It can be very frustrating and leave you feeling very isolated. You have to make sure it works with your personality. Most of my education through high school was self paced and individualized working through textbooks and workbooks on my own.
It involved reading, doing problem sets and then telling the teacher when you are ready to take the test. Distance education seemed like something of a hybrid between my college and high school education.
I found some software that would let me speed up or slow down the lectures without changing the pitch. The opportunity cost—the money you could have been earning at a job during the time you were going to school—usually represents the biggest expense. Unless you have a very flexible employer, it is going to be difficult to take traditional classes while you continue your day job.
Distance education courses allow you to minimize this opportunity cost. You can keep working your normal job while taking many of your classes. Make sure you consider the lost income potential of programs that require you to stop working. They were slightly cheaper when I started. This is extremely inexpensive. In addition it is less expensive than a number of much less reputable schools.
My thesis took a very long time. Off-campus students seem to have a bit more trouble getting a thesis director assigned.
I think they have made some changes to help fix this, now. First, you submit a thesis proposal and get it approved by the research adviser for your area of study. Then a thesis director is assigned. Harvard does a good job of giving you what you need to complete the thesis. There are Microsoft Word templates for the Thesis Proposal and the actual Thesis that make it very easy to deal with the citations, various tables of content, etc.
My thesis involved writing a piece of software and then writing a detailed explanation of how it worked, the technology behind it, and how it was different from other pieces of software. In the end, I ended up with a nicely bound page document. When you are doing things remotely, the thesis work involves a lot of emailing documents back and forth. I ran into some problems getting Word on a Mac to show images correctly when they were transferred to Windows.
Later on we started using the editing features in Word. Once the research adviser and the thesis director were both happy with the document, I sent it to a bindery in Massachusetts. They printed and bound two copies. One was sent to me in Kansas, and the other was sent to the Harvard Extension School to go in the library there.
I highly recommend Wells Bindery. Now, if I had needed a further extension on my thesis, I would have needed to petition and possibly retake any classes that were over five years old.
This is the question that everyone seems to ask. You get the same diploma as everyone else. This is completely true. Admission to the Extension School is based solely on your ability to perform well in that program. It is worth noting that the admission process to other Harvard schools has in the past been criticized for being based on factors other than academic merit. It is much harder to sit alone in a room late at night after work watching lectures and doing problem sets than it is to attend class with your peers.
The skills that will let you pull that off will generally go a long way toward helping you succeed. Still, a lot of the value from going to college occurs outside the classroom. This is one of the biggest drawbacks to getting a degree predominately through online classes. They may be looking for someone with the contacts that would come from being physically on campus. So the Extension School lets everyone try, but is selective in the academic quality of people who achieve passing grades.
Harvard College is selective in who they allow into the school in the first place. Since the peer experience is a very important part of Harvard College, this makes sense.
It is a much less important part of the Extension School. Some employers are upset because they interview people who claim they went to Harvard when all they did was enroll in and not necessarily complete a course through the Extension School.
I know it sometimes happens with universities that are completely fictitious. It is important to realize that the degrees offered by the Extension School may not map directly to degrees offered by other schools.
While there is some overlap, that degree requires different courses and goes much deeper on the computational theory side of things. The classes I took included several that were more focused on practical use of current technologies rather than being all theory. My required courses seemed about equivalent to the Master of Science in Computer Science degrees from some of the state schools I researched.
Participating in commencement is an option, but given the distance from Kansas to Massachusetts and the prospect of traveling with a baby, we opted not to go. So, for all practical purposes, my graduation was on March 10th when I received this email:. Our office is open Monday — Friday, 9 am — 5 pm. Please email me so we know when to expect you! If you are out of state, please confirm the address to which we should mail your diploma or certificate. It has been a pleasure working with you. Please accept my best wishes for continued academic and professional success.
Overall, I was very happy with the experience and education. It significantly added to my education without taking much time off work. Taking the majority of your classes online does limit your interaction with other students, and this is often one of the most valuable aspects of college. Wow, this post was great! This post answered any question I could have had and really opened up a lot of avenues I never considered.
I am very interested in this program. I was curious how many classes you took per semester? I am seriously thinking about going through this program and have an appointment with an admissions counselor today. I only plan to take ONE class per semester. I believe that doing so will still get me completed by the end of five years? I would suggest doubling up on a few semesters—particularly with classes where you already have a lot of experience.
Otherwise, you may run out of time. There is a five year limit and they can ask you to retake any class that is over five years old in order to graduate. If you do a few summer semesters, you should be in good shape. Make sure you pay attention to what classes you need to do first.
Usually one of the first three is something of a weed-out class. If you need to get some other prerequisites in order to successfully complete one of the difficult classes, you may want to do that at a different school before enrolling and starting the five year timer for your degree. I took two classes at a time during several semesters even though not all of them were toward the degree program. Thank you for the info Mark.
I just want it to ask you a question, how much does each course cost? Thank you again for your time. The program I did required 40 credit hours.
