Online Students

Many students use online courses to balance life, work, and education. 

With 100+ online courses offered year-round, WSU can provide you with an exceptional online learning experience that will help you reach your goals in your own unique way.

For some, online is the only way to make a degree possible. For others, online classes are added to in-the-classroom courses to allow for more flexibility to meet other life demands. 

WSU can provide an ideal learning environment for you, whether you are:

  • looking for an online or hybrid academic program
  • an on-campus student wanting to add online coursework to your schedule
  • a summer student continuing your studies from afar
  • a non-degree-seeking student looking to enroll in non-credit courses
Quality Matters
Our approach to distance learning has quality at its core and has a strong emphasis on student support. 

Many of our faculty use the Quality Matters™ rubric when developing their online courses. 

As a leader in technology and innovation within Minnesota State, WSU is constantly searching for the best ways to educate and engage students in a completely online learning environment.

Two student look at a laptop together while sitting at a table outside on the WSU campus.

We offer tools such as:

  • Online advising and tutoring
  • Distance access to the WSU Writing Center
  • Distance access to student resources
Get Ready for Online Learning

Online courses differ from conventional courses in two important ways— technology use and strong self-discipline are both required to be successful. 

Before you enroll, consider how the course will apply technology and whether you are ready technologically. 

Some learners struggle without the familiar routine of face-to-face class meetings. Before you enroll, consider how the course is designed, the expectations of students, and whether you are ready personally.

Reliable Internet Connection

Reliable internet access is essential for success in online courses. You should expect to be online from 1-4 hours per day for the full duration the course. 

You will also need at least broadband or high-speed Internet access. This is measured by the amount of information that you can download and upload in a certain amount of time.

Regular Computer Access

Online courses and programs will require you to have access to a reliable and capable computer. Before you purchase anything, check out the minimum standards required by WSU.

WSU also offers the eWarrior Digital Life & Learning Program, which equips students with a fully configured and supported laptop. Many students are automatically enrolled, while others may choose to enroll based on their circumstances.

Keep in mind that each course or program may also have specific technology requirements, such as microphone, web camera, and software.

Refer to the Course Detail information when you register and talk to your instructor if you have any questions or concerns.

Use of Essential Software

All online courses require some common software applications that are probably already installed on your computer such as: 

  • a web browser like Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Safari
  • a multimedia player software like Apple QuickTime or Windows Media Player

You’ll also need a “suite” of office tools—email, word processor, spreadsheet, presentation – and these apps are provided to all WSU students through Microsoft Office 365.

In addition, students who are not leasing a laptop through WSU can also purchase many popular software products at a discounted price.

Some online courses require discipline-specific software that you may need to purchase and install. These software requirements are included in the Course Detail information on the registration site and in your online course materials. 

Direct questions about software requirements to your instructor. 

Online students at WSU receive the same quality of support as on-campus students. 

All our traditional student services have been modified to support the online learner so you can easily access resources and people when you need help.

A student works on a laptop in a coffee shop.

As you begin your educational journey at WSU, you’re bound to have a lot of questions.

Review our online orientation to get some of your initial questions answered.

The Warrior Hub holds the answers to your questions regarding financial aid, student records and registration, academic policies, student account services, academic deadlines, graduation and much more.

A Warrior ID card provides physical proof that you are a student at a WSU. Many businesses in your local community may offer a student discount with proof of a student ID. Even large retailers like Amazon offer huge savings for students.

Getting your Warrior ID card is easy. Once you’ve been admitted and have an active registration, complete the Distance Learner ID Card Form and then watch your mailbox.

The Krueger Library provides the WSU community with the information resources and research services in an easily accessible online environment.

Students are placed in their initial English, math, and foreign language courses based upon their previous coursework or ACT/SAT scores. Learn more about course placement processes.

The Warrior Success Center provides free resources for student success, including:

You can also access through your D2L portal for free online tutoring around the clock.

The WSU Writing Center offers free, individualized instruction in all forms and disciplines during any stage of writing, reading or research. They can be accessed in person or over the phone.

Between the vast resources available through the WSU Technology Knowledge Base and LinkedIn Learning, as well as the dedicated support of our Technical Support Center, most tech and online learning tool questions can be addressed to keep you comfortable and productive in your online courses.

New students that choose not to participate in the eWarrior Digital Life & Learning program, should make sure they are ready to jump into online learning with their current computer and internet specifications.

Some tools that may be especially important for online students to learn early on include D2L Brightspace, Zoom, and Mediaspace.

Adult & Continuing Education offers post-traditional credit and non-credit students support with navigating options, adjusting to college as an adult, information regarding credit for prior learning and more.

WSU strives to recognize learning that students may have acquired outside of the traditional classroom. Credit for prior learning is especially important for students that come to us with established, but unaccounted for learning.

Health Services provides proactive physical and mental health care to Winona State University on campus and via distance.

Counseling Services offers a range of mental health services designed to enhance student growth and success. Each member of their professional staff is trained in developmental issues and clinical concerns common to college students.

The Equity & Inclusive Excellence Office is committed to cultural diversity and supports the building of an inclusive community through co-curricular education, community outreach, acceptance, and respect of issues related to race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, age, beliefs, ability levels, economic status, sexual identity, gender identity, and religion.

Opportunities to make social connections and create a peer support network are also made available so that classmates of today can make lifetime connections that can be relied upon years after graduation.


The Adult & Continuing Education team is ready to help answer any questions you have.