Online degree programs are ideal for those who have busy schedules, already work a full time job, or are trying to balance their schooling with work and family. The attraction to taking courses online is that, since you take your degrees online, you can go to class whenever, and wherever you'd like. It makes it easy to fit getting a degree into your already busy schedule. However, while some degree programs and fields of study lend themselves well to an online atmosphere, others do not. If you are looking into a degree in chemistry and would like to obtain your degree online or mostly online, there are some programs that may work for you.
Online associate, bachelor, masters, and even PhD degrees are available. The complication with taking your degree online comes from the fact that a degree in chemistry often requires some time in a chemistry lab. Depending on your degree's particular focus, some online schools have solved this problem with video demonstrations, either in the form of an online streaming video or DVD, that help to demonstrate the lab work for you. Other degree programs offer most classes on line with a few lab classes you have to take at the schools physical location. These options may work for some, but – because of their learning style or the requirements of the particular discipline they are studying – other students may be more successful obtaining a traditional degree, at least for their undergraduate studies.
Online master degrees in chemistry tend to be more abundant. Most students who are pursuing a graduate degree in chemistry have already taken courses that have given them practical experience in the lab. For this reason, many master's degree programs focus more on the mathematics and theory behind chemistry, rather than the practical work. This can make a master's degree a little more of a fit for an online environment.
Prior to choosing to take a degree in Chemistry online, it is advisable to do your research and pick a school and a degree program that will work best for you. In the course of earning your degree, you will be required to take some communications, technical writing, and some very advanced math classes. Some people learn complex concepts well online, and others require some face-to-face help with certain classes. For this reason, it is important that you take the time to understand your learning style and research what each online program offers in terms of tutoring and the like. Do the professors offer ″office hours″ over the phone or via instant messaging? Are there extra tutorials you can take to grasp certain difficult topics? Are tutors available? These are all good questions to ask prior to enrolling in an online program. Remember, a degree in chemistry can lead to a lucrative career, but it is also a very challenging degree, and you will likely need help along the way.