Undergraduate courses are much less expensive. That probably depends a lot on your academic background. If you are interested in the Harvard Extension School, you should look at the website and then give them a call if you have further questions. Also, do you think if I take a government undergrad course, and finish and get my diploma may I still be able to apply to any law school and get a Law degree J.
Wow thanks for sharing all of this. After many years of thought, and having finished raising my four children, I have decided to pursue one of the IT ALMs at the extension. I am hoping to fulfill my one on-campus class this fall. I have taken other courses not in this program via distance at the extension school in the past and did very well. Nobody else out there makes the experience as real as Harvard does via the video lectures.
This really makes a difference! Of the other schools I looked at, Harvard did seem to have the best classroom experience. I figured by now more schools would have caught up, but from what you are saying it sounds like they still have a lead over many of the other online programs.
At Harvard extension are there weed out classes as well for the graduate certificates? A certificate is to a masters degree as an associates degree is to a bachelors. Well not exactly, but that is probably in the right ball park. If you look carefully at the required classes and maybe take some preparatory class at another school before starting at Harvard, you should probably be ok if you are willing to work hard.
Thanks for the write-up. There are some pretty interesting online programs from some of the best liberal arts in the country. Getting a degree from Harvard online probably takes the cake. Hopefully you will be respected by your Harvard grad peers as that may be the most valuable part of the degree. Networking with alum that is. Thats a nice feature that they make you spend one section at the school, probably a fun summer.
I was wondering which classes you took and what you thought of each of them individually. Or better yet is there an online site that describes what the students think of the class, professor, topic, workload, etc. I am in my second term at Harvard exten. I am having a hard time clearly identifying the hard classes from the easy ones. My concentration was software engineering. Keep in mind that what is difficult or easy for you will depend significantly on your background and previous experience.
Also, some of the classes are as difficult as you make them. Many classes that I took has a lot of leeway in what we did as our final project. I chose some very interesting projects as final projects which required a lot more work, but helped me learn the material at a much deeper level than I would have with an easier project. You might check out: Other than the diploma, would you mind let us taking a look on the transcript? Because I think it is more important. TC — If you want to see what classes I took, take a look at this post.
In it I covered the details of each class. Keep in mind that there is a lot of freedom to choose courses so you can tailor things to your needs. At the time I was doing a lot of work with networks so I took quite a few courses in that area. Hi Mark, Great article, and you have a point that we need the constant education, we have to evolve every day so to speak… Would you be so kind to give a breakdown of total costs?
Then we had food and transportation. It would probably be toward the higher end of that range today because some of the courses have gone up. However, if you look you may be able to find significantly cheaper housing—particularly if you are single.
There are some very good reasons for including a residency requirement if you are a school worried about maintaining a high academic standard. Please rectify if I am wrong. Can international student enroll for this course? Thank you very much for answering. I have another question for you? Can you please shed light on this issue? Things may have changed, but when I was there a proctor needed to be someone who worked for an academic institution—for example a professor at a local community college.
I know at least once I was allowed to use a librarian at a local library. You have provided me lots of invaluable information. I am very much thankful to you for your kind help.
Mark, when you took the course, how did write your exams? On campus or online. Say for example if I apply for the same subjects that you studied as you have written in your blog ref: Many of the classes had projects rather than exams. The ones that had exams required getting a proctor. They have a list of who is valid as a proctor. I used a professor at a community college and a librarian at the local library. Retrieved October 2, Archived from the original on January 1, Retrieved May 25, Archived from the original on April 2, Retrieved May 4, Retrieved February 6, Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations.
Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy. Retrieved 11 November Kennedy School of Government Harvard University". Archived from the original on June 6, Archived from the original on September 26, Safra Foundation Center for Ethics: Esten Perez July 10, Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India.
Retrieved January 10, Press Information Bureau of India. Retrieved January 21, Retrieved August 15, Retrieved January 14, Retrieved December 11, Retrieved December 25, Retrieved February 2, Retrieved February 24, Neffenger to lead the Transportation Security Administration". Garber The Harvard Library.
Harvard Graduate School of Education. Harvard Art Museums Arthur M. Universidad Externado de Colombia. Senator from Massachusetts — U. Representative for MA — Presidential limousine Presidential yacht Resolute desk Situation Room. States House of Representatives elections, U. Senate election in Massachusetts, Presidential primaries Presidential campaign Democratic National Convention U. Assassination timeline reactions in popular culture State funeral Riderless horse attending dignitaries Gravesite and Eternal Flame.
Kennedy School of Government Harvard Univ. Kennedy grandfather John F. Retrieved from " https: Kennedy memorials Presidential schools in the United States Educational institutions established in establishments in Massachusetts establishments in Massachusetts. Webarchive template wayback links All articles with dead external links Articles with dead external links from October Use mdy dates from November Articles with self-published sources from October All articles with self-published sources Instances of Infobox university using image size All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from December Dynamic lists Coordinates on Wikidata.
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