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 education including Bachelor, Master, MS, MPhil and PhD courses. Online courses have made getting formal 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 involving in visa formalities.

Due to the high demand of online programs, the highly-ranked and reputed educational institutions of the UK, USA and other countries have started to offer online degrees which are valued by the 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 their classes and exams online from anywhere at any time at their ease. Most of these universities have online libraries which provide students with good online study resources. If you are planning to get admission in an online course, you should know certain basic 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 personal 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 relevant to your choice of profession. You must also consider the cost of the online course i.e. exam fees etc. Some online universities also offer financial assistance, scholarships or free education. Therefore, it is advisable to thorougly read the details of the course given on the website of the college or university.

   Selecting the right college or university

There are hundreds of online colleges and universities. They provide the details of their online courses on their websites such as fees, the structure of the course, exam format, and online support. 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 the online university, is to ensure that the university is recognized by the department of education of the country. It can be checked by searching the name of the university in the list of universities approved by the department of education of its country where it is located. 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. The cost of the online course is another important consideration. The fees of online courses are usually lower than that of on-campus courses, however, some universities also offer financial assistance or scholarships for study.

   Submitting an online application for admission

The admission criteria for online courses are usually quite simple. Online universities have online application portals 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 have to make an account on their website for initiating the application.
  2. You have to write your personal information in the application such as name, age, postal and email address.
  3. You will upload your passport size photograph and a scanned copy of your ID card.
  4. You will give the details of your previous academic qualifications along with attained scores.
  5. You will also upload scanned copies of your previous academic degrees, certificates and transcripts.
  6. 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 specific course and university.
  7. Students, from non-English speaking countries, applying for a university in English speaking countries are sometimes required to upload a scanned copy of the result of their English proficiency test such as IELTS, GRE or TOEFL. It depends on the university, if they require proof of English proficiency, they should have mentioned it in their criteria of admission.
  8. For research degrees such as MS/MPhil or 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 requirements for an online application, some of the universities may only require a few of them such as writing you personal details and educational details.


After submitting the online application, a student has to wait for acceptance of the application by the university. This waiting period varies 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 through an email. The application for PhD program usually takes one or two months to be processed completely.

   Getting enrolled in the online course

The student receives an acceptance email of their application or an offer letter for admission. The student accepts this offer letter and confirms their admission. The online students are registered students of the university like the on-campus students but they take their classes and exams online from anywhere and at any time at their convenience. The registered students are given a username and password to access their accounts 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 such as which subjects, assignments and exams included in the course.

   Taking online classes

The coursework of the online program is different from that of on-campus programs. A student of the online course is not required to attend the physical classroom of the university. Online students have to watch online video lectures, books, study resources provided by the university on their website. Students can study these study resources during their academic sessions. Students are also given access to the digital library of the college or university so that student can feel free to access all the available study resources. Some universities may also provide CDs or written study notes by post to the online students.

   Doing your assignments

Assignments are important part of most academic programs. In some online courses, the students are also required to submit assignments at specified dates during their online academic sessions. The students have to write short essay or description relevant to their studies. These assignments are usually part of their overall assessment. These assignments are checked by university teachers and scored. The scores of assignments are added to the final scores of the degree.

   Taking Exams in online programs

In some of the online universities, students are only assessed based on their assignments which they submit during the programs. But in some online courses, the students are also required to appear in online exams which are to be attempted by students on their personal computers. The students can set their online exams according to the 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. However, the results 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. Therefore, the student gets a paper-based degree at their home. The degrees are duly signed by the rector or vice-chancellor, registrar and controller of the examinations of the University.