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Online Degrees Programs

Updated on April 25, 2011

What are the online degrees programs ?

Before talking about myths and truths let us examine what online degrees programs are. There are genuine online degree programs offered by prestigious universities. But like anywhere, in the cyber world too there are bogus universities offering bogus online degrees. Knowing about the truths and myths about the online degrees can help you to avoid falling prey to the scam online colleges or degree mills. Nowadays, most universities have incorporated online learning and assessment activities like lectures, presentations, quizzes and tutorials to their on-campus programs. There are some hybrid degree programs that have both on-campus and distance learning components. The online degrees programs offer all the tuition, coursework and assessments online. Even before the internet was invented distance education has played a big role in developing knowledge and skills of vast numbers of individuals who find it difficult to attend college. According to records University of London became the first university to offer distance learning external degrees in 1858. Widespread use of internet has made distance learning available to more students. The quality of distance education is much more improved due to the introduction of interactive components with video conferencing.

Some misconceptions about online degrees programs and online colleges

Accreditation: A common misconception about online degrees is that they are not accredited. But the truth is that genuine online degrees are accredited by the respective accreditation authorities of the countries where the universities offering those degrees. Many countries have passed laws to prevent unauthorized institutions using “university’ in their names and to prevent them issuing degrees and diplomas. In USA accrediting agencies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or Department of Education (USDE) can assess the degree programs of the universities authorized to grant degrees. CHEA and USDE maintain databases of accredited universities and other degree granting institutions as well as their accredited degree programs. Anybody intending to follow an online degrees program or on-campus degree program, can check theses databases, and satisfy themselves whether the intended program and the university are accredited by a recognized accrediting organization. Beware of some bogus colleges and universities with accreditation certifications from organizations not recognized by the USDE or CHEA.

Check for accrediting organizations recognized by CHEA and USDE at   (updated April 2011)

Check for accredited degree granting institutes colleges and universities at

Check for accredited degree programs (both online and on-campus) can be found in both CHEA and USDE websites and follow the links for individual states.

Duration of the Online Degrees Programs

Many people believe that an online degrees program can be completed in a short time like six months. This is false. A genuine accredited degree course from an accredited university or college takes the same time like an on-campus degree course or longer. But degree mills advertise that they can grant you a degree in a very short time by evaluating your resume and giving credits for “life experience”. Accrediting organizations never recognize this type of programs. Check before you pay the money.

Getting an Online Degree is Cheaper

The tuition fees for online degree program or on-campus are comparable for the same level of universities and courses. But for on-campus degree courses, students may have to bear a high cost for attending lectures and classes because students have to pay for board and lodging in a different city away from home. Following an online course may be cheaper if the cost of attending also is considered

Transferability of Credits

Credits earned from an accredited online degree program are transferable to many universities and colleges though it is a common misconception that online credits are not transferable. What matters is the accreditation of the degree granting organization and the program.

Following an Online Degree Course is easier than an On-campus Program

This also is not true. The difficulty levels of the curriculum of the course is the same for online program and the on-campus course offered by many universities if they are offering both on-campus and online degree programs. It may be easier to the student to follow an online course due to the flexibility of the schedules that can be planned by the student.

Online degrees programs offer an ideal opportunity for the adult students and those who face problems in attending on-campus degree programs due to personal commitments both career and personal.


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    • Sun Pen 50 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sun Pen 50 

      6 years ago from Srilanka

      Yes cmellon86, if there is will there is a way. Now it's easier with online degrees. Good luck.Thanks for the comment.

    • Sun Pen 50 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sun Pen 50 

      6 years ago from Srilanka

      Thanks Bobby,

      If one misses the chance of going to college, it is not the end of the world after all. With all the busy schedules or even after the kids are married you can finish your degree online. Thank you very much for the visit and the comment.

    • BobbiRant profile image


      6 years ago from New York

      I obtained my master's degree from UOP online, worked full time and it made it so much easier to get this degree. Great hub because so many have no clue about online degree programs.

    • cmellon86 profile image


      7 years ago

      I hope as an older person I'll be able to keep pace. I consider myself motivated, even if technology gives me a hard time sometimes.

    • profile image

      Gee Walex. 

