Professional or Adult Learners

Student studying with laptop

What type of courses may I take for Professional Development?
How do I Enroll?
How much is the Tuition?
What does it mean if a course says Full, Enrollment Closed, or Request Information?
How do I drop a course or know if I am eligible for a refund?
What is the difference between a CEU and a Credit Hour?
Does federal financial aid apply towards a Non-Credit course or certificate?
Will courses appear on a Transcript?

What type of courses may I take for professional development?

We offer a variety of courses for professional development or personal enrichment. Most professionals enrolling in courses through the Professional Studies department enroll in non-credit courses or certificates. These programs are open enrollment, no application required, and meet either online or during the evenings to accommodate busy schedules. Adults may also enroll as a visiting non-degree student in a variety of undergraduate or graduate level courses offering academic credit. For students interested in a full credential, explore Emerson's variety of Bachelor's Degrees and Graduate programs.

How do I enroll?

To enroll as a non-credit or non-degree student, browse for courses by Non-CreditUndergraduate credit, Graduate credit, Areas of Study, or use our Advanced Course Search tool to find the right course for you. Each course page will indicate the course description, number of credits (academic units) offered, price, schedule, and delivery format. Once you find courses in which you wish to enroll, simply add the course to your shopping cart and follow the prompts to complete the checkout and payment process. 

During the checkout process, you will be asked to create a temporary account. After your registration is complete, within a few hours, you will then receive an email from Emerson's IT Help Desk entitled "Emerson College - Activate your account" which will enable you to set up your permanent student account and password to access the College's online services. From this point forward, you will use your new official Emerson credentials to log in to this website as well as all Emerson services you may access as an enrolled student. To learn more, please review our Information for Enrolled Students page.

How much is the tuition?

Tuition for non-credit courses is a flat fee amount per course you will find listed on each individual course page. Prices vary based on the length of the course, complexity of the subject matter, and contact hours spent in class. All credit-bearing courses charge tuition based on an hourly tuition rate calculated by the number of academic units (credit hours) assigned to a course. The majority of Emerson courses offer 4 credit hours, but each course on our website will indicate the specific number of credits and the calculated tuition rate so you will know upfront how much your course will cost. Tuition rates are determined on an annual basis for the College. Payment is due at the time of enrollment and may be paid online during the checkout process.

What does it mean if a course says Full, Enrollment Closed, or Request Information?

Each course has a maximum number of seats for purchase in order to ensure educational quality with a low faculty to student ratio. If you find that a course is full (sold out), click the Request Information button on the course page to receive an automatic email notification if any additional seats become available or if a new section of the course becomes available for enrollment. Please note: we cannot over-enroll a course beyond its maximum capacity. Occasionally, student plans change and it is possible if an enrolled student decides to drop their course, a seat may suddenly become available. Signing up for the Request Information email alert is the best way to ensure you are notified if a seat becomes available for purchase. If a course indicates Enrollment Closed, this means the deadline for registration has passed and new registrations are no longer accepted.

Refund, Withdrawal, and Drop Policy

If you need to drop a course, you may do so via your Student Portal. For instructions and more information on eligibility, please review our Registration Policies page for refunds, withdrawals, and course drops.

What is the difference between a CEU and a Credit Hour?

Non-Credit courses offer what is called a CEU (Continuing Education Unit). CEUs are an industry standardized measurement for professional and continuing education programming. One CEU is equal to 10 hours of class time. For example, a 45 hour course offers 4.5 CEUs. CEUs are not applicable towards a degree program, but may be used to show an employer you have completed coursework in a specific topic.

Credit-bearing courses offer college Credits, also known as Academic Units (AU). Credits are generally applicable towards degree programs. If you are planning to enroll in a credit-bearing course and wish to transfer those credits back to a different institution, be sure to first verify with your home institution if the course credits are approved for transfer.

Does federal financial aid apply towards a Non-Credit course or certificate?

No. Non-credit courses and certificates are not eligible to receive federal financial aid. Only credit-bearing programs such as a degree or credit-granting certificate may be eligible for aid. More details may be found on the U.S. government's Federal Student Aid website.

Will courses appear on a Transcript?

Yes, all non-credit and all credit-bearing courses taken through Emerson's Professional Studies department will appear on an official Emerson transcript available through the Registrar's Office or on an unofficial transcript viewable through your Professional Studies Student Portal. Once you have enrolled in courses, you will have access to your Student Portal account to view your course history, grades, payments, and much more.

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