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Distance education can be an excellent way to earn a master's degree while attending college part-time. In some colleges a majority of master's program students are part-time, taking classes when they have time and money. Other students are full-time and take the accelerated learning route.

Accelerated learning puts a master's degree in your hands in as little as 12 months. Take one online course after another until the degree is finished. You reach your goals much faster than traditional programs while still maintaining your home, family, and job.

Most online students are working a full-time job and many have children. Accelerated learning programs give these students flexibility to earn a master's degree in far less time than two years, and distance education programs let students earn degrees from top ranked schools no matter where they live. It's possible to complete almost any type of master's degree online, so don't ignore the opportunity to go to grad school just because you're busy

Time-Saving Tips for Distance Learning and Online Grad Students

  • Schedule study time. No, really, mark it on the calendar, set up email reminders, program alarms into your phone, tell your spouse, and really stick to the schedule.
  • When you submit your final assignment for the current week, preview next week's assignments. You'll know right away if more time will be needed to complete the coursework.
  • Keep your course materials in one book bag or drawer, along with highlighters, pens, notepaper, and a snack. Don't use one of the kids' old backpacks—get your very own.
  • Find a study-buddy at the beginning of each course. Some students are on the same online program specialization track so they take several classes together, or you might make a new friend. Ask your buddy to hold you accountable for studying and completing assignments on time—and hold her accountable, too.
  • If you have vacation time at work, consider taking half a day off at the end of each online course to really polish your final project.
  • Establish boundaries. If you usually study at home but find yourself frequently distracted, grab your book bag and laptop and go to the public library or coffee shop. Let calls go to voicemail if you're studying. Encourage the kids to walk the dog and ask your spouse to wash the dishes.

Read more about getting a masters degree after being in the workforce, or find out what you need to know about accredited masters programs.

Ready to find a distance education program? Use the graduate school finder to request free information!