Enrolling in an Online Public Affairs and Social Sciences Masters program may be a fantastic fit if you need to juggle graduate school with existing responsibilities. Many colleges and universities have both campus and distance-learning options, so you are still getting a quality education but without the need to commute. If all that is preventing you from pursuing a Master of Public Affairs, or exploring other Masters in Social Science degree programs, is that you need a more convenient learning format, read on.
If you have your Bachelor’s degree and are looking for advanced knowledge, skills or following an academic path to a particular profession (Social Worker, Psychologist), an Online Master’s degree provides an opportunity to spend around two years getting a more in depth education, without necessarily giving up a current job. Many masters degree programs require a thesis or research project, and in addition to coursework, you will need to check whether there is any type of residency program requirements.
Social Sciences encompass many different academic disciplines, including economics, business, health, humanities and behavioral sciences, so your choices for an online masters degree are broad.
If you compare the Social Sciences to a tree, you might look for any of its branches as a potential course of graduate study.[i] GradSchools.com has an extensive directory of online masters programs to choose from:
If you aspire to work in government, business, public policy, or public administration, earning an Online MPA may be a great fit. A master's degree program in public affairs focuses on providing students with the “how to handle” methodology for productive relations with various entities, including consumers, industry and government.
Not all Online Public Affairs and Social Sciences Masters Programs are created equal; formats, curriculum and delivery methods are likely to vary between graduate schools. Here are a few points to consider that might help you sort out the different language used to describe some distance-learning graduate programs in Social Sciences.
Coursework: Delivered either in pre-recorded classes (asynchronous) or live-streaming (synchronous) depending on your program. There is often an interactive course management system in place where e-learners can ask questions of their professors or join online group discussion sessions with classmates. Assignments are usually submitted via this web portal as well.
100% Online or Partially Online: If interpersonal skills are necessary for the profession you are learning, (e.g. social work, psychology or human services) the program may be called ‘blended online’. This means there is some kind of in-person requirement –fieldwork, internship, intensive, campus residency or other component that balances with the online coursework.
Staying Connected: Emails, web chatting, text messages, and video conferencing allow students to keep in contact with one another and with their professors
Tech-stuff: You may have to get some type of special software or a web cameral, but essentially your connection is through your computer and Internet. It may be helpful to do some homework to see if the grad school is reputed for a good tech support team, but educational technology has made so many strides, it is just as important for you to ensure your Internet provider is reliable.
Accreditation: Just as important as with an onsite program. Especially in careers that demand licensure of practitioners, accreditation is necessary for you to take board certification exams, and employers are likely to prefer a candidate whose education is verifiable. There are different accrediting bodies for different fields. Example: AACSB accredits business schools[ii] so if you are looking for an economics program they might be your source.
GradSchools.com makes your search for Online Public Affairs and Social Sciences Masters degrees very straightforward. All you do is choose your academic discipline; the ‘online program format’ and listings are yielded using your criteria. Some of these listings might include: Online Master of Public Health –Dental emphasis, Online Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership Not-for-profit Management, Online MPA in Emergency and Disaster Management, or Online Master of arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (to name a few, but keep browsing!).
The green ‘request info’ tab is a great way to determine the answers to the above What You Need To Know About Online Graduate Degrees in Public Affairs and Social Sciences. Start a list so you can compare grad schools with your academic needs and future goals.
If you are able to visualize yourself making your own class schedule in your own quiet study niche, replacing commuting with computer learning, you are ready to take the next step. Find the Online Public Affairs and Social Sciences Masters Program that aligns with your interests today!
Sources: [i] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_social_science#Branches_of_social_science | [ii] aacsb.edu/