Launch an Online Program

Online programs present an opportunity to explore new avenues for innovation, while expanding access to Vanderbilt's world-class education.

Successfully developing an online program requires significant planning, organization, and time. Our team at the Office of Digital Education (ODE) can partner with you to plan, develop, and launch the following academic endeavors:

  • Graduate Certificate Programs
  • Graduate & Professional Degrees
  • Stackable Portfolios (e.g. microcredentials, bootcamps)

While all new credit-bearing programs must be approved by the Office of the Provost, working with our department is optional and the decision of the academic unit Dean. If a unit prefers to work with an external partner, ODE can support vendor recommendations and contracting. There are many options for partnering with us and we encourage you to reach out and explore the opportunities.

What to Expect & Resources

The Office of Digital Education (ODE) collaborates with units across Vanderbilt University to enable the development and delivery of innovative, high quality online and hybrid learning programs. As the hub for digital education, we strive to provide academic units with the infrastructure, expertise and resources needed to launch online and/or hybrid programs.

In partnering with us, you can expect program management, instructional design, marketing support, and coordination with other units on campus to help deliver new online programs successfully.

The following are the different services we can offer at various stages of online program development:


  • Program Strategy & Ideation: Support identification of new program opportunities, financial planning, resource identification, and program differentiation
  • Market Analysis: Provide market research and program feasibility to guide program development and a go-to-market strategy
  • Partner Recommendations: Coordinate internal partnerships with other units that have relevant expertise (e.g. CFT, OAPRAA) or facilitate external partnerships where applicable


  • Project Management: Oversee all program implementation, planning, and execution
  • Instructional Design: Provide faculty dedicated, end-to-end instructional design support for course design, build, and quality review
  • Media & Production Management: Manage costs and operations around video/media content for online courses


  • Marketing & Enrollment Management: Oversee and manage marketing, admissions, and enrollment
  • Assessment: Partner with OAPRAA to define program assessment strategy and monitor program needs more broadly
  • Content revisions: Support content refresh after the program is launched
  • Student Success: Provide guidance and coordinate University resources for supporting online students


Typical planning, preparation and development time for an online degree program is usually 12-18 months before the first course will be delivered. While getting a program online can be time-consuming, the process itself is easy to follow and ODE is available to provide guidance at any part of the undertaking.

Depending on faculty bandwidth and ODE capacity, this timeline can fluctuate, but the timeline below provides general guidance of the deliverables by stage:

Online Program Timeline


All new credit-bearing programs must be approved by the Provost’s Office through the PCCAP process. The PCCAP process is managed by the Office of Academic Program Review, Assessment, and Accreditation (OAPRAA). This will take place after program kickoff and discovery.

View the 2022 PCCAP Process

Accreditation & Compliance

The Office of Academic Program Review, Assessment, and Accreditation (OAPRAA) serves to support Vanderbilt’s faculty and staff in ensuring continued excellence in educational offerings while navigating the complexities of compliance with federal, state, and institutional regulations and policies while standing up digital education programs.

OAPRAA has developed a resource document intended to highlight key considerations (beginning page 5) related to compliance that warrant attention during both the development and implementation phases of a new digital education program.

Review the OAPRAA Position Statement on Digital Education Programs

Interested but not ready to develop a full program? Check out these other options for developing online learning in partnership with the ODE.

Create a MOOC

Partnering with online learning platforms, we can help you launch a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). These courses are available to learners across the globe, allowing you to broaden your education reach.

Learn more about how to create a massive online open course

Explore Advisory Services

ODE is here to discuss your needs and provide direct assistance, vendor recommendations, instructional design resources, and digital media production.

Learn more about our advisory services and resources

Not Sure How to Get Started?

The Office of Digital Education is committed to enabling the development of uniquely Vanderbilt online and hybrid programs. Whether you have an early idea with a basic concept in mind or pre-existing course content you’d like to bring online to a global learning platform, discover what’s possible by contacting us through the form below.