Blended Online Hybrid Graduate Programs
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!
Potential Benefits of Hybrid Graduate Programs
In some academic fields, a fully online program would not work. Certain skills can't be taught entirely from a distance, and some things need to be demonstrated by the instructor. Other times the need to collaborate with fellow students is best achieved in person. Many distance learning universities and colleges understand this and offer blended programs. Other times, as in the case with hybrid psychology programs, the need to be evaluated for your people skills cannot be done over the Internet. Usually, you will see this reflected in your search – you may find a program classified as ‘online’ but when you read the fine print, there are actually on campus requirements. Note though that this is in your favor. For instance, the hybrid PhD programs or hybrid masters programs with real-time practical components may mean more one-one times with your professor or supervisor.
How to Search For A Hybrid Degree in Your Field
Searching for hybrid programs on GradSchools.com is really easy.
First, look through the directory and choose your field of study. Programs are available in a variety of areas and sub-disciplines.
Hybrid Business Graduate Programs: Looking for a Hybrid MBA? Want to earn a Master of Finance (part-time hybrid)? These are only a few of your choices. Business covers accounting, healthcare administration, marketing, advertising and other management programs
Hybrid Criminal Justice & Legal Graduate Programs: Browse programs such as a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration or Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies.
Hybrid Education Graduate Programs: Looking for a low residency, flexible way to earn a Master of Education, an M.Ed. in Int’al Edu, with ESL Specialization or a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership?
Hybrid Fine Arts & Design Graduate Programs: Whether you seek an MFA in Music Composition, or a PhD in Media Psychology, blended online fine arts programs may incorporate technique and theory.
Hybrid Health & Medicine Graduate Programs: Partially online study lends itself well to patient-centered fields; Doctor of Nursing Practice, Masters in Athletic Training and MS in Health Care Management Part-time hybrid are a few options to consider, especially since you may have to fulfill onsite laboratory requirements.
Hybrid Liberal Arts & Humanities Graduate Programs: A vast field, you can choose from a Master of Arts-Literature and Writing, Master of Public Affairs & Social Sciences, Liberal Arts and Humanities and Master of Arts in Media Management –build interpersonal skills as you study from wherever you have reliable Internet.
Hybrid Math, Science & Engineering Graduate Programs: Graduates interested in a Master’s Degree in Aviation Science, or a Master of Science in Engineering Management might find it easier to advance their education while maintaining their job with the hybrid degree format.
Hybrid Public Affairs & Social Sciences Graduate Programs: Whether you are interested in a Master of Arts in Leadership, Public Policy and Social Issues or a Master of Science in Experimental Psychology, the blend of online and campus courses gives students a chance to learn essential leadership and interpersonal communications skills.
Hybrid Religious Studies Graduate Programs: Review choices such as Master of Arts in Religious and Pastoral Studies, or Master of Divinity distance-learning blended programs.
Hybrid Technology Graduate Programs: Many computer and technology related programs make use of computer labs, so whether you seek a Doctor of Computer Science-Enterprise Information Systems (Executive Format), a Master of Science in Applied Computer Science or a Master of Fine Arts in Art of Game Design, you can work autonomously while benefitting from a campus technology center.
Next, determine your degree level. Browse by hybrid masters, doctorates and graduate certificates.
Take the Next Step
Wondering whether a Hybrid Graduate Program is right for you? Take this quiz:
- Are you self-motivated?
- Do you enjoy a social learning environment? (i.e. brainstorming with fellow classmates, going for a coffee in between lectures, participating in activities)
- Do you like having personal interaction with professors (i.e. asking a question and it is answered in real time)
- Is it too hard to commute full time
- Are you looking for a part-time low residency graduate program?
- Do you have reliable Internet?
If you answered ‘yes’ then a partially online graduate degree may be a fantastic way to acquire the skills to potentially boost or shape your career or take you to the next level of learning.
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