What's the difference between a Masters by Coursework and a Masters by Research?

A  Masters by Coursework  is a professional qualification involving the study of a specified set of core units and a selection of eligible elective units. Undertaking a coursework program will mean that you will attend classes, complete assignments and sit exams where applicable. Some Masters by Coursework also require the completion of a minor thesis as part of the course. Dependent on the course, part-time and online study options are available. For more information, please see our  Postgraduate Study at ECU  web page. A  Masters by Research  involves the submission of a completed thesis based on an independent research project. Students studying a Masters by Research work independently with the support of a supervisor and the School. Students may be required to attend units to help expand skills in the area of research. For more information, please see our Research Degree  web page.

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Published: 4 Sept 2023

4 Sept 2023 • Knowledge

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Quick Guide: Your College Degree Options

Find the right college for you.

There are generally four categories of college degrees: associate degree, bachelor’s degree, graduate degree, and doctorate or professional degree. Each category comes with its own particular subcategories, and there are some subtle differences between a doctorate and a professional degree.

If you ever find yourself lost in the sea of abbreviations for degrees, you're not alone. This quick guide is here to clear the air regarding the types of degrees available to you and what each one means.

Guide to College Degrees, Professional Studies & Certifications

Associate degree.

An associate degree is a two-year degree typically offered at community colleges, technical colleges, and career colleges. However, some four-year universities offer them as well. Examples of some associate degrees include Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS).

AS degrees are generally more narrowly focused and prepare students for science and math-related careers. AA degrees are broader and focus on fields outside of math and science such as liberal arts, business administration, criminal justice, and culinary arts.

Some students who earn an associate degree transfer to a four-year program to earn a bachelor’s degree. Others complete associate degrees and then go straight to work.

Bachelor's or Baccalaureate Degree

Bachelor’s degrees require students to complete four- or five-year programs in a specific academic discipline. The two most common types of bachelor’s degrees are bachelor of arts (BA) and bachelor of science (BS). Other types of bachelor’s degrees include the bachelor of fine arts (BFA), and bachelor of architecture (BArch).

Because bachelor’s degrees train students to enter a specific field, many professional careers require them. Earning a bachelor’s degree can open the door to many job opportunities and increase your potential income.

Some institutions offer a liberal arts and career combination program, also called a 3-2 program. This is a type of dual degree in which a student completes three years of liberal arts study followed by two years of professional or technical study. In the end, students earn two bachelor’s degrees, usually a BA and a BS.

An example of this is Columbia University’s 3-2 Combined Plan program in which students can earn a BA and a BS in five years.

Some colleges also let you earn a teacher certification by combining bachelor's degree study with state certification requirements. State requirements vary, but these programs usually feature professional education courses, including student teaching.

Graduate Degree

Graduate degrees are advanced degrees that some students pursue after earning a bachelor’s degree. The two most common are master of arts (MA) and master of science (MS). Other examples include master of fine arts (MFA) and master of business administration (MBA). A graduate degree is like an extension of a bachelor’s degree whereby a student further enriches their knowledge of their field and narrows their f ocus of study .

Graduate degrees usually take around two years to attain, but this can vary based on the degree. Many institutions allow students to enroll in a graduate program in a field unrelated to their bachelor’s degree. This may require some extra credit hours, though.

Professional Degree

Students earn professional degrees to become licensed to work in professions like medicine or law. The M.D. degree is an example. Professional programs generally require a college degree before you start them and then at least three years of study to complete.

Doctoral Degree and Professional Degree

The doctorate and professional degrees are the highest levels of education one can attain. They signify mastery of a subject and often come with the coveted title “doctor.” Although the two are similar, there are some important differences.

A doctorate or doctoral degree is a research-oriented degree focused on scholarly development. The most common doctorate is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Despite the name, a PhD covers many disciplines, not just philosophy.

A professional degree is an application-oriented degree, meaning it prepares students for a specific working position. There are many types of professional degrees. Some examples are: doctor of medicine (MD), doctor of pharmacy (PharmD), and doctor of medicine in dentistry (DMD) in the field of medicine, and juris doctor (JD) and doctor of juridical science (SJD) in the field of law.

A graduate degree does not need to precede a doctorate or professional degree. Often, students will go straight into a doctorate or professional program following their bachelor’s, however some programs will require a master’s degree to gain entry. Completion can take anywhere from four to eight years, depending on the field of study.

Many doctoral students work either full-time or part-time while they study in the program. This, along with the field they are studying, will significantly affect the time it takes to complete their degree.

Joint Degrees

Some students may choose to pursue a joint degree, also known as a dual degree, which means they simultaneously study for a bachelor’s degree and a graduate degree. Joint degrees can be pursued in the same college or can be split between two different colleges. For example, Berklee College of Music and Harvard University offer a dual bachelor’s/master’s program in which a student receives a bachelor of arts (BA) at Harvard and a master of music (MM) or master of arts (MA) at Berklee.

Depending on the program, it may be possible to study at the same time for a master's degree and a doctorate. For example, the University of Southern California offers a program leading to doctor of pharmacy and master of public health degrees.

How do academic degrees go in order?

There are four types of degrees. In order of level of education, they rank as associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s or graduate degrees, and doctorate or professional degrees.

How many degrees are there in college?

Most community colleges offer only two-year associate degrees, while most four-year colleges offer bachelor’s, graduate, and doctorate or professional degrees. Some four-year colleges may also have associate degree programs.

How many years do you have to be in college to achieve certain degrees?

Though it will vary between academic disciplines, associate degrees usually take two years to achieve, bachelor’s degrees take four years, master’s degrees take two years, and doctorate or professional degrees can take anywhere from four to eight years.

What is an eight-year degree?

An “eight-year degree” typically refers to a doctorate degree or PhD. Although some doctorates can be completed in as little as three years, these degrees typically require more time studying highly specialized subjects. Students in these programs often must defend a dissertation while already working a professional job.

What are the four years of college called?

The first four years of college are the undergraduate years, and a student studying for a bachelor’s degree is called an undergraduate. The four years refer to the total accumulated credit hours; a student may take fewer or more than four years to attain their undergraduate degree.

What does a graduate degree mean?

A graduate degree or master’s degree is an advanced degree that some students pursue after earning a bachelor’s degree. Earning a graduate degree signifies mastery of a particular field of study and focuses more intensely on a subject than a bachelor’s degree does. Graduate degrees usually take two years to attain.

What do you call a master's student?

A master's student is called a graduate student or “grad student” for short. A student still studying for a bachelor’s degree is called an undergraduate student or “undergrad student.”

How many years is a master's degree?

Graduate degrees usually take around two years to attain, but this can vary based on the degree. Many institutions allow students to enroll in a graduate program in a field unrelated to their bachelor’s degree, although it may require some extra credit hours.

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Coursework or research?

What's the difference between postgraduate degree coursework and higher degree research.

At UTS, you could pursue postgraduate studies by coursework or research.

Postgraduate Degree Coursework

Doing it by coursework means, you’ll attend classes, write assessments, sit for exams and work your way through a set of subjects – a structured program. You could potentially add a research project using your elective.

Programs offered through postgraduate coursework are:

Master of Quantitative Finance

Master of Science – offered in five majors and a no specific major.

Master of Science (Extension) – offered in five majors and a no specific major

Graduate Certificate in Science

Graduate Certificate in Mathematics

Higher Degree Research

Doing postgraduate study by research means, you’ll undertake supervised study and research, guided by an academic supervisor. You’ll work independently on your chosen project with the aim of producing, presenting and submitting a final thesis. The final thesis is your original research and investigation, backed by evidence.

Programs offered through higher degree research are:

Masters by Research  - Science

Masters by Research  - Mathematical Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - Science

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) – Mathematical Sciences

So, what kind of projects can I undertake as my higher research degree?

You can undertake any project or discipline, as long as the Faculty and UTS has the expertise in the area, and the relevant supervisor agrees to supervise you.

We strongly encourage you to visit the Faculty’s research areas and use the Find a Supervisor  tool, to search a supervisor of your research interest.

Find a Supervisor

Once you've found a potential supervisor, it's important to make contact with them to discuss your research project proposal andmake sure they agree to supervise you.

Are you still confused on which research project to undertake?

You can hear from some of our  current and past research students’ experiences here . This may help you to decide what research project is right for you.

What if I change my mind, after...

I have started a postgraduate coursework program at UTS Science, but now I want to pursue a higher degree research?

You can transfer from your current UTS Science postgraduate coursework degree into the UTS  Master of Science (Honours) . You’ll need to line up a faculty academic to be your supervisor. Entry into the Master of Science (Honours) is through an internal course transfer via the UTS Master of Science or UTS Master of Science (Extension). There is no direct entry into the UTS Master of Science (Honours).

I have started one of the UTS Science postgraduate coursework masters, e.g. Master of Science or Master of Science (Extension),or the Master of Quantitative Finance, but I can no longer continue my studies?

You can exit your degree through the UTS Graduate Diploma in Science or the UTS Graduate Diploma in Quantitative Finance, which are dependent on the number of subjects you have completed.

Want more information?

Attend a science and maths postgraduate info session.

Download the Science and Maths Postgraduate Course Guide . For information on the application process, here’s a step by step guide on how to apply .

Want to talk to someone?

