Metropolitan State encourages students to seek alternatives to traditional classroom learning.

In addition to its many courses, Metropolitan State offers the following:

Internet Study

Internet courses offer students a flexible learning environment that is balanced with structured assignments and due dates, and frequent contact with instructors and fellow students. Most Internet courses at Metropolitan State are offered on the  course platform, which enables students to work asynchronously (different times/different places) at their convenience. Students taking Internet courses should have easy access to the Internet, be comfortable browsing the Internet, and have basic word processing and file management skills. Internet courses are identified in the course listing section of this Class Schedule under the heading Internet Study.


Students can develop innovative and flexible internships to fulfill their personal or professional goals. Internships offer Metropolitan State students the chance to earn credit through hands-on learning at a variety of sites. Students must complete and submit an approved internship agreement form in order to register. Visit  Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship for more information or assistance, or students may attend an information session offered monthly.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Students who have achieved university-level learning and competence through independent study, work- or community-based training or experiences may propose assessment for credit through the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) process. The process includes developing a proposal and clearly defining what has been learned, and then documenting and demonstrating your learning for a faculty evaluator who is a subject-area expert.

Students may attend a free "Get Started (.pdf)" lab to learn more about how what kinds of learning works best for prior learning assessment, and how such learning and competence can be documented and evaluated. Students should also consult their advisors to determine how the learning experience would fit into their program of study. Proposal forms are available from advisors, the Registration Office or from students' college offices.

Independent Study: Faculty- or Student-Designed

Independent study allows students an opportunity to learn without attending face-to-face classes about subjects designed and offered by faculty in the Class Schedule, or designed by students working with a faculty member. Learning to learn in a self-directed way is a skill indispensable to the workplace and to personal, lifelong learning.

Choose from two types of independent study:

Faculty-Designed Independent Study (FDIS) is an assignment and study framework designed by faculty and listed in the Class Schedule for registration.  There are no class or face-to-face meetings; most communication is completed through mail, email or  the university's online learning platform.  An FDIS may be an alternative approach to learning, with the same learning outcomes as the course of the same name, or an FDIS may have a unique subject area or address a specialized subject, not offered in a classroom or online format.

FDIS are offered in the Class Schedule, designated as sections 21, 22, etc.  They can be found by sorting for Faculty Designed Independent Study under "Delivery Method" in the online or eServices Class Schedule.

Student-Designed Independent Study (SDIS) allows a student to study a unique subject-area interest, pursue a learning experience such as travel or community involvement, or undertake a research or applied project, such as a new project assignment through work that will involved training and significant new learning. With the help of a faculty member who serves as a guide and evaluator, students develop a proposal for the independent study, describing the proposed learning methods and goals or outcomes.

Each SDIS is individual, and registered through a sponsoring department, rather than through the Class Schedule.  Get more information at a free "Get Started (.pdf)" SDIS Lab.

Theory Seminars

Theory seminars are designed specifically for students with significant experience and practical knowledge in a subject, but limited theoretical knowledge.  The seminar provides an accelerated format to augment prior learning with related new learning, and to integrate practical knowledge with new theory. Seminars are offered in subjects common for adult students to have had prior learning, such as Communications, Travel and Culture, Student-Directed Learning, and Community Leadership.  Some specialized subjects like child psychology/child care and Perspectives 301 for the Individualized B.A. program also offer seminars.

For more information refer to the online or eServices Class Schedule, and search under Delivery Method.