Master’s Degree: Online vs. Campus Programs

If you want to earn your master’s degree, you have two options: go to school online or go to school at a more traditional campus college. There are pros and cons to both options; let’s take a look at the differences so you can choose the option that is best for you.

Schedule Flexibility

For most students, the number one advantage to attending college online is the flexibility of distance learning. When you go to school online, rarely do you have to work on a specific schedule – you can “attend classes” whenever you have time, whether that be in the evenings after you’re done working or in the afternoons when the kids are napping. You also have the flexibility to go to school part time if you want, even taking just one class at a time. Of course, there’s also the flexibility of location – as long as you have  laptop to connect with your classes, you can work from anywhere there is Internet.

Educational Independence

When going to school online, you have more educational freedom from your professors. For some students, this is a welcome change because they enjoy taking the initiative to work independently. For other students, this is a bad thing, because they need one-on-one attention from educators and enjoy working closely with other students. Whether or not you enjoy this aspect of online master’s degree programs depends on your learning style.

Range of Majors

Online colleges are beginning to offer more and more programs of study, but you still have more options at traditional brick-and-mortar schools, especially at the master’s degree level. There are just some master’s degree programs that do not lend themselves well to online education. You can also find programs that have some classes online, but also require offline work in your local area – a good example of this is nursing. You can’t substitute simulations online for hands-on education with real patients.


Lastly, since the cost of classes is important to most students, let’s talk about how online and campus programs differ. The average online class will cost less than the average campus-based class because you aren’t paying for extras such as student activities, building and grounds maintenance, and research facilities. If you want those things, however, you have to go to a traditional school. Keep in mind that many traditional schools also offer more fellowships and grants to students, so for some, the additional costs are offset.

Guide to Online Masters Degree Programs

Walden University Accounting Psychology Business Admin Education Nursing Public Health Walden University – Walden is one of the largest and top educators in the nation with several Masters degrees offered. The online programs are a fast, convenient way to obtain a Masters degree as you can complete them in under to years and coursework can be worked on and turned in from any computer or laptop. These degrees are designed for students wanting to become Accountants, Psychologists, Business Administrators, high level Educators, Nurse Management, or seek Public Health leadership positions.
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Ashford University Education Culturally Responsive Education Curriculum & Instruction Early Childhood Education Child Development Finance Public Administration Organizational Management Education and Public Policy Ashford University – Ashford University provides online, accredited master degree programs to students looking to further their careers. These degrees use the latest technology and methods is the course curriculum and assignments, giving students practical skills they can apply to real-world situations. Student can expect to fulfill roles in public administration; organization management; various education positions including curriculum and instruction, early childhood education, and culturally responsive education; and finance.
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Liberty University General Education Math Reading Nursing Pastoral Counseling Marriage & Family Therapy School Counseling Professional Counseling Accounting Liberty University – The respected Liberty University, one of the nation's largest educators, provides a wide-range of accredited online masters degree programs. These programs combine industry-driven curriculum and engaging exercises through a convenient medium. Each course can be completed on a timeline that fits your schedule. These degrees are designed for students who want to teach or specialize in math or reading; those who want to further their career in nursing or accounting, or students who want to enter marriage & family therapy.
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University of Phoenix Middle Level General Education Early Childhood Education Psychology Nursing Health Administration Healthcare Education Health Care Management Public Administration Accounting University of Phoenix – The University of Phoenix is a nation-wide leader and one of the top providers of higher education. Their programs are accredited and designed to be completed at a pace that’s comfortable to you. Phoenix offers a variety of masters degrees, including Middle Level General Education, Psychology, Health Administration, Public Administration, and Accounting.
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Northcentral University Criminal Justice Business Admin Marketing Curriculum & Teaching Psychology Northcentral University – Northcentral University is a highly-regarded educator that provides fast-paced, accredited programs through online courses. These degrees can be completed at a pace that is comfortable to you and in an environment of your choosing. Students will be able to obtain Masters degrees in under two years in the subjects of Criminal Justice, Business Administration, Marketing, Curriculum and Teaching, and Psychology.
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Kaplan University Public Health Epidemiology Health Education Education Student Affairs Psychology Nursing Finance Governmental Management Public Administration Accounting Kaplan University – Kaplan University offers a huge assortment of online master’s degrees. Being a leader in online education, these degrees are accredited and use industry-driven curriculum to help students be successful at fulfilling high demand positions. Students will be able to fill high level and lucrative positions like public health officials, various teaching positions in higher education or even student affairs, psychologists, many leadership positions in the nursing field, and public administrators.
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Boston University Art Education Boston University – Boston University allows students to focus on a specialized masters degree in Art Education. This degree is available online and at the campus, giving students more versatility in choosing the course type that best fits their needs. This degree is designed for students wanting to become Art Teachers at various levels of education. Student will gain the skills needed to successfully combine artistic elements into class curriculum.
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Benedictine University Business Administration Health Administration Finance Accounting Nursing Marketing Public Health Benedictine University – Benedictine University, a highly-regarded Christian College, works with students to ensure mental, professional, and spiritual growth. Several programs available at BU lead students down a path to careers in always expanding industries. BU has online programs available for a wide range of Masters degrees, including Business Administration, Health Administration, Finance, Accounting, Nursing, Marketing, and Public Health.
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