What Are Self-Paced Online Degree Programs?

Self-paced online degree programs allow students to set their own academic schedules, while traditional online programs typically follow an academic schedule set by the school. That's why a self-paced program might appeal to working professionals and others who need flexibility when taking classes. Read on to learn about these programs.

Self-Paced Online Degree Programs Overview

Self-paced online degree programs are designed for students who may find full-time, on-campus programs hard to fit into their busy schedules. You can find online undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a large number of disciplines. Lately, online degree programs have started being offered from a variety of educational institutions, such as two-year technical and community colleges, as well as four-year universities. A few of the basic attributes of self-paced online degree programs include the ability to study at one's own pace and the online delivery method.

Important Facts About Self-Paced Programs

Programs/Degrees Undergraduate and graduate certificates, bachelor's and master's degrees
Degree Fields Engineering, computer science, business administration, human resources management, global studies and others
Online Availability Fully
In-person Requirements Some programs require brief in-person residencies

Self-Paced Progress

Unlike traditional university programs, self-paced online programs give students the flexibility to make their own schedules with regard to lessons and class assignments. Working professionals can benefit from self-paced programs because the pursuit of an education follows their own time schedule. Students can study in the evenings, on weekends or whenever their schedule permits. Most programs allow students to work on one or more courses simultaneously. While some programs have certain completion time limits, such as 6- or 12-week terms for instance, others may be more flexible.

Online Coursework and Interaction

One of the benefits of a degree program offered online is the ability to complete coursework via the Internet. A personal computer and Internet connection is all that's required to easily access class materials. This includes study guides, exams and supplemental materials. Students can also use their computers to interact with fellow students and faculty via email or online forums. Such Internet communication makes it possible for students to ask questions and engage in a dialogue, just as they would in traditional, on-campus courses. Contemporary online teaching methods include video tutorials, live chats, online quizzes and online classroom discussions.

Other Benefits

Some self-paced online degree programs allow you to pay as you go and only pay for the courses you're currently taking. Since you're typically charged by the course at the time of enrollment, you have greater flexibility in arranging your education in accordance with financial demands. Also, because online degree programs are often extensions of on-campus programs, the same professors who teach on-campus courses often teach the online sessions. And, these courses often include the same texts and learning materials.

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

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Brenau University

    Brenau University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Brenau University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Post University

    Post University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Post University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Ohio Christian University

    Ohio Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ohio Christian University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

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