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BS Degree Online: Bachelor Program Requirements and Options

Online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs may require students to have a certificate or associate's degree prior to enrolling. Students can earn an online bachelor's degree in many fields, including business, computer science and health sciences.

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While the credit and admissions requirements for online B.S. programs are similar to those for on-campus students, there are differences in the way that the course material is provided, as well as the technology that is needed to complete the program.

Online Program Options and Requirements

Online Bachelor of Science programs typically have the same academic requirements as their on-campus equivalents. Some take a full four years to complete, just like their on-campus counterparts, while others are available in an accelerated format. Online B.S. programs are available in many areas of study, including:

  • Early childhood education
  • Accounting
  • Nursing
  • Criminal justice
  • Computer science
  • Business
  • Health care management
  • Paralegal studies

Admission Requirements

Some programs require students to hold a certificate or associate's degree from an accredited institution prior to enrollment. Other schools only require that students hold a high school diploma or its equivalent with a minimum GPA. Certain programs, such as nursing or health sciences programs, may require additional admission requirements.

Online Learning Coursework

Students enrolled in an online B.S. program can study and complete assignments when it's most convenient for them. Most coursework for online B.S. programs is provided online through platforms such as:

  • Email
  • Video lectures
  • Video chatting
  • Audio recordings
  • Chat sessions
  • Message boards

In hybrid programs, students may be required to fulfill training requirements at physical locations, either on-campus or at an approved location in the student's are. Hands-on training options include:

  • Internships
  • Externships
  • Practicums
  • Clinical rotations
  • Laboratory exercises and other similar forms of training

Examinations are given either online or at a testing center. Depending on the program, examinations may have to be proctored. Other tests may be timed and administered in an essay or open-book format.

Technology Requirements

Because students attend classes online, computer requirements also apply. Students typically need access to computers with the following features:

  • A recent Windows, Mac or Linux operating system
  • A certain amount of memory
  • High-speed internet access
  • Course-related multimedia capabilities

To earn an online B.S. degree, students need to complete assignments and exams; real-world training may also be included in the curriculum of some courses. Before enrolling, it is important for students to make sure that they have access adequate computer hardware and software.

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