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Distance Learning


Distance (or online) learning provides a way to complete coursework when a student and teacher are physically separated.

Most distance learning providers use the Internet and other electronic media to connect teachers and students. At some colleges, students can complete a entire degree or required course work via online learning. Many colleges and universities offer programs that combine distance and classroom education. For example, in order to accommodate working adults, an online program may require students to attend classroom courses one weekend per term.

Instructional materials are usually made available in print or online. Students hear lectures, complete assignments, and take exams online. The instructor reviews and grades each student’s work. Distance learning classes often include discussion groups that help students share ideas and learn from one another.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

General education requirements and prerequisites for admission vary according to the program and the type of degree you are seeking. Many distance learning programs require students to complete the first two years of general education requirements before admission. Other programs offer lower division and upper division classes in a distance learning format, making it possible for you to complete a four-year degree without ever having to leave home. In some states, you can complete an Associate of Arts degree online and transfer your credit to a four-year university.

While most distance education programs will admit students at anytime, some programs only admit students into a cohort. In a cohort program, you start the program with a group of other students and enroll in the same courses throughout the program. This type of program is more common for distance learning graduate programs. In a cohort program, you are required to enroll in a minimum number of credits per term.

If you are not interested in earning a degree through distance learning, and are only interested in taking a distance learning class, you do not need to apply for formal admission to a program.

Things to Know

You are expected to complete distance learning course work in a timely manner. To receive financial aid for distance learning classes at most institutions, you must complete course work within the quarter or semester. You should contact the school's financial aid office to determine if your aid will apply to your distance learning course work.


East Side Area

Big Bend Community College

Central Washington University

Walla Walla Community College

Walla Walla Community College (Clarkston)

Washington State University - Pullman

King-Snohomish Area

Bellevue College

City University of Seattle

Columbia College - Naval Station Everett/Marysville

Edmonds Community College

Edmonds Community College (Washington Aerospace Training & Research Center)

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Everett

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Renton

Everett Community College

Green River College

Highline College

Institute for Therapeutic Learning


Kerala Ayurveda Academy

North Seattle College

Northeastern University - Seattle

Northwest School of Animal Massage

Northwest University

Pima Medical Institute-Renton

Pima Medical Institute-Seattle

Renton Technical College

Seattle Bible College

Seattle Pacific University

Seattle University

Shoreline Community College

University of Washington - Seattle

Kitsap Area

Brandman University - Bangor

Brandman University - Bremerton

Brandman University - Whidbey Island

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Whidbey Island

Olympic College

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Eastern Washington University (Spokane Campus)

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Fairchild AFB

Gonzaga University

Hypnotherapy Institute of Spokane

Park University - Fairchild AFB

Spokane Community College

Spokane Falls Community College

Washington State University Health Sciences - Spokane

Whitworth University

Statewide and Distance Learning

Washington State University - Global Campus

WGU Washington

Tacoma Area

Bates Technical College

Bates Technical College (South Campus)

Brandman University - Joint Base Lewis-McChord (Fort Lewis Campus)

Brandman University - Joint Base Lewis-McChord (McChord Campus)

Central Washington University - Pierce County

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Faith International University & Seminary

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom

Pierce College Puyallup

Tacoma Community College

University of Washington - Tacoma

Vancouver Area

Charter College--Vancouver

Clark College

Washington State University - Vancouver

West Side Area

Brandman University - Lacey

Centralia College

Columbia College - Whidbey Island

Grays Harbor College

Lower Columbia College

Nutritional Therapy Association, Inc.

Olympic College (Shelton Campus)

Peninsula College

Skagit Valley College

Western Washington University

Whatcom Community College

Yakima Area

Heritage University

Yakima Valley College