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Frequently Asked Questions - Distance Learning Program

What degrees are offered through the Distance Learning Program?

What is the tuition rate per course?

As a distance student, am I eligible for financial aid?

How many courses can I sign up for during a single semester?

Will I have to be online at specific times or can I work at any times that are convenient for me?

How much of the program is interactive in nature?

How many hours per week can I expect to spend on a course?

Are there time limits on the completion of the courses?

How will I take exams?

What hardware and software will I need?

Will I have access to the Texas Tech University library system?

Will I have to apply to the Texas Tech Graduate School?

Will I have to take the GRE and what score will I have to have?

Can I drop a course or courses once I have registered?

Who do I contact if I have problems or questions?

 

What degrees are offered through the Distance Learning Program?

The Distance Learning Program currently offers three different masters degrees and one doctoral degree:

  • Master of Engineering (MEN)

  • MS in Systems and Engineering Management (Industrial Engineering) (MS SEM)

  • MS in Software Engineering (MS SE)

  • A PhD in Systems and Engineering Management (PhD SEM)


  • What is the tuition rate per course?

    Tuition prices may vary slightly depending on the semester for which you enroll and the department offering the course you have enrolled in; tuition and fees are subject to change without notification. One 3-hour course will cost approximately $2,100 for resident students and $3,100 for non-resident students.

    Students who are legal residents of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana and who reside in a county adjacent to Texas are eligible for in-state tuition. This rate covers both tuition and fees, but you will have to pay for your textbooks separately.

    More specific information about tuition and fees can be found on the TTU Distance Learning and Off-Campus Instruction Web site at: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/distancelearning/tuition/ The College of Engineering distance learning program charges a $250 per semester credit hour course management fee which provides for a videographer to record the video lectures and covers other costs associated with delivering a course at a distance.

    As a distance student, am I eligible for financial aid?

    Distance students have the same opportunities to apply for financial aid as on-campus students do; each situation is considered on a case-by-case basis. Generally, however, because most distance learning students are gainfully employed, they are seldom eligible to receive subsidized aid, although they can sometimes receive unsubsidized aid. For more information about financial aid, please refer to the Financial Aid Office's website or call an advisor at (806) 742-3681. An advisor will work with you individually to address your specific needs and concerns.

    How many courses can I sign up for during a single semester?
    Because most students who enroll in the Distance Learning program are practicing engineers who are balancing career and family responsibilities, a typical course load is one course per semester. However, if you choose, you are free to take more than one course per semester.

    Will I have to be online at specific times or can I work at any times that are convenient for me?
    Participation in the course is asynchronous, which means that both on-campus and distance students can work with course materials at the times that are convenient for them. You will meet the same project and exam deadlines as the on-campus students, so you will want to schedule your time so that you will not rush those deadlines. Your participation in the class will not interfere with your work schedule or any of your personal commitments because you can choose the times that are most convenient for you.

    How much of the program is interactive in nature?
    Class activities, discussions, and materials are presented interactively in multimedia Internet environments. Course lectures are recorded in state-of-the-art multimedia classrooms and streamed directly onto the Internet. Students can access the live stream and participate in the course in real time, or watch the lecture videos on the course website at their convenience.

    The asynchronous class discussions provide a continuous opportunity for students to obtain feedback and interact with their professor, peers, and in many cases, outside experts. On-campus and distance students have equal access to these discussion forums, and the faculty spends significantly more time interacting with their students than is possible in a traditional classroom setting.

    How many hours per week can I expect to spend on a course?
    Most students enrolled in one three-hour graduate course should expect to spend a minimum of 12 hours per week reading course materials, watching lectures via the internet, participating in class activities, and preparing course projects. There are no minimum or maximum time requirements for the course, so each student will have to determine how much time he or she needs to spend on the course in order to not only meet the course requirements but also understand the material being presented and discussed.

    Are there time limits on the completion of the courses?
    Courses in the distance learning program follow Texas Tech University's academic calendar and mirror course offerings available on-campus. Distance students are expected to complete the course requirements within the semester period, meeting each of the instructor's project and exam deadlines. If unforeseen circumstances arise that will hinder your completion of the course, you should contact your instructor immediately to discuss your options. Assignment deadlines and course schedules will be available on the course website.

    How will I take exams?
    There are three methods by which professors give exams. The method(s) used in specific courses depend upon the professor's preference as well as objectives of the course. Exams are given in the following ways:

    - Limited time, limited materials: In this scenario, a proctor would be used. Typically students use proctors at their local library, a local public school, or in the Human Resource department at their places of employment.
    - Limited time, unlimited materials: For this scenario, the exam is typically posted online or emailed to a student, and the student has a limited amount of time (for example, 1 to 3 hours) to complete and submit the exam.
    - Unlimited time, unlimited materials: This typically references a "take-home" exam, where the exam is made available to the student and the student has a certain amount of time (for example, 1 week) to submit the exam.

