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Selecting a Delivery Mode

When considering graduate programs, a great question to think about is how you, as a student, will interact with the content of the graduate program.  While certain modes of delivery may sound more appealing to you than others, a very important question you must ask yourself is: how do I learn best? 

There are many modes of delivery for graduate programs, but generally there are three options.  Certain graduate programs may actually be offered in only one of the delivery formats, so you will not have necessarily have a choice.

In-person (on campus)

Attend class every session and listen to the instructor in a classroom.

Synchronous (online and distance education)

Watch a live feed of the class presentation at scheduled class times.  You could watch this feed from a separate location than the actual class, perhaps your personal computer or a computer at a local library.

Asynchronous (online and distance education)

Access course content at any time.  These may be pre-recorded videos of lectures that you can watch when it fits best in your schedule at any location.

Some questions you may to consider include:

Questions to ask about yourself:

  • How do you learn best?
  • Are you able to attend class every sessions at specific times?
  • Does your computer allow you to access course materials?
  • Do you have a reliable internet connection?

Questions to ask about the program:

  • Where do students go after completing this program?
  • How kind of support services exist for students?
  • How much interaction do you have with your instructors?
  • Are the classes taught by faculty or teaching assistants?
  • Are you able to speak with the instructor during office hours or by email?
  • How are assignments turned in and evaluated?
  • Does the course allow feedback from students and faculty?
  • Is the program accredited?
  • Is the program respected within the field?