How Cardinal Works


Cardinal Education is a consortium of six Virginia public universities that offers online master’s in engineering degrees. You can take classes while you’re employed, and you can mix and match the courses from all six universities. This gives you more flexibility and decreases your time to completion because you have a broader range of courses to pick from.

Questions to Answer Before Enrolling

Before you enroll in a degree program, there are several important questions to consider.

  1. Which school will be your “home” institution? Choose the school that offers the course or degree you are seeking. This is where your credential/degree will be from. This decision determines the specific process and helps you get in touch with the right person.
  2. Are you seeking a degree, or not? Decide if you’ll be seeking a graduate degree, or just taking a couple classes to expand your knowledge.
  3. Full-time or part-time? Decide if you’ll be a full-time or part-time student. Full-time varies by institution between 9 to 12 credits per semester. Part-time is often preferable since it’s more flexible and enables you to keep working at your job.
  4. Can your employer help? Check with your employer’s HR department to understand if they offer tuition reimbursement, time off for taking classes, etc. You can also work with your employer to determine which degree would be most advantageous to pursue.

Enrollment Process For Degree-Seeking Students

Follow these steps if you want to pursue a graduate certificate or degree through Cardinal Education. 

1. Contact your “home” school.

Click on your chosen school below to reach an Administrative Contact. This person will be your primary point of contact throughout your experience for registration and admissions. 

2. Apply to your school and program.

Click on your home institution below to apply to the school. Once accepted, you will be assigned a Faculty Advisor. NOTE: If you plan to take classes outside of your home university, you will need to go through an application process for each school, but the process will be streamlined and the admissions fees will be waived.

3. Develop a plan of study.

In conjunction with your home institution, identify the core courses required for the selected degree, as well as allowable electives. Work with your Faculty Advisor to identify and select courses that complete a plan of study. You can also use the “Plan of Study” tool included in the Course Finder section of this web site.

4. Register for your courses.

Explore course options across all the schools with our Course Finder. Then, register for courses via the relevant school’s registration page below.

Just want to take a couple courses?

Want to enroll in one or two courses, but not pursue a graduate degree? You can do that, too! The process for this varies from school to school — some will have you go through the Continuing Education department, and others will have you register without applying.  

To learn more about enrolling without pursuing a degree, contact the Administrative Contact at the school you’d like to attend (your “home institution”) from step 1 above.