Taking Non-Major Courses Online

  • Last Post 20 October 2014
marinebiodreamer posted this 09 October 2014 - Last edited 24 February 2016

I need help getting started going back to school. I graduated high school in 1994 and attended a local community college for part of a semester taking 1 class but didn't finish it. I want to go back to school now and take marine biology, but I know I'm going to have to take a ton of what I call crap courses to get started so I was wanting to do these online. What is a good college to get started that is affordable AND will transfer credits to a brick and mortar school? What classes do I take, everything I see is a degree path, I need classes to get started, PLEASE HELP!!!

Kayleigh posted this 20 October 2014 - Last edited 21 October 2015

Hi there,

Great question.

The best way to make sure all of your non-major courses will transfer is to first identify the top 2-3 brick and mortar schools that you'd like to get your bachelor's in Marine Biology at.

Each school will vary a bit in the number of credits they will accept from transfer students. You'll likely be able to transfer most non-major courses but it's best to double check first instead of spending unnecessary money on courses you won't be able to use later.

In each of your preferred Marine Bio programs look at the full course requirement list. You'll likely transfer in at the junior level to begin courses in your major so you'll want to knock off courses from the first two years of the course requirement list at your chosen online school.

Also, make sure to consult with admissions at each school and verify that they will accept the credits from the courses you plan to take. Most schools are aware that they will have students transfer in at the junior level and prepare academic guidelines and plans that will assist these students. For example, view the University of California Santa Cruz Marine Biology BS Transfer Academic Plan.

Also, you'll want to make sure you're not paying more for your online courses. Online education can sometimes be more expensive so it pays to do your research! Online community colleges are a great option for you and will provide the base education you need at a very affordable rate.

Also, any school featured in GetEducated's Best Buy Affordability Rankings provide great education at an even better value.


Good luck!