Many online programs entail a residency requirement in which students and faculty are to meet as a group for a day or two at a time, to a weekend every few months, to several weeks each year. Learn about the residency requirement, when it is typically scheduled, and what is entailed.
- How much interaction can you expect from instructors? Students?
- Are classes discussion-based, thereby permitting more contact with faculty and students?
- What software platform does the graduate program use (e.g., WebCT)?
- While course format will vary by instructor, what course components are possible?
- Does the course management software permit audio and video lectures? Web cams? Synchronous communication (allowing students and instructor to interact in real time by web cam, chat, or other technology)?
- What are the program milestones?
- Are comprehensive exams required?
- When are they administered?
- What happens if students fail?
- What is the content of these exams?
- How much guidance are students given?
Theses and Dissertations
- Is a thesis or dissertation required?
- What form might a thesis or dissertation take?
- Must a thesis or dissertation be empirically based or may it consist of a literature review?
- How are thesis and dissertation advisers assigned?
- What about thesis and dissertation committees?
- Who are the faculty?
- What are their qualifications?
- Do they publish? In what fields?
- Does their work interest you?
- Is that any faculty member(s) that you'd like to work with?
- What is their experience?
- How long have they taught at that institution?
- Do they have experience elsewhere?
- Are they active in applied activities (if relevant)?
- What is the student-instructor ratio in class and outside of class?
- How many students does each faculty member typically advise? v
- How many courses does each faculty member typically teach?
- How much time does it appear that faculty have for advising students?
- Is it accredited? By what organization(s)?
- What is the reputation?
- How many programs are offered?
- How long as it been in existence?
- Library resources?
- Access to applied opportunities (e.g., internships)?