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Self-Paced Distance Learning Courses

MSU Denver's Self-Paced Distance Learning Program provides fully accredited college courses that offer a flexible alternative to traditional classroom and online schedules. Courses are offered in both Self-Paced Online (SPO) and Print-Based (Correspondence) formats which give students the freedom to:

  • Work independently through Blackboard or from a course study packet at your own pace.
  • Set your own schedule with no fixed assignment deadlines or class meeting times.
  • Register for courses mid-semester (does not apply to students receiving financial aid).
  • Finish a course in a few weeks, or take up to 6 months to complete an SPO course or 1 year to complete a Correspondence course.

SPO/Correspondence courses are appropriate for independent learners who can, or need to, set their own learning schedule.

View the Current Self-Paced Course Schedule

Self-Paced Online (SPO) Courses

Self-paced online students work at their own pace from course material provided in Blackboard.  Students not receiving financial aid have an extended registration period and may take up to six (6) months to complete the course.  Students receiving financial aid must register by the add/drop date on the Student Detail Schedule, and are encouraged to complete the course by the end of the semester.

SPO Registration and Completion Deadlines

Semester Registration Deadline Coursework Completion Deadline
Spring March 15th September 15th of the same year
Summer July 15th January 15th of the following year
Fall October 15 April 15th of the following year


Print-Based Correspondence Courses

Correspondence students work at their own pace from a course study packet.  Students not receiving financial aid have an extended registration period and may take up to one (1) year to complete the course.  Students receiving financial aid must register by the add/drop date posted on the Student Detail Schedule, and are encouraged to complete the course by the end of the semester.  Assignments are submitted and returned via the U.S. postal service, unless otherwise noted by the instructor.

Print-Based Registration and Completion Deadlines

Semester Registration Deadline Coursework Completion Deadline
Spring April 15th April 23rd of the following year
Summer July 15th July 17th of the following year
Fall November 15th November 27th of the following year



Self-Paced Distance Learning Tuition

Print-Based Correspondence Course Tuition: $174.00 per credit hour

Self-Paced Online Course Tuition:  $185.00 per credit hour

Mandatory Fees:

  • Immunization Fee: $2.10 per semester
  • Metro Bond Fee:  $20.50 per credit hour (caps at $250.80 - 4 classes)
  • Matriculation Fee (one-time fee per degree program - $75.00):  The matriculation fee is a one-time fee per Undergraduate and Graduate degree program.  It is used to offset orientation and graduation costs and is charged to all students as part of their tuition and fees.
Example 3-credit course Print-Based SPO
Tuition $ 522.00 $ 555.00
Immunization $     2.10 $     2.10
Metro Bond Fee $   62.70 $   62.70   
Total Tuition & Fees $ 586.80* $ 619.80*

 * Total for one 3-credit course, not including Matriculation Fee.

Tuition and Fee rates are subject to change.

Extended Campus classes are exempt from the 12 credit - 18 credit flat tuition structure.

Self-Paced Distance Learning Drop Policies

You may drop an SPO (self-paced online) or print-based correspondence course through the Student Hub at any time up to the posted "last day to drop a class with 100% refund" date.  This date is typically the tenth day of the new semester.  Please refer to your Student Detail Schedule for the exact date.  After MSU Denver's official drop date, you may drop your course if you notify the Extended Campus in writing (email) within thirty days of the date you registered for the course.  If we receive your written request to drop the course within the designated timeframe, you will receive a full refund.  Please call Extended Campus at 303-721-1313 for instructions on where to send your request.  Your written drop request must include your name, student ID number, course(s) you wish to drop, and a brief explanation of your reason for dropping the course.

If you registered for your SPO (self-paced online) or print-based correspondence course more than thirty (30) days ago, and the official drop date has past, your have two options.  You may complete the course within the designated timeframe and receive an earned letter grade, or you may decide not to complete the coursework and receive an "F" as your final grade.  You may also repeat a course in which you have received an "F" and replace the grade according to the MSU Denver Grade Replacement policy.  Final grades are calculated based on the work submitted by the posted coursework deadline date.

Self-Paced Distance Learning Financial Aid Policies

Students receiving financial aid must enroll in all classes by the add/drop date posted on the Student Detail Schedule, and are strongly encouraged to complete self-paced online or print-based correspondence courses by the end of the semester of enrollment.  While students may enroll in self-paced online and print-based correspondence courses after the posted last day to enroll date, these classes will not be eligible for financial aid.