Contact our course directors:

Ken Rodgers Higher Degree Research Programs Director [email protected]

Bernadette Saunders Postgraduate Coursework Programs Director [email protected]

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Scripting must be enabled to use this site., difference between postgraduate research and coursework, what is the difference between postgraduate coursework and postgraduate research programs.

There are a few key differences between postgraduate coursework and postgraduate research programs.

Postgraduate Coursework

Postgraduate coursework programs deliver content through a set unit program (similar to an undergraduate Bachelor degree), but at a more advanced level. Coursework will allow you to deepen your knowledge within a discipline, or to pursue a new or additional study area at an advanced level.

Postgraduate degrees which can be studied through coursework include Graduate Certificates , Graduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.

Postgraduate Research

Postgraduate research programs (also known as Higher Degree Research ) allow you to develop your knowledge and experience within your field by completing a major research project under the supervision of an academic .

Postgraduate research degrees which you can study include Masters by research or Doctorate ( PhD ) programs.

Additional Information

For a comprehensive list of courses available, please refer to the Prospective Student Catalogue , or for further information view our Postgraduate Study page.

For further information regarding postgraduate coursework programs, please contact the Future Students Team through the Contact Us tab, online Live Chat , phone to 1800 818 865, or via Facebook .

For further information regarding postgraduate research programs, please submit your enquiry to Higher Degree Research through the Contact Us tab, or phone (02) 6773 3715 for assistance.

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A Guide to Different Types of College Degrees

From associate degrees to doctorates, options are plentiful for prospective higher education students.

College Degree Levels Explained

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There are numerous higher education options, from credentials such as badges and certificates to a range of college degree levels.

Earning a college degree leads to higher lifetime earnings and lower unemployment rates than those with just a high school diploma, research indicates. There are also nonmonetary advantages, including gaining transferable workforce skills and being more active citizens, experts say.

There are numerous higher education options, from credentials such as badges and certificates to a range of college degree levels. But different jobs or fields strongly encourage or require varying credentials, so students must do their research.

To be an air traffic controller, for instance, an applicant needs at least an associate degree , while a candidate pursuing dentistry must earn a professional degree, such as the Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.).

what is coursework degree

Students "should go into college knowing that there are opportunities to move on and that learning is a lifelong process," says Lynn Pasquerella, president of the American Association of Colleges and Universities, an organization focused on advancing equity within higher education.

"Rapidly changing technology means rapid obsolescence," she says. "Circumstances in peoples' lives change, as we saw with COVID-19. There's always an opportunity to use the education that they've earned as a foundation for more education and greater career opportunities, or just for a more fulfilling life."

The guide below offers a look at college degree programs, from associate to professional degrees.

Associate Degrees

Commonly offered at community colleges and some universities, a full-time student can earn an associate degree – which typically requires 60 credit hours or more – in two years. Colleges that offer associate degrees have fewer or no residential options on campus.

Some degree options include Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.), Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) and Associate of General Studies (A.G.S.).

"Often individuals are working toward an associate degree with the long-term goal of earning a four-year degree," says Brian Troyer, dean of undergraduate admissions at Marquette University in Wisconsin. "But associate degrees are often degrees that lead to a successful career in a particular field. They provide outstanding training in a very specific discipline."

According to the National Center for Education Statistics , 49% of Americans between the ages of 25 and 29 had an associate degree or higher in 2021. American workers age 25 and over with an associate degree earned a median weekly income of $963 in 2021 compared with $809 for those with a high school diploma and no college, per figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Associate degrees are "usually a very good return on investment because they are inexpensive to begin with" and "targeted toward career preparation," Pasquerella says.

Bachelor's Degrees

A full-time student can expect to finish a bachelor's degree within four years, though that length of time varies by program. A bachelor's degree – which is offered at four-year institutions and a small number of community colleges – typically requires 120 credit hours, sometimes more and occasionally fewer.

Colleges that offer a bachelor's degree are often associated with the more "traditional" residential setting. But that's not always the case, as there are options to commute or attend an online bachelor's program .

Bachelor's degree types include Bachelor of Arts ( B.A. ), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) and other specialty designations.

"You get more of a broad-based approach in taking classes in different subject areas, building both knowledge and skill, as well as critical-thinking and problem-solving skills," says Joe B. Whitehead, Jr., provost and senior vice president of academic and student affairs at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. "Some are more professionally oriented, like a degree in business or engineering."

According to NCES, 39% of Americans between the ages of 25 and 29 had a bachelor's degree or higher in 2021. In 2019, a bachelor's degree was worth nearly $2.8 million in median lifetime earnings, a 2021 report from Georgetown University 's Center on Education and the Workforce found.

Unemployment rates in 2021, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, were much higher for American workers age 25 and over with a high school diploma and no college – 6.2%, compared with those with a bachelor's degree, 3.5%, per BLS figures.

Master's Degrees

A master's degree follows a bachelor's degree for many continuing their postsecondary education. But enrolling directly into a master's program after graduating with a bachelor's degree is not always necessary.

Experts advise students to first ask themselves what steps are required to achieve their career goals and why they want to earn a particular degree.

If an advanced degree is required to meet job qualifications, a student may want to consider an accelerated combined degree program , often known as 4+1 programs – an option to earn both a bachelor's and master's degree in five years rather than six years separately.

Going straight into a master's or doctoral program may cause less of an interruption in the life of a student already focused on academic pursuits, says Mildred García, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

But in other cases, it may be better for a student to enter the workforce first in a field of interest before committing to a master's degree.

"Waiting some time to go back to school to earn a master’s or doctorate can allow the prospective student to gain or deepen their professional experiences, further increase their maturity level and appreciation of the profession they want to enter, and have a higher understanding or focus on the need and use of an advanced degree," García wrote in an email.

Credit hour requirements vary by graduate school , but most require at least 30. A master's degree typically takes an average of two full years to complete, and students often need to submit a final project or thesis to graduate.

Common master's degrees include the Master of Business Administration ( MBA ), Master of Fine Arts ( MFA ) and Master of Science (M.S.). An MFA is considered a terminal degree, the highest degree available in that particular field.

Nine percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 29 had a master's degree or higher in 2021, according to NCES data. Average lifetime earnings for a master's degree recipient in 2019 were $3.2 million, Georgetown's CEW research shows.

Doctorate Degrees

A doctorate is a research-based degree "intended to develop specific academic skills, like how to design, conduct and analyze research activity," García says.

Earning a doctorate degree – the highest traditional academic degree – can be an arduous and lengthy endeavor, taking anywhere from three to seven years, or more, of study. Candidates can choose from various types, most commonly Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) or Doctor of Philosophy ( Ph.D. ).

Doctoral candidates also are expected to conduct research and write a dissertation, although some programs do not require the extensive research paper.

"Dissertations are publications that showcase a body of work over the students' graduate career," Pasquerella says. "So to get a Ph.D, you often have to pass comprehensive exams – which test you over the first two years – and qualifying exams to qualify to write a thesis. And then you have the thesis itself, where you have to demonstrate that you are making unique and distinctive contributions to the field through your research."

Georgetown's CEW found that average lifetime earnings for doctoral degree holders were $4 million in 2019, with median weekly earnings of $1,909 in 2021, per BLS data.

Professional Degrees

To become licensed to work in professions like medicine or law, students need to earn professional degrees.

Aspiring attorneys generally attend law school to earn a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, which typically take three years of full-time study to complete. To become a licensed lawyer, graduates must also pass the bar exam in their jurisdiction.

On the other hand, prospective doctors attend medical school to earn a degree such as Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) or another degree more specific to their field of study.

Medical degrees typically take four years to complete in addition to a residency program – a period of training for graduates to practice first-hand what was taught in the classroom. The length of residency programs varies by specialty but can last between three and seven years.

Those who completed a professional degree have lifetime earnings of more than $4.7 million, Georgetown's CEW found, with average annual earnings of $117,500 – 68% higher than pay for workers with a bachelor's degree.

Deciding on the Right Degree

To find the right degree fit, students should consider several factors, including their professional and personal goals, program costs , salary expectations – both at the beginning and long term – and employment rates of graduates with the same degree, García says.

Troyer advises students to meet with or shadow a professional in their field of interest to learn what it took for that individual to earn their particular degree and job position.

what is coursework degree

"These educational opportunities exist for individuals who are arriving to this post-secondary journey perhaps in different stages of their own life, with different priorities and different needs," he says. "So I'm a firm believer that there's no particular degree or there's no specific institution per se that's perfect for any given student. What really matters is what matters to the student and what they are looking for."

It's always advantageous to formally gain more knowledge, depending on "when one does it and when they can do it," Whitehead says.

"Students should aspire to be the best they can be," he adds. "We're becoming a highly technical world, an information economy. So with that said, the more knowledge one can acquire will be beneficial going forward."

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What are the 4 Types of College Degrees?

College degree levels shown on a path with a diploma icon and the text Types of Degrees – Associate, Bachelor’s Master’s, Doctorate

Understanding the Numbers When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors — like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

Going to college to earn your degree can provide new skills, job opportunities, and salary increases, but what is the best degree for you

Whether you want to earn your first degree, gain new skills to change careers or earn a promotion by building upon your existing education, it’s important to explore how different degrees can help you reach your goals.

