Find out some important questions to ask when examining different master degree online schools or programs.
Choosing a master degree online is not a way to lessen your work. In fact, it is the exact opposite. It takes highly motivated students who are disciplined and organized to take advantage of this recent route to higher education.
An online masters degree program is often cheaper than the traditional graduate degree educations. Most students prefer sitting in front of their computer – let us face it, the convenience it gives can’t be beat. However, not all master degree online programs are created equal, and so, if you plan getting an online degree, it is suggested you know some important questions to ask before you agree and sign over the dotted line.
Is the school accredited? There are six agencies in the US that award accreditation to different online schools. You may visit the US Department of Education to know if the school you are considering is legitimate and recognized.
How many courses does the school offer, and what kind of degree will I get? In general, the more online courses they offer, the more established and developed they are. Established schools usually offer everything, from bachelor’s up to PhD’s.
How long have they been in business? Online learning emerged during the 1980s. If the school just opened recently, perhaps within the past year or two, you might consider looking somewhere else.
Does the school require students to visit the campus or spend some time there as part of the course? Some schools demand online learners to show up on a campus for examinations and class orientations. Before making your final decision on the master degree online program to attend, ask beforehand if there are expensive travels involved and make proper arrangements in advance.
What are the student services being offered by the online program? You may ask the school regarding student services such as career planning, libraries, tutorial services and general student counseling. In addition, ask about the school’s technical support as this is important to resolve glitches and issues concerning the connection, program software etc.
How many students in your school actually graduate? If the ratio is high, then they must be providing the right education. Besides that, consider how many of these graduates actually get jobs, because if the ratio is low, then the program may not be effective, or perhaps there may not be any demand in the area you are pursuing.
Is the school willing to offer a list of references? You may request the school to give you a list of current students presently enrolled in the school, or maybe a member of the faculty to gain first-hand knowledge on what to expect from the program. It would be very helpful to obtain opinions from people who have been there.
Lastly, ask for a list of equipment you will need. You will surely need your computer, a Web browser, speakers and a sound card if all lectures and presentation for your master degree online are conducted over the Internet. However, some schools send lectures through videotapes or via other technology, so check first and determine the right equipment to be used.