How Do I Enroll in an Online Bachelor Degree?

After choosing an online bachelor's degree program and the school where you want to complete it, enrolling is the next big step. While some schools have a slightly different enrollment process than others, they all share commonalities, whether online or on-campus. Online degree programs are convenient because the coursework can be completed anywhere, and so can the enrollment and application process.

Choice of Major and School

Before enrolling in an online degree program, it's important to choose a major. Many on-campus colleges allow students to choose an 'undeclared major' at first; however, this defeats the purpose of the online bachelor's degree program, which is to allow students to complete a degree in a timely and flexible manner. Online programs are intended for students who already know what they want to study and are ready to put forth the work required. Consider which programs you'd be interested in completing, along with the future career possibilities each degree affords. The next step toward enrollment involves the following:

  • Comparing the programs at different schools
  • Checking that the schools are accredited
  • Choosing a school to attend

Important Information About Enrolling in an Online Bachelor Degree

Programs Both blended (part on-campus/part online) programs and entirely online programs are available. Some may elect to fill a degree's minor requirements entirely online.
Degrees Popular degrees include computer science, health related subjects, business management, marketing and accounting.
Degree Field Online degrees available in numerous areas: business, liberal arts, computer related fields, social science, political science, many others
Continuing Education Many schools offering bachelor degrees online also offer advanced (masters or doctoral) degrees.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to online bachelor's degree programs must meet the admission requirements specific to their school of choice. These standards vary by school and even by department within each school. Some online schools have high and well-defined admission criteria. For example, the Arizona State University Online Program requires demonstrated competencies in high school English, Laboratory Science, Social Science and Foreign Language. Minimum scores on the ACT and/or the SAT may also be needed. Other schools offering online degrees may require only a high school diploma or GED equivalent for admission.

Information about admission requirements for a particular school should be available from that institution's admissions office. Commonly required admission documents may include:

  • High school or GED transcripts
  • Transcripts of previous college-level work
  • Proof of United States citizenship, permanent residency or an international student visa

Enrollment Process

After choosing a school and major and completing the necessary admission requirements, you need to fill out an application. Many schools have application forms available on their websites. In addition to the application form, schools may require applicants to submit supplemental materials. These may include the items below:

  • Personal essays or statements
  • References from employers or previous teachers
  • An application fee

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