What is UNITE Distributed Learning? 

UNITE is not an academic program.

UNITE is an educational unit within the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) at the University of Minnesota through which students may enroll in CSE courses if they are unable to attend on-campus courses. Many CSE graduate students complete all degree coursework through UNITE. Additionally, students may combine UNITE-offered courses with on-campus courses toward a degree.

Earn a Master's Degrees at a Distance

Through UNITE, many students take the coursework to fulfill a Plan C (coursework only) graduate degree from CSE in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Master's of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering) entirely at a distance enrolling in courses through UNITE.  Students may complete much of the coursework needed for Plan C (coursework only) graduate degrees in Computer Science and Engineering(Master's of Computer Science and Master's of Science in Computer Science), though the department does have on-campus requirements.

Combine UNITE-Offered Courses with On-Campus Courses Toward Your Degree

In addition to Electrical and Computer Engineering, UNITE offers courses from the Biomedical Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. Students may combine courses taken through UNITE with those taken on-campus toward their degree. 

Serving CSE Students Since 1971

Located in the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering, UNITE began transmitting two-way microwave television broadcasts of credit and non-credit courses to partner companies in 1971. These companies receiving broadcasts were located primarily in the Twin Cities area, Rochester and western Wisconsin. The tower UNITE used to relay televised course sessions from the Twin Cities campus to students in Rochester sites was located in Hader, Minnesota.

In the 1990s, UNITE added streaming video to provide anytime, anyplace delivery of these offerings over the Internet to working professionals nationwide. In Fall 2006, UNITE added downloadable video and audio podcasts for students and ended television broadcasts at the end of that semester. UNITE transmitted our final television transmission to conclude finals week in Fall 2006.

Programs and Courses

UNITE carefully selects more than 100 selected on-campus CSE courses to offer each academic year, typically 55-70 CSE courses each Fall and Spring (and a handful each Summer).

Through UNITE, students may:

  • Complete the coursework for a master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering (many full-time professionals complete a graduate in about five years by taking one to two classes per semester through UNITE and each year approximately 35 students complete their graduate degree through UNITE in Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering.);
  • Enroll in courses through UNITE to combine with on-campus courses toward a University of Minnesota degree;
  • Complete coursework associated with a Ph.D. degree in select programs;
  • Enroll in courses for transfer, either into a University of Minnesota program once accepted (students may transfer up to 12 credits into CSE graduate programs) or to another school;
  • Audit courses on a non-credit basis;
  • View non-credit seminars and a wide selection of short courses as well as weekly colloquiums and guest lectures on a variety of topics;

Students enjoy the same benefits as those physically present in the on-campus classroom, while gaining instruction about new technologies and advances in their fields from internationally recognized faculty. All degrees, credits, transcripts and other records are identical to those earned through attending classes on-campus.

Note that UNITE does not offer all courses that a department offers. If there is a course that a department is offering that you do not see on our schedule, please see our UNITE Course Request information - we will work with the department to see if that course may be offered for enrollment through UNITE (the earlier the better).