Understanding the types of degrees available, how you can advance through degree levels and the amount of time it will take to complete a program is key to choosing the degree that's right for you.

Exploring College Degree Levels

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What is a college degree able to do for your career? It all depends on your field of choice and long-term goals.

Explore the list of college degrees, below, in order from lowest to highest. Discover the benefits of different types of degrees and understand how you can work through these levels of education to further your career.

Types of Associate Degrees

If you’re just starting out with higher education or want to add education credentials to real-world experience, an associate degree  could be a great fit.

Different types of associate degrees , such as an Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Arts (AA), are 60 credits and can be completed in 2 years or less , and are a great first step toward earning an entry-level job or promotion. There are job opportunities for associate degree holders across many fields, including:

  • Associate in accounting
  • Associate in criminal justice
  • Associate in digital photography
  • Associate in information technology
  • Associate in liberal arts
  • Associate in marketing

Infographic with the text BLS reports associate degree holders earn 20% more than workers with only a high school diploma

An AS degree will prepare you for jobs available across many industries including marketing, information technology and accounting. While earning an AA degree  can help you develop the soft skills employers look for such as problem-solving, critical thinking skills and communication.

Starting with an associate degree is worth it  as there are great benefits and opportunities that come with it. Earning an associate degree can have a significant economic impact. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), associate degree holders earn 20% more than workers with only a high school degree.

If you’re unsure about starting a bachelor’s degree program, earning an associate degree is a great way to kickstart your education and enter the workforce before enrolling in a more advanced degree. If you decide to continue on to a bachelor’s degree, your associate degree credits are typically applied toward the four-year degree.

With an associate degree in business administration , for example, you can gain a solid foundation in business principles and practices that will prepare you for entry-level positions. Continuing on to bachelor’s degrees in business administration can help you dive deeper into a specific area of study, such as finance, project management or marketing.

Types of Bachelor Degrees

Designed to be completed in 4 years, bachelor’s degree programs  provide in-depth knowledge and skills across a wide variety of career paths to help you stand out in today’s competitive job market.

Bachelor's degrees are in high demand. According to a 2020 U.S. Census Bureau report, more than 36% of adults over age 25 hold a bachelor’s degree.

Infographic with text BLS reports bachelor’s degree holders earn about $19,000 more per year than workers with a 2-year degree

Bachelor’s degrees like Bachelor of Science (BS) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) offer more opportunities to focus your learning on a specialized area of study. With a business administration bachelor’s degree , for example, you can concentrate your studies on anything from finance, accounting and healthcare management to marketing, entrepreneurship and public administration.

Earning a bachelor’s degree opens the door to advancing your education with a graduate-level degree - an increasingly common step for workers looking to further their careers.

Types of Master’s Degrees

Earning a master’s degree is a great way to gain more technical knowledge in your field and set yourself apart from other workers.

With growing opportunities for online master’s degree programs , including programs that can be completed in less than 2 years, this degree path is becoming increasingly popular with full-time working adults.

Employers are also increasing demand for master’s degree holders. According to BLS data, jobs requiring master’s degrees are projected to grow by 16% by 2030.

Earning a master’s degree can open the door to advancement within your company, help you tackle new career goals and can also boost your long-term earning potential. Master’s degree holders’ median weekly earnings were 18% higher than bachelor’s degree holders and 65% higher than associate degree holders, according to BLS.

A blue infographic piece with the text BLS reports 2020 median weekly earnings with a master's degree were: 18% higher than with a bachelor's degree; 65% higher than with an associate degree

Master’s degrees, like Master of Science (MS) or Master of Arts (MA), are available across a wide variety of subjects. Master of Business Administration (MBA)  programs are among the most well-known master’s degree programs, with opportunities to study finance, accounting, international business, criminal justice, information technology management and more.

If you’re looking to advance your education even further, you may be wondering what comes after a master’s degree. The answer depends on your career goals.

Types of Doctoral Degrees

If you’re looking to advance your education to the highest degree in college , a doctoral degree may be right for you.

Depending on your industry and career goals, there are several types of doctoral degrees to consider. A few include:

  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA): A terminal degree tailored to business professionals looking to explore, examine and address business issues.
  • Doctor of Education (EdD) : A doctoral degree geared toward leaders (and aspiring leaders) in educational organizations and the education system itself.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): An academic doctorate available to a range of fields. A PhD is typically required to become a professor and can help you start a career in research.

Doctoral degrees can take up to 7 years of intense study to complete. After completing doctoral degree coursework, you might sit for comprehensive subject matter exams. A dissertation based on your research interests may also be required and reviewed by a committee of graduate school faculty. 

Determining Your Educational Path

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While advancing your education can have significant economic impacts, each career has its own unique job requirements and there are often benefits to remaining in the workforce while working toward a college degree. Many companies offer tuition assistance programs, for example, that can help pay for more advanced degrees.

Do some research and reflect on your long-term goals and you’ll be on the path to choosing the college degree level that is right for you.

A degree can change your life. Find the SNHU degree  that can help you meet your goals.

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About southern new hampshire university.

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SNHU is a nonprofit, accredited university with a mission to make high-quality education more accessible and affordable for everyone.

Founded in 1932, and online since 1995, we’ve helped countless students reach their goals with flexible, career-focused programs . Our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH is home to over 3,000 students, and we serve over 135,000 students online. Visit our about SNHU  page to learn more about our mission, accreditations, leadership team, national recognitions and awards.

Graduate coursework options

You can apply for more than 340 award programs ranging from Graduate Certificates to Masters and PhD study in a wide range of study areas and disciplines.

Graduate degree options include:

Graduate certificates

A Graduate certificate is six month course where you can choose from more than 25 discipline areas. It's a perfect stepping stone to help you return to tertiary study after some time away.

Find Graduate certificates

Graduate diplomas

The Graduate Diploma is similar to an undergraduate major and ideally suited as an introduction to a new discipline. It's perfect for professional development and as a preparatory program for graduate studies.

Find Graduate diplomas

Masters by coursework

Masters by coursework is normally one to two years of study. It provides advanced specialist or professional training in a particular discipline or interdisciplinary area and can lead to professional accreditation. Some also offer pathways to doctorate specialisations.

Find Masters by coursework

Professional doctorates

Professional doctorates enable you to carry out advanced academic and professional study that directly relates to a professional role. Completion normally requires doing coursework and a thesis.

Find Professional doctorates

Professional and Continuing Education

There are also professional and continuing education programs you can take outside of your degree to give you a leading edge in your field of expertise.

View programs

Need help understanding your options?

Get in touch with our student support team at Stop 1 to discuss what graduate coursework degrees you can apply for.

From Associate to Doctorate: A Complete Guide to College Degree Levels

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Updated April 12, 2024

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Are you ready to discover your college program?

Considering a college degree? First, you'll have to understand the types of degrees and college degree levels.

Different degrees prepare you for different career paths. For example, you can't become a psychologist with just a bachelor's degree — you'd need a master's or doctorate in psychology. And you usually can't become an engineer without at least a bachelor's degree.

Typically, as your university degree level rises, your earning potential increases, and the unemployment rate decreases. That's one more reason it's important to understand the different types of degrees.

What Types of Degrees Are There in College?

There are many types of degrees you can earn in college. College degree levels can be broken down into two categories: undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees.

Here are the college degrees in order, from lowest ranking to highest:

  • Associate degree (undergraduate)
  • Bachelor's degree (undergraduate)
  • Master's degree (graduate)
  • Doctoral degree (graduate)

While a doctorate is the highest education level, some fields may stop at a master's. The phrase "terminal degree" refers to the highest degree in a field.

A professional degree is a type of graduate degree — often a doctorate — that prepares you for a professional career in fields like law and medicine.

Popular Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Associate Degree

  • Typical Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Typical Number of Credits: 60

Most associate degrees prepare you to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation. These programs can be found at community and technical colleges and typically last 1-2 years.

An associate degree can also serve as the foundation for a bachelor's program. You may even be able to transfer some of the credits you earned for your associate degree toward a four-year degree.

Some associate degrees require you to complete an internship or practicum in addition to taking classes. This is particularly common among healthcare and tech degrees.

To apply for an associate degree program , you'll need a high school diploma or equivalent, like a GED certificate. Some schools may require you to submit standardized test scores, such as the ACT or the SAT, as well.

Featured Associate Programs

What can you do with an associate degree.

An associate degree prepares you for vocational, allied health, and support roles. For example, you can become a medical assistant , paralegal , or vet tech with an associate degree.

The highest-paying careers with an associate degree pay over $80,000 per year. See the table below for salary information on other popular associate degree jobs.

Source: BLS

Types of Associate Degrees

Colleges can offer three kinds of associate degrees:

  • Associate of Arts (AA)
  • Associate of Science (AS)
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

Arts, humanities, and creative fields typically offer an AA, whereas social sciences and natural sciences fields often award an AS. Many applied and vocational programs offer an AAS degree.

The type of degree matters if you're planning to transfer into a bachelor's program. Colleges normally offer fewer transfer credits for an AAS degree.

Popular Associate Degrees

  • Business Administration
  • Business Management
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Cybersecurity
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Graphic Design
  • Healthcare Management
  • Information Technology
  • Medical Assisting
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Pre-Nursing
  • Social Work

Bachelor's Degree

  • Typical Program Length: 4 years
  • Typical Number of Credits: 120

A bachelor's degree prepares you for many career paths. You'll generally spend four years earning a bachelor's degree at a college or university. You'll take general education classes and courses in your major . You can also choose a minor.

