The graduate workload will be heavy, even daunting, at times. You will have numerous reading assignments, projects, papers, and more to complete, as well as other program requirements of which to keep track. And, of course, you will need to keep up with your financial and other obligations.
All in all, there will be quite a bit on your plate. But, I assure you, you can rise to the challenge with a little preparation and determination.
Tips for Being Academically Successful in an Online Master’s Program
UNDERSTAND GRAD SCHOOL IS DIFFERENT FROM UNDERGRAD
At the undergraduate level, most course instructors evaluate students on the basis of exams and written assignments. At the master’s level, however, students will be required to prepare extensive research papers, collaborate with peers for long-term group projects, and (if applicable) complete lab or practicum requirements.
PRACTICE EFFECTIVE TIME MANAGEMENT
Many online master’s degree earners have commitments like employment and family care in addition to their studies and as such, must find ways to balance their time to allow for effective studying. Graduate students usually enjoy more independence than undergraduates but as a result, they must work harder to stave off the urge to procrastinate.
This includes course materials and syllabi, notes from readings and lectures, research ideas, and even the student’s personal studying space. Many grad students benefit from creating a comprehensive filing system.
MEET TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
Before each course starts, make sure you have uninterrupted access to a computer and the Internet. Make sure the computer is compatible with all aspects of the curriculum. Many of today’s online programs feature interactive software that will only function properly on up-to-date computer models.
COMMUNICATE WITH PROFESSORS
Since students enrolled in online courses usually don’t meet their professors face-to-face, it is important to reach out to instructors early and maintain a steady dialogue with them throughout the course.
DEVELOP A WORKABLE SCHEDULE
If an online course is self-paced, then students are responsible for staying on task during the semester or quarter. After one or two weeks, students should have a general idea of how much time is needed for each assignment; this will allow them to create a reasonable course schedule.