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How to Earn an Online Degree

Learn all about the online education process, from enrollment to what you can expect as you earn your degree.

How to Earn an Online Degree If you’re looking to pursue your bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate, online programs are a great option. Explore some pointers on how to earn an online degree.

Now more than ever before, working professionals are enrolling in online degree programs to further their careers. If you’ve been considering pursuing higher education to earn your bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate, online programs are a great option. But if you’re someone who is unfamiliar with the online education experience, you’re probably curious about what the process entails. Here are some pointers.



How to Earn an Online Degree

Choose an Accredited Online University That Offers Your Program of Choice

The first step to earning your online degree is to narrow down your options. What field of study interests you most? If you currently hold a bachelor’s, perhaps you will choose a program in the same or a related field. Or maybe you’re interested in a career change and want to choose an entirely different path. Assess both your personal and professional goals to determine the online program that’s right for you.

Next, find an accredited online university that offers your program of choice. Independent accreditation organizations develop a set of criteria to vet the quality and rigor of a higher education institution and its academic programs. These organizations also ensure that universities adhere to specific educational standards. Choosing an accredited online university—like Walden—will give you access to knowledgeable faculty, a comprehensive and robust curriculum, and the technology that smoothly delivers online education.

Begin the Enrollment Process

Enrollment processes and requirements will vary from one institution to another; however, they generally share a few key steps:

  • Fill out and submit your application. You will need to provide some general information, such as academic history, academic interest, and contact information. Some universities require you to pay an application fee. At Walden, this fee is waived.
  • Speak with an Enrollment Specialist. After you submit your application, an Enrollment Specialist will reach out to guide you through the rest of the admission process. Walden offers a dedicated Enrollment Specialist who will answer any questions you may have along the way, from financial aid to student support services and beyond.
  • Determine your financial aid. Whether you’re applying for federal aid, exploring tuition reduction opportunities, or determining a payment schedule, working with the financial aid office is a smart choice.
  • Meet any other admission requirements. Requirements vary from program to program, depending upon degree level and area of study. For example, a PhD in Education program will have different requirements than a bachelor’s in social work program. An Enrollment Specialist can walk you through specific program options and expectations.
  • If applicable, transfer credits. You may be able to earn transfer credits for previous educational and/or military experience, as well as for any professional experience and certifications you may have. Some universities even allow students to earn credit via examination.

Complete all Course Requirements

Much like earning a degree on campus, earning your online degree requires that you fulfill the necessary academic requirements. Similar to program admission requirements, program completion requirements will depend on the degree level and field of study. For instance, in a bachelor’s program, you will be assessed on your weekly assignments, class participation, and test scores. In an advanced degree program, such as a master’s or doctoral program, you will be required to write and defend a research thesis and/or dissertation, complete a capstone project, or participate in on-site field experiences. Time to completion will vary depending on the program type and your chosen pace. Certain programs at Walden offer degree completion options that allow you to choose how quickly you want to move through your online program.


The last step is easy—once all requirements have been fulfilled, you will graduate with your online degree. Walden graduates become part of a robust alumni community that offers networking opportunities long after graduation.

Ready to Earn Your Online Degree at Walden University?

If you want to expand your potential career opportunities, one of the best choices you can make is to earn your bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. At Walden, an accredited online university, you can earn your online degree while you continue to work full time. That means you can better maintain a work-life balance while you enhance your credentials and further your skills. And with online learning, you can take classes at whatever time of day works best for you. Get started today.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering high-quality online degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels, as well as online certificate programs. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,