Some colleges offer accelerated bachelor's programs , which take less time — often 2-3 years. Degree-completion programs can also speed up the timeline by awarding you credit for previous college coursework.

You can earn your bachelor's degree online as well. An online degree from an accredited college meets the same standards as that of an in-person degree.

You'll need a high school diploma for admission and may also need to submit SAT or ACT scores.

Featured Bachelor's Programs

What can you do with a bachelor's degree.

In diverse industries like business, tech, and education, a bachelor's degree can prepare you for many entry-level careers. Some of the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's degree include roles in finance, management, and tech.

Graduates with a four-year degree can also benefit from high demand in many lucrative fields, like software development and engineering. The table below introduces some popular jobs with a bachelor's degree.

Types of Bachelor's Degrees

You can earn a bachelor's degree in many fields. Some of the most common types of bachelor's degrees you'll see include:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS)
  • Bachelor of Applied Arts (BAA)
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS)
  • Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

The two most popular degrees are a BA and a BS. These degrees cover all arts and sciences majors and some education and engineering degrees.

Popular Bachelor's Degrees

  • Civil Engineering
  • Communication
  • Computer Programming
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Sciences
  • Human Resources
  • Mathematics
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Political Science
  • Public Policy
  • Supply Chain and Logistics

Master's Degree

  • Typical Program Length: 1-3 years
  • Typical Number of Credits: 30

A master's degree can help you gain specialized skills and qualify for higher-paying roles. As a graduate student, you'll work closely with experts in your field to explore advanced topics.

While a master's degree typically takes two years, some universities offer accelerated one-year master's programs. You can also enroll in a bachelor's-to-master's program to earn both a bachelor's and master's degree in less time.

Most master's programs require a minimum of 30 credits. Admission and graduation requirements vary depending on the program. For example, many arts and sciences master's programs require GRE scores , while business programs typically require GMAT scores .

Featured Master's Programs

What can you do with a master's degree.

With a master's degree, you can qualify for management-level careers and specialized roles in industries like healthcare, research, and social services. The highest-paying master's degrees include MBAs and nurse practitioner degrees.

Learn more about the earning potential and demand for popular master's degree jobs below.

Types of Master's Degrees

Here are some of the most common types of master's degrees you can earn:

  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Master of Science (MS)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.)
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
  • Master of Laws (LL.M.)
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA)
  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Master of Public Policy (MPP)
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Master of Social Work (MSW)

An MA and an MS are among the most popular master's degrees. Humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences fields typically award an MA or an MS. Other popular options include an MBA and an M.Ed.

Popular Master's Degrees

  • Creative Writing
  • Data Science
  • Engineering
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Library and Information Science
  • Network Security
  • Public Health
  • Supply Chain Management

Doctoral Degrees

  • Typical Program Length: 2-10 years
  • Typical Number of Credits: Varies

A doctorate represents the highest degree you can get in academia. There are a few types of doctoral degrees you can get.

Professional doctorates train you for a professional career. For example, law school and med school are two common professional paths. A Ph.D., on the other hand — by far one of the most common types of doctorates — emphasizes theory and research.

In a doctoral program, you'll take graduate-level seminars and courses, take comprehensive exams, conduct original research, and defend a dissertation in front of a faculty committee.

Most applied doctorates take 3-5 years, while a Ph.D. typically requires 4-6 years of coursework. In certain fields, you can earn your doctorate online.

Some doctoral programs require a master's degree for admission, whereas others admit applicants with just a bachelor's degree. You may need to submit standardized test scores depending on the program.

Featured Doctoral Programs

What can you do with a doctorate.

If you want to become a physician , professor , or lawyer, you'll need a doctorate. In many fields, a doctorate translates into higher salaries. Lawyers, pharmacists , and physicists all report median salaries of over $125,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The following table shows the earning potential and demand for popular doctoral degree jobs.

Types of Doctoral Degrees

A doctorate is the highest education level, but there are still several types of doctoral degrees. Here are some of the most common you can get:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
  • Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)
  • Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)
  • Juris Doctor (JD)

A Ph.D. is the most popular doctorate. You can earn a Ph.D. in many arts and sciences fields. Other doctorates take their names from the career path associated with the degree.

Popular Doctoral Degrees

  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Administration
  • Educational Leadership
  • Human Services
  • Legal Studies
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Public Administration

Frequently Asked Questions About College Degree Levels

What are the four types of college degrees.

The four types of college degrees are associate degrees, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees. Colleges classify associate and bachelor's degrees as undergraduate degrees and master's and doctoral degrees as graduate degrees.

Within those categories, you can earn many types of degrees. For instance, at the bachelor's level, you could earn a bachelor of arts (BA), a bachelor of science (BS), or a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) degree.

What is a four-year college degree called?

A four-year college degree is called a bachelor's degree. Another term for this degree type is a baccalaureate degree.

Many careers require a bachelor's degree for entry-level roles. For example, most careers in business require you to hold a bachelor's degree. Many roles in tech, education, the public sector, and engineering also require you to have a four-year degree.

Some career paths require a specific major. In many states, you'll need a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) to become a registered nurse . In other fields, your specific major matters less than the quality of your skills.

What is the highest degree?

The highest degree is a doctorate, also called a doctoral degree. In terms of university degree levels, both master's and bachelor's degrees rank below doctorates.

You can earn a doctorate in a wide array of fields, including the social sciences, business, the humanities, education, engineering, and healthcare.

In some fields, however, a master's degree represents the terminal, or highest, degree. For instance, a master of fine arts (MFA) is the terminal degree for creative writing.

What is the hardest college degree?

Most would agree that the hardest college degree is a doctorate. As the highest education level, a doctorate requires significant expertise in the field.

Many Ph.D. programs take six years or more and require you to write a book-length dissertation based on original research.

Because a doctorate represents the top of the university degree levels, it's a relatively uncommon degree. Only around 2% of U.S. adults held a doctorate in 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau .

What is the quickest degree?

The fastest degree you can get is either a one-year associate degree or a one-year master's degree. While other types of degrees typically take a minimum of two years, you can earn a master's degree in one year with an accelerated or fast-track program.

You can sometimes add a master's degree to your bachelor's through a 4+1 program, also known as a bachelor's-to-master's program. In this case, some of your coursework counts toward both your undergraduate and graduate degrees, meaning you'll spend an additional year in college to leave with a master's degree.

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Definition of coursework

Examples of coursework in a sentence.

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'coursework.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

1890, in the meaning defined above

Dictionary Entries Near coursework

Cite this entry.

“Coursework.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coursework. Accessed 7 May. 2024.

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Future student support

Scripting must be enabled to use this site., search knowledge base, what is a coursework program.

Coursework is defined under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) as a method of teaching and learning that leads to the acquisition of skills and knowledge that does not include a major research component. Bachelor's programs and postgraduate coursework programs are all coursework programs.

Search the Future Students website for programs available at UQ.

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Your Guide to Conquering College Coursework

Getting good grades in college can be a lot tougher than in high school. For many students, it requires building new skills and establishing new habits. Learning those skills now—before starting college—will help make your transition as easy and as successful as possible.

Mary Sharp Emerson

The transition from high school to college is a big one. Meeting new friends, living on your own, and creating your own schedule are just some of the new, exciting challenges that await you.   

In the excitement of starting a new life on campus, college coursework can sometimes become a second priority.

However, adjusting to college coursework is often the biggest challenge of all. Even the best students may be surprised at how difficult college courses are. The subject matter is more complex. The workload is larger. And instructors’ standards are higher.

Mastering college-level courses requires a new level of independence, advocacy, engagement, and time management.

You can prepare yourself to succeed before you even get to campus. Identifying the skills you need, and building those skills into established habits, will help make your transition to college academics, and college life, easier, less stressful, and more successful.

Be engaged in your college coursework

College courses require your full attention and active participation.

And the more you engage with your teachers, teaching assistants, and classmates both in and out of the classroom, the easier it will be for you to succeed in that class.

The importance of active listening

Active listening is one of the most critical parts of engaging in a course, according to Gina Neugebauer, assistant director of Harvard Summer School’s Secondary School Program.

“Professors and teaching assistants can tell if you’re actively listening. They notice if you’re taking notes and making eye contact. They also notice if you’re distracted by your phone or computer,” notes Neugebauer.

Active listening means not checking your social media accounts or texting friends during class.

It also means really giving the instructor and your classmates your full attention.

It sounds easy in theory but it takes practice. It can be tough to not think about all the work you have or your next party. But the more you work on actively listening, the easier it will be to not get distracted and miss important information in class.

Different ways to actively participate

Beyond active listening, there are many ways to participate in a course. And you can tailor your level of engagement to your personality and comfort level.

“It’s all about gauging what you’re comfortable with,” says Neugebauer.

“You may not be the person who raises their hand all the time but you actively respond to online discussion posts, for example. You may not feel comfortable talking in front of hundreds of students in a large lecture hall but you take advantage of TA office hours and email the instructor with questions.”

But don’t be afraid to push yourself if you aren’t someone who usually speaks up in class.

