VIU Online FAQs

Why should I earn an online degree from Virginia International University?

VIU’s School of Online Education is dedicated to offering affordable, quality education to people all around the world. Our student-centric, international market-based approach sets us apart from other universities offering online degrees. Our online courses are built around VIU’s values and belief in providing a quality student experience in both our local and global communities. In addition, our online course schedules are very flexible so that students can plan their study time in the way that is most convenient for them.

How does the online program work? (online classrooms and exams)

The online courses at VIU are completely internet-based with no face-to-face meetings and regular synchronous communication. Typically, students work independently on their own schedule at times and places that are convenient for them, while meeting with their instructor during virtual office hours and synchronously communicating with their cohort. The courses are instructor-led, but self-discipline is very important for taking online classes. The instructors lead the online course and manage the online discussions.  Student progress and performance are assessed in the online classroom. To access your online courses, go to Canvas.  Here you will be able to access lectures, PowerPoints, and other types of course materials. You will communicate with your instructor and classmates using online forums, live chats, e-mail, and electronic submissions.  The course is designed so that you receive the course assignments, complete them by the due date, and submit them as electronic documents to your instructor for evaluation and feedback. All of the quizzes and exams will be taken online. The content and rigor of the online courses offered by VIU Online are equivalent to those of courses in our on-campus program.

Do I have to visit the campus if I enroll in an online program at VIU?

VIU’s online programs are set up so that students can complete an entire degree online. You will not be required to travel to campus at any time. However, you have an option to take some classes on campus. If you decide to take some on-campus classes along with the online classes, it is a great opportunity for you to visit our campus, which is located in Fairfax, Virginia, near Washington D.C. If you are an international student, you may gain experiences of living and studying abroad and improving your intercultural communication skills as VIU is a culturally diverse university.

What learning resources will be available to me?

In an online program, students always have access to learning resources and are able to communicate with their instructors and classmates easily. Tools and resources available to online students include the eTextbook, library, VIU’s WRMC (Writing, Research, and Media Center), Canvas Support, Canvas Training, VIU’s IT Help Desk, and the VIU Career Center.

How long will it take me to complete an online degree program?

You may complete an online degree at your own desired speed because there is no specific duration for an online program. Our online classes are 8 weeks long, so you may complete a Master’s degree in as little as one year and a bachelor’s degree in as little as 2.5 years. To get a sense of the suggested timeframe for your degree completion, be sure to check out the specific page related to your program of interest and degree concentration. For more information about each program, please click VIU Online Programs.

What type of accreditation does VIU’s School of Online Education have?

Virginia International University is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). Please click Accreditation for more information.

Will I get a diploma certificate after I complete an online degree program at VIU? Will my diploma say “Online Degree”?

After you complete an online degree program, you will receive the official and traditional diploma certificate identical to the ones received by any on-campus program recipients. Your diploma will not be differentiated from those for on-campus students. Program content in online courses is identical to the program content in on-ground courses – the only difference is the method of delivery.

What will VIU’s online program prepare me to do once I graduate?

At VIU, our mission is to educate students for the job market worldwide. We equip students with the skills necessary to be very competitive in their chosen fields. Our online program will help you grow in your specific area of interest, allowing you to make a difference in your life and lives of those around you.

How do I apply for a program at VIU Online?

The application process at VIU Online is simple. To apply to one of our programs, simply follow these steps to begin your application process:

  1. Create an online application account by visiting the Application Portal and submit the online application form to the Admissions Office.
  2. Pay the $20.00 application fee. For more information, please click Payment Methods.
  3. Upload the required documents as PDF files into the Application Portal for the Admissions Office to review. For the lists of admission requirements, please click Online Admissions Requirements. Please note that you will be able to upload your documents after your payment has been processed.

When are the application deadlines?

For online programs, the application deadline is usually one week prior to the first day of classes of each session.  You can find information about the application deadlines for upcoming sessions by clicking Application DeadlinesNote: All application documents and the application fee must be submitted by the deadline.

Do I need to submit an official English language proficiency score?

English is the language of instruction at Virginia International University’s School of Online Education. Students should provide proof of English language proficiency. Students must be proficient in English in all communication skills for completing examinations without the use of dictionaries or other exam aids, except those authorized by the instructor for all students taking the exam. For more information about the standardized tests that VIU Online Education accepts as a proof of English language proficiency, please click Evidence of English Language Proficiency.

