Policies and Procedures

Enrollment Requirements

Self-paced distance learning courses are only available to students in the United States of America and U.S. territories that hold a high school diploma or equivalent. Each student desiring to earn credit by self-paced study assumes full responsibility for determining if these courses will fulfill the requirements for their degree or certificate and are solely responsible for all payments. If you have questions, check with your academic advisor before enrolling.

Credit earned by self-paced study will be credited to the term in which the course is enrolled. On the application the student must state whether he/she is or is not currently enrolled in residence, self-paced distance learning, or extended campus study at Murray State or any other institution; otherwise, credit is jeopardized. A student will be allowed to receive credit for a maximum of six hours each semester, or 12 hours during the regular academic year of nine months, or 16 hours within a calendar year through self-paced study.

Special Regulations

Courses taken by self-paced study are normally not acceptable as part of the major or minor. Students desiring to take a self-paced distance learning course in their major or minor field must obtain written permission from the department chair. A self-paced distance learning course cannot be used to repeat a non-self-paced distance learning course where a grade has already been given.


Once a student's application has been processed, the student will receive information on how to add the class using their myGate account. Due to federal guidelines, this process will be different for Murray State University students wishing to use Financial Aid to pay for a self-paced distance learning course. Please see the Financial Aid section below for more information.

Once the student has officially added the class, the course outlines and lessons will be mailed to the student to the address listed on the application. The student purchases the necessary books and materials and begins work. Lessons are mailed to Murray State's Center for Adult and Regional Education (RAO) where they will be logged and forwarded to the instructor for grading. Graded lessons are returned to the student. The instructor reserves the right to have any paper reworked. There is a two-week time allowance for instructors to grade papers and finals. Each student is provided detailed instructions regarding procedures and practices of the correspondence study program when course materials are sent.

Beginning/Term Dates

FALL TERM August 1-November 30

SPRING TERM December 1-April 30

SUMMER TERM May 1-July 31

The beginning date for a self-paced distance learning course is the date of enrollment using myGate. Your class will be attached to the term in which you enroll. A student may enroll for a course any time during the calendar year. The course must be completed within 52 WEEKS from the date of enrollment. Murray State students who anticipate a graduation date within a year from the date he/she enrolls in a self-paced distance learning course need to contact the Graduation Office at 800-272-4MSU. It is his/her responsibility to inquire about possible Graduation Office deadlines to complete the course that may occur before the deadlines set by the Center for Adult and Regional Education (RAO) Office.

Financial Aid

Murray State University students wishing to use Financial Aid to pay for a self-paced distance learning course must be enrolled in the same number of hours of face-to-face/online classes with Murray State University, during the same semester, as they are applying for the self-paced distance learning course and will have to submit the first lesson of the class (provided by RAO) before they can add the class on myGate. For more information regarding using financial aid to pay for a self-paced distance learning course, please call the Financial Aid Office at 270-809-2546.


Students may withdraw from self-paced distance learning courses within 6 months of their initial registration date. Withdrawals must be done in writing to the self-paced distance learning course office in RAO. After 6 months of the initial registration date, students may not drop their self-paced distance learning course regardless of number of lessons completed. Contact the self-paced distance learning course office for refund information.


All text and instructional materials are furnished by the student. Textbook information will be mailed along with lesson assignments for each course and can also be found by clicking here. Most textbooks may be purchased from the Murray State University Book Store (270-809-4388 or 1-800-749-8580) or directly from the publishing companies. Used books are sometimes available at the Murray State Book Store.

Course Numbering

The numbers used to identify courses are as follows:

001-089 Special category post-secondary courses
090-299 Lower-division undergraduate courses
300-499 Upper-division undergraduate courses
500-599 Upper-division undergraduate courses or graduate courses (requires at least a junior classification)
600-799 Graduate courses
800-999 Doctoral courses

Course Completion Time

The minimum completion time is as follows:

2 semester hours completed in not less than four weeks
3 semester hours completed in not less than five weeks
4 semester hours completed in not less than eight weeks
5 semester hours completed in not less than nine weeks
6 semester hours completed in not less than ten weeks

Students wishing to complete a self-paced distance learning course in less than the minimum allowable time must have written approval from the instructor and the Center for Adult and Regional Education Dean on their application.

Students are given 52 weeks from the date of enrollment for the completion of a course. Extensions of three months and six months are considered on an individual basis. Requests for extension should be made in writing to the RAO Distance Learning Specialist.

Course Grade Information

A student who enrolls and completes a self-paced distance learning course within one term will have their final grade applied to their academic record in the semester in which s/he registered. If the student does not complete the course in the term registered, the student will receive an In Progress (IP) grade until the course is completed. If the student fails to complete the course by the course completion date based on date of enrollment, the student will receive an E on their academic record which could affect financial aid, scholarships, athletic eligibility, VA benefits, or other aid for the semester enrolled if aid was used. It is the student's responsibility to confirm that this will not interfere with any financial aid/grant/scholarship monies they are receiving.

Final Examination Procedures

A final examination is required at the completion of all of the courses and must be taken within 30 days from the time the last lesson is completed. The final exam counts at least 60% of the course grade. Applications for final exams should be received in the RAO office at least one week prior to the requested date of examination. If you plan to take the exam on campus, in our office, call 270-809-5056 to set up a time and date. The examination can be given any weekday between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., depending upon availability. These hours are specified so the student will have time to complete the examination before Murray State closing hours. For students who cannot come to the Murray State campus, arrangements may be made with an employee/instructor at your local community college, learning center, public school, or other college or university to proctor the examination. A family member can NOT proctor an exam.

Course Completion Date

The date of successful completion of the course will be the date the final examination paper is received in the RAO Office. If credit is needed by a certain time, the student should plan far enough ahead so that the course can be completed according to the rules and regulations of RAO. There is a two-week time allowance for instructors to grade papers and finals.

Transcripts of College Credit

As a student completes a course, his/her record will be sent to Murray State's Admission and Registrar's Office. A notice of completion of the course with the final grade will be mailed to the student. If a student wants credit transferred, he/she should go to www.murraystate.edu/Academics/RegistrarsOffice/Transcripts to read the information and to download the request form. You can also reach the Admissions and Registrar's Office at 270-809-5630 or 1-800-272-4678 ext. 1. Results of the work done through Center for Adult and Regional Education will be recorded in the Admissions and Registrar's Office as follows:

A - Exceptionally high quality, valued at four points per credit
B - Good, valued at three points per credit
C - Satisfactory, valued at two points per credit
D - Poor, valued at one point per credit
E - Failure, no credit, valued at no points but counted as hours attempted

Academic Honesty

Click here for the Policy on Academic Honesty at Murray State.

Privacy Policies

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. Please click here to read the FERPA policy for Murray State University. To view Murray State's policies on technology use, click here.

Student Services and Support

Students requiring special assistance due to a disability should visit the Office of Student Disability Services immediately for assistance with reasonable accommodations. For information for students with disabilities contact:

Office of Student Disability Services

423 Wells Hall, Murray, KY 42071.
(270) 809-2018 (Voice)
(270) 809- 5889 (TDD)
For more information about Student Disability Services, click here.