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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 Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), including its online programs.

What type of accreditation does JWU have?

JWU is fully accredited through the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), including its online programs. NECHE 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 8,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its campuses in Providence, Rhode Island, and Charlotte, North Carolina.

An innovative educational leader, the university offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in arts and sciences, business, engineering, food innovation, hospitality, nutrition, health and wellness. It also offers undergraduate programs in culinary arts, dietetics and design. JWU’s unique model provides students with the personalized attention, academic expertise and industry connections that inspire professional success and personal growth. The time students spend at JWU is nothing short of transformative, as demonstrated by career outcomes, expected earnings and economic mobility rankings.

The university’s impact is global, with alumni in 128 countries pursuing careers worldwide.


How is the school year at JWU structured?

Online courses run on a semester model with each semester broken into two sessions. Most courses are 8 weeks long and are offered during sessions I or II each semester. However, some 16-week courses are still offered and run the length of the entire semester. Sessions start in August, October, January, March, May, and July.

How is the cost of tuition calculated?

All tuition charges for online classes are charged on a per-credit-hour (undergraduate) or per-quarter-credit-hour (graduate) 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 your free application for financial aid through FAFSA, and we will use that to determine your eligibility. Tuition reimbursement will be taken into consideration. If you have any additional questions, please visit our financial aid page.

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.

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 six-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. For information regarding academic program licensing and certification, visit the Licensure & Professional Certification Disclosures page of the catalog.

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

Jaime Wager


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 in online courses, each student is expected to have access to a desktop or laptop computer. A mobile app is available for Apple and Android devices that allows you to complete some online course tasks, but a desktop or laptop computer is required for successful completion of all online course tasks.

As of November 2021, your computer must also meet the following requirements. 

Browser (one or more of the following):

*Google Chrome 87+
Internet Explorer — not supported
Microsoft Edge 87+
Mozilla Firefox 78+
Safari 13+

*Google Chrome is required for completion of any proctored exams.

Mobile Browser (note that courses cannot be completed entirely with mobile devices, but may be used for some tasks; one or more of the following browsers may be used on mobile devices)

Google Chrome 33+
Microsoft Edge 46+
Mozilla Firefox 33+
Safari 12+

Browser Settings
JavaScript enabled, popup blockers disabled and cookies enabled

Supplementary Software
Ability to save documents in a format that can be opened by Microsoft Office
Ability to view documents created in Microsoft Office
Anti-virus software 

Internet Connection
Broadband connection (DSL, cable, ISDN, etc.) with consistent high-speed connectivity 

Other Hardware
Speakers or a headset

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 technical 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. Most courses are 8 weeks in length, with some offered for 16 weeks. 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.


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 they should be contacted and their 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: [email protected] Website: JWU IT


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?

CPS provides writing tutoring via the CPS Student Writing Support website. Tutoring for other subjects is available online 24/7 via tutor.com, which may also be 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.

The GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at Benefits.va.gov/gibill.

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