Tips for Success

Online classes are built for convenience and flexibility, giving students a chance to study on their schedule. To be successful, there are several things online students should remember.

The Must-Haves

  • A reliable computer - not just a mobile device
  • Consistent, reliable internet access
  • A technology back-up plan
  • An email address you can check regularly
  • The desire to succeed!

Don't Forget to...

  • Manage your time
  • Familiarize yourself with myCMU and take CMU103: Orientation to Online Learning
  • Plan to put as much effort into an online class as you would if you were sitting in a classroom
  • Remember that most Central Methodist University online courses run on an 8-week schedule, called terms, which allows students to take fewer classes at a time. This schedule does mean that assignments and readings may be longer and more frequent than an in-person class.

Technical Recommendations

PC Operating System:

Windows 10 or 11

"Pro" OS version is HIGHLY recommended over the "Home" OS versions. They work much better in "enterprise" networking environments. Do not get Windows "S-mode", it will not work with all versions of software you may need. If Windows comes pre-installed as "S-mode", make sure it has the capability of being switched out of S-mode to regular mode.

2.0 GHz or higher CPU (Intel i5, i7 or i9 recommended), at least 8+ GB RAM (16 GB recommended), ample Hard Drive storage, (512 GB SSD recommended - size varies with need based on whether you save a lot of photos, music, videos, etc.) Wi-Fi connectivity (Ethernet optional)

Mac Operating System:

MacOS 12 (Monterey) or higher

2.0 GHz or higher CPU (Intel i5 or i7) or any Apple M1-M2 series.  At least 8+ GB RAM (16 GB recommended), ample Hard Drive storage, (512 GB SSD recommended) Wi-Fi connectivity (Ethernet optional)


Firefox v.115 or higher (Windows/Mac) or Microsoft Edge Browser version 114 or higher (Windows/Mac), or Safari v.16 or higher (Mac). The newest Firefox release is Highly Recommended for both Mac and Windows users. (free download)

Adobe Reader, newest version (free download)

Microsoft Office 365 is included with your CMU Eagle user account. You do not have to purchase it separately while enrolled in CMU courses.

ZOOM, newest version (free download)


Your Mac/PC should have a webcam, microphone and speakers. These are built-in to most new laptops and USB external ones can be purchased inexpensively for Desktop systems.


Students must have regular access to reliable, high-speed, internet access. (DSL, U-Verse, Cable Modem, Fiber link, etc.)

Satellite-based or Cell phone "Hot Spot" based connections are typically unreliable. (Contact Technology Services for more information if this is your only option.)

*** NOTE ***

"Mobile" computing devices: Chromebooks, smartphones, iPads, tablets, etc. are not 100% supported with ALL features of CMU online courses. Due to their technical limitations, there may be some features or assignments that CANNOT be done with a mobile device and will require a "full" Desktop/Laptop computing system. If your mobile device is your primary computing device, make sure you have readily available access to a full computer system if needed.

Linux systems: Due to the extreme variability of Linux OS variants, hardware, and lack of centralized support, Linux PC's are strictly "Use at your own risk" and not supported by CMU Technology Services.

Before classes begin, please check with your instructors for any other special technical requirements they may have. Some classes require specific software which may have their own requirements in addition to these minimums.