Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

We have the answers you’re looking for. If you don’t find what you need in our FAQs section, don’t hesitate to request information, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Select a quicklink below to take you to the section you'd like to learn about:

About JWU
Admissions and Applying
Online Course Delivery
Coursework and Grading
Student Services and Resources

About JWU

Is my online degree the same as a degree offered on campus?

Yes, you receive the same degree you would receive if you attended classes on campus. Your transcript will not reflect that the degree program was completed online. JWU is fully accredited through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), including its online programs.

What type of accreditation does JWU have?

JWU is fully accredited through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), including its online programs. NEASC is a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Can you tell me about JWU’s campuses, educational model and mission?

Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with approximately 16,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its four campuses in Providence, Rhode Island; North Miami, Florida; Denver, Colorado; and Charlotte, North Carolina.

An innovative educational leader, the university offers degree programs in arts and sciences, business, culinary arts, education, health sciences, nutrition, hospitality, and technology. Its unique model integrates arts and sciences and industry-focused education with work experience and leadership opportunities, inspiring students to achieve professional success and lifelong personal growth.

The university’s impact is global, with over 90,000 alumni from 119 countries pursuing careers worldwide.

 Admissions and Applying

How is the school year at JWU structured?

Our four 11-week terms start in:

  • September
  • December
  • March
  • June

How is the cost of tuition calculated?

All tuition charges for online classes are charged on a per-credit-hour basis.

Do you offer credit for life or work experience?

Yes. JWU offers “prior learning assessment credit,” allowing you to earn credits for the knowledge or skills you’ve mastered. Credit can be earned through portfolio development or with departmental challenge examinations (credit by examination). JWU also accepts College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) examination credit. To learn more about taking these assessments, visit the Testing for Credit section of our Registration and Graduation Information site.

Can I apply for financial aid even if I receive tuition reimbursement?

Yes. Complete the FAFSA, and we will use that to determine your eligibility for financial aid. Tuition reimbursement will be taken into consideration.

Should I fill out the FAFSA even if I have a high income?

Yes. ALL students should complete a FAFSA. Not all financial aid awards are based on need.

Should I pay someone to do my FAFSA for me?

No. The FAFSA is free to apply. If you need help, your designated JWU financial planner is available by phone and email.

When leaving a message, please include your student ID number, mention that you are an online student, and be as detailed as possible. During peak times, please allow 48-72 business hours for a response.

Last name begins Planner Phone
A–LAZ Lisa Rosa 401-598-5188
LB–Z Michelle Doss 401-598-5189



Office Hours:
Mon – Fri: 8:30am-4:30pm EST
Offices close at 1pm on Friday during the summer months

How long do I have after graduating before I will have to start paying back my loans?

Upon completion of your degree, you must complete an Exit Interview to ensure you are aware of your rights and responsibilities as a Federal Student Loan borrower.

You will then have a 6-month grace period before you have to begin payments.

I'd like to return to JWU to continue my education. How can I apply for readmission?

Step 1: Submit an application for readmission. Once your application has been received and reviewed, an admissions officer will call you to discuss next steps for your enrollment.

Step 2: Submit a company reimbursement form (if applicable).

Step 3: Complete a FAFSA to apply for financial aid (be sure to include JWU’s school code on your application: 003404).

If you have questions about JWU online programs or the readmission process, please feel free to contact our admissions department.

I’m in the military. What benefits and services does JWU offer me?

We work with the following federal education benefit programs for veterans and active-duty personnel:

  • GI Bill
  • Yellow Ribbon Program
  • Post-9/11 GI Bill

Our VA certifying official can help you through the process of applying and utilizing these funds.

We also work with veterans on vocational rehab. Learn more about military benefits at JWU.

If you plan to utilize veterans benefits, contact JWU’s VA certifying official at least 30 days prior to your first term:

Jaime Wager

Online Course Delivery

How do online learning courses work?

In online courses at Johnson & Wales University, the instructor and students are connected through ulearn, JWU’s online learning course platform (Blackboard).

Through ulearn, you receive instruction; review course content; submit assignments; ask questions of the instructor and other students; discuss issues; and actively participate in the class from your home, office, or wherever a computer and Internet connection is available.

Although you can participate in the course on your own time, you must stick to a course schedule and complete activities, assignments, exams and participation requirements according to their deadlines. Online courses are equivalent in content and rigor to JWU’s traditional face-to-face courses.

