Saint Louis University

Student Requirements for SLU Online Classes - Learn what it takes to be successful in online courses at Saint Louis University

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To be successful in the online environment at SLU online, it is important for students to have some basic competencies:

  • Utilizing the internet, including:
    • Connecting to the internet via a modem or by other means
    • Browsing the internet, recognizing web links, and printing web pages
    • Using internet search engines
    • Creating and editing bookmarks
    • Downloading and installing software
  • Using basic word processing software, such as Microsoft Word
  • Using presentation software, such as Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Accessing and utilizing email, including:
    • Sending and receiving email messages
    • Attaching files to email

Remember that technology occasionally fails, so the online student must avoid getting frustrated, must be ready for those technical "catastrophes" and must identify alternatives for overcoming those obstacles.


Your success in SLU online course will heavily depend on your ability to communicate, engage and participate in all course activities. Successful completion of an online course requires that a student keep up with all assignments, course work, and discussions. Timely participation in on-line discussions is a very important part of an online course, and participation in these discussions, as well as activities assigned, is not optional. You are expected to prepare and post to discussions in a timely manner consistent with the requirements contained within the course syllabus and discussion rubric.

If you are unable to participate in a scheduled class activity or discussion, you must notify the instructor within the week of that class module or discussion. An unexcused failure to engage or participate with the class will be counted as an absence; two unexcused absences may result in the failure of the course. The instructor reserves the right to make judgment on accepting and/or making up assignments missed because of failed participation in the course activities.

Students in an online course should expect to spend a minimum of 15 hours per week working with the course material. This includes time spent online and offline. Though 15 hours per week is average, some weeks may require less time and some weeks may require more time.

Hardware & Software Requirements

Access your courses from just about any computer with an Internet connection. Public access or workplace access may be limited due to firewalls.*

SLU utilizes Blackboard as its online course management system. SLU SPS courses may be accessed at

Visit the Student Tech Service Center for IT support, discounts on hardware and software and information on Billiken Printing. They also provide very detailed information on the minimum software and hardware requirements for SPS students. 

Specific courses may have additional hardware and software requirements; please read the syllabus from your instructor for further information. 

At a minimum you will need to have the following:

  • Access to a desktop or laptop*
  • Internet connectivity**
  • Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browser - certified by Blackboard (please note: Internet Explorer is not supported)
  • Word processing software such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs or OpenOffice
  • Presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Docs or OpenOffice
  • PDF reader such as Adobe Reader
  • Access to SLU email - details on how to access your account
  • Java 

*You should ensure that your Internet Service Provider does not have a firewall as it may interfere with certain online course features. This mainly happens in workplace settings. If you are accessing course content from a computer system at your workplace, be aware that many companies have strict firewall and internet security protocols and policies which may prohibit you from accessing course content. 

**High-speed Internet access is recommended. Students using older, slower computers may have difficulty accessing the course or some of its functions or getting course pages to load in a timely manner. Likewise, connecting to the Internet via a dial-up connection will decrease the speed with which students can interact with course material; audio or video files will take substantially longer to load, and may appear choppy, or not at all.


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