Getting Started

1. Select a Program or Course

Your first step in getting started is to select the online program or course in which you are interested. Carefully review the SFA ONLINE website for the program or courses that you are interested in and contact the program coordinator or instructor to make sure that you are eligible to enroll.

2. Consider Your Readiness

You will also want to seriously consider your ability and commitment to complete an online program or course before you enroll. Online courses are not easy. The reading, assignments, and tests are just as difficult as those in campus-based courses. In addition, being successful in online courses requires you to be self-disciplined enough to log in regularly, focus on your assignments, and complete your work by scheduled deadlines.

Obviously, technology plays a big role in getting your education online. To be successful you must have easy access to a computer and the Internet. You must also be proficient with a variety of basic computing skills.

SmarterMeasure is a web-based tool which assesses a learner's skills for online learning. SmarterMeasure indicates the degree to which an individual student possesses attributes, skills and knowledge that contribute to success in online learning. Before logging in to SmarterMeasure, first open a new browser, log on to mySFA and click on the myCourses tab for the SmarterMeasure Username and Password. Once you have the Username and Password, you may access the site from the mySFA page, or re-visit this page to access the site from the link below. When you are ready to begin, remember to set aside approximately 30 - 45 minutes in which to complete the SmarterMeasure Readiness Indicator.

 1. To begin, open a browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome).
 2. Access SmarterMeasure ​by typing the following address in the URL field:​
 ​3. Under the First Time User Login ​type in the Username and Password that you obtained from mySFA under the myCourses tab and click Login to begin.
 4. Should you need to leave the survey and finish it at a later time, you will be assigned a PIN for re-entering the site.
 5. If you have the ability to complete college-level work, have the necessary motivation and commitment to complete your educational program, and have access to technology and the skills to use it proficiently, you should do well in the online environment.

3. Calculate Cost and Financial Aid

Answers to questions about tuition and fees, billing, and payment options are available on the SFA Business Office website and by email at Students may also contact the Business Office by phone at (936) 468-1000 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday or visit the office on campus.

An online Tuition & Fees Calculator is available to help you plan your expenses. A fee of $25 per credit hour is added for all distance education courses to help cover the cost of delivery.

Out-of-State students living outside of the State of Texas while taking an SFA ONLINE course may be eligible for an Out-of-State Electronic Fee price. Check with your academic department for eligibility and registration requirements. At the bottom of the Tuition & Fees Calculator page, you will find a calculator specifically designed for the Out-of-State Electronic Fee.

Even though SFA ONLINE courses are affordably priced, it never hurts to have financial aid. As an SFA ONLINE student, you are eligible to apply for financial aid. The information and forms you'll need to apply for financial aid are available online for your convenience.

4. Apply for Admission

To enroll in any course at SFA, you must first be admitted to the university. Admission requirements, procedures and online applications are available. You'll also want to review the requirements of your chosen online program for any additional admission requirements specific to that program.

 If you are seeking a graduate degree or a post-baccalaureate teacher certification, you should apply for admission through the ​Graduate Office.

 Answers to questions about getting admitted to SFA are available online on the Office of Admissions website, by phone at 1-800-731-2902 or by email at

5. Register for Courses

Register for Courses Upon admission to the university and fulfillment of all departmental advising requirements, you may register for SFA ONLINE courses by web or phone. Information regarding registration is located on the web at the Registration Page.

The Registrar posts registration dates online every semester. Normal registration hours are 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. To register for classes, log on to mySFA.

Class meeting time, place, and instructor information is available in the Schedule of Classes. Are you a Non-resident Living Out-of-State? Please be sure to register for the correct section of the course you want to take. Fully online courses have a section number in the 500-599 range. The 580-589 range is a fully online section reserved for non-residents who are living outside of Texas while taking the online course. Hybrid courses are mostly online but may require several visits to the campus in Nacogdoches. Hybrid courses have a section number in the 600-699 range. The 680-689 range is a Hybrid section reserved for non-residents who are living outside of Texas while taking the Hybrid course.

Bills are mailed only when students pre-register. If students register during delayed registration, bills must be promptly paid in the Business Office (Room 204) of the Austin Building or with a Visa or MasterCard by calling (936) 468-1000. Failure to do so may result in the student's courses being dropped. < a href="">Add/drop changes may be made to schedules during the registration period.

Any questions about registration should be referred to (936) 468-1370.

If you are an F-1 Visa holder, please follow this ​link for more information.

6. Get Prepared

Order books, textbooks and materials for your online courses through the SFA University Bookstore. You may have books shipped to your home or have the bookstore reserve and hold your books on campus.

 Your computer should meet or exceed the minimum computer system requirements as listed below:

 Operating System : Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8 or a Macintosh with OSX or higher​
Processor : 2.0 GHz or higher​
Memory : 2 GB of RAM​
Internet : 1.5 Mbps+/high-speed recommended (avoid satellite and wireless, if possibile)​
Printer : optional (check with your instructor)​
CD-ROM : optional - some courses use textbooks with CD-ROMs​
Sound Card : Most computers will have this built-in (make sure you have working speakers)​
Monitor : 15" monitor (1024 x 768 minimum resolution)​

​You can also visit the Software Downloads page to look for and download software that might be required. 

Courses that include heavy multimedia usage will require you to have better than average Internet service. Satellite or wireless Internet services can be problematic for students. In some rural locations there may be few options, but please keep in mind that attempting to watch videos, connect to a live webinar (Collaborate, etc.) or use other services that require lots of Internet speed will likely be problematic. If you must use one of the Internet service provider types mentioned above, please be prepared to go to an alternative location when experiencing difficulties.

The SFA Online Video Viewing Checklist helps you determine if your computer is set to view video, which is accessed from SFA RealPlayer server. To optimize your computer for viewing video, please visit the site now.

Tip* When accessing the higher speed services that may accompany your coursework, please connect your Ethernet (Internet) cable directly to your computer, if possible. A "wired connection" is usually faster in a home setting than a "wireless" connection. If you need to test your connection speed, please visit this site You can also visit the Software Downloads page to look for and download software that might be required.

To ensure that your browser will function correctly with SFA's learning system, D2L (Desire2Learn). Use the official D2L system check before you log in. If your class uses Collaborate, please visit this site to make sure you and your computer are ready: Collaborate Web Conferencing

Know Your D2L Username and Password

Your D2L Username and Password is the same as your mySFA Username and Password. If you do not know your mySFA username please visit Look Up mySFA Username. If you do not know your password, you can visit Help With My Password.

View and/or print out the steps for logging in to Desire2Learn (D2L).