What is ulearn?

ulearn is JWU's online learning hub built on the popular Blackboard platform. In ulearn, you will access course materials for online courses, communicate with your classmates and engage in learning activities.

How do I use ulearn?

Many features of ulearn are intuitive to use. Prior to starting your first course, you'll be able to run through a ulearn orientation that will give you information on features you will use and opportunities to practice using those features. If you need help using ulearn, self-help documentation is available within course sites and technical support is available via phone and email.

What are the computer requirements for ulearn?

In order to fully participate and be successful in online courses, you'll need regular and reliable access to a computer with high-speed Internet access. As of February 2014, the minimum computer requirements are:

Operating System

PC: Windows XP or higher

Mac: Mac OS 10.5+


512 MB minimum; 1 GB recommended

Free Disk Space

4 GB or higher


PC: 1.7 GHz or higher

Mac: PowerMac or higher

What if my computer or Internet connection breaks during a course?

Students are encouraged to have a backup plan in case of a computer breakdown. Students in all courses are expected to work through technology challenges and meet deadlines accordingly.

What is the timeframe for online courses?

Online courses follow the same term calendar with the same beginning and ending dates as other courses. All courses are 11 weeks in length. You will receive access to the online course(s) you are registered for three days before the first day of the term.

Do I have to be online at a certain time?

You are not required to be online at any given time. All coursework is completed on your own time. Occasionally the instructor may offer live chat meetings or web conferencing sessions, but you will not be required to attend them.

Will I ever have to visit a JWU campus?

No, you won’t need to attend class on campus. All courses may be completed online.

Coursework and Grading

What is expected of me in an online course?

Each course has a syllabus that outlines expectations and requirements for the course. Each online course has activities, assignments and assessments required throughout the course according to a schedule.

Participation requirements may include posting a certain number of original messages, responding to a certain number of other posts, or logging in and contributing a certain number of times each week.

It is important that you stick to the schedule for the course. The schedule exists to make sure you and your classmates are engaged in the same content and online discussions as the same time, which leads to a quality online learning experience.

How are online courses graded?

Online courses are graded in much the same way as our face-to-face courses.

Assignments are turned in online and graded by faculty. Tests are created and delivered online. Fixed answer questions (true/false, multiple choice-style questions) are graded automatically, and open-ended questions (essay, long answer) are graded by the instructor.

Some faculty grade participation in discussion forums, blogs and journals. Collaborative work on group projects may also be graded.

What kind of time and attention will I receive from the instructor?

In the course syllabus, each instructor outlines how she or he should be contacted and his/her expected response time. Many instructors check in to courses daily during the week to respond to emails, review discussions and assignments, and provide course input. Many instructors offer virtual office hours via phone during office hours.

How does the instructor track my participation?

Each course includes several required activities with deadlines for completion. The activities may include completion of assignments, taking exams, participating in discussions, etc.

The instructor is able to track whether or not each student has completed the activities through ulearn.

How do online courses appear on my transcript?

Online courses appear no differently on your transcript than courses taken in a campus classroom.

How do I obtain grades?

The university does not mail term grade reports. Although grades for online courses are available in ulearn, all official grades are available online via jwuLink, where you may access your grades securely and print them at your discretion.

You will receive a notification in your JWU email each term when the grades are available in jwuLink.

How do I take exams?

Exams are completed online in ulearn. Placement exams and challenge exams (if applicable) require proctored exams/assessments.

How do I get help with ulearn?

If you have a question about using ulearn, support options are accessed through the Student Help link in each course site. You can also contact IT directly: Phone: 866-598-4357 Email: Website:

Student Services and Resources

What is jwuLink?

jwuLink is the university’s website for secure transactions. Through jwuLink, you can access email and ulearn, our online learning platform; print schedules; register for courses; view grades; determine holds; make payments; review financial aid information; and more.

Are tutoring and other academic resources available?

Yes! Tutoring support is available online 24/7 via Smarthinking, which is accessed through jwuLink and ulearn. The Center for Academic Support can help with accommodations for students with learning disabilities, physical challenges or chronic medical conditions. Remember that your faculty member is always here to help! Faculty can help determine appropriate steps for providing students with the required assistance. 

How will I know what books I need? How will I purchase them?

Textbooks for online learning courses are available from the JWU Bookstore.

When ordering, select “Books,” then choose “Downcity and Online Campus." Follow the prompts.

Textbooks for online sections may be different from on-campus classes – always double-check your course section code before placing your order.