A definite consideration with any master degree online is of course the residency requirement. It may not be too well-known with those new to the online masters degree program world, but not all online degrees are purely online. You will be required by some to put in at least a few hours in a classroom or lab.
You might be wondering why you should even consider these types of online programs. These programs actually appeal for many reasons. The increased networking that this allows is definitely on such reason.
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.
In relation to the subject being studied, it is easier to get assistance from classmates and teachers who are in reach. Ideas and knowledge are shared quickly. Because of the convenient and self-paced online environment, people tend to take their own time responding to you.
Residencies just gel well with some courses. This is due to their emphasis on experience or practical learning. You would definitely look for a program that allows for lots of time in the laboratory especially if the course you have chosen values practical experience.
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. In cases like this students don’t worry too much about residencies.
You should think about the amount of time you can give to a residency should you be of the opinion that it will enhance your studies. The requirements vary for each school. For some you might perform up to half the course offline.
Obviously if your time doesn’t allow, you need to look for programs with low residency requirements. It's possible to find programs with just a few days in a semester as part of their residency component. Some offer as little as a single-semester residency commitment for your entire study duration.
For high on-campus study you would be looking at one of the hybrid versions. Whatever you decide, a primary consideration should naturally be your own limits. Remember that the intention of these programs, as far as students are concerned, is to avoid having to go to a campus.
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. This can spare you a lot of effort as well as travel costs.