University of North Carolina


The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education at UNC logo

The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education at UNC

Continue Your Education

Sharpen your skills, broaden your knowledge, or earn credit toward a college degree. The Friday Center for Continuing Education serves lifelong learners across North Carolina and around the world.

Through Carolina Courses Online, students earn college credit by taking courses electronically. Carolina Courses Online are offered on a semester schedule in the spring, fall, and over one summer session. Class attendance is not required, but students communicate with classmates and their instructor via e-mail and discussion forums. Courses originate and credit is granted from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Students can also earn academic credit from a distance through Self-paced Courses, a distance education program offering courses from eight institutions of the University of North Carolina and administered by the Friday Center. These print-based and online courses are open to anyone who wishes to enroll; there are no admission requirements. You can enroll in a Self-paced Course at any time and begin work on your course immediately after enrolling. You will have up to nine months from the date of enrollment to complete the course.

Frequently Asked Questions

Each course has its own set of requirements and learning activities. In general you will read from textbooks and other sources (some available on the World Wide Web), complete written assignments and projects, participate in a electronic discussion group, take quizzes, and pass a final exam. In some courses the final exam must be taken under supervision at an accredited institution of higher education or other appropriate institutional setting. In others, the exam is given online. Some courses also include papers or projects.

Are online courses harder than
classroom courses?

Online courses are a different way of learning. They require self-discipline and motivation in order to meet deadlines and complete required work. Some students enjoy the flexibility of online courses and the opportunities they provide for reflection and independent learning. Other students miss the immediacy of a classroom and its opportunities for communicating face-to-face with classmates and teachers. Most students agree that online courses require hard work and determination, but that the benefits of successfully completing them are great. These are college-level courses, and you should be at least a rising senior in high school to enroll.

How much time will I spend on my course?

Courses taught via Carolina Courses Online and Self-paced Courses are equivalent to those taught on campus, and you can expect to spend at least as much time on an online or correspondence course as you would if you took the class in a traditional setting. You can expect to do a significant amount of reading and writing, and you may need to log in to your course pages or discussion forum daily.

Do I need to know a lot about computers?

Carolina Courses Online and Self-paced Courses are designed to be accessible to people with a wide range of experience using computers, so you don't need to be an expert. You will need to be comfortable sending e-mail and using the Internet. You'll need to become familiar with posting messages to a discussion forum, and it is likely that you will be creating documents and attaching them to e-mail messages.

Student Reviews

I’m extremely grateful for the experience I had in [UNC Friday Center’s] high quality program. Employers value the credential, and it helped me get a great job.

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