Learning online at NC State

NC State has a long history of online and distance education courses and programs. When taking online courses at NC State, you will discover a faculty committed to quality teaching, a campus rich with learner support resources and a technology infrastructure with state-of-the-art tools and platforms. A 2021 US News and World Report survey ranked seven NC State online degree programs in its top ten.

Is online and distance education right for you?

Online learning provides students with flexibility that face-to-face programs and courses do not typically offer.

  • Flexibility in WHEN you learn
    • Asynchronous class components offer flexibility for when you learn, which is important if you are employed or have family or personal obligations. 
    • Note: NC State’s distance education courses follow university semester and summer academic calendars; they are not self-paced.
  • Flexibility in WHERE you learn
    • The ability to access materials remotely and meet through video conferencing offers flexibility in where you learn. 
    • Note: Occasionally, a course may require visits to campus (or to a remote location) for assignments or exams.
    • Note: Some NC State online and distance education programs are offered in face-to-face, site-based format at locations remote from the NC State campus. These courses require attendance at exact dates and times. Usually participation in such courses requires admission to a cohort of students, all of whom complete the same program together during the same time frame.

While online and distance education offer great flexibility, it can also require a different approach to learning than you might be used to. Are you ready to learn online? Take this free Online Learning Readiness Questionnaire to assess whether this mode of learning might be right for you, and learn some tips for success based on your responses.

Online course delivery

As an NC State student taking online or distance education courses, you can expect to encounter a variety of delivery formats across courses and programs.

For example, you may access course materials, activities, and assessments asynchronously with a web browser through Moodle, NC State’s official Learning Management System (LMS). You might have synchronous classes or meetings with your instructor through Zoom or Google Meet. You might view course videos in Panopto, or collaborate with your peers in Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, or other parts of the Google Education Workspace. 

Online and Distance Education Tools

NC State’s suite of enterprise digital education tools is called “WolfWare.” By logging into the WolfWare website, you will access each of your courses that has a digital delivery component. WolfWare tools you might use in your NC State courses include

  • Panopto: Video platform that houses and streams instructional videos.
  • Moodle: NC State’s learning management system for course content delivery.
  • Top Hat: Comprehensive platform that can be used both within and outside of the classroom with interactive slides, graded questions, customized content, videos, discussions and polls.
  • WolfWare Google Groups: Platform through which your instructor can maintain a course email list and share Google Calendar invitations and Google Drive content.
  • WolfWare WordPress: May be used for some course websites outside of Moodle.
  • Zoom: Video-conferencing application that allows synchronous online class sessions and other meetings between students, faculty, and staff.  

Next Steps

If online and distance education is right for you, browse our programs! You can also reach out to us and we will be happy to answer your questions about learning online at NC State! We look forward to meeting you!


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