Can I Obtain a Master’s Degree Online?

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Absolutely. Online learning is well-suited for master’s degree students since they are more proactive and independent in self-study, time management, and completing coursework. 

The Internet has brought so many changes in every aspect of learning in higher education. What was considered to be set in concrete has now become a disruptive innovation! Campuses have shifted to online courses, and students have become accustomed to this setup.

Thankfully, in this day and age, the workforce tends to rely on technology, and with that, telecommuting trends are growing. Distance learning today offers students a wide variety of choices. Undoubtedly, online learning helps professionals get to their goals, especially in these uncertain times.

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More on this subject:

How does an online Master’s degree program work?
What can you expect in an online Master’s degree program?
What are the usual prerequisites of an online Master’s degree?
Minimum technology and device requirements of an online Master’s degree Program
Accredited Online Master’s Degree
Types of Online Master’s Degree Program

How does an online Master’s degree program work?

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One might think that a master’s degree online is more complex than an on-campus setup because of its technological implications and tools used. The concept of online learning is even simpler than most in-class platforms. Online learning happens when you take online courses. You need a computer or a device to help you access your online courses and communicate with your professors and peers. 

Online master’s degree classes can come in many forms and are delivered through a different approach. Distance learning is typically either fully online or blended (hybrid) courses. Fully-online classes consist of active instruction, coursework, tests, and assignments, all accomplished online. On the other hand, a blended learning type is a mix of both online and face-to-face class participation.  Roughly 50% of instruction and assignments are done online, and students have to go to the campus for tests or learning reinforcement.  

As you get started with your online class, you will come across the terms ‘Synchronous and Asynchronous’ online learning. Both terms refer to time. One of the reasons students prefer online learning is that it lets them create a schedule independently. This convenience depends on these two categories. In synchronous online courses, instructors expect you to attend classes each week together with your classmates virtually. Participating is done in real-time, and you have to commit to your chosen schedule.

In contrast, asynchronous learning takes place on your schedule. This means you complete your coursework according to your time, log in to your convenience, listen to recordings, watch video lectures, and receive immediate feedback on your quizzes and assignments. No matter which of these you choose, what matters is how you manage your time to create balance in school and other responsibilities. Online master’s programs require you to complete 30-60 credits in about 1-3 years. 

What can you expect in an online Master’s degree program?

  • Real professors and instructors teach online classes. As schools transition to an online platform, professors and instructors are trained to prepare lessons for both in-seat and online classes.
  • Lots of group work and collaborative assignments.
  • Not all online master’s degrees are created equal. Your experience would depend on the program you have chosen.
  • Online exams may be proctored. This maintains the integrity of the exam even when taken remotely. Schools use proctoring software to confirm a student’s identity, and they are observed answering exams through webcams.

What are the usual prerequisites of an online Master’s degree?

Generally, online master’s degree programs require applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree. Depending on the program, some schools require your undergraduate degree to be related to the field of study. You may also need to meet the school’s required minimum GPA, professional experience, and other application materials like standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, references, personal essays, and official transcripts.

GRE (Graduate Record Examination), GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language for international students) are the most common tests you need to accomplish. Some grad schools offer pre-masters courses to help polish students’ knowledge and skills to be admitted to an online master’s degree program. Additionally, you may be asked to show proof indicating how you plan to fund your program. Financial sources may come from your saving, scholarships, fellowships, loans, and charity.

Minimum technology and device requirements of an Online Master’s Degree Program

Online grad schools expect the student to have their computer with a stable Internet connection. There may be a need to have the following:

  • Updated operating system
  • Web Camera
  • Word processing software
  • Video downloading software
  • A specific RAM or memory
  • Preferred web browser
  • Printer

Accredited Online Master’s Degree

It is crucial for every online master’s degree student that he/she enrolled in an accredited program/ grad school. There is a wide range of available online master’s degree programs, and students have to choose the right school. Accreditation ensures that the course or program is recognized and is of quality education. A properly accredited school provides students who need access to federal and state funding. 

Types of Online Master’s Degree Program

The number of fields of study available for online graduate programs has been growing as the need for online learning increases. Online master’s degree programs come in all forms. Be sure to find the perfect online master’s degree for you.

Here are some of the common online master’s degree programs:

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  • Engineering and Technology programs
  • Business Administration and Management programs
  • Arts and Humanities programs
  • Criminal Justice and Legal programs
  • Nursing and Healthcare programs
  • Psychology and Counseling programs
  • Biological, Life, and Health Sciences programs

Dr. Jared Goff
Chief Editor