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Frequently Asked Questions about Online Programs and Degrees
What is an online program or degree?
A fully online degree program is a course of study that is completed with no face-to-face on-campus instruction. Courses within a fully online program can be synchronous (instruction and learning happening at the same time), asynchronous (instruction available on demand), or even experiential (off-site internships).
Should I get my degree online?
Deciding on whether to get your degree online or on campus should depend on your specific needs and wants. The advantage of an online degree is that it offers more flexibility than the on-campus/in-person option. Many courses offer on-demand instruction, allowing you to study when and where it suits you and your schedule. Class participation is conducted through a series of discussion boards and online assignments with scheduled due dates.
Flexibility in scheduling and learning on demand however does require a degree of commitment, determination and responsibility. UCF Online graduates identify time management as one of their biggest barriers to overcome. As a UCF Online student, you are provided a personal success coach to support you with managing life and schooling.
What is the difference between an online degree and an in-person degree?
A UCF Online degree offers greater flexibility than an in-person degree as it ensures that you will have a fully online course load throughout your entire degree program. While many on-campus students are offered the option to take some of their course load online, there are often requirements for these students to be on campus at a pre-determined date and time to attend class. An online degree, however, removes the need to go to campus, and ensures that you will always have the flexibility of studying online while pursuing the degree program you are in.
Online degrees from UCF also cost less than the same in-person degrees. UCF Online students are provided a tuition waiver that reduces the cost per credit hour for courses. UCF Online undergraduate students save $33.09 per credit hour. UCF Online graduate students save $42.33 per credit hour.
In terms of instruction and rigor, UCF’s online courses are taught by the same instructors who teach in-person courses. Many online courses are blended with online degree students and in-person degree students. This structure helps to ensure that you receive the same quality education regardless of how you choose your degree experience.
What careers can I explore with an online degree?
UCF’s online degree programs combine an outstanding learning experience with personalized convenience and flexibility — plus the empowering ability to advance your career and create your own success. We’ve identified over 690 career paths and titles related to UCF Online degrees, including expanding career sectors such as criminal justice, education,
engineering and hospitality.
Are online degrees harder than in-person degrees?
In terms of content, no. UCF often blends students from all degree experiences in online classes. This ensures that everyone receives a quality education regardless of how they chose to experience their degree.
However, UCF Online graduates often cite time management and personal responsibility as the biggest obstacles to overcome while pursuing a degree online. The freedom and flexibility to study when and where it suits you that comes with an online degree program can also require a lot of self-discipline and time management. To help students stay on track and achieve their goals, UCF Online provides you with a personal success coach who will support you in balancing your education and other life responsibilities.
Can I come to campus if I pursue a degree online?
Absolutely. The UCF main campus is a public space and welcomes all types of visitors. As a UCF Online student, you are also welcome to use many of the campus’ student resources, including the library, writing center and study spaces. However, due to the fee waiver, UCF Online students are unable to use the Student Health Center or the Recreation and Wellness Centers. A full list of campus restrictions can be found on our Online Student Guidelines page.
Can I participate in graduation?
Yes. Receiving your degree is one of the most important memories you can make. All graduating UCF Online students are encouraged to participate in the graduation ceremony. After all, you earned those cheers.
Will I have to be online at a certain time during my online degree?
Most online courses do not require you to be online at a given time. However, some courses may require group work or experiential learning opportunities. These experiences may ask you to make certain times available to complete work. It is best to ask your success coach, academic advisor or program coordinator if your program of study requires an internship or practicum so you may best plan for your future.
Is an online degree right for me?
Different degree experiences suit different people. The online degree experience suits students who like flexibility in their course of study in order to meet their life needs. The following are attributes of successful online students.
Students are familiar with basic computer competencies
The central point of interaction for students in an online degree program will be through the computer. You will need to be able to comfortably use a computer to be successful. Skills required include:
- managing files
- using word processing, presentation and spreadsheet software
Students have access to a reliable computer and internet
As the coursework for an online degree is entirely internet-based, it is important to have access to a reliable computer and internet. Additionally, you should develop a backup plan in case one – or both – of these break down. Identify areas with safe, secure wireless connections that can be your back-up emergency internet solution. It is also important to back up all school work in a safe location. UCF Online students have access to Microsoft’s OneDrive to store all their school work.
Students are able to schedule time to dedicate to coursework
The flexibility of an online degree is one of its biggest strengths – you can fit schoolwork into your busy schedule. UCF Online students have stated that scheduling a dedicated, consistent time to complete schoolwork – whether it’s early in the morning, during lunch hour, or after the kids have been put to bed – was the key to being successful in their online degree program.
Students are able to track and meet obligations, appointments and due dates
In addition to having a dedicated, consistent time to complete work, it is also important to stay on top of all assignments and their due dates. Using a digital planner or calendar can make or break your online experience. UCF Online’s learning system provides access to a calendar that displays important due dates and events. You can even import it into your preferred digital calendar so that information is with you wherever you go.
Students have confidence in writing skills
Finally, confidence in your writing skills will go a long way. The primary mode of communication with fellow students and instructors will be written. It is important to be able to write clearly so that others can understand and respond.
If you feel comfortable with these skills, an online degree program may be the right fit for you.