Earning a college degree online is a great way to attend classes without actually visiting an on-site classroom. This is useful for people who cannot travel or those who work full-time, as well as for other types of students who would prefer to earn a degree in an Internet setting. Various types of Internet degree programs exist, from associate's degrees all the way up to PhD studies. Just about any subject can be studied online as well, so it is best to narrow one's focus when choosing among the many Internet degree programs.
College degrees can be broken up into associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and PhD qualifications. Sometimes these are exclusively Internet degree programs, though in other cases the programs may include both studies online and in person at an on-site classroom. The associate's degree is generally a two-year program that will qualify the student for some jobs in the workplace; sometimes students will earn an associate's degree with the intention of continuing onto a bachelor's degree program, which generally lasts four years or more. These are both considered undergraduate degrees. A master's degree is considered a graduate degree, as is a PhD; master's degree studies usually take two years or more, while PhD programs can last five years or more.
Of all the types of degrees, PhD programs are the least likely to be offered as Internet degree programs, since earning a PhD is often an intensive process that will require the student to interact with faculty and other students. The college's resources are best used in person when working toward a PhD. This does not mean, however, that a PhD cannot be earned in part on the Internet. The latter part of a PhD student's studies usually focus on writing a document known as a dissertation, but the early part of the studies often focuses on classroom assignments and discussion. These classes can sometimes be done online.
The subjects a college or university may offer for Internet degree programs can vary. Each department within the college will need to decide what subjects can be taught online effectively and what staff is available to teach such classes. Generally, any subject that does not require laboratory work or the use of specialty equipment can be taught online, though not all colleges and universities will choose to offer classes online. The determination is usually made based on that department's assessment as to whether the material can be learned properly and adequately in an online environment.