How can I check the status of my application?

After you submit all the required documents to the Admission Office, you will be able to check the status of your application and any emails sent from VIU by logging into the Application Portal. If you have any questions or need assistance at any time during the admission process, please feel free to contact us by email at or by phone at 1 (800) 514-6848.

How do I transfer credits from another school?

VIU accepts a maximum of 50% of transfer courses from your previous institution. To determine what credits will transfer, submit a Transfer Credit Evaluation Request Form along with transcripts and course syllabi or course descriptions to our Admissions Office. We will conduct an evaluation to determine how many credits will transfer.

Do you grant academic credit for prior work experience?

Unfortunately, VIU Online does not grant academic credit for work experience at this time.

How much is tuition?

Please visit the Tuition Information Page for more information about current tuition rates for each program that we offer and other related fees.

When will I pay my tuition and fees?

The deadline to make a tuition payment is one week before the first day of classes. The semester tuition payment is due in full. Please click Payment Deadlines for more information. If you have any questions about the tuition and fee payments for VIU’s School of Online Education, you are encouraged to contact the Accounting Office by telephone at 1 (800) 514-6848 or by email at

What are the payment methods that VIU Online accepts for tuition and fees?

You can pay the application fee by the following methods:

  • Online via credit card: VIU accepts payment by VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. You can simply make a payment by using a valid credit card through the Student Portal.
  • Cash: Cash is only received on-campus in the Accounting Office, on campus. Please do not send cash payments through mail. Cash payments which are lost or stolen in the mailing process will not be refunded.
  • Check: All checks should be made payable to Virginia International University and should have the student’s name written on the front. Pre-endorsed checks are not accepted. Checks must be payable in US dollars with an intermediary bank in the US.
  • Wire Transfer: Please send an e-mail to to get our bank account information. Current students, please provide your student ID number.

Is financial aid available for online program students?

All credit undergraduate and graduate programs are eligible for federal financial aid except for the graduate certificate in project management. All non-credit programs are not eligible for federal financial aid,this includes ESL.

Does VIU offer payment installment plan for online program students?

Unfortunately, a payment plan option is not available for online students at this time.

I have been accepted to VIU Online, how do I register for classes?

After you are accepted to VIU Online, you will first be contacted by a School of Online Education representative with information about how to register for your classes. You will then be contacted by your academic advisor regarding which courses are available and some suggestions on the courses that are the best fit for you.

How do I get a VIU email account?

Your VIU email account is the primary mode of communication between you and the university. When you are accepted to VIU and have started the enrollment process, the VIU IT Department will set up a campus email account for you. If you are accepted to VIU and have not received your VIU email account, please contact the IT Department by email at

How do I login to my courses?

As a student of VIU Online, you will be taking courses in Canvas (the online classroom platform). When you register for classes, you will receive an email from the IT Department informing you of your login credentials for a course. The email will also include a link to login. You can also access the login page directly from our website at

How do I get the course materials? How do I find out what books to buy for my course?

The required textbooks are listed in your course syllabus, which is available in Canvas under the “Introduction” section for each course. You may order the textbooks from any sources available to you. The course materials are also available online through our learning management system as eTextbooks. More information about the course materials for each course will be available in Canvas.

How do I get a copy of the VIU Academic Catalog?

The VIU Academic Catalog is available online in PDF format. Please click Academic Catalog to download a copy.

How do I access the academic calendar?

The VIU Online academic calendar is available on our website. Please click Academic Calendar.

Will I receive a student ID card?

Student photo IDs are not issued to online students. However, students needing proof of enrollment may request for a Status Letter from the Registrar’s Office.

Who do I contact if I experience technical problems?

If you are experiencing any technical issues, please contact our IT Department by email at or by phone at +1 (703)-591-7042 x 331.

What happens if I need to temporarily leave the program?

Online students may request a temporary leave of absence if the leave will last longer than one session, but not more than one year. The Leave of Absence form must be submitted each semester to your academic advisor. Once you decide to resume your study, you may inform your academic advisor of your decision and continue your studies. You can find the Leave of Absence form here.