Students who register only in print-based correspondence courses and are Federal Pell Grant Eligible, will have to submit additional paperwork to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships prior to the grant disbursing.  Students should contact the Office of Financial Aid at 303-556-4741 for more information.

Financial aid eligibility requires a Successful Academic Progress (SAP) rate of 67% or higher and a minimum GPA of 2.0.  For more information, students are encouraged to contact a full-time staff member in the Office of Financial Aid to discuss their individualized financial aid package.

Self-paced online (SPO) courses can affect the way that Department of Veteran Affairs education benefits are paid.  For more information, students are encouraged to contact the Veterans Education Benefits Office at 303-556-2993.


ANT 1310: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (SPO)

This course provides a comparative perspective on human cultural behavior and theory by exploring a variety of world cultures in the major domains of language, food-getting strategies, economics, marital and family systems, kinship, sex and gender, political organization and social control, social stratification, religion, and art. The applied aspects of anthropology are also investigated. Crosslisted with HON 1311. Credit will be granted for only one prefix: ANT or HON. (General Studies: Social and Behavioral Sciences II)

CIS 190B: Surviving and Thriving in the E-World (SPO) (New course number beginning Fall 2016 - CIS 1005)

This course emphasizes using the Internet and online resources to collect, understand, evaluate and validate information relating to basic computer literacy and emerging technologies.  Using different search terms and search engines, students will find information that describes computer hardware, software, information systems, Web 2.0 and big data, amongst other information technology topics.  They will prepare brief abstracts and ratings of information gathered.  Additionally students will learn to use Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to prepare reports and business documents.  This course does not serve as a pre-requisite for CIS 2010.

CJC 3350: Juvenile Justice and Delinquency (SPO)

This course is a study of the nature and causes of delinquency and crime, criminal personality, and societal processes. This course analyzes the concepts of prevention, control and prediction in juvenile delinquency.

CJC 3490: Serial Killers (SPO)

Students will study the phenomenon of serial murders and other serial violent crimes in America. Students will examine the typology of serial killers and other violent serial offenders. Different and unique characteristics of male, female, and team serial killers will be discussed. An overview of theoretical explanations and causes of serial offending and/violent crimes will be analyzed. The social and political implications of studying serial killings will be studied, as well as how law enforcement and the legal system investigate and prosecute serial murderers.

COM 2610: Introduction to Technical Writing (SPO)

This course provides students with the skills to analyze and produce clear and effective technical and scientific documents and materials.  Students determine the style, purpose, content, and format for numerous industry-specific reports and technical support documents.  Students analyze and produce accessible materials for expert, technical, lay, and intercultural audiences.  Students also develop, incorporate, and cite visual elements, including images, tables, and the representation of numeric data, to support the message delivered towards a specific audience.  Crosslisted with HON 2611. Credit will be granted for only one prefix: COM or HON.

EDS 2680: Portfolio Development Workshop (Print)

The primary purpose of this class is to enable you to develop a prior learning portfolio that can be used to apply for academic credit for courses offered at MSU Denver.

GEL 1150: Oceanography (SPO)

This introductory course studies the world’s oceans, including historical explorations, physical and biological processes, energy sources, ocean resources, marine provinces, and geology of ocean basins.  This course emphasizes global distribution, use and control of ocean resources and ocean pollution. (General Studies: Natural and Physical Sciences)

HIS 1040: World History since 1500 (Print)

This course provides an introduction to important theories, concepts, methods and content for understanding world history since 1500. Among others, it explores social, cultural, religious, economic, and political themes. (General Studies: Historical, Global Diversity), (GT-HI1)

HIS 3290: Nazi Germany (SPO)

This detailed survey examines the origins of Hitler’s regime within the context of 20th century Germany and Nazi domestic and foreign policies to 1939. World War II, given thorough coverage, is viewed as the logical culmination of Hitler's ideology and his ability to use the German nation as a means to achieve his murderous ends.

HIS 3360: Women in European History (SPO)

This course provides an historical analysis of the role and contribution made by women in the development of Western Civilization from Neolithic times to the present. Crosslisted with WMS 3360.  Credit will be granted for only one prefix: HIS or WMS.

