UNITE Steps to Success

(This information is for students who enroll in courses through UNITE Distributed Learning. If you are enrolled in an on-campus section of a course that UNITE is streaming, please refer to UNITE Streaming Access for On-Campus Students information)

UNITE Distributed Learning is dedicated to providing continuing educational opportunities for engineering and science professionals, utilizing streaming video and web-based technologies for local and distant students.  

Step One: Know Your Program of Study 

You are enrolling in courses through UNITE. 

UNITE is not an academic program, rather UNITE is a way for students to take courses. Essentially, UNITE sections "piggyback" on the on-campus section of a course.

Most of there are courses from the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) at the University of Minnesota and may be combined with on-campus courses toward a degree (though many of our students complete all program coursework without taking on-campus courses). 

If you are taking courses toward a degree, know your program policies and procedures. To best place for you to get the most complete and up-to-date information about your program is at the Graduate Program pages of the departmental web site:

Step Two: Know How UNITE Works (an overview) 

  • UNITE offers enrollment in a variety of graduate and undergraduate University of Minnesota CSE courses using the Internet for streaming video and podcasts;
  • UNITE creates separate sections for these CSE courses and may be combined with face-to-face sections of CSE courses toward your degree;
  • UNITE-enrolled students typically never need to visit campus.  When exceptions do exist - such as for course with a required on-campus lab - these exceptions are noted in the course descriptions on the UNITE Course Offerings page (click on the specific semester schedule). Check the course descriptions on the UNITE public site for these on-campus requirements;
  • UNITE-enrolled students are required to take arrange a UNITE-approved proctor and take scheduled exams and quizzes at the same time/same day as those student enrolled in the on-campus section;
  • UNITE enrollment is limited to students who are located in the United States during the semester for which they are registering. Short-term travel during the semester will require instructor and UNITE approval in the event of exams;
  • UNITE is a self-supporting unit within CSE, so there is an additional UNITE fee per credit for all UNITE courses in addition to standard tuition and other fees (UNITE fee is $100 per credit). See Tuition and Fees for more details. 

For greater detail, visit our UNITE Advantage and How UNITE Works pages. 

Step Three: Check the UNITE Course Schedule

Check our Course Schedule for course offerings (click on the specific semester schedule).  Please check course descriptions carefully as some courses require on-campus meetings or software not available to off-campus students from the College or University.  The course schedule is always subject to change, so check back for new course offerings.  

Step Four: Register for Courses 

Unlike other University courses, all UNITE course registration is coordinated through UNITE Student and Faculty Engagement on the Twin Cities campus.  You cannot register for UNITE courses online through One-Stop. 

You must be admitted to a University of Minnesota academic division as a degree student (the Graduate School, the College of Science and Engineering or other colleges of the University) or be a non-degree student, such as Non-Degree Undergraduate or Non-Degree Graduate status or a Guest of the University of Minnesota.  Learn more about Degree and Non-Degree Options Through UNITE.

Then, Enroll through UNITE.

Once our office registers a student into a UNITE section of a course, we begin sending instructions, information and updates directly to each student's University of Minnesota email account. Check your University of Minnesota email account regularly.

Be aware of required on-campus meetings, software and hardware.

For most courses, software is available for off-campus students through CSELabs or another free source (such as student versions available from vendors, packaged with textbooks, etc., or suitable free substitutions for software as advised by instructors). When aware of software not available to off-campus students in this manner, UNITE will post that information on Course Offerings (click on the specific semester schedule) and will follow up with students already enrolled in a UNITE section if an instructor adds this requirement after enrollment. 

Note that if you are planning to enroll in two or more courses in a semester, you will need to complete the immunization form. 

Step Five: Test Your Computer and Know the UNITE Policies 

You will access UNITE streaming video and downloadable podcasts with a computer, Internet connection and appropriate free software.  You may test your computer, connection and software with our course demonstrations anytime so that you know everything works before the first day of the semester. 

For system requirements, links to free, safe software downloads and UNITE demonstrations, check out our UNITE Streaming Video and Podcasts information.

The UNITE Student Guide is available as a downloadable .pdf file from this web site. This handbook covers the policy and guideline materials you need to be familiar with as a UNITE student. 

Work with UNITE Student and Faculty Engagement to approve your exam proctor before the first scheduled exam and familiarize yourself with homework, exam and quiz procedures and download the UNITE Homework Cover Sheet and UNITE Proctor Cover Sheet on our Homework, Examinations and Quizzes information. 

Step Six: Start the Semester

On the first day of courses, log in to the UNITE Media Portal with your University Internet ID (also known as an x.500 ID) and access course materials. 

As a student enrolled through UNITE, there in no requirement to physically attend the first class of the semester on campus (except in rare situations - such as ME 5286, which includes other required on-campus obligations during the semester - and UNITE informs students of these courses).

The University of Minnesota's First Day Attendance Policy does NOT apply to students enrolled through UNITE. 

Students who have no affiliation with the University (i.e., past student, previously applied to a program, etc.) will receive their Internet ID from the UNITE office before the start of semester (you need to initiate your University Internet account at https://www.umn.edu/initiate before using).  If you are returning to the University and have forgotten your University ID, please contact the UNITE office. 

Be aware of same day/same time expectation for exams and quizzes for courses which have exams and/or quizzes

Be aware of on-campus requirements if the course in which you enrolled has any on-campus obligations (these will be listed on the Course Schedule for the semester in which you are enrolling (most courses UNITE offers have no on-campus obligations).

Also, take advantage of free and discounted resources available to you as a University of Minnesota student.  You pay for these resources through various University and College fees.  

Step Seven: Pay Your Bill 

You may pay your bill through the OneStop online electronic billing and payment option.  

  • Non-degree students are required to pay tuition and other charges in full by the first due date.  
  • Degree-seeking students are eligible for the University's installment plan.
  • Be aware of University payment deadlines to avoid registration cancellation or additional fees