    What hardware and software will I need?
    It is recommended that you have access to the following computer hardware:
    - A scanner or fax machine
    - Pentium 4-based computer system or greater
    - Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 operating system
    The lecture component for distance courses is made available for students to stream or download from the Internet, and while the video lectures may be accessible on a system that does not meet the above criteria, system performance and quality of viewing may not be optimal.

    It is recommended that the student have access to the following computer software:
    - Internet Explorer browser (latest versions) or Safari (Macintosh)
    - Media Player to play video files (included with Windows) or for the Macintosh a video player that plays Windows (wmv) files
    Most other software for accessing course materials is free and can be downloaded from the course sites. Other course specific software will be specified in the individual course syllabus. Students must have any specified software loaded on their personal computers in order to be able to complete the course.

    It is recommended that the student have the following Internet access:
    - Access to the Internet through a broadband connection such as cable or DSL
    - Internet Mail (email) address

    Will I have access to the Texas Tech University library system?
    Yes, the Texas Tech University Library provides services and library materials to students who enroll in off-campus TTU courses. The Library's goal is to help resolve the problems faced by students who are at a distance from the campus and its information resources. The library offers a toll-free reference service: (888) 270-3369, available during normal operating hours, and also has a science and engineering librarian who can provide assistance as well.

    Will I have to apply to the Texas Tech Graduate School?
    The Master of Engineering program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and approved for presentation at a distance by the Higher Education Coordinating Board of Texas. Although students in the distance learning program do not have to actually set foot on campus, they do have to apply to the Texas Tech University Graduate School, which will involve completing an application, sending transcripts, and taking the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

    Also, students can take courses as nondegree students under one of these two following categories:
    1. GTMP - A student in this category is considered a temporary nondegree student and may enroll for only 12 credit hours while getting credentials in order to be admitted to a degree program. After this time, the student must be admitted and enrolled in a degree program.
    2. CPED - This category is designed to meet the needs of professionals in fields that require continuing professional development. In addition to applying to Graduate Admissions, students must request permission for this nondegree status from the graduate advisor of the faculty administering the program in their department.

    Will I have to take the GRE and what score will I have to have?
    Yes, the submission of GRE scores is a requirement for graduate programs. The admission process is considered holistically, and thus there is no minimum score for the GRE. The average GRE score of graduate students in engineering programs at Texas Tech University is around an 1170 on the math and verbal sections combined.

    Please check with the advisor of the program that you are interested in to verify all the required test scores or other materials needed for admission. The recommended process is to submit your application, transcripts and GRE scores at the same time. For distance learning students, your completed application packet date is more important than just the application date. If your application has been deferred to the department and your GRE scores have not been received then your application maybe denied because it is incomplete.

    Please see our Masters Degrees page for the names and contact information of the program advisors.
    See the Graduate School website for more information about taking the GRE.

    Can I drop a course or courses once I have registered?
    Yes. You should be aware that you may drop a course through the 12th class day and receive a full refund of tuition and fees. After the 12th class day, students taking more than one course will not be eligible to receive any of the tuition and fees back for individual courses they choose to drop.

    Students wishing to drop all of the courses for which they are enrolled will withdraw from the university. Depending on the time that you drop the course, you may be eligible to receive a refund of some of your tuition and fees according to the following schedule:

    Before the 1st class day - Full refund
    1st five class days - 80% refund
    2nd five class days - 70% refund
    3rd five class days - 50% refund
    4th five class days - 25% refund
    21st class day and after - No refund

    For specific withdrawal dates for the current semester, please see the Office of the Registrar website and click on the Withdrawal Information link. If you have questions about your payments or wish to discuss extenuating circumstances, please contact Student Business Services at (806)742-3272.

    Who do I contact if I have problems or questions?
    Before you register and while you are taking courses, if you have any questions or problems, please contact us first so that we can assist you. If we cannot help you specifically, we will direct you to the person or entity on campus that can. You can reach the distance learning staff in the following ways:

    Amy Donnerberg, Program Coordinator
    Distance Learning Program, Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering
    Texas Tech University
    P.O. Box 43103
    Lubbock, TX 79403-3103
    Phone: (806) 742-3451 or (800) 528-5583
    Fax: (806) 742-3493
    Email: amy.donnerberg@ttu.edu

    Brent Guinn, Sr. Director
    Distance Learning Program, Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering
    Texas Tech University
    P.O. Box 43103
    Lubbock, TX 79403-3103
    Phone: (806) 742-3451 or (800) 528-5583
    Fax: (806) 742-3493
    Email: brent.guinn@ttu.edu