Get answers to questions about Signum programs and degrees.

We offer this page to help you find information quickly. Please review these common inquiries before contacting us.

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General Questions

How long is each Signum course?

Our standard courses during our Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters are twelve weeks in length, with two lectures each week. For students who take our courses for M.A. credit, there is also a weekly discussion section.

From time to time, we may offer courses that have a different duration. Details about the length of each class is provided on the course page in our course catalog.

Free programs and seminars at the Mythgard Institute – an institute that supports Signum’s Department of Language & Literature – vary in length and are dependent upon content.

I live outside the U.S. Can I still take Signum courses?

Absolutely! Students from all over the world may apply to our graduate degree programs and enroll in courses at Signum University, so long as they meet the eligibility requirements.

To accommodate as many students as possible, we will schedule the primary lectures and closing sessions in a time slot that works best for the majority of the students in the course. Those who cannot attend the lectures live will still be able to download and watch or listen to recordings of each session. Students and auditors who are unable to attend live lectures also can submit questions to the lecturer by email and use the student forum to engage in conversations about the lecture material.

All students and auditors will be asked upon application or enrollment to inform us of their time zone and the times of day (in local time) when class attendance would be possible for them. Different discussion sessions will meet at different times of day, and we will do everything we can to ensure that all M.A. students are assigned to discussion sessions that meet at a time convenient for them.

All class sessions are taught in English.

Do I need any qualifications to take Signum courses?

No qualifications are required to audit a course. A Bachelor’s degree is required to apply for our degree programs.

What does it mean to “audit” a Signum course?

Auditing is a way to learn what you love without committing yourself to a full degree program. It is a particularly good option for individuals who do not yet have a Bachelor’s degree, who are new to an online classroom experience, or who haven’t been part of a classroom for a long time.

When auditing a course at Signum University, you have access to:

  • Weekly live lectures and downloadable recordings
  • Downloadable supplementary readings and materials provided through the class website
  • Class forums that allow you to engage with enrolled students and other auditors

Auditors are not required to complete assignments or exams, and they do not receive credit toward an academic degree. Auditors also do not attend the weekly discussion sections; however, from time to time the University may offer special “Discussion Auditor” seats for an extra fee. Discussion Auditors will be able (but not required) to participate in the discussion sessions, but they will not be able to submit written assignments or papers to the faculty for assessment.

Learn more about auditing classes at Signum University >

How do I enroll in a Signum course?

New students applying for a degree program must first complete an application before enrolling in a course for credit.

To enroll in a particular course for credit or as an auditor, simply:

  • Browse the course catalog to find which course(s) you would like to take for an upcoming semester. You can also look at our Future Courses page.
  • Select the “Register Now” button, which will take you to the registration form for the current semester.
  • Complete the registration form as appropriate.

After enrolling, you will receive a confirmation from the Registrar’s office. Close to the start date of your class, you will receive information about how to access course materials through our digital campus, as well as the times for lectures and (if applicable) discussion sections.

Can I change my enrollment level for a Signum course?

The enrollment period for Signum courses generally opens several weeks before the semester starts and closes two weeks after the first day of the semester.

  • Before classes begin, you can change your enrollment level between the available levels (auditor, discussion auditor, or student).
  • Within the first two weeks of a class, you will need to receive permission from the professor for the course to change enrollment.

To change enrollment, send an email to info@signumuniversity.org or use our contact form.

What is Signum’s withdrawal/refund policy?

In general:

  • Credit students (degree and certificate) can withdraw for a full refund in the first 3 weeks of classes, or for a half refund in weeks 4 through 6. After week 6, no refunds are available.
  • Discussion and Premiere Auditors can withdraw and receive a full refund through week 3 of classes. No refunds for auditing are available after week 3.

For Signum University’s full Withdrawal and Refund Policy, see our Financial Information page.

Are recorded course lectures available?

Yes, all lectures are recorded and made available in the following ways:

  • Students and auditors have access to an archive of recorded lectures through the course page on our digital campus. These materials will continue to be made available even after the course is over.
  • Our course archives, which contain recorded materials for classes from previous semesters, are accessible to our donors.
  • In addition, most of our courses are available for downloading through Anytime Audits.

What is included in the course archives?

Access to the course archive for a particular class includes access to both audio (mp3) and video (mp4) recordings of every lecture for that course. You may download the recordings to your computer or electronic device for personal use. Your access to the recordings will not expire.

Due to copyright restrictions, course archives do not include access to any additional materials provided by the lecturer to the students and auditors enrolled in the original course.

How can I access course archives?

Access to the course archives is granted to our generous donors.  All donors who contribute $100 or more to Signum University in a given year will be granted access to the archive of at least one course of their choosing.  Review the full Donor Appreciation Program on our Annual Fund page.

Course archive access is available only for classes that have previously been offered. You can find details about past courses in our Course Catalog.

Financial Information

Additional financial details may be found on our Financial Information page.

How can I afford to take classes at Signum?

We have two strategies for helping students afford our classes.

Foremost, we price our classes as low as we possibly can. Most of our infrastructural costs – such as our classroom interface and software costs – are supported through donations by generous supporters. This allows us to maintain a low overhead on delivering courses to our students: All of your tuition dollars go to pay our highly skilled and engaging faculty members.

Secondly, we offer a number of work-study opportunities that allow students and auditors to receive tuition remission by providing valuable services. Work-study jobs require about 5 hours of work per week and are subject to meeting certain eligibility requirements.

Are there any scholarships available?

While Signum does not currently have a scholarship program, we do offer tuition remission through our work-study program. We do not guarantee placement in the program, but will keep applications on file to draw from as need arises.

Also, students and auditors may take advantage of our payment plan, which allows them to spread out the cost of a course over two equal payments. See our Financial Information page for more details.

Is there federal financial aid available to Signum students?

Signum University does not currently participate in any federal grant or loan programs.

Is Signum University tuition tax deductible?

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that all institutions that provide Form 1098-T necessary for tuition deductions also offer students federal financial aid. As Signum University does not participate in any federal aid program, we cannot provide Form 1098-T.

Other Questions

Does Signum University have a library?

Yes! We have a library that contains a wide variety of digital resources (and a few non-digital materials) to support the study of language and literature and help students work through the courses Signum offers.

Additional questions about the library are answered on the Signum Library Policies & FAQs page.

Visit the Library at Signum University >

Where can I find the library and who can use it?

The library can be found in two places, both online.

General library resources, including research guides that link to many open-access resources, are available on this website for all to use. You can access the library from:

  • The “Signum” dropdown on the cross-site menu (red)
  • The “Academics” dropdown on the Signum website menu (blue)

Students taking any of Signum University’s MA level courses are also able to access the various journals and other resources that have been subscribed to via our digital campus (login required).

Additional questions about the library are answered on the Signum Library Policies & FAQs page.

Can I get a transcript to verify what courses I have taken?

Yes! We are happy to provide a transcript listing all of the courses you audit or take for credit toward a degree. To request a transcript, send an email to info@signumuniversity.org or use our contact form. Put “Transcript Request” in the subject line and be sure to include any other relevant information in the body of your message.

What can I do if my question is not listed here?

If you are already enrolled in a specific class, direct questions to the course lecturer or the preceptor using the contact information provided in your course materials (confirmation email, syllabus, etc.).

For general inquiries, please email info@signumuniversity.org or use our contact form. Our contact form can also be used to submit institutional queries or complaints.

Header image by Véronique Debord-Lazaro on Flickr.

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