Non-degree coursework

What's the point of non-degree coursework?

Non-degree coursework: Learn why it’s so valuable

Why would anyone ever want to take college courses if they weren’t part of a degree plan? Hidden in Concordia’s Accelerated and Online programs are several students who are completing accelerated courses without looking to complete a degree.

Let’s take a look at why these courses may be helpful. We’ll explore how students are using them to achieve their academic goals. Also, we’ll see how the process works for being admitted and registered to take stand-alone classes.

Why students choose non-degree coursework

In most cases, the non-degree student attends classes to gain specific skills in their field without having to take a full degree program. They do this to fulfill certain prerequisite or introductory classes necessary for another program, or even for their own interests.

How non-degree coursework helped Mark

For example, Mark earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration nearly 20 years ago. He worked his way up into a mid-level management position for a financial services company. Despite completing a variety of licensing programs, Mark still felt his options for promotion have been limited. He knew his skill sets lagged as his company responded to issues of diversity and new digital technologies.

After discussions with his supervisors, Mark’s company encouraged him to complete updated and more relevant coursework to round out his resume. They even offered tuition benefits to help cover the cost. Mark completed the course in Diversity & Inclusion and will continue with an introductory course in data management. With a regained sense of confidence in returning to classes, Mark is considering applying for Concordia’s MBA program.

Sara used non-degree courses to meet requirements

Sara was set back in her plan to attend a church worship music program in the southern part of the country during the pandemic.  She had completed an associate’s degree at a technical college. But, she had overlooked a requirement at her school of choice. Sara needed to have completed two electives related to Bible training. Since she had delayed moving onto campus, Sara found Concordia’s offerings in theology would fill the gap.  She completed online accelerated courses in Old Testament and New Testament in the spring and summer before heading off to start the music program.

Non-degree coursework can help when life happens

Similarly, another music student with acceptance to a highly-acclaimed music program experienced a medical setback. This delayed the start of her program for at least a year.  She chose in the meantime to earn general elective credits in courses approved by her future school to transfer in as earned credits.  While rehabilitating at home, she was able to complete credits online through Concordia!

And in the past year, several students from other institutions in the Concordia University System throughout the country were directed to CUWAA’s Accelerated program to complete theology requirements in order to meet graduation requirements. Rather than enroll part time in traditional on-campus classes at their schools, these students enrolled as non-degree accelerated students to complete the courses online without having to return to their home institutions to finish.

Concordia’s Director for Accelerated Admissions, Linda Szczerbinski, sums up the non-degree path:


The non-degree student attends classes to gain specific skills in their field without having to take a full degree program, to fulfill certain prerequisite or introductory classes necessary for another program, or for their own interests.

“Non-degree options at Concordia help students achieve their ultimate goal or fill in gaps of their previous education. The quick and easy enrollment allows students to find courses to suit their needs. Concordia’s flexibility in course options and preferred learning formats (virtual via Zoom, or online) allows us to help students set a strong foundation in their educational journey.”


Want to take a class?

If you have a class you would like to complete, visit to complete an application for non-degree programs.

  • If interested in online or evening virtual classes through the Accelerated program, indicate this by selecting your student type as “Undergraduate Evening & Online Accelerated Certificates and Courses.”
  • You may list specific desired courses in the comment section. The application is free and does not require previous transcripts.

Do you have questions? CUWAA via email or calling 262-243-5700.

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