What Is the Difference Between a Distance Education and Online Degree?

A distance education degree and an online degree are commonly thought of as the same thing. Read on to find out about the differences between the two.

Distance Education Degree

Distance education refers to ways in which education may be delivered to students in remote locations. It is designed to offer students who cannot commit to on-site study the opportunity to pursue education in non-traditional formats. Distance education may include online degree programs, correspondence courses, CD-ROM education and many others.

Before the advent of the personal computer (PC), students often completed courses by receiving and submitting coursework by way of the U.S. mail system. Because technology has advanced greatly in past decades, the variety of distance education methods has increased. Synchronous distance education occurs when all students must be present simultaneously on a scheduled basis. Education that may be completed on a student's own schedule and does not involve a specific timetable is considered asynchronous, which is common for distance learning courses.

Important Facts about Distance Education

Common Courses Economics, cultural diversity, fundamentals of imaging technology, principles of persuasion, personal finance, art, public administration
Programs Certificates, undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, personal improvement, continuing education
Online Availability Continually increasing number of choices
Concentrations History, biology, music, health and nutrition, English, sociology, management, philosophy, finance, information technology, graphic arts

Online Degree

An online degree program is one option under the broader category of distance education. Students who own or have access to PCs can pursue an online degree by completing coursework via the Internet. Online courses give students the freedom to work from the comfort and convenience of their homes. Working professionals, who are unable to leave work in order to pursue full-time, on-campus study, benefit most from online courses of study.

Accredited online degree programs are available in a variety of fields, including business administration and nursing. Students in these programs receive and submit coursework online and interact with fellow students and faculty by email or through other forms of electronic communication. In recent years, online degree programs have flourished and become recognized as legitimate options for completing your education.

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

  • Golden Gate University - Aspire

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    Popular programs at Golden Gate University - Aspire:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
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  • Northcentral University

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    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

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    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master
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  • Full Sail University

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    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

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    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master
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  • Purdue University Global

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    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Trident University

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    Popular programs at Trident University:

    • Doctoral
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    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

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