How Does a Distance Learning Doctorate Program Work?

If you want to pursue a doctorate degree, but you can't commit to on-campus, full-time study, you might be interested in a distance learning doctoral program. Read below for details regarding this alternative educational opportunity.

Distance Learning Doctorate Program Overview

Many doctoral students are working professionals who are unable to leave their jobs to work on a degree. A distance-learning program makes study possible on a schedule conducive to work and household demands by allowing you to take courses online.

Important Information About Online Doctoral Programs

Programs Fellowships are available
Possible Careers Research scientist, college professor, psychologist
Prerequisites At least a bachelor's degree; there are a variety of specific courses that will be required
Degree Fields Multiple programs available online

Online Coursework

In an online format, coursework is usually completed at your own pace, and you typically aren't required to be present at a particular time, though some online programs do have required timetables for completion. The majority of distance-learning doctorate programs are completed entirely online. However, in some rare cases, you may be required to complete coursework by correspondence sent through the traditional mail system.

Online Interaction

Many distance-learning doctorate programs give you the chance to engage in extensive online interaction with professors and fellow students. Utilizing chat rooms and message forums, you can participate in class discussions and ask questions. This allows you to remain involved in the classroom dialogue without being physically present.

Dissertation and Campus Visits

After completing the specified coursework, you'll likely write an original dissertation on a topic that relates to your course of study. You may consult with professors or advisers when choosing a topic.

Some distance learning doctorate programs require you to participate in one or more on-campus residencies, which may run anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. This gives you the chance to meet colleagues and discuss your dissertation with the appropriate faculty members. Once you've completed your dissertation, you may visit the university's campus in order to orally defend the research.

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