Many of us still believe that it is difficult to complete a program like PHD online. Given the nature of extensive coursework and intensive research work that many doctoral programs involve, there seems to be some truth in that thinking.
But the reality is different. We need a clear shift in our thinking. There are many postgraduate programs online. And the numbers are increasing by the day. Many universities are offering online doctoral programs: Some hybrid and others totally online.
Online doctoral programs are today offered in many academic disciplines ranging from science to performing arts. The variety and scope are ever on the increase. To satisfy the emerging needs in numerous academic disciplines, new online doctoral programs are being introduced.
Online doctoral programs have clear cut advantages over the more traditional ones. Wherever you have a reliable internet connection, you can do your studies. You can pursue your full time career and no need of relocation. Your family don’t have to make any sacrifices since you can learn from home.
Selecting the right online PhD programs could be quite challenging. There are several guidelines that you need to follow.
First, it is the accreditation. It is important to find if the selected online PhD program is suitably accredited by an independent accreditation body. There are several non profit accreditation institutes committed to listing standard online educational institutes and their programs following a standard criteria.
Like in selecting any other online educational program, you need to carefully match what the online doctoral program offers with your requirements. This requirement analysis and compatibility study have to be one of the first tasks in your agenda. The mix of coursework and research requirements vary from program to program. If your goals are more in line with becoming a serious research scientist, your choice needs more of research input.
Look at the faculty and their experience in the field of online postgraduate programs. A common rule of thumb is that you need to select a university with at least three years of experience in the field of online education.
Compare the online program with the traditional PhD offered by the same college or university. See if the online program has the same level of academic standard and faculty commitment as the on campus version does.
Just as you have to know what your online PhD program has for you, you need to be clear about what the program need from you to complete the program successfully.
Enrollment criteria are different from program to program. However, in general most programs require you to have a masters degree in the same field in addition to some work experience. In some disciplines like business, many programs have a flexible approach. You Grade Point average, work experience in related fields and you genuine commitment as shown by the statement of purpose, letters of recommendation and your GRE or GMAT score are all vital element of your application package.
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