The courses are offered in two formats: Traditional and Online

Traditional Distance Education (Correspondence)

Traditional Distance Education (Correspondence) courses using the study guide format are self-paced, allowing you the freedom to learn when and where you wish. Upon enrolling, you will receive a study guide for the course. In it, the General Information section explains how the program works, including how to apply for academic credit, extensions, and preparing for the final exam.

You can register and start any of our 4 courses as a correspondence course at any time and have six months from the time you register to complete the course requirements including taking the final exam.


Online courses provide resources to help you augment your learning experience by engaging with the material and interacting with the instructors and other students. This course generally adopts an asynchronous learning style. That is, you are encouraged to regularly check in on the course website for information and participate in the weekly discussion forum as your schedule permits. It is designed to cover the material in about 16 weeks, however, just as in the correspondence course, students have six months to complete all course requirements.

The online format is offered twice a year (fall and spring) and we cycle through the courses, so each course is offered every other year.

In order to complete a WMDEP course, participants must read assigned materials, respond with written answers to review questions, submit other assignments and projects, and take a proctored final exam. Note: Graduate increment requires students to submit an original research paper. If students are registered for academic credit, the final grade for each course is recorded on an official University of Montana transcript.