Thursday, April 12, 2012

Master Degree Online: When To Choose A Residency

One thing to consider when seeking out a master degree online is whether or not you want one with a residency requirement. If you are new to the master degree online environment you might not be aware of the fact that online degrees are not all entirely online-based. You will be required by some to put in at least a few hours in a classroom or lab.

Of course you are probably wondering whether you should even waste your time with such programs. Quite a few valid reasons come to mind. The number one reason is of course improved networking among master degree online students who engage occasionally in a physical classroom.

Networking works best when people interact physically. This is the distinct benefit of programs that allow for this. Furthermore, you may benefit from the heightened interaction too academically.

After all, when your peers and professors are within reach, it is easier to ask queries relating to your subjects. Ideas and knowledge are shared quickly. Because there is less urgency online, the response time is a little slower.

Furthermore, some courses are just better off with residencies. This is due to their emphasis on experience or practical learning. You would definitely look for a program that allows for lots of time in the laboratory especially if the course you have chosen values practical experience.

Take note that this may not be as urgent if you are in a field that is knowledge-based. It is truly possible for some programs to deliver entire courses online. Residencies are not important in these instances.

Just how great a residency component you wish to include in your studies is the next consideration for those who have deemed it necessary. There are varying residency requirements across schools. For some you might perform up to half the course offline.

Time being a huge factor, those who don’t have too much to spare will seek out programs that are not too demanding residency wise. Some programs actually offer residencies of only a few days per semester. Some offer as little as a single-semester residency commitment for your entire study duration.

The hybrid versions of these residencies are those that have a high on-campus course component. Be sure to take your limits into consideration. Online programs are after all, attractive because of the lack of campus attendance requirements.

How far you are in relation to the institution's classrooms is a huge concern when one thinks of the residencies offered by master degree online programs. You will be inclined to take lower residency requirements should you be too far from the institution's base. Not only will this spare you all the effort, it will also help you avoid the travel costs.