What Are the Different Types of Evening Degree Programs?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen
Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Many schools offer one or more types of evening degree programs to adult, part-time, and online students. In some cases, a student may have to make a special application to enter one of these evening degree programs, though many schools also schedule some classes in the evenings for the convenience of all students, some of whom may find that they learn more effectively in the evening rather than the daytime. Individuals who feel more comfortable taking classes in the evening or who cannot take daytime classes because of family or work responsibilities should ask a school about the number evening courses available and whether it is possible to actually complete a degree by taking all required classes in the evenings.

Some colleges and universities offer evening degree program for adults who have earned some college credit but have not yet completed an undergraduate degrees. Sometimes known as bachelor’s completion programs, these degree programs allow students to complete their degrees at an accelerated pace, often by granting credit for life or work experience as well as offering year-round day, evening, and online classes. Admission to these programs is typically restricted to adults who are at least in their mid to late twenties, and the amount of credit these students can receive for job and life experience depends on the career or personal achievements of the individual student.

Traditional schools often offer students the option of taking some courses in the evening. The difference between traditional programs that offer some evening courses and evening degree programs is that, in a traditional program, it may not be possible for a student to complete a degree within a reasonable time frame by only taking courses at night. On the other hand, schools that offer evening degree programs often ensure that required courses are regularly rotated into the evening class schedule so that evening students can take the courses that they need to graduate.

The timing and frequency of evening classes will vary by school. In some cases, evening degree programs schedule courses so that they only meet one evening a week. This system allows students to take three or more courses each term, enabling them to complete a degree quickly. In other cases, schools schedule evening classes that meet more than once per week. A school may also offer online evening classes that allow students to log into a virtual classroom in the evenings and participate in lectures or chat sessions online.

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