How Do Online School Degree Programs Work?

Millions of college students enroll each year in online school programs to obtain undergraduate and graduate degrees. If you're considering an online education, keep reading to learn how online school degree programs work.

Online School Degree Programs

Online degree programs allow for flexibility while still delivering a comparable level of educational quality found in on-campus degree programs. The structure and program delivery methods may differ from one school to another, though all utilize e-mail, forums and chat rooms to relay information. The following tools and study aids are utilized in online degree programs:

  • Audio and video lectures
  • Student forums
  • Electronic bulletin boards
  • Downloadable textbook supplements

Important Facts About Online School Degree Programs

Programs Many different programs exist, such as applied science, criminal justice, business
Degrees/Certificates Some examples include Bachelor of Science in Nursing for RN, Master of Science for RN, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Possible Careers Varies by degree
Common Courses Varies by degree. Some course might be calculus, organizational communication, ethics in criminal justice

How Lectures Are Delivered

In some online degree programs, students log on at specified times to hear instructors conduct live lectures and class sessions. Other programs allow students to log on at their convenience to hear recorded lectures. Question-and-answer sessions with instructors may be conducted via e-mail or student forums at predetermined times. Some online degree programs require live attendance for select courses or for exams. Others may require students to locate an exam proctor locally, often through a public library, to supervise the student's exam.

How Assignments Are Completed

Some online programs might utilize electronic bulletin boards on which instructors can leave details about required assignments and projects. In many cases, completed assignments can be e-mailed to instructors. Some instructors or even students may prefer to mail hard copies of all completed work. In some programs, group projects might be encouraged, and students use chat rooms, message boards and e-mail to work in a team.

How Materials Are Obtained

Materials needed for online courses can usually be downloaded. In some programs, all required material is obtained online. Some instructors might prefer to use textbooks, which can typically be ordered online through the college bookstore. In cases where traditional textbooks are used, supplemental materials are generally made available for download.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. Next »