When looking for a master degree online you should be thinking about whether or not you want one with a residency requirement. Unbeknown to many, not all online degrees are exclusively online. Some time is needed to be spent in the lab or classroom.
At this point you might be thinking that it is not necessary to even explore the ones that require this time commitment. There are a couple of reasons actually, why these programs should be of interest. Obviously where there is physical interaction between students of a master degree online, there is better scope for networking.
Naturally, networking is much more effective face-to-face. This is the distinct benefit of programs that allow for this. Students also benefit academically from this.
It is easier to ask for help from your peers and professors if they are within your reach. The interchange of knowledge and ideas happens at an increased rate. Because of the convenient and self-paced online environment, people tend to take their own time responding to you.
Furthermore, some courses are just better off with residencies. The emphasis on experience and practice is a reason for this. So if your course is in a field where a great focus is on practical experience, then naturally you would look for programs that encompass a large amount of lab time.
Knowledge sometimes is the prevailing factor; and where this is the case then physical class time is not a priority. Some programs really can deliver all the information you need online. Residencies take a backseat in such cases.
Just how great a residency component you wish to include in your studies is the next consideration for those who have deemed it necessary. The residencies are different for each school. The course could be divided equally between the institution and the internet.
Those who cannot afford to spend too much time in a campus due to other commitments should look for courses with lower residency needs. It's possible to find programs with just a few days in a semester as part of their residency component. Others offer single-semester residencies throughout all your years of study.
For high on-campus study you would be looking at one of the hybrid versions. You must take your limitations into account though, no matter what program you choose. It is after all to avoid going to institutions that people pick the online route.
Of course one of the biggest concerns with regards to the residencies offered by master degree online programs is your distance from the actual institution. The farther your location from that base, the lower the residency requirements you may want to take. Not only will this spare you all the effort, it will also help you avoid the travel costs.