HIS 340B: Western Heroes (Print)

Examine the lives, personalities, and historical importance of some of the West’s most colorful characters.  From the Spanish explorations through the early 20th century, each significant era of the West’s lively past is examined through the eyes of approximately 30 of the region’s most important figures.  Emphasis is on the lively aspects of each personality, as well as their importance in shaping the destiny of the West.

HIS 3430: American Revolution and Early National Period, 1763-1848 (Print)

This course examines politics, society, and economics during the Revolutionary period.  Major topics will include American Society on the eve of the Revolution, the causes of the war and military and diplomatic aspects of the eras, development of political parties, reform movements and changing status of native and Africa Americans and women.

HIS 3520: Civil War and Reconstruction (Print)

This course traces the background of the Civil War, the war itself, and the aftermath of the war. It also familiarizes students with Civil War and Reconstruction historiography. 

HIS 367C: The Cold War (Print)

This course examines the Cold War from 1917 to 1991.  Emphasis is placed on the events preceding the confrontation from the Russian Revolution of 1917 through World War II; the impact of the atomic bomb; Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe; The Truman Doctrine and Containment; domestic policies in both countries, the Cuban Missile Crisis; Détente and contributions of Gorbachev to the ending of the Cold War and the USSR.

HIS 3735: World War II, 1939-1948 (SPO)

This course provides a detailed overview of the Second World War from multiple perspectives, including military, political, economic, social and cultural history. Special attention focuses on close reading of multiple personal accounts of the war from a variety of perspectives.  Note: Students may not receive credit for both HIS 3735 and HIS 4650.

HTE 2512: Hotel Front Office (SPO)

This course examines hotel front-office procedures by detailing the flow of business through a hotel, from the reservations process to check-out and settlement. Students identify effective front-office management, with particular attention to the planning and evaluation of front office operations. Front-office procedures and management are placed within the context of the overall operation of the hotel.

HTE 3522: Hotel Housekeeping (SPO)

In this course, students learn how to manage housekeeping operations in the hotel industry. Students study the management of direct housekeeping day-to-day operations from the big picture perspective down to technical details. This course examines the interrelation of hotel departments, and maximum guest service and profitability. 

JRN 1010: Introduction to Journalism & Mass Media (SPO)

This survey course introduces students from all academic disciplines to the historical development of journalism and mass media and its relationship to contemporary society. Students will explore the functions and impact of newspapers, books, television, radio, magazines, films, public relations and issues such as technology convergence, censorship, economic control, and privacy. (General Studies: Social and Behavioral Sciences I), (GT-SS3)

NUT 2040: Introduction to Nutrition-Self Paced (SPO)

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the fundamental concepts of human nutrition, including digestion, absorption, metabolism, and the function of nutrients as they relate to human health and disease.  (General Studies: Natural and Physical Sciences) (GT-SC2)

RECR 3330: Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation Services (SPO)

This course surveys the recreation needs of individuals with disabilities. It provides an overview to therapeutic recreation services, including those in both health-care agencies and community-based settings.

SOC 1010: Introduction to Sociology (SPO)

This course facilitates the development of a sociological perspective as it applies to understanding the social forces that shape people's lives, interests, and personalities. The emphasis is on the scientific study of people in groups, the importance of culture, the processes of socialization, social control and social conflict, and the major institutions of society. (General Studies: Social and Behavioral Sciences I), (GT-SS3)

SOC 3410: The Family in Transition (SPO)

This course is designed to provide an in-depth sociological analysis of the family as a social institution in a changing society. Major theoretical perspectives will be incorporated to facilitate an understanding of significant social transitions, trends and issues of varying patterns of contemporary family life. Dimensions of the family are examined through interactive relationships including ethnicity, gender, age, and social class.   

SOC 3500: Criminology (SPO)

This course is a sociological analysis of the nature, causes, and treatment of crime and delinquency and of the processes by which such persons and behaviors develop.

SOC 3510: Juvenile Delinquency (SPO)

This course emphasizes the universality and variability of misconduct and delinquencies of youth. In addition, the course examines the youth subculture, gangs, drug addiction, the juvenile justice system and the effects of child abuse. 

SPA 1000: Conversational Spanish for Travel I (SPO)

This course is designed for beginning students of Spanish and uses the video course Destin: An Introduction to Spanish.  Basic skills addressed include listening, speaking, reading, writing, and culture.  This course is conducted primarily in Spanish, using English to clarify essential points.

