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Time Management

Plan your time effectively by


  1. Understand the time commitment
  2. Creating a master calendar
  3. Outlining a five day study plan
  4. Prioritizing a to-do list

How much time should I plan to spend doing classwork each week?

Time Commitment

Online classes are more flexible but require the same time commitment as an in-person class. You choose the time each day that works best for your schedule to complete learning activities, but you are still required to meet deadlines and class expectations each week.

Step 1: Determine how long your classes are…

A condensed session (7 or 5 weeks) requires more of your time each week than a regular session (15 weeks); therefore, you’ll want to know how long a class is scheduled. Select the different tabs below to see a breakdown of the weekly time commitments by total registered credits. Where do I find this information?

  • Step 2: Determine how many credits you are registered for…

    Depending on your outside commitments, you may have time to take more credits during a 15 week session than during one of the condensed 7 or 5 week sessions.

    Total CreditsHours of study required per week
    12.5 -- 3
    25 -- 6
    37.5 -- 9
    410 -- 12
    512.5 -- 15
    615 -- 18
    717.5 -- 21
    820 -- 24
    922.5 -- 27
    1025 -- 30
    1127.5 -- 33
    1230 -- 36
    1332.5 -- 39
    1435 -- 42
    1537.5 -- 45
  • Step 2: Determine how many credits you are registered for…

    As you might expect, the weekly time commitment for a condensed session is greater than that of the 15 week sessions. We recommend taking no more than 1 to 2 classes during the 7 week session.

    Total CreditsHours of study required per week
    15.5 -- 6.5
    211 -- 13
    316.5 -- 19.5
    421.5 -- 26
    527 -- 32.5
    632.5 -- 39
    737.5 -- 45
    843 -- 51.5
  • Step 2: Determine how many credits you are registered for…

    Not surprisingly, 5 week sessions are even more condensed and we recommend taking no more than 1 class during this type of session.

    Total CreditsHours of study required per week
    17.5 -- 9
    215 -- 18
    322.5 -- 27
    430 -- 36

Step 3: Make a plan!

Now that you know about how much time you need to spend each week on your classes, take some time to make a plan for success. Use the other resource topics on this page as your guide.

What is a master calendar?

Work, school, family, life! How do I keep it all straight?

Easy, create a master calendar for all your important dates, deadlines, and events.

In addition to taking online classes, you may also have a variety of responsibilities on your plate such as personal, work, and/or family obligations. Having all your important dates and deadlines in one place will help you to see your busy times and be better equipped to handle unexpected events as they occur.

Include dates, deadlines, and events from these three categories:


This includes your study plan, group meetings, lab times, class schedules, assignment due dates, exams, and other important deadlines for the University.


This includes personal and family events like medical appointments, birthdays, holidays, volunteer work, sporting/recreation events, and vacations.


This includes work obligations like business trips, retreats, projects, or particularly busy times where you may need to dedicate more time.

If your plate feels a little full, try and identify areas where you can scale back until school is complete.

Consider limiting volunteer work, look for ways friends and family can help with some responsibilities, and avoid unnecessary projects or tasks until your schedule calms down. Remember, in the long run, going to school is a temporary situation, you will graduate and move on to bigger and better things. In the meantime, scaling back on some obligations where you can increase your chances for a successful experience.

Your master calendar can be paper or electronic – select the option that works best for you

You can buy a student planner, download a mobile app, or even use Google Calendar!

How do I create a five day study plan?

A study plan keeps you on track for success!

We recommend setting up a study plan to help keep you on track. This way you are more likely to spend enough time each week to be successful without dedicating too little or too much time to one course.

Not sure how to start? We’ve got you covered!

The Five Day Study Plan

The idea behind the Five day study plan is to spread your time over the entire week, while still leaving a day or two for a break from school. After all, finding a balance between school, work, and life, is critical to staying engaged, motivated, and in control during the semester.

identify blocks of time

Step One

blocks of time each day to devote to each class.

review your schedule

Step Two

Review your course schedule to determine the class activities.

write your plan

Step Three

Fill out your five day study plan with activities and time blocks (PDF template available here).

work your plan

Step Four

Begin working on the activities you identified.


Step Five

Repeat five day planning each week for every course.

Add your study plan to your master calendar

Once you have completed your study plan for the week, add it to your master calendar so you can see your plan next to all your other time commitments.

Why should I prioritize my to-do list?

A to-do list can help keep you on track throughout the semester.

This will help you to visualize your tasks, give you a snapshot of your week, and allow you to focus your energy on the most important tasks at hand, in other words, prioritize what you need to complete first.

Work Smart! Do Your Worst Task First
(or eat a live frog every morning)

Each week, review your study plan and master calendar to determine what items will be on your to do list. Determine what activities have the highest priority and work on these first before moving on to lower priority items. For more information see Work Smart: Do your worst task first (or eat a live frog every morning.)

Online Learning Challenges

These study skills will help you stay organized throughout the semester and will help you address some of the biggest challenges facing online learners. To learn more about these challenges see Communicating Online.

Explore more topics

Prepping for Class | Communicating Online | Support Resources | Student Services