Online Formats and Registration Information

College of General Studies online courses are available in two formats: hybrid and web. This page is designed to help you decide which format is best for you and identify which courses are available in that format.  

What Format is Right for Me? 

The first step in finding a course that is right for you involves answering these questions:

  1. Are you available to meet on the Pittsburgh campus a few times during the term? 
  2. Do you have the self-discipline to work through material on your own?

Compare the differences in formats shown below to find those that will work for you and your schedule.

Course Feature Web                   Hybrid               
Face-to-Face instructions (Meetings in a classroom) None Some, but only at scheduled dates- Check the course descriptions
Web-based instructions Yes Yes
Web-based discussion, activities, and interaction with instructor and fellow students Required Required
Schedule All students move through the materials together, with flexibility, within the week* All students move through the materials together, with flexibility, within the week*
Must complete within one term? Yes** Yes**

*For specific deadlines and targets, check the syllabus and schedule for your course in Blackboard or Canvas. 

** Although CGS Online courses have greater flexibility than traditional face-to-face courses, all requirements for CGS Online courses must be completed within a single term unless extenuating personal circumstances intervene.  See the G-grade policy for your school and your course; many courses follow the College of General Studies G-Grade Policy.  

How do I Search for Online Courses?

Now that you know what class format(s) you want, you can search for CGS online courses by delivery method (web, hybrid, etc.) with the Class Search Tool:

  1. In the Class Search tool, once you have chosen a subject, go to the drop-down menu called "Any Course Attribute."
  2. Select "Instructional Delivery Method."
  3. In the next drop-down menu, "Any Course Attribute Value," select the delivery method you prefer and click search.
  4. If there are any courses offered in the delivery method you selected, they will be displayed in the Class Search Tool. 

Ready to Register?  

Current students can register for CGS Online courses through the University portal at, just as they do for their face-to-face courses. See also our Course Registration page. Students from the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences or other schools should discuss their registration intentions with their advisor and observe the relevant policies and procedures. 

New students should read about the application process and submit an application to the College of General Studies.