Please review this set of common inquiries before sending us an email as many items are already covered here and we want you to find an answer as quickly as possible.
Q. What do I need to take one of Mythgard’s online courses?
A. All you need is an updated browser and a computer with audio input and output. Audio input and output can mean a variety of devices including built in or external microphones (input), built in or external speakers or headphones (output) or a headset (combined). If you’re auditing, the bare minimum you’ll need is an updated browser!
Q. What technology will be used for delivering course content?
A. The Institute will deliver course content using GoToWebinar and Moodle as primary software platforms. For more information about how these technologies will be used, visit the Course Tools section of the site.
Q. What sort of audio device should I use for participating in an online course?
A. Mythgard Institute’s tech elves strongly suggest combined, headset style audio devices to give the best performance during class discussions. For specific recommendations, check out the MI Bookstore.
Q. Are Mythgard courses accessible?
A. In addition to Mythgard’s courses giving students the ability to attend from their own environment, the Institute strives to make all content accessible to all learners. Course materials are compatible with popular screen reading applications and accommodations can be made for specific needs. Contact email@example.com if you have questions.
Q. How do I access the course I’ve registered for online?
A. Our online course offerings are available through a Moodle site at learn.signumuniversity.org. New students will receive log in information for this via either an automated email from the Acteva registration system and/or just prior to the start of the semester by way of school staff or faculty (since some email accounts mistakenly sort this automated message to spam). Previously enrolled students will access the Moodle site using their existing credentials but will not be able to see their new course until the instructor makes it available.
How Our Courses Work
Q. How are the courses run?
A. The courses are taught in 12 weekly online units. Each unit has three parts: a 90 minute Primary Lecture, a 60 minute Discussion Session, and a 60-90 minute Closing Session. The Primary Lecture will include built-in time for the lecturer to answer your questions in real time. The Discussion Session is a seminar meeting led by one of our course preceptors, in which you will have in-depth audio discussions of the week’s material in a group of no more than 12 students. The Closing Session is a final live Q&A session with the primary lecturer, who will tie up any loose ends from the Primary Lecture and answer the questions which students submit during the week, as well as any final questions submitted during the live session. Auditors may attend and participate in the Primary Lectures and Closing Sessions, but they do not participate in the mid-week Discussion Session.
Q. How long do courses run for?
A. Our Fall, Spring and Summer semesters run for 12 weeks each. Special programs and the Academy run for shorter periods and are dependent upon content.
Q. I do not live in the US. Can I still take courses?
A. Students from all over the world may enroll in courses at Mythgard. Obviously, the differences in the time zones in which our students and professors are operating will create some logistical challenges. All students, MA students and auditors, will be asked upon application or enrollment to inform us of their time zone and the times of day in their local time when class attendance would be possible for them. Different discussion sessions will meet at different times of day, and we will do everything we can to ensure that all MA students are assigned to discussion sessions that meet at a time convenient for them. We will schedule the primary lectures and closing sessions in a time slot that works best for the majority of the students in the course. Those who cannot attend the lectures live will still be able to view the recordings of the sessions, and will be able to submit questions by email for the lecturers to answer during the live sessions. If the enrollment in the course is high enough, the professor may deliver two separate lectures at different times. Finally, the drop-in office hours of the professor will be given at different times of day during the week, to accommodate as many different time zones as possible. All class sessions are taught in English.
Q. Will you be offering a course soon in/on ________?
A. Quite possibly! Please check out our Future Courses page and let us know what courses you’re interested in taking with us in the future. Don’t see what you’re looking for there? Drop us a suggestion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Do I have to be a writer to complete papers for Mythgard?
A. Not at all! Lots of Mythgard students come from backgrounds other than writing or literature and many have not been enrolled in college courses for years. If you are out of practice with writing academic papers, you should not consider it a hurdle to enrolling for credit at the Institute.
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Listen In: Writing Papers at Mythgard (YouTube)
Mythgard’s preceptors will work with M.A. students to review your writing assignments from the draft phase all the way through the final submission.
Enrolling at Mythgard
Q. Do I need any qualifications to take these courses?
A. No qualifications are required to audit a course. You do need to apply for entry into the M.A. program, though, and a Bachelor’s Degree is required for that.
