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Advice on Considering an Online PhD
So you want to get a Phd Online. Many professional adults shy away from earning a PhD because of the time involved in obtaining one. Now more colleges are offering the same courses and content online. There is a common misconception that online classes are easier than their brick and mortar contemporaries. The fact of the matter is that they are equally as challenging while providing the flexibility that campus based programs don’t have.
When looking for online PhD programs, make sure you check both online and offline universities. Many traditional campuses are now offering online or hybrid courses. If you have your sights set on a certain school and they are not offering an online alternative to your course of study, you should still check back often as most colleges are now conforming to the information and technology age. The demand for online learning is growing and many schools are revamping their programs and adding new online courses to their repertoire.
The most important thing to consider when looking for online Phd programs is accreditation. Unfortunately, there are some online courses that are not accredited and may or may not be accepted as legitimate by potential employers. You must ensure that the program you are looking at is accredited by one of the six regional accreditation agencies.
The six accreditation agencies are:
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
- North Central Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA)
- Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA)
- Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS)
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
- Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NWCCU)
Another factor to consider is the cost of online PhD programs. Most online programs cost the same. Online doctoral programs generally cost the same or less per credit hour as on-campus programs. Distance learners save money on transportation, books (if texts are online), child care, and other education-related expenses compared with residential students.
Since doctoral programs were first created in the late 1800s, they have typically involved four to ten years of study, dissertation writing, and internships. Many programs are designed to last four or five years, but doctoral students’ busy lifestyles lead to their delaying graduation. Online doctoral students may complete their studies more quickly because of their ability to attend classes at any time of day or night. There are online programs let students work at an accelerated pace. Some online doctoral programs can be completed in less than two years such as the Boston University’s transitional doctor of physical therapy program.
Most online Ph.D. programs take place 100% online. There are certain exceptions for different colleges. Some may require on-campus attendance for certain events such as orientation, testing, and dissertation defenses. There may be a need for a professional certification that may require an internship or residency. Depending on the program, residency maybe completed on site or in a city of the student’s choosing. These are different options and ideas to keep in mind when looking for a particular program in particular school. Online students usually have the option to attend graduation on campus with friends and family.
Considering an online Ph.D. program is a big decision and isn’t one that should be taken lightly. Keeping in mind the many factors and tips outlined here will point you in the right direction in picking the right online PhD program and school for you.