Part-time degree courses are often based on the type of education someone wishes to complete, though not every option is available at all schools. Undergraduate programs are frequently provided by different colleges and universities, which are designed to allow a student to complete a curriculum over a longer period of time. Graduate programs may also be provided to students through part-time degree courses, often for individuals interested in continuing education for greater professional opportunities. Some colleges and universities can offer programs for students who wish to receive a professional degree or certification, which may be required or highly preferred in certain fields.
Many colleges and universities offer part-time degree courses for those students unable to commit to a full-time school schedule. These programs are often designed to help someone complete an undergraduate degree, such as an associate's or a bachelor's in a wide range of different subject areas. Completion of these types of degrees for full-time students can take about two to four years, while part-time students may find an additional year or two necessary to complete the curriculum. The prolonged nature of this type of program can make it difficult for students attempting to spread regular classes out, so part-time degree courses can be developed to make this easier.
There are also schools that offer graduate degree programs for students interested in taking part-time degree courses. This sort of curriculum is often provided to students who have already received an undergraduate degree and wish to continue their education. Many students may find themselves unable to commit to a full-time schedule while in graduate school, especially if they are already working in their chosen fields. Educators and business professionals can use part-time degree courses to complete their higher education, typically a master's degree, while they are still teaching or managing a company.
Other schools can develop part-time degree courses for students who wish to receive a professional degree or certification. Nursing students, for example, often need to complete enough education to be able to receive professional licensure, but do not necessarily require a degree prior to working in their field. Part-time degree courses are frequently designed to help someone who is currently working or who has family commitments still receive an education that can be used toward a new career. These programs can use online classes and other methods of education to help students attend courses when they are available; the part-time curriculum typically helps people who may not otherwise have access to an education.