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Whether you come for a campus visit, fine arts program, or athletic event, SWU seeks to provide educational and cultural opportunities not just to our campus community but to the greater community around us.

Online Programs FAQ

We know you might have a lot of questions about online programs. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about SWU online programs.

About Online Learning

Will a college degree really make a difference in my career?

On average, college graduates earn an income of 65 percent more than high school graduates. Over the course of a career, that means a college graduate will earn almost $1 million more than a high school graduate. Those with a master’s degree will earn on average an income of 107 percent more than high school graduates. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Is an online format comparable to the traditional residential, on-campus format of classes?

Yes and no. Yes to the content of the courses. The learning outcomes for online classes are the same as their on-ground traditional counterparts.  The need to attend on-ground classes on specific days of the week, interact in person with other classmates and instructors is not the same.  You must be disciplined, highly motivated, driven and proactive to be successful in online coursework. We do provide guidance in online course through our online chaplain and tutoring opportunities through online support systems.

How do online classes work?

Watch this video first that helps explain how online classes work.

Want to see what an online course might look like? Take a sneak peak at Canvas, our learning management system. You can view a Canvas orientation course as an example of what the real online experience might be like.

How fast can I complete my degree?

Degree completion time greatly depends on the chosen program and the amount of transfer credit you may have. Please contact our enrollment staff to learn more.

What happens if I move to a new location?

If you are an online student and still have the basic requirements for internet connectivity, you can still attend and finish your studies. Southern Wesleyan University is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).  The majority of the states within the United States have joined NC-SARA.  So you should be able to complete your online degree uninterrupted if you relocate.

When and how often do I have to be online for class?

In order to be counted present for the online course, you must complete at least one assignment during the week. In order to be successful in the course, we recommend that you access the course every day to check for new announcements, discussion posts, and due dates. Most of the work can be done on your own schedule, but there may be some specific times scheduled for meeting online with your instructor and classmates.

Which degree programs are offered online?

See our complete listing of online degree programs and courses.

What is the difference between online and residential class formats?

While the traditional residential class model requires on-campus, in-person class times, the online format provides much more flexibility. Online degree programs are completed fully online, no matter how far away from a SWU location you might live. Courses feature primarily online instruction. Most online courses last seven weeks and can be taken year-round in three semesters (fall, spring, and summer).

How do I get my books and materials?

Southern Wesleyan University has partnered with eCampus ( to provide a virtual bookstore option.  Students are not required to use eCampus. However, we have found the prices to be very competitive when comparing other sources. Most courses have the option for students to buy new, buy used, or utilize e-book options.

It’s been years since I have been in school. Can I really do this?

At Southern Wesleyan, many of our students have been out of school for ten, twenty, or thirty years. Our students range in age from early twenties to mid-sixties. Most will quietly admit that they are nervous about coming back to school (and others are more open about it). It is okay to be nervous. You should be nervous. Going back to school is a big decision. You need to have a support group around you to cheer you on. We encourage you to write down the reasons motivating you to look into furthering your education. Then, a year or two down the road when you’re close to burn-out, refer back to those reasons to keep you going. Prepare your life for the big change going back to school will require. You will probably have to make life sacrifices to do this. But don’t let nerves keep you from stepping into your dreams.

What are the computer requirements for the online program?

Key to your success at Southern Wesleyan University is owning a properly-equipped computer. Most company-issued computers do not allow users to make software and hardware changes outside of the work environment. Therefore, we recommend the following computer minimum system recommendations to assist you in the selection of a personal computer that will allow you to take full advantage of Southern Wesleyan University’s technology resources.


About Cost and Financial Aid

What is the cost of attendance at Southern Wesleyan University?

The SWU price per credit hour includes the tuition and fees wrapped up in one cost. While most colleges charge tuition per credit hour and tack on a bunch of extra fees, SWU offers you a flat-rate cost per credit hour with no hidden fees. Learn more about SWU’s tuition and fees.

Is financial aid available?

Yes, there are a number of ways to finance your education. Learn about SWU's financial aid process.

What is your school code for FAFSA?

Southern Wesleyan’s FAFSA School Code is 003422. Learn more about the FAFSA.

With whom do I speak about financial aid?

Questions regarding financial aid should be directed to your Financial Aid Counselor.

With whom do I speak about my bill?

After your funds from financial aid come to Southern Wesleyan, they are applied to your student account by a Student Accounts Representative. If you have questions about what you have paid, what you need to pay, or anything else regarding your funding that has come into the school, contact your Student Accounts Representative.

When will I get my financial aid refund check?

Students who are eligible to receive financial aid funds in excess of their student account bill may request a refund check of the excess funds. We do not encourage this practice, however, as students still pay interest on those loan funds. We would suggest that you return any excess funds to your lender for paying down your debt, or to earmark those funds (or return them to the school) to be used for future educational expenses that may require out-of-pocket payment. Student Accounts can be reached by calling 864-644-5520 during business hours (8 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday).


About Admissions Process

How do I apply for admission?

You may apply online—it's a simple process that usually only takes about 15 minutes. After applying, Southern Wesleyan University assigns you an admissions coordinator to help you throughout the admissions process as well as enrollment in your first classes. To get started today, please call (877) 644-5557.

What are the admissions requirements for Southern Wesleyan University?

Please visit the admission requirements page for the requirements specific to your program.

Does Southern Wesleyan University undergraduate program accept transfer credit?

Yes. Southern Wesleyan accepts transfer credits from other regionally accredited institutions and a limited number of other institutions with which we have cooperative agreements. Our complete transfer policies can be found in our Academic Bulletin.


About Technology and Online Tools

What type of computer do I need?

Please view our computer requirements and recommendations for online and graduate students to learn more about your technology needs.

What is Canvas?

Canvas is our online learning management system. In simple terms, it is the online platform you will use to access your courses, interact with instructors and course mates, and complete your assignments. You can access Canvas by logging in to and clicking the “Canvas – View My Courses” Quick Link.

How do I troubleshoot problems with Canvas?

If you experience Canvas issues while working in your course, we recommend that you first reach out to fellow course mates and/or your instructor to see if they may be able to quickly answer your questions. As a second step, you can click the Help icon in Canvas from the global navigation menu where you can search for answers in the Canvas Guides or submit an incident report that will be routed to the appropriate help representative. You can also reach the Helpdesk for support by dialing 864-644-5050.

When will my courses show up on Canvas?

Your course will usually be accessible one to two weeks prior to the course start date.


About Southern Wesleyan University

How long has Southern Wesleyan University been in existence? Is it accredited?

Southern Wesleyan University was originally established in 1906 as the Wesleyan Methodist Bible Institute whose mission was to develop Christian character in its students while giving thorough intellectual training. Now, as a four-year, private, liberal arts college, SWU’s structure and name have changed, but our mission—to be a Christian community of learners that recognizes God as the source of all truth and wisdom—has remained.

Southern Wesleyan University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC). Many of our programs also hold additional accreditation and/or approval from organizations specific to their field. Learn more about our accreditation.

Do Southern Wesleyan University Online faculty hold master's or doctoral degrees?

To ensure the value of your education, all of our faculty members have either master's or doctorate degrees. Southern Wesleyan University is devoted to ensuring the academic integrity of our classes and our professors who teach them.

Will my actual Southern Wesleyan University diploma say "Online"?

No. All of our diplomas state “Southern Wesleyan University” with no distinction between traditional campus or online degree programs.