Getting Your Psychology Degree: Online vs. Campus Programs
If you're weighing the flexibility and convenience of an online psychology degree against the face-to-face, time-structured approach you'll find in on-campus program, consider your needs, education goals and learning style. Either a campus program or an online program can prepare you for a psychology career. The key to making the right decision is in weighing the pros and cons of online education versus campus education and determining which psychology degree option best fits your lifestyle and needs.
Online Psychology Degree Education
Because you can earn an online psychology degree by studying in your own home rather than attending classes on campus, an online education can be a rewarding experience for those who have a busy lifestyle or limited access to a college campus.
While online education has sometimes been criticized for being impersonal, a virtual classroom experience does not have to be isolating. Most online universities offer discussion forums to facilitate student conversation and team learning. Depending on your communication and learning styles, this may be a benefit rather than a hindrance to getting your psychology degree online.
The benefits to pursuing an online psychology degree include:
- You'll attend online classes at times that are convenient for you.
- You can complete assignments from wherever you are.
- You'll save time and money that would otherwise be spent on commuting.
- You can choose from a range of accredited schools, regardless of their geographic location.
- You'll attend programs designed specifically for working students.
Online education also has its challenges. To succeed in earning an online psychology degree, you'll need to be self-motivated, organized and have impeccable time management skills. Because there is no compulsion to attend classes, all these decisions are all left entirely up to you. Technology can become a source of frustration if you don't have reliable access to a computer and the Internet. To avoid this you'll want to make sure that your computer and software meet the proper requirements to allow you to succeed in online education. This can add to the cost of your online psychology degree program.
Psychology Degree - Campus Education
Attending a psychology degree program on campus involves face-to-face interaction with teachers and peers. This social aspect of campus programs can enhance students' learning experience, and some people may find it easier to thrive in this kind of environment.
Here are some reasons to consider getting your psychology degree with campus education over online education:
- College campuses attract the best and brightest minds, and on-campus education may provide more interaction with them.
- Students are constantly motivated by personal interaction with peers and friends.
- Students take part in educational and social activities, which can boost confidence.
- Campuses offer several options for learning—some students can opt for visual learning, some may prefer discussion, while others might favor lecture-style classes.
When getting your psychology degree, campus education also has its share of drawbacks. According to researchers at Drexel University in Philadelphia, students on campus faced a "significant negative impact" on their time, social activities and work schedule when compared to online students. Some of the main drawbacks with campus education include the following:
- Rigid class times and examination dates
- Long lines and lengthy wait times for campus enrollment
- Added expenses of travel time and transportation
Choose the Psychology Degree That's Right for You
Enrollment in online courses and programs is on the rise. The accessibility and flexibility of an online education are compelling reasons to getting your psychology degree online. However, traditional campus programs continue to work well for many students. In the end, your decision should be based on which environment will suit your learning style and lifestyle needs. Find a psychology school with online or campus programs, and get started today.