      7 years ago

      I'll be glad to study abroad,especially U.K.

    • marilnelanoon233 profile image


      7 years ago

      That's one thing about online degree programs that I like, they go all year round so you don't have time to forget anything.

    • Sun Pen 50 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sun Pen 50 

      7 years ago from Srilanka

      007, Thanks a lot for visiting and commenting.

    • agent007 profile image


      7 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for the excellent hub! You really nailed down all the points!

    • Sun Pen 50 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sun Pen 50 

      7 years ago from Srilanka

      Dear Brinafr3sh,

      Thanks for the visit and the comment and your info. Good luck.

    • Brinafr3sh profile image


      7 years ago from West Coast, United States

      Hi Sun Pen 50, there are some online education programs that are definetly great, "Pen Foster" being on of them. Thank you, great hub.

    • Sun Pen 50 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sun Pen 50 

      7 years ago from Srilanka

      Dear Bdouble,

      I agree with U fully. Thank you for the visit and comment

    • bdouble28 profile image


      7 years ago

      Great article about online degree programs. It really is for people who are really dedicated and can learn without constant supervision.

    • Sun Pen 50 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sun Pen 50 

      7 years ago from Srilanka

      Thank you very much for giving your opinion and first hand experience to us.

      I too agree that online degrees are a godsend for us struggling to meet responsibilities of work, family society .... I mean all

      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    • TCM Specialist profile image

      TCM Specialist 

      7 years ago from Glassboro, New Jersey

      AWESOME article Sue Pen..So many require that extra education in order to maintain our present position at work. Juggling work,kids, activities, and daily life demands leaves one only guessing; How I am to find the time to leave the house and attend school?

      Online education is the way to go. Yes, the internet is full of scams, it is up to each indivdual to read past the hype and research the facts.

      Great job - voted up with a big dash of useful :)

    • Sun Pen 50 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sun Pen 50 

      7 years ago from Srilanka

      Dear Sunny barb,

      Thank you for very useful feed back. Yes, not everybody have the discipline and drive to learn online. To be true, I also haven't got it. Sometime back , even before the internet came, I enrolled for a superb Japanese language distance education course (Linguaphone). At the start I did it very well and I could not keep up my schedule and could not finish it. But what little (40%) I learned helped me many a time.

      Thank you once again.

    • Sun Pen 50 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sun Pen 50 

      7 years ago from Srilanka

      Dear Magdelene,

      Thank you for the visit and the very useful feed back. Everywhere, we come across people who cheat others for a quick buck. Their actions make mar the good side of the service provided. Surely online education helps lot of us.

      Thank you once again.

    • Sunny Barb profile image

      Barbara Lease Walker 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      Great article, Sun Pen.

      The more informed you are, the better you will be. Also, there are two kinds of people. Some who do well with online, others who don't. Working in small, private colleges with students, and going the online route myself was a learning experience in itself. I loved online because I could sit in the comfort of my own home, and dressing was optional. However, you have to be disciplined and accountable each day for getting you work done. Usually there was a lot more work than the on ground courses I took, but it worked for me. I came in contact with students who hated it, and needed to have the on ground classroom experience. .... Thanks again for such a useful and informative hub.

    • Magdelene profile image


      7 years ago from Okotoks

      Hi Sun Pen, I took a bit of my extended education through online study courses when I lived way up in High Level, in the middle of nowhere. It has gotten better with the accreditation and more are recognized now than it used to be. But Yes, a lot of these quick degree programs are fake, they spam me enough so that I know. Very useful information.

    • Sun Pen 50 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sun Pen 50 

      7 years ago from Srilanka

      Thank you Denise,

      It gives me some Ideas on Srilankan Recipes. My daughter offered to write some recipes.They are difficult to cook, especially due to time they require and the ingredients (spices). They are available cheap here or can find in the back yard. Following you for reading your nice hubs.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Great hub idea and info. Voted up and useful

      Welcome to hubpages and nice to meet you. I have a dear friend from Srilanka who lives in CA We met in Alaska.

      He is a 'crazy' kind of guy who would come in at midnight and start cooking food. The spicy aroma would fill the apartment and make my eyes water! LOL Great memories.


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