It’s ok to start small. Work on raising your hand in small seminars or discussion sections. As you gain confidence, you’ll find it gets easier to answer questions and share your opinions.

Build independence and advocate for yourself

In college, you are responsible for your own success. You will need to advocate for yourself and know when—and how—to ask for help. That requires a level of independence that you may not have needed in high school.

The good news is that instructors and teaching assistants want to help you.

“Instructors, on the whole, enjoy hearing from you. And they’d rather hear from you right from the start, rather than have you struggle on your own for three weeks,” says Neugebauer.

If you have a question about an assignment, send your instructor an email. Are you upset about a grade you got on a recent test? Visit your instructor or TA during office hours to discuss what went wrong and how you can improve.

But remember, says Neugebauer, professors are busy and you are only one of many students.

“Your email should include your full name, what course you’re taking, and a brief description of your question or concern. And you cannot expect an answer at 2 a.m. because that’s when you’re studying. When you reach out to an instructor, give them 24-48 hours to respond.”

And remember, always be respectful and non-confrontational.

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Don’t be afraid to seek help

If you have excelled in high school without extra help, you might be tempted to persevere on your own.

In college, Neugebauer points out, asking for help is the norm.

“Once you get into your undergraduate program, you’ll find that almost everyone has, at some point, asked a TA for extra tutoring, gone to a tutoring center, or a writing or math center for extra help. It’s part of the learning process of an undergraduate program,” Neugebauer says.

Colleges have a variety of support systems in place to help you succeed.

TA office hours are a great place to start if you find yourself struggling with a specific concept or assignment. Peer tutoring programs enable you to learn from students who have been through the course themselves. Academic coaches can help with more general study tips or exam-related stress.

The key is seeking out help proactively, before you get too far behind. As the courses become more difficult, catching up becomes increasingly difficult.

Build time management techniques

Balancing everything that comes with life on a college campus can be difficult for many incoming college students.

“The biggest challenge we see facing high school students who are trying to adapt to college life is overcommitment. Students want to engage in every activity, a full course load, and even sometimes a part-time job. They don’t schedule enough time for self-care, quiet time, doing laundry, and plenty of study time. All those things take time,” Neugebauer says.

Good study habits and time management are key to avoiding the stress that comes from getting overcommitted.

Neugebauer recommends getting into the habit of keeping an accurate and up-to-date calendar.

“The best thing I can recommend is a calendar, such as Google Calendar. Use it to schedule everything: your class, your lunch time, time at the gym. It may seem counterintuitive, but work on scheduling literally everything, even sleep.”

Be sure to include assignments, tests, and other deadlines, as well as office hours for your instructors, TAs, and academic coaches.

Use your calendar to block off dedicated study time. And once you schedule it, stick to it! Avoid the temptation to procrastinate or use that time to hang out, play video games, or scroll on your phone.

Your calendar should also include dedicated time for self-care.

Regular mealtimes, good exercise habits, and a full night’s sleep are not only critical for your physical and mental health. You’ll also be surprised at how much they contribute to your academic success.

Challenge yourself as you engage in college coursework

Getting outside your comfort zone is a critical part of preparing yourself for the exciting challenges that await you in college.

“Being uncomfortable allows for growth. It means saying to yourself, ‘this is new. I want to try it. I want to see how it feels.’ This is all about adapting to a new environment but also examining yourself as a person,” says Neugebauer.

Taking on a new challenge—regardless of the ultimate outcome—builds resilience, mental toughness, and confidence, all of which you will need to succeed in your college courses.

But, warns Neugebauer, it’s also important to know your limitations.

“That uncomfortable feeling should be manageable. It should be a challenge but not so challenging that you feel panicked and wake up in cold sweats every night. It should be something that gets you a little nervous but also excited about what you’re involved in every day.”

However you decide to challenge yourself, it’s never too early to start if college is in your future. The sooner you start identifying and mastering the skills you need in college, the better prepared you’ll be to succeed right from day one.

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Emerson is a Digital Content Producer at Harvard DCE. She is a graduate of Brandeis University and Yale University and started her career as an international affairs analyst. She is an avid triathlete and has completed three Ironman triathlons, as well as the Boston Marathon.

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What is Coursework? | Definition, Meaning & keypoints!

What is coursework.

Coursework is a practical work or study done by a student in partial fulfilment of a degree or training. Projects, field work, design studies, long essays etc constitutes a coursework. The nature of work which requires to be carried out depends on the course. It is largely a part of learning exercise and a step to prepare you to handle the required work/ task effectively and efficiently.

  • folios of essays
  • art and craft items
  • speaking tests
  • practical work
  • assignments and experiments undertaken and assessed during the course

As per Oxford dictionary “Coursework” is defined as

Written or practical work done by a student during a course of study, usually assessed in order to count towards a final mark or grade.

Who assigns coursework and why?

Coursework can be assigned by your teacher or mentor. The reason can be an assessment by the teacher but in most of the cases it’s a requirement as per course structure. A coursework is meant to reflect understanding of what has been taught. How well you understand it and apply it in different situations. Your own thoughts and way of thinking about a topic is reflected in your final work. As mentioned earlier nature of coursework is very diverse. Institutions may make you to write (essays, paper, term paper, thesis etc) or make something (sculpture, are & craft related things) or take some form of test. All these activities done as a coursework award you marks or grades which are counted to evaluate your overall grade for a particular course or purpose. Your creativity, understanding, innovative aspect, talent etc are reflected in the work done by you. Some of the most widely used form of coursework include thesis, dissertations, research paper & term paper as far as writing is concerned. Model making, crafts and other similar activity is generally given when creativity aspect is to be assessed. There may be a combination of these in few cases. The whole purpose largely depends on what your course and what it prepares you to be.

Major types of coursework & how to go about them?

Students have different and mix reaction when coursework is given. Some are excited as it gives them an option to put in effort and bring out something new. They are happy and confident to present their viewpoint and grasp of the topic. While some feels it is a burden and unnecessary task and just want to get away with it. Whatever the case may be there are few guidelines and rules while writing coursework which everyone should follow. Writing a coursework can also be fun!

coursework - working

Some of the steps to help you get started includes:

Coursework for academic topics which require writing:

  • Do some research about your topic of interest or assigned topic
  • Finalize your topic
  • Prepare a structure especially for long writing coursework such as thesis
  • Write an abstract or summary for approval from mentor/teacher.
  • Do a thorough research for collecting data , facts.
  • Start writing and keep on doing the required research
  • Check for plagiarism (if any) and work to remove it
  • Give credits & references

What makes a good and effective content

A good and effective content is easy to read and understand by readers. Some of the points while writing a content to improve its quality are

  • Well- structured
  • Well Illustrated
  • Predictable

Effective coursework writing

Coursework requiring you to make something like model, sculpture or artwork

  • Find something which you appreciate (its design, concept, through, history, significance)
  • Come up with what remains the focus area for your coursework
  • Decide what you wish to make and in what form eg. model (scaled or not to scale), sculpture or some craftwork
  • Finalize the materials to be used such as waste materials, wax, wood, metal, plastic etc
  • Collect all the required stuff for making your masterpiece
  • Have a mental image prepared and preferably a rough sketch
  • Get working!

Key points to be kept in mind while working on coursework

  • Originality – Your topic/ idea should be original. Originality of idea is given significant importance and can be a deal breaker. This is not just of the requirement in most of the cases but also a scoring parameter. There are countless number of students and scholars doing research so having an original idea keeps you on positive side. Some students prefer contacting  SmartWritingService coursework writing service to get professional help from experts.
  • Need – If you coursework is solution oriented then you must clearly identify the key problems and issues which you aim to cover under your work. A good solution cannot be provided unless the problem has been understood well.
  • Uniqueness – Uniqueness in terms of idea and work. Preparing good questionnaires and conducting surveys adds to uniqueness and originality of content. Not only your topic and but also content should be unique. Avoid plagiarism, copying is a strict “NO”. Any form and extent of plagiarism is dealt seriously if caught and can even disqualify your submission.
  • Your Input – This is the most crucial aspect. Your inputs will reflect the understanding and applicability of topic by you. This is the whole purpose of having a coursework. Try your best and put best foot forward. Having a well structured and presented work is something a teacher and mentor is looking for.
  • Outcomes & way forward – Having worked and making lots of efforts doesn’t have much value unless useful outcomes are shown. Having a good & meaningful analysis and presentation of data with the  best data extraction service is an essential factor. These can be in form of proposals or problem identification. Your work might conclude your topic or pave a path for others to continue working. Depending on the work and nature of coursework give a conclusion to your study and propose what can be done next or how it can be used.

Coursework & Higher Education

Doctorates are the highest degrees conferred by universities. An online or on campus doctorate can lead to a high-level position in a number of different fields, from business administration to health care to quality control. The lengthy road to earning a doctorate can be shortened by at least several months through online study.

The doctorate degree requires two to five years of postgraduate work, the writing of a thesis, and the passing of oral and written examinations. Most doctoral degrees are the doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree, although recipients of this degree may have studied a number of academic fields other than philosophy.

