Residency Requirement Basics:
A "residency requirement" is a set amount of time a student must spend on campus in order to complete a degree. Many brick-and-mortar colleges mandate residency requirements for their online students. If you enroll in one of these programs, you may have to travel to campus for several weekends or even several semesters in order to earn your degree. Before enrolling in any online program, make sure its residency requirements will meet your needs.
This article explores some of the most popular residency options available.
Programs with no residency requirements allow students to complete their degrees without visiting a physical campus. If you live far from your chosen school and prefer not to travel, a no residency option may be right for you.
Programs with limited residency requirements ask students to visit campus for less than one semester. These programs may require students to attend weekend seminars or summer institutes. They often give students the chance to get hands-on experience, work directly with their professors, and network with their peers. If you are a working professional, it may be possible to fit these limited residency requirements into your vacation schedule.
Programs with extended residency requirements ask students to attend physical classes for one semester or more. Such programs allow students to gain a more traditional college experience. However, if you do not live near the college’s brick-and-mortar campus, it may be very difficult to fulfill these requirements.
Blended learning programs mix distance learning and traditional learning. In such programs, individual courses may require both physical class attendance and online assignments. Blended learning programs are almost always designed for students living locally.
Choosing a Program:
Considering a college’s residency requirements is a matter of personal needs and preferences. Carefully consider your work schedule, your ability to travel, and your desire to have in-person educational contact. There is no right answer; choose the option that works best for your life.