Q. What does it mean to “Audit” a course?
A. To “audit” a course means that you enroll in a course and participate in it as actively or inactively as you choose to on your own level. You have access to the same content, reading, etc. as the M.A. students, but you do not take part in the Discussion Sessions and you are spared from having to write any papers. You do not receive academic credit for the course. Because of this, auditing is offered at a reduced rate. Auditing is a very good choice for students who do not yet have a B.A., are new to a classroom experience, or haven’t been part of a classroom for a long time, and for people who are interested in learning more about the course topics just for fun. You can audit just one course, or several.
Q. Can I get a transcript to verify the courses I have audited?
A. Yes! We are happy to provide a transcript listing all of the courses you audit.
Q. How do I enroll for courses?
A. Registrants can sign up for courses hosted by Signum University using the Enroll section of the SU website. After choosing the type of offering (Mythgard Institute, Mythgard Academy, etc.), registrants will then be taken to the course catalog.
At this point, course enrollment is processed by Acteva. On the Acteva-hosted catalog pages, registrants will be asked to select what type of attendee they are (Returning M.A. student vs. Auditor, Regular Enrollment vs. Group or Family, etc.), input their vital data, select course options and submit payment.
New students applying for the M.A. program should use the Apply Now page to complete their initial application before enrolling for individual courses.
Questions about the enrollment catalog pages can be directed to Acteva using the contact information provided during registration.
Q. How do I enroll to audit the course?
A. Visit our Enrollment page and review the Enroll to Audit information. After taking a moment to understand the details, choose the Enroll Today button and follow the instructions listed under “Q. How do I enroll for courses?” above.
Q. How does auditing a course differ from applying to take the course as part of the M.A. program?
A. Auditors do not receive academic credit, while M.A. students do. Additionally, Auditors attend one fewer hour of class per week than M.A. students and are not required to write any papers. Auditors do not receive a grade in the course. Since the level of commitment for an M.A. student and the Mythgard faculty is increased, so is the price of enrolling in a course at the M.A. level.
Q. So what sort of time commitments are we actually talking about here?
A. Auditors will spend 2 hours attending class each week plus whatever time it takes you to read the course materials. M.A. students will attend 3 hours of class per week plus whatever time it takes you to read the course materials and write the required papers. Participation in the discussion board is open to all, though it is required of M.A. students and optional for auditors.
Q. How much does it cost to take a course?
A. The cost of auditing a course through the certificate program is $175. The cost of taking a course at the M.A. level of study is $575 dollars, plus a one-time application-processing fee of $25. This processing fee will be returned to you should your application not be successful.
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Listen In: The Cost of Mythgard Courses (YouTube)
Q. Is there federal financial aid available to Mythgard students?
A. No, Mythgard does not currently participate in any federal grant or loan programs. We have two strategies for helping students afford our classes. The first is simply to price them as low as we possibly can. If you compare our tuition rates with other those of other schools, you’ll see that you really can’t find MA courses for less than this. The second strategy is through donation-based scholarships.
Q. Are scholarships available to students?
A. The Mythgard Institute and Signum University do not require a big endowment in order to function, as some schools do. Therefore, 100% of gifts given to us by donors are put straight into scholarship funds. Mythgard Institute has announced The Took Fund scholarship for M.A. students taking classes for credit; we hope there will soon be others. If you are interested in donating so that others can take classes, contact us!
Q. Do you offer referral discounts to enrolled students?
A. Yes. Students who refer a friend to our M.A. program or auditing option can receive a tuition discount for a future semester. Learn more on the Referral Discount page.
Q. Is Mythgard tuition tax deductible?
A. The IRS requires that all institutions that provide the form 1098-T necessary for tuition deductions also offer students federal financial aid. As Signum University (and, therefore, Mythgard Institute) does not participate in this aid program, we cannot provide the 1098-T form.
Q. Is Mythgard accredited? If so, from what body?
A. The MA attached to Mythgard’s program will be from Signum University, a new non-profit university that has been founded as the sister institution of Mythgard. We have the accreditation process in full swing. We should be fully certified by the state of Delaware to award MA degrees in less than a year and a half, and fully accredited a couple years after that (full accreditation is a multi-year process). Stay abreast of the accreditation process on the Signum Institutional Progress page.
