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OPWL Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about earning your online Master of Science in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning from Boise State? We’ve got answers to the most common questions students ask.

Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning student Jess Finer on a zoom call



What will my diploma say?

Your diploma will list your degree as a Master of Science in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning. The only “online” designation will be on your official transcript but not on your diploma.

How do online classes work? Do I have to be at my computer at a specific time?

OPWL coursework is mostly asynchronous, giving you the freedom to engage at your own pace. However, active online participation and interactions with both students and faculty are crucial. Your involvement and time spent in OPWL online classes are comparable to on-campus classes – log in regularly, contribute to discussions and submit assignments any time by the deadlines from any location.

How many credits are required for a degree?

The Master of Science in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning consists of 36 credits. When choosing the portfolio for the culminating activity, students complete 24 core, 8 elective, 3 research and 1 portfolio credit to earn a degree. When choosing the thesis for the culminating activity, students complete 24 core, 6 research and 6 thesis credits to earn the master’s.

Learn More About OPWL Degree Requirements

Do I need a background in the field to qualify?

No! Our students come from a variety of educational and professional experiences, and the diversity of their backgrounds contributes to the learning in the classroom.

Is there an application fee waiver?

The online OPWL program offers an application fee waiver if you have not yet submitted your application. Contact a student success coach prior to submitting your application to receive your waiver.

How many credit hours can be transferred from prior learning?

A maximum of 9 credits may be transferred from other institutions toward the online OPWL program. Transfer credits must be:

  • No older than 7 years at the time of graduation
  • Graduate level courses with a grade of B or higher
  • Cannot be applied to another degree

What if I haven’t decided when I want to start?

When you’re applying, we recommend you select the earliest start option you’re considering. You can always push your start to a future session. If you’ve applied and haven’t received a decision yet, you can request a start-date change through your student success coach.

How much time should I plan to spend on coursework each week?

The university suggests dedicating 45 study hours for each credit enrolled. For instance, in a 4-credit, 15-week course, the weekly study commitment is 12 hours (45 hours x 4 credits / 15 weeks). In a 1-credit, 5-week course, the weekly study commitment is 9 hours (45 hours x 1 credit / 5 weeks). Keep in mind that in online graduate study, a week equals seven days. Your academic advisor will guide you in planning the time needed for your studies each semester as you map out your course sequence for program completion.

Is an in-person residency required?

No. Boise State’s Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning programs do not require any on-site residency requirement. Being able to serve a student population in geographically diverse locations has made for a more global classroom that better reflects the needs and employees of the 21st century workplace.

Do I have to complete a thesis?

Students can choose between writing a thesis or creating a portfolio website, showcasing samples highlighting the application of knowledge and skills gained during their graduate studies.

View Portfolio and Thesis Examples

What kind of support is available to online OPWL students?

The OPWL programs have been offered online since 1989. Over the years, they’ve developed various resources to help OPWL students achieve their learning and professional development goals. Every OPWL student is assigned an academic advisor. They also get access to a job board shared by community members, virtual internships facilitated through OPWL, virtual career services, and virtual research labs where they can collaborate in small teams led by OPWL faculty members. Furthermore, there are free monthly webinars on navigating the L&D job field, among other ongoing resources available to OPWL students.

More Support Resources For Current Students

Can I visit campus?

Absolutely! Student visits are always encouraged. Reach out to the program’s academic advisor to schedule your visit.

How much will it cost?

At $550 per credit, the approximate total investment is $19,800 to complete our 36-credit program. For a full breakdown of our program costs, visit the costs page.

Learn More About Program Costs

Are both the master’s degree program and the certificate program eligible for financial aid?

If you’re admitted to both the master’s degree and a certificate program, you’re eligible for financial aid. However, admission to the graduate certificates alone does not make you eligible for financial aid.

Learn More About Financial Aid

Can the certificate program be applied to the Master of Science in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning?

All four of the OPWL certificate coursework can be applied toward the Master of Science in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning.

Learn more about the OPWL certificates:

Can I return and take courses after I've graduated?

Yes, it is easy to do and only requires these steps:

  • Go to the Graduate College Application Portal
  • Select First-time Users if you have not used this system and Select Returning Users if you have
  • Select non-degree-seeking or an organizational performance and workplace learning certificate
  • Pay the $65 application fee
  • Notify Jo Ann Fenner ( or Kori Anna Smith ( so they can track your application in the system

More Program Details

About Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning

Learn about the program

How to Apply

Apply to the program

Classes and Scheduling

What classes will I take?

Costs, Assistantships and Scholarships

How much does this program cost?

Career Opportunities

What can I do with this degree?

Alumni Testimonials

Hear from our graduates

Contact Us

Contact a student success coach

Student Resources

If you are not yet accepted into the program, please contact a student success coach for support.


Admitted Students

Current Student Resources

Resources for current students

Research and Development Labs

Participate in faculty-led research

Didn’t find what you’re looking for?

Contact our enrollment and student success team for support by emailing us at or calling (208) 426-5921.