently $1,023.75 (2017-2018).

You might take an iStudy class if you:

  • Are working towards a degree at The University of Mississippi or another college or university
  • Find that you have scheduling problems and can't get into a class you need 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
  • 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 wanting to take college courses and get high school and college credit
  • 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!

Who takes iStudy courses?

Enrollment for iStudy Flex courses is open at any time. Flex courses are asynchronous with the academic calendar.

Adult Learners

Non-degree seeking registration for iStudy courses may be accomplished by completing the Course Application Form and submitting payment. To take iStudy courses for academic credit at UM, you must be admitted to The University of Mississippi. If you are interested in admission to UM, please contact the Office of Admissions at 1-800-OLE-MISS (in MS) or 662-915-7226.

UM Students

As a UM student, you can enroll in iStudy courses to earn credits, fulfill general education requirements, explore an area of interest, or take a class that will not fit into your schedule. If you change majors, as you may be able to take prerequisites you may have missed.

If you are taking an iStudy course to satisfy degree requirements, you should consult your dean in regard to the maximum number of hours which may be earned through iStudy. Before enrolling in courses, you should consult The University of Mississippi Undergraduate Catalog with regard to degree requirements and course prerequisites.

You must secure written approval of your dean to enroll in an iStudy course. If using the online application, it will be sent to your Dean's office electronically. Deans may also indicate approval by sending an email to the iStudy office, or by completing and signing the appropriate blanks on the application form.

Most deans allow no more than two iStudy courses to be taken at one time. The School of Business permits one.

Students from Other Institutions

If you are enrolled at another institution, please check to see whether or not the course(s) you intend to take will apply toward the degree you are seeking. The transfer of credits for courses is at the discretion of the institution to which the credits are being transferred.


Teachers may take iStudy courses to meet certification requirements of the State Department of Education. Information about Mississippi requirements should be obtained from the State Department of Education, Post Office Box 771, Jackson, MS 39205-0771. Attention: Teacher Education, Certification and Placement.

Teachers residing outside of Mississippi should obtain course approval from their State Departments of Education before enrolling.

Visit this page for information about Teacher Certification.

High School Students

With the approval of a high school principal or counselor, high school juniors and seniors may enroll in the lower-division (i.e., 100 and 200 level) credit courses. In fact, taking college-level courses during high school may give you a head start on your college career. You will need to obtain approval from your school guidance counselor or principal. For more information go to the Dual Credit website or call Matthew DeLoach @ 662-915-3034.

International Students

If you live outside the United States, please contact us to check on the availability of the course(s) you are interested in. You will need to have an e-mail address to take an iStudy course.

Members of the Armed Forces and Veterans

Military personnel interested in enrolling in courses should ask their education officers for information and application forms. Education centers have copies of the DANTES Independent Study Catalog which lists courses offered by regionally accredited colleges and universities.

Tuition assistance is generally available to service personnel, although policy varies among the different military services. The Veterans Administration will reimburse eligible veterans and service men and women for fees for iStudy courses.

People with Special Needs

Students who are disabled or need special arrangements for taking a course should contact us before enrolling. The iStudy staff will work with Student Disability Services to serve you.

UM and UMMC Faculty and Staff

The Faculty/Staff Tuition Benefit applies to iStudy courses
Instructions for applying for UM F/S may be found here: (pdf attached)
Instructions for applying for UMMC F/S may be found here: (pdf attached)
Please contact HR with any questions. For HR contact information click here: or

How can I succeed at iStudy courses?

We want your experience in iStudy to be worthwhile and rewarding. You'll need initiative and discipline, good study habits, and a regular study plan to be successful.

Initiative and Discipline

Independent Study courses require students to get themselves going and to keep moving ahead on readings and assignments. While you won't be in a classroom with your instructor and other students, you will have feedback from your instructor to help keep you motivated.

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 some 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.
What courses are offered?

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

For a complete course listing, visit the courses page.

What are my payment options?

Bursar charge – we can charge your Bursar Account so that you will be billed monthly with your other UM charges. (UM students only)

Credit Card – we accept Visa or Master Card payments.

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.

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
(information will be added later)

Contact AmeriCorps directly about using their benefits at UM.

Military reimbursement
If you are using being reimbursed by the military, it is your responsibility to 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.

Can I use 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.

How do I enroll?

Once you know what course or courses you would like to take, it’s time to enroll.  The steps below will walk you through the process:

STEP 1:  Get an iStudy Course Application Form by clicking here.

STEP 2:  Fill out the Application Form and follow any instructions that apply to your situation. Read all information before signing your application.

STEP 3:  If using the electronic application, iStudy will email it to your academic dean's office for approval. You will be notified of the outcome.

NOTE:  Students from our regional campuses who do not live in Oxford may be able to discuss their application with their dean’s office over the phone. 

STEP 4:  If using a paper application, deliver your completed, signed application to our office by one of the following methods:

  • In Person: deliver to our office in 1111 Jackson Avenue West, Jackson Avenue Center, Suite H Room 10, University, MS 38677
  • By Email: scan then email to our office at;
  • By Fax: fax the form to 662- 915-8826;
  • By Mail: mail to our office at the following address:

The Division of Outreach
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677

What's Next?

After our office receives your completed application and required approvals, we will enroll you in the class and send you an orientation email. This will contain important information about your course. If at any time you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

Are there deadlines within Semester iStudy courses?

Requirements for iStudy Semester students: (This does not apply to Flex students. If you are unsure if you are Flex or Semester, the information appears in My Grades in your Blackboard course.)

  1. Complete the syllabus quiz as soon as you have access to your Blackboard course. This is mandatory for attendance verification.
  2. Reach the midpoint of your course, as indicated on the lesson page. The exact date is in your orientation material and 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. Coursework, including exams, must be done sequentially.  
  3. The last day to submit lessons and take exams, other than the final exam, 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.

Are UM library services available to all iStudy students?

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:

What if I need technical assistance with my Blackboard class?

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

Are tutorial services available?

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

Am I eligible for the Adult Learner Tuition Discount?

We are currently providing adult learners over 25 years old and who are not seeking a University of Mississippi degree with the opportunity to take one iStudy course at a discounted rate of $550. The discount may not be used for any graduate level courses, including TESL 531, 542, 547, or 592 (ENG 510).

To apply online, fill out the Adult Learner Application or fill out the paper application (.pdf) and submit it to the iStudy office in the following ways:

  • Online: Fill out the Adult Learner Application
  • In person: Deliver to our office at 1111 Jackson Avenue West, Jackson Avenue Center, Suite H Room 10, University, MS 38677
  • By e-mail: Scan then e-mail to our office at
  • By fax: Fax the form to 662-915-8826
  • By mail: Mail to our office at the following address:
    Division of Outreach
    P.O. Box 1848
    University, MS 38677

Please contact the iStudy office by phone 662-915-7313 or e-mail if you have any questions about this offer.

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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