Textbooks and Course Materials

Students are responsible for acquiring all the textbooks and materials required for the courses they choose. The cost for course materials is not included in tuition and registration fees. Students will arrange payment directly with the textbook provider and may select any textbook provider that offers the books and materials they need for a particular course.

Many students choose to use Barnes & Noble College (BNC Services) for their course materials. If students choose to use BNC Services, they may order textbooks (new and used) and materials by telephone, online, or by mailing the order form that is accessible via the Students Forms page on the University website. 

Whatever method students choose, they will need to supply the course codes of the Thomas Edison State University courses for which they have registered.  For a preview of what is required in a course, students may go to Course Offerings at www.tesu.edu/courses, select the course in which they are interested, and choose Preview the Online Syllabus option.

Another way to learn what materials are required before students order is by going to the BNC Services website. BNC Services maintains a section on its website devoted to Thomas Edison State University. Students can see at a glance what materials are required for the courses they are taking, and they can calculate the cost. This information is also available through the BNC Services call center at 800-325-3252.

Course Manuals

In online courses, the syllabus, handbook, and specific course information are available when students log in to the course for which they are registered. Students will receive a password and username for courses with their registration confirmation.


Most courses, except prior learning assessment (PLA), require some form of course materials. TESU strives to make cost effective choices for its students concerning its selection of course materials by curating the best learning materials available for each course. Course materials may take the form of traditional textbooks, articles, open educational resources, technologies, or research articles. Students should consult the course syllabus for specifics on course materials. 

Computer Software

A few of the University’s courses require the use of computer software.
Contact information for BNC Services:

  • BNC Services telephone orders are taken through its call center at: 800-325-3252.

  • BNC Services web orders by visiting the University Online Bookstore.

Prior learning assessment (PLA) students do not need to purchase course materials or textbooks from BNC Services. However, the course mentor may suggest readings and additional materials to support a student’s electronic portfolio.

Open Educational Resources and Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) Courses

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OER can include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.

Utilization of OER allows academics, experts, and content developers to create and disseminate low- or no-cost educational materials to students. Thomas Edison State University actively supports the use of OER across various credit earning options, including preparation materials for many TECEP® examinations, and Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) courses. 

The University features numerous ZTC courses comprised entirely of expertly curated OER and other high-quality no-cost learning materials and are adding more every year. Please see the ZTC section on the University website for the most up-to-date information at TESU ZTC Courses.