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How Much Time Should One Commit To Online Degree Coursework?

Clocks

Online learning requires organization and self-discipline. You may have to fit study around work and family. You have to set your own schedule and make sure you get assignments in on time.

If you are enrolled in an asynchronous program there is no designated class time to prompt you to study and stay on track. If you're in a synchronous program you will have set class meeting times to help guide your time management.

How much time you'll need to commit to coursework for online degree programs will depend on whether you are pursuing an online undergraduate degree, or an online graduate degree.

Online Undergraduate Degree Coursework

Most college courses are 3 credits. Traditionally in 3-credit face-to-face undergraduate courses you are in class 3 hours per week. You should probably allow 3 hours per week to read/listen to the online content for each course you take. This does not include offline class work.

Weekly to daily: For each course, you should probably estimate:

  • 3 hours per week reading the content online
  • 4-5 hours doing the related readings, papers, etc.
  • Total: 8 hours per course per week
  • Or a little more than 1 hour per day

Online Graduate Degree Coursework

Most graduate courses are 3 credits. Traditionally in 3-credit face-to-face courses you are in class 3 hours per week. You should probably allow 3 hours per week to read/listen to the online content for each course you take. This does not include offline classwork. 

Graduate study is more demanding than undergraduate study. You should plan for 3 hours offline prep for every hour you spend “in class.”

Weekly to daily: For each course, you should probably estimate:

  • 3 hours per week reading the content online
  • 9 hours doing the related readings, papers, etc.
  • Total: 12 hours per course per week
  • Or a little less than 2 hours per day per course

How much you need to study always varies of course. A good plan is to create a schedule on your weekly calendar and plan for blocks of time to complete your coursework.

 

By: Coventry Kessler

Image couresty of jesadaphorn at freedigitalphotos.net.

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