Doctorate degrees are now available in numerous fields, including:

  • Business Administration
  • Computer Science
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Health Administration
  • Industrial Engineering
  • International Business
  • Quality Control

Admission to doctoral programs requires completion of an undergraduate degree program and typically, but not always, of a master’s degree program. Students earning a doctorate must take a specified number of advanced graduate-level courses, requiring at least two or three years of study beyond the master’s degree. Upon passing written or oral examinations, or a combination of both, doctoral students are granted the status of doctoral candidates. Then they must research and write a dissertation on an original topic, and then satisfactorily defend the dissertation before a committee of professors in the field.

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7 free online courses with certificates for high-income skills in 2024.

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High-income skills are important to learn whether you wish to build a career in them or not

Looking for a bigger salary so you can support yourself and your family comfortably in the middle of inflation? Then you should look no further than these seven must-have skills, as identified by Coursera in its "7 High-Income Skills Worth Learning In 2024" report .

It's no secret that learning new skills can set you at a greater advantage for your career—not only when seeking to secure a new job, but also when launching your own business venture as a freelancer or when building your side hustle.

But learning a high-income skill is even better.

What Is A High-Income Skill?

Compared to other skill sets (soft skills and technical skills included), high-income skills are a set of soft and technical skills that are in high demand within the workplace, and within certain industries and markets.

Consequently, employers (or clients if you are a freelancer), are willing to pay a premium for talent who possess these skills because they are a rare breed (as least for now until this article and the Coursera report gets popular). They are also willing to pay higher salaries because they know just how crucial these skills are to the successful running of their business operations.

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To give a rather obvious example, a CEO is generally paid much more than any other executive, manager, or employee for that matter, in part because there are less professionals with CEO capabilities and potential to fill that particular role than there are middle managers or other employees, and also because the CEO is absolutely indispensable to the needs of the business, to drive it forward.

These two factors—the skilled talent shortage and the indispensable nature of the role—are two important priorities to consider and look out for when seeking to retrain or upskill yourself. As a rule of thumb, if you have a high-income skill, your career is more likely to be agile and withstand external pressures such as layoffs or market changes, because these skills can be transferred almost anywhere, so you will be able to bounce if needed.

7 High-Income Skills

On a side note, surprisingly, in Coursera's analysis, AI (artificial intelligence) did not feature in their list of high-income, in-demand skills to learn in 2024. Might this be because the hype around AI is starting to fizzle out? Are professionals and employers still recognizing the value of integrating AI into their workplaces and implementing AI tools across their workflow? Or do they already have all they need to know? Perhaps that is a question for another time.

However, it is interesting to note that some of the skills listed in the report relate in some way to AI integration and development—such as data analysis and software development, for example.

Back to the point—the seven high-income skills Coursera listed are:

  • Data analysis
  • Software development
  • User experience
  • Web development
  • Project management
  • Account management
  • Content creation and management

7 Free Online Courses (With Certificates)

Here are seven online courses that are not only free (meaning you have no excuses to not start a course today), but also come with certifications and/or badges—which gives you a sense of pride and adds a stamp of validity to all your hard work and studies:

Everyone—whether freelancer or employed—should build at least one high-income skill

1. Free Data Analysis Courses With Harvard

Harvard University might be viewed as an Ivy League school out of most people's pocket range, but they do offer a range of free data science and data analysis courses accessible to anyone, that you can study online. While the courses are free, you may need to pay if you want the certificate—but this is much cheaper than paying for an entire course and is well worth it if you wish to prove your skills to employers or business clients.

2. Google For Developers Platform

Google has a platform dedicated to aspiring developers which includes a vast list of developer education, helpful if you wish to be a software developer, especially for Android. While they may not provide a certificate per se, they give you a quiz at the end of their courses and you receive a badge on your developer profile. With parental consent, learners can start as early as 13 years old.

3. Google UX Design Certificate

Google offers a free course and certification via its educational arm, to help aspiring user experience professionals learn the skills they need for the workplace. This UX Design certification is offered via Coursera.

4. HTML, CSS, and Javascript for Web Developers by Johns Hopkins University

Provided by Johns Hopkins University, this introductory course also comes with a free certificate, and its content is available free if you require and are eligible for financial aid.

5. Google Project Management Certificate

When it comes to project management certifications, we often think about industry-leading certificates such as those offered by the PMI (Project Management Institute). But when it comes to the world of free project management certificates, Google's career certificate in project management tops the rest.

6. Customer Relationship Management Certification by Great Learning

Provided by Great Learning, this CRM course covers the fundamentals of relationship management as a sales professional handling business accounts, and also comes with a free certificate.

7. Digital Marketing Course: Get Certified in Digital Marketing, by HubSpot

HubSpot offers an extensive range of free certifications via its HubSpot Academy, and one of the courses with certificates that it offers for free is its digital marketing certification. It covers topics including SEO and social media.

Learning a high-income skill sets you in a competitive position to be able to control more aspects ... [+] of your career

This list of free courses and certifications proves that anyone can learn a high-income skill. Even if you have no desire to work directly within these fields, you can still learn these skills and apply them to your work function. For example, if you work as a manager, gaining a project management certification may not be necessary, but may help you stand out from other employees, enabling you to be well-recommended for promotions or a pay raise, as you have more niche skills. A skill set within digital marketing can come handy if you're a freelancer seeking to market your services effectively. Ultimately, not only is it the case that everyone can learn a high-income skill, but everyone should learn a high-income skill if they wish to have a thriving career.

Rachel Wells

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Is new AP African American Studies course too woke? We attended class to find out.

A usa today analysis reveals what kinds of school districts are offering the ap african american studies course this year – and which ones aren't..

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LORTON, Virginia – Sean Miller quiets the stereo blasting Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” and begins his lessons for the day, a journey through centuries with improvisational stops along the way.

He kicks off with a discussion on Black joy . Today’s focus: Olympic gymnast and fellow Virginian Gabby Douglas . Then his roughly two dozen students move on to another topic: Black History Month . Has the yearly event outlived its relevance? Miller asks after playing a video clip about the month’s origins. No, some say. A teen proposes legislation to mandate its observance.

Next the discussion veers to distinctions between “slave” and “enslaved person." One emphasizes a person's status, the other their humanity. Then students analyze sketches of captives from the 1839 Amistad rebellion. By the time class wraps up, Miller has drifted through the good and bad referenced in the Al Green anthem, stringing together topics like a chord progression. "Finding the triumph amid all the challenges and tragedies requires a little bit of creativity," he later explains.

Welcome to Advanced Placement African American Studies. The course – still in pilot mode – has drawn praise from students nationwide but sparked restrictions in Florida and Arkansas amid concerns from conservatives that the curriculum is leftist propaganda and makes white children feel bad about themselves.  

The course has the rigor of a college-level offering and the interdisciplinary scope of an ethnic studies seminar, comprising four units that extend from ancient African civilizations to modern-day movements. In mid-May, about 13,000 students at 700 schools in 42 states and Washington, D.C., will be eligible to take the AP African American Studies test. High scores could earn students credit at more than 300 colleges that have indicated they'll grant it.

While the stakes and the difficulty level are high, students say the material is resonant and accessible. Caury Crusoe, 17, said the class often feels like “an hour-and-a-half conversation.” In interviews with USA TODAY, students and educators described the course as transformational. Taking it improved their self-esteem and gave them a newfound pride in their ancestors, many Black teens said. Others emphasized the illuminating content and their deeper appreciation for what humans have in common versus what they don’t. 

The immense demand from teens – especially Black youth,  who participate in AP classes at lower rates  than their white and Asian peers – suggests many more U.S. schools will pick up the course once it goes live this fall. The AP class could continue to face headwinds in the coming years as proposed bans targeting critical race theory (CRT) and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) turn up on legislative agendas.

The College Board declined to say which schools are offering the class. But states, districts, universities and local reporters helped USA TODAY identify roughly 370 campuses based in nearly 200 school districts that are offering the class, accounting for more than half the schools piloting it. Some of these campuses, including the only Florida institution piloting it, are private schools.

A large majority of the schools and districts offering AP African American Studies are in communities that voted for President Joe Biden in 2020, USA TODAY found. Taken together, those districts also had a greater percentage of Black high school students than the national average.

A separate USA TODAY analysis of email correspondence from education officials in some red states revealed staffers’ hesitancy to embrace the course because of the optics.

“There’s always a certain amount of fear and anxiety and backlash that’s associated with these efforts,” said Michael Hines, a Stanford education historian who studies activism in African American communities. Hines foresees an ongoing battle over this course as part of a “recurring cycle.”

AP African American Studies sparks concerns over critical race theory

The launch of AP African American Studies is a watershed moment that says "African American history – the African diaspora – it matters,” said Thomas Tucker, the chief equity officer with Kentucky’s education department. “My hope is that historians will look back on this period to say we’re finally at a point of helping Americans ... understand the beautiful complexity, the beautiful tapestry, of the long, long history of the African people.”

Critics often portray AP African American Studies as a course fixated on division and suffering. That perception nearly deterred two of Miller’s students from signing up. Renee Prox, 17, wondered whether college admissions officers would look down on her for taking it because of the politics. “I wasn’t sure if it would look bad on my transcript,” said the senior, who is Black. 

One of Prox’s few white classmates, Abigail Plageman, also debated whether to take the course. Plageman said her parents were skeptical because of what they’d heard in the news about CRT.

Claims the course would delve into CRT, a graduate-level theory that examines how racism permeates societies and systems, were widespread as the framework underwent revisions.

