Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Last Updated

There are many considerations when exploring your online post-secondary program options, including whether part-time online learning or full-time online learning is the right choice. Fanshawe is unique in our online offerings as many of our post-secondary program options are available in both a part-time and a full-time online delivery format. Here is some information about both options to help you make the choice that is best for you:

Part-time vs. Full-time Online Program Considerations:

Course load

Most individual courses in a program are approximately three hours per week of instruction for a 15-week period. You will also need to set aside time for assignments, readings and other learning activities. While some courses may have more hours and some may have fewer, these are the averages for online courses:

  • If you choose to study part-time online, you can choose one to three courses per academic term and you can customize each term to fit your lifestyle as you go;
  • If you choose to study full-time online, there is less flexibility as you will automatically be registered in the full course load (five to eight courses per term) for your program. 

Applying for your program

Both part-time and full-time online post-secondary program applications are completed on OCAS, but it is important when you are completing your application process that you choose the specific delivery you want to apply for (e.g., full-time/online, part-time/online, etc.) Here is an example of a program listing you will see on OCAS and how it looks for both the part-time/online option and the full-time/online option so you know what to look for:

screenshot of program listing on OCAS website

Registering for your courses 

The course registration process differs greatly between part-time online programs and full-time online programs. As a part-time online student, you will self-register for your courses each term (based on a part-time program progression plan) and this option provides a bit more flexibility each term. As a full-time online student, you will automatically be registered in all your courses each term.


If you change your mind and want to switch from part-time online to full-time online or vice versa, we can help you do that. Once you’ve completed courses in a program, if you decide to switch you can do so using Fanshawe’s program transfer form process, working with your program coordinator to make sure the courses you need are offered when you want them. If you have not started in the program yet, you can go back to your OCAS application and update your choice there.

We hope this gives you a better idea about the difference between part-time online and full-time online post-secondary studies at Fanshawe College and helps to inform your choice about which is best for you! You can explore all of Fanshawe’s fully online programs here.