Pre Session Checklist Banner

Tackle a few tasks before class starts so you can concentrate on your coursework when class officially begins. Check off the essentials on your to-do list, and then, if you have time, try to follow the recommendations.

The Essentials

If you're short on time, be sure to take care of these basics:

  • Watch the Tips For Success video and print the Tips For Success document prior to your first day of class.
  • Pay your application fee. Click on "View Account/Make a Payment."
  • Submit all official transcripts, including Joint Services Transcripts, or Community College of the Air Force transcripts, to UMGC. Students receiving financial assistance must complete an official evaluation to continue receiving benefits.
  • Make sure you have submitted your military documentation to receive the military tuition rate.
  • Pay your tuition (Click on "View Account/Make a Payment"). Tuition and fees are due when you register for classes. Be sure you're aware of payment deadlines and grace periods to avoid non-payment penalties.
  • Order your course materials, if needed. UMGC has replaced all undergraduate textbooks with no-cost eResources, so you won't have to purchase any textbooks. However, a few courses do require you to purchase other course materials.
  • Sign up for UMGC's MyAlerts to receive text messages and/or e-mails about unexpected delays or closings because of weather or other emergencies.
  • Set up a study space—an area dedicated just for coursework.
  • Log in to your classroom one week before your course starts and follow instructions provided by your faculty member.
  • To log in, go to Learning Experience Online. If you have not already logged in, enter your username and password in the login fields and and click on the LOGIN button. Once you enter your course,
    • Read the Class Announcements. This is where your instructor will post any instructions, so pay attention to these before you dive into the discussions.
    • Print your syllabi. The syllabus will detail the structure of your course and the instructor's expectations and provide his or her contact information.
    • Participate in your first discussion and introduce yourself to your fellow classmates. This is how you'll get to know each other.

If you are changing campuses (e.g., switching from UMGC Europe to UMGC Asia), please be sure to fill out the relocation form, found in MyUMGC. Army students, to complete a relocation, change your home school in the GoArmyEd portal.


If you want to explore more great resources, follow these recommendations. They will pay off in the long run.

After You Register

  • Log in to MyUMGC with your username (which is different than your student ID number) and password that were sent to you.
    • Check your contact information in your Profile, and make sure that your UMGC e-mail address is your primary account. (Note: Use of your UMGC e-mail address is optional but encouraged. If you use a personal address, you must ensure that it is valid and current.)
    • Check to see if your transcripts have been received by clicking the Previous Education tab on the Academic History page.

Open Educational Resources

You can complete most undergraduate degrees without purchasing textbooks thanks to up-to-date electronic resources that are available at no cost through your online classroom. Depending on the course, these open educational resources may include electronic textbooks, lectures, websites, and selected documents and media. These materials are customized to be more relevant to your course and to include the latest industry information.

Some courses do require the use of specific software or content that cannot be accessed for free. When you register for a course, check the required course materials listed in the Undergraduate Schedule of Classes to determine whether you need to purchase any course materials.

Extra Credit

    1. Familiarize yourself with UMGC's add/drop policy. Army students should go to GoArmyEd for additional information on withdrawing from classes.
      Check the Undergraduate Academic Calendar for the last day to register or to drop courses without incurring financial obligation or an official mark on your academic record.
    2. Access your Google e-mail account by following these instructions.

Two or More Weeks Before Class

  • Set up your study space—an area dedicated just for coursework.
  • Create a folder on your desktop and in your e-mail. Keep all messages and files related to your course in one place that's easy to find.
  • Identify a strategy for backing up important files (flash drive, e-mail, cloud/Google docs).

Extra Credit

    1. Familiarize yourself with the Strategies and Tips for Success.
    2. Explore the Effective Writing Center.
      Your courses may have a substantial writing component.
    3. Create personal goals for the first term.
      Narrowing down your goals to the short term and writing them down helps ensure that you achieve them, and gives you confidence as you pursue your long-term goals.

One Week Before Class

  • Log in to your course, access your eReadings, and print syllabi.
  • Participate in your first conference as directed by your faculty member.
  • Introduce yourself to your fellow classmates.

Extra Credit

    1. Familiarize yourself with the classroom environment and high-level functions.
    2. Review Help documentation if needed.
    3. Find out which citation style is preferred for your course and scan the basic elements.
    4. Print out the Course Planner, and mark all due dates from your syllabi.  Post the completed planner prominently in your workspace. Your syllabi and planner are key in plotting out the session and planning how to accomplish your goals.
      1. Break down large assignments and projects, such as research papers, into smaller segments and add them to your planner. Deal with one segment at a time, this will make the project seem less daunting and more achievable!
    5. Access the UMGC Library.
    6. Network with two fellow students.
    7. Identify your support network and strategies for dealing with setbacks.
      We encourage you to use all the available resources—including your instructor, classmates, advisors, and other university personnel—when different needs arise.

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Technical Assistance

Go to Help@UMGC or call 888-360-8682.

quotes-icon"Discuss your decision to take classes with family, friends, boss, and co-workers. They are your support group and will be instrumental in helping you achieve your goal."

Sharon Bowling '08
BS, Business Administration

Using the Course Planner

UMGC provides a Course Planner for each session. It is specifically designed to help you

  • Keep track of assignments and other requirements.
  • Spend adequate time on course assignments and projects.
  • Develop a schedule and strategy to tackle assignments or projects that may have similar deadlines.
  • Break down large assignments or projects.
  • Get an idea of where you should be throughout the course(s).

Did you Know?

UMGC offers approximately 978 courses online and more than 9,000 course sections in a given term.