What to Expect From an Online Entomology and Nematology Graduate Program
Online graduate programs provide ample benefits to students, but their structure, format and the educational tools they use often look quite different than their traditional on-campus counterparts. If you’re new to distance learning and aren’t quite sure what to expect, the list below will outline some of the unique features of an online entomology and nematology graduate program, including the master’s degree and graduate certificate in entomology and nematology offered here at the University of Florida.
- Online Labs
Traditionally, students had to be on campus to complete laboratory-based courses because of the amount of technical equipment, tools and supervision required. Fortunately, with modern technological advancements, online students can now complete their labs remotely. Students in UF’s online entomology and nematology program collect insects in their own backyard, using kits that can be purchased online or easily made at home. Online simulations stand in for in-lab research via free online software, which means no travel is required.
- Self-Paced Learning
One of the most compelling reasons to enroll in an online graduate program is the ability to complete courses online at any time. That means whether it’s 2:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m., you can finish coursework, publish your online discussion post or compile data for your lab project. The University of Florida’s online entomology and nematology graduate program is comprised entirely of asynchronous courses, which means you can complete courses and assignments at any time within a given timeframe (usually a week). This format offers more flexibility than synchronous courses, which require you to be online at a scheduled time.
- Ability to Connect With Students From All Over the World
Since online graduate programs eliminate geographic boundaries, you’ll have the ability to connect with students from not only your home country but around the world. This diversity of students offers the potential to learn more about entomology and nematology in unfamiliar regions and explore the impact different climates have on human health. Additionally, this expanded geographic reach of online learners can offer valuable and differing perspectives during online discussions and projects.
- Accessible, Centralized Information
When enrolling in an online program, it’s important that new students research the technology requirements of their program to determine whether or not their current computers meet those requirements. Many universities, including the University of Florida, use an online digital learning environment (e.g., Canvas or Blackboard) that integrates course assignments, discussion boards and other course information and keeps your valuable educational content in one easily accessible place.
Some of the most successful online graduate students are the ones that can stay organized and build their own study plan. While a university’s digital learning environment will include assignment deadlines, it’s often up to the student to build their own timeframe for competing this coursework ahead of the deadline. Using checklists and establishing routine study times are helpful habits that online learners can use to keep up with their assignments.
Whether you decide to pursue your graduate education online or on campus, deciding which program delivery method will work best for you is an essential part of the graduate application process. The University of Florida offers three master’s degree specializations and three graduate certificate options in entomology and nematology, each designed to cater to your specific interest within the field. If you’re interested in learning more about our graduate program, please explore our website or contact Cameron Jack.