Student Frequently Asked Questions

What web browser do I need for Canvas?

Canvas works best with Chrome or Firefox, which can both be downloaded for free.  Safari and Internet Explorer are also supported, but we've noticed they have more issues. You can read more about Canvas Browser Requirements in the Canvas Guides.

How do I log in to my Canvas course?

Point your browser to

Username: Student ID number (Example: 885123456)

Password:  First 6 letters of your last name (Example:  Jill Wu=wuwuwu, Kelly O'Brien=obrien)

Note:  Passwords from past quarters carry over to new quarters.

My Canvas password doesn't work or I forgot my password.

If you have forgotten your password or if your default password is not working, click the "Don't know your password?" link on the Canvas login screen and enter your college email address.  Check your college email for instructions to reset your password.

Why can't I see my course in Canvas?

  • Not all instructors use Canvas. Courses have to be Published by the instructor before students can see them. Most instructors do not publish their courses until the first day of the quarter. If you don't see your course, and you have checked your enrollment, please speak to your instructor. If you are taking a fully online class and the quarter has started, please email elearning at

  • During the 2-3rd week of the quarter:  After the 10th day of the quarter, everyone who has not paid for their courses is dropped by Enrollment Services.  Contact Enrollment Services if your Canvas course disappears after the 10th day of classes. Once you have completed payment, your courses should appear back in Canvas within a few hours. Any work you had done previously will be retained. Check with your instructor to make sure you didn't miss any messages while you were unenrolled.

  • HIV/AIDS Course:  This class is not taught using Canvas.  Check with the Instruction department for information about the vendor for this course. 

Do my hybrid courses meet at specific dates and times?

Yes! Please check the quarterly schedule or your course syllabus for the required times. It's important to attend your classroom sessions. Some instructors give grade points for attendance.

Do my online courses meet at specific dates and times?

Unless your instructor specifies otherwise, your courses will not meet at specific dates and times.  Your online class will be available to you 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  You will need to turn in assignments and take tests by specific due dates and times specified by your instructor.  Examine your syllabus for specific course information.

Are online courses harder or easier than classroom courses?

Some students find online courses much harder because of the lack of face-to-face time with their instructors.  Some students like online delivery because they can do their work from anytime and anywhere. Students who take online or hybrid courses should, at minimum, possess the skills listed in the Northstar Digital Literacies Standards

Where can I get books for my online courses?

The College Bookstore is your source for books for your classes, school supplies, sportswear, and gifts.