Education Options

There are many different options for students who are seeking to further their education. The following provides details about each type of degree available to you.

Undergraduate Education

  • This concentrates on a wide range of subjects (even though you major in one) and gives you certain general intellectual skills, such as reading critically, writing clearly, and arguing persuasively.
  • There are two degree options available – associate's degree and bachelor's degree.
    • An associate's degree typically takes about two years of study (depending on the student).
    • A bachelor's degree typically takes about four to six years of study (depending on the student).

Graduate Education

  • This involves specialized knowledge and concentrated study in one area, as students are more focused on acquiring specialized skills to practice a profession or do advanced research. (This does not mean that students take a number of additional courses.)
  • Internships are generally part of the curriculum.
  • There are two levels of graduate education – master’s and doctoral – and each can be obtained as a professional or research degree.
    • Master’s, professional degree:
      • takes 1-2 years of study
      • gives you a specific set of skills needed to practice a particular profession
      • involves some type of internship or fieldwork
      • is generally a final degree
    • Master’s, research degree:
      • provides experience in research and scholarship
      • involves writing a thesis or taking a comprehensive examination
      • may be a final degree or a step toward a doctorate
    • Doctoral, professional degree:
      • most common degrees are the M.D. for medical practice and the J.D. for law
    • Doctoral, research degree:
      • involves training in research, providing the skills to discover new knowledge
      • is the primary credential for college-level teaching
      • involves both coursework and a major research project
      • takes 4-6 years of full-time study to get a Ph.D

Vocational Education

  • This is sometimes referred to as technical education, since the students directly develop expertise in a particular group of techniques or technology.
  • The students are prepared for jobs that are based on manual or practical activities, that are traditionally non-academic, and that relate to a specific trade, occupation, or vocation.
  • The length of study typically varies depending on the area of study.
  • Vocational study exists in industries such as retail, tourism, information technology, funeral services, and cosmetics.

Distance Learning (or Education)

  • The objective is to deliver education to students who are not physically "on site" at a traditional classroom or campus.
  • The process creates and provides access to learning when the source of information and the learners are separated by time, distance, or both.
  • Courses that require a physical on-site presence for any reason (including taking examinations) are considered a hybrid or blended course of study.