WMS 1200: Multicultural Study of Sexualities and Genders (SPO)

This multidisciplinary course introduces the study of sexualities and genders including the history, major theories, racial intersections, and issues.  Foundational concepts and vocabulary are taught so that the student will be equipped to take advanced courses in this area.  General models of identity linked with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered sexualities are explored.  Intersectional analysis will be applied with particular attention to the experiences of sexuality and gender in the African-American, Chicana/o, and Asian American communities.

WMS 3360: Women in European History (SPO)

This course provides an historical analysis of the role and contribution made by women in the development of Western Civilization from Neolithic times to the present. Crosslisted with HIS 3360. Credit will be granted for only one prefix: HIS or WMS.

Program Policies

Registering for Distance Learning Courses - You must be an MSU Denver student with a student ID to register for courses.  For more information about the application process, or to apply online, please visit the website for the Office of Admissions.

MSU Denver students can register for SPO/correspondence courses through their Student Hub account. Simply select Self-Paced Online/Correspondence from the class schedule search options and enter the CRN for the course(s) you select. Please be sure to check the class notes to determine if the course is offered as a self-paced online or print based format.

Purchasing Textbooks - Textbooks for both SPO and correspondence courses are available through the Tivoli Station located in the Tivoli Building on the Auraria Campus, or through the Tivoli Station website. 

Outside book distributors may be an alternative option.

Policies for Submitting Assignments - You may not send or submit more than two lessons per week unless you have made prior arrangements with your instructor. Instructors are not required to grade more than two assignments per week, therefore sending all coursework at one time at the end of the course could result in you receiving an “F” as your final grade. Please do not submit all coursework at the last minute.

Course Evaluation - Your feedback is extremely valuable to us as we continue to improve and develop self-paced distance learning classes.  After completing your course, please take a moment to complete the course evaluation survey online. To receive a copy of the evaluation in print format, please call the Self-Paced Distance Learning (South Campus) office at 303-721-1313.

Extensions - MSU Denver policies prevent us from granting extensions for SPO/correspondence courses. If you are not able to complete all the work required for your correspondence course within the determined timeframe you will receive an “F” as your final grade.  Note: Rare exceptions are made for medical reasons. In this case, you will be required to submit sufficient documentation for your situation to be reviewed.

Student Resources

ADA Statement - MSU Denver is committed to making reasonable accommodations to assist individuals with disabilities in reaching their academic potential.  If you have a disability which may impact your performance, attendance, or grades in this class and are requesting accommodations, then you must first register with the Access Center, located in the Plaza Building, Suite 122 303-556-8387.

The Access Center is the designated department responsible for coordinating accommodations and services for students with disabilities.  Accommodations will not be granted prior to receipt of your faculty notification letter from the Access Center.  Please note that accommodations are not provided retroactively (i.e., prior to the receipt of your faculty notification letter.)  Once the Self-Paced Distance Learning Office (MSU Denver South) has received your official Access Center faculty notification letter, we will discuss your needs and make appropriate arrangements for your accommodations.  All discussions will remain confidential. Further information is available by visiting the Access Center website.

Contacting the MSU Denver Distance Learning Office - You may contact the MSU Denver Self-Paced Distance Learning Office (South Campus) by phone at 303-721-1313. Our office is open Monday – Thursday, 8:30am – 9:00pm, and Fridays from 8:30am – 5:00pm Mountain Standard Time.

Technical Support - Blackboard customer service and support is available 24-hour/7 days a week/365 days a year by contacting Embanet support at 1-888-915-9535.

For all other day-to-day technology problems and non-blackboard issues contact the Help Desk at 303-352-7548.

Auraria Campus Library - The Library offers a variety of tools to help you find the resources you need. The Library streaming videos collection contains many resources relevant for homework assignments.

Auraria Library
1100 Lawrence Street
Denver, CO 80204

Transcripts and Name/Address Changes - To order transcripts, change your name, or update your address please log onto your Student Hub account and select the desired option from the My Services/Registration tab.

You may also contact the Office of the Registrar at 303-556-3991, or write to this address:

MSU Denver Office of the Registrar
PO Box 173362, Campus Box 84
Denver, CO 80217-3362

Name Changes: Please include a photocopy of the legal document that changes your name (court order, marriage license, etc.)

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