Hoover Tower and Green Library on Stanford campus.

How Our Courses Function

Core Curriculum 

Once enrolled in a class, students can proceed through the materials on the Canvas platform at their own leisure. The weekly schedule is provided but the pace is essentially up to the student, however, there are set windows within which the midterm and final must be taken. On Canvas, there are ungraded, practice problems. In some courses there are graded homework assignments as well. Though each student progresses at a different rate, it is expected that students will spend 8-12 hours per week on each course.

Online Sessions 

Online sessions tend to follow along the posted schedule, although students are free to ask questions from any segment of the course. For large enrollment courses (usually XM511, XM521, XM522, XP645, XP670) there are dedicated course discussion sessions, while low enrollment courses have a common office hour available each week. The precise times for online discussion sessions is fixed at the start of each term, they usually fall in the range of 1 - 6 PM, Stanford time. Online discussion sessions are not mandatory, however, we highly encourage students to attend if possible. Recordings are available.


The core assessments are standard paper/pencil exams. For majority of courses, these exams take 3 hours. The exams need to be independently proctored to receive a letter grade. (If a relative proctors the exam, the course will be graded on a credit/no-credit basis.) Students should arrange with their school, local library, testing or tutoring center etc. to obtain an appropriate independent proctor to be registered into University-Level Online’s system. 


When a student completes a course and all exams are graded, their results are reported to the Stanford Continuing Studies Program (CSP) within a month of completion. At that time, students can request transcripts from CSP. It is not possible to obtain a transcript prior to the end of the term in which you are enrolled. Instructions on how to request transcripts will be provided.

All courses carry 3 units of credit.