Hybrid graduate programs combine the convenience of online study with in-person on campus requirements. Many human centered fields such as psychology, social work and health and medicine offer hybrid degrees so that students are able to develop interpersonal skills. In business and technology disciplines, the blend of distance learning with onsite team building classes may provide a great way for current professionals to earn a grad degree while maintaining their jobs. If you need flexibility and want a low residency format, a hybrid graduate degree program is well worth considering.
What is a Hybrid Degree?
Sometimes referred to as ‘blended online’, ‘partially online’ or ‘distance learning hybrid’ programs, a hybrid graduate degree is one that has both online and classroom components.
DID YOU KNOW? In some occupations, you’re likely to need a master’s degree to qualify for entry-level jobs. In others, a master’s degree may not be required, but having one might lead to advancement or higher pay (BLS)
Usually, coursework in a hybrid program is delivered via an online course management system through which assignments are submitted. Lectures are often pre-taped or pre-recorded so students have 24/7 access to their course material and some freedom to pace their study. There are also programs that have live streaming webinars, or a combination of the two formats. Sometimes students use textbooks or manuals to accompany the coursework, other times e-books are used.
To stay connected with classmates and faculty, emails, texts, web chat, web cameras, and online group discussion boards may be used. Plus, your on campus requirements are likely to include face-to-face meetings and introductions.
Access is two-fold; hybrid graduate students may make use of the campus facilities (libraries, laboratories etc.) as well as use virtual library and online research tools.
On Campus Features
Since the point of offering distance learning is to provide academic flexibility for working professionals, most of the graduate schools that offer hybrid programs try to minimize the time spent in physical classrooms. How is this achieved? It is pretty common to find ‘intensives’ or ‘short residencies’ which may mean a few ‘weekend retreats’ during the course of study. Intensive is a good word; a lot of material is crammed into a brief time period! But then again, you get to network and interact!