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Listen In: President Olsen on Accreditation (YouTube)
We are also establishing some partnerships with established, accredited institutions both in America and abroad, so that students may choose, in the short term, to transfer the credits from our courses into other programs. Soon, our courses will be fully accredited in the UK system, and we are open to other partnerships as well.
Mythgard courses will meet any standard that any accrediting body will establish, and we want our students to know that we are committed to demonstrating the quality and integrity of our program, both now and in the years to come.
Q. What is the advantage of taking a course at the M.A. level?
A. Courses taken at the M.A. level will eventually count towards pursuing an M.A. degree in Literature and Language with us. The M.A. level is also a good choice for the very serious Tolkien or Harry Potter fan who is eager to learn. M.A. students get the chance to participate each week in the small-group Discussion Sessions, and since M.A. students are required to submit several papers, they also receive direct and individual feedback on their writing from the Professors.
Q. How do I apply to take these courses for M.A. credit?
A. Visit our Enrollment page and review the Applying for M.A. Credit information. After taking a moment to understand the details, choose the Enroll Today button and follow the instructions listed under “Q. How do I enroll for courses?” above.
Note: In order to enroll to take courses at the M.A. level, you must apply and be accepted by the Institute. A Bachelor’s Degree is required.
Q. How many M.A. level courses must I take in order to qualify for the M.A. itself?
A. The MA requires ten courses (30 credits) and a Master’s thesis of 30-40 pages.
Q. Can I transfer credits from my current (or former) M.A. program?
A. In theory, yes. Email your transcript to email@example.com and it will be reviewed by Mythgard faculty. Transfer of credits will be dependent upon applicability of completed courses.
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Listen In: Transferring Credits to Mythgard (YouTube)
Q. How long does it take to acquire an M.A.?
A. Your pace is largely up to you and your own schedule. We are offering just two courses this Spring but will be expanding to offer more courses in the upcoming semesters. It is recommended that you not take more than 2 or 3 courses per semester, for the sake of your own sanity.
Q. Is it possible to upgrade from my auditing of a class to taking it at the M.A. level?
A. During the first 2 weeks of a course general enrollment is closed, but you can, with your professors’ approval, upgrade to the M.A. level. If you are within the first 2 weeks of the course, please speak directly with your Professor.
Q. Are recorded lectures available?
A. Yes, in two ways. M.A. students and auditors have access to an archive of recorded lectures that they can access as the course progresses via learn.mythgard.org.
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Listen In: Purchase Full Courses (YouTube)
Coming very soon: Mythgard will be offering recordings of completed courses for purchase at a very competitive price!
Q. I need to withdraw from my M.A. course. Is that possible and can I get a refund?
A. Yes and yes! The Drop/Add policy at Signum is first dependent upon which point in the semester the decision is made. Please identify if you are are within the period:
- Through Week 2 - students who withdraw from the M.A. program or downgrade to the auditing option will receive a full refund or a refund for the difference.
- From Week 3 through Week 8 - students may withdraw from the M.A. program or downgrade to the auditing option will receive a 50% refund.
- End of Week 8 - last chance to withdraw or audit without special permission from your instructor.
Q. I need to withdraw from auditing a course. Can I be refunded for this?
A. Up to the beginning of the third week of the term, yes! Students who withdraw by this point will receive a full refund. Refund requests beyond week three cannot be processed, unfortunately. However, we do understand that things come up and life takes unexpected turns so we will continue your account on our learning management system so that you can get caught up on the classes you’ve missed for several semesters to come.
Q. I’d love to work for Mythgard – how do I apply?
A. Whether you are interested in teaching or volunteering, Mythgard Institute would love to have you! Hiring for the Institute is handled by the HR department at our partner in learning, Signum University. Visit the Jobs page to get started.
Q. Does this mean the Tolkien Professor podcasts are over?!
A. No! Streamlining and sharing the Tolkien teaching process here at The Mythgard Institute is actually allowing The Tolkien Professor more time to devote to sharing even more ideas with his podcast listeners.
Q. What can I do if my question is not listed here?
A. Please send all general inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions related to your specific course can be directed to your professor.