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How to get an Online Degree?

The trend of online study is growing day by day. Colleges and universities worldwide offer a wide range of online courses including Bachelor, Master, MS, MPhil and PhD courses. Online courses have made getting education an easy task for everyone. All you need, to get a degree, is to have a computer and internet access. Online courses have many benefits including the flexibility of time schedule, flexibility of the program structure, lower cost of education, availability of online study material, easy assessment and getting a globally recognized degree from abroad without traveling and visa formalities.

Due to high demand of online programs, the highly ranked and reputed educational institutions of UK, USA and other countries have started to offer online degrees which are valued by employers across the globe. These institutions offer all the on-campus courses as online courses to students but the only difference is that the students have to take the classes and exams online from anywhere at any time at their ease. Most of these universities have online libraries which provide all the online study resources. If you are planning to get admission in an online course, you should know certain things which will help you avoid facing problems in your academics as well as help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

   Deciding about the online degree you want to earn

Online courses are offered in almost all educational subjects at almost all levels but you have to choose the right degree course that benefits you the most. For choosing the right online course, you must consider your interest in the course, previous qualification, professional scope of the degree, duration and structure of the program, and format of the exams. Choose a subject of your interest and which is also relevant to your choice of profession. You must also consider the cost of the online course i.e. exam fees e.t.c. Some online universities also offer financial assistance, scholarships or free education.

   Selecting an Online College or University

There are hundreds of online colleges and universities. They provide all the details of their online courses on their website such as fees, structure of the course, exam format, online support and material of study. You have to choose a good online university or college which suits your considerations for the online course. One of the important considerations, for selecting online university, is to ensure that the university is recognized by the department of education. It can be checked by searching the name of the university in the list of universities approved by department of education. Similarly, the ranking of a university can also be checked by searching it in the global publications of ranking of universities such as QS ranking. Cost of the online course is another important consideration. The fees of online courses are usually too lower than that of on-campus course but some universities also offers financial assistance or scholarships for study.

   Submitting online application for admission

The admission criteria for online courses are usually quite simple. Online universities have online application portal on their websites. Students are required to fill in the online application for admission. Students must know the following things before submitting an online application for admission.

  1. You will write your personal information in the application such as name, age, postal and email address.
  2. You will upload your passport size photograph and scanned copy of ID card.
  3. You will give the details of your previous academic qualifications along with attained scores.
  4. You will upload the scanned copies of all your previous academic degrees, certificates and transcripts.
  5. Some universities may also require a short 'statement of purpose' written by the student applying for a course. The statement of purpose is a short document to state why are you interested in this course and this university.
  6. Students, from non-English speaking countries, applying for a university of an English speaking countries are sometimes required to upload a scanned copy of result of English proficiency test such IELTS, GRE or TOEFL. It depends on the university, if they require proof of English proficiency, they will have mentioned it in the criteria of admission.
  7. For research degrees such as PhD degree, the students are sometimes required to submit a short research proposal by uploading it to the online application.

Though the above points cover all the requirements of an online application, but most of the universities only require a few of them such as only writing your personal details and education details.

   WAITING FOR ACCEPTANCE OF APPLICATION

After submitting the online application, a student has to wait for acceptance of the application by the university. This wait period vary from program to program. The applications for Bachelor and Master level programs are processed within a week and the student is informed about his or her admission. The application for PhD usually take one or two months to be processed completely.

   Getting enrolled in the online course

The student receives acceptance email of his or her application or an offer letter for the admission. The student accepts this offer letter and confirms his or her admission. The online students are registered student of the university like the on-campus student but they take the classes and exams online from anywhere and at any time at his convenience. The registered students are given a username and password to access his account on the university's website, view online lecture videos, download study material from the website and appear in the exams. Similarly their accounts have all the details of his programs.

   Taking online classes

The coursework of online program is different than that of on-campus programs. A student of online course is not required to attend physical classroom of the university. Online students have to watch online video lectures, books, study resources provided by the university on their website. Student can study these study material anytime they want. Most of the students give access to their online students to the digital library of the University so that student can feel free to access all the available study resources. Some university may also provide CDs or written study notes by post to the online student.

   Doing your assignments

In some online courses, the students are also required to submit assignments after each five or six months during their program. The students have to write short essay or description relevant to their study. These assignments are usually part of their overall assessment. These assignments are checked by university teachers and scored. The scores of assignments are sometimes credited to final scores of the degree.

   Taking Exams in online programs

In some of the online universities, students are only assessed on the basis of their assignment which they submit during the programs. But in some online course, the students are also required to appear in an online exam which are to be attempted by students on their personal computers. The students can set their online exam on day and time convenient to them. These exams have both objective (MCQs) type questions as well as essay questions. Some exams are purely MCQs based exams which are scored and results are shown on the spot after the student finishes the students. The result of exams, having essay questions, are declared after a week or two.

   Earning the Degree

On successful completion of online programs, the names of the students are notified on the website of the university who are awarded degrees. The degrees are mailed to the students by special post. The degrees are duly signed by the rector or vice chancellor, registrar and controller of the examinations of the University.