Florida's education department in January 2023 banned the course because it lacked "educational value," and Gov. Ron DeSantis described a draft framework as a "political agenda" that sought to "shoehorn" radical progressive concepts into history instruction. A subsequent version excluded many themes DeSantis called out , prompting critiques from course advocates who accused the College Board of whitewashing content educators had extensively workshopped. Experts last summer convened for another round of edits that led to a version released in December . Some controversial topics – like intersectionality – were reintroduced, while others – like the Black Lives Matter movement – remain optional . 

After DeSantis banned the course, Arkansas’s education department restricted it, too, and several red states promised to review it. (Ultimately, half a dozen Arkansas campuses opted to pilot it , but, because of the state's stance, participating students cannot earn credit toward graduation. However, now that the framework has been updated, Arkansas students may be able to earn credit next year under the state's graduation requirements, a department spokesperson told USA TODAY.)

Explained: Gov. Ron DeSantis' feud with the College Board over AP African American Studies

Email correspondence obtained by USA TODAY shows some employees in red states last year were questioning what to do about the class following DeSantis’s and others’ critiques. 

“I am a bit concerned about this course,” wrote Davonne Eldredge, North Dakota’s assistant director of academic support, in a January 2023 email to a superior about a College Board request that the state adopt it. “This is the course that has been in the national news due to critical race theory concerns brought forth in Florida. … Given the hot item critical race is within ND, I’m not sure how to proceed with this one. My gut says to hold off until the changes are made.” The state never formally reviewed the course because no school asked to pilot it, a spokesperson said.

In Virginia, another state where officials vowed to review the curriculum, media coverage of the controversy seemingly prompted decision-makers to waffle over their messaging. The state education department concluded that the course complied with Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s anti-CRT executive order and drafted a related statement to share its conclusion with the public, email records show. The draft included a suggestion that more edits be made to the course, but staffers worried that language would prompt inquiries from reporters.

South County High, where Miller teaches, is one of about 16 schools in Virginia piloting the class this school year. In that state, AP African American Studies will remain an elective rather than a social studies course that counts toward graduation.

Despite the revisions, some critics who closely follow the course’s development remain concerned.

Michael Gonzalez, a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said CRT and the activist mindset of the Black Lives Matter movement remain prominent in the latest framework even though these topics have been left out or made optional. As long as discussions of systemic racism are included, it’s still grounded in CRT, in his view. The word “oppression,” he stressed, is mentioned 19 times. 

In an interview with USA TODAY, Gonzalez and his colleague, Jonathan Butcher, agreed it's important to teach about the horrors of slavery and Jim Crow. But viewing all history through the lens of racism and oppression, they said, is misleading and incendiary.

“We want young people to believe that the American dream belongs to them … that they do have a future,” said Butcher, an education policy research fellow at Heritage. “If you , instead , give young people something that they need to resist, to look down upon, you’re robbing them of the chance of having something to live up to.”

Seeing Black history ‘for more than just the bad’

Over several months and during two visits to Miller's classroom , students told USA TODAY the course broadens their knowledge and instills hope. Plageman, the white student whose parents were skeptical about the course, said she’s politically centrist and feels the lessons haven’t changed her viewpoints. Rather, they’ve expanded what she knows about the U.S. AP African American Studies is not CRT, she said, but “just another social studies class that’s different from what I’ve learned before.”

Prox, the Black student concerned about having the course on her transcript, explained she hasn’t looked back since she signed up. “It’s way more than what it’s been painted out to be,” she said. “It’s about how the African diaspora has grown and how we started and it’s just a really good representation of Black people.”

“We were oblivious to how the story of an African past is a glorious one. It’s not just a reshaping of the narrative. It is an introduction of a narrative that, for so many of us, simply did not exist." Teresa Reed, a dean and music professor at the University of Louisville, who serves on the course’s development committee

Black history is under attack: From AP African American Studies to ‘Ruby Bridges’

Crusoe, who described the course as a long conversation, said the knowledge she’s gained has made her more ambitious and proud. It inspired her to branch beyond her goal of studying business to explore a humanities discipline with an emphasis on social justice when she attends North Carolina A&T, a historically Black college in Greensboro, next fall. She regularly shares tidbits from class with her mom and is president of her school's Black Student Alliance. “I’m not a big history person, but (Miller) makes me want to talk about it,” she said. 

Her favorite part, beyond Miller’s relaxed teaching style, has been learning about the strength of her ancestors. About the ancient African civilizations with legacies far more expansive than she ever knew. About the modern Black heroes whose art touches millions. About the everyday Black people, like her parents and herself, fulfilling the American dream. “People just don’t really see Black history for more than just the bad,” she said. 

The Heritage scholars said a better strategy for teaching about African American experiences would be to broaden U.S. history education. That way, the history of Black Americans could be woven together with other groups. “African American history is my history,” Gonzalez said. 

Students and educators told USA TODAY there’s a reason to separate this curriculum: U.S. history classes seldom scrape past the surface of African Americans’ role in the narrative, beyond slavery and civil rights.

It’s groundbreaking for an African American studies course like this to come together on a national scale, endorsed by the College Board. “It feels like a gap is being filled in my own psyche,” said Teresa Reed, a dean and music professor at the University of Louisville who serves on the course’s development committee .

Growing up in predominantly Black Gary, Indiana, in the 1960s and 70s, Reed didn’t learn much about the contributions of her ancestors or the pre-slavery chapters of their story.

“We were oblivious to how the story of an African past is a glorious one,” she said. That’s what makes this course so novel: “It’s not just a reshaping of the narrative. It is an introduction of a narrative that, for so many of us, simply did not exist."

‘These are people who persevered’

The interdisciplinary, meandering nature of the South County High classes USA TODAY observed this spring is precisely what developers envisioned when they designed the course. The idea is for students to find connections between the past and present – between the Amistad rebellion and Gabby Douglas setting Olympic records.

Miller, a former marketing professional who chairs the high school’s social studies department, infuses his lessons with guidance on developing real-world skills. During a March class, students broke into groups to plan a podcast project. The final product, Miller told them, should be a neatly structured, professional-quality episode that touches on several topics of their choice from the curriculum. Their grade would count as their test score for the unit. 

The classroom buzzed as the teens deliberated how to tackle this assignment. Crusoe and her partner designed logos and debated which to use – an animated ear against the word “Black” repeated in rows or a woman in 1950s attire with a TV as a head entitled “Shades of History”? Across the room, a boy scanned C-SPAN for good clips. In the back, three students discussed themes they’d highlight: Black music, fashion, literature and media representation.  

Miller, who wears gauges in his ears and produces music in his spare time, peppers his lessons with a mix of banter, sarcasm and big words. Students fist-bump him on their way in and out. His mantra is simple: “Keep the rigor high, keep the expectations high. But create memories and keep it engaging.” Slavery, lynching and segregation are crucial elements of the African American experience, but Miller frames the discussion around resilience rather than bitterness or shame.

He strives to frame his instruction around “victories over victimization,” he said that March day. Wearing a "Built by Black History" T-shirt, he noted, “There were some dark days, but there were also some very positive days in response.”

“I want them to walk out the door and say, ‘Wow, these are people who persevered.'” 

Contributing: Doug Caruso, data editor at USA TODAY, analyzed demographic and political trends across districts we identified were piloting AP African American Studies this school year.  

Also contributing: Lily Altavena, Detroit Free Press; Caroline Beck, Indianapolis Star; Jillian Ellison, Journal & Courier; Samantha Hernandez, Des Moines Register; Kelly Lyell, the Coloradoan; Madeleine Parrish, Arizona Republic .

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Poland teen earns college degree before her high school diploma.

what is coursework degree

Bianca Patrone

POLAND — Bianca Patrone started taking courses at Youngstown State University when she was in the eighth grade and now, at just 17, she will graduate not only from high school, but also graduated from YSU over the weekend with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

She was the first College Credit Plus student to graduate from YSU with a bachelor’s degree before completing high school. She is a student at Poland Seminary High School, but she took most of her college coursework at YSU and Eastern Gateway Community College.

Patrone learned about YSU’s College Credit Plus program after listening in on a senior assembly at her high school.

“I just stood right in the doorway and I listened because it was for the seniors. I realized when I did research on it that you could actually start in seventh grade, so I decided to start that summer before my eighth grade year,” Patrone said.

From there, she noted the encouragement from her mother and help from Patrick Carbon, CCP academic adviser for Eastern Gateway Community College, helping her to earn the necessary high school credits.

Admittedly, Patrone felt the experience was intimidating at first but continued on, crediting her mentors along the way.

“YSU is an amazing school. There are so many helpful people here, especially the professors,” she said.

On campus, Patrone worked closely with Sarah Eisenaugle Bika, coordinator and biological sciences instructor, and Christina O’Connell, director for Center of Career Management out of the Williamson College of Business Administration, for scheduling courses and helping her through the internship application process.

During her time as a student, Patrone completed two internships, the first as a marketing coordinator for her father’s landscaping business.

“At the time of my first internship, I was only 16 so a lot of employers were hesitant to hire me. I decided to intern for my dad, it was more lenient and he had never had a marketing coordinator before,” she said.

