Online Quality Assurance Schools: How to Choose

Students pursuing an education in quality assurance can find online programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. We'll explore three types of programs, as well as a selection of schools that offer them.

How to Select an Online Quality Assurance Program

Bachelor's and master's degree programs related to quality assurance are offered by a number of schools, including state universities. Students should weigh the award level with the program delivery when choosing the right school for them.

Award Level

There are a number of degree options available to quality assurance specialists at each level of professional development. Entry-level quality assurance specialists who work on the assembly line can usually receive some on-the-job training, but for advanced quality assurance positions, more specialized knowledge in measurement science, industrial computer-aided design and blueprints is required.

A bachelor's or master's degree program offers students additional courses in business, management and manufacturing. These subjects provide students with the training necessary to advance to more technical positions involving software- and computer-based quality control and manufacturing leadership.

Program Delivery

Programs in quality assurance offer students fully online learning options. Instruction is provided through online classroom platforms such as Blackboard, which allow students to participate in class discussions and correspond with the instructor through chat rooms and e-mail. These programs are well suited for working professionals or students who may not require much hands-on training. A few schools may also offer a self-paced study option that allows students to complete courses part-time or at their own speed.

Popular Online Programs in Quality Assurance

Online Bachelor of Science in Quality Assurance Program

An online bachelor's degree program in quality assurance helps students meet the professional requirements for entry-level positions in quality control administration. The program takes an average of four years to complete and requires a core of liberal arts courses that includes mathematics, history and communication.

Students move through the material at their own pace by viewing pre-recorded lectures, following textbooks, studying demonstrations and completing online assignments. Competency in the field is measured through quizzes, virtual class discussions and a final exam or capstone project. Students in the program are introduced to concepts in:

  • Measurement science
  • Statistical methods
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Total quality management
  • Standards and stakeholders

Online Master of Science in Quality Assurance Program

This program focuses on advanced quality assurance systems monitoring and management. Required courses cover manufacturing and quality control at the administrative level. Electives cover areas such as manufacturing practices, quality project management and productivity.

In order to graduate, students must often complete a final project. Since a big part of quality assurance management depends on implementing a successful quality control system, students take advanced courses that help them develop such a system, examining topics in:

  • Advanced probability and statistics
  • Testing techniques
  • Quality function management
  • Experimental design and productivity

Online Master of Engineering Management Program

This program is designed for professionals in technical or manufacturing fields who are looking to work in advanced problem-solving positions. The degree program helps students identify, implement and monitor a successful quality management system. Courses are designed to help students understand advanced quality control methods in measurement, modeling and simulation practices.

The program can usually be completed online and does not require on-campus attendance. Competency is measured by a final capstone project; for example, students may need to write a report and apply quality assurance theories to a real-world problem. Course topics include:

  • Decision and risk
  • Engineering management science and strategy
  • Technical project management
  • Organizational behavior

Schools with Online Programs in Quality Assurance

California National University has an online Bachelor of Quality Assurance Science program that prepares students for professional certification. The program requires 121 units and a capstone project. The capstone project includes a practicum experience that totals 60 hours.

Kennesaw State University offers an online Master of Science in Quality Assurance program that comes highly ranked. The program totals 36 credits, which includes a graduate seminar course. Students are typically required to participate in discussion boards for most courses.

Arizona State University provides an online Master of Engineering in Engineering Management program that requires 30 credits. Students complete a capstone experience that includes a final report. Students can choose to focus in innovation and entrepreneurship, software, supply chain or quality and reliability.

Students considering an online bachelor's or master's degree program in quality assurance should think about which award level most closely aligns with their career goals, as well as how the program is formatted.

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