What Are the Requirements of an Online Bachelor's Degree?

If you're interested in earning a college degree, you may be able to complete it online. Most online bachelor's degree programs have similar course requirements as on-campus programs. However, online programs usually use course management systems and incorporate asynchronous learning. Read on to find out about specific requirements for earning a bachelor's degree online.

Application and Accreditation

When choosing an online bachelor's degree program, first make sure that the school and program is accredited. Accreditation ensures the school is genuine and that your degree will be recognized by employers and other academic institutions.

Once you've selected accredited schools, you need to fill out an application. In most cases, the application process is the same for an online bachelor's degree program as it is for an on-campus program. The application process for a bachelor's degree online can include:

  • An essay
  • GPA from high school or another university for transfer students
  • Letters of recommendation
  • High school transcript
  • ACT or SAT scores
  • An interview
  • A portfolio

Important Facts regarding an Online Bachelors Degree

Concentrations Focusing on a specific area of concentration is conveniently available in many areas of study
Degree Fields of Study Various options such as communications, business administration, nursing, health sciences, or psychology are available
Prerequisites Credit may be received for real-life work experience; high school diploma or equivalent required
Possible Careers Your future career should be considered as you narrow down your own requirements in pursuit of an online bachelor degree

Core Coursework

Most online bachelor's degree programs begin with general education courses, just like for on-campus programs. These general education requirements give students a broad background in the liberal arts and sciences and can help undecided students select a major. General education requirements vary from school to school, but most universities typically require credits in humanities, science, math, and composition. The requirements for Penn State University's online bachelor's degree programs include courses in:

  • Physical activities
  • Foreign language
  • Mathematics
  • Natural science
  • General arts
  • Behavioral science
  • Speech and writing

Classes in a Major

After or while completing general education requirements, students take courses directly related to their major. These courses vary depending on the program. Students typically need to complete at least 60 credits in their major, but exact requirements vary by school. In some online bachelor's degree programs, students may be required to write a thesis or complete an internship. For example, students in online bachelor's degree programs for education often need to student teach, which is a requirement you can't complete online.

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:

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