Online College Diploma Program Overviews

Research online college diploma programs and courses. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

Essential Information

Online diploma programs have one of two purposes: to prepare students to enter the job market immediately upon graduation or to serve as an entryway to an associate's or a bachelor's degree program. Typical areas of study include auto technology, accounting, computer networking, graphic design, medical transcription, basic electronics and business administration.

Who Should Apply?

Online degree programs are generally geared toward busy adults who need a bit of flexibility in their schedules, such as those in the military or adults juggling work and family responsibilities. Individuals who may find it difficult to attend classes on campus, such as the disabled or those who lack suitable transportation, can also benefit from online diploma programs.


Online diploma programs can usually be completed in 6-12 months. Some programs allow students to enroll at any time and begin classes immediately after enrolling. Others may have start dates that coincide with the school's regular on-campus schedule. Depending on the program, learning is conducted through a series of lessons or courses that focus on specialized instruction in the diploma field. Many career-oriented online diploma programs prepare graduates for certification in their occupation.


Classes generally can be completed at the convenience of the student's schedule, who typically have round-the-clock access to lectures and other course materials through online educational platforms such as Blackboard. Students can also communicate with instructors and fellow classmates via e-mail, chat, instant messaging and an online help desk. Remote diploma programs can be completed entirely online or in a hybrid arrangement. Hybrid programs require that students complete part of their studies online, while the other part takes place in a classroom.

For the student who is looking to immediately enter the job market, or who is seeking to enter an undergraduate degree program, an online diploma program is a popular option. Examples of diploma program areas are auto technology, accounting, computer networking, graphic design and business administration.

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