The second internship was for local news station, WKBN, also as a marketing coordinator. “Working for WKBN was really nice, a whole different type of environment than I was used to,” Patrone said, “They told me I was the first intern that have had in over 50 years. They really welcomed me with open arms.”

After graduation, Patrone intends on pursuing a master’s degree at Hult International Business School, attending courses at their London campus and opening an international real estate company. Her target market will be the U.S. and down the European coastline.

“I want to be the best contact person for my family who lives in Italy when it comes to real estate,” Patrone said.

She also credited her family as a key motivator through her academic journey.

“My mom earned her PhD at YSU, she was my true inspiration and continued to encourage me when I wanted to give up,” she said.

Patrone added that her brother is enrolled at YSU and is also on track to earn a bachelor’s through YSU’s CCP program before graduating high school.

Though not a traditional high school experience, Patrone felt she made the right choice taking high school courses as well as college courses simultaneously.

“I had so many opportunities through this program. I gained some much needed experience in networking and it really molded me into the person I am today,” she said. “I really wanted to build a story and create something memorable for other people like me, who just want a different approach to education.”

Patrone graduated Sunday as part of the Williamson College of Business Administration.

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    4 mins. It can be a little tricky figuring out which postgraduate degree is for you. That's why we've done the work for you to clarify the differences between a coursework degree and a research degree, and where each could take your career. Tl;dr: The main difference between these two styles is coursework has classes and research has a thesis.

  2. What's the difference between a Masters by Coursework and a ...

    A Masters by Coursework is a professional qualification involving the study of a specified set of core units and a selection of eligible elective units. Undertaking a coursework program will mean that you will attend classes, complete assignments and sit exams where applicable. Some Masters by Coursework also require the completion of a minor ...

  3. Quick Guide: Your College Degree Options

    This is a type of dual degree in which a student completes three years of liberal arts study followed by two years of professional or technical study. In the end, students earn two bachelor's degrees, usually a BA and a BS. An example of this is Columbia University's 3-2 Combined Plan program in which students can earn a BA and a BS in five ...

  4. A Guide to Online Degrees

    An online degree is any type of undergraduate or graduate degree (associate, bachelor's, master's, doctorate, or professional) that you earn online. Rather than relocate to attend an in-person program, you'll work through your coursework online, either by attending virtual classes or completing asynchronous classes on your own time.

  5. What to Know About Becoming a Business Major

    Business administration majors study a wide range of topics related to work in corporate settings. The major typically includes coursework in management, analytics, accounting, finance, operations ...

  6. Online Degrees and Postgraduate Studies from Top Universities

    Earn a Master's degree, a Bachelor's degree, or a Postgraduate credential from a top-ranked university at a breakthrough price. Study on your own schedule with 100% online degree or postgraduate programs. Learn from project-based courses and get direct feedback from your professors. When you graduate, you'll receive the same university degree as students who attend class on campus.

  7. Coursework or research?

    Postgraduate Degree Coursework Doing it by coursework means, you'll attend classes, write assessments, sit for exams and work your way through a set of subjects - a structured program. You could potentially add a research project using your elective. Programs offered through postgraduate coursework are:

  8. Difference Between Postgraduate Research and Coursework

    There are a few key differences between postgraduate coursework and postgraduate research programs. Postgraduate Coursework. Postgraduate coursework programs deliver content through a set unit program (similar to an undergraduate Bachelor degree), but at a more advanced level. Coursework will allow you to deepen your knowledge within a discipline, or to pursue a new or additional study area at ...

  9. A Guide to Different College Degrees

    Common master's degrees include the Master of Business Administration ( MBA ), Master of Fine Arts ( MFA) and Master of Science (M.S.). An MFA is considered a terminal degree, the highest degree ...

  10. Coursework

    Coursework (also course work, especially British English) is work performed by students or trainees for the purpose of learning. Coursework may be specified and assigned by teachers, or by learning guides in self-taught courses. Coursework can encompass a wide range of activities, including practice, experimentation, research, and writing (e.g., dissertations, book reports, and essays).

  11. Masters by Dissertation vs. Coursework Masters

    While a Masters by Dissertation is heavily research orientated, these degrees are different to a Research Masters degree in South Africa. A Research Masters is a full-time (sometimes part-time) coursework programme offered by some universities ( Wits) which can lead to an HPCSA registration as a Research Psychologist.

  12. What are the 4 Types of College Degrees?

    Doctor of Education (EdD): A doctoral degree geared toward leaders (and aspiring leaders) in educational organizations and the education system itself. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): An academic doctorate available to a range of fields. A PhD is typically required to become a professor and can help you start a career in research.

  13. What Is an Undergraduate Degree?

    An undergraduate degree is a credential you typically pursue after high school. In the United States, undergraduate degrees include associate degrees and bachelor's degrees. Three main institutions typically offer undergraduate degree programs: universities, liberal arts colleges, and community colleges .

  14. Graduate coursework options

    Graduate coursework options. You can apply for more than 340 award programs ranging from Graduate Certificates to Masters and PhD study in a wide range of study areas and disciplines. Graduate degree options include: Graduate certificates. A Graduate certificate is six month course where you can choose from more than 25 discipline areas.

  15. Types Of College Degrees: Levels & Requirements

    Here are the college degrees in order, from lowest ranking to highest: Associate degree (undergraduate) Bachelor's degree (undergraduate) Master's degree (graduate) Doctoral degree (graduate) While a doctorate is the highest education level, some fields may stop at a master's. The phrase "terminal degree" refers to the highest degree in a field ...

  16. Coursework Definition & Meaning

    The meaning of COURSEWORK is work that is assigned or performed as part of a course of study. How to use coursework in a sentence.

  17. What is a coursework program?

    Coursework is defined under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) as a method of teaching and learning that leads to the acquisition of skills and knowledge that does not include a major research component. Bachelor's programs and postgraduate coursework programs are all coursework programs.

  18. Your Guide to Conquering College Coursework

    In the excitement of starting a new life on campus, college coursework can sometimes become a second priority. However, adjusting to college coursework is often the biggest challenge of all. Even the best students may be surprised at how difficult college courses are. The subject matter is more complex. The workload is larger.

  19. What is Coursework at University?

    In short, at university coursework is similar to at previous levels of education, where coursework is a form of assessment without exams that helps to make up your grade. At university, this is because successfully completing coursework helps you to pass modules, allowing you to get your qualification. This coursework can come in many different ...

  20. What is Coursework?

    Coursework is a practical work or study done by a student in partial fulfilment of a degree or training. Projects, field work, design studies, long essays etc constitutes a coursework. The nature of work which requires to be carried out depends on the course. It is largely a part of learning exercise and a step to prepare you to handle the ...

  21. Data Science Degrees vs. Courses: The Value Verdict

    The Traditional Path: Data Science Degrees . The standard route is to get a degree (or even two) in data science, computer science, or mathematics. This kind of structured learning will teach you what you need to know to perform well at a data science job. One of the benefits of a degree is that it lets you learn the subject solidly and ...

  22. BSW Degree: Your Guide to the Bachelor of Social Work

    A bachelor's degree costs an average annual total of $20,598 for a public four-year institution and $44,662 for a private four-year institution, according to the National Center for Education Statistics [2]. Types of coursework. You'll be expected to complete several required major courses to graduate with a BSW.

  23. Coursework vs Exams: What's Easier? (Pros and Cons)

    This work makes up a student's coursework and contributes to their final grade. In comparison, exams often only take place at the end of the year. Therefore, students are only assessed at one point in the year instead of throughout. All of a student's work then leads up to them answering a number of exams which make up their grade.

  24. MSE-AI Academics

    Designed specifically for students who are new to computer science, MCIT Online offers the same innovative curriculum and high-quality teaching as Penn's on-campus program. Build a strong foundation in computer science and gain real-world coding skills. Core courses and electives blend computer science theory and applied, project-based learning.

  25. 7 Free Online Courses With Certificates For High-Income Skills ...

    Learning a skill is a good thing. Learning a high income skill? Even better. Here are seven high-income skills (and free courses to learn them with certificates) in 2024.

  26. 29-year-old earns $100,000 working in AI without a college degree—here

    Now on the cusp of turning 30, Maruyama is making over $100,000 working in AI without a bachelor's degree and coaching 16-to-20-year-olds on how to design their own degree-free careers. Tattooing ...

  27. What Is a Bachelor's Degree? Requirements, Costs, and More

    Application requirements for bachelor's degrees. To apply for a bachelor's degree program, you may be expcted to provide: Past grades or GPA: Some programs may require you to have earned a certain minimum GPA in high school—like 2.5 or 3.0—though not all do. A program's application should state what kind of grade requirements they have.

  28. Is new AP African American Studies course too woke? We attended class

    The course has the rigor of a college-level offering and the interdisciplinary scope of an ethnic studies seminar, comprising four units that extend from ancient African civilizations to modern ...

  29. Poland teen earns college degree before her high school diploma

    She was the first College Credit Plus student to graduate from YSU with a bachelor's degree before completing high school. She is a student at Poland Seminary High School, but she took most of ...

  30. What Are Certificate Programs? A 2024 Guide

    Ideally, the student is on their way to becoming job-ready in the shortest amount of time. On the other hand, a bachelor's degree typically requires students to complete general education courses and courses in their specific major. Length: A certificate program typically takes much less time and costs less than a bachelor's degree or a ...