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Online Courses

The Art Institute of Houston offers selected online courses through a consortium agreement with The Art Institute Online, a division of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Online classes are 5 ½ weeks in length and have the same course and exit competencies as the on-ground version of the same course. The Art Institute of Houston has reviewed all course descriptions, course outcomes, and course syllabi for online courses to determine the educational integrity equivalency of these courses to the same courses that are offered on-ground at The Art Institute of Houston.

Online courses are designed to take advantage of technology, making the learning environment more efficient and maximizing relevance to your prior learning and experiences. As in traditional on-ground classes, students are expected to complete all work and submit assignments within the time periods given by the instructor as listed on the course syllabus. Students in online courses are required to log into the course at least five of seven days per week, with each of the five log-ins occurring during separate 24 hour periods. All assignments must be submitted by midnight (Eastern Standard Time) of the due date. Student participation in the course is required in addition to submitting formal assignments for the course. Log-ins are monitored, and students enrolled in online courses must adhere to academic and attendance policies to remain in good standing.

The Art Institute of Houston charges the same tuition for online courses as it charges for on-ground courses. In addition, a $100.00 fee is charged for each online course taken to cover administrative and technical support for students.

Prerequisites for Participation in Online Courses 

A self-administered survey about online courses is available on The Art Institute Online Web site, www., to assist you in determining if you are a good candidate for online classes. Copies of this survey are also available through The Art Institute of Houston Online Advocate. Before registering for an online course, you must speak to your advisor at The Art Institute of Houston to discuss your interests, the type of learning activities with which you are most comfortable and successful, and the amount of time you have available in your schedule to dedicate to online course requirements. Candidates for online courses must be in good academic standing and possess excellent time management, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills, as well as strong written communication abilities. Your advisor will be able to make the most appropriate recommendations about course types and course loads. In order to participate in online classes, you must have computer hardware and software equivalent to the specifications indicated by The Art Institute of Houston. The Art Institute of Houston regularly reevaluates the hardware and software needs to ensure that students taking online courses are utilizing technology in parity with students taking the same courses on-ground. Prior to registration each quarter, The Art Institute of Houston will provide students with a list of courses to be offered online. The technology requirements specified for each course are available on the virtual campus Web site,, found at The Art Institute Online Web site.

Registration for Online Courses 

Students register for online courses during the regular registration period at The Art Institute of Houston. Online courses are offered in two sessions within the academic quarter calendar. The first session begins at the same time the on-ground course work begins at The Art Institute and runs for 38 days (through the Wednesday of week six of an academic quarter). The second session begins 38 days prior to the end of the quarter (Thursday of week six) and ends on the same day as the quarter for The Art Institute. It is not necessary to sign up for classes in both sessions. However, if a student wishes to take courses in each of the two sessions for a quarter, he or she must register for both sessions of a given quarter during the traditional registration period. A student who wishes to enroll in only one of the two sessions of an upcoming quarter must register during the traditional registration period, as well, even though the second session does not begin at the start of the academic quarter. The same add/drop policy and timeframe is followed for both online and on-ground courses. Registration is considered to be confirmed when you have successfully completed the mandatory online academic orientation exam (see below) and shown proof of ordering the required textbook(s) for all online courses to be taken. Any student not fulfilling these two requisites will be removed from prior to the start of the academic quarter.

 Academic and Software Orientation 

All students taking online courses are required to successfully complete an academic orientation to online learning prior to the beginning of their course(s). This orientation reviews the expectations, policies, and procedures associated with taking courses online. The orientation is planned to begin prior to the start of classes—please see your in-house online advocate for deadlines. During the week of software orientation, you will log on to the site that runs the courses on your computer. There are several exercises that you can go through to make sure that you are knowledgeable and comfortable working with them before the begins. It is imperative that you are ready to begin working on the at the start of the academic quarter; you will not have time to orient yourself once the is underway. You have access to 24-hour online platform software support via a toll-free number throughout your to assist you if any problems arise. You also have access to address any questions or concerns that arise through e-mail at The Art Institute Online Web site.

Some courses also require knowledge of software used in the class. In the event you enroll for one of these classes, a software tutorial is offered to you at no additional charge. This tutorial needs to be completed and a test of software competency demonstrated prior to taking the class.


All online courses require textbooks. The textbooks for online courses may be found in the online course syllabi, which are located under and may be obtained from The Art Institute Online’s textbook partner at They provide 48-hour delivery for most textbooks. Textbooks can be purchased online over a secure line using a credit card.


Prior to registration, students are provided with a technical specification list for hardware and software that supports the online courses. The technology requirements specified for each course are available on The Art Institute Online virtual campus Web site, Students may purchase their own equipment with an outside vendor, or through The Art Institute Online technology partners which may be found at the above Web site. Students are not, however, required to purchase or lease any equipment through The Art Institute of Houston or The Art Institute Online.


Faculty who teach the online courses possess the same subject matter credentials and experience requirements as faculty who teach the same course on-ground. In addition, all faculty who teach online are required to successfully complete a six-week online training course. In most cases, faculty who teach online courses teach the same courses on-ground with The Art Institutes system.

Academic Services 

The Art Institute of Houston provides a wide variety of support services to its students in order to assist them in completing their educational programs and reaching their career goals. All students who take online courses remain enrolled at The Art Institute of Houston and are encouraged to take advantage of these support services.

Student Financial Planning 

The Art Institute of Houston has a Student Financial Services office where students and their families develop a financial plan to help ensure students’ completion of their program. Specialists from this department help students complete the federal and state applications for grants and loans applicable to the students’ circumstances. Once a student’s eligibility for financial aid has been determined, the student receives help to develop a plan for meeting educational expenses. “Plus” students (those registered for both online and on-ground courses at the same time) receive the same assistance and financial consideration regardless of the delivery format of their registered courses. For Further Information, visit the Advising Center on the second